Archive for the ‘CMP 12_14’ Category

NED2: Soundtrack Analysis

Posted: March 5, 2014 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 12_14
The purpose of these tasks is to:

Provide you with some simple tools to enable you to look more closely at the effect of sound in a film sequence. We will then tie this into the visual analysis that we have previously done, further exploring how a product is created for an audience and influencing our personal responses to a media product.


Break down a filmic sequence and identify all the sounds used.

Explain why these sounds were used and what effect they had on the audience.

Task 1


You will already have analysed a moving image sequence for Single Camera Techniques. It should be about 3-5 minutes maximum – it can be a scene, could be a trailer.  It is a good idea to stick with this, as you will get a better understanding of the overall sequence for unit 6. If you didn’t get screen grabs, shame on you! Get screen grabs – not every frame, but every major move – turn it into a photographic storyboard.

Start a word document, and paste these into the document in order.

Task 2

Identify and Describe:-

Now that each screen grab represents a bit of the sequence, listen to it and identify all the sounds, classifying them into the following:

  • Dialogue
  • Sound Effects
  • Foley
  • Ambient
  • Music

You may want to define these before you start (Hint – this is a recap!)

On your word document, you could add a table below the screengrab, aor just use these headings. But for each one, identify the sound, describe it – don’t just say “Bloke speaks” but tell us what happens, e.g. –

“Here’s looking at you, Kid” spoken in slightly hushed tones, showing love towards female character.

Task 3

Talking about them in Media Jargon.

Add some technical terms to describe the sounds you have identified and described – For example;

  • Diegetic
  • External diegetic
  • Non-diegetic
  • Mood
  • Meaning
  • Illusion
Task 4

And the point is….?

Sooooo… All well and good, we have a bunch of sounds – but the point is that these sounds are helping to tell the story, and have an effect on the audience. So, what effect are they having on the audience and how are they helping to tell the story? (see what I did there?)

So, for each screen grab, tell me

  • How the sound links to the visuals to effect the audiences understanding of that frame?
  • Discuss the film makers choice when assembling sound & Vision to achieve a purpose.

And remember – everything is on purpose in a film. NEVER think otherwise. See Altman below, plus many other good books in the LRC about sound in films to prove this point.

Add this as a paragraph to your word document, below the identified list of sounds.

Task 5


Once all this is done. Add it to your brief. One post per image, tagged the name of the film and #soundtrack.

If that is too much, send me the word document – but it will be big with all those images embedded into it!

Sources of information


Altman, R., 1992. Sound theory, sound practice, New York: Routledge.

Jones, C., 2000. The guerilla film makers handbook 2nd ed., fully rev. and updated., New York: Continuum.

Kenworthy, C., 2009. Master shots : 100 advanced camera techniques to get an expensive look on your low-budget movie, Studio City  CA: Michael Wiese Productions.

Mackendrick, A., 2004. On Film Making New York: Faber & Faber.,

Maschwitz, S. 2007. The DV Rebels Guide. USA. Peachpit Press

Pepperman, R., 2005. Setting up your scenes : the inner workings of great films, Studio City  CA: Michael Wiese Productions.



Scenario – You are about to be asked to make a Music Video as part of your job in “DigiFlex”, the in house production company. You will be making a music video for one of a number of existing clients, or even drumming up some new clients.

This means you need to be ready to demonstrate your market knowledge of Music Videos, as well as definitively finding out what the best music video is!


This is an introduction to the paperwork that you need for your planning. Depending on your production, not all of it will be needed for your pre production folder. Download the checklist and make sure you have filled out all the planning you need to do.

The best thing to do is to collect the paperwork you feel most comfortable with. here I have presented the ones I like, in a logical order. If you make a model now, you will find it easier to plan later.

A collection of forms from Dependant FIlms – have a look at these examples of paperwork.

Production Check list – you may need to adapt this to what you need, the purpose is ti make sure you have thought of everything.…

Contracts & Contacts are possible the most important thing to include –

Product Release Form – Licensing for any products being used…

Release Form – Personal permission to use for filming

Contact List……

Cast List

Crew List

Pre Production

Script – the bit you need to write.

Script Breakdown…


Shot List


Location Check list – Make sure you have teh rights to film and have thought about all the necessary issues

And for recording your Recces –

Risk Assessment…

Call Sheet – Travel arrangements, who needs to be where doing what and when.

Movement Order – Directions to location!


Continuity Sheet – to be generated Daily!

Daily Progress Report…

Sound Report


Petty Cash……

NED2: Script Workshop

Posted: December 6, 2013 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 12_14, Creative Media Production
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At this workshop writers & actors will meet each other and begin the creative process. The aim of the day is to develop a viable, interesting idea for a short film.

As Writers, we need to create:

  • A relationship with the actors – ie decide who we want to work with. To do this, we will find out as much as we can about each other.
  • We will meet the characters that the actors have developed – gathering the information to make character profiles. We can film this
  • Discuss scenarios – what situation will we put the characters in? Our job is to keep this visual, The actors job is to make it believable.
  • Workshop these ideas in front of the camera – it is important that we see how the performance might work in front of the camera and capture mistakes that might well be good.

