Adding Sound Effects

I put a lot of thought into the different types of sound effects that I was going to add to our final sequence, this is mainly down to the fact that I didn’t want to over-do it with them and have some in unnecessary places throughout the sequence. However, I did think of 5 straight away that I was definitely going to add to the final piece sequence, these were; gun cocking sound, gunshot, door opening, static sound and heartbeat. I thought these are the fundamental four in the sequence mainly because they would be very easy to spot if they didn’t have any distinguishing sound, or the right sound for that.

Firstly, to find these sounds I took a look at the pre-recorded sounds that are on Final Cut Pro hoping that they would have everything we needed so I didn’t have to spend valuable time looking for them over the internet. I clicked on a small icon in the bottom right-hand corner that looks like a musical note…

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Straight away I found one that I was looking for which was the heartbeat and all I did then once I found it was drag it into the sequence and footage I was editing for my final piece.

Sound Effect

Tripod

I then did exactly the same for the gun cocking sound, door opening sound and the gunshot sound for the sequence, here are a few images showing you the same thing but this time for the gun cocking sound…

Sound Effects

Uploading

Adding a Soundtrack

When thinking about the type of music (or ambient sound) we wanted for the sequence it became a difficult task because for us it was hard to think about and locate the right sound for the opening sequence., not only that but it had to be copyright free music too. As I searched through various websites I was careful when listening to different tracks and I struggled to find one that would compliment our title sequence, as I didn’t want it to contrast and give our sequence the wrong feeling. 

I searched through numerous websites until I came to a site called http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music/cinematic – Though this website didn’t have any unique tracks I did manage to find a sound that effectively fit into our sequence and gave it the feel that we wanted it too. So all I did was simply download the file and drag it from it’s folder into the title sequence in Final Cut pro.

Bensound.com

Once I had placed it into the sequence I played it back to effectively see if it was the right one, it was only there was a few problems. The main problem was that the track didn’t play continuously throughout the sequence so it became a task of inserting another music file into the sequence and try and match the end of one to the beginning of the other, this was to ensure that it fit together and there was continuity. Needless to say it wasn’t too much of a difficult task and it now fits perfectly into the sequence.

Soundtrack Overview

Adding Ken Burns

When we was showing one of our teachers our opening sequence he gave us a recommendation about adding a really great effect to the sequence that would improve the shots and add a little more to the sequence, this effect is known as the ‘Ken Burns Effect’. We added this to a shot where the antagonist is wielding a gun by his side, during this particular shot the camera slowly zooms into the handgun as the hand shakes, once it zooms in to a certain degree the screen changes to the next shot.

I added this by simply highlighting (Or clicking…) on the shot I want to add it to, then I clicked on the ‘crop’ tool just beneath the small picture showcasing the shots we have put together.

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Once I had done that the Ken Burns feature opened up on the screen, all I did once this had happened was to drag the box that determined where the camera was going to zoom in too and entered this by pressing the ‘enter’ button on the keyboard.Screenshot (17)

By adding this Ken Burns effect into the sequence it gives the sequence a much better feel and emotion, this ultimately centralizes the handgun as something of importance within the scene and gives the audience the connotations that it might be used within the next minutes or seconds within the sequence. Effectively we added this small be delicate effect in to give the audience a sense of tension and maybe even death because people with their own experience of the genre should understand that this kind of shot means that something significant is about to happen and it all centers around the handgun.

Here is an example showcasing the Ken Burns effect in action within our opening sequence…

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Adding Titles

Today I have been experimenting with different styles of text and font in order to use for our opening sequence titles, these will present what roles our group members played with the creation of our final piece. Firstly, I browsed through a large number of different fonts and effects for the fundamental aspect of the opening sequence titles, the look. At first I had chosen a ‘fade in’ ‘fade out’ style added to the chosen title to match the type of footage… although it was ultimately opposite and contrasted relatively well. However, when I showed one of my group members they decided against that and advised we just go for a more simple and authentic title sequence.

I finally decided to choose a really simple font that was easy to read, it is showcased in the illustration below.

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The process was ultimately simple and easy to carry out, this was because we are having our titles show up on the screens, which meant we had to make it fit onto the screen so it isn’t over the action or good parts and this was what I originally wanted to do within the opening sequence. All I did was click on the ‘text’ option that added a text box that allowed me to insert anything that I wanted, in this case ‘PRODUCED BY:’ which then allowed me to key frame the text to either move, flip, rotate or enlarge in size. However, I have not yet decided what I want the text to do yet as I do not want to over do it and add effects that are not necessary.

