Welcome to the blog OliRic Production's Richard Mclachlan, charting the evolution of the opening to the new feature film Acts of Repulsion, jointly produced with Oli Preston, click here to view his youtube account. You'll be able to see the final cut on my youtube channel, click here to view my youtube account, as well as various short videos and podcasts right here on this blog! Enjoy, and please feel free to comment/add suggestions!

Friday, 31 December 2010

RM - Deconstruction of I Am Legend

I Am Legend (Francis Lawrence, 2007)
Budget: $150,000,000
US Takings: $256,386,216
UK Takings: £25,348,532
There are plans of making a prequel.
Warner Bros. Pictures
Village Roadshow Pictures
Weed Road Pictures
Overbook Entertainment
Radio or television sports program whilst the company titles are being shown
56 seconds till first shot – which is watching a TV, centered
Informing audience what’s happening in the news (verisimilitude)
Interview is shot like a tradition news interview (focuses on the interviewer and interviewee when speaking)
News story insight of what’s the film about
New story – Cancer cure found?
Black screen
Anchorage of time (3 years after the cure has been found)
several establishing shots
City deserted?
City is New York – anchored by the first establishing showing the skyline
Audience can only hear wildlife
Birds eye view shot – something appears at the bottom of the screen. Car? (Audience can hear a car engine)
Close-up of sniper being picked up, camera pans with it to show audience main character. Hunter?
Shot-to-shot of him and his companion – a dog. Best mans friend?
Different ranges of shots use featuring close ups, mid-long, two, point of view, over the shoulder, match on action, extreme long to close up to long, panning, and tracking.
Poster saying “God Still Loves Us” Reference?
Deer jumps over the bonnet of the car – makes audience jumps
Use of same types of shot again but at a quicker pace and with deer and the car chasing them.  Reference to past history?
Panning and tracking shots of car power sliding.
Several over the shoulder shots of looking out of the windscreen, close ups of tyres and reaction shots of the main characters reactions
Several group shots of deer running with each shot focusing on the main character’s car.
Several point of view shots and group shots of deer running.
Use of over the shoulder and side shots when main character aims to shoot one followed by a over the shoulder shot (over the main characters shoulder) maybe a point of view shot taken from the dog Camera shaky – handheld? Bumps in the road – verisimilitude?
Frames shot with two police cars focusing on main characters car hand-brake turning
Centered shot of main character’s car which pans up to reveal road block, the shot is just of buildings and cars deserted
Weird noise coming down the road, which has a road block
Reaction shot of the main characters followed by the dog barking twice – something down there? – Something going to happen now or in the near future of the film
Jump cut – shows time has moved on
High shot/two shot pans up and behind the two main characters
Centered mid-shot of main character
Close-up of dog
Side mid-close up shot of main character holding a sniper (centered), when he looks down the scope (verisimilitude) camera changes to show a deer walking around a corner.
Camera tracks the two main characters who are tracking the deer
Use of a hand-held camera – camera shaky – something else out there, something following them
Close up and over the shoulder still using a hand-held camera
Mid-shot of deer grazing with the main character in the background hiding behind a car, a lioness jumps from off-screen into the shot and attacks the deer, the camera pans across. This is followed by a reaction shot of each main character (both are close ups)
After this there are several shots using over the shoulder from over the main character’s shoulder watching the lioness, some of these shots pan to reveal a lion and its cub. Followed by close up of the main character’s reaction.
There is then the use of a side mid-shot where a watch alarm sets off followed by a close up of the watch. After this shot there is an over the shoulder shot but the main character turns around to show his reaction followed by a over the shoulder shot of the sun.
Has the sun got something to do with New York and why it’s deserted? What happens at night?
This is followed by a over the shoulder – close up – over the shoulder  between the lion family and the reaction of the main character
The shot then is a long shot of the two companions walking away, the shot pans up to show the audience the buildings in New York.
This is followed by the opening title: I AM LEGEND
The opening sequence is 7 minutes and 54 seconds long

RM - Deconstruction of Friday the 13th (remake)

Friday the 13th (remake) (Marcus Nisthul, 2009)
Budget: $19,000,000US Takings: $64,900,000UK Takings: £1,960,000
Titles red – signify blood
White writing on black background – binary opposites
Variation of shot types – PoV, Handheld, Shot-reaction-shot ect.
Different angles used
Main character – not wearing much clothing binary opposite to mother
Pendant - silver? – Key part?
Trees obstructing shots
Credits cut through opening scene – starts and stops violence – makes audience more scared
Both characters have weapons
Head falling into puddle – iconicThunder and Lightning – jumps – controls heartbeat
Older woman talks a lot more than the other character. Also talks when dead.
Non-diagectic sound used – eerie music

