Olivia Rodriguez AS Media

'I see dead people' – The Sixth Sense

A little insight to my course…

My blog is going to portray the build up towards my AS level coursework final piece. For this final piece, i will be put into a group of four to create an opening scene of a movie or a short trailer on a given genre. Each member of the group will be given a different role basted on their abilities and skills as an individual, to help aid the group. All of the work in which i produce will be documented on to my blog alongside with some extra ‘fun’ posts along the way. I hope that you enjoy reading my blog as much as i do whilst i create it for you. Thank you.

Featured post

The Make-Up, Costumes and Props

I have always been interested in created new creepy sfx makeup-up looks, so it was up to me to create the look for our victim. I have looked at a range of make up artists and looks online to get a feel for how i want the victim in our piece to look. I found so many different looks and styles, however the bruised and cut up looks are what stood out for me the most, so this is what i began to look in to.

To be able to create the bruised effect you need to have the right colours and know how to blend them efficiently so i looked at different make up tutorials by popular sfx make up artists such as ‘Made You Look By Lex’. These are the make-up tutorials that i will be using to teach my self how to create the look:

I found these videos very useful because they go into depth on how to create the look and the products that they are using are similar to products that i own. The artists have also given me two easy and efficient ways to create a bruised look, making me feel more confident with how to create them.

Next i looked into how to create a simple scar for the side of my face on the top of my cheekbone using liquid latex and make-up products. I found this video most effective.

I decided to then take the skills that i had got from the tutorials above and my imagination to create the look for ‘Restrained’. I created by own make-up tutorial using simple make-up products and paints from home to make the look. I used the following products:

  • Liquid latex – from hobby craft.d.
  • Makeup sponges cut up.
  • The back of a kitchen sponge
  • A range of makeup brushes eyeshadow brushes (varied in size ), blusher brush, foundation brush, eyeliner brush.
  • Cotton ear buds- stretched out to create the cut look
  • cheap paint brushes
  • Dark coloured eye shadows- blacks, reds, browns, purple, green, orange and yellow
  • Blusher
  • Foundation (a pale colour)
  • Concealer ( a pale colour )
  • A beauty blender
  • White powder
  • A specialist water-colour paint set- using red, black,green,yellow,blue and black.
  • Fake blood
  • Setting spray

To create this make-up tutorial i used Adobe Premiere Pro. The make up was recorded using my standard iPhone 5s camera, and putting the filming setting on time laps. This is how the video has a fast pace and quick actions to convey quickly show you how to create the look simply. I filmed about 16 shots on my phone and put them in a chronological sequence order on Premiere pro. After i did this is went on to YouTube library (where you can legally download and use music) and selected the backing track (Thor’s Hammer) and put it into the video. I used a range of video and audio effects to get a good fade and transition between shots. I also slowed the pace of the shots down from 100 to 65, so that the pace was still fast but still easy to view what was happening.I then uploaded the video onto youtube and onto my blog. I hope that you found this useful and interesting.

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The Costumes:

The victim– The victim with we dressed in ordinary clothing because they would have been abducted and then held hostage, not changed. Therefore the actor will be wearing a stripy ripped top with blood stains on it, which black leggings covered in dirt.

The antagonist-The antagonist will be dressed in black jeans and a dark large hoodie to make it look mysterious and creepy. Again the clothing will be ordinary as then the audience can establish that the villain is just like any other ordinary person, making it more tense as they will not know who it is.

The Props:

  • Large bag or brief case
  • Hammer
  • Rope
  • Fake Blood
  • Weapons for inside the bag e.g. knifes, screwdrivers, axe ect…
  • Missing poster

The filming equipment needed:

  • Tripod
  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • Black case (for blinking effects)
  • Rain cover (in case of bad weather)

Choosing the Actors

It was a long and hard process but we have finally decide whom will be playing our unfortunate victim for our opening title sequence, Restrained. 

We will be using a female actor as the victim as women are most typically seen as the more vulnerable and weaker gender. The antagonist will be played by our editor as her face will not be shown in and we wanted to use ourselves within the piece.

To find the right actor for our victims role we had to look into a range of skills and abilities that the actor possessed by looking at the following:

  • Body language- The actor’s body language can suggest many different things when acting and the body language should convey what the character is feeling or what they are doing. For our piece out actor will be tied up and put into an uncomfortable hole. We expect the actor’s body language to so how powerless, week and hopeless she is. This can be done through her posture, the way she moves (slowly and harshly), the way her head sits, the movement of her eyes and her facial expression. They should all make her look sad, helpless and vulnerable so that the audience can sympathise with her and truly see what is happening. Helping to build tension once again.bodylanguage

  • Have good acting technique-By this i mean that the actor should be able to take the role and adjust themselves and also the role to themselves. They should be able to repeat their performance to a high standard each time, they should be able to take direction and push themselves to do things that they are not used to- making the performance extraordinary.

  • The ability to connect with the audience- For our opening sequence we want the actor to be able to reach out and grab the audience’s attention keeping them hooked to what is happening on-screen. This will make them feel like they are a part of the sequence, making the experience for tense and exciting for the audience.

  • Embracing the character- The actor should be able to bring the character to life and make their role look as realistic and believable as possible, as if they were the character. This can also refer to the way an audience fits the actor into archetypes, really believing their role.

  • Vocal quality- The actors vocal qualities are very important when it comes to filming. For our piece, we need an actor that can how concern through her voice and panic at the same time. The actor will also be required to scream a few times in the piece, so this is also a crucial factor. She needs to be able to speak loud enough for the microphone to pick up her voice clearly.

