Filmed evaluation

I filmed my evaluation’s at home using the camera built into my laptop. I had to do this due to the webcam being the only camera i had at the time. This meant the quality of the video’s aren’t very good quality and also the audio is just as bad. Furthermore i didn’t have any editing software on my laptop so i had to film the videos in one long shot and edit the videos as best i could through the YouTube editor.


Written evaluation
















2007 – Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli)

2010 – Paranormal Activity 2 (Tod Williams)

2011 – Paranormal Activity 3 (Henry Joost, Ariel Schulmen)

2012 – Paranormal Activity 4 (Henry Joost, Ariel Schulmen)

2014 – Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (Christopher Landon)

2015 – Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimensions (Gregory Plotkin)

2012 – The Cabin In The Woods (Drew Goddard)

2007 – I Am Legend (Francis Lawrence)

2002 – 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle)

2007 – 28 Weeks Later (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo)

2013 – The Conjuring (James Wan)

Websites – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16’The+1984-85+Miners+Strike’+ – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16 – accessed 24/4/16


Audience feedback

Above is the audience feedback that we filmed for our film. The people in the video are two sixth formers who are currently in their second year of A-level Media Studies. The students watched the film opening initially and then we asked them a series of questions about our film opening and what they liked and disliked about it. The questions we asked helped our group understand what the audience see’s and understands about our film. This allowed us to see wether we was conveying the correct ideas to the audience through our film opening.

As they study media they know the correct terminology to use as well as an improved knowledge of what worked and oppositely what didn’t. Furthermore they could precisely tell us what they didn’t like and how they would go about improving it. As they had done this the year before their comments were even more beneficial because they knew that we only had a limited amount of time so they only recommended changes that wouldn’t take long to implement.

At the time we filmed this audience feedback our film opening was near enough complete but we wasn’t sure if their was anything that we had missed. As well as the comments the A2 students being positive they did not pick up on anything that we had missed. The one thing we knew we didn’t have in our film opening was a production company or an age rating, we did add this but as it wasn’t a major thing we didn’t need it when showing it for the audience feedback. The main thing that they picked up on was the dialogue in our film opening. They said that the dialogue was ‘too on the nose’, which in reality it was. For example in the scene where the character is sitting at the table on the phone the person the protagonist is speaking to hangs up and you hear the dial tone. The protagonist then says,’ they really hung up?’, What they said is true as you heard the dial tone so you knew they hung up, saying that they did just adds insult to injury. This occurs again later on in the same scene where we hear someone knock at the door for the protagonist to say, ‘that might be them’. Just as one of the A-level students said its obviously going to be them, who else would it be.

In conclusion the comments that were made were fairly positive, they thought the angles and shots we used were good. They liked the locations and they especially liked the final scene with the match. The final scene was the one scene we had the most trouble with, but for the third and final iteration of our final scene to be the best scene of the opening is an extremely good result for us. The comments that were made about the dialogue were all very true and obvious when you watch the opening, this is something that we can take on-board for next year and hopefully we wont make the same mistake again .


Final film opening

Above is the our groups finished and final film opening production. We have spent an extremely long time working on the film opening, whether it be filming, planning and of course editing. If you have seen our ‘original’ film opening you will notice a huge difference in pretty much everything. The original opening we filmed was honestly a complete disaster but after the hard work our group has put into this final opening me and the rest of the group are extremely proud with how it has turned out. From the original opening the only things we kept were the location, protagonist and the scenes shot with the car.

The film opening above is actually interesting, the storyline we have gone for and the scenes you see make you ask a lot of questions but in return answer very little. The film opening above fits in with the genre, the music and the darkness of the scenes create an eerie feeling to them and tell you that something bad is going to happen. The main storyline of our film involved a vast population of intelligent zombies and the film opening above actually includes one of them in full flesh and blood. Unlike our original film opening that didn’t include any zombies at all.

In the two and half minute film opening there is full dialogue including a phone call, instead of some random person repeatedly shouting No! , No! at someone lying on a bed that is clearly breathing. Even without this you can see that there is a stark contrast between the two versions of our film opening. The music we have chosen to use in the final film opening fits in with the scenes and the genre a whole lot better than the music we had chosen before. It adds to the scenes and helps to create tension and that eerie feeling you should get when watching a horror film.

