Tuesday, 25 January 2011

GM - Re film production schedule

After editing our 1st rough cut further, Jess and I have booked a camera and tripod to do some re-filming of certain shots tonight (Tuesday 25th January). We feel we have enough time left to be able to re-film some of the scenes that didn't turn out how we first invisaged. We only need our final girl in these scenes and she will be arriving on location at 3.30pm. This will give us plenty of time to film the shots with her and then go outside and redo some of the shots of the outside of the house in the dark. We will then upload the footage and edit them into what we have got already creating our second rough cut.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

All - Research on the Slasher genre


Slasher film is a sub-genre of the horror film genre typically involving a psychopathic killer stalking and killing a sequence of victims in a graphically violent manner, often with a cutting tool such as a chainsaw. Although the term "slasher" may be used as a generic term for any horror movie involving graphic acts of murder, the slasher as a genre has its own set of characteristics.

They can generally be split into two distinct sub-types: one type in which the killer's identity is known from the outset and he is shown overtly (even through sometimes in a mask), and one in which the killer's identity is not known and which employ a whodunnit angle, often with a twist at the end.

Slasher films loosely follow this formula below.

Past event

1. The young community is guilty of a wrongful action.

2. The killer sees an injury, fault or death.

3. The killer experiences a loss.

4. The killer kills the guilty members of the young community

Present events

1. An event commemorates the past action.

2. The killer's destructive force is reactivated.

3. The killer reidentifies the guilty parties.

4. A member of the old community trys to warn the young community (optional).

5. The young community takes no heed.

6. The killer stalks members of the young community.

7. A member of some type of force like a detective etc, attempts to hunt down the killer.

8. The killer kills members of the young community.

9. The hero/heroine sees the extent of the murders.

10. The hero/heroine sees the killer.

11. The hero/heroine does battle with the killer.

12. The hero/heroine kills or subdues the killer.

13. The hero/heroine survives.

14. But the hero/heroine is not free.

It is thought that slasher movies appeal to its audinece because:

Catharsis—Through a release of fears about bodily injury or from political or social tensions of the day.

• Recreation—An intense, thrill seeking, physical experience akin to a roller coaster ride.

• Displacement—Audiences sexual desires are displaced onto the characters in the film.

Other common characteristics include:

The Killer—With notable exceptions, the killer in the slasher film is usually male. His identity is often, but not always, unknown and/or concealed either by a mask or by creative lighting and camera work. He is often mute and seemingly unstoppable, able to withstand stabbings, falls and shootings by his victims. His background sometimes includes a childhood trauma that explains his choice of victim, weapon and location (the killer can be made out to be pitiable or understood). Slasher villains tend to prefer hand held weapons such as knives, axes, hatchetes, and chainsaws as opposed to bombs or guns. As the sub-genre developed, some argue that the real star of a slasher is the killer, not the victims or Final Girl. Throughout most of the franchises, the killer is constant.

The Victims— tend to be young, attractive, high school-aged adolescents. Some claim that the young people are punished for indulging in vices such as pre-marital sex or illegal drugs. Others claim that is simply a matter of the activities making the victims unaware of their surroundings, making them easy prey for the killer.

The Location— set in isolated locations such as on islands, deep in forests, small towns, abandoned buildings and farms. The killer may have a connection to their chosen location, such as from a tragic event or just live/frequently visit. The locations are genuinely low populated, sometimes with very few to no inhabitants and are far away from civilization, which can present a problem for the police and other emergency services to arrive quickly if requested by the victims. However mobile phone reception may be too weak to make a phone call, and the killer can isolate his victims further by cutting the phone or electrical lines, disabling communication devices (short wave radio) and destroying their means of escape such as their vehicles which makes escape near impossible. By doing this it allows the killer to freely kill his victims without the need to worry about interference from the outside world.

Final Girl— the only survivor. The girl is often a peer of the victim. She frequently does not indulge in the unlawful activities of her friends. The heroine is also known as the final girl because by the end of the movie, all of her friends are dead, and she's left alone to deal with the killer. Certain movies do deviate from this in favour of having a final boy who tends to be morally suspect.

The Violence— Is the main thing that separates slashers from thrillers and murder mysteries. Slashers de-emphasize plot and character development in favor of violence and terror. Plots are constructed around giving the killer a reason to kill. The deaths are often violent and graphic, and the more original they are the more the audience enjoys it.