  • Facial expression- For our piece we will need our actor to show her pain, concern, weakness and helplessness through her facial expression. This does not mean that the actor needs to move her face constantly, in fact its the complete opposite. The actor can show emotion through her eyes, which many of the shots of our sequence will be focused on, she can connect with the audience this way. This is also important as the camera will be very close to the actors face many times so they need to be able to give a promising facial expression, corresponding to the role they are playing, in this case sad as she is a victim.

ConcentrationWe need the actors to be fully concentrated and focused all the time whilst filming to make filming quicker and easier.

The actor that we have decides to use is Sophie Kirk. We decided to use her as our actor because:

  • Confident.
  • Good at acting.
  • Embraced the character very well.
  • Was an A* Drama student.
  • Has experience in acting in large performances and competitions for filming.
  • Went to an acting school for many years.
  • Is a dedicated and fully focused person, so we can count on her.
  • She lives close to the location.
  • Able to film on our given dates.
  • Has a clear and loud voice.
  • Is willing and motivated to try new things and step out of her comfort zone.


The Location and Testing shots

Deep into the dark woods we go, venturing and exploring. But is this the place for us?

For our initial cut of our opening title sequence we have decided to film in a forest because we were not able to find a suitable house in time for our first screening. Mt editor and myself were in charge of finding a good location spot that we could film our sequence in. We ideally were looking for a forest that was:

  • Large/spacious (make the shots look more interesting, and making the victim finding help almost pointless and unrealistic).
  • Dark (use natural lighting)
  • Old and eery (helps set a natural mood for the sequence- older trees are more creepy and darker)
  • Has many trees- preferable large ones (this will make the victim look smaller, more alone, it also makes her escape look harder)
  • Was not very popular location (fewer people walking around interrupting us during filming).

We wanted to find a location in which we could all easily access and have no issues with when in came to filming. We narrowed our filming points within a selected region and finally decided to keep to filming within Chalfont St.Peters. There are a few forest around this area such as the forest on Gold Hill Common. However we decided to not film here as it was a popular location for dog walkers and children to walk through, which would have made filming very difficult. However i then went off and found a forest whilst walking my dog which was massive and had a massive field hidden behind in. It was a difficult location to find and it fit our criteria perfectly. It had everything that we were looking for when it came to looking for a location for our first shooting.

The following day myself and my editor went to scout the location and took some test shots of the forest and trees. We also decided what tree we would be using to tie our victim to, we marked it with a small cross, so that when we came back to film we would be able to start quickly and efficiently.

These are some of the shots that we got of the forest:

We will be using natural lighting from the forest for our opening sequence as we think that it will be the most effective. This will make the shots look more realistic and clear for the audience. We also like the lighting that the forest creates as some areas are much darker then others, creating natural spotlights. This will make the setting look more eery and ominous, compared to a completely light location. Also because we are filming outside, we have to use natural lighting (outside) so we are planning to start filming on a dull day that is cloudy, to minimise the amount of light. The light is also a symbol of the victims purity and how she is just walking up.

Planning Documentations for Restrained

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to my blog post fully dedicated to letting you have a sneak peek into the planning documentation of our psychological – horror thriller opening title sequence.

I will be fully dedicating this blog into providing the story board, script, shot list and planning that has been put into creating a final outcome. It has been a long process of arranging meeting dates, discussions and many hours of planning. however we have finally come to a conclusion to what we will be producing. We have decided to incorporate all that we have learnt so far from a range of shot angles to a variety of shot types. We have decides to put all of our skills together collectively to be able to produce one final outcome. This includes:

  • creatively
  • technological skills
  • time management
  • organisation
  • planning

We have also looked into rules of filming that we want to film including:

  • 180 degree rule
  • match on action
  • shot-reverse-shot
  • the rule of thirds
  • shot types e.g angles and the scale

(I have uploaded a blog which defines all of these rules and how to use them effectively. See: ‘The Rules Of Film making).

We have been set to create an opening title sequence for a thriller movie. We can select the sub-genre of the thriller movie that we want to produce, this can range from comedy-thrillers, horror thrillers, psychological-thrillers, drama-thrillers, romance-thrillers, action-thrillers and many more. We have decided to create an opening title sequence for a psychological-horror thriller. But what actually is an opening sequence and how can we create one effectively? And what is a psychological-horror thriller?

Opening titles or opening credits of a movie are shown at the very beginning of  the production. This incorporates the most important members that have helped create the productions such as the director, producer, editor and so on. They can be shown in a variety of ways, some productions decide to include the text on a blank screen, over static pictures or on top of action in the production. The producers and director of the production can decide whether or not to have music playing over the top with relevance to the movie, or to set the mood or tone of the movie. However when opening credits are built into a separate sequence of their own, they are known as a title sequence such as well-known ones such as the opening sequence from James Bond:

Around the 1980’s, opening credits mainly identified the main actors and crew, however the closing credits listed the extensive cast and production crews that were involved with the creating of the said production. However this has developed overtime and opening crews have started to feature more action and image and effects. Most movies now a days incorporate a ‘cold open’ which is also known as a teaser. This helps to set the setting, mood, tone and stage for the rest of the film. It also provides an insight for the viewers for what the movie will be like.

A psychological thriller is a story which emphasises the unstable psychological states of the characters within the production or movie. It is a sub-genre of the thriller genre-Thrillers are defined by the moods they give off in the production. These help to create feeling of  suspense, excitement, surprise, anticipation and anxiety for the audience. Psychological thrillers often include elements of mystery, drama, action, slasher and horror. In this case we are combining elements from psychological and horror thrillers as the two sub-genres and well together. This because the mood and feeling that you get from the two are very similar as they create fear and suspense. A good example of this is Shutter island:

What is a horror-thriller:

Characteristics                              Thrillers today depend on highly used special                              ef...


