Monday, 31 January 2011

ALL - Meet the Group!

Group photo

Kyle Meeson- Producer

Nickname- Royal Kyle
Favourite sayings- "Hello!" "Caam Darn"
Favourite film- Fight Club
Favourite TV show- Lost


Sam Boyes- Director

 Nickname- Boy-Z, Boyzey
Favourite sayings- "hrmmmmmm"
Favourite film- American History X
Favourite TV show- Being Human

Alex McCluskey- Cinematographer

Nickname- Cluskey
Favourite sayings- "Buttered toast"
Favourite film- The Hangover
Favourite TV show- Loose Women

KM - Night of the living dead (remake) - (Tom Savini, 1990)

Budget- $4.2m
Box Office Gross (USA)- $5.8m
IMDB Rating- 6.6/10

Synopsis- Seven people are trapped in an isolated farmhouse and living an unspeakable nightmare. Cannibalistic zombies have been awakened from the dead and are on a relentless killing and eating binge. Re-make of the 1968 George Romero classic.

Deconstruction- The film opens with a shot of a rising moon, while the titles appear on the screen in a rough white font, which is typical for zombie films, as it is the same font that is used in the "Day of the dead" titles, so this signifies the genre of the film. The shot then transitions to black before fading into an extreme long shot of a white car driving through a countryside road, non diagetic is played over the scene. You don't see the characters until later on in the scene, but you hear their conversation 

while various shots of the car are shown, and the white titles continue to appear on screen. The male character seems to be teasing the female, saying things like "they're coming to get you Barbara" and "they don't like to be awakened this way". This gives anchorage to the film genre, and foreshadows what is going to happen later in the scene. The characters finally appear on screen as the car stops in a graveyard, the man continues to tease the female character, and does a stereotypical "zombie walk", which is yet more foreshadowing and anchorage of the film genre. A fight scene then occurs, featuring lots of close-up shots of the characters.

Features of this opening that we are also going to be encorporating are; rough white font for the film titles, and lots of close-up shots in the fight scene. 

AM - Rough Ident Draft 2

Yet again the new updated Salex productions company ident.

KM - Ident Feedback

To get some feedback on the second ident that Alex (cinematographer) has been working on, I put a link to the ident on youtube through facebook and recieved some great feedback and suggestions:

Screenshot of feedback

AM - The Evil Dead

Director + Year: Sam Raimi (1981)
IMdb rating: 7.6/10
IMdb link
Budget: $375,000
Gross: $29.4m(Worldwide)

Introduction = 5 minutes
Five friends go up to a cabin in the woods where they find unspeakable evil lurking in the forest. They find the Necronomicon and the taped translation of the text. Once the tape is played, the evil is released. One by one, the teens are possessed. With only one remaining, it is up to him to survive the night and battle the evil dead.


At first we see a shot of the sky and red sans serif font which signifies danger and horror, this is the establishing shot, which then pans down to a lake and moves across the lake slowly while the camera work is shaky , this signifies realism, and as if its from someone's perspective. Throughout this period we hear non diegetic low key notes, and strange squeaking noises, which adds to the strangeness in the setting already. 

After this shot we see a long shot , of a car and diegetic sound coming from the car of people singing, we then see a series of mid shots inside the car as the cast engage in conversation, there is use of cross cutting which we would want to use in our film, which flicks between the moving person who is assumed to be a zombie, this continues for a few more fast takes, the low notes are now introduced once again, building up suspense, a red truck is added into the cross cutting, then with one final cut to a dutch angled shot of the truck driving, they almost collide.

This is the 30 second shot, in which we would not use in
our film.
Last of all we see a shot of the back of the car driving into the drive of the house they are staying, this a 30 second tracking shot, which is exactly what we do not want to use, as it is boring and loses interest in the audience 

User Review:

In my opinion, this is by far the best of the trilogy, and although there could have been more of the chainsaw, this is the definitive zombie film and probably always will be. I feel it succeeds over it's sequels due to it's increased violence and lack of humor in comparison. It's blood, gore, camera work, and shock factor are still formidable even today and are what make this such a cult classic. If you've ever liked any horror film, this is an absolute must-see.

