Sound Evaluation

  • How did you come about with the idea for your sounds?

I came up with the idea for a poem to go with my animation because it was mentioned as an idea by my teacher in class. The plan for my animation was already to create something to do with animals so it felt appropriate to use a matching poem in my animation.

For the sound effects in the background, I came up with this when realising that it would be appropriate to add savannah sounds in order to create ambience and that it would also add depth to the animation.

  • How did you plan and prepare for the creation of your sounds?

To prepare for the creation of my sounds I found the appropriate poem I wanted to use. I then booked out a TASCAM from the equipment facility at the college and asked the class for a volunteer as to who would be happy to recite it. We then went to a spare classroom that I had already spotted as empty and recorded the audio.

To prepare for converting the savannah sounds I checked through a number of different YouTube converters until I found one that was secure and appropriate to use. I then sifted through a number of clips of savannah sounds until I found a clip that matched the vibe I wanted to create.

  • Did you think about the target audience whilst planning and creating your sounds (link this to your animation?)

I thought that the audio would be appropriate for the target audience as there is a lot of visual imagery in the poem that would be imaginative and creative for the target audience, which is young children approx. 6-10 years old.

  • What intentions did you have for sound at the beginning and does the final product resemble what you had imagined?

The intentions I originally had for the audio were that it would be wholesome and that the audio would be soft, and not too harsh or sharp. The final product does resemble what I imagined, because I have managed to achieve a soft sounding audio that is pleasant to the ear.

The sound effects resemble the intentions I had for them in the beginning because it adds the atmosphere and depth to the product that I was aiming to achieve. The sound effects are subtle enough to not distract from the poem, but present enough to add effect.

  • Are your sounds and soundtrack fit for purpose?

Yes my audio is fit for purpose, because it creates the wholesome and atmospheric vibe that I intended to create. It is also informative, which meets the purpose of the audio which is to inform but entertain the listener. It informs the listener because it teaches them about looking after the planet, and it entertains because the imagery used is creative. The savannah sounds also contribute to the entertainment element of the purpose.

  • What changes did you make whilst creating the sounds and why?

The changes I made to the audio of the poem recital was editing out the gaps in between the lines, so that the whole poem fit down into the 30 seconds duration of the animation. I had to do this carefully so that it flowed naturally. I also edited out complete lines of the poem so that it fit to the time scale.

With the savannah sounds, I cut out 30 seconds from the longer clip that I felt suited the animation best. I had to be specific with this so that the sounds started and ended naturally.

  • What difficulties did you have when creating your sounds and how did you overcome them?

The difficulty was that it was hard to edit the audio precisely in Adobe Premiere because the amount of audio was small, meaning it was difficult to edit it precisely. I overcame this by extending the bar so that I could see the timeline of footage close up, allowing for a more precise edit.

  • If you had another opportunity to do this again, what would you change or what would you do differently?

If I had to do this again differently, I would add different audio features such as an elephant sound and the sound of trees rustling, in order to add depth to the audio experience. It would add more of an atmospheric vibe and fulfil the entertainment purpose.

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Audio Pre-Production

Voice Over

In my animation there will be voiceover audio. I will record a classmate reciting the poem and overlap the audio with my animation.

Sound Effects/sourcing music

For sound effects, I will be including the ambience of the savannah in the background to make the animation atmospheric. To obtain this audio I will find an appropriate clip on YouTube, and covert it to MP3 using a conversion website.

Treatment

Project title: Make The Earth Your Companion – Animation Unit

Genre: Drama/Animation

Target Audience – Young children, 6-10

Duration – 30 seconds

Synopsis: The poem used for my audio assignment is a poem about nature and how we must look after it and treat it as our equal. I chose this poem because I wanted to create a wholesome vibe with my animation and the audio backs this up.

Locations

The location I will be obtaining the savannah sounds is a college classroom, likely to be 2.008. When I record a classmate reciting a poem I will use a spare empty classroom. The acoustics in the classrooms at college are appropriate for what I am trying to achieve so that is why I chose this location.