To be able to take the idea of creating an opening title sequence for a psychological/ horror thriller movie, we split our responsibilities equally. The planning and research that we have all collected is corresponding to the roles in which we have. We then shared all of our research and ideas, so that we can improve them collectively. This also enables us to get a feel for each others roles. To be able to start filming the continuity task we need to have:

  • A storyboard
  • A script
  • A shot list
  • An arranged location that was accessible to all of us and that is reasonable
  • Actors
  • Costumes -symbolic to the characters
  • Corresponding makeup for the victim
  • Suitable music
  • Accurate lighting
  • Propsimg_7859

Once we have gathered all of our research we would be able to go out and start filming. My responsibilities for planning and research was to create the story board, as i would create it in a way that i feel the opening sequence should be- with some ideas from the group. I was also in charge of finding an accurate location, suitable actors, make-up and music. When we did our continuity task production i had similar roles so i feel more confident with creating a story board, finding a good location for filming, selecting suitable and legal music and creating the overall look of the characters. Collectively as a group we came up with a list of ideas that we could include after looking at a range or horror-thriller opening sequences and psychological thrillers. These are some of the sequences hat we were influenced by:

We liked the opening tile sequence for ‘The House At The End Of The Street’ because it included:

  • An interesting way of merging reality with what is not real (the show globe with the house).
  • Suspenseful music.
  • Builds up tension.
  • Sets the mood for the movie- a little girl who is dangerous.
  • Danger.
  • Includes the conventions of a horror- thriller movie.

I personally like the opening sequence for ‘Hostel Part II’ as it conveys how behind the beautiful image of a town there is an evil force hiding. This was shown through the weather changing from sunny to raining and great says. The town is also shows very pretty, however when you move through it, the more sinister it looks, setting the mood.

We also looked into other AS media students opening title sequences and we really liked this one titled ‘Captive’. The opening sequence is really tense and this is what makes it so good:

  • The shot angles
  • Range of shot types
  • Excellent camera quality
  • The actor has really embraced his role
  • The story is very creative and keeps the audience attracted to the screen
  • The editing pace makes the piece more tense
  • Follows thriller movie conventions
  • The story has been carefully selected to create an interesting and appealing opening sequence, suitable for the selected target audience.

    From this we have come up with a range of ideas that we could incorporate within our opening title sequence:

  • Hostage scenario
  • Incorporating an element of reality and not for example a toy house that is a replica of an actual house or a set up of a toy forest.
  • murder scene
  • missing posters
  • being held captive
  • uncomfortable situation

    The Initial Storyboard:

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Within the story, i have included:

  • the length of time each shot will be running for
  • the camera angle
  • the camera shot types
  • the positioning of the camera
  • what will be shown
  • framing
  • panning or tilt requirements
  • zooming in and out features
  • any rules that have been involved such as match on action, the 180 degree rule and so on.

The storyboard has got 36 shots in total, which should result in an overall 2 and a half minutes of footage. The shots convey a girl who has been tied to a tree and is just beginning to wake up from being knocked out. We have decided to try to make the footage mainly come from the victims point of view by using point of view shots, starting off being very blurry and than gradually become more clear as she begins to get more in focus and more aware of her surroundings. The shots then range from being her point of view to her hands, body face and surroundings so that the viewer can establish not only that she is trapped but also her surroundings and the situation that she is being put through. As the opening sequence progresses, the antagonist is shown (not the face to keep his identity a secret) walking a past a missing poster which is  of the victim, which helps the audience to understand who and what is going on. The story board then results in the murder of the victim, keeping the antagonist a secret. By including this death right at the start, it not only allows the audience to establish what the genre of the movie is, but it also sets a mood for the rest of the movie.

This sheet simply states what all of the shots are in order, without drawings:img_7871

The Script:


The producer of our group has created the script for our opening title sequence of our movie. The script is very minimal and the victim is the only character with a dialogue as we did not want the audience to hear what the antagonist sounded like, because that would give the mystery away. The victims lines are very minimal and are very short and sharp, to make what she is saying stick more with the audience. This also helps to heighten tension and create a more sinister setting.

The Shot list:


The shot list enables us to see the different shots in which we are using, making sure that there is a range in them. My editor and D.O.P were responsible for creating the shot list to correspond with the storyboard. Although the shots which are going to be featured are evident on the storyboard, the shot list makes it easier to see the shots that we need to use. This means that when we film we will not be spending a long time on seeing the shot types. The director of photography will also then be able to familiarise themselves with the list, making filming more easy and quicker.


Christine Blundell and the CBMA- Christine Blundell Makeup Academy

Christine Blundell is a british makeup artist who was born in October 1961. She has won an academy award within the ‘Best Makeup’category at the 72nd Academy Awards on the 26th March 2000. She won this award for the film ‘Topsy Turvey’, alongside Trefor Proud.christine_blundell.jpg

Christine has been given over 50 credits ever since she became a world-renowned make-up artist from 1990. She also has a world-renowned makeup academy which is based in Camden, London known as the ‘Christine Blunder Makeup Academy’ or CBMA for short.

The Makeup Academy was opened by Christine in the spring of 2007. She opened the academy alongside her business partner, Petar Agbaba. She wanted to open the Academy so that graduates within the makeup field would be given the sufficient skills and training to take with them in the bar and makeup industry. Therefore she felt that by opening her school she could use professional hair and makeup individuals to teach anyone over the age of 17 to become skilled artists. Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 13.14.54

The students are taught all the necessary skills they need to become excellent hair and makeup artists for any field that they wish to go into. This could be TV, Films, Theatre and so on. Christine has a brilliant relationship within these fields as she has experience with all of them. All of the tutors are also industry led professionals that run different courses every week. This can be any of the following:

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 13.12.33

The tutors are also renowned artists that specialise in each of these fields. Each day, depending on the course you have, the students are intensely taught about each field. This allows the students to have the skills to be a successful artist, no matter the industry they wish to go into. These are some examples of the tutors that they have at the academy and reviews write about them:

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Christine was given an Academy and Bafta Award for the work that she did on Mike Leighs ‘Topsy Turvey’. She was also nominated for a Bafta award for the movie ‘Finding Neverland’ by Mr Turner, Vera Drake and Mark Fosters.

