4. General Research

All movies today are rated by the British Board of Film Classification It has the statutory requirement to classify DVD’s, Videos and sometimes video games. The various age ratings films can be rated are Universal (U), Parental Guidance (PG), 12, 12A, 15 and 18. I have recently thought about this whilst watch Television at home whilst watching a movie with my niece that had some mild language that was unsuitable for her to watch but the movie was a PG. 

Universal (U)

Firstly, U stands for the word universal this means that the movie should be suitable for people of all ages to watch without giving them any discomfort during the viewing of the film. There is generally no focus on language, sexual references or violence though some violence included is very mild and usually acceptable for all ages to watch.

UniversalParental Guidance (PG)

PG stands for Parental Guidance which means that any movie with this particular rating may have content that is unsuitable for younger children to watch whether it be due to the sexual references included, the language used or the violence. However, if their are references in these particular fields they generally aren’t graphic or unsettling. Ultimately the decision falls to the children’s parents to decide whether or not the content isn’t too unsettling for them to watch. An example of a movie rated PG is Frozen.

PGAge Rating of 12

If a movie is rated 12 it means that if you are not 12 or above you cannot watch the particular movie, this is generally only associated with the cinemas. However, it is again up to the children’s parents to decide if they are allowed to watch these films. The films usually include strong language that may be unsettling to the viewers, much like the violence and sexual reference included. They are again only mild and generally not graphic.

12Age Rating of 12A

If a movie is rated 12A it means that if you are not 12 or above you cannot watch the particular movie unless you are accompanied by an adult. (These are generally people 18+) This means that it is up to that particular parent or guardian to decide whether the movie will be unsettling for the child. Typically children under 12 are advised not to view a film of 12A+ because it may consist of mild violence, language and sexual references that may be unsettling for them to see.

12AAge Rating of 15

This particular age rating means that anyone under the age of 15 cannot view the particular movie, this again is mainly associated with cinemas. However, it is still the same with movies brought from the stores. These movies tend to have very strong language throughout, sexual references and in some cases nudity and generally strong violence that may be upsetting to viewers of a younger age than 15.

15Age Rating of 18

Generally films that are rated 18 will have very strong language and violence (With gore and detailed graphic images included), sexual references and nudity that will be unacceptable for viewers under the age of 18.

18At this particular moment in time I cannot categorize what rating our opening sequence will be. However, I can eliminate Universal (U), 15 and 18.


There are numerous different types of microphones that are used to record specific sounds and noises used everywhere, everyday.

Dynamic Microphone

The first type of microphone I am going to cover is the Dynamic Microphone. Firstly, these types of microphones are versatile and ultimately resilient to rough handling. Also, they are also inexpensive and are relatively affordable for anyone who wants to purchase one.

Secondly, the Dynamic Microphone is a passive microphone because it has no electrical charge and it doesn’t require batteries or an external electrical source. Also the dynamic microphones are better suited when recording sounds that are higher in volume and closer to the microphone itself – Typically 1-4 inches away from it. This is one particular microphone that we will not be using when it comes down to recording our footage because it will be in our shots and in the way.

Dynamic MicrophoneShotgun Microphone

The second microphone I am going to cover is the Shotgun Microphone. This specific microphone is a cylindrical microphone that excels from picking up sound from directly in front of it – this is known as the sensitivity area; these have a very narrow range where the microphone will pick up the sound, this is better for human voices. However, it will not pick up any exterior sounds such as people talking in the background due to its narrow focus point – It generally needs to be within 1-4 inches to efficiently record. These microphones are generally used or filming movies and recording for TV shows as they will typically only need to focus on specific people rather than a big group of people. This is one microphone we will be using alot over the duration of our recording because this microphone will enable us to have clear audio in terms of dialogue and will be relatively easy to use.

Shotgun Microphone DiagramLapel Microphone

The Lapel Microphone is generally placed on subtly someone’s clothing to record and capture the sound of the person talking; these are commonly used during interviews and when filming on set. The microphone is relatively small when placed onto clothing and this enables people to move around whilst these are connected to their clothing whilst talking to people. These microphones can be wireless but also can have a long wire connected to the power source in order for the sound to be recorded, this isn’t beneficial for us when we record our footage because it will be a nuisance to use mainly due to the wire so we will be using the wireless variant. The wireless variant will allows us to record sound such as voices much easier because it can record these sound much more clearly but also it can be easily hidden by clothing.