Original film opening

This is the first iteration of our film opening, the main reason we didn’t use this opening is because of how you feel and what you think after watching it. It doesn’t make any sense, you don’t know what’s happening and you don’t know why. Furthermore the acting isn’t the best, the protagonist says a total of around three words, repeatedly. If you’ve managed to work out that the girl lying on the bed is supposed to be dead them first off well done, but if you didn’t already notice she’s actually breathing. Dead people do not breath, so that was problem even when you disregard everything else.

Furthermore what we had filmed had nothing to do with the original ideas that we had for our film. We had planned to have intelligent zombies, a cure to stop normal humans turning into zombies and powerful figures in the government that have segregated the infected. The storyline would then follow our protagonist standing upto the government to treat the infected the same as everyone else. What we filmed and subsequently what you saw in the clip above didn’t have a trace of any of these ideas, therefore we knew that we had to completely reshoot our film opening.

The music we had planned to use, which part of it is in the film opening above , didn’t fit in with the film, or even the genre. This is because the music is fast paced and doesn’t add to the scene in any way. Usually the music that is used in films of this genre adds to the scariness and unknowingness of the scene as well as creating tension, but the music we chose does none of that. Although this is a very minor part of the opening and is not one of the main reasons we reshot a large part of the opening you will notice that we dropped this music and instead opted for more classical music.


Shooting diary

Day 1

As this was our first day of filming our group decided that we would try to get as many scenes as possible. As we were going to film all of the outside scenes we knew we had to film all of these in on go as we wouldn’t be able to film under the same weather conditions again. If we did this would decrease the quality of our film as it would be obvious to the audience that the scenes were filmed at different times. Furthermore this could even confuse the audience as it may make them think that the scenes were different days in the timeline of the film. The weather we filmed in was perfect for our film so this made our outside scenes even better. The weather fitted in with the genre of our film as the lighting was dark and there was also slight rain so this followed the conventions of the genre even more.


During these outside scenes we also used a car, thanks to Callums parents. Like I said in another post we didn’t have long time to film with the car so we needed to film quickly and we also didn’t have time to film scenes multiple times. The problems with filming in these outside locations were background noise from other cars, bikes and planes. Furthermore as it was a public road we also had the problem of the public walking and driving past. This meant that we had to refilm scenes because of this.

The final scenes we filmed on day one were the inside scenes. Again we filmed these in Callums house while the rest of his family wasn’t there. We benefitted from this as there was no background noise from the TV, or people speaking for example. This made filming for us quicker and easier as we didn’t need to refilm every shot. Furthermore for this scene, in the bedroom, we wasn’t completely sure what shots and angles we should, and what we could, use. This made it slightly more difficult for us as we were kind of making it up as we were going along, that was another reason why we never ended up using these scenes.

Day 2

As the ending we filmed on day one wasn’t going to be used in the final film opening we needed to reshoot another ending. The storyline for this new ending was the protagonist had been kidnapped and he had been taken to an area full of the infected. We wanted the setting for this location to look abandoned and desolate. We decided that the best location for this was the car park of the Powerleague close to where we live. This is because the car park is only gravel so doesn’t actually look like a car park in the film. Furthermore the car park is almost always empty as it was when we was filming there.

For this scene we had to use a car, but a different one to the one we had previously used in order for the storyline to make sense. My mum was available and helped us by allowing us to use her car. In this scene we needed to have three actors, the protagonist, the abductor and a zombie. I ended up being the abductor and one of our friends volunteered to be our zombie. The actual filming for this location was quick and easy as we knew exactly what we wanted to do. However once again audio was a massive problem with this scene as we had dialogue and once again there was some wind. Furthermore even without the wind the microphone on the camera hardly picked up the dialogue so this made our clips near unusable.

Even with this we knew that somehow we would make a storyline with the protagonist being abducted work. Later on that evening we went ahead and filmed the beginning scenes of the abducted storyline. We had to film these scenes in the evening because as we were using the car scenes we first filmed it would only work if the following scenes were filmed when its darker and therefore later on at night. Once the sun had gone down we began filming once again. We filmed the protagonist walking through the house to the fridge, then making a phone call and also walking to the door where he would be kidnapped. This time we knew exactly what we wanted to film and the angles and shots we were going to use. This meant on a number of the shots we didn’t have film the shot multiple times,, saving us time. Although the one shot we had difficult with was the POV shot which we reshot around five times before we thought it was good enough.