The first feature that she had done with Mike Leigh was for ‘Life is Sweet’. This is what sparked a working relationship between the two, leading them working on ‘Secrets and lies’, ‘happy Go Lucky’ and ‘Another Year’. They had worked together for over twenty years in producing features and still continue to work together.Some of Christine’s other features include:

  • Brian Helgelands – ‘Legend’.
  • Matthew Vaughn’s- ‘Kingsman-The Secret Service’.
  • Bill Coldon’s- ‘The Fifth Estate’.
  • Richard Curtis’s -‘About Time’.
  • Fernando Meirelles’s -‘The Constant Gardener’.

More recently, Christine has worked on Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur. This marks her third collaboration with director ‘Guy Ritchie’ after helping in creating the looks in Sherlock Holmes.

she has also helped with the creation of  ‘Wonder Woman’ directed by Patty Jenkins, due for release this summer.And is currently working on Paul King’s ‘Paddington 2’.

The academy is also really good as part of work experience, Christine takes her students on set with her to movies to help with hair and makeup. She most recently took her students on the set of Wonder Woman. The academy is also very renowned for their aftercare (which most other makeup schools do not offer). Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 13.12.13

I recently went to the open day for the academy in hoped of joining when i have completed my A levels. I found my time and experience there truly memorable and must say that it is the place for me. I feel like the school really gives you the chance to learn and develop your skills as an individual artist. The environment is also very friendly and welcoming. The school is also brilliant as it provides you with the tools, makeup and equipment you need making the whole process much easier. IMG_1042

I was also given the opportunity to be a ‘model’ for the students so that they would have the opportunity to practice hair and makeup on me. This also benefited me as I was taught how to create specific looks, included a bruised eye look. This can help for our final piece as i will me doing the makeup look for the piece and this can help me learn how to do the look:

The students also had the chance to do my hair so one of the girls decided to try out a ‘Victorian style’ which was succesful:



Gone Girl…’You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s…’

Amy Dunne our ‘Amazing Amy’ has been reported missing and possibly murdered but who did it?…

On the day of Amy Dunne and Nick Dunnes fifth year wedding anniversary, nick returns home to find that his wife was missing. He was made to believe that she was taken as the living room was trashed and there’s was no sig of her. The police then step in which results in large amounts of press to get involved with her disappearance as she is a public figure. She was the inspiration for her parents series for ‘amazing Amy’s story books that were adored by many, so many people volunteered to help look for his wife. Detective Boney (the lead detective on Amy’s case) believes that she had found evidence of a poorly covered struggle. The police then decide to carry out a forensic search in the house where they find traces of blood that was cleaned up. This leads to them believe that Amy was murdered and her husband was made to look like the main suspect in the investigation as he seems to know nothing about his wife and his actions made him look guilty. Unknown-2.jpeg

The director then includes flashbacks of the Amy and Nicks marriage in which all started off good, however overtime the audience can see how their relationship becomes more distant. the both had lost their jobs due to the recession and they had to move to Missouri to help Nicks dying mother. During all of this, he became more lazy and spend money on useless things. The detectives also find evidence that the two has issues in their marriage where they find a witness who says that they saw Amy buying a gun for protection making the police think that Nick would harm her. A medical report was found stating that Amy was pregnant which Nick states he as unaware of. In addition to this, the police find a book, half burnt that was a diary written by Amy with her days with her husband and how they progressed and turned for the worst, resulting in her writing how she feared he may kill her.images-3.jpeg

As the movie progresses, we see that Amy is in fact alive and well, she had staged her own disappearance and fake death. She has gone into hiding by changing her hair colour, car and she has moved to a camp group paying for everything with cash, leaving now traces. She wanted to get away from Nick and the damage he had caused to their marriage and she was unaware of him cheating on her withe his student. She wanted him to feel her pain and pinning this on him would be perfect and it would have to suffer too. She carefully planned the whole thing from stealing a pregnant neighbours urine to make it seem she was pregnant (motive),  drains her own blood to leave trace evidence of murder and fabricate a diary describing her fear of Nick. She even came up with a treasure hunt (which they do overhear) only thins one will leave clues for the police, enough to convict him for her murder, which will mean that he would face the death penalty.She is also contemplating whether of not to commit suicide after his conviction as she thinks that he has ruined her life.Unknown-4.jpeg

Nick now knows that he is in trouble because she has very cleverly planned this so he hires a lawyer known as Tanner Bolt to defend him. Nick also decides to visit Amy’s ex’s one in whom she framed for rape and the other who she set a restraining order against who does not want to get involved. Amy is then robbed by her neighbours at the campsite so she moves and puts her trust in her ex Desi who takes her to a secluded mansion to protect her from Nick- and for them to start a new life.

Nicks next issue is to convince his sister Margo that he is innocent in all of this so they take action. However Nicks mistress student confesses that they were having an affair, making Nick look more guilty. However Nick goes on a talk show where he admits to be a terrible husband and begging for Amy’s forgiveness if she is out there- all as a plan to lure her in. Amy is touched by this and her love is rekindled so he needs to get back to him. She then used Desi’s security cameras, inflicts rape wounds on herself and kills Desi during sex so that she can blame her kidnapping and rape on Desi- the ex she had filled a restraining order against.
Unknown-5.jpegAmy tries to tell the police that she had to kill Desi to escape and save her husband from going on death row. However detective Boney is not convinced so she tries to get her t answer more questions but Amy refuses and the doctors tell the detective to leave and that she was lucky to survive.

