Sunday, 19 December 2010


In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

One thing we forgot to mention on the video was the intertextual references and how they are a common feature of films of this genre, such as the recurring "Loomis" name in Psycho, Halloween and Scream. As previously mentioned our film has plenty of references to classics such as "Grace" (a tribute to star Grace Kelly), the name Paul Bateson (formed by mixing Paul Allen, Patrick Bateman, and Norman Bates), the line "Hey Paul..." (from American Psycho), and the Silence Of The Lambs book on the table.

How does you media product represent particular social groups?

What media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Psychological thrillers (in general) do not perform hugely well at cinema level these days. The most recent successful Psycho-Thriller was Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island which made £2,250,178 on it's opening weekend and £10,599,763 overall in the UK. In comparison similar release date Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland made £10,555,220 in it's opening weekend and £42,169,542 overall.
  So whilst bearing this in mind and added to the fact that the cast and crew are unknown, our film lacks wide audience appeal. This means that distribution would have to come from a company more interested in the art of film than making money. Warp X (a small UK production company) use Optimum Releasing for their distribution, and as they make slightly more controversial films, this would be considered if we had created this text in the real world. As Warp have tie-ins with  Film 4, this does mean that a possible straight-to-tv film is also something to be considered. The actual cost of distribution is huge compared to the box office takings for small independent films so many, such as Bunny And The Bull, only have one tape which must travel from cinema to cinema.  Most low budget films are actually released straight onto DVD, but again this will need a distributor to get it into the shops, and also some level of promotion, as again demand is low.
 In terms of our actual text, we are obviously using Youtube to exhibit our film opening. This is probably the best way for young film makers to get their film seen, but again for success a reputation needs to be built up around the film.
 We have submitted our film to be entered into the Co-op Young People's Film Festival. We have had to make changes for this, such as editing out the swearing to make it more suitable for any younger audiences at the screening. This is similar to how sometimes TV programmes, for example Friends, are edited by Ofcom so they are eligible to be shown before the watershed.

So by choosing to make a film in the Psychological-Thriller genre we have effectively largely narrowed down our audience, and by doing so our chances of securing a distributor for cinematic release. Again, this is due to wanting to make a film with deep meaning and artistic style, rather than just making money.

Who would be the audience for your media product and why?

Our target audience for our media product would be aged 18 - 35 years. Any younger age would be technically excluded due to a notional BBFC rating, though with the use of downloads, pirate copies and owning DVDs at home, some younger ages may well be able to see an 18 rated film. Our film includes alot of serious themes; religion, violence, the mind, so again this narrows the audience down to those interested in really deeply watching a film rather than simply watching a Rom-Com for relaxation. It does not appeal to a huge audience, it's not intended, it like many films in the genre attempts to engage a sophisticated audience.
 Like discussed in the previous question, Psychological thrillers do not have a history of huge commercial success. That being said Hitchcock classic Psycho originally has a budget of £300,000 and has now recouped a huge £30million. In a Daily Express article from earlier this year entitled "The moment the world went PSYCHO", Neil Norman writes how Psycho shocked but engaged audiences upto 40 years of age, "the enlightening cynicism of the younger generation". When done properly the psychological thriller genre can be a powerful device.
   In terms of social class this artistic genre mainly appeals to the ABC1 grouping, with more sophisticated viewers the main target. The characters portrayed on screen do not have a lower class background although they are trying to climb the social  ladder, so it does appeal more to a higher class than lower working class.
 Both of our main two characters are caucasian actors, possibly meaning that it does not widely appeal to all audience as much as intended. But we found from our research that in general, most films of this style and genre did star caucasian actors, with any others forming lesser parts, which had we gone on to do a whole film may well have used. The lack of non-caucasian characters does not exclude different audiences though as many box office hits use a mainly white cast.
   Our film is aimed at fans of the works of auteurs such as Stanley Kubrick, Darren Aronofsky, Alfred Hitchcock, David Fincher etc. Our audience will have an intelligence and creative side to them, taking links to the Literature side of film. The weird has a strange underlying tone to it, which will engange a more sophisiticated audience rather than alienate them. We have appealed to this audience with a common trait of the genre of using many intertextual references as previously stated. We have also instantly signified our target audience by the sophisticated name "A Bat In The Belfry", which only an intelligent audience would understand the meaning.