Day 3

On day three of filming we only had to reshoot one scene, the ending, but we want quite sure what we was going to do. We had ruled out filming anymore scenes outside as audio was too much of a problem. The thing we did know about the knew ending we would film is that it needs to add tension and make the audience ask a lot of questions as well as making them want to carry on watching the film. We decided on filming a scene set in a basement in complete darkness where the protagonist would only have a match or lighter as a source of light. The protagonist would then see something and slowly move the match towards the ‘thing’ in order to see what it was, only to have a zombie scream and kind of jump towards him.


This scene in the film, is set in a basement and as we didn’t have a basement to actually film in we used a room in Callums house that is in the middle of being converted. The good thing about this was as the room wasn’t completed at the time the room was a convincing basement, apart from the window. This meant we again had to wait until night to film. In this scene we would have a close up, or medium close up, of a zombie. Therefore we had to make the zombie look convincing. This meant using make up and an old T-shirt that we could sacrifice. In order to do this we used scissors and fake blood to make the T-shirt look ripped up and bloody as well as a zombie make up kit.

The only problem we found when filming this scene was the camera itself. As we were filming the dark and the only source of light was a match the camera wouldn’t focus in time before we had to put the match out. This was a major problem as it hindered us from filming. It took us a while to figure out but if we used a flashlight on one of our phones and let the camera focus we could then turn the flashlight off and then film our scene before the camera would be out of focus. It took us a number of tries before we managed to get the scene right, due to many reasons.

Production schedule



Below is the production schedule for the opening scenes of our film. The production schedule includes every scene that we have filmed so far, and the one scene we need to reshoot. We followed the production schedule closely with sections like costume and props, camera shot, movement and holding the camera. The production schedule we created is simple to use and easy to follow, this is beneficial as its one less thing to worry about when we’re out filming. Furthermore as long as we fill out the schedule correctly it ensures that we don’t forget anything so we don’t need to go back out on a different day to film a scene that we forgot. This is especially important when we are filming outside as the weather conditions would vary day to day so if we forgot to film a scene from a certain angle that we needed to we would most likely need to reshoot the entire thing.


By using the production schedule we also planned out what scenes we would do on what day. This saved us a lot of time as we didn’t need to mess about working out when we can film scenes as we already had it planned before it came to the day of filming. As this was the first time we had created a production schedule as well as filming for our film opening we didn’t actually know how many scenes we could do in one day. This is where a mix of estimation and guesswork had to come in to work out the first section of our production schedule. It is probable we could have completed filming a lot quicker than we actually did but because we were unsure of how long filming one scene would take we were cautious and spread it out across a fairly long time scale. The plus side to this is now we can better estimate how much we can film in a given day so next year we can hopefully complete filming a lot quicker.







IMG-20160417-WA0008For our film opening we shot in three separate locations, these being in front of a house, the living/dining room inside the house and a converted bedroom. As all of these locations were in and around one house this made the film opening easier to film as we didn’t need to account for extra travel time or anything like that. The house that we used to film was Callum’s so again this made filming easier as any reshoots could be done quickly and then brought into school the next day for editing for example. The reason we used this house as one of our filming locations is because it really fits in with the story. The protagonist is an average man that lives in a suburban area, the house we used is in a suburban area and is already being lived in so there was no need to buy any extra props for the background of the shots.


Filming in a suburban area also has its fair share of problems though. Firstly the location we used is close to Birmingham International Airport, this brought about problems for the audio of our shots as planes take off and land every five minutes. This added extra time onto filming that we hadn’t accounted for as we needed to film while there was no sound of the planes. Furthermore a lot of people live in suburban areas, which means people walking and driving wherever they need to. This brought about problems as people would walk, and drive past when we were filming. Occasionally this forced us to reshoot a scene multiple times. While filming there was also the sound of vehicles on nearby roads, although sometimes it ruined the audio during the outside scenes it also shows that the protagonist is in a living city where hundreds of other people also live.