Production schedule

Production Day 1:

Date: 11/05/18

Location: College classroom, level 2

What was produced this day: Poem recital audio

Production Day 2: 

Date: 18/05/18

Location: College classroom, 2.008

What was produced this day: Conversion of savannah sounds in YouTube

Equipment list

  • MAC computer, for audio upload
  • Adobe Premiere, for audio editing and mixing
  • SD card, for recording audio down to
  • TASCAM, the device used to record audio
  • Microphone, to capture audio
  • Headphones, to listen to audio through

Audio Material:

Raw audio of poem recital:

 

Meeting Notes

Meeting 1

Date- 02/05/2018

Location- Class room (3.059)

Member present- Anne-Marie, Harry, Katie

Apologies-Nobody

Item 1-Music song and video idea:

A witch, Gothic themed with distorted shots. Inspired by The Craft, using lots of shots that are distorted and surrealistic, such as candles, crystals, dances, roses burning, witch traditions. We will be using all people in the group as actors.

Song- Gods and Monsters by Lana Del Rey

Item 2 Team roles responsibilities:

Harry- Risk assessment, Call sheet

Anne-Marie- Equipment list, Filming schedule

Katie- Location site survey, production schedule

Meeting 2

Date- 02/05/2018, 03/05/2018

Location- Class room (3.059), Classroom (2.143 A)

Member present- Anne-Marie, Harry, Katie

Apologies-Nobody, Harry

Item 1-Music song and video idea:

A witch, gothic themed with distorted shots. Inspired by the Craft, using lots of shots that are distorted and surrealistic. Such as candles, crystals, dances, roses burning, witch traditions. Using all people in the group as actors.

Song- Gods and Monsters by Lana Del Rey

Site survey and Equipment list have been completed, however we need to bring up if call sheet and risk assessment have been completed. We need to discuss on filming day if people are free for 09/05/18.

Item 2 Team roles responsibilities:

Harry- Risk assessment, Call sheet

Anne-Marie- Equipment list, Filming schedule

Katie- Location site survey, production schedule

Meeting 3

Date: 04/05/18

Location: 2.008

Members: Anne-Marie, Harry, Katie

Apologies: None

Item 1: We finished our pre production and made sure we all had access to each piece of work for our blogs. We planned that we would film on next week, starting on Wednesday at Fairy Cove.

Meeting 4

 

Date: 09/05/18

Location: Fairy Cove

Members present: Harry, Katie, Anne-Marie

Apologies: None

Item 1: Began filming at Fairy Cove – filmed shots of each other but we were not happy with them because they reflected that we were unprepared. The SD cards were faulty and we were struggling to adjust the tripod. We decided to quit filming and prepare ourselves better so that next time we filmed that it would go smoothly. Next time we go filming we will make sure that we understand how the equipment works and plan out each shot so that we understand what we are filming that day.

Meeting 5:

Date: 10/05/18

Location: College filming studio, animal care unit

Members: Katie, Harry. Anne-Marie

Apologies: None

Item 1: Filming in the college studio – we used the projector for images such as fire, snow, graveyards etc. and filmed profiles of ourselves in front of it. It turned out well because we were prepared and had creative ideas to share.

Item 2: Filming at the animal care unit – we wanted to film the goats as this is Gothic. We were inspired by the American Horror Story opening for Coven which features goats a a symbol in witchcraft. We managed to get plenty of film there of the goats and various other features. We also filmed ourselves standing in an archway which we can super cut.

Item 3: We realised that we couldn’t film the next day due to other complications such as presentations for our other unit. We then arranged to film on the 17th and 23rd of May.

Meeting 6:

Date: 17/05/18

Location: Fairy Cove

Members: Harry, Katie, Anne-Marie

Apologies: None

Item 1: We filmed at Fairy Cove and the footage turned out much better than before. We crossed a lot of shots of our shot list and gained a substantial amount of footage that will be the bulk of our music video. We each took a part in filming, directing and acting. However we spent a lot of time trying to make a bonfire so next time we will be better prepared and not spend so much time on small details.

