Monday, 14 November 2011

Official Poster

This is my Official Film Poster for The Courage of Men. I created the poster because I feel it adds a realism to the project and its nice to show some promotional methods and how it will look. I made the poster by initially gonging out for a photo shoot on location and taking about 200 photograph's. The next step was to whittle down the best ones for a poster. I planned on cutting out the character but I decided it was not needed so I just edited the photo on Photoshop changing the saturation down adding bit of contrast shadow and highlights. There is a slight vignette on the image. The next step was to position the text in the appropriate places. The title font was downloaded from and is called Downcome. The credit block makes the poster feel much more professional and i used the font Steel Tongs.  I found a verse from William Shakespeare which i felt would work as a tag line and it fitted in with the genre of War. 




Before I started the course I had little experience of editing on Final Cut. I have done a lot of editing on other programmes such as Sony Vegas Pro 10 and I have briefly used Adobe Premiere Pro and Windows Movie Maker. With final cut I know the basics to put the shots together, using certain editing techniques and adding audio files however I need to learn how to add certain special effects I may want to add such as explosions and muzzle fire. 

Friday, 11 November 2011

Filming Equipment

Filming Equipment

I shall be using my own filming equipment to create my film opening. The camcorder I shall be using is a Panasonic SD900,films in HD to get the best quality picture.

The audio shall be recorded on a Rode Microphone that will attach to the camcorder. The rode microphone is a good quality product and blocks out any unwanted sound and makes the audio sound much more clear and clean.

To create any pan shots or to keep the camcorder steady I shall be using a Velbon DV-7000 Video Tripod. This is a good tri-pod good weight for the camcorder I amusing and it is very durable and a good make.

Making Fake Blood

Making Fake Blood

In the opening scene all the characters will either have blood wounds or start coughing up blood from whatever happens to them from bullet woods shrapnel cut etc. I want to make some fake blood rather than buying it because it will be cheaper and I will be able to make more of it. 

  •         Corn Syrup 
  •         Sugar
  •         Food Colouring Red/Black/Green
This is one of the most common ways that people have used to make blood and once I have made it up I shall be used for the main character as a wound on the temple and neck and the others will have it 



Make-up is important to creating an impression of the character. Depending on what you want the character to be portrayed as will depend on what make-up techniques you will use. In my film opening I do not need the character to have even skin and look pretty. Because it is a war film and the character is a soldier he needs to have a rough battered look and needs to portray that he has been enduring all the elements of nature. So what I want is mud on the face so a base layer that is light and areas where mud has been plastered on, other areas where there needs to be mud is neck chest and hands. Also i want a slight hint of oil or metal smell on the hands because smell helps the actor get into character. There also needs to be a blood wound on the neck.

180-Degree Rule

180-Degree Rule

The 180 degree rule is what filmmakers use to make scenes with two characters in the same scene have a left/right relationship to eachother. This helps the audience to understand the proxemics of the characters and know where they are in the scene. If the camera is to cross other the imaginary line, which connects the subjects, it is then called crossing the line. Many amateur filmmakers make this mistake however it doesn’t mean that you cannot cross the line it depends on what affect the director is creating. 180 Degree Rule makes sense to the audience viewing it. If you want to change and cross the line its fine as long as it has been established and not cut otherwise the audience can feel disorientated and confused as to where the characters are in the scene. The 180-degree rule is essential for continuity editing. 

Costume and Props

Costume and Props

Costume is very important in the war genre because it uses military equipment that has been used in history. The character in my film is British and the film is set in the 40s so it will need to be what was worn during the Second World War. I have done extensive research of what was worn by British soldiers during The Second World. There were two different patterns during the conflict, 37pattern and 44pattern (pattern is basically a different type of clothing, this means it has been updated, the number before pattern indicates the year made e.g. 37 pattern = 1937 pattern) so what does my character need to wear.
Costume Includes

  •           37 Pattern Officers Battledress
  •         37 Pattern Battledress Trousers
  •          Battle Dress Shirt
  •          British Ammo Boots
  •          37 Pattern Webbing
  •          Lee Enfield 303 Bandolier
  •          Beret
The costume helps the audience to visualize and makes the film much more believable.  It is also important in the war genre because war films tend to be wars that have happened in history so getting the details correct is essential.
Again in the war genre props are very important the most iconic is the gun. Weapons add a sense of danger to the character, they are able to kill and harm without it they are vulnerable to others that have them. Props help to further the story.
Props Include