RM - Deconstruction of Bride of Chucky

Bride of Chucky (Ronny Yu, 1998)
Link to imdb
Budget: $25,000,000US Takings: $32,400,000UK Takings: £525,600
Lightning – Horror
Only able to see/ read when flashes of lightning.
Horror writing – Opening credits
American flag – anchorage set in America – Horror undermines
Props from other films in the horror genre – intertextual
Establishing shot – high angle, close ups, low angles – contributes to feelings
Blue tint
22408 – Reference?
Unsolved – suspicious behaviour – will be solved
Policeman – paranoid, inside the locker, close ups, PoV, Dutch angle
Tension increases – done by camera angles
Empty roads, rain can’t see where he is going
Shot-reaction-shotPhone - lifeline in horror genre
Empty aircraft contains church references – danger/alone/isolated
Zipo lighter – Name? Mystery of person’s name.
Close up of eyes – paranoia, over the shoulder/shot-to-shot
Smoking cigarettes – Villain?
PoV shot from Chucky
Fast jump shots used – how quick he died. Verisimilitude
Light – audience can clearly see the man is dead
Feet first, fish nets, leather - Stereotype of a femmfertal
Taking control, countertypes “scream queen”
Tracking legs, pans up bodyLighter again – over made up
Classic shot – showing affection
Evil front vs Good background

RM - Deconstruction of Sorority House Massacre

Sorority House Massacre (Carrol Frank, 1986)
Link to imdb
Budget and Takings not announced on imdb
Looks like Halloween opening
Long opening shot 1 min +
Eerie music – heartbeat noises – suspenseful
Blue tint usedLooks like a low budget film due to the opening credit with blood splatters
Medium close up, mid-shot, two-shot used – sets audience up for flash back.
High angles used.
Eerie music again – Villain?
Footsteps and shadow of person used builds up the tension.
Camera tracks through a hallway
Shot-to-shot used
Close up of guy dying – audience can hear a scream and can only see a closed door.

RM - Deconstruction of Baby Sitter Wanted

Baby Sitter Wanted (Jonas Barnes, 2008)
Link to imdb
Budget and Takings not announced on imdb
Low, close-up of feet – audience can hear a children’s baby song.
Body? – moving/flesh colour panels, plastic surgeon lines.
Body shot PoV – until foot – iconic butcher (ties is with butcher’s tools)
Narrative enigma – mystery/eerie
Handheld camera – more real.
Close up of face – human
Shot of killer’s tool box and tools (ordered in use)
Meat hook used – victim treated like an object
Tools been used before/killer done this before.
When killer picks the hammer he/she rests it on victim’s face
Fake horror – audience doesn’t see her death.
Feeds imagination.

RM - Deconstruction of Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Toby Hooper, 1974)                 3 min 21 sec
Link to imdb
Budget: $83,000
US Takings: $31,000,000
August 18, 1973 – anchorage of date
Documentary style – Verisimilitude (Realism)
Audio bridge linking date to film
Sounds of digging – diagetic?
Music – no diagetic underlining
Bones being hit and seen in the flashes when photographs are being taken
1 min 22 seconds until first shot – different approach to the genre.
Horror – best in the mind of the audience- off screen
Flash photography
Narrative enigma (Barthes) mystery – intentional, unsettles audience
Radio playing over the top – exposition
Not met any main characters,
One shot used – different approach, lack of money, plays on audience’s minds.
Equilibrium – killer on the lose

Monday, 20 December 2010

All - Coursework: "Acts of Repulsion"

Group: Ollie Preston and Richard Mclachlan
Film idea from: Ollie Preston
The idea for the name of the film came from researching different slasher film titles on internent movie data base (imdb) and mixing several titles together. The film idea comes from Hostel and Friday the 13th, the opening basically combines the two films together. The establishing shot is a medium high-angle shot of three friends having fun, drinking and smoking around a small bonfire. There is then a panning shot of them stood talking and drinking around the fire. When the group of friends realise that it’s becoming late they all decide to retire to their tents. The next shot is a medium shot of one of the three friends closing their eyes and trying to go to sleep. A light is seen shining outside, a muffled scream is heard then the shadow of a body being dragged past the tent which is seen by torch light. This alarms the two people still in their tents and they call out to each other; when they decide to go investigate they see a figure on the floor by the remaining glowing embers of the fire. The two friends walk over to the figure and realise it’s in fact a body. They crouch down and turn it over and discover it’s their friend. The next shot is a low angled shot looking up at the two friend’s reaction at finding the body. Both of them decide together they must go get help because the killer will probably still be around. They stand back up and turn around to see a large hooded figure standing menacingly with a large axe in his hands, which is dripping with blood. The screen goes black as the figure swings the axe towards them.
Moving Image Storyboard

RM - My Coursework Pitch

Title: Demons
Genre: Horror
Ideas taken: Halloween,
          Paranormal Activity,
          Presence (Hurtwood House Media Student)