SOURCE:(Manthorpe - imdb user)

KM - First day of Filming

Wednesday (26th January) was the first day of filming for the opening two minutes of our feature film "Suburban Zombie". We filmed the scenes with Jack Hanson (our protagonist) yesterday, and will be filming the scenes with the zombies later in the week. The filming went well, and we used a lot of coverage so we could see what lighting etc. would fit the best in certain scenes when editing. Here are some images and a clip of the filming:

Alex and Sam discussing different camera angles

Jack Hanson (our protagonist)

Using different levels of lighting for coverage, which will help when editing


Sunday, 30 January 2011

AM - Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Director: George A. Romero
IMdb rating: 8.0/10
Budget: $114,000
Box Office Takings: $12,000,000 (USA)        $30,000,000 (Worldwide)

The radiation from a fallen satellite might have caused the recently deceased to rise from the grave and seek the living to use as food. This is the situation that a group of people penned up in an old farmhouse must deal with.

At first we see an establishing shot of 3 men, 2 of whom are carrying a coffin, the shot is quite long and drawn out over a period of 20-30 seconds, we then see a few examples of the 180 degree rule. 

The film is in black and white, signifying that it was made quite a while ago.

The next shot/shots is of the pickup truck driving , these are long shots of the truck going around a series of bends, we also hear diegetic sound of the two men inside the truck talking while we watch the truck move.

Once the truck comes to a stop at the cemetery, we see some more examples of the 180 degree rule and then see a series of high angled shots of Arthur (the victims father, to who the man in the coffin killed) this shows power and authority.

This is a trailer from the original 1968 version of Night of the Living Dead by George A. Romero. 

Thursday, 27 January 2011

KM - Day of the Dead

Director: George A. Romero 1985
Budget- $3.5m (estimated)
Box Office Gross- USA- $5.8m
Worldwide- $34m
IMDB Rating- 7.0/10

SynopsisA small group of military officers and scientists dwell in an underground bunker as the world above is overrun by zombies. Set in Florida, as the film begins the dead have taken over the world, outnumbering humans 400,000 to one. The handful of surviving humans have taken refuge in an underground missile silo and argue and yell at each other like players in a Rod Serling Twilight Zone episode. Among the survivors are Sarah (Lori Cardille) -- a scientist who is trying to reverse the process whereby the dead turn into flesh-eating, irrational zombies -- and Dr. Logan (Richard Liberty) -- an out-of-his-mind psychologist who wants to capture the zombies and turn them into domestic help. Things heat up when the military tries to take over the scientific experiments.

Establishing shot
Deconstruction- The film opens with a non-diagetic gong sounding as the scene fades in quickly from blackness into an establishing shot of the protagonist sitting on the floor of an empty room, which signifies some sort of institution, anchorage is given for this through the orange jumpsuit that she is wearing, the rough white font of the titles appear over the establishing shot, and signify the movie genre.

POV shot

The scene then cuts back and forth between a close-up of the protagonist and a POV shot from the protagonist's perspective, looking at a calender on the wall, across the room. Non- diagetic electronic synthesisers crescendo over the top of the scene as the protagonist stands and slowly walks toward the calender. 

The scene ends with the protagonist being grabbed by zombies who punch through the wall, the shot ends suddenly and the screen transitions to white before showing the protagonist in a helicopter, signifying a flashback. 

The opening of this zombie film encorporates features similar to what we are including in our 2 minute opening, such as the first few shots showing the protagonist alone before leading into a flashback transition.

SB - Colin

Director: 1978, George A. Romero
IMdb rating: 8.0/10
Budget: £45

"Our hero Colin is bitten by a Zombie; he dies and returns from the dead. We follow him as he wanders through suburbia during the throes of a cadaverous apocalypse. " (source Colin)

There was only one scene in this film which was useful for our group, and that was the flashback scene of Colin being sick. The reason that this wass useful is because it uses fast takes of colin vomiting out of a window, and inbetween there us a slow paced mid shot. The shaking of the camera in the extremely fast takes are what we are also looking at, our fast paced shots will be of a horde of the ravenous undead sprinting down a dim li street with the camera sprinting in tow. Here is the clip which i was just mentioning from Colin. 

SB - Dawn of the Dead Original opening

Dawn of the Dead

Budget:$650,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:$900,000 (USA) (April 1979) (68 Screens)

Gross:$55,000,000 (Worldwide) 

A brief summary of the story.

"Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia SWAT team members, a traffic reporter, and his television-executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall." (source Dawn of the Dead)

The film is the sequel to "Night of the Living Dead". The film is set in a mall in the USA, Romero used this setting as a satircal take on people who shop at malls acting like zombies, with the humans standing in as royalty, enjoying all the luxuries suburban America has to offer, while outside, the undead masses clamor hungrily at the gates.

Tom Savini's talent for special effects is proven in this film, some scenes such as the zombie getting his head ripped of by the rotary blade of a helicopter or a zombie getting a machete to the face are true examples of the man's amazing ability to do anything with some fake blood latex and pumps. 

The make-up on the zombies is very simple and was a dull blue/grey colour and darkened around the eyes in order to give it the sunken eye look thata corpse posseses.

The only problem i faced with this film was the zombies themselves, they weren't much of a threat they seemed to move slower than the ones from the Night of the Living dead and seemed weaker, I think this was adressed in Zack Snyder's remake where the zombies are sprinting and a lot stronger than the ones in the original film, I think this gives the film an extra sense of bleakness as there is even less of a chance the protagonists and antagonists will survive.

ALL - Filming

Today we filmed some of our scenes with Jack Hanson, Here are some scenes we filmed.

SB - Creating Blood.

In this clip we are creating and applying our blood to our actors face and hands. The process of creating blood is simple and only requires red and green food colouring and golden syrup.We changed from blue to green because it made the blood look a lot darker. When applying the make up we used our hands and dabbed it onto the actors face and hands.   An intresting commentary from Jack Hanson aswell.

KM - George A Romero

George Andrew Romero (born February 4, 1940) is an American-Canadian film director, screenwriter, and editor best known for his gruesome and satirical horror films about a hypothetical zombie apocalypse. He is nicknamed "Grandfather of the Zombie." - Wikipedia description

Here are some of the films that Romero had directed in the past: Night Of The Living Dead, There's Always Vanilla, Jack's Wife/ Season of the Witch, The Crazies, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead.

The first zombie films (such as White Zombie and I Walked With a Zombie) featured zombies which were in isolated settings and usually in high society, George A Romero was the first director to feature zombies in primarily urban settings, also in Romero's films such as Dawn of the dead and Day of the dead, the zombie characters are purposeful in the task of hunting and killing humans, rather than aimlessly wandering around like in the zombie films before him. This is an idea we are using in our two minute opening, as the zombies are trying to reach our protagonist (Jack Hanson) inside the house.

KM - First day of Filming

Yesterday (26th January) was the first day of filming for the opening two minutes of our feature film "Suburban Zombie". We filmed the scenes with Jack Hanson (our protagonist) yesterday, and will be filming the scenes with the zombies later in the week. The filming went well, and we used a lot of coverage so we could see what lighting etc. would fit the best in certain scenes when editing. Here are some images and a clip of the filming:

AM - Zombieland Opening

Director + Year: Ruben Fleischer (2009) 
IMdb Rating: 7.8/10
Budget: $23,600,000
Gross: $75,590,286 (USA) £3,001,207 (UK)
IMDB Link:
Searching for family. In the early twenty-first century, zombies have taken over America. A shy and inexperienced college student in Texas has survived by following his 30 rules: such as "look in the back seat," "shoot twice," "avoid public restrooms." He decides to travel to Ohio to see if his parents are alive. He gets a ride with a boisterous zombie-hating good-old boy headed for Florida, and soon they confront a young woman whose sister has been bitten by a zombie and wants to be put out of her misery. The sisters were headed to an LA amusement park they've heard is zombie free. Can the kid from Ohio get to his family? And what about rule thirty one? 

The whole opening is 4 minutes 40 seconds. We first see an establishing shot of the american flag with non diegetic speech over the top, the footage is home made as it being recored upside down, of a car on its roof. When it twists around and levels out, the camera work is obviously done by someone in the movie, as it is shaky and looks like homemade footage, as the clip comes to an end we see the footage flicker as the person gets chased. 

We see many fast takes in the Opening "Rules" that the protagonist has, of the zombies running, this is something we want to make clear in our film, we are using the idea of "Zack Snyder" Zombies. using the idea of fast zombies instead of the original Romero style, catatonic and weak zombies. Some Slow Motion is also used in some if not all of the scenes.

After the "rule" phase which is narrated by the protagonist, we see a range of Extreme Slow Motion chases and special effects throughout. Throughout the credits we hear Metallica - For Whom the bells toll - which is a metal song, which signifies that the movie is going to be violent.

