I had no experience with editing before and even though I’m not the editor, as role of director I felt like I had to be confident in editing in order to help the editor and know exactly what we could do in the title sequence to make it better.
I used the old footage we had to play around with iMovie and experiment with what we could do. I found the typography that we used in the final draft and also the fading in and out of the production company titles and the ‘INQUEST’ title at the end. I became confident on how to put the footage together and how to split the audio from the footage and delete it and then add the sound effects over the top. It gave me a much better understanding of the editing aspect.
iMovie is a video editing software application sold by Apple for the Mac and iOS and was first launched in 1999. It has HD video support meaning that the quality of our footage was increased. It is also easy to use but also has advanced editing techniques we could use such as colour correcting, transitions and overlaying footage.
I am very happy with the footage for our title sequence as we have used a range of shots and angles and it flows very well due to where the shots have been placed during editing. It makes the genre very clear to the audience and keeps them intrigued.
- The titles themselves aren’t very bold and get lost in the screen so we will change the typography and make them bold in order to stand out. They also don’t last long so the audience can miss the names easily as their main focus will be the footage.
- The non-diegetic background music itself is very repetitive and is on loop which you can hear when it starts again, however, when we add more sound effects it wont be as obvious and we can also edit it to make it blend more. I do like the background music though as it does create an eerie atmosphere.
- The production company isn’t yet included and neither is the actual name of the sequence “INQUEST”. We will add these in to make it more professional.
The second draft now includes the production company at the beginning which has the typography which I found and also has the gradual zooming in and quick fade into the black background. This will already draw the audience in as it creates anticipation as to what ‘ICE PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS’. We also have the name of the thriller shown at the end of the sequence just after the diegetic sound of the book closing.
We have kept the same background music as it creates an eerie atmosphere and suits the genre. However, we should include more sound effects to stop it sounding repetitive and to make the audience feel more on edge and make them uncomfortable.
We also made the typography bolder and have a longer duration so the audience can read it without rushing and gets them to acknowledge it more than previously when it was thin and had a very shot amount of screen-time.
The audio is a vital aspect for our title sequence as there is no dialogue and this is what we have mainly improved in this draft.
We have included some more sound effects to make the audience feel uncomfortable and also included whispering stating “don’t look behind you… you’ll die” this will also worry the audience. However, the girl looks behind her and then skips over, suggesting that she is evading her conscience and doesn’t know what is right and wrong. Furthermore, we included a creepy childish laugh when doing the make up which will also make the audience more uncomfortable.
We also made the sound when the production company is on a lot louder which will grab the audience’s attention immediately.
Previously, when receiving audience feedback one person suggested including white-noise so we added it in throughout the ending with the scrap-book which works really well. It could also be interpreted as illustrating the mind of the antagonist… that it just goes blank and focus’ on killing.
Finally, we have added more sound effects and more voice-overs to illustrate the antagonists mental instability as we have whispering overlapping, making it hard to understand what they are saying. It also conveys that the voices are in her head, and could be why she commits different crimes…
Overall, I am extremely happy with the final result because it is a really unique story line and the editing makes it more effective, especially by adding in the sound effects and music. It achieved all the goals we had and gave the audience the desired impact we wanted to have on them such as keeping them on the edge of their seats, making them uncomfortable and tense throughout. We also didn’t reveal too much about the story and got the audience asking questions such as “what will happen?”, “why is she targeting them?” and “will she get caught?” therefore insuring they will watch the rest of the film.
We have decided to change our idea and incorporate a mental illness side to the antagonist which we had as a previous idea. We would also like to stick to the scrap-book idea as it will reveal lots of vital aspects to the audience as to what is happening inside the mind of the antagonist and overall make the plot clearer.
It will be about schizophrenia and split personality disorder and we will portray this through having the same actor (Kate Ilsley) playing both a young child and a teenager. In the beginning the child will seem innocent and sweet but her darker intentions will be shown by writing on the mirror such as “you’re dead to me” and the changing of emotions rapidly, e.g. happy to angry. When angry the young girl will not be seen anymore and the teenager will be revealed. This is the point where the true dark intentions are apparent as the scrapbook will be shown with pictures of her dead victim and all her other “targets”.
