Monday, February 20, 2017

Film poster: Steel tongs font

The institutional information at the bottom of a film poster is in a very distinctive font - you can't make a film poster look authentic without it...



Luckily, we have downloaded the font on to school computers - it is called Steel Tongs. The way the font works is that CAPITAL letters work normally while lower case letters each correspond to one of the movie credits ('Directed By...' 'Written By...' etc.)

You may want to look at a Steel Tongs guide to see which letter you need for each credit - there are plenty online, here's an example:

Image result for steel tongs font guide


Note: we have an older version of the Steel Tongs font so not every credit is possible - if you can't find the one you need, just change the credit. It won't cost you any marks!

Assignment 2: Making your film poster


Assignment 2 Film poster

Open a new document in Photoshop and call it Film Poster.
Remember that your poster can be portrait or landscape.
See examples from last year below:





Remember to revisit your conventions to use as a check-list for your own poster and use your sketch to see what you have planned for placement of the conventions.

Steel tongs font

The institutional information at the bottom of a film poster is in a very distinctive font - you can't make a film poster look authentic without it...



Luckily, we have downloaded the font on to school computers - it is called Steel Tongs. The way the font works is that CAPITAL letters work normally while lower case letters each correspond to one of the movie credits ('Directed By...' 'Written By...' etc.)
You need to use the Steel Tongs guide to see which letter you need for each credit - there are plenty online, this link has one website you can use.


Note: we have an older version of the Steel Tongs font so not every credit is possible - if you can't find the one you need, just change the credit. It won't cost you any marks!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Assignment 2: Writing a film pitch

Our production task for Assignment 2 involves coming up with our own film promotion for an original movie that we have created.

But before we create the film poster and trailer, we need to come up with a brilliant original idea for a new movie.

Work through the following tasks to develop your film pitch. Remember, it must be original and individual to you - this is NOT a group task.

Task 1: top tips
Read these top tips for coming up with your own idea:

1) Think carefully about setting and genre – make sure it's something that will appeal to an audience and will work for your photoshoot.
2) Avoid major stars – you’ll need an original image for the film poster and unless you know Brad Pitt that will be a difficult photoshoot to arrange. 
3) Make sure the film’s narrative is easy to understand and follow – you only have a 30 second trailer to play with. If you can't tell the basic story in one sentence you need to simplify it.

Task 2: the key details
Come up with the basic idea for your film - title, genre, storyline, characterssetting etc. Discuss it with someone else and make sure you can tell the story clearly and easily. You may want to start by simply brainstorming different genres and ideas.

Task 3: writing the film pitch
You now need to start building your film pitch for your idea. This is the chance to sell your film idea using just one side of A4. Use this template to build your film pitch - this will be handed in and marked as part of your Assignment 2 Production work.

Film pitch planning
1) The first part of a film pitch is the title and tagline - basically a slogan for your movie. E.g. Alien - In space no one can hear you scream. The Shawshank Redemption - Fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free.

2) Next, you need a 'log line’ – a one sentence summary that will immediately grab the attention of a film studio or your audience.

Example log line - from Pirates of the Caribbean: "A 17th Century tale of adventure on the Caribbean Sea where the roguish yet charming Captain Jack Sparrow joins forces with a young blacksmith in a gallant attempt to rescue the Governor of England's daughter and reclaim his ship."

The rest of the pitch needs to cover genre, narrative, character and target audience. Follow the template and you will cover all the aspects you need.

Use this example we've written for the Hunger Games to help you if you're stuck.


Task 4: planning and sketching
When you have completed your film pitch - and it may take some time because you want a very good, original idea - you need to start planning your film poster and trailer. First, plan your photoshoot and work out who will be in your film poster and when you will shoot the picture. Then, sketch a draft of the film poster and start writing the text that will go on it. Remember: a film poster can be either portrait or landscape.

Help! Online resources
There are many resources online to help with writing a film pitch. Try these ten top tips for selling your script to Hollywood and the BBC Writer's Room for help.


Extension task
When you have finished your film pitch, planning and sketching, ask another student to look over your plans and suggest ways to improve them. Make sure you can tell the story of your film in one clear sentence - that's how you would sell the idea to a film studio in the first place.

If you have completed everything, you can start sketching a potential storyboard for the trailer of your film.



Homework: film poster photoshoot costume
The photoshoot for your film poster will be in the week after half-term: that means you will need to bring props and costume in!

IMPORTANT: Do NOT bring in anything resembling a weapon of any kind for the photoshoot. If you need a weapon for your genre you can add it digitally using Google Images and Photoshop.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Assignment 2: Film posters and trailers

Both our Assignment 2 analytical and production tasks require us to be experts on film posters and trailers. 

This means we need to study the key conventions and design features in real depth and analyse the key messages being communicated to the audience. We also need to look for specific institutional details such as stars, directors or other films created by the same film studio.

