Final Decisions

As it comes closer to my time to film I have had to decide on some final decisions for my film opening. This includes my actors, my costumes, the props needed and any post production effects I will be needing. I made some changes to my initial idea, namely the choice I stated earlier in my blog that I will be depicting a gay couple. I decided to change this slightly into a lesbian couple as I feel that lesbian couples are highly sexualised in the media and are rarely shown to be just average couples. As well as this my two actresses I chose worked well together during auditions for the role and performed rather well alone. I felt that this would be the best choice for my piece also as they performed very naturally together as a couple.

Characters/ Actors.
My main actors are three females and one male. All aged 15-21 and all have some experience in performance. I liked these actors for a number of reasons, firstly because they were experienced, meaning that a filmmaker with less experience like myself will find it easier to work with them as they know what to expect from a filming session. As well as this I liked their ‘look’ so to speak. My actresses playing young married couple Callie and Jessica Bennett are young adult females who work well together on camera and appear to be a convincing couple. My actor playing Joe Cole, Callie’s elder brother is another young adult who is older than than the two girls, making it obvious that he is an elder brother when he comforts his sisters distressed wife later on in the opening. Finally I have a authority figure police figure who is played by a baby-faced teenage girl. This seemed like an odd decision at the time but I like how youthful she appeared to be as this shows how hatred and “hetrophobia” exists in the younger generations. I will also have a few extras for the TV scene.

Mrs Callie and Mrs Jessica Bennett.
Callie is a normal young married woman who studies at university. She will be dressed a little more fashionably than her on screen wife as she is portrayed to be younger, as she holds more up to date world views and is less hateful than her peers. As I want to get across that this is a young couple, both partners will be wearing an everyday and fashionable ensemble which would be considered youthful and fashionable for today. This also helps to portray the idea that gay people are just as ‘regular’ as straight people to my audience, as they dress and act in very much the same way as most women today would. This is also an easy costume to use for a drama piece such as this one as the idea of drama is for it to look like something that could happen every day. For example TV Dramas such as Emmerdale use casual and normal clothing throughout as it enhances the realism of the text. For women outfits such as skinny jeans and leggings have become popular clothing for the past few years, I want my actresses to be wearing them as this is something the audience could relate to. I have a few ideas for clothing and costume below.


Joe Coles
Joe is a normal guy who works a basic job at a technology firm, however he is still rather young and during this scene he will likely be wearing casual clothing as he has popped round to his sisters and his sister in laws house for a cup of tea. In this context the average British male would wear something casual and everyday. Today matching tracksuits are popular mens wear even when not worn for working out. I was torn between having him wear a tracksuit or a plain T-Shirt and jeans. I felt that the T-shirt and jeans would be a more appropriate option as it connotes that he is plain. Outfits such as tee shirts do not have logos on them like tracksuits do and therefore this allows the audience to identify with him. Even though he is a ‘hetrophobe’ (a term coined specifically for the film to mirror the term ‘homophobe’ used today), he is a genuinely kind character who is level headed and calm, this is an aspect people like to see in themselves as they would rather identify with a positive than a negative character, and therefore the plain clothes will help to make him more relatable to my male audience.


The police officer

As the officer isn’t strictly from the police force but is actually a ‘Family planning and safety’ officer, to make her wear a stereotypical uniform for a police officer would look odd, instead I’m having her wear normal clothes as if she were a ‘undercover’ officer, but with distinct props to show that she is in authority such as handcuffs and a badge with her ID on it. This would portray that this is an officer without having to wear the uniform. As well as this I want her costume to include a dark overcoat, so to make her appear normal but somewhat shady, as if she cant be trusted.