We will still use special effects make up to make it as real as possible. So I asked my friend to complete the effects and she agreed. She has been doing special effects make up for years now and is doing a course on it at college as it is what she wants to do as a job in the future. This is what she did to me a few months ago and I want this included in our title sequence on one of the victims:
I have re-written the script for ‘Inquest’ and have included stage directions for the actor to follow and dialogue. I also arranged for the special effects artist to make a crime scene and therefore add to the realism. Taryn did the shot list in a lot of detail. Both the script and the shot list will ensure that we know what to film and therefore not waste time. Kate made the storyboard and arranged for times for filming. And Ellie made the mood board.
In preparation for the filming session I went through many newspapers and cut out words which can be put into the scrap-book and therefore give the audience a insight into the murderer’s motives, for example I found the words ‘bully’ and ‘suffered’.
‘Inquest’ Main Task Script
YOUNG GIRL – BEDROOM
Scene introduced with dramatic eerie music.
CU of body.
ECU of eyes opening.
CU TRACKING SHOT of feet stepping onto the floor and character walking to window.
MS, CU and then LS of pulling blinds.
Walks over to the desk and pulls out chair then sits down.
Over-the-shoulder shot of writing “you’re dead to me” on the mirror in lipstick.
MS of girl doing her make-up and then gets angry and rubs face aggressively.
TEENAGE GIRL – BEDROOM
MS (same shot from previous scene) of girl rubbing her face and moving hands, revealing she’s the same person.
Gets up and walks around, then sits on the floor.
TEENAGE GIRL – SCRAPBOOK
BEV of girl circling words from newspaper articles.
ECU’s of crossing out victims faces.
Canted angle of flicking through pages.
Eye-line shot of knife and writing targets names on pages.
ECU of shutting book.
Written by DOP Taryn.
I was on iMovie, trying to figure out how to use it so I could help Kate (the editor) as much as possible and came across a really nice font that I believe would work really well for our title sequence, and the rest of the group agreed. The colours also work really well for our idea as the white writing is symbolic of innocence and purity, however, the black background portrays the hidden darkness behind the “innocent” child.
Made by Producer Kate.
We decided to use Ellie’s room as the location for our title sequence as it is a very stereotypical “girly” room as its pink. It also includes a desk and a mirror which we can use for the make up scene. Furthermore, she has blinds and a window overlooking the driveway so will allow for some really good shots from the driveway looking at the window.
We want to use the common stereotype of a girl’s room which has pink bedding, fairy lights and white walls. This would therefore make the audience relate to the sequence more as it’s a setting they’re familiar with and its also meant to be a ‘safe’ place. However, this will be juxtaposed with the dark intentions of the character.
Click or hover over the images to see why we will use these props.
Improved Planning Documents
After meeting as a group we decided that we wanted our planning documents to be more professional. Therefore, I re-wrote the script and Taryn (the DOP) re-wrote the shot list to a professional standard.
“Inquest” Main Task Script Improved
INT – Bedroom – Morning
MCU of girl lying in bed and begins to move.
ECU of girl’s eyes opening, looking straight into lens.
WA of stepping down off bed and walking.
MCU following the girl to the window.
CU of hands drawing the blinds.
LS to CU of character at the window and then turns around skipping towards the desk.
VO: “Don’t turn around, you’ll die”
CU at desk writing on mirror.
V0: Whispering overlapping.
Transition to other character.
HA, MCU, OSS, CA of scrap-book and character writing in scrap-book.
CU CA of knife being dragged across the page.
ECU, CA and POV of character writing ‘targets’ down in scrap-book.
CU of pages falling and scrap-book shuts.
We used https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/ to make our survey so we can see what the audiences preferences are and what they expect to see in a thriller film as well as what they enjoy. We will use these results to ensure that our title sequence lives up to the expectations of the audience and make it as good as possible.