  •           Lee Enfield Rife
  •          Sten Sub-machine gun
  •         Bayonet
  •         Sniper Rife
  •         Bullet Rounds
  •         Empty Bullet Rounds
  •         Ammo Box
  •         Helmet
Again props help the story to develop and give a wider scope of potential shots in the opening



The casting process involves a series of auditions in front of a casting panel, composed of individuals such as the producer, director and casting director. When trying to find the right actor I create a list of criteria that each actor will need to deliver for the character they are being cast for. There are four actors I will need in my project and two extras I will list each character and the criteria I need for each actor to fill.
Edward Collins – This is the main character in the opening, there is no dialogue for this character so the actor doesn’t need good dialogue skills however will still need to learn the character and practice on expressions and portray them as distressed. The actor needs to look the part, good build, powerful and able to run with heavy equipment.
John Weaver – I am looking for a good actor that can delivery lines powerfully yet a hint of sensitivity. The actor needs a 1940s English accent. Normal build.
William Carter – Good actor, normal build
German Soldier – Has to have a evil look, tall and good build. 

Change In Initial Idea / Storyboard / Shot by Shot Explanation

Change In Initial Idea

There hasn't been a major change in the idea however I will go through it again. The story is about paratroopers during the 1940s (Second World War) it follows five paratroopers that have been dropped into Occupied Normandy named Operation F.O.Y. They are dropped with 4 other groups in Normandy, their objectives are to destroy small outposts bridges and to cause chaos behind enemy lines. The story is about there friendship and the realities of warfare and how it effects the soldier psychological . The opening scene will be of a type writer and will have shots of old newspapers, photos and other objects from the 40s this is where most of the opening credits will appear on these shots as the opening cutsaway to a set to a actor. The other half is of Edward Collings one of the main characters on his own in a woodlen running desperately trying to find the rest of his unit, this flips the conventions of a soldier normally they would all be togeather but in this situation he is alone. This makes the audience wonder how he got into that situation. So both scences will tie togeather giving cutaways enableing more credit placement.


Looking at Directors

There are a lot of directors that have inspired me to get into a career in the film industry. This post will explore a few of the directors that have inspired me because of there style of filming and film production.

Peter Jackson 

Peter Jackson personally to me has been the most inspirational film director. He is a New Zealand film director best known for District 9, King Kong, Lovely Bones and the adaption of J.R.R.Tolkiens novel The Lord of the Rings,  The Return of the King picked up 11 oscars in 2003 including best director. What i like about Peter Jackson is his attitude to his work and style.  He is very much a perfectionist and has a good eye for detail which is the same attitude i have with my film work. What I will do when it comes to filming the opening is making sure that everything is how I want it, the costume will be rechecked to make sure that everything is is here it should be on the actor, making sure that the props and other detail are positioned to make it look realistic and the location fits in with the story I am going to convey. To me everything has to match what I visualize in my head, i want to make the audience see my idea come to life. If there's one thing i have learnt from Peter Jackson is to do another take, even if the shot is perfect and I am happy with it it never hurts to do it again because it may have a slightly different feel to the previous one but to also make sure I am getting the very best from my actors.

Guy Ritchie 

Guy Ritchie is another director which I enjoy watching his films because of the cleaver story lines that occur in all of his films.  He is best know for films such as Lock Stock and Two Smoking BarrelsSnatchRevolverRocknRolla and Sherlock Holmes. Lock Stock and Snatch are one of my favourite films, i really enjoy the story line and the characters are all interesting.  NOTFINISHED 

War Films Research & Target Audience

War Films 

Title: Saving Private Ryan 
Director: Steven Spielberg 
Starring: Tom Hanks, Edwards Burns, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore
Music by: John Williams 
Release Date: July 24 1998 
Budget $70 million 
Box Office: $481,840,909

Saving Private Ryan was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 5 including best director Steven Spielberg. The film is set in WW2 and is set on June 6 1944 D-day. Personally I enjoyed the film, you cant go wrong with Spielberg. Saving Private Ryan was the film that gave life back to the genre, there was another film in 1998 about American Marines in the Pacific during WW2 called The Thin Red Line however it was overshadowed by Saving Private Ryan.  It is a good film and is one i would recomend not only to people that enjoy the genre but also to someone who perhaps doesnt watch the genre or even doesnt like it. The plot of the story is good and there is a lot of action.