Meeting 7: 

Date: 23/05/18

Location: Oldway Mansion

Members: Harry, Anne-Marie

Apologies: Katie

Item 1: We filmed more shots at Oldway Mansion, in which both Harry and Anne-Marie directed, filmed and acted. The footage turned out very well and we got a large amount of filming done. We were very pleased so we decided that it was our last day or filming.

Meeting 8: 

Date: 06/06/18

Location: College room

Members: Harry, Anne-Marie

Apologies: Katie

Item 1: We regrouped and organised what we had completed and made note of what still needs to be done, which is editing the footage together. We arranged to spend as much spare lesson time to be editing. We also began our production diaries.

 

 

Secondary Research for Script Writing

What did you learn from research in class?

In class we did collective research together on how scripts work and how to write them. We researched conventions in scripts, such as Propp’s character theory and how stories are set up. We analysed the structure of stories, such as the Three Act Structure in which there is a set up, a confrontation and a resolution. We also read scripts in class to understand how they work and the different roles everyone is given. In addition to this, we were given sections from a script (Withnail and I) and explored what we thought the personalities the characters would have, their appearances and the setting they were in. This was useful because it developed our understanding of how scripts work and inspired us to write something that was well thought out. Without this class research we wouldn’t know how to write a script.

What secondary research did you do and what did you learn?

For secondary research I researched the slang and common words used in the 70s – this is the time period that I will be setting my script in. Different websites showed the same results, meaning that the slang I found was likely to be accurate to the time.

Links:

http://www.inthe70s.com/generated/terms.shtml

http://coolestwords.com/content/top-15-slang-words-70%E2%80%99s

http://www.classic70s.com/70s-lingo.html

Some of the top words that were recurring were:

  • Psyche – to trick someone
  • Far out – cool, awesome, unbelievable etc.
  • Dream on – when someone calls someone else unrealistic
  • Booking – fast running
  • Catch you on the flip side – goodbye, see you later
  • Boogie – an adjective for dancing
  • Right on – an exclamation used when someone strongly agrees with another
  • Brick house – to describe someone with a well built and strong body
  • Can you dig it? – asking someone if they agree with you or if they understand
  • Cat – used to describe someone cool
  • Chump – used to describe someone who was a ‘loser’ or a ‘fool’
  • Cool beans – used as a short expression to agree with someone
  • Do me a solid – asking for a favour
  • Groovy – Used to describe something or someone as cool
  • What a fry – to describe something or someone crazy

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The second piece of secondary research I did was researching the aesthetic and products of the seventies. I scanned the pages of a book called ‘The 1970s Scrapbook’ by Robert Opie from the college library.

The crisps, chocolate and sauce were similar to the ones we have today, except the packaging was slightly different. The brand fonts were a lot bolder and the style of the packaging was a lot more geometric style. The colours were bright and made each packet stand out. This is useful information because I can reference specific brands in my script, and can also visualise the details of the setting better.

In terms of fashion, for women it involved a lot of of long sleeves, dresses and long skirts that were tighter at the waist and flowed out beneath. The fashion for men involved a lot of long sleeved shirts and trousers, often with flares. It also included a lot of jackets and baggy clothes. This is useful information for when I describe my characters and what they are wearing.

The music of the 70s was very varied. It ranged from disco to soul and jazz to punk rock, and also glam rock. By looking at the album covers and music merchandise in the scrapbook I can see that there was a large punk scene in the 70s, particularly with the Sex Pistols. This is useful information because I can use it to decide what music will be playing in the background at the setting in my script.

What primary research did you do and what did you learn?

Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 11.27.26Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 11.27.44Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 11.27.54Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 11.28.04Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 11.28.11

For primary research I conducted a questionnaire, asking my classmates questions about their opinions and preferences within the mystery genre.

For the first question I asked my classmate to rate the mystery genre in terms of how interested they would be on a scale of 1 to 10. All answers given were 5 or above, with 1 answer at 5, 4 answers at 7 and 3 answers at 10. This is useful information to know because I now know that writing for a mystery genre would gain a big enough audience.

For the second question, I asked what they like about mystery. The answers ranged, mainly focusing on the suspense of the plot, twists and when the ending is exciting. This information is useful because it helps me to understand how to and what to include in my script.