Question 1&2 – The majority of people who answered were female and 22 people were between the ages of 13-16, 15 people between 17-20 and 21 people were 21 and over.
Question 3&4 – 78% of people said that they enjoy thriller films. And the most popular was the action thriller films.
Question 5 – 60% of people said that it doesn’t matter if the lead is male or female and 20% said they prefer a male lead and the other 20% said they prefer a female lead. From this data it proves that it doesn’t matter if the lead is male or female.
Question 6 – Music turned out to be the most popular in a title sequence as 48% of people said they prefer just music. However, 40% said they like both music and dialogue in a title sequence. From this I will ensure music is played throughout the sequence as it makes it more effective.
Question 7 – 43% of people said they would want to see the main character, however, this goes against the codes and conventions of the thriller genre and therefore, I will still hide the main character but show glimpses to leave it a mystery and draw the audience in.
Question 8 – Intense lighting was the majority response as 45% of people said they prefer intense lighting. If I use intense lighting then I will be able to use shadows and make it more effective, therefore I will use high-key lighting.
Question 9 – 55% said that mental illness is a good theme for a thriller genre, however I would like to combine this and action for the title sequence.
Question 10 – 80% said they prefer fast paced title sequences rather than slow-paced sequences. Therefore, I will do this by having jump cuts and short shot durations to make it more dramatic.
Screening of rough cut
When screening the audience mistakes the title of our sequence which is ‘Inquest’ and thought it actually said ‘incest’ and this is a vital error. We will fix this by making the letters more spaced out.
One person suggested that the shots could be shorter and have jump cuts to speed it up and make it more dramatic which I think would be better. In order to do this we will re-film and get more shots so the duration isn’t effected and even longer as the sequence needs to be at least two minutes.
Another person said that the draw at the beginning ‘disrupted the silence’ and most people jumped when screening it. I would like to have white noise or fading in music and cut out the sound of the draw opening entirely.
Someone said that they were a bit confused about what was happening so to make it clearer I will use a picture of the ‘murder weapon’ labelled in the newspaper etc and then have the actor show the exact weapon.
Teacher assessment against criteria
We asked our teacher to assess our piece using the marking criteria so we could see what level out title sequence was currently at. This allowed us to identify the elements we haven’t hit and as a group we discussed how to move up to the next level.
We need to add in titles to the sequence and I will research what order they go in. Another improvement that the teacher said was to use a tri-pod in every shot so it’s not shaky and looks more professional and this will help us to get up to the next level.
The shots are held too long in places and will be cut and jump cuts will be used to make it fast paced and more dramatic. However, we need to add in more shots to make it 2 minutes long.
We will definitely re-film and get more shots and angles to improve it as well as use a tri-pod in every shot.
Due to wanting to focus on editing the footage together correctly we didn’t have any audio or titles. The footage itself I am not happy with as some shots are shaky even though we used a tripod and we didn’t get enough shots that we wanted so the title sequence wouldn’t be two minutes long. Furthermore, due to the location having a pink wall this tinted the camera pink so we had to colour correct every shot, wasting valuable time. Overall, I am not happy with this edit and it will definitely need re filming.
We screened this version to the class and received negative feedback from them and from the teacher. This made our decision final to completely re-film and change the storyline to make it more intriguing. When we re-film we will make sure that the tripod is steady and will focus more on the mise-en-scene to add to the realism of the sequence.
The order of titles is really important and gives people credit for what they have done. A title sequence also gives the audience an insight into what might happen further on in the film and helps establish the setting and tone of the film.
- Name of studio distributing the film.
- Name of production company responsible for making the film.
- A (producers name) Production
- A Film By (directors name)
- Film title
- Featured cast members
- Casting by
- Music, composer or original score
- Production designer
- Make up
In our title sequence we will use as many of these as possible. However, we will break the conventions of the title order to have ‘Inquest’ at the end in order to focus on the narrative of the sequence.