Title: A Bridge Too Far
Director: Richard Attenborough
Starring: Dirk Bograde, James Cann, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Edward Fox, Anthony Hopkins, Gene Hackman, Hardy Kruger, Laurence Olivier, Robert Redford, Maximilian Schell
Music by: John Addison
Release Date: June 15 1977
Budget: $22 million
Box Office: $50, 750,000

The film tells the story of the failure of Operation Market Garden during World War II, the Allied attempt to break through German lines and seize several bridges in the occupied Netherlands, including one at Arnhem, with the main objective of outflanking German defences. Personally this is my favourite Epic War Film of all time because it is evenly balances outs the stories of the allied forces and it is a classic film. It was executed brilliantly and actors such as Michael Caine, Sean Connery and Anthony Hopkins really make the film. Great acting and my favourite war film of all time. The film is slow to start with and I feel that you have to already appreciate and like the genre if you were to watch it.

Title: Letters from Iwo Jima
Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase, Nakamura Shido
Music: Kyle Eastwood, Michael Stevens, Clint Eastwood
Release Date: December 9 2006
Budget: $19 million
Box Office: $68,673,228

The film portrays the Battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of the Japanese soldiers and is a companion piece to Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers, which depicts the same battle from the American viewpoint; the two films were shot back to back. This film was a lot better than Flags of our fathers, Flags of our Fathers focuses too much about the photo of the marines lifting the flag on Iwo Jima and it didn't keep me interested, it got very boring however it was interesting to learn about the iconic photograph of the marines lifting the flag. Letters from Iwo Jima was a very good film. It was interesting to see the war from a Japanese perspective rather than a American. 

Title: Defiance 
Director: Edward Zwick 
Starring: Daniel Craig 
Music: James Newton Howard 
Release Date: December 31 2008
Budget: $50 million 
Box Office: $55,462,926

I only just recently got round to watching this film, I had alredy watched a documentry about the event its portraying a few years ago so I had a idea of the histroy behide it and i enjoyed it i would rate this film i enjoyed Daniel Craigs performance. It tells the story of Germans and Jewish Germans that have gone against the reginme and have created their own life in a forest in Germany

Title: The Great Escape 
Director: John Sturges  
Starring: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, James Donald, Charles Bronson 
Music: Elmer Bernstein 
Release Date: July 4 1963
Budget: $4 million 
Box Office: $5.5 million

Directed by Joe Wright 
Produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster
Starring James McAvoy, Keira Knightley
Studio Studio Canal, Relativity Media, Working Title Films
Distributed by Universal Pictures, Studio Canal, Focus Features
Budget $30 million
Box Office $129,266,061

This is a British romantic drama war film about two lovers that got seperated because of the war. Brilliant performance by James McAvoy one of my favourite actors of all time. Atonement is the film which i would compare and would use as a template for my own in terms of studios, distrubutors and marketing campaigne

Target Audience for War Genre

The primary audience for the war genre is 15 onwards; depending on when the story is set it could go up to the elder audiences that may have an interest in it. The audience for war films most commonly tends to be male because of the either history or just the style of story only interests the male audience.

The age rating for my own film will be a 15. This is most common age rating for the war genre. The opening shots will fit in to the criteria of a 15 classification. The section below shows the age classification for a 15 film. This information is from the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) it is a guideline of what can go into my film.

Age Classification 

Suitable only for 15 years and over

No one younger than 15 may see a ‘15’ film in a cinema. No one younger than 15 may rent or buy a ‘15’ rated video work.

The work as a whole must not endorse discriminatory language or behaviour.


Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse. The misuse of easily accessible and highly dangerous substances (for example, aerosols or solvents) is unlikely to be acceptable.


Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised.
Imitable behaviour

Dangerous behaviour (for example, hanging, suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on detail which could be copied. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised.
Language.There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’). The strongest  terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable.


Nudity may be allowed in a sexual context but without strong detail. There are no constraints on nudity in a non-sexual or educational context.


Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail. There may be strong verbal references to sexual behaviour, but the strongest references are unlikely to be acceptable unless justified by context. Works whose primary purpose is sexual arousal or stimulation are unlikely to be acceptable.