When Amy returns home she makes him strip and go to the show (to assure he is not wearing a wire) where she confesses everything to him and how she wants him to be like the man he pretended to be on TV. Nick tries to tell Detective Boney, Tanner and Margo of Amy but they cannot do anything because there is no evidence against her. Amy then forces Nick to stay with him by artificially inserting his sperm in her, impregnating herself. Nick unsure if the child is his, has to stay but he demands for a test.

Nick then acts in a violent way after she insisted they stay together but he has to because of the child. He thinks the situation is his fault so they stay together as a happy couple. He denies Margo’s wishes of leaving her and getting custody and they reveal to the press that they will be having a child.

I think that ‘Gone Girl’ is one of the most enraging, compelling and exciting thriller movies in today’s society. It has you hooked from the start to the end and it has so many new surprises to offer every minute. The Movie has been so cleverly created and scripted that it has the audience’s attention throughout. The way Amy staged her disappearance was an interesting twist and what the two go through is extraordinary. It was created in such a way that you sympathise for the characters and you can form an actual emotional bond with them. I would love to see what happens next in their life but we will see where it is taken now. I strongly recommend this movie to you as i think that it is an extraordinary thriller movie, but it does not surprise me as David Fincher truly is the master of thriller movies.


  • Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne
  • Rosamund Pike as Amy Elliott Dunne, Nick’s missing wife
  • Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collings, Amy’s ex-boyfriend
  • Tyler Perry as Tanner Bolt, Nick’s attorney
  • Carrie Coon as Margo “Go” Dunne, Nick’s twin sister
  • Kim Dickens as Detective Rhonda Boney, the lead investigator on Amy’s disappearance
  • Patrick Fugit as Officer James Gilpin, Boney’s partner
  • Missi Pyle as Ellen Abbott, a cable TV host based on Nancy Grace
  • Emily Ratajkowski as Andie Fitzgerald, Nick’s mistress and student
  • Casey Wilson as Noelle Hawthorne, Nick and Amy’s neighbor
  • Lola Kirke as Greta, a young woman Amy meets at a motel
  • Boyd Holbrook as Jeff, a flirtatious man Amy meets at a motel
  • Lisa Banes as Marybeth Elliott, Amy’s mother
  • Sela Ward as Sharon Schieber, a network TV host
  • Nick Jantz as Lyle Jacobs, a network TV host
  • Scoot McNairy as Tommy O’Hara, a former boyfriend of Amy’s
  • Scott Takeda as TV Produce
  • David Clennon as Rand Elliott, Amy’s father
  • Kathleen Rose Perkins as Shawna Kellyimages-5.jpeg


    $61,000,000  (estimated)

    Opening Weekend:

    $37,513,109 (USA) (3 October 2014)


    $167,735,396  (USA) (6 February 2015)

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark…’fear is never just make believe’-Textual Analysis

What are you afraid of? Ghosts, zombies, spiders, heights, clowns, drowning, the dark? I assure you that after watching this movie you will be afraid of the dark and what is actually underneath your house. However that is not to say that the movie is horrifying because it is enjoyable, however remember, fear is never make-believe…

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was produced in 2010 as a horror thriller sub-genre movie written by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins. The movie was directed by Troy Nixey and was filmed in Drusella Mansion, Australia. The movie includes well-known actors such as  Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, and Bailee Madison. They play a family that move to a 19th century Rhode Island mansion to refurbish it and prepare it for sale. However Sally, Alex’s daughter begins to experience creepy encounters with demonic creatures that steal children and eat them and their teeth.

In the opening sequence of ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’, the screen is fully black, keeping the audience in the dark, oblivious to what is yet to come of the brilliantly terrifying movie. The screen suddenly flashes onto a black screen with fancy white writing, the music jumping on with the screen. This would scare the audience as they would not have expected this from the opening, as they would expect a gentle build up to the horror. However this exceeded the audiences expectations as it starts straight away with creepy, violin like music, which would heighten tension and fear. The writing is white above the black screen, making it stand out, however it is not clear enough to read, and it moves quickly off-screen. This would make the audience feel confused as they do not know what the writing is about, and the un-known alongside this type of music is terrifying. screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-17-35-12

The camera then pans off of the first bit of writing to show that is linked to other words and sentences, with no gap. This connotes tot he audience that what is being written is continuous and will never stop- a reference to how the creatures live forever, like a never-ending story. In addition to this, ink smudges appear when the banging noise occurs in the non-diabetic eery music, which would be a reference to blood. This is because of the shape and the music helps it leave an impact on the audience, furthermore the dots stand out- like blood. The editing style throughout the whole opening sequence is continuous as there are not cuts. However the editing has been styled to match the music (synchronous) so that the images on-screen are more effective and can create more tension. Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 17.35.29.png

Suddenly, masses of writing appear on-screen, which add up together to create a toothless skulls head. This is the first image that has a reference to death that is shown to the audience. The reference is shown very early on in the opening sequence (approximately 10 seconds in), foreshadowing how quickly things will turn bad in the movie. This would make the audience feel uncomfortable because of how quickly death has been brought into the sequence, meaning that it is simple. The skull is framed by a circle and lines, as if it is being examined. This would inform to the audience that someone has tried to understand the anatomy of the skull and what happened to it. This links to the writing as what ever has been writing has created the skull, meaning that whats being written about is the cause of death (the monsters). This would again make the audience feel anxious as they do not know what it is. Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 17.36.03.png