Film posters: key conventions
  • Central image
  • Secondary images
  • Title
  • Tagline (like a slogan)
  • Release date
  • Stars
  • Critic reviews
  • Social media hashtags / website details
  • Production blurb
  • Iconography of the film’s genre

Film trailers: key conventions
  • Institutional details – film studio, actors, director etc.
  • Clear opening laying out setting, characters and narrative
  • Short clips of key moments in film 
  • Fast paced editing to suggest drama and excitement
  • On-screen text (replaces tradition of voiceover)
  • Stars – usually early on and often with text-on-screen
  • Title and release date – always at END of trailer
  • Critic reviews / quotes
  • Social media hashtags / website details
  • Production blurb (usually final shot of trailer)
  • Sound that communicates genre and ‘feel’ of film

Film trailer: structure

Always look for the typical structure of a trailer:

O = Opening
B = Build up
P = Problems
E = Events


Film language notes

Sound
Sound in film includes:
  • Dialogue
  • Sound effects
  • Music
  • Voiceover

Diegetic and non-diegetic sound

Diegetic: sound that is coming from within the sphere of the film. Remember: the characters can hear it. Example: dialogue.

Non-diegetic: sound that is NOT within the sphere of the film – only the audience can hear it. Example: soundtrack/music/score.


Mise-en-scene

Mise en scène literally translates from French as ‘putting on stage’. 

We use it in film studies to describe everything that appears in front of the camera.

When we analyse mise en scène, we need to look at the following:
  • Actors (placement, movement, expression)
  • Costume and make-up
  • Setting and props
  • Lighting and colour

Film posters and trailers: blog task

You are currently working on a case study for the film you have chosen from our list of 10. Now you need to complete the following tasks on your blog:
  1. Create a new blogpost called ‘Film trailer and poster analysis of [your chosen film]’
  2. Find the poster on Google Images and the trailer on YouTube for your chosen film
  3. Embed them in your blogpost (you may need to save a small version of the poster to ensure it displays correctly)
  4. List all the film poster key conventions you can find. How do these attract a potential audience?
  5. List all the film trailer key conventions you can find. How do these attract a potential audience?
  6. In your opinion, do the poster and trailer successfully promote the film you have chosen to investigate? Why?
Take it further...

Thinking back to your lesson on institution and the film industry, can you find any good examples of film marketing in the trailer or poster? 

Can you find any institutional details that link to your case study research (director, stars etc.)?

If not finished during the lesson, complete for homework - due next Thursday

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Assignment 2: Film case study institution research

For your Assignment 2 coursework, you need to research key institutional information about a film and use this to inform your essay. 

We are giving you a choice of ten different films to choose and you need to work through the questions below to learn everything you can about your one chosen film.

Research the institutional details behind ONE of the following films:
  1. Taken
  2. Suffragette
  3. Spectre
  4. Juno
  5. Frozen
  6. Captain America: Civil War
  7. Django Unchained
  8. Precious
  9. Moana
  10. The Hunger Games
Use imdb.com, rottentomatoes.com and any other relevant websites you can access to find out the following information about the film you have chosen...

Your chosen movie
1) What film have you chosen? 

2) Why did you choose this film in particular? 


Institutional background
Use IMDB to find out the institutions behind your chosen film. Find your film, click on Company Credits and then look for the production company and UK distributor.

1) What was the film studio or production company behind your chosen film? E.g. Warner Brothers, Paramount etc.

2) Who was the distributor for the theatrical release of the film in the UK?



No brand loyalty
1) What genre does your chosen film fit into?

2) How can you tell it fits that genre? Be specific with reference to the trailer.

3) Does your chosen film have any stars or a director that are known for that particular genre?



It’s all a matter of timing
1) What was the UK release date for your chosen film?

2) When did the first trailer appear on YouTube for your movie? Find the earliest example you can and embed it in your blog.

3) What other examples of marketing (teaser trailers, main trailers, newspaper or TV interviews etc.) can you find for your chosen film from before the film’s release date?



It’s a social thing
1) What was the word-of-mouth like for your chosen film? If you can’t find tweets (probably blocked) use the IMDB user review rating or the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating to judge whether the public have given the movie a good review.

2) Find three quotes (no more than 25 words each) from user reviews of your movie to create a picture of what the public reaction to the film has been. Post them on your blog.



Risky business
Use IMDB to find out the box office records for your chosen film. Find your film, click on Company Credits and then Box Office/Business. You may want to use the excellent website Box Office Mojo to find out the budget and box office success for the film.

1) What was the original budget for your chosen film?

2) How much money did the film make in the opening weekend?

3) How much money has the film made in total? (Look for the subheading ‘Gross’ which has the total box-office earnings listed).

4) For a film to be considered a box office success, it needs to make at least two-and-a-half times the budget in box office takings. Using this method, was the film you have chosen a success? (Or, if it's a recent release, do you expect it to be a box office success?)



Stars in their eyes
Research the stars and director for your chosen film.

1) What films has the director previously directed? Are they in the same or similar genres?

2) Who is the main star in the film?

3) What other films has the main star appeared in? Are any of the films similar to the one you are researching?

