Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Production Name and Logo

As we are just filming the final few shots we need, we decided to start thinking about a production name and logo to appear at the beginning of our film opening. As we began to think of ideas, we all decided that something to do with sight should be used, because of the theme of flashbacks in our opening. Looking at words relating to eyes, sight and dreams we found a variety of fairly 'catchy' names, but found it difficult to think of logos that would go with them.

One phrase we found was "Pipe Dream"

pipe dream

any fantastic notion, hope, or story

We all really liked this name, it was both unique and creative. I began to put some image ideas together in photoshop, taking the words literally: pipe and dream.
I started off by putting together the sky, pipe and smoke cloud. I then coloured and cut dream-like objects and thoughts into the cloud and began spelling out the production name through the middle of the cloud. The logo looked really good, but we found that it looked too happy to fit in with the genre of our film.
So, to make the logo a bit darker, I changed the background into a cloudy, rather than a sunny sky. I also made the clouds appear as if they were beginning to cover the pipe, but we just felt that the logo didn't work.

Instead, we went back to our original ideas of the eye and began to play around with some images and names. Whilst researching again we came up with "Foresight Productions" which sounded original and kept in with the theme of eyes. Looking for images we found a free stock image to begin working with.
We wanted to make the image look more sinister and interesting, so in photoshop I began to black out the area around the eye, so the focus would be of the eye itself. 
This looked quite bland, so we began playing around with ideas to make the image more interesting. I started to use photoshop brushes that resemble eyelashes to put some onto the eye. We wanted them to be a colour which stood out and contrasted against the black and felt that white looked the best.
We were all really pleased with the result of the image. Then, all we needed to do was decide on a style for the title. Alex had lots of interesting, extra fonts on her personal laptop, which we had a look through. Alex also made this sample of fonts over the logo.

Finally we found something which fitted excellently!
Our final production logo to appear at the beginning of our film opening.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Extra Filming

After putting our footage onto the computer editing software (we're using Final Cut) and beginning to edit our film opening, we decided that we didn't have enough footage to play around with. In particular, we wanted more angles to cut to within the flashbacks. This means we can speed up the pace of the editing and therefore make the scenes much more exciting.

As Alex was ill and down to the amount of time we have, Georgie and I went ahead to film some extra shots for a couple of the scenes today. We mostly focused on the pregnancy scene, to get more angles to cut to. We experimented with lots of angles and shot types, such as very low angle shots and even a point of view shot.

Throughout the course I've definitely learnt not to think a shot looks good until you've seen it on the computer! This meant we took a variety of shots to have a look at and see what works best.

Hopefully next time we film Alex will be feeling better and will be able to join us again!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Monday - Our Final Day of Filming

On Monday we filmed our final scenes for the opening of our film! These scenes were the two featuring the teenage Elisabeth. We also chose to re-film the flashbacks featuring pregnant Elisabeth and the taking of the baby. This is because when we watched back our takes of these scenes, they didn't look as effective as they could. So, we thought we could come up with different ways to shoot them.

First, we went to Alex's house to film the teenage scenes. Our friend (another Alice) came over as well, to appear as an extra in the scene. Georgie would be filming this scene, so Alice, Alex and myself changed into old, plain pyjamas.

We hadn't decided what kind of set-up we wanted for the sleepover scene, as we didn't know what would work best in Alex's bedroom. Trying lots of different angles helped us choose which would work best. We started off with a high angle shot of Elisabeth facing slightly away from the other two girls. Then, we tried a medium shot of Elisabeth in the foreground, sitting on the edge of the bed and the other two girl laughing in the background, slightly out of focus. We thought this would emphasise Elisabeth's isolation from normal teenage life and it worked really well! The lighting in the room was also high key, which is strongly juxtaposed with the darkness of the cellar.

We then moved downstairs to film the other teenage scene. This was shot in the same location as one of the young Elisabeth scenes, which ties together the flashbacks. This was shot from a medium shot, showing me sitting on the windowsill. The light through the window created a really nice silhouette effect.