Though there are numerous different title sequence we have thought about and are still considering. This is because a couple of our group members prefer other ideas for the opening title sequence, we may still add this to our sequence. 

Here are a few examples of the title sequence we have added to our sequence…

Shot 1:

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Shot 2:

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Shot 3:

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Editing Day 2

Introduction

Today I got down to editing our groups final piece some more and because I have done the bulk of the sequence and knew where we were at I thought it would be best if me and one other group member fine tuned the sequence by adding in the final touches.

Letterbox Effect

Once I had arranged the footage and placed it into the correct order I went about adding an effect that was recommended by one of my teachers, this is known as the letterbox effect. It isn’t hard to understand and is exactly what it says… All it does it give you two black strips at the top and bottom of the screen giving you a more authentic look to the final piece. This is also good when you opening sequence is played on the big screen as it  ensures that you footage isn’t stretched… Or at least as much as if it wasn’t there. To do this all I did was click on a small icon near the bottom of the Final Cut Pro interface, it looks like this. 

Letterbox Icon

Once I had clicked this I typed into the search bar at the bottom, I typed the word ‘Letterbox’ which then gave me an effect called letterbox when entered that I then Dragged onto the work in my final piece. The letterbox option looks like this…

Letterbox Aspect Ratio

I then altered the aspect ratio of the letterbox to increase the broadness of the two black strips at the top and the bottom…

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 10.16.54 Below is an image showcasing to you what it is that the letterbox effect actually does to the footage once it is placed over it.

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CCTV Overlay

Today I was focusing on the final edits that were to be made to the sequence and one of the more important ones was that of the CCTV at the beginning of the sequence. Firstly, I placed a letterbox effect on the footage so that it matched the rest of the sequence as I had previously done this in another editing session when I also put the footage in order so that it fit together and had good continuity – Editing Day 1. Once I had placed the letterbox effect I then searched through the overlays for a CCTV or camera effect to also place over the footage we had recorded, needless to say I located one relatively quickly and all I did then was drag it over to the footage and drop it on top of it. I did have to alter the footage a little by moving it so that it fit in the letterbox perfectly. This overlay should give the feel that the place is rundown and old due to the black and white styled camera. The two overlays are showcased in the image below…

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I then simply looked for another overlay that would give the CCTV a rundown feel as we wanted to make the area itself seem ultimately rundown as we planned for the drug deal, and drug deals wouldn’t happen in busy streets. The overlay I found was an old TV styled overlay that gave it the kind of static effect over the footage so that we could still see what was happening, all I had to do was lower the opacity so that is wasn’t so strong over our recorded footage.

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This is the outcome I got from doing this…

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 Adding Sound & Effects

I also looked through the pre-recorded sound effects and music through Final Cut Pro and looked for ones that we needed to place into our sequence, I looked for sounds like; gun cocking, heartbeats, footsteps and gun shooting sounds to place over the top of the sequence to give it a better feel and make it seem more realistic as these weapons were not real.

Here are the three main sound effects that I included into our final piece video…

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Editing Day 1

Once we had finished the filming last night we decided to straight away begin with the editing of the sequence. We began the editing process of the footage on the software called Final Cut Pro on the school Macs. First step was to successfully assemble the correct shots together into an opening sequence with two specific and important aims. These were:

  1. Place the shots into an order that makes it look good and feel like it had an affect and emotion on the viewers.
  2. To ensure that the sense of continuity is kept through the whole sequence.

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To ensure that the continuity is kept me and my group member decided to add in ‘fade in’ and ‘fade out’ transitions between every shot, for now. This was simply down to the quick succession of each shot transitioning before, which kind of gave it an effect we didn’t want. This is simply because it gave the effect of the scene moving really fast and it seemed as though it was like this all the way through, we aim for it to go at a slower rate simply because of the plot and narrative we have set up for the protagonist.

I also removed all of the sound from every shot I have decided to use once placed together, this was simply because we have decided to use a method called ‘foley’ which I have spoken about in a blog post in the past and will cover it again in a future blog post. We have simply chosen to use this because when replaying the shots the sound recorded with the camera was amateur and scratchy meaning that we couldn’t really hear what was being said by the characters. To carry this method out successfully we are going to use a microphone called the ‘shotgun mic’ as this will ensure the best sound quality possible to put over the top of our shots.

Filming Day 2

Today me and one of my other group members Ellton Clow and a friend Conor Bryan continued the filming of our opening sequence. We simply re-filmed some shots outside of GP3 as we didn’t get the sufficient shots on Filming Day 1. However, we did this time and was ready to begin the filming of the rest of the sequence and for this we asked a favor of a friend to see if he could be a character within our opening sequence, he said yes and we began filming straight away.