The camera then zooms out to reveal a toothless jaw which arches over the head of the skull, like a crown (important). However it being toothless suggests that the teeth are the most important aspects of the jaw (like jewels). The viewer is unaware that the creatures feed off of teeth and therefore they are very important to them, however this foreshadows later events. This is again another example of a disturbing image, warming the audience up for what is to come. The quote ‘they take the children’ is also written underneath the head. This would make the viewer feel uncomfortable as children are innocent and they are being associated with death. Furthermore, ghost, disfigured like hands are behind the skulls head, which would be the thing taking children. The hands look very creepy and sinister, which would add to the tensity that is being created. Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 17.36.12.png

The long shot of giant teeth, reinforces their importance as they are placed in a ‘god-like’ way. This would portray to the audience that teeth are an important factor to the movie. In addicting to this the music is not as scratchy at this point- it is more gentle. Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 17.36.23.png

The camera then continues to track and pan different shots of teeth to portray a close up (zoom out) to long shot of crooked trees that are arching inwards. This shots makes the viewer feel as if they are seeing a haunted woods, however the way the tree bend looks un-normal. The camera then zooms out to portray more trees and a child crouched by a hole. The child is white, a symbol of innocence and purity, however the dark, disfigured arms reach up and drag him down. This would make the audience feel uncomfortable and uncertain for what is about to happen to the child. In addition to this, the music volume decreases and fades down whilst the boy falls, however the audience can’t hear the child’s scream, meaning that no on can help him. Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 17.36.55.png

Whilst the boy is falling, there are white eyes everywhere in the never-ending hole as the boy is falling. These are the eyes of the demon creatures. The audience is then shown how they are all watching the boy fall and that there are many of them, meaning his fait is inevitable. The audience would be made to feel curious for as to where the hole leads, hopeless for the child and for what is to come and also on edge as it happened so quickly. The music is still smooth and not as jumpy, conveying that his drop is easy and smooth, although it doesn’t look it. The child then unexpectedly turns into teeth in a quick cut transition, allowing the audience to see that he is death and only the important part of him remains.

At this point the music volume increases and the scratchy violin like aspect is brought back in. this could suggest that the creatures are on the hunt again, and the cycle is never-ending, like the writing. The setting is also getting darker as it goes deeper into the setting, creating a dark and unsettling atmosphere. Synchronous non-diabetic sounds are used again for the medium close up shot of a spinning bowl, the bowl is falling and is a man-made object, suggesting that the teeth falling from it is an offering. Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 17.37.28.png

The falling teeth from the bowel then turn into money. This could tell the audience that teeth are the equivalent of importance as what money is for humans. It could also suggest that some people leave money offerings. This would make the audience feel tense as the creatures are relying of teeth of people, which cannot be made like money can.

The camera again pans around, only to reveal a new setting which is still dark and ominous. The floor has sheets of papers with drawings and when the audience finally gets to see a drawing, it is of a child with a demon shadowing behind it. The audience would know that the drawing would have been done by a child because of the style. Children often draw things that they have seen and what they are afraid of so it could be them trying to reach out for help. However the way all the sheets are on the floor, it means that there call for help. This would make the audience feel on edge as they can see how many children have been affected by the creatures, making the opening more tense. The music is also increasing adding to the eery setting. In the drawing the boy has also been drawn with old-fashioned pyjamas, suggesting to the audience that the creatures have been around for a very long time. Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 17.38.07.png

The music continues to increase and the pace of it begins to increase, alongside the camera which has also started to more faster. The camera is shooting images of pipes (man-made objects), making the audience aware that the creatures are in the human world, giving it a realistic aspect. This would make the audience feel on edge as they would think that the creatures could be real and that they have an easy way into our world (vents and pipes).

Finally to conclude the opening sequence of ‘Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark’, all of the objects (teeth, money, toys and writing) falls into he light, a representation for death and the start of something new. This would leave the audience to thing that the creatures have a way out and that the cycle is ready to begin again from fresh. Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 17.38.53.png



The Game…’You don’t play it, it plays you’

Welcome to your game. I hope that you ready to be taken on the ride of your life that will be dangerous, compelling and life threatening. Interested yet? Well you will be thanks to ‘The Game’ directed by David Fincher. So don’t get too comfortable as the game is about to begin:

The game was released on the 12th  September 1997 and was directed by David Fincher a renowned director for directing movies such as ‘Seven’ and ‘The Girl With The Dragoon Tattoo’. The movie was produced by Polygram Filmed Entertainment,  Propaganda Films,  A&B Productions and LDA. It is also rated R for language, violence and sexuality. 

Michael Douglas plays Nicholas Van Orton in the psychological thriller directed by David Fincher, a renowned director known for directing movies such as ‘Seven’ and ‘The Girl With The Dragoon Tattoo’. Nicolas is set to play a wealthy investment banker who has set his life apart from his ex-wife and his brother.Nicolas preferred to stay away from everyone as he was traumatized from seeing his father commit suicide at a 48th birthday, the age Nicolas is going to turn in a few days. Conrad, Nicolas’s brother gets in contact with Nicolas to give him an early birthday present- a voucher for a game by the Consumer Recreation Serviced (CRS). Conrad try to persuade him to use the voucher as it could change his life, which is what he needs.Unknown-5.jpeg

Nicholas is unsure about the voucher in which his brother had given him as he had never heard of such a ‘game’. However, Nicolas decides to meet some club members from the CRS group who had participated in the game and enjoyed it. Now a little more persuaded, he decides to apply for the game but finds the examinations (psychological and physical) tedious and time-consuming. A few days after his examinations he was informed that his application was denied, which left Nicolas questioning what was happening and what they were doing. A few days later he began to think that his reputation, finances and business is at risk because of the tests they had done on him, they may have given them access to everything. Nicolas decides to take precautions to see what is happening so he meets a waitress (Christine) who had been put in danger because of the game. Now more measured that something bad was happening, Nicolas called the police to investigate the company, only to find the offices were abandoned.images.jpeg