How did you attract/address your audience?

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? 

We have developed many different skills over the course of the project, engaging in the main three stages of pre-production, production and post-production.
 In terms of problems, our main two we could not fix were both in filming. We originally planned for once the production logos were onscreen to then have an eye opening effect into the blurred white room. Unfortunately we found this troublesome, with the intended effect not coming across. We tried to originally use card to essentially act as eyelids opening and closing, but in the end this look more like just cardboard. We then tried to use iMovie when editing for the effect but again, this looked unproffesional so we left it.
  We also wanted to attempt the Hitchcock zoom first seen in Vertigo, but without the use of a camera dolly this made moving the tripod and camera smoothly very difficult.Unforunately we could not include this shot.

Looking back at yout preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

 Our preliminary task was very amateur, whereas now we would like to feel that our finalised product is a lot more professional and meaningful. The preliminary task was simply using match-on-action and shot-reverse-shot whilst applying the 180 degree rule. We have now managed to incorporate these skills into something meaningful. In "Narrative and Stylistic Patterns In The Films Of Stanley Kubrick" Luis M. Garcia Mainar, discusses Kubrick's ability to tell the audience something through dialogue, but how he also can hint at and suggest different things through the use of action, cutaways, and body language. It says of Jack Nicholson; "his extreme acting distorts the subjectivity in many sequences", and this eccentric style of acting was what we used to portray Paul Bateson's madness.

 The prelim task was roughly editing, as we had little previous experience with the programme, whereas now we spent more time editing our footage smoothly and realistically. Also with our film opening, we used different camera angles within the shot/reverse shot sequences to signify different feelings and meanings. For example the Dutch angle at the end connotes our central protagonist's madness, and that something is strange. We through in  cutaway shots of the kettle to anchor emotions on screen and create tension with our audience. We were also not afraid to make use of the lack of dialogue in shot/reverse shot sequences, for example the awkward silence, which adds a sense of drama to our scene. This all came from trial and error with reshoots until we were happy with the finalised effect of each shot in the sequence. We were able to now convey many different feelings not only with dialogue, but the use of the visual art of film.


Official Websites (Blogs)

Again to try and add a sense of realism to our project and also take advantage of Blogger's free exhibition we created two websites (blogs); firstly for our production company "Vertigo Cinema" and secondly for our actual film "A Bat In The Belfry".
 We based our company blog on "Warp Films" official website. We wanted our blogs to be as useful and realistic as possible so looking at existing websites and blogs was clearly essential in setting up our own.
Our blog was set up with sections such as "News", "Who Are We?", "Featured", "Releases", and "Links". We planned to do more sections but clearly with time retraints and blogger itselfs restraints, this wasn't possible. Like with Warp's website, we created a banner for our blog to instantly grab the viewer's attention.
 We also looked at the official blog of GK films, the company behind both "The Tourist" starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, and Colin Farrell's latest film "London Boulevard". In comparison to their blog, our blog is actually very realistic for a smaller production company. The sections included on their blog, were virtually the same as what we included ourselves.

The inspiration for "A Bat In The Belfry" was the website for Warp's "Four Lions" and also Hammer Horror's "Let Me In". These websites all offer information on the film but importantly, they offer something extra for fans. Including a trailer is essential, and often top of the page, so that's the way we did our blog. We included sections on "News", "Synopsis", "Links", "Production company" as well as extras "Gallery", "Cast and Crew", and "Bonus Footage (outtakes)". These all realistic inclusions and were on both websites mentioned above. Again we wanted to look at smaller existing film's rather than blockbusters, as this was more realistic for our target market. The Making of Memento book told me how often websites included some sort of strange game to engage viewers such as on Memento's website, an idea also seen on The Blair Witch Project's website, to create a hype and sense of realism about the film. Unfortunately we are not skilled enough to do this, but if it had been possible, it would have been ideal for our film. Considering the restraints of Blogger and our own skills though, we are happy with our production blog and think it has been successful in terms of our intentions for it. We now have over 100 views of our trailer, and we feel part of this is down to our production company and film blogs.

