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!

Monday, 21 March 2011

All - Acts of Repulsion Final Cut

The following is the opening sequence of a new horror film, Acts of Repulsion. Produced and Directed by Oliver Preston and myself.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Evaluation - Question 1

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

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Evaluation - Question 2

 How does your media product represent particular social groups?


Evaluation - Question 3

Evaluation: Question 3 - What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Evaluation - Question 4

 Who would be the audience for your media product?

We consider that the BBCF Certificate would be an 18 because although the opening contains no violence and the killing is off screen there will be violence later on in the film. We have targeted ‘Acts of Repulsion’ for 18 to 24 year-olds although there will be a secondary audience from the slasher genre fans. We also think that ethnicity is not relevant to our plot and the film would appeal to a mixed audience. This is because we have tried avoiding a specific socio economic group by using teenagers as our cast. We believe late teens would empathise with the cast. As well as this we assume a higher percentage of males would form the audience. We have taken inspiration from Hostel (Eli Roth, 2005), Friday the 13th (Marcus Nisthul, 2008) and Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978) and feel that the film would appeal to their audiences. Using stereotypes people associate with Britain, we have tried to attract more British fans towards the Slasher genre. These include: teenagers being rebellious and always causing trouble. Another way we are trying to attract a British audience is by using a British cast. Our target audience is also well represented in the feedback we have received.

Evaluation - Question 5

How did you attract/address your audience?

We have used blogs to attract an audience to the film. We both our personal blogs and also made a blog for specifically for ‘Acts of Repulsion’. As well as these we have both uploaded our pitches, rough cuts and final cut to YouTube and Facebook. This allows people from all over the world to post feedback on our videos as well as friends and family. Discussing the feedback together enabled us to respond to it and if we both think it is appropriate include it into our work. An example of this was the decision to change the internal location to produce wider variations in shots.

We have also tried to engage the audience by including a narrative enigma of the identity of the killer, - this is not revealed in our opening and would not be revealed until the end of the film therefore keeping the audiences attention. Another technique we have used is to include a false scare at the beginning of the film to frighten the audience. We built up tension and suspense by adding music that suits the sequence. As an indie film company with limited recourses we have used a local cast but to reduce the effect of West Yorkshire we have tried to avoid using slang or colloquialisms.

We have tried to attract audiences from the Halloween, Hostel and Friday the 13th franchises by using these to influence our ideas. We have added in an intertexual reference with the only victim in the opening scene by calling him Jason – a direct reference to Friday the 13th. We aimed to access a secondary audience by placing the film in the horror/slasher genre therefore attracting fans of those genres.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Evaluation - Question 6

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
The technologies that I have learnt from this process are how to create, set up and use a blog for coursework and general use. It has allowed me to inform people on what we have produced as well as seeing what our classmates have produced. The comment space on the blog has also been useful because I have been able to retrieve feedback on my work. This is the first time I have ever used a website like this and I have found it useful for publishing coursework on.

The Internet Movie Database logo
Another helpful technology was the internet. This helped because I could find out about new feature films released or in development on the website internet movie database (imdb). The Guardian website has been useful for research as well because every Friday it has a section on media.

As well as this, I have also uploaded videos onto YouTube, again a thing I have never done. I have found this useful to receive feedback from people across the world as well as to link it onto Facebook to gain feedback from friends. By receiving feedback we have been able to and incorporate it into the product to produce a better quality product. As well as using YouTube and Facebook to publish work on the internet I have also use sites such as Scridb and Divshare. I have found these two websites incredibly useful. Scridb has been useful because it allows Microsoft Word documents to be uploaded to blogs. Divshare has enabled me to upload the podcasts.
LiveType Logo

iMovie Logo
By doing this coursework mainly on Macintosh Computers I have been able to use programs I have never been able to use on a PC. By using the Macs I have been able to use programs including iMovie and LiveType. We used iMovie for uploading and editing our media project and improve it after receiving feedback. We used LiveType for creating the idents.

Another program I have used for the first time is Sony Vegas Movie Studio. I have been using this at home when I have not had access to the Macs. I used the program for editing the first two evaluation questions as well as editing a few clips that I personally recorded for the project including a lighting test and the walking cemetery scene (below).

I have used two camcorders to film the project which use different technologies. A Canon mini dv camcorder using tapes was used for the internal shots. A Sony Handycam DCR-SR32 Hard Disc Drive Camcorder was used for the external footage. Using the Sony and filming handheld on autofocus produced the blurring/focusing effect which was more atmospheric than filming with a tripod and using zoom for the cemetery scenes.

Evaluation - Question 7

Looking back at your Preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the Progression from it to the full product?


Coursework Product:

Looking back to the preliminary task I now know that researching the genre for the film being produced is a vital element. In the preliminary exercise we were not able to do this as we were dropped straight into the exercise. However I was able to do this in my coursework. Studying classic horror franchises including Halloween, Hostel and Friday the 13th allowed me to take inspiration from them.
For the location in the prelim we were given a selection of rooms from which to choose from. However with the coursework I was able to contract a local estate agent and obtain permission to use a house was appropriate for the story of our film (pictured left). Although after feedback we changed the location of the inside shots we kept the outside location as our first choice. By doing this we not only maintained the atmosphere of the location but were also able to gain a wider range of variations in shot variety.

