BBFC RUNNING THINGS

First of all, let’s get this understood; BBFC stands for British Board of Film Classification who play somewhat of an important role in society but who are they? Set up in 1912 to bring a degree of uniformity to the classification of film nationally, the BBFC is an independent, non-governmental body which classifies cinema films. Also, in 1984 Parliament passed the Video Recordings Act. This act stated that video recordings offered for sale or hire commercially in the UK must be classified by an authority designated by the Secretary of State. The BBFC is an organisation that makes no profit; their fees are adjusted only to cover its costs. In order to preserve its independence, the BBFC never receives subsidies from either the film industry or the government. Its income is solely from the fees it charges for its services, calculated by measuring the running time of films or DVDs submitted for classification.

Their system of classification is based upon age and one can see this in their tagline; “Age ratings you trust.” They are continuingly giving ratings to new films as this can be seen on their website – http://www.bbfc.co.uk/. Their “Recent Decisions” page reveals all their latest classifications and if we look at today, as this blog is being produced, you can see the latest Spider-man film has been given a PG rating.

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What is this “PG”? What on earth is “12A”? Well it’s all on the BBFC website and not hard to find. Below you can see the key they stick to regarding each of their classes.

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AN INSIGHT: THE DIRECTOR

The role of the director is a vital and significant part of a film production. Unlike many members of a crew, they control and have power over a wide variety of areas such as the script, mise-en-scene, cinematography and editing.

christian bale quotation

So let’s identify what a director is first of all, shall we? I believe the quotation I’ve snatched from the Dark Knight himself, Christian Bale, is a very true and significant part of the director’s role (or directors’ role as seen in films such as The Butterfly Effect by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Grube). They create an overall vision for a production which is to be captured, and are a key member of a film crew. Realizing this vision includes overseeing the artistic and technical elements of a production and acting as a commander but equally as a listener who’s open to idea. A bad director only listens to himself/herself and limits creativity which is definitely the wrong way to go about film-making. Creating a film is far from an individual process. It requires a group of talented people to make a successful film but it is the director that leads on the march and, with help from the other members of the crew, decides the route they all take to get to their destination.

Put a group of fantastic professionals together, Quentin Tarantino, David. Russell, Ben Affleck, Ang Lee, Tom Hooper and Gus Van Sant, and you get the video you see above with priceless experiences and knowledge. In my eyes, it serves as a great way to understand the role of the film director and is equally as entertaining.

What I really learnt about this video in concern to directing is that a director has to be very much aware and knowledgeable of a huge variety of other roles. In the interview Ben Affleck talks about the pressures of being an actor and how that affected him as a director later in life concerning his treatment towards actors and actresses in his films. Having a firm understanding of aspects such as editing, cinematography and more is key is being a director.

THE COMPONENTS OF A FILM POSTER

This video nicely demonstrates how a film poster is constructed in a very conscious way  where every element in the piece is strategically chosen and positioned. The purpose for a film poster is to advertise a film and attract attention for a production which is achieved through a number of ways.

Described in the video as “the first line of attack” in getting people to see the film, film posters must give suggestions to answer two important questions about a production; what’s the mood of the film and what genre does it fall into? For example, if we look at The Silence Of The Lambs movie poster there is a sense of unease as an emotionless face stares back at us while a grotesque moth rests on the mouth of this person. It’s disturbing and sinister, and the dark atmosphere it communicates suggests the film its advertising is a horror or a thriller of some kind. It appears to be a serious looking film due to the lack of emotion and has a important quality of successful film posters; it’s eye-catching and memorable.

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The poster for The Silence of the Lambs drew from the dark work of Salvador Dali, shown above. Investing time researching artists might work to our advantage for our poster production.

Posters can communicate cast. If we return to The Silence Of The Lambs movie poster we seen Jodie Foster who upon the release of the film was an established actress and a familiar face to many from both T.V. and cinema screens with such roles as Iris Steensma in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976). Although posters can feature no cast or an ensemble, featuring a member of cast who audiences will recognise will be rewarding for the production and increase interest. With our poster however, we only have amateur actors who, despite being brilliant, won’t ring bells when viewers see like as though they saw a Robert De Niro or a Tom Cruise perhaps. Having the cast on the poster is a great way to tell viewers what the film’s about and might also create attraction for the movie if they’re interested in the actors they see.

The composition of these characters amongst the poster is also very important and you can see this below when the annotated image I created.

episode 1

LOCATION SCOUTING & TEST SHOTS

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Filming has been completed for scene one of “Screen Three” however, there is more to be done concerning putting the final scene together and this posts is all about LOCATION. Location for a scene is key, and is a vital choice due to its effect of the audience, the atmosphere and tone of the piece. It’s important to get right and so I took the time out to do a few test shots in areas I thought had potential for my group for use for our film.

