Review Creation

To make my review look as realistic as possible, I followed the format of a pre-existing empire article for The World’s End. I chose this review as it was one of the longer ones as was my review, and the layout looked simple to follow. It also had room for a lot of writing which meant that I could cover my film in great detail, just as Empire magazine does.


I started the review with the picture as this required the least amount of work but also takes up the most space, meaning that I would be able to work around it. I chose to use a screenshot from my film that showed Andy working in the garden, without giving away too much of the plot before reading the review.screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-09-56-04 I then went on to add more of the structural elements, such as the arrows and bar at the top of the page. I chose to add in the more structural features before adding in the writing so I knew how much space I had to fit my writing into.screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-10-05-47

Once I’d added in the main bits, I started writing the little introduction part that is featured in all Empire articles, basically explaining who is in the film and a brief synopsis of what it’s about. This is to give people a taster for the review so they can decide whether or not they’d like to read it. To make sure the colours are the same as those used in the official magazine, I used the ink tool on Pixelmator to select the colour from that section on the picture of the magazine I had uploaded, and then selected for the writing to be that colour. I also added in the ‘look closer’ section. There were no shapes like this on the software, so I had to create my own using a rectangle and a triangle, then grouping the shapes together. Iscreen-shot-2016-12-07-at-10-03-54

I wanted to make sure I had chosen the exact font, or the closest I could get to it, to make sure my review looked as authentic as possible. I typed the name of the film into DaFont, a free font download website, and scrolled through the Sans Serif fonts. I then came across one that looked quite similar to the one used in Empire called Bebas Neue, so I downloaded this and installed it into the Mac. However, the font didn’t initially show up in Pixelmator, so I had to quit the software and turn it back on again. Fortunately this worked so I was able to add this font into my poster.


I used this font for the ‘IN CINEMAS’ in the arrow at the top of the review as I felt it looked quite similar.


I then continued to add in the rest of the blocks, arrows and the writing at the bottom of the page using the two fonts I had researched. To create the arrow to be the right size, I needed to press the ‘make editable’ button, as it was too long when the arrow at the bottom of the page was shorter and fatter.

The writing at the bottom of the page saying ‘over 14,000 reviews online’ was really difficult to find as the number 4 was dropped below the writing. After spending a lot of time trying to find this font, I decided to choose a font that looked similar in all other aspects as I simply couldn’t find one with the lowered 4. I used a font called Dream Orphans as it had the gothic text style that replicated the font in Empire. Then, in Pixelmator, I was able to change the size and position of the number 4, making it look realistically like the magazine.

Once I had put in all the shapes and the basic writing in place, I then went onto finding the right font for the body of the review. I found many fonts but none that were exactly alike. Then, when adding the font into Pixelmator from WordPress, I realised that the font used in WordPress, called Georgia, was perfect and looked very similar. I then put each section of the review into different sections so it fit in the available space. I made sure to leave a big enough gap between the middle two rows of text, so that there was space for the fold if it were a real two page spread. I then lined them all up so that they looked neat and orderly. Screen Shot 2016-12-20 at 12.33.33.png

I created the ‘verdict’ section using the Dream Orphans font for the title and the Steelfish font for the writing as I felt that it looked quite similar. Then I added in the stars using the pre-set shapes in Pixelmator.

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I’m really pleased with the final out come of my review, and I feel that through closely following the format of the Empire magazine gave me a clear view of what to create.


Enhancing Poster

I was a little concerned that my poster was starting to look a little dull once I’d added all of the titles and awards etc, so I wanted to change the settings of the photograph so that it stood out a little more.



First I played around with the ‘curves’ of the photo, altering what colours should be made more or less intense. I quite like the effect of this and makes it look very dramatic, which would be found frequently on thriller genre posters. However, I feel that it makes Andy look a little faint in the background. The cabbage leaves also looks very blue and unnatural.


The exposure determines how light or dark a picture will appear. Although the exposure of the poster has only been enhanced a little, I think it looks quite a bit better. Still, the green of the cabbage looks unnatural.