Idea: The establishing shot of the film will be of a detached house. This shot is also a point of view shot, the camera slowly moving left to right and vice versa (point of view from the demon). Whilst this shot is taking place the audience will be able to hear footsteps. With the shot focusing on the front door of the house the handle turns and the door opens. The shot changes to inside of the house (Match on action) but there is no one to be seen entering the house. All the audience can hear are footsteps.
            The shot then changes to focus on someone getting ready to go out when he/she looks into the mirror above the sink the person will see a reflection of a figure with a skeletons face. The shot used will be an over the shoulder. The person then turns around (point of view from the skeleton figure) and watches the figure walking towards him/her (point of view of character). The intention is to build up suspense and make the audience believe this is the demon. When the figure reaches the character (two-shot) the figure removes its mask (over the shoulder looking at the character’s reaction) revealing it’s a friend of the character (over the shoulder, shot reaction shot) this will be shown with some dialogue.
They will be stopped in mid-conversation when they hear footsteps. The two characters in the bathroom will look at the landing. The shot will be a point of view from the demon. The shot continues until it is in the bathroom. When this happens the shot changes to the other side of the landing watching the door being slammed shut. All the audience can see now is the closed door and can only hear screaming. The door opens after the screaming has stopped to reveal the two characters are now dead. The footsteps will start again but getting louder to signify something is getting closer.

My Pitch

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


Preliminary Exercise.

Continuity task involving filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. This task should demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule.

After our initial edit, we were given these tasks to do. This further editing should make our film more continuous:
  • Start 3rd shot later - edit so there's no pauses/jumping
  • Don't show victim or/and face of villain
  • Close up of villain showing identity
  • 4th shot earlier
  • Edit 6h shot - no pauses
  • Sound quality needs improving
  • Camera should be steadier, not shaky
  • Cut part of walking scene
  • No panning - should be over shoulder
  • Instead of two-shot, use high angle
  • Close up of fire extinguisher
  • No 'time traveling'
  • Following chair being pushed away
  • Sound effect of hit, skull being smashed

RM - PRELIM: Coursework

Preliminary Exercise.

Continuity task involving filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. This task should demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule.

Match on Action.

A match on action is a technique used in film editing. It is a cut that connects two different views of the same action at the same moment. This is done by carefully matching the movement done in both shots; this is to make it seem that the motion continues uninterrupted.

Shot/Reverse shot.

Shot reverse shot is a film technique where one character is shown looking at another character (often off screen), and then the other character is shown looking back at the first character. With the characters facing opposite directions, the audience assumes the two characters are looking at each other.

180-degree rule.

The 180-degree rule is a basic guideline to film making. It states that if there are two characters or elements in the same scene they should always have the same relationship as the first shot. However if the camera passes the imaginary axis connecting the two subjects, this is called crossing the line. This new shot is known as a reverse angle.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

RM - Deconstruction of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Budget: $150 mill
US Gross: $292 mill
Gross: £49 mill
IMDB Rating: 7.3 - More popular with females than males.
This is the fifth novel in a series of seven and the fifth film in a series of eight.
Titles: Warner Bros. Pictures.                      Open credits: 38 seconds
          Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter theme tune being played)
Establishing shot which focuses on the sun which pans down to reveal a town in the countryside and a park just outside of the town.
Radio broadcast announcing that the heat wave is forecast to go on, summer - Verisimilitude.
Panning shot up a slope to see Harry walking towards the park alone. Transition to show time has passed.
A parent to shown talking to her child signifies an ordinary day.
People at the park are wearing ordinary summer clothes.
Harry still alone but this time on swings – starts to argue with Dudley (Binary opposite’s nerd versus brawn and wizard and non-wizard). In this argument a lot of shot reaction shots are used.
In the park the audience can hear noises from swings, roundabouts, dialogue – verisimilitude.
Towards the end of the argument Dudley annoys Harry who threatens him by putting his wand under his chin (Wand - verisimilitude of the wizard’s world). The bright sunlight turns into a typically gloomy day and the wind picks up; this signifies something is going to happen and provides verisimilitude.
Jump cut shows time has passed.
Whilst Harry and Dudley are running most shots used are with the steady cam this signifies that there is something behind or next to the two. These shots seem to be a point of view shot. The audience can hear the rain hitting the ground, the wind and thunder – verisimilitude.
When they get into the subway tunnel (the subway has graffiti on the walls also has one light flickering these signify it’s an ordinary) focus is on lights which are golden (like the suns light), which pans towards Harry to focus on him, this signifies something is going to happen to him. Eerie/sinister music starts to be played.
The focus of each shot changes in between Harry and Dudley as they are getting attacked by Dementors (evil spirits) which signifies something is going to happen.
Music is played to signify action and Harry has done something wrong, as the music is (and starts after Harry has cast a spell).
Tracking and panning shots are used to show the spell Harry uses (“Expectus Patrolum”) and when the spell hits the dementors with a white light following them, which signifies good (which is part of the main binary oppositions in the entire series of films and novels. This binary opposite is good versus evil).
Eerie/sinister music dies down.
Opening scene: 4mins 38secs.

There was plans of doing a swede of this film but due to snow and school closing there wasn't chance to film it.

RM - Mise-en-scene Task

The task was to think up an idea for a brief sequence (30-60secs) to open a film (within any genre) relying on shot selection and mise-en-scene to communicate the idea to the audience.