No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is appropriate for 15 year olds.


Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be
acceptable. There may be detailed verbal references to sexual violence but any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet and have a strong contextual justification.
The highlighted areas is what is the content that is in my opening, this applies to my opening because that is elements it processes and will need to make sure I keep to the criteria.

Analysis of Openings

Analysis of Openings 

Band of Brothers - Episode 5 "Crossroads" (Running Time of Clip 0.34 Seconds) Directed by Tom Hanks

This is an analysis of the opening of an episode in HBOs Band of Brothers. This is the opening after the initial opening credits which are used at the start of each episode. I wanted to focus on the actual live action opening side of it because it relates strongly to what I want to create for my opening. Also the way that this scene has been edited, it is the same style I want to use.  So the scene starts off with a close up of a Sharpe object (bayonet), the camera movement is lose and shaky creating the effect on the audience that they are there with him the camera moves across the body and cuts to different parts, the piece is very intense and builds up tension. The camera doesn’t show the subjects face in the whole clip this makes the man more mysterious. The editing style is something I would like to incorporate in my opening. The colours have been saturated creating a bleak, dull almost lifeless feel. There is a slight contrast to add shadow and there is fast paced editing been used to create intensity and a build up to the point where the character stops and shoots the young German soldier.

Typography of War Genre

Typography of War Genre 

For the opening scene i want the title of the film to appear on a shot or intertitle. Typography is important because it can represent the genre and it can have a meaning that is being conveyed also presentation is important to make it look pleasing to the eye. I am going to do a few examples of different text to find the right one that suits the war genre.

This is a comparison of HBOs WW2 miniseries “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific” looking at the typography of the two. Starting with Band of Brothers typography it is very bold and is all in upper case lettering. The text has scratches and what appears to be barbwire running across it, this is a convention of the war genre. Exploring the name of Band of Brothers it is taken from William Shakespeare’s play Henry IV from the St.Crispins Day Speech. It’s a very powerful and inspirational speech and works with the war genre. Looking at The Pacific it is a lot more thinner and more like a typewriter however it has a slight crumble and deteriorating effect, which represents the conditions that the soldiers would go through. Typewriters are a convention of the war genre because it has been associated with The Second World War; all official information was typed up ranging from briefs.

Jordan Reynolds 

Initial idea

Initial idea 

I want the film opening to be set in the 1940s during The Second World War. It will focus on a British Paratrooper and I want to create a fast exciting action scene. The first 60 seconds I want to have the opening credits, they should include, starring, casting, production design, producer, written by and directed then title, the first 60 seconds should be artistic shots so a range of good framed shots and should include main characters flashbacks. The next 60 seconds should be high paced editing action sequence. I want it all to be live action shots. So to sum up the story a soldier having flashbacks of his friends dying then the soldier running through field then woodland explosions in background shooting Germans then bayoneting the last one and a big pause and facial reactions of both characters to show the emotional feelings being shown of the two characters.

For the second half of my film opening I want it to look like the opening of an episode in Band of Brothers it is the closes example of the same genre and similar style of editing I want to incorporate into my opening. I want the character in my opening to be running I want to build up tension and I want it to be fast and exciting as possible to keep the audience interested. It may be slightly ambitious but I want to have explosions and smoke, I will be able to achieve this by purchasing smoke bombs and the explosions could possibly be done on Final Cut.

War Genre

War Genre

My chosen film genre for my film opening is the war genre. War is a horrible event, in which many people are affected. The soldiers that have fought should be remembered for the sacrifices they have made. I want to show what it are like for a soldier on a battlefield and how killing the enemy can affect the mentality of anyone even people who appear strong. I want to also show the conditions and bitterness of war. I would like to focus on The Second World War, I have always liked the 40s and I have a wide knowledge of that era so that would help.

What brought life back to the WW2 film genre in recent years would have to be Steven Spielberg’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’ in 1998. It captured a generation of people who are now interested in WW2. From there the HBO 2001 TV series called Band of Brothers (Produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg) also was another great success.
The typography of the War genre tends to be either simple Times Rome Numeral or in the style of a typewriter. Typewriters are associated in the army because of history,
·       Flashbacks
·       Bombs and Explosions
·       Dirt, Mud, Smoke
·       Death, Blood, loss of friends
                        .     Guns, Sounds of guns, artillery, planes, tanks etc