Lapel MicrophoneCondenser Microphone

The final microphone is the Condenser Microphone. This specific microphone is particularly sensitive and is not generally used during high volume recording. These microphones have a range of 1-2 feet and records highly detailed sounds which means it picks up a wide range of frequencies. They require energy from an external source – like a battery or similar, this enables people to move around whilst these are connected to their clothing whilst talking to people. These particular microphones are typically used for voiceovers when re-recording dialogue if it wasn’t as clear during the actual filming. I predict we will need to use this mic a number of times to re-record dialogue when shooting footage for our final scene mainly due to our locations, city and school.

Condenser Microphone

Microphone Testing

Last lesson we were given the task of testing the new equipment the school had recently purchased – a shotgun microphone.  At first the task was relatively simple all we needed to do was record some footage with our smartphones (in this case iPhone 5s) but at the same time record some audio with the shotgun microphone, the content of the footage could be anything. However, once we had done that we then had been given a much more difficult task of lip syncing the audio recorded with the shotgun microphone to the footage shot with our smartphones.

Before filming any footage we had to consider the location in which we recorded the footage so that there were no interruptions or obstacles the may hinder our recording quality, but we also needed consider the strengths and weaknesses of the equipment that we had to use. Before we recorded the audio indoors we took off the mic cover the reasons behind our decision were because did preliminary recordings beforehand and agreed that it was best used outdoors to stop the unpredictable weather from affecting the recording quality. However, we then recorded some footage outside, again we did some more preliminary recordings and agreed that the mic cover was needed because the recorded footage was scratchy and wasn’t very clear in terms of dialogue.

Below I have embedded the footage we recorded with our smartphone, this video has the audio lip synced.



When we went to the British Film Institute (BFI) the acting director Dexter Fletcher touched on the topic of Foley when filming for a movie. I was unfamiliar with this term so I decided to do some research into it to find out more about it.


Foley is the reproduction of everyday sound effects that are recorded and incorporated into a movie after it has been filmed – it is all added in post production. These sounds are meant to complement and replace unwanted sounds recorded on set because, very often, sounds recorded on set are generally obstructed by an unwanted sound and are not deemed convincing enough to match the visual style within a movie. A Foley artist attempts to create realistic ambient sounds that are necessary within a film and these sounds are enhanced to improve the auditory sound of a movie. The type of sounds that can be remade range from the breaking glass to creaky doors to help make the movie more tense and edgy, depending on the type of genre being created.


Automatic Dialogue Replacement (ADR)

Foley artists don’t just re-record sounds in post productions they may also want to re-record dialogue. Automatic Dialogue Replacement (ADR) is the process where voices and dialogue are re-recorded in post production because it may have been obstructed whilst filming on set. The main aim for the ADR is to incorporate sound effects into a movie – This is so that re-recorded voices are synchronised successfully.

The best pieces of Foley art are added into a movie and go unnoticed by the audience and this is a difficult task. Syncing the sound into the movie and making it all fit together is a complicated task for even the best of Foley artists. These artists can effectively hide unwanted sounds captured on set whilst filming a movie; such as traffic.

Below I have embedded a video named ‘What is Foley?’ where a guy called Micheal MacKinnon explains what it is and the alternative ways it can be used. e.g. for re-making sound effects for clothes, props and footsteps. 


On November 12th we visited the Film Forever Institute (BFI) in London. We were then greeted by a chief examiner, highlighting the importance of different film openings available for us to create ourselves. The event that we visited was created for our purpose to aid us and give us insight of how much effort is put into the making of an opening sequence and trailers within a company. This was helpful as it gave me ideas that I could incorporate into my own final design.

BFIHannah Rothman

The first thing that was investigated when we arrived was the making of movie trailers. This gave us the perception on what editing may need to take place before work is published for people to view, this will ensure that the trailers are perfect for the audience to view without giving too much away. This was further exaggerated when we were introduced to Hannah Rothman who is an associate director. Initially when she was employed with her company she had no idea that she would be working to market and distribute movies to distributors. She only thought she would be used as a French interpreter. However, with her film related surroundings she began to learn the necessary skills required to create her own film trailers and opening sequences. After she had answered any questions from the audience and the chief examiner, her presentation continued when she showed us a sequence from a movie she helped create funded by the BFI called ‘The Selfish Giant’.