IMdb user review:
I just was exiting the theater after seeing '9', which is also worth a look, when my friend and I were offered tickets to a preview screening of Zombieland, which began almost immediately. I had seen previews for this picture, but I'd say this exceeded my expectations, which isn't to say masterpiece, but it was certainly entertaining, and at about 90 minutes, didn't really overstay it's welcome. 

As you might expect for this genre, it's quite gory, so don't go expecting a light 'R' rating. But if you can handle some bloodshed, no, make that a substantial amount of bloodshed - but perhaps I should add in a comic environment - there's some pretty funny stuff here. Woody Harreleson and Jesse Eisenberg make an amusing odd couple and Emma Stone was fine for this material, although she and Abigale Breslin had slightly less to do. 
I'm certainly no expert on the horror genre or the zombie sub-genre, but I can say that this wasn't as scary as Shaun of the Dead, in fact not very scary at all, I may have jumped back just a tiny bit a few times; however I may have laughed more. However I'm sure it does make a difference that I saw 'Shaun' alone on DVD, while 'Zombieland' I watched in a theater full of people laughing, clapping and cheering. 
Let's face it, you know what's going to happen in this flick, but I'm happy to say, plot conventions and all, this delivers enough laughs so if you know what you're getting into I doubt you'll regret laying down the price of admission for this sucker. Should you see it, see it opening night - if I haven't made it clear enough already, this is the kind of movie where the more enthusiastic people in the theater, the more fun it will be. And to end on a very positive note, 'Zombieland' does feature what just might go down in history as the best celebrity cameo of all time.
SOURCE:(akerdan - imdb user)  

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

AM - Land of the Dead Opening Deconstruction

Director + Year: George A. Romero (2005)
IMdb Rating: 6.4/10
Budget: $15,000,000
Gross: $20.7m (USA) , £ 2m (UK)

The living dead have taken over the world, and the last humans live in a walled city to protect themselves as they come to grips with the situation.

During the opening credits of the film we see Sans Serif font which is a rough edged font which is white, this signifies that it is a serious and there isn't going to be the prettiest of scenes in the movie as sans serif font , and it is obvious that it isn't going to be a rom-com. During the opening scenes we hear non diegetic sound, which sounds like horror type screeching suspense sound. At the start of the first scene we see flickering images, and fast takes, and clips that have been sped up. These images/clips are in black and white one of which includes watching a motorway and cars eventually stop. And another is of a person evolving into a zombie. When the credits finish, we see an establishing shot of the typical modern Romero zombies slowly limping around, there has been a blue tint added to the shot, to signify a cold atmosphere and dark gloomy depressing setting. This tells us that the film is going to be quite dark and violent.

In the shot to the right of this text we see zombies that are playing instruments, this tells us that something has changed and provides anchorage for the movie genre.

Throughout the opening, Romero uses a variety of shot types, from Extreme close ups to Extreme long shots, he also uses the basic 180 degree rule.

He also uses the stereotypical zombie generalisation that he invented, the undead bloodthirsty, scaly skin and angry expressions.

One of the many Film reviews from IMDB:

I'm kind of surprised by all the rave reviews of Land of the Dead. I've been a moderate Romero fans since I was kid in Pittsburgh, watching Night of the Living Dead. But this new film only confirms for me why Romero has never achieved true greatnessRomero is an idea man, not a real filmmaker. Even after three decades, he hasn't mastered his craft. His films are intelligent but poorly constructed, sluggishly paced, and downright boring, actually. In fact, it takes flesh-eating zombies to bring some excitement to his leaden style of film-making.Now don't get me wrong. Conceptually, he's a genius. The themes and social satire of Night and Dawn of the Dead deserve all the acclaim they've received. His psycho-vampire flick, Martin, is stunningly original, insightful, and moving. Season of the Witch and The Crazies both have very cool concepts. Even Monkey Shines sparkles with cleverness. But let's face it: All of Romero's films are as slow, awkward, and cumbersome as the lumbering zombies he shoots.Land of the Dead is just the latest, most glaring example of what's wrong with his work -- and why he's never grown into a Most Valuable Player in Hollywood or even Indie film-making. Maybe he should just come up with the basic stories and concepts, and let other screenwriters flesh them out and other directors give them style.Sorry, George. I love you but you gotta put some life into your high-concept, undead creations.
SOURCE:(monsterflick - imdb user)