4) Are the stars or the director or writer mentioned in the trailer for the film?



Take it further...

If you've finished the questions above, work through the following tasks to take your case study to another level:

Newspaper reviews
A more traditional starting point for word-of-mouth is press reviews of the film. Almost all national newspapers carry film reviews of the big releases and positive review quotes are often used on the film's marketing material.

Read three newspaper reviews of your chosen film and select five quotes from each review that tell you what the reviewer thought of the film. You can look at the Guardian film website, the Telegraph film website and other reviews in magazines such as Empire.



Additional promotion
Look back 'It's all a matter of timing' question 3... What other examples of promotion can you find for your chosen film? TV chat show appearances (e.g. Graham Norton, the One Show etc.) Radio interviews? Make notes and embed any clips in your blog. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Assignment 2: Introduction to Film Genre

Assignment 2 is on Film Promotion - which means we need to understand film, genre, trailers and the institutions behind the movies.

Key notes from the lesson:

Genre

One of the key details a film production company uses to market a film is genre.


A film genre is made up of a repertoire of elements. That repertoire could include particular iconography, lighting, sound, or actors and directors associated with the genre. This list of features is known as a ‘repertoire’ because any given film within a genre may not use all of the possible elements, but it will use some.

NCIS

A useful acronym to remember what you need to look for when analysing the genre of a film is NCIS:

N = narrative (storyline)
C = character (people/character types)
I = iconography (what we can see)
S = setting (where it takes place)

These four aspects will provide enough evidence to identify the genre (or a hybrid of genres if the film fits more than one category).


Blog task / Homework

Your blog task today is as follows:
  1. Make sure your blog is up-to-date with your finished Assignment 1 magazine cover.
  2. Choose three film trailers, embed the clips from YouTube and write an analysis of what genre each film belongs in and why. Use NCIS to help you. Note: if the YouTube video is not embedding, post a link to the trailer instead.

Example:

Taken (2008)


Genre
Thriller

Narrative
The storyline is clearly shown to be a father willing to go to any lengths to rescue his kidnapped daughter. This is a tense, dramatic narrative that fits the thriller genre well.

Character
The characters are typical of a Hollywood thriller - the main hero: strong, brave and willing to do anything to rescue his daughter. The daughter is a classic 'damsel in distress', a female character requiring saving by a male hero. There are stereotypical villains - in this case Albanian, another typical aspect of a Hollywood thriller.

Iconography
There is plenty of iconography typical of the thriller genre: a car chase, gunshots, violence, technology, running and jumping from a bridge, explosions and smashing glass. All of these are typical of the action or thriller genres - in connection with the narrative, we can confidently say this is a thriller.

Setting
Although the trailer is only two minutes long, it has a safe American location for the daughter's birthday party and then a glamorous foreign location (Paris) for the rest of the narrative. Within Paris, there are clearly action sequences on roads, off bridges and in other settings that suggest action and drama.


Anything you don't finish in the lesson is homework.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Assignment 2: Intro to Genre and NCIS

Genre

One of the key details a film production company uses to market a film is genre.


A film genre is made up of a repertoire of elements. That repertoire could include particular iconographylightingsound, or actors and directors associated with the genre. This list of features is known as a ‘repertoire’ because any given film within a genre may not use all of the possible elements, but it will use some.

NCIS

A useful acronym to remember what you need to look for when analysing the genre of a film is NCIS:

N = narrative (storyline)
C = character (people/character types)
I = iconography (what we can see)
S = setting (where it takes place)

These four aspects will provide enough evidence to identify the genre (or a hybrid of genres if the film fits more than one category).


Blog task / Homework

Your blog task today is as follows:
  1. Make sure your blog is up-to-date with your finished Assignment 1 magazine cover.
  2. Choose three film trailers, embed the clips from YouTube and write an analysis of what genre each film is in and why. Use NCIS to help you. Note: if the YouTube video is not embedding, post a link to the trailer instead.

Example:

Taken (2008)


Genre
Thriller

Narrative
The storyline is clearly shown to be a father willing to go to any lengths to rescue his kidnapped daughter. This is a tense, dramatic narrative that fits the thriller genre well.

Character
The characters are typical of a Hollywood thriller - the main hero: strong, brave and willing to do anything to rescue his daughter. The daughter is a classic 'damsel in distress', a female character requiring saving by a male hero. There are stereotypical villains - in this case Albanian, another typical aspect of a Hollywood thriller.

Iconography
There is plenty of iconography typical of the thriller genre: a car chase, gunshots, violence, technology, running and jumping from a bridge, explosions and smashing glass. All of these are typical of the action or thriller genres - in connection with the narrative, we can confidently say this is a thriller.

Setting
Although the trailer is only two minutes long, it has a safe American location for the daughter's birthday party and then a glamorous foreign location (Paris) for the rest of the narrative. Within Paris, there are clearly action sequences on roads, off bridges and in other settings that suggest action and drama.


Anything you don't finish in the lesson is homework.

Due: Next THURSDAY in the lesson - no excuses!