Once we had finished filming at Alex's we walked back to my house with the equipment to film the two baby scenes. This time we decided that in the scene where Fritzl takes the baby, Elisabeth can be asleep. This meant that we could use an interesting angle for the shot and put the camera on the floor. This time, as only the arms would be seen, Alex played Fritzl; unfortunatley my dad was away for work. The shots turned out to work really well.

Then, we were able to film the preganant scene. Rather than standing, I sat down with the baby bump. This made it more obvious that I was pregnant and not just overweight!

Before and After videos to come...

We were really pleased with all the scenes we shot, so we have finished filming! Next we need to begin editing our footage and adding in titles.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Second Day of Shooting

On Monday we began our second day of shooting, in the morning. We shot all of our cellar scenes, including the flashbacks of the pregnant Elizabeth and the baby. Although we had shot a couple of these scenes before, we wanted to shoot them all in one day so the lighting and camera positions were exactly the same when we needed them to be.

We began by shooting the opening and closing scenes first. We discovered that we needed more light than just from the television, so we found a small lamp to use. This created some great lighting effects with lots of shadows.

Then we filmed the close-ups of the eyes. We had previously had trouble with focusing on the eyes, but we managed to sort this. The shots are actually quite scary, because of the amount of detail you can see!

Once the present day shots had been filmed, we could begin on the flashbacks. First the one of the baby bump, which we decided to change slightly, to make it more interesting. Rather than just have a shot of Elizabeth holding her bump, I was filmed putting up the drawings (which you see in the present day shots) on the wall. Then we asked my dad to appear in the baby scene, where Fritzl takes the baby away from Elizabeth. We used an old toy wrapped in baby blankets for the baby.

After this we didn't have enough time to fill the teenage flashback scenes, as I wouldn't have been able to change and do my make-up in time to start filming again. We decided that we would do this on Friday evening, for the sleepover scene especially.

Friday, 4 March 2011

First Day of Filming!

Today was our first day of filming! Georgie and Alex came over to my house after school to set up and get ready. First I had to sort out my make-up and costume...

I put eyeliner under my eyes to create really dark circles, as Elisabeth wasn't exposed to sunlight for 24 years. Georgie also applied light make-up to my face to make me look more pale and I applied talcum powder to my lips so they too looked pale and cracked.
 I wore an old jumper, pulled out the back of my mum's wardrobe(!) and some old jeans.
  Covering up the window in the garage to shut out any natural light.
 Sticking up the pictures.

The television and pictures set up. (You will not see the floor in the shots and it will be much darker.)

After setting up the garage we went to Alex's house and began filming the two scenes with Young Elisabeth. Amber did really well, as she has never acted before, we were all very impressed! We shot one scene in Alex's kitchen in front of an old fireplace, which looked excellent. Alex played Josef Fritzl in this scene as we would not see much of her and Amber felt comfortable acting with Alex.
Filming some test shots.
Amber - our Young Elisabeth
 Georgie with Amber and Morris (our production mascot!)
 Setting up the camera for the second scene of Young Elisabeth.
 We found creating a shadow that would show up on camera really difficult, but eventually found a bright light to place behind Alex!

 We were happy with our shots for the Young Elisabeth flashbacks, and decided that if we needed to re-shoot we could. So, we went back to my house to try some test shots of the main cellar scenes.

I used a jumper under my top for the pregnancy scene - it looked surprisingly convincing!

Although we did film some cellar scenes it took up a lot of time because we had to find the right lighting for the scenes and figure out using the television at the right times. After so much shooting and preparation we decided to leave the cellar scenes for the next shoot. This is because we would not have enough time to do them all in one night and it would be to difficult to keep the lighting and camera positions exactly the same if we did half the filming then and the rest another time.
I am really pleased with our progress and enjoying shooting our footage, even though it is very challenging!