After we had completed the outside scenes we moved on to the inside scenes. We first filmed the scene in the living/dining area. As the house is being lived in we didn’t need to bring in any extra props or anything to make the house look like a home. The only thing we had to do was move certain objects around so you could actually see tIMG-20160417-WA0007hem in the shot. At first we had planned to use different camera shots and angles but we didn’t plan these around the layout of the room. Therefore we had to adapt our ideas to work with the layout. This wasn’t too much of a problem though as we quickly found different shots to use which worked well with what we wanted to do. While we were filming this scene there was one problem that we didn’t foresee, a mirror. As the room we was filming in is like a rectangle we had to move the camera, and the protagonist to the opposite end of the room. For the story of our film the protagonist at this point goes to the fridge to find he has no more ‘medicine’. As you can see from the picture below the fridge is to the right of the mirror, this meant that the camera had to be placed in the kitchen area which is opposite the mirror and fridge. We didn’t particularly want to move anything from its rightful place so this meant we had to spend a while getting the camera in just the right place where you couldn’t see the camera’s reflection in the mirror but you could see what was going on in the shot. I think that this ended up being a really good shot because of the fact you cant see the camera in the mirror, even though it looks like you should be able to see the camera.

The final location we filmed in for our film opening was what used to be a garage, which has recently been converted into a soon to be bedroom. In our film this location will be a basement, we were extremely lucky that the room looked like it did just when we needed a location that looked like a basement. The one problem we had with this location was obviously it wasn’t actually a basement, also the window had recently been fitted so we needed to wait until it was dark outside before we could begin to film. The problem we found of filming in the dark like we did was that the camera wouldn’t focus quickly on what we were trying to film. For this part of the film the protagonist is in a basement and his only source of light are a box of matches. Trying to film this is where we found that the camera wouldn’t focus straight away once the match had been lit. This then took extra time for us as we had to try and find a fix for the problem. Eventually we did manage to solve the problem by having a torch light on one of our phones  in front of the camera so the camera would then focus, we would then have to quickly turn the phones torch off and then shoot the scene all while the camera was still in focus.




Above is the animatic that we created for our film opening. In order to create this animatic we scanned the storyboards for our film opening and used Final Cut to put the animatic together. Creating this animatic was extremely beneficial to us as it gave us a new way to visually give us an idea of how our film opening should look like. Furthermore to create this animatic we used Final Cut, the same software we used to make our film opening. As with our preliminary using Final Cut allowed us to improve our knowledge of the software which later benefitted us when editing our film opening.

When creating the storyboards we came up with a rough time of how long each shot and scene should realistically last. We then used these timing estimates in our animatic to make it as close as we could to how our film opening would hopefully turn out. We also did the same thing with the music, after we had found music that we thought was right for the film we added it into the animatic, again to make it as close to our film opening as possible. Doing this also allowed us to experiment with how long, time-wise, the music could be and what scenes and shots the music would work best on. Later on when we would finally add the music into our final production we had a basis of where the music would go and how long it should play for.

In the animatic you will notice that we didn’t add in any edits or cuts like we did in our final production. We done this because mainly we wasn’t exactly sure what cuts and edits would work best at the time we made this animatic. Furthermore I think that it would have taken valuable time adding in these edits and cuts when we didn’t actually need to. Personally I didn’t, and still don’t see what benefit adding in cuts and edits would have served as the animatic had already helped us hugely by giving us an animated basis of what our film opening should look like.


Websites – accessed March 25th – accessed March 25th – accessed March 25th – accessed March 20th – accessed March 25th



Below are the links to the storyboards that we created for the beginning few scenes of our film opening. Making these storyboards was one of the most important thing’s to do before we started to begin filming. Creating these storyboards gave us a visual representation of what our film would actually look like and it also gave us the opportunity to further think about what camera we wanted to use. Furthermore we could look at the storyboards and see if there were any extra shots we could film to make the scenes flow better. Having the storyboards in front of us that we could look at and refer to also told us if what we was planning to film would make sense to anyone that would watch the film opening.