Teenage Wasteland: the slasher movie uncut – J.A. Kerswell

  • Violent horror thrillers from Europe have played a huge part in shaping the sub-genre around the world.
  • The use of a seemingly helpless but sympathetic young woman, who then goes on to become the heroine, more commonly known as the Final Girl in modern day slasher.
  • Originally false scares were an effective way to engage the audience however it is now thought that they have become so overused that they have become clich├ęs.
  • Many slasher films take element of real-life cases and spin fiction out of them, but few are straight adaptations of actual murders.
  • The use of a jazz soundtrack accompanying the action, e.g. in Jack the Ripper (1959), (soundtrack by Stanley Black) creates a ‘hysterical crescendo’ during the murder sequences.
American Nightmare Documentary
Director Wes Craven

  • Went to university in Baltimore
  • Came into the motion pictures industries
  • On the a-list of Hollywood directors
  • His father past away when he was 4 years old and his family then became religious but the church didn’t believe in movies, only Disney ones which were deemed as safe, and they believed that Hollywood was the work of the devil
  • Because of the church he grew up on novels which came to inspire him in later life
  • A film club was made and he joined, and they made a movie which sold quite well for teenagers
  • Went broke during his career, no one would fund Nightmare on elm street
Some of the movies Wes Craven has directed
  • Deadly blessing (made Sharon Stone famous, her first role)
  • Scream 1 2 3 4
  • The serpent and the rainbow
  • Swamp thing (badly funded and was an action/adventure)
  • Nightmare on elm street
  • Vampire in Brooklyn
  • Music of the heart
  • Last house on the left
  • The hills have eyes 1 and 2
  • Stranger in our house
  • Chiller
  • Deadly friend
  • The new twilight zone
  • Wes Craven’s new nightmare 

Research that has influenced our 2 minute opening:

We have used the idea of a final girl in our opening two minutes, but also portrayed her as a victim as well. Our main actress is a slim, pretty brunette who is reserved with her looks but still gets the attention of the males. This has influenced our target audience. We think that it would be appealing for males as the final girl is attractive to look at but would also pose as a girl that females could possibly relate to. For the age range of our audience we are thinking 15-25 years old. We came up with these figures because all of our actresses are within the age range so could be understood and related to more. In addition to this both myself and Gina are 17 so it is from teenage minds that this opening has been created. Our research shows that other movies within this genre that we have looked into, such as All the boys love Mandy Lane and Friday the 13th have been more popular with the males than the females of the audience. The links below take you to graphs which illustrate the break down of rating figures.

All the boys love Mandy Lane - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0490076/ratings
Friday the 13th - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080761/ratings

Thursday, 20 January 2011

GM - The Last One Standing - Rough Cut 1

Jess and I have spent 5 or 6 lessons editing our footage. We began with 42 minutes but most of this was retakes of parts we weren't sure if it worked well or not and also when we forgot to press the record button again to stop filming. Straight away we have cut it down to 4 minutes and from here we have ordered the clips and begun editing them. We haven't done anything with the sound yet so you can still hear our voices in the background. You can also hear music playing because it was awkward when we were filming and people kept on laughing but this resolved the problem. We still have some more editing and cutting of clips to do, especially towards the end but we have condensed it to just under 3 minutes.

Untitled from gina maunsell on Vimeo.

GM - Sample Footage

Here are three scenes of sample footage from our opening. The shots of the house being watched from the bushes is practice filming I did before the day we filmed. This was to test the best time to film in the dark but still being able to see everything we want to. The scene where our girl is getting ready was shot on the actual day but this footage we are not going to be using in the real thing because our actress was unsure of what she was supposed to be doing so it isn't very smooth. The bath scene was also shot then and we think is was very successful so will consider using it in our production.

Untitled from gina maunsell on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

GM - The Last One Standing - Treatment


All - The Last One Standing - Week 1 Review (Podcast)

This is our first podcast for our coursework. It reviews week one and what we plan to do in the following week.

All - The Last One Standing - Introductory Podcast

This is the introductory podcast. It introduces Jess and I and what we have done initially.

GM - Production Schedule


We booked a camera and tripod out over Christmas so Jess and I planned to take a whole day (30th December) filming during this time. I have tested the lighting for the shots of the outside of the house, which we will need to provide alternative lighting for because they will be filmed in the dark. In this case it is very simple and we can just switch the outside lights on which will illuminate the house. 

We planned for our main actress, Ellie to arrive on set at 1.30pm which gave us a few hours to talk over the plan for the afternoon and give her some direction on what to do. After testing I had found that the best time to go and film in the dark is dusk (around 4.30pm) so we tried to work with this however it was not crucial because torches, an alternative choice of lighting, were to be included in the wood scenes anyway. Ellie was only available until 5.30pm so we had to film her parts in the wood separately. Our blonde girl (Abi) could only meet us at 6pm so we arranged to meet the other two extras then as well. We told them vague timings for the day but they were finalised nearer the time and we kept in touch on the day.

If any of this needed to be re-shot we had the chance to do it over the weekend or it can be done during the editing process.



By completing all of our filming in the Christmas Holidays, we have left plenty of time for editing our footage. We are going to aim to get our first rough cut done by Friday 21st February, with our second rough cut, including sound will be complete by Wednesday 2nd February. This gives us a bit of spare time to sort out any problems with it and have our final version complete by the Friday 4th February.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

GM - Introducing the Group

Welcome to the blog of Untitled Productions' Gina Maunsell, charting the evolution of the opening to the new feature film The Last One Standing jointly produced with Jess Thorne. You'll be able to see the final cut on my YouTube channel as well as various short videos and podcasts right here on this blog! Enjoy, and please feel free to comment/add suggestions!