Hi, I'm an AS Media student, and this blog contains research into the different aspects of film and media, specializing in the Slasher genre. The research has all been put towards the development of my coursework production 'Camp Ivy', which I co-produced with Poppy and Millie. Our coursework has been influenced by the rural locations and mise-en-scene in Friday the 13th and Eden Lake.

Monday, 19 November 2012

ASFF Film Festival

ASFF promotion image
On the 9th of November, the class went on a trip to the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York. We attended two masterclasses, the first was a talk from the head of productions Barry Ryan from Warp Films, and the second was a talk from Danny Cohen the successful Hollywood cinematographer. 

Warp Films - Barry Ryan:
Warp Films have had 18 feature films, 5 TV series and have won 6 awards for their work. They have also gained a world record for the most zombies in one place at a time. This year, Warp Films are celebrating their 10th anniversary, so Barry was explaining how this year has been very busy for them! He commented on the upcoming productions Warp Films are creating in the next year:
Warp Films logo

  • Stone Rose Documentary
  • Southcliffe (Channel 4)
  • 71 (Thriller film)
He then went on to explain about the economics of film making.
  • If a film earns £1m at the box office
  • The exhibitors take 50%
  • The distributors then take their earnings for promoting the film
  • The distributor splits what's left in half
  • The film company then has to pay back all equity finance
  • The producers get  only 50% of the total profit remaining.
This taught us about why it is important to watch films at the cinema and to keep the cinema's 'alive'. People who download films illegally off the internet and watch on the TV for home cinema can seriously affect all film makers, however it especially affects low budget indie film companies such as Warp Films. 

Barry Ryan explained how Warp Films are always proud of their work, whether the films were successes or not. They learn what goes wrong in the bad films and can understand why popular films worked. He told us to not let any film go to waste and to improve your own techniques or to pick out the good techniques. This is a useful lesson for our own work.

Working Title - Danny Cohen:
Danny Cohen, cinematographer
Danny Cohen now works for Working Title, however he was part of the Warp Films team when they made This Is England (Shane Meadows, 2006). He explained how wide shots showing lonely landscapes can signify loneliness. In parts of the film, these shots set Shaun (main character) up for what he eventually falls in to. The equipment used in the film was stripped back beacuse of the low budget. No famous or known actors were used in the film, so using unprofessional actors was a great risk, howver the film did well for an Indie film company.
   Cohen explained how there can be complications using real life settings to shoot footage, for example one day there may be snow and the next day there might not be. This means that may film makers tend to prefer working on sets, as they can control things the way they want them to happen. Directors react to what happens and what they see when shooting but the location can have a major effecr on filming as it must fit in with the time period. At this point, he spoke about how recreating the 80's look for This Is England was a tricky task, as even the little things like street lights, have to be changed to fit in.
   After he moved on from Warp Films and into Working Title, he was a part of the TV series Dive. On this secion of the masterclass, he explained how the camera type can cause implication when filming, as a shot from the show needed a wide lense but they did not have one. They did overcome this problem however. We watched a clip of a young diver who is aspiring to perform in the Olympics. The scene was really well thought out, as we got a sense of the girls fear as we are shown how high she is diving from and how important it is for her to get the dive right. This emotion was portrayed through the clever shots. He mentioned how because the setting was so real, the actors performed really well.
   He was also involved in the making of The King's Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010). He spoke more about lighting at this point. He was telling us how the lighting must remain consistent through out the day, and because this obviously is impossbile, they re-created day light. The shot in the film where Colin Firth (King George VI) is giving his speech, the background is not blurred out. Usually in films, backgrounds are blurred out to focus on the main character of the shot, but he explained his choice to not blur the background was because it is important to not let the background disappear as it defines the star and the context. 

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