I will need some basic props that suggest either a normal living situation at home, and the props the police officer uses to show that this has been disrupted. Mugs of tea suggest a happy and typical British family situation as tea is something that is a somewhat understated staple of the typical British home. Using a mug rather than a teacup connotes a typical and comforting environment, however, this strongly contrasts with the actual living situation of the partners. As well as this a kettle of water will also be used as there is a scene in the production where tea is being made to help calm the social tension. A sofa and television are also going to be used to connote that the room the family is sitting in is a living room, and the television will also be used as a plot device as it shows the news report on it. The police officer will carry an identification badge that has been made for the purpose, as well as a pair of handcuffs.




As much of my piece is shot in the day and some of it in external settings it would be most logical to use natural daylight for the daytime and exterior scenes. This is because it is accessible and looks good on camera. Interior scenes are also being used for my film with the majority of it taking place inside of a house, for this naturalistic lighting can be used by using lamps and fill lights to create a homely setting. I may also be using a night time clip for effect and drama, in this shot I would want the majority of the scene to be dark to connote that it is night time but also to suggest drama while the headlights of traffic work to break up the darkness. I think if I were to use a faded filter on this shot it could look very dramatic and artistic.


The above image is similar to the footage I would like to film while I have my filming underway. I love how the image gives a soft but dramatic, almost romantic type of look, I would like to include something so interesting into my film and it will give some variety as my piece is majority daytime shots.

Interactive mood board (creative post)

Above is the link to my interactive mood board where each image can be viewed in full screen by moving the presentation along, I made the presentation on Prezi and designed it purposefully in this way for the interactive value in mind. As you can see it is exactly the same as my original mood board post, this is because the original mood board was simply a still image of the moving presentation I am presenting here. I use prezi often as I enjoy the interactivity of it and feel like images and typeface on prezi tend to look more professional than if they were put into paint for example.

Mood board post

As I am creating a whole new film opening, I will also be creating a whole new mood board. This one was designed using an online software as I felt that creating it digitally allowed for the board to be more polished and professional in appearance. It can be seen in full below.


The images I chose all had different connotations and signified a certain aspect in the film trailer I am creating. The background I chose was something I felt fit the theme of my trailer as it appeared to be very feminine to me with the purple tree branches. It is also relevant to the film as it appears somewhat romantic with the purple and white and there being a hint of sunlight appearing to be shining between the branches of the trees. I felt that this was perfect as it highlights the romantic storyline in my piece, both with the breakdown of the relationship between Callie and Jess and the interconnected storyline between Callie and her boyfriend. The trees with no leaves on the appear to be autumnal, and as this is the time that I wanted the film opening to be set in as autumn is a beautiful season to film during, but also has signifiers of gloom. Finally the sunlight beaming through the trees is a signifier of the happy ending that the film has, despite the fact that the opening is rather depressing.

The image below signifies how heterosexual relationships have been made illegal as the cross through the couple signifies that they are not accepted in society. The cross through the couple appears as if they are illegal or are considered to be unwanted. It appears to be a sign that may be displayed in a shop or in other public places, further signifying the isolation and hatred towards straight couples throughout society.


This picture signifies my couple. It shows a very significant moment in their life as it is clear that this is a wedding photograph, I chose to use this image instead of one of a couple fighting as I want it to be made clear that they were happy together at some point before the relationship broke down. This adds to the drama element of the genre of my film and its trailer as it is very much focused on the relationship of the couple. As well as this it shows how the dystopian society expects the ‘average’ couple to look like. The couple in the image do not look awkward or out of place, they simply look like a normal and happy pair who are prepared to spend their lives together, this further supports how homosexuality is considered the “norm” or even the “right way” to be within my dystopian society.


This image suggests jealousy and infidelity. It seems as if one partner is suspicious of her partner, as she looks over her shoulder to see what she is doing. This is similar to what happens between Callie and Jess in my film trailer as Jess seems to know that something is going on. It also is an ambiguous image as it could be interpreted as either the woman in the image being the partner of either the man or the woman in the foreground. This links to my film also as it seems at the beginning to an audience in our current society where heterosexuality is the norm that Joe is the partner Callie, however as the film opening continues the true storyline emerges. The drinks in the foreground also have significant meaning, although a slightly vague one, as in my film opening the couple discuss their relationship while making a drink, a cup of tea.