The Selfish Giant

From what I can remember Hannah Rothman was talking about how she wanted to grab the audience’s attention effectively, so rather than using ‘Best Film of The Year’ she used ‘Britain has found a new director to be proud of’. She continued to speak about how she saw this as a selling point of the movie not only because they didn’t sound like a self-proclaimed company who made their work out to be better than it is, but because they want the British audience to be proud that it was a British director that created the film.

In terms of the trailer itself I believe that they did well to contain the excitement as they didn’t present much of the narrative or story and controlled this within the 2 minute period. This is an effective way to persuade people into purchasing this particular film because the trailer we watched was extraordinary and fascinated me, this will appeal to many viewers that watch it. The implementation of characters also built up anticipation and ultimately surprise because the movie in fact circles around children and this isn’t a common thing to see, this makes it a unique film in its own right.

Once the sequence had finished she then went on to explain how in her job role as a creative director how it is her job to cut down the 2 hour film and create a 2 minute trailer so that it can be effectively advertised to the viewers and make it appealing at the same time. Carefully picking and selecting the dialogue, content and motion graphics she needs to include is the key to a successful trailer. She then elaborates about her earlier points by exaggerating how she has to be very careful and selective of what the trailer contains because she doesn’t want to showcase the whole movie storylinewithin the 2 minute period.

Finally, Hannah Rothman talks about her target audience for the film. She continues to explore the different features and desires of the audience that she might add into the creation of the film in order to meet the audiences age and purpose. However, even though she says the audience’s ideas are vital to creating an effective film, they also have to use their own ideas and incorporate them into the film bearing in mind what their thoughts are.

In conclusion, Hannah Rothmans final trailer has outstanding results; this is due to the fact that it doesn’t convey the whole storyline and plot for the audience to see within the 2 minute period. It is made more effective because it is left a mystery and concealed from the audience; this trailer certainly makes you want to watch more of the movie.

Dexter Fletcher

We were then introduced to a director and actor, Dexter Fletcher. His Career started when he famously starred in a movie called Bugsy Malone in 1976 as a young child, over the course of his career he has steadily altered into mature characters as he grew older. Nevertheless, in recent years he has been taking up the role of director, where he has already created a film called Wild Bill (2011) based on his childhood where he was expected to act like an adult at such a young age.

"Sunshine On Leith" Portraits - 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

Film Distribution

A film distributor is a company or individual responsible for the marketing of a film, this process is lengthy because it will be difficult  to compete against other companies.  The film distributors have to aim and identify the movie to a extensive target audience in order for them to maximize profit for the particular movie, but also baring in mind that their movie can only be launched once. Furthermore, the distributor needs to be confident of the ideas and assured that they will level or exceed the profit target.


When releasing a film there are particular steps entertainment companies take in order to maximize profit. They release movies for theatrical release (Cinema), for home entertainment and television release. They do this by setting a release date for a movie so that the target audience can view it. Moreover, theatrical releases mean viewers can only watch the film certain period of time before it is removed. This is important for the initial exposure of the movie, this determines how successful the movie will be in the future. However, home entertainment includes DVD’s and Blu-Ray sales, this is the most divers way to distribute films and allows them to explore new ways to maintain profit and growth prospects. Finally, the television release is where you can pay and choose exactly what you watch when you want to watch it, rather than following the traditional way of viewing television.

The Film Distribution Process

  • Firstly, the film idea is put forward to the distributors; this is where the advertising and promotion for the film begins.
  • The next thing that happens is the company makes the decision on whether they want to purchase the rights for the particular movie.
  • Then if a company or individual does decide they are going to purchase the rights to a movie, the movie cast is then put together. This includes; the producer, the director and the actors starring in it.
  • After this is all completed the movie is then created and is sent to a studio, the studio then decides whether to make a license agreement with the film distributor.
  • The distribution company then decides on the number of copies of their movie they are going to create. Once they have made an agreement they then advertise and show selected cinemas their movie i order for them to buy it.
  • If the selected cinemas purchase the movie, it is then shown for a certain period of time before it is then taken down. Finally, the film is sent back to the distribution company and payments are made for the lease agreement.
  • Film festivals are a great way for independent film makers to advertise and promote their films. This could potentially be successful and if distributors are interested they could come to an agreement on sharing the profit.

Film Distributors

Below I have listed a few examples of film distributors.