You can click here for Vertigo Cinema's blog or click here for A Bat In The Belfry's blog. The blog's can also be reached underneath this blog's title (UP THERE ^^^^^)


A Bat In The Belfry - Teaser Trailer

As we are trying to make this film as if we are real film producers, we created a teaser trailer to try and gain some audience attention before it was released. We used a combination of our old film opening and new film opening to create our trailer in Sony Vegas. We then put it to the extended version of film's soundtrack. Clearly most film's do not just use clips from the opening in their trailer, but as we have not filmed a complete feature length this was not possible for us . So we have tried to use different clips, out of any sort of order so that it becomes ambigious as to where these clips would be from in the film. Basically if you have not seen the film opening, you wouldn't think all these clips are from it.

As this is just a teaser trailer, we wanted to keep it fairly simple, but at the same time grab the audience's attention. Our inspiration for this was the teaser trailer for Christopher Nolan's Inception. That meant we had to use clips we not would get the viewer intrigued such as the multiple Graces, or the blood on the hands, and the iconic white room. In teaser trailer's you have to get the key symbols of you film across to the viewer, but at the same time still grab their attention. It is finding this balance that helps make a teaser trailer successful.
Like in Inception's trailer, they used the phrase "Your Mind Is The Scene Of The Crime". We wanted to use a similar style phrase to get the viewer interested, so we decided upon "How Can You Escape If It's All In Your Head?". This phrase is slightly enigmatic and open to interpretation but also the psychological thriller genre. As this was our first time seriously producing a film trailer, we are happy with the outcome of our trailer, and with over 100 views (the most on our any of our videos) we were suprised but again happy that it had done it's job as a marketing tool. Ideally we would have included a few different shots, but they hadn't all been filmed at the time.


Because we are producing our film opening low-budget, the software and filming equipment we have used may differ to that of the actual film film industry in some ways.

-Canon MV920 Digital camcorder

We found the cameras very easy to use and because of some of our more sophisiticated shots we chose to use manual settings rather than simply autoeffect ones.
For our vision sequence we raised theexposure to create an extrememly bright effect, almost surreal. We also used varying manual focus to create the disorientated feel.
And for the kitchen scene we used a "daylight" white balance giving an almost red tintm that signified a warm atmosphere but could also signify blood/danger etc.

DV Tapes
By using DV tapes rather cameras which take SD/XD memory cards, we avoided all the problems of .mp4 compatablility. They also upload very quickly so it was just an all round better option.


The use of tripods give it that proffessional look we are going for. Unless it is intended in for example documentaries, or our walking POV shotin the vision, the frame should be still at all times with smoot movements.
The use of tripods is essential to this, and for our walking scene we used one with a handle, to make it easier.

Special Effects:
- Blood


The blood was made using a common recipe found online. All it contained was red & blue food colouring, water and glucose syrup. It was cheap to make and in the very quick cuts will look successful.

-iMovie 06
iMovie is a fairly simple programme to use. Once gotten the hang over, it can also do some complex things. We intend to use it for mainly basic things such as editing the clips and sound together.

-Sony Vegas 9

Our "Vertigo Cinemas" and "SIMPLAZ" logos were made on this programme. It can do incredibly complex things but again once messed around with, isn't overly complicated to use.
This is our first time using this programme.


This website keeps everyone up to date with everything. It's very simple to use, but very helpful and essentially acts as our individual production websites.

Our Youtube channel display all our video updates. It's very useful for getting your films scene and noticed. It potentially has a worldwide audience so is ideal for young film makers.

Scribd is a document uploader, that agian is easy to use whilst recieving a lot of reads. We used it to upload our initial screenplay.

This website hosts our podcast uploads. Using the embed code allows it to then use the sound recordings on our blogs so again is very useful for exposition.

New Rough Cut 2 [With Audience Feedback]