My film idea was heavily inspired by George Orwell’s 1984, which is why I decided to use a quote from the man himself as the only text in my mood board. As well as this I felt that the quote fit the themes of my film, as media is used as a device to control people, mimicking what the hypodermic needle model states. The image itself shows how respectable people are being controlled by what the media tells them, their minds have literally become the media they consume, even within the image we see that no matter what type of media they are consuming, they are constantly being shown a singular idea, as shown by the single hand acting as the puppet master.


is looked like a very lonely image to me, how the heart sits alone with nothing around it. In other pictures during my search for images to use often times there were two hearts side by side, this is why the single heart seemed sad and lonely to me. This symbolizes the character of Callie in my film as she feels isolated as she is not accepted in society due to her sexuality. Jess, her wife, also feels lonely as she knows her wife no longer loves her. They are a couple who are supposed to be in love but instead are emotionally separated from one another.


I felt that this image was something comical, but significant. It is from the board game Monopoly, and is a card that tells the player that they have to go to jail. This signifies how people are being imprisoned for petty reasons such as having ‘illegal’ relationships. As well as this it shows how jail is being treated too freely as a punishment and people are being imprisoned for crimes that shouldn’t be crimes, morally speaking. The image was the most obvious a signifier of the other images I was researching, with images of police officers, handcuffs and jail cells being the most obvious, but this image was the one that I felt captured the futility of the jail system in a society that uses it to scare people into a mindset.


The above image signifies the couple’s marriage, and how up until recently everything seemed perfect. On the inside of the golden ring it is engraved with “my everything”, which seems sad in hindsight as the couple’s relationship breaks down. It shows how the relationship and the marriage was genuine. It also shows how their marriage is an important factor throughout the film and the opening, for example, with Callie’s brother being the emotional support Jess needs through the time where Callie has been imprisoned. In the trailer there is a small glimpse of this when Joe hugs Jess as she cries, signifying that the marriage has created family bonds that will not be easily broken.


Within Celtic mythology Ravens were believed to by spy-like, a symbol of someone watching you. They were said to be deceitful messengers who would watch people from the distance and then relay information. This is significant as it mimics the law enforcement of the narrative, as a being that will watch people. This is also similar to themes in 1984 of “Big Brother is watching you.”

Production Diary – Final Thoughts

My theme of a couple experiencing relationship issues such as a cheating partner is not unique or original at all, especially for Drama genres such as television Drama’s such as Easterners where relationships are a big part of the tension throughout, cheating partners and the dynamic of relationships are often used as a plot device. However, I feel as if my theme of homosexuality, by using a lesbian couple, as well as the theme of law and government restrictions are less used by typical drama genres. Often in film gay couples are shown using stereotypes in order to make them appear more comical, they are rarely shown to be exactly the same as any other couple, for example in 2010 film ‘The Runaways’ Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning portray a lesbian couple, however their relationship is shown to be rebellious and short lived. My theme of control and law surrounding relationships came from the George Orwell novel 1984 which was a giant success and best seller, however few films have used his theme of a dystopian, ultra controlled society.

I feel my film looks at the influence of media in a way that the Hypodermic Needle theory would suggest, that the media has great power to change and inject society with the views and morals that media creators hold, and if a totalitarian government were to control media, this would lead to media being used as a tool for mass control. We see how Callie is bullied for her views when she suggests that ‘illegal’ couples do not harm anyone, showing how she is a minority in a society where the majority is influenced by the media.

I think a more British based company like Film4 might distribute this as it is very tied to British culture (British actors, locations, ext) and it is also rather symbolic and close to reality, if being a little overdramatised like the type of film Film4 like to produce. I like to think my film is creative and original so they would like to broadcast it. The more realistic locations I used along with the heightened dramatic characters is a lot like the style Film4 prefer to distribute.