With Acts of Repulsion we have been able to gain and use feedback more effectively than compared to Overdue (the preliminary exercise). There are many reasons for this. Uploading videos to Youtube and Facebook has been useful because it enabled wider feedback. The longer deadline has enabled us to create a wider range of rough cuts which each one has received feedback for and we have developed the project as a result of this.
Time management has been a key aspect for the full product. With the preliminary exercise we were given one lesson to write the script as well as film the entire product. However with the coursework I have learnt from the problems we have experienced with casting – availability, illness, poor communication – the importance of planning and the need to build into the plans some spare time for catching up.
With props, costume, set-dressing and Mise-en-scene for the prelim task we had to use the clothes we were wearing and had to use make shift props out of items we had with use or that were in the room. With Mise-en-scene it was hard as well because we were only given a selection of rooms which we could choose from. However with Acts of Repulsion we were able to use a wider selection of props which were part of the footage and experiment with different ideas. For example our initial idea was to show the killer masked holding an axe at the end of the film (pictured right). But feedback was negative and we rejected the idea. With the costumes we were able to tell the cast what clothes we would like them to wear. For the location we were able to decide where it was and what the set looked like.

Having a wide range of shot variation is crucial to keep the audience engaged in the film. With the prelim task it was difficult to do and there were not enough variation. Also the shots went on for too long. However with the finished Acts of Repulsion there is a greater variation in shots as well as angles. With the first Acts of Repulsion rough cut most of the shots were taken from similar angles and tended to be too long. Over the two months spent filming my shot technique has developed.

All - Acts of Repulsion Rough Cut 5

Thursday, 3 March 2011

All - Vodcast : Feedback Received

All - Fourth Rough Cut Feedback

  • Second ident – audio and image need to fade out,
  • First shot turn down audio,
  • Re-record sound/re-shoot in places where there is added noise,
  • Trim shots that repeat,
  • Need to include high angled, Dutch angled, close up and medium close up shots,
  • Needs a transition when Lucy wakes up and finds Jason has gone,
  • Fade in when cast members are entering the house,
  • Cut to entering of the house after a close-up of someone turning the handle,
  • Prevent shots that include scenery or houses in the background,
  • Include close-ups of light switches being turned on,
  • Low angles so person blocks out what is behind,
  • See feet walking along instead of people,
  • Add a shot of someone closing the door (entrance to the house)
  • At start try not to show people,
  • Over the shoulder of Liam or point of view from Liam whilst entering the living room,
  • Small cut when Lucy closes the door,
  • Play around with colourings,
  • Scraping or shadow by the window,
  • Can’t go from false scare to people asleep – needs a transition,
  • Add point of view shots from Peter whilst entering the house and rooms whilst being scared,
  • Low angle of Patrick walking – needs big boots on not socks,
  • When reaching down towards Liam have a shot of hands reaching for the camera,
  • More of a struggle between Liam and Patrick, before being dragged off. Continued whilst being dragged away. As well as a shot of the sleeping bag being kicked around etc,
  • Decrease volume at appropriate stages of the film,
  • Cut between Lucy sleeping and Liam being dragged off,
  • Pete needs to leave a bedroom door open,
  • Shoot the scene where Lucy and Pete find the body outside – will be able to use fake blood.

All - Acts of Repulsion Rough Cut 4

All - Meeting The Crew & Cast

Name: Richard McLachlan
Role: Cameraman, Editor, Director, Producer
Favourite Film: Italian Job
Favourite TV show: Outnumbered
Currently Studying: Business, Maths, Media, Physics.

Name: Oli Preston 
Role: Cameraman, Editor, Director, Producer
Favourite Film: Shaun of the Dead
Favourite TV show: South Park
Currently Studying: Media, P.E and Product Design


Name: Liam Chuah
Role: Jason (also known as Boy 1 - Victim)
Favourite Film: Scott Pilgrim VS the World
Favourite TV show: Family Guy
Currently Studying: BTEC Media Level 3 and A-Level Film Studies

Name: Peter Linnegan
Role: Boy 2
Favourite Film: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Favourite TV show: Big Bang Theory
Currently Studying: Pyhsics, Chemistry, Maths and Further Maths

Name: Lucy Simpson
Role: Lucy (also known as Girl 2 - Scream Queen)
Favourite Film: Shaun of the dead
Favourite TV show: MisfitsCurrently Studying: Physics, Biology, English Lit/Lang, ICT and Science In Society

Name: Patrick Godden
Role: The Killer
Favourite Film: The Butterfly Effect
Favourite TV show: Sarah Connor ChroniclesCurrently Studying: Economics, Government and Politics and Business

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

RM - Recent/Upcoming Horror Films

Heartless Gross:
   UK: £1,309
   US: £2, 033

Piranha 3D Gross:
   UK: £4.5 million
   US: 25 million

Paranormal Activity Gross:
   UK: £9.6 million
   US: $107.9 million

Paranormal Activity 2 Gross:
   UK: £10.9 million
   US: $84.7 million