At teh end of the day, you will have:

  • Actors Contact detials
  • Characters
  • Story
  • Treatment
  • Script ideas

Since a few of you have been asking what is happening, I thought I’d do a quick breakdown of what is happening. You will get a brief soon, but over the next few weeks we are focussing on basic skills to prepare you for the Project itself which, in short, is collaborating with actors to produce a short film about living in a small town.

You will help to develop a story around their characters, script it, plan it and shoot and edit. They will be available for a 3 week window of shooting (including Half Term), and for pick-ups and sound work.

You will need to manage it!

4/11  Assessment Week
11/11 Scripting Basic

Structure, Character & Formatting,

18/11 Testing a script: Opportunities & Describing for the camera.

Describe what you see…

25/11 Project Briefing: Mike Leigh & The Small Town.

And Role of the Writer

2/12 *Friday 6th* All Students!

Gathering Research for Script

Screen test of Characters

Workshopping the story

9/12 Story & Script Workshop
16/12  No sessions: Thursday / Friday off.


6/1 Final Script

Reading Workshop

(Each reader takes notes on each script read)

13/1 Commissioning Board

Green light best scripts

All to Pitch & Proposal

20/1 Pre Production & rehearsals

Blocking Workshop & Storyboarding

27/1 Pre production & Rehearsal

All folders complete

3/2 Filming Window
10/2 Filming Window

(Rome Trips)

Half Term & Filming Opportunities

24/2 Post

Pickups, ADR

3/3 Post

Pickups, ADR

10/3 Post

Pickups, ADR

17/3 Final Submission and Screening


So, we are now fully committed to the Glossary Assignment for Media Fort 2, and you still have Media Fort to reference to if you get stuck.

So, Today

  • You will carry on with the brief, submitting as posts to Media Fort.
  • If you get stuck – raise your hand, and ask the question. We will stop and try and answer the question.
  • This will help you as a group to complete the posts.

I will chase up those students absent last week – I need to make sure they are up to speed with this project before it gets going in earnest. So, If you aren’t signed up to WordPress, you will need to do that before I can sign you up to Media Fort 2.

Once I have everyone signed up – I will push tasks 2 and 3!

NED2 Scriptwriting

Posted: November 13, 2013 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 12_14, Creative Media Production

All films seem to fit into a 3 act structure. It is one of the only places we see this structure, and it seems to work no matter how long or short the film is.

Now – write a short story in 3 parts using Plot points to transition between act 1 and 2 and act 2 and 3. You can sue the Story in 9 lines slide as a guide.

So, now write a character profile for the character in your story! Who are they? What do they do? What do they like? What traumatic childhood experience has shaped them (Seriously)?

Ahh! Now, turn it into a screenplay. Using the correct formatting (the script is, after all, just a technical document) tell me the story in pictures using only present tense.

Here is a Script Formatting and Layout Guide from Industrial Scripts, or you can use celtx. Highly recommended.

Now, show me that short script….

Are we hitting the brief?

Posted: September 20, 2013 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 12_14

As we get the first footage in and start editing, we can evaluate our success form the start. So, ask yourself a few questions –

  • What did the briefing ask us to do? What were the key words used?
  • When you did the research, what were the most important aspects about the company that you identified?
  • How did you intend to communicate this in the film?
  • Has your footage covered this? Does it hit all key words you identified?

We have three options at this point – edit as planned (Good), rescue the edit with clever editing (OK) or re-shoot (expensive).

Reflect on this as part of your production log and to help your next production improve!

Previously on the SBA’s….

Posted: September 6, 2013 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 12_14

2011 was a classic year for videos – so here are all the nomination videos to influence your productions this year.

It is also an example of what the master edit will look like. Enjoy!

The Somerset Business Awards start here….

Posted: September 5, 2013 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 12_14

So, first day back and we need to make sure everyone is up to speed with the equipment they need to use. Add to this that we are shooting on new cameras, and editing on new software with a new work flow- and all this while making sure we are producing a professional and creative short film which pleases two clients by promoting specific values of the company and the award. So, no pressure.

On Friday we will do a test. You will get a company, you will research them and come up with a list of questions and answers as a script for a 30 second film promoting them. You can base this on the Corporate films you have been looking at over the summer. You will film in small groups, and edit the films ready for feedback.

Who will you research? Previous nominations have included –

  • Family Business of the Year – Monkton Elm
  • Marketing – Higos Insurance
  • Business of the Year 51+ – Clarke Wilmott
  • Collaboration and Innovation – Gerber Juice
  • Best Exporter – Hilton Herbs
  • New to Somerset – M5 Glass

You will be given one of these companies to research in groups of 4. You will develop the script, and decide who takes what role – Boss (interviewee) or crew (Interviewer, camera, sound). It is the whole teams responsibility to communicate the important information – The award, the company USP and what the company actually do…

We are also looking for this to be communicated in a creative way – we want films to be entertaining as well as informative, accurate and interesting. All within the brief of the SBA.

Once you have filmed, you will need to archive the footage – audio and video. This is essential when working with a client. Or with any footage you really don’t want to have to re-shoot. You can then start editing as a team.

At the end of the day we will look at the finished films and review them – we are looking for what teams did well as well as correcting what didn’t work as well. Primarily, we want you up to speed with the technology and the process. Next week, we will have the real short list.

That’s when it gets hard….