I feel as if my film would be enjoyed by young adults, around age 15 and up as the themes used within the film are themes that teens around this age are becoming aware of, for example the themes of government control are seen to an extent in The Hunger Games, which was a giant seller toward young adults, but I also feel as if this film would appeal to the LGBT community as it showcases a realistic gay relationship. I have certified the film a 15 due to the use of discriminatory language and behavior used throughout the film, as well as its use of strong language.

I’ve learnt about editing skills and how films need the right pace and the right type of editing to work. I’ve learnt to critically watch my own work and always strive to improve, I’ve learnt how to use sound and sometimes silence to my advantage when making my film and using imagery and sound to affect the audience. At first I found filming difficult, I had struggled with angles and cinematography, however in my second time around doing AS I’ve found it much easier to film as I know exactly what I want and what I’m doing.

Audience Research

Audience is often defined by demographics, the age, race, gender, ethnicity, social class and even social groups your average audience member is expected to be. This would effect the final outcome of the media you create depending on whom the piece is created for. In film this would effect what types of music you use, the actors you chose, the settings you film in ect. However, audience has other components that would effect the film you are creating. For example if your audience is a passive or active audience. The passive audience will consume media without questioning its content, its meaning or its reliability. Will aimlessly consume media and will oftentimes ‘buy into’ the media, be it through buying things they see in television ads to undoubtedly believing the stereotypes the media teaches them to believe.The active audience, on the other hand, will question and discuss the content of the media they consume, will actively search for media that gratifies them, will do their own research on content and issues brought up in the media that they are consuming. They are purposefully invested into the media in a way that allows them to question it further.

There are theories of film as well as the theories of the audience that consume the film.

The “Hypodermic Needle theory” implied that media acted as a ‘hypodermic needle’ that has the capacity to ‘inject’ the minds of the public with information, propaganda and ideology. The mass media in the 1940s and 1950s were perceived as a powerful influence on behavior change, although this may not be all down to the media, as it this point in time other factors contributed to the change of society, such as the end of the second world war.

The Two Step Flow theory suggests that media is absorbed by the general public, however opinion leaders are the ones that pass on their own thoughts and ideas about the media that they just absorbed. The theory assumes that the majority of the audience is passive, and therefore simply listens to what they’re told and believe in whatever they see or hear in the media. The Minority of the audience is active and take their time to reach their own opinion on the media, and therefore pass it on.

Reception Analysis theory is an approach to textual analysis which puts more emphasis on the audience, as the audience consume the media text, they are defining what it means. The individual who is consuming the media text uses their own experience in order to make sense of the media. They put the media into context for themselves based off of their own beliefs, values, morals and experiences. Therefore, people with similar socio-cultural backgrounds are likely to make similar readings of the same texts.


My film opening is designed to capture a small section of my film while making introducing my audience to my main themes, ideas, setting, characters, narrative and tone of the film. My film opening would be less than 5 minutes of my entire film and in order to understand the opening in more depth the entire film needs to be made known. First I will discuss in some detail my narrative and characters and settings.

This is set in the UK, almost exactly like how we see it today, in a dystopian future, there are significant economic problems. Due to overpopulation there is strain on recourses, jobs, education, healthcare ect. The richer are better off and the poor are much worse off, the gap between middle and working class is huge. Roughly 100 years before the time that the film takes place the government decided that the best way to combat overpopulation would be to advocate, and later enforce homosexuality through benefits, laws and the media. This is because it allowed the government to better control the birth rate, as couples have to go through a long process in order to be allowed to use genetic engineering to have their own child, while couples can adopt freely to reduce strain on the child care system. Since the laws have been enforced and media has actively pushed people to reject hetrosexuality, the strain on the system has gone down significantly and “breeders” have been blamed solely for the economic crisis. Hetrosexual couples are punished socially and lawfully, and must be made infertile in order to be able to marry, while sex outside of marriage has been made a punishable crime for straight partners. This echoes the laws of other countries that have existed, such as China’s one child policy, and Russia’s ban on gay rights.