Although a Ford Escort RS 2000 will be use for the scene, I had my car play the model for my photos and first set it up amongst a local car park. The location is nice but the surroundings lack the atmosphere I end in mind for the scene. Going from such a dark room of the theatre to a sunny area might be confusing, distracting and perhaps too big of a jump for the viewer, which may distance them from what’s happening in the film. This isn’t what I want but despite this, I continued to experiment with angles.

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I moved the car around to experiment with the lighting. The Sun was directly behind the car when I first set up however, I attempted shots with the Sun to the car’s side. I think this gave a nicer, more dynamic look with the shadows however, these may be a problem if they hide areas of the actor’s face.

Another issue I had premeditated concerns the car’s surroundings not being quite as I wanted. However, this can be solved with a shallow depth of field  through a lower aperture. I shot these images below at F 2.2 and to balance the exposure I set the shutter speed dramatically fast, but it looks like it works to some-what hide the background and focus on the foreground of the car.

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Next, I moved location to a more industrial side of town. I really like the atmosphere within this area as it seems to add to the isolated atmosphere I wanted for the scene through the tall fencing and the structures in the background that seem to tower over the vehicle.

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With this location I also admire the position of the Sun as well as the effect of the fencing as it casts shadows over the car’s interior to suggests something more sinister or perhaps underhand; a technique often used in film noir.

Toshiba Digital Camera

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I then tried out another location and tested a variety of lenses to experiment with the look of shots. I had been using a Canon 50mm prime lens however, I whipped out a Tamron 55-200mm zoom lens to see how certain close-ups might look. The Tamron lens has can’t achieve a very wide aperture which is a problem in getting the right exposure but it’s certainly a lens to use for a isolated, caged-in scene like this one.

I then went out to shoot some night photos in similar locations. I really wanted the scene to be at night to capture the dark tone of the film but it will make things increasingly difficult due to light and to shoot at a high quality.

THE TITLE

Within the first few days of editing, Jannath noticed the blank screen accompanied with “The Night of the Living Dead” soundtrack could be put to better use. She thought we could have our film’s title there to introduce the production and I think this will add a great touch to the production. It would add to the effect we planned out to achieve with the seemingly non-digetic music becoming digetic, which means it purports to be from the world of the film.

dafont

With the help of “dafont.com” Jannath and I were able to find a font that suited and said something about our film. This had to be a very concious decision and we both took time in deciding what to look for. I began with looking at more messy-looking fonts to be reminiscent of the chaos that is to come later in the film however, soon it came apparent that I was looking in the wrong place. We began looking at fonts similar to those used in cinemas since we thought using one of these will more thoroughly set the scene of the movie theatre and add to the atmosphere, which is created by the sound of the film being played. There were dozens to choose from and we came across “Bellerose”.

dafont pageAfter installing the font, for free as dafont supplies, I took to PhotoShop to experiment. Part of the editing process I did can be seen at the top of this blog as I messed around to try and get the title I envision. Bellerose had the balance between the old-school-cinematic-look and a certain quirkiness I think our font needed. You can judge for yourself by looking at the lists of its characters below.

BELLEROSE

SHOT LIST – SCENE ONE

  • Fades in to a close-up of Peter sat amongst the cinema’s seats as the film blares in front of him. The camera is still through the use of a tripod and faces him directly and on his level.IMG_8616
  • IMG_8617Wide-shot of the cinema, facing Peter again who lies on the left third of the frame. The youths enter from the right and the camera, which is positioned on a dolly, tracks them along. The camera stops its motion as the youths sit down. They are positioned on the left third and Peter is on the right.
  • A closer wide-shot of the characters as the youths become closer to Peter. Peter remains on the right, the youths remain on the left.
  • IMG_8625 (remember 2x)A close-up in front of Peter that reveals the youths over his shoulder. They lean over to speak to Peter and the hand-held camera follows them as they move. The kicking begins and the camera switches between Peter’s despair and the youths’ enjoyment.
  • IMG_8626Mid-shot from the side achieved from hand-held camera of youths and Peter and they torment him. The camera turns to reveal them throwing popcorn at him and Peter’s reaction.
  • Close-up of Peter from the side to show more of his reaction as he gets up and leaves.

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES IN MEDIA

Along with documenting a film production, making a poster and creating a magazine’s film review, there’s the exam that amounts to our final Media A2 grade. Although there are many to choose from, our teacher has directed our attention to two aspects due to time restrictions.OCR_2767+1311

Media in the Online Age covers:

  • The historical development of online media.
  • Examples of how media production has transformed by the internet and broadbroad.
  • Impact of broadment internet access on audience behaviour.
  • Importance of media convergence and role of internet in accelarating this.
  • Debates around the future of the media.

Contemporary Media Regulation covers:

  • How media regulation now is different to the past.
  • The different kinds of media regulation and how they seek to protect people.
  • The efficency and impact of various forms of media regulation, how well do they work, and what difference do they make to people’s minds.
  • Debates around the role of the regualtor in a democracy – arguements for and against various media regulations.