Increasing the brightness and contrast has also helped to lift the look of poster and to make it stand out a bit. I will need to make a new layer for the leaves as their colour looks very unnatural, and by making a new layer I will be able to change the settings of the photograph without changing the colours of the leaves.


I then messed about with the tones and colours in the poster a little more to reduce to blueness of the leaves. I am very pleased with how the colouring has turned out. However, I still felt like my poster was missing something. When I started initially thinking about my poster, I thought I could include a faded image of the wife in the background to ensure that all of the main characters were visible. So, that’s just what I did. I took a photo of Helen just on my phone, and downloaded it onto the computer.


I then cut around the image using the highlighter button to remove the background of the picture.

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-15-31-47 screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-15-31-57 I then just altered the opacity of the image so it was more faint, thus creating the ghostly image on my poster.


I then added a few more logos to the bottom of my poster, such as the national lottery symbol as they fund several shot films, and also a drawing of a wave to represent the logo of the production company ‘Open Water Pictures’.

54b3ec70c6049  lottery-logo

And now, my poster is complete!



Editing – V4

To finish off my film, I just needed to add in the final scene. I did this by importing the footage the same as I did earlier. I put the shots in, following the shot list I’d wrote before my second day of filming. The first few parts of this scene went in quite nicely and was in keeping with the dramatic tone of the film, and I was really pleased how I’d overlapped the wife’s speech with the action of Andy getting out of the car. I also liked the sequence of him walking through the house, and I feel with a bit of refinement it could look quite effective. My biggest issue was with the argument, and it became clear that I hadn’t filmed enough full conversations (the same issue as my first day of filming) and struggled with making it continuous. I tried to create some sound bridges with the dialogue to make my film look more intricate, but again I will need to spend more time making sure it runs smoothly. I haven’t put in any music yet but I think this will help with the tension of the final scene. Here’s my rough cut of the final scene added onto the main part of my film:


Editing (3) – Building Pace

After putting my clips in the order of the storyboards and cutting them down to ensure my film runs smoothly, I started playing around with the part of my film where the dog finds the finger. To do this, I added a black screen in between multiple shots of the dog digging to help speed up the pace, as a high frequency of shots tends to build tension.

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Heres how it turned out:

I’m really unhappy with the effect and I don’t really think it builds up the pace at all. This may be due to the case that the black screen lasts too long and therefore just breaks up the film rather than serving any purpose to build up the plot. I’ll have to go back and consider how to make this part of my film seem more dramatic and tense to really show the mans anger towards the dog.


Green Fingers – First Feedback

Today in class, I showed the film I had created so far since filming on Sunday. It is no where near finished, but I thought it would be helpful to know what people thought about it. Here is what I showed:

The overall feedback was really positive, saying that it couldn’t be faulted and that I had some really nice shots. However, there was a point where the camera wobbled a little which was picked up on, but I will meticulously look for errors like this once my film is finished. It was also suggested to me that rather than showing the man fall over, the camera cuts just before he topples over, making it a little less comical.


Editing (2)

After going through my new footage, I am far more confident with how my day of filming turned out. To begin the editing process, I imported all of my footage into Final Cut Pro X as I did in the previous video.

I then started cutting down each shot to the desired length and so that they coordinated with the storyboards I had produced. I then put them into the Final Cut timeline in the order I had planned them to be in. There are two ways of creating the initial film, either by roughly cutting each shot and dragging them into the timeline, or cutting each shot exactly how it will appear in the film and then adding it to the time line. I chose the latter option, as although it takes longer to film, it means I can begin to get a feel for my film as it is created.



There were situations where some shots weren’t useable at the start or end of filming, which meant that they couldn’t be used. Luckily, I had filmed more that one shot of each bit of action from different angles, meaning I could create match on action which if anything adds to the continuity of my film.

After Andy pushes the man over, I realised I hadn’t filmed him standing back up again and that this really affects the continuity. Luckily, I filmed a shot which looked like Andy was talking to the man whilst he was still on the floor which helped the situation a little. I then chose to add a fade in after this to move onto the next section of the film, as I felt it would look quite boring if a lot of my film was filled with the man walking up and down the allotment.