The story follows one family and one mysterious figure who is only briefly seen in the opening. Callie and Jessica are a typical couple of the time, married rather young Callie is a full time uni student and Rose is a secretary for a reputable law firm. They make a fair living together and have had a happy, if fairly rocky marriage. Joe, Callies brother who models for companies such as Lynx and Sony, is fairly well off and is a close friend to the family.
There is another character, inspector Rice, modeled off of the typical British detective Sherlock Holmes, wears a large overcoat and smokes a ‘vape’ (an electronic cigarette, a more modern pun off of Holmes’ recognizable smoking pipe). He has a double intention. He is hired by the British government to spy on people who are suspected ‘hetro’s’. He checks phone records, tracks cars and bugs houses in order to collect evidence. He uses his position to save people from imprisonment by planting evidence in their favor or helping them to escape completely.

The film itself is set in the UK, Birmingham to be exact, where the divide between rich and poor is great. Locational connotations, such as Birmingham city center may be used however no direct links will be made to Birmingham itself as it is more important that the film is set in a ‘modern’ European country, where such injustices could never be seen to be possible. Places such as houses, parks and cityscapes may be seen, to suggest that this is a big, largely populated city.

Now I will discuss in depth the plot my story follows using the narrative theory Equilibrium Theory suggested by Todorov as it follows a specific pattern that suggests that all narrative media should follow.

The State of Equilibrium:
Callie and Jessica are a regular couple who have a normal, if dissatisfying life. Problems are arising in the relationship and it is clear that it has become very one sided, with Jessica desperately trying to keep the marriage together and healthy, and Callie becoming distant and ambivalent to her wife. This is because Callie knows that she is straight, and although ashamed by herself she has begun an illegal affair with a man who has a husband and two children. At the same time Inspector Rice has been put onto her case with a partner detective who has found evidence of Callie’s hidden double life.

After a heated argument with her wife, Callie is arrested at her home for being suspected of being in an illegal relationship. Inspector Rice begins desperately trying to save her by trying to find evidence but so far has come up short, hoping that he can manage to clear her of all charges. While Callie is arrested her wife and brother desperately try to come to terms with her crime they also begin to fight for information and fight for more information as they believe that she has been arrested and held unfairly.

Callie continues to plead her innocence while her wife and brother begin digging for more information. They get no luck and it appears to her family that Callie has been wrongfully accused. In the mean time Inspector Rice begins to plot a plan in order to make Callie plea innocent in court, and with the right judges be cleared of all charges. This however looks risky when he see’s that Callie’s partner has also been caught and is willing to plea guilty to his crimes. Callie is called into interrogation with Mr. Rice where he tells her of his plan and what is happening with her boyfriend.

New state of equilibrium:
Inspector Rice manages to have Callie and her boyfriend escape the country to a sanctuary for people like themselves, a small island near Italy that is safe from government enforcement and is run completely to house hetrosexual refugees fleeing from Britain. It is here where Callie finds out that Britain was the only country that held these laws and in most other countries her relationship with her boyfriend would have been completely legal. They begin to form a new life on the island while planning to move to Australia to start afresh. Callie’s family is told of her whereabouts and they contact one another regularly and Callie and Rose become friends while Rose divorces Callie by law and begins another relationship.

Filming Diary

As filming is to go underway this week I have designed a filming diary to keep myself on track as well as to inform my cast and crew when the filming will be taking place and where they should be at the specific locations. It can be viewed in the below link to see exactly when and where I will be filming as well as what equiptment and props will be needed. The filming will be over the course of the upcoming week and will take place on 3 days.

Below is also an image of my filming diary.

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