  • Warner Bros.
  • Lions Gate UK
  • 20th Century Fox Film Co. Ltd.
  • Universal Pictures

What is a DSLR?

digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) is a digital camera combining the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor, as opposed to photographic film. The reflex design scheme is the primary difference between a DSLR and other digital cameras.

Nikon DSLR CameraSome Specific Features

It has numerous different of modes that can shoot film in, these modes are,  Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual Mode and each has their own purpose.

Aperture Priority

Aperture priority is a setting on some cameras that allows the user to choose a specific aperture priority value while the camera selects a shutter speed to match, thereby ensuring proper exposure. This is different from manual mode, where the user must decide both values, shutter priority where the user picks a shutter speed with the camera selecting an appropriate aperture. Adjusting the aperture also allows you to alter the depth of field, or how much of the photo is in focus.

Shutter priority

Shutter priority refers to a setting on some cameras that allows the user to choose a specific shutter speed while the camera adjusts the aperture priority to ensure correct exposure. This is different from manual mode, where the user must decide both values, aperture priority where the user picks an aperture with the camera selecting the shutter speed to match.

Manual Mode

Manual mode allows you to set both your aperture priority and shutter speed separately, without the camera automatically changing the other to suit. With this in mind, you can be more creative with your shots. For example, you can photograph a beach landscape keeping the aperture high (for example f/22) so everything is in focus, yet at the same time set a slow shutter speed to create dreamy, slow motion waves. 

Depth of Field

Depth of field refers to how much of the picture that the camera is focusing on when recording or taking a picture. For example, if there is a person standing in front of a reasonably beautiful location and the man behind the camera wanted to make sure that the whole picture is focus then he wouldn’t have a shallow depth of field – it would be deep.  It is determined the amount of light that enters the camera, there are three main factors that determine the depth of field; Aperture Priority, Focal length of lens and the distance between the subject and the camera.


The ISO is the level of sensitivity of your camera to the light. The lower the ISO, the less sensitive it is to the light, while a higher ISO increases the sensitivity of your camera. The component within your camera that can change sensitivity is called image sensor. It is the most important part of a camera and it is responsible for gathering light and transforming it into an image. This will benefit us during our filming because if we have too much light when we are filming we can alter the ISO camera settings so that it blocks out some of the light, making our recording quality better. Alternatively, if we didn’t have enough light we could use artificial lighting again the camera can help us to get the right level of light whilst recording.

Custom White Balance

Custom White Balance is where you make sure that the colours within the image is accurate. This is basically removing all of the unrealistic colours from the picture, it ensures that every colour within the image is right but ultimately the colour white. Some cameras have trouble judging what colour white is under different light sources compared to human eyes, so we want to make sure that in our recording that we correctly set the custom white balance so that all of the colours are perfect.

DSLR_LiveviewUsing the DSLR

I will be using the DSLR to film my final piece, this camera will help me to overcome many of the problems that I faced and identified during my preliminary task. In my preliminary task I used an Iphone 5 (previously covered) which gave us a few problems with light levels, sounds and shooting of the footage. Using the alternative, the DSLR will ensure that these mistakes will not occur again because we can use additional features for the DSLR. For example, we can use a tripod so that the footage we record is not shaky and we can use sound covers which will stop the weather from interfering with our recording. Overall, we are sure that using the DSLR camera will give us better quality of footage and sound than the Iphone 5 did in the preliminary.

Key Framing

In class I have been experimenting with Final Cut Pro and improving my skills on Key Framing because my experience with this type of software is limited. Key Framing is basically defined as the process of assigning a specific parameter value of an object to another parameter value at a specific point in time. Key Frames that have been assigned gradually change an object in a particular way, such as; rotating, changing the position, altering the scale or anchoring. For example, you may want to rotate a title 180 degrees within 5 seconds.

Key Framing

Camera Angles & Film Rules

Following on from my research of opening scene conventions, I have decided to research into different types of camera angles by analyse how important they are, and how they are used for specific scenes within particular movies. This will help me to incorporate them successfully into my video so that I can get the best possible grade. The different camera shots I am researching are:

Medium Shot (MS)


Medium Close Up (MCU)


Close Up (CU)


Extreme Close Up (ECU)


Over-The-Shoulder Shot (OSS)


Point Of View Shot (POV)


 Establishing Shot (ES)


 Long Shot (LS)


 Panning Shot (PS)


Film Rules


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