Conrad appears to Nicolas and apologizes for what has happened and that he has also been ambushed by the CRS. Nicolas in anguish decides to turn to Christine for help, thus he goes to her apartment. However whilst Nicolas is inside her home, he discovers that Christine is also a part of the CRS group and that it was all a scam. Christine informed Nicolas that they were being watched, infuriating Nicolas causing him to break the cameras. Soon after armed CRS group troops begin to circle the house and ambush them, forcing the two to escape and flee. Christine regretting being a part of the group then informs Nicolas that they used the psychological tests to empty out his bank account, which is true as he checked with the bank giving his veneration code. Nicolas then puts his trust into Christine for help, however it was all a scam as she had drugged him.  As he loses consciousness, she admits that she is also a part of the whole scam on draining his accounts swell as working for the group. She also formed him that he made a fatal mistake by giving up his vexation codes for his accounts.Unknown-6.jpeg

Time passes and Nicolas begins to wake up, only to find that he is n a cemetery in Mexico, where he was left drugged. Un aware where he was, he seekes help but he had no one or nothing besides from his gold watch. He sells his gold watch for money so that he can space and go home, only to find his home is foreclosed and all of his possessions had been removed. In anger he finds a gun he had hidden in his home and goes to seek help from his ex-wife, the only woman he thinks can help him. He then discovers that she is with one of the CRS employees that conducted his psychological tests. He finds out that he is not actually an expert but only an actor the company had hired as part of the scam. He then forces the actor to take him to the actual CRS office, where he then takes Christine hostage. He is then ambushed again by the CRS troops so he takes Christine to the roof. The CRS troops begin cutting through the door to try to get to Nicolas and Christine- who realises that Nicolas has a real gun. Out of fear, Christine frantically tells Nicolas that the whole this was only a conspiracy scam, it was all part of the game. She try to calm him by measuring him that his finances are secure and that everyone is waiting for him on the other side of the door, but he refuses to acknowledge what she had said. The door then burst open, and Nicolas ends up shooting Conrad his brother who was the first person to come through the door. Distraught at what he had done, he decides to jump off the roof of the building, just like his father (and it was his actual 48th birthday, like his father).images-1.jpegWhilst he is falling, his life flashes before him, just like in every cliché death scene. On his way down he falls through a glass ceiling, only to fall on to a large inflatable mattress. The emergency service men waiting for him, attend to him to assure he is okay, which he is. When he looks around, he finds that he is in a ballroom surrounded by friends and family, and his brother who he didn’t actually shoot. The whole thing was the game. It proved to Nicolas that he should embrace life and not dwell on the past.  The brothers then split the bill for the game, which was very expensive. Nicolas then asks Christine to dinner, but they have a coffee instead and she tells Nicolas that she has to go to Australia for the next game.Unknown-4.jpeg

I really enjoyed watching this compelling and gripping thriller directed by the brilliant David Fincher. I find this to be one of my personal favourite psychological thrillers of all time as just when you think you know what is happening, the game changes again. It keeps the audience constantly guessing and engaged, each time adding in something new and thrilling. It was very cleverly filmed and produced, which helped to make it even more interesting. I recommend this movie for you if you have not seen it as it really does show to you that life is short and that you have to live in the moment. However my question to you now is, would you play the game?


  • Michael Douglas as Nicholas Van Orton
  • Sean Penn as Conrad Van Orton
  • James Rebhorn as Jim Feingold
  • Deborah Kara Unger as Christine
  • Peter Donat as Samuel Sutherland
  • Carroll Baker as Ilsa
  • Armin Mueller-Stahl as Anson Baer
  • Anna Katarina as Elizabeth
  • Charles Martinet as Nicholas’ Father
  • Mark Boone Junior as Shady Private Investigator
  • Tommy Flanagan as Solicitor/ Taxi Driver
  • Spike Jonze as Airbag EMT Beltran


    $50,000,000  (estimated)

    Opening Weekend:

    $14,337,029 (USA) (12 September 1997)


    $48,265,581  (USA) (19 December 1997)

The Woman In Black …’Do You Believe In Ghosts?’- Textual Analysis

The Woman in Black was produced in 2012 and is a supernatural horror thriller movies starring Daniel Radcliffe and directed by James Watkins. The production was written by Jane Goldman as an adoption from Susan Hills novel written in 1983. The movie is about a woman (who is a ghost) who once seen by an adult kills children till the person is made to have lost their most closest child loved ones. The movie is set of Daniel going to EelMarsh house to develop it for sale, however he had seen the woman. Soon children around him start to die, ending with Daniel and his son dining at the end. There is a sequel to the movie which was realised in 2015 as it titled, ‘The Woman In Black:Angel Of Death’.


Daniel Jacob Radcliffe was born on the 23rd July 1989. He is a renowned British actor who Unknown-4.jpegstarted acting around the age of ten where he appeared on BBC ones’ David Copperfield film. However at the age of 11 he began acting for the Harry Potter series which are now a major hit, and his most well knows movies.