I then inserted the music I had found when doing music research, as I felt that it was quite jolly and really suited the theme of my film. Once inserted, I lined up the cuts at the start of my film with the beat of the music to ensure that the pace flowed nicely. After that, I added in any sound I had recorded. I plan to re-record the diegetic sounds such as water pouring and the noise of tools banging together. So far, I would say my film is pretty much all together, apart from the final part which I am yet to film.


Editing (1)

After how my day of filming went, I wasn’t expecting well shot footage or interesting film shots and unfortunately this was the case. When going through my footage, I could see instantly that some shots were foggy where the camera lens had steamed up, some were out of focus and most were wobbly and not long enough. Ultimately, out of the mere 78 shots that I filmed, there were probably 10 shots that I felt were up to standard for my A level coursework. However, due to the fact that I am already behind schedule as I chose to film a week after everybody else I chose to try and put something together to see whether or not the footage that I had filmed was acceptable; it wasn’t. I have put together a very rough edit with the footage I filmed yesterday in an attempt to understand where I went wrong with filming and to mainly see how I could improve it. To create my rough edit I first had to upload my footage onto the desktop and then onto Final Cut:

I will then need to go through the same process to import my sound, but I won’t include the sound I recorded in my rough edit since the sound from the camera is clear enough and I will not be using any of this footage in my final film.

To begin editing, I started with the first shot of my film and started to build it up in the order of my storyboard.  Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 15.28.17.png

The yellow boxes around each shot allowed me to choose which parts of the shot I wanted to feature in my film, so that if anything was out of focus or if the camera moved I could just cut it out. This can then be refined once I have dragged the clip onto the editing bar, by sliding the yellow bracket to chop off parts at the start and end of each shot. Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 15.30.26.png

I then did this for every shot that I wanted to feature. However, whilst my initial plan was to insert shots following my storyboard and in that order, I quickly found that a lot of my shots weren’t complete. For example, when the woman asks about Andy and his wife, I didn’t actually film her walking away and therefore I had to just cut the shot part way through and include a fade, which just makes for poor story telling; this is the same for the gentle man who offered Andy the leeks.

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So, to make the editing process a little easier for myself, I just began putting in sequences of shots that I knew all linked together, such as the match on action I filmed for when Andy was reading in the green house and when he goes to pick up his tools. Once I had filled in all the shots that were continuous with one another, I then attempted to add in the shots that were poorly filmed and that I should’ve filmed more than once and from multiple angles, as they are less than interesting and are just boring to watch.

I struggled with the scene with the dog. I should have predicted that dogs are unreliable when it comes to expecting them to do something and more often than not they will do the opposite. The dog belongs to me, and before filming we bought her favourite treats to bury in the ground to get her to sniff in that area. However, due to the excitement of everyone being on set it took a while for her to settle down, and even then she wasn’t really too interested in the treat. Due to the poor weather, we were a bit conscious that she was shaking a lot so she needed to go back into the car, which ended up in me only having taken two shots that were very poor in quality.Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 15.43.18.png

The shot I used in my rough cut had feet in it, so had to be cropped down, which I felt made the shot look a bit blurry and just not very attractive.

Also, in a couple of my shots there are rain drops on the actual camera lens despite the fact that I was continually wiping the screen to prevent it fogging up.

Here is my very very rough cut:

Overall, I’m not very happy with what I filmed on Sunday and I don’t really think that I could produce an enjoyable and cinematically interesting short film with the footage I’ve taken so far. I still need to finish the ending of my short film, where the wife is murdered but after how yesterday went and the footage that has come from it, I’m considering changing the ending so that the final scene is shot inside which will hopefully give me chance to film some interesting shots. I will need to re-film everything this coming Sunday due to how disappointing my footage has turned out, but if anything it has been a learning curve that will ensure my filming next weekend runs as smoothly and as well planned as possible.