The third question I asked was what do they not like about the mystery genre and why do they not like it. The responses were that they do not like mystery when it becomes predictable, or when the accused is obviously not guilty. This is useful to know so that I know what to include in the overall plot.

The fourth question I asked was what setting would they prefer the mystery to be set in. The options were British cities such as London, American cities such as Brooklyn or Chicago, or suburban country areas where ‘nothing ever happens’. The option for British cities had the biggest vote, winning 62.5% of the vote. American cities got 25% of the vote and suburban areas received 12.5% of the vote. This information is useful in deciding which setting to go for.

The fifth and last question I asked my classmates was what time period they would prefer the script to be set in. The options were 90s, 70s, 30s, 80s, or 20s. The 90s got the largest vote at 37.5%. The 70s got 12.5% of the vote, 80s and 20a with 25%. This information is useful because it helps me decide which would be the most successful time period to use.

What did you find to be the most useful for your screenplay and why?

I found the primary research I conducted more useful for my screenplay because it was more personal and informative. To be able to do secondary research on the 70s, I needed to know that this would be a successful setting to choose, so I would not be able to conduct the secondary research without the primary research first and so therefore it was more useful. In addition to this the secondary research allowed me to ask questions that were personal to my script and not general – it was a great help receiving answers on what to and what not to include in my screenplay because now I can write my script in a way that will please the audience.

Music Track Analysis – Lana Del Rey – Gods and Monsters

Meaning/content

The meaning of Gods and Monsters by Lana Del Rey is quite dark – it refers to the problems of Hollywood. The problems she refers to her song is the materialism of the industry – that there is no regard for originality or creating something worth consuming  – that Hollywood is money making machine that values only making profit and exploiting young stars. In the song she talks about being a young aspiring musician, and realising that in order to be a successful star that she must sacrifice the direction she wants to truly go down as an artist and using her attributes to advantage herself – no matter the cost.

Imagery

Lana Del Rey uses a large amount of imagery in all/most of her songs. In Gods and Monsters, she uses a thread in which she presents herself as an angel and Hollywood as hell. The first lines of the song are ‘In the land of Gods and Monsters
I was an angel, living in the garden of evil’. The gods and monsters she refers to represent the figures of Hollywood that try to lure her into trouble and that will not give her what she needs. The garden of evil represents the temptation of falling into the trap of losing herself to Hollywood cliches and problems – she tries her best to be the only one that doesn’t give in. By not giving in she presents herself as the angel she talks about in the song.

The imagery in the next line shows progression in how she is feeling and her changing reactions to Hollywood – ‘Screwed up, scared, doing anything that I needed’, reveals that she has given up and has decided to give in to the expectations of Hollywood.

Further on in the song, the lines ‘It’s innocence lost, innocence lost’ show how she has lost this image as an untainted angel and is now aware of the complications of being famous.

The full song uses imagery such as this – this imagery would have been used to dramatise and fictionalise the theme of the song, making it a story for the listeners to follow. In addition to this, the imagery fits her visual and content aesthetic of ‘Hollywood Sad-core’.

Duration

The duration of the song is 3 minutes and 57 seconds, which is almost four minutes. Songs that reach this kind of length are usually very detailed with lots of verses – which in this case proves to be true. In the song, there is two verses, three choruses, two refrains and a bridge. Because of this the song needs to be long enough to include this amount of content without rushing it – that way the audience can appreciate every element of the song peacefully without the song being over too quickly. In addition to this – the song is not too long where in which it drags on and becomes boring to listener. It is long enough so that the audience can appreciate it fully but short enough to keep the attention of the listener.

Pace/style

The pace of the song is medium to slow pace. The beat is consistent and doesn’t change very much, staying at a low bass tune paired with some higher pitch classical tune and some electronic elements. This pace is a consistent element of Lana Del Rey songs. Her style is old classic Hollywood themes mixed with melancholy (often dubbed as Hollywood Sad-core) so it is appropriate for her songs to be of a medium to slow pace in order to match the mood and theme of the song. The slow pace gives a graceful and elegant vibe which is very much Lana Del Rey’s aesthetic and image.