The first shots within the opening title sequence of the woman in black are fairly important shots. There are close-up shots of porcelain teacups and Victorian looking dolls which are accompanied by creepy, eery music that sounds like an old music box (non-diabetic sound). The music is slow-paced and quite calm, which makes the shots even more tense. The teacups cups could be a stereotypical representation for England as English people are renowned for drinking tea. In addition to this, the teacups and sleeves of the girls are quite old-fashioned and Victorian like, suggesting to the audience that the movies time period is intended to be during the victorian era. In addition to this, the girls are playing with the toys and are therefore being controlled by them. The dolls are like a metaphor for the children later on in the movie as they get controlled by the woman in black, however the audience is oblivious to this. Furthermore the dolls eyes are black and lifeless. This is an important feature that the audience will not be able to understand. Because the dolls do not have actual eyes, they can’t be controlled by the woman because she controls children by looking at them. The editing style of these shots is slow-paced so that the audience has time to digest what the girls are doing. Jump cuts also allow match on action to be done properly so the audience can see that the girls are playing, oblivious to what is going to happen. The music is very creepy and eery which would make the audience feel on edge as it would give them notions of death and morality. Because of this, it would make the audience feel uncomfortable that such dark music is being associated with children who are pure and innocent, foreshadowing later events.Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 01.08.04.png

In the following shots, the characters are established as the audience can now see the three girls faces. The girls all are smiling at each other which is done by using shot-reverse-shot as they all look to each other. This however is contradicted by the eery music playing, making the shot quite sinister and creepy. The audience would begin to feel a sense of anxiety for as to what is going to happen to the girls. There is almost a ticking type of sound in the music that is playing which implies that everything is against time and that what is about to happen to the girls with me quick. The editing pace is still slow, suggesting that nothing bad has happened yet. Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 01.19.46.png

The music now begins to increase as the girls concentration is taken off of the dolls and into direct eye contact with the camera, supposedly suggesting that someone is there. This is the woman in black however not most audience members would be aware of this, however those who are, would feel a sense of anticipation as they want to see what she looks like. The music levels are now at it highest level of volume suggesting that what the girls are looking at is bad and horrid. The loud music also implies a sense of danger and panic for the audience as they would feel hopeless for the children because they appear to be looking at the audience, however there is something which the audience cannot see which they are actually looking at, making the audience question what it is. The way the girls run their heads is also quite creepy, and is almost as if the girls are looking at a paranormal being, which the audience cannot see. The slow head turn also increases tension for the audience as they know something bad is happening. Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 01.19.54.png

The girls all then turn again at the sam time, this time the editing pace is quicker, making their head turning motion quicker and synchronised, as if they are all being controlled. This would make the audience feel hopeless as they do not know what is happening and why the girls are acting in such a way. The girl’s faces also look lifeless and almost possessed, matching the synchronous music and the feeling gives off. The girls are also looking into a completely different direction to previously, now looking to the window. This would make the audience feel quite uncomfortable and un-easy as they don’t know what is happening or what the girls are about to do.Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 01.20.01.png

A jump cut is then used from the girls to a zoom in of the window. The zoom in allows the viewer to understand that the girls will be going towards them, and the audience is being taken with them. There is ironically three windows, which is the equivalent to the number of girls. The eery music is continuously playing and is increasing in volume once again, to heighten tension and to make the viewer feel more on edge. The windows in this shot are also the only things that are light in the shot as the surrounding are very dark and ominous. This could suggest to the audience that the only way out of the darkness is through the windows. This would make the audience feel uncomfortable again as the children are only young as such morbid connotations are being presented. Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 01.20.12.png

In the following shots, it is evident that the girls have been almost possessed as there is a juxtaposition to the start of the sequence. The girls are now destroying their toys almost effortlessly by dropping them on the floor. Close up shots of the girls feel and hands are portrayed as they are key to what they about to do. Their hands and feet are what are causing the disruption as they step on the toys and drop the cups. However the actions are gentle, making them look more accidental and controlled than on purpose. The sound of the breaking objects is also emphasised as the breaking sound echoes, making the audience take in the sounds, almost imprinting it into the audiences minds. The same editing pace is maintained from previous shots, suggesting the new actions are continuous and permanent. The music however is still increasing, increasing the tension the director wants the audience to feel. When you finally get a face on view of the three girls you can see how lifeless they look and how there is nothing being up, reinforcing that the audience is oblivious to the antagonist and only the children can see her. Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 22.05.12.png

A long shot is then used to portray the three girls who are standing infant of each window. The long shot establishes that they all hove their own one and thy are framed by them, intending for them to belong to each one. The girls are shot from the back again, allowing the audience to see how they climbed up and that they are intending to do something with the windows. This would again make the audience feel tense and on edge to see what the girls are going to do. Furthermore, the girls are blocking the light, suggesting that they will go through them to escape the darkness. The heightened music also emphasises the danger the girl are in but it is uncontrollable, it would also make the audience feel hopes as they can’t do anything about it. The close up shots of the girls opening the windows also reinforces their intentions and it allows the audience to intake what they will do.Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 22.05.57.png

A still long shot is again used to portray the girls jumping out the girls out the window and how they disappear from the audiences sight, emphasising that they are gone for good (dead). As the girl jump, the music fades out with them. The room also appears to be slightly brighter, suggesting that the evil has gone and peace can finally come into the room. The editing pace is now slower as the urgency for the girls deaths and the tense build up to it has now gone. This would make the audience feel a little relived yet sad as the girls are gone. However it allows the audience to anticipate what the story is about and what to expect. Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 22.06.12.png

Shot-reverse-shot is used from the window to an extreme close up of the dolls face to the window again. This implies that the doll see everything, even though it is not alive just like a ghost. The doll is fairly creepy swell. By showing the doll, the audience can expect that its can happen again as she was not destroyed. Furthermore, the final shot of the window zooms out and the audience can see a bit of the woman in black’s veil. This connotes that the woman was always there and she was the cause of the girls deaths, she is like a demon with a lot of power. The woman in able to inflict death upon children (emphasises by the woman screaming ‘my baby’s’), making the audience feel on edge and worried for what is to come.


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