We carried on with the filming but in Ellton Clow’s house as this was the next location that we needed for our opening sequence. We used his front garden, porch, kitchen and dining room for this and it only took us a few shots to correctly get the shot good enough for the sequence. This is where we saw the protagonist and antagonist share some form of dialogue to one another during the filming, and we had chosen to film indoors as it would generally have less noise that doing it outside even though we had decided to do foley.

Here are a few shots we shot on the filming of day 2…

Shot 1:

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Shot 2:

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Shot 3:

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Filming Day 1

My group and I simply filmed some really basic shots outside of GP3 today, we were recording the scene that we plan to have a CCTV styled camera shot on showcasing an apparent drug deal between two people one being the protagonist. We really didn’t get much done today simply because we didn’t plan out what shots were going to be done first so we had some slight disputes and began to waste some time. However, we did get some footage shot before we had to leave the vicinity and it was really raw. 

We did aim to record the drug deal happening but instead we recorded some shots of the protagonist walking up to a gate and simply opening it. This is showcased in the embedded video below…

Storyboard

Shot 1:

This shot is simply a panning shot of the protagonist as he is entering the room, this is after he opens the door. The camera follows the protagonist as he walks from left to right exiting through another door, to another room.

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Shot 2:

The next shot will show the protagonist sitting in a dining room seat beginning to draw a picture on some plain paper. However, much of hs actions are hidden by a chair that covers most of the paper whilst he caries out this activity.

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Shot 3:

Shot 3 is simply an extreme close-up shot of the protagonists eye as he is carrying out his activity. It allows the viewers to see into his eyes and produce the affect that he may not be as concentrated as you would perceive. You will be able to see the protagonist look in different places except from the sheet of paper in front of him.

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Shot 4:

This shot is another extreme close-up yet of the pencil the protagonist is using in the sequence. It simply shows him beginning to draw something on the sheet of plain paper. However, the pencil lead snaps and the protagonists has a burst of anger and throws the pencil angrily into the table. 

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Shot 5:

In this particular shot we see the protagonist throw down his pencil and proceed to get up from his chair to retrieve a lighter that was placed on top of the piano, once acquired he sits back down but into the end chair.

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Shot 6:

The protagonist attempts to light the lighter he is wielding numerous times, this will be presented through a POV shot. As he attempts to light it he realises that there is a person sat at the other end of the table preparing drugs. (Hallucinations) He quickly puts down the lighter and begins to stare.

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Shot 7:

The protagonist then begins to rub his eyes to see if the person would disappear, this is shown by a mid-shot from the right hand side of the protagonist.

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Shot 8:

The person that the protagonist is seeing whilst he is hallucinating then immediately disappears right before his eyes, this is presented by an over-the-shoulder shot from behind the protagonist.

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Shot 9:

The protagonist then gets up and gets a spray can and begins to shake it as if he is about to use it. Once he does this is stops and places it on the table.

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Shot 10:

This is a close up shot of the protagonist as he pulls down the scarf that is covered over his mouth and he then says ‘are you ready’ to the hallucination he sees in the chair.

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Props

Introduction

When we had successfully finished the storyboard and the script, we believed that it would e best to create a list of the different props and costumes we used for each of the characters within the opening sequence. These are inevitably the important aspects of the sequence because they are there to help set the mood for the sequence and without these it just wouldn’t be the same.

Drugs

This prop in my opinion was the most important simply because this is what the protagonist is based around… Drug Dealing. I know there could have been other drugs but for this video we simply went for this drug, its a class A drug so will showcase the importance of concealment throughout the sequence and exaggerate the punishment if he is caught. We simply asked the food technology teacher if we could use some flour and some cling film to create this particular prop for the sequence.

cocainebaggie

This is actually what we used as the Cocaine within the sequence Tesco value plain flour from the Food Technology store room.

Flour

Gun

This is the second most important prop within the opening sequence in my opinion, this is because our genre is simply a mix between social realism and action thriller so we felt that we had to include the mild violence that would categorize us within the target audience age range  of 15. We only really needed on gun within the sequence as we never had/ or needed two guns within the same scene as we did a Star Wars reference of Han Solo and Greedo when they are in the Mos Eisley Cantina.

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Phone

Within our opening sequence we have the protagonist place this prop onto the table from his pocket, this prop is also a major part in the sequence as the audience are shown a text message from a mystery person that may be important to the protagonist and even the antagonist within the sequence.

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