Source: https://genius.com/Lana-del-rey-gods-and-monsters-lyrics

Horror Opening Analysis – Halloween (1978)

Introduction

The horror movie opening I will be analysing in this essay will be Halloween, dating back to 1978. The film is stated to be inspired by Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’, and was one of the first iconic slasher films made, inspiring many more to follow and a popular following still to this day. The film sold 30 million tickets worldwide when it was released in cinema, and was instated into the National Film Registry of America in 2006, for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”. The film was directed by John Carpenter.

The target audience for Halloween is primarily a male audience, of the ages between 18-30. We know that the audience is mainly male because of the attention to sexual imagery and combined violence within the film. It’s a stereotype that this is a trope that will appeal to men, and so this was incorporated into the film. The killer is male, and the ‘final girl’ is saved by another male and so the film is made to be ‘relatable’ to men – if there were more female characters (or if the killer was female) it would be less relatable to that audience.

The film faced controversy due to the portrayal of women and society – with Myer’s victims being sexually promiscuous and substance abusers. It was suggested that this was a social critique of 1970’s American youth. In addition to this, critics suggested that the film was sadistic and misogynistic because it was made for viewers to be able to relate to the killer. Carpenter however dismissed these theories.

Genre

Halloween is an iconic and prime example of horror movie conventions, particularly in slashers. The trope in which all characters die except for one female survivor is known as the ‘final girl’ trope and Halloween brought this into mainstream horror. In addition to this, the opening is conventional of the genre. It starts with Michael Myer’s POV, walking into the house. We see him watching his older sister with her boyfriend, and go upstairs. We then see him creeping into the house, following them before stabbing his sister. Watching this from the killer’s perspective is a convention as it adds tension because we know exactly what is happening and can predict what will happen.

When his sister goes upstairs, the lover leaves for the night, leaving the girl defenceless. This is conventional horror – women in early and stereotypical films are often the victim of the killer, and by leaving her defenceless, we already know that she won’t survive.

Another way in which we know this is a generic slasher is that the killer has his own musical theme – as begins his journey to kill his sister an eerie tune begins to play – this is also a conventional signal that leaves the audience expecting a murder. It leaves the audience on the edge of their seat.

Representation

In Halloween, the representation is specific and significant, especially in regards to women. Halloween is a classic film that popularised the film trope of killing off the slim, blonde and pretty woman, and this character is usually the first to be killed – as with this film.

In the opening, the first shot we see of characters is from Michael’s point of view – we see him looking through a window and seeing his older sister kissing her lover. As the audience we know that she is going to die because we know of this trope. We then see the characters running upstairs to the bedroom, furthering our knowledge that she is going to die. When the lover leaves, she is left defenceless and we know Michael is going to kill her. He creeps up the stairs and kills her, leaving her on the floor. Throughout this whole scene, the sister is represented in a promiscuous manner – when she dies, we see her on the floor in none/little clothing.

The killing of the sister after being with a lover presents the idea of intimacy as a sin, which is a narrative that continues throughout the film. The film may have been constructed this way because it combines intimacy with horror, and it also suggests the idea of male dominance which may appeal to the target audience, particularly at the time of release when gender stereotypes were firmly in place.

Narrative

The narrative of the opening of Halloween is single strand narrative – up until we see the killer revealed at the end, the entire opening is from the perspective of the killer – Michael Myers. We see exactly what he is seeing from a first person point of view. This engages the audience because we can begin to understand his thought pattern and why he does what he does (considering that we are familiar with the female representation trope). We also see him picking up the knife from his perspective, making us anticipate what is about to happen. In addition to this, the killer picks up as clown mask and puts it on – the mask would only fit a child, so it alerts us that this killer is not an adult, which could be argued that this makes it creepier. This is the only thread that we see in the opening – it makes hang on to the story and it is creepier because we aren’t given a break from it – it is the only thing to focus on.

Conclusion

Whilst Halloween can be considered an objectifying and problematic film in terms of representation, the tropes that the film popularised are still being modelled after in today’s horror. Horror films are made to be uncomfortable, scary and/or suspenseful, and these tropes have worked out successfully for the horror industry with Halloween being a shining example that continues to enthuse horror fans across the world.