We also referred to our storyboards during filming to see how close we could get what we had planned to film, and what we were actually filming. Obviously small details like colours of the house’s interior/exterior were different but it didn’t effect our  production at all. Furthermore the placement of objects inside the house’s interior were slightly different but we still managed to get all of our filming done with no problems. All of the main things like character movement and camera movement were nearly identical to what we had planned so there were no last minute changes that we had to make which was a bonus.



















The storyboards we had created benefitted us as we could see what angles and shots we had planned to use. In this film opening we thought it would be good if we used most, if not all, of the camera shots and angles. Doing this gives the audience a bit of variety in what they see, for example on the 2nd storyboard they see a medium shot of the protagonist walking as well as a close up of him on the 3rd storyboard. I think this was a great thing to do as watching someone walking across a room to sit down isn’t the reason you go to watch a film. Therefore you have to make the scene as interesting as possible and using these different shots is one if the ways to do so. Using these different shots also allows the audience to see what the protagonist fully looks like, instead of only seeing him from the waist up for example. By using a close up as we did in our film opening we also make the scene and anything in it, including the protagonist feel more personal to the audience as a close up brings the audience closer to the action.
















The first page of our storyboards involve shots that are shot with a car, thanks to Callums dad. We had to film these scenes quickly as we didn’t have a huge amount of time where the car was available to us. This made these storyboards extremely helpful to us as we knew exactly what we needed to film. As well as the picture giving us an idea of what we need to film there is also the other sections including type of shot/angle and camera movement. This made the process of filming a lot easier as we had already told ourselves, through the storyboards, what we need to film and pretty much how we should film it.

Treatment creative post


Above is the link to the creative post for my treatment. To make the creative post I used the website The website is very similar to, so it was simple and easy to make the presentation. I kept the creative post very short and I didn’t have much writing in it. In the creative post I only included the setting of the three acts and the introduction to the detailed settings of the three acts. This was done as this was the most text heavy part of the post and it takes a lot to visualize what I was trying to say to a reader.




Above is a screenshot from my creative post, I’m not the most talented person when it comes to art and design so I decided to use a template for this presentation. I done this purely because I wanted to make the presentation simple but I wanted it to look aesthetically pleasing and something that someone wouldn’t mind reading. I didn’t include the examples from TV shows like The Walking Dead as although they can help you visualize what I’m trying to say not everyone would have watch the programme, therefore the extra text would be irrelevant. This would then bore someone reading the presentation and would make the presentation not make much sense. Furthermore you don’t have the freedom to change the size of the area you have to write in. Much like PowerPoint it is a set limit and if you want to have a lot of writing you would have to spread it across multiple screens.

Like the presentation looks professional and very well done. I also like the font that is used in the presentation as it generally makes the presentation easier to read and it makes the slide look better. The colour of the writing is a brownish colour, not the boring black colour it usually is. This again, in my opinion, makes the presentation look better and easier to read. The slides have a slight variety in colour, although they are all in a similar style, this makes the presentation look slightly different on every slide so it doesn’t seem like you are reading the same thing over and over again.





People across the film industry have a variety of opinions on what a treatment actually is. Some people say a treatment should be a one page written pitch, other say a treatment should be a two to five page ‘document’ telling the entire story, while focusing on its highlights. Others say a treatment should be a 60 page long scene by scene break down. I’m not an expert in this so which definition is correct I don’t know, but I do know that all three opinions share one simimlarity. They all revolve around the basis of Tzvetan Todorov’s narrative theory. Todorov suggested that all narratives are structured in five stages, or sometimes three. But Todorov’s theory suggests these five stages:

  1. the state of equilibrium
  2. a disruption of the equilibrium
  3. recognition of the disruption
  4. attempt to fix the disruption
  5. second state of equilibrium

Although every treatment has these five stages they are mostly broken down into three acts. Act one is typically called the set up, this is where the situation, characters and conflict is introduced. Act two is know as the conflict, where the conflict rises until is reaches its tipping point. The last act, Act three, is called the resolution. This is where the conflict is then resolved. The final act would include the last two stages of Todorov’s narrative theory.

To complete a treatment you would also need to have characters, as it is only a treatment you would only include the major characters such as the protagonist, antagonist etc. To easily write a treatment you would use Vladimir Propp’s character theory. Propp’s character theory suggests that in every narrative you will find most, if not all, of these eight character types, the villain; false villain; donor; hero; heroine; father figure; helper and mentor. The character types in our film are as follows:

  • The villain – the British government
  • False Villain – the infected ‘zombies’
  • The donor – the infected ‘zombies’
  • The hero – uninfected human who helps the infected
  • The heroine – female infected ‘zombie’ who aids the hero
  • Father figure – older ‘zombie’ who used to work in the government before being infected
  • The helper – entire infected population
  • The mentor – same character for the father figure, advises the hero on his ‘quest’



Our treatment


In the three acts of our film the setting will differ. There will be a mix of outside and inside locations. All of the locations we will use would all be inside one area, like Birmingham for example. This is so the storyline of the film can develop in one particular area. As we will have a mix of inside and outside locations there would be no need to have a dramatic change of the setting so doing so would be pointless, and a lot more difficult to do. Furthermore any scene we have outside would be shot at night or at least when the sun is just rising/setting so you wouldn’t be able to see much of the scenery even if we did shoot outside of the city.

Act 1

The film starts off with a shot of car driving off and then the main character entering his house. The house we’ll use will be a typical suburban house. This makes the character more realistic and easier to relate to, in turn the audience is likely to draw more similarities between themselves and the character, even where there are non. The audience is more likely to be emotionally attached to the character and more likely to want to watch the film, and any subsequent sequels/prequels involving this character. Furthermore its a lot easier to film than a multi-million pound mansion.

Another setting in the first act is a basement, the basement would be in an unknown location to the character as well as the audience. This automatically makes a creepy atmosphere as the room would be pitch black, so the audience doesn’t know where they are, and what could be hiding in the darkness. With the character being in the middle of a dark room it also creates a feeling of isolation, which would make anything scarier. The benefit of using a basement is that although basements are not very common in houses across the UK it wouldn’t seem out of the ordinary to occasionally have a house with a basement. This again would make the film seem realistic and easier to relate.


Act 2

By this point people who have been infected have been enclosed in their own cities by the government. The city would be totally run down and the government have let it go to waste, like the people they keep in it. The city would be completely disconnected from the outside world and this setting would be a crucial point in the plot. It shows the audience the difference between how the infected and uninfected live. It is crucial to show how drastic the differences are so the audience sympathise with the zombies while similarly feeling hatred towards how the government are treating them. This is similar to the setting of the Netflix original TV show Between. This TV shows follows citizens of a rural town in the US after the town has been infected with a mysterious disease by the US government. In turn the government ‘quarantines’ the town and bans anyone from entering or leaving.






In season 6 of the walking dead the setting is in a rural town called Alexandria, the town has a wall built around it to keep unwanted visitors, and ‘walkers’ out of the town. This would be similar to where our zombies would be forced to live. The only difference is that there would be a wall there to keep the zombies in, and not out. Furthermore in The Walking Dead the town is near perfect, exactly how you would expect to see a town in real life, minus the wall. In our film the town/city the zombies would be living in would be the complete opposite, it would be in similar in conditions to buildings in third world countries, or like the favelas in Brazil.



Act 3


This act will be set in the same city/area that the first act was set in. During this act we will use some of the same locations so the audience recognises that its the same setting as the first act. We can do this by using the protagonists house and we could also use landmarks if we feature them in both acts. A film that does this is 28 weeks later. The film is set in the centre of London and occasionally shows us shots of London’s landmarks to remind the audience where the film is set. Landmarks such as Big Ben, Canary Wharf, the London Underground and Wembley stadium. As our film involves politics and capitalism having London as the setting would be more fitting as London is the capital and is where the British government is based. Doing this would even have the setting following the three act structure, with the first act in London, the second act set somewhere else and then finally the third act returning to where the film began.




2015 to present – Between (Michael McGowan)

2010 to present – The Walking Dead (Mark Darabont)

2007 – 28 Weeks Later (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo)

Websites: – accessed 16/04/16 – accessed 16/04/16 – accessed 16/14/16 – accessed 16/04/16 – accessed 16/04/16 – accessed 16/04/16 – accessed 16/04/16