Thursday, 2 April 2015

Extracting an image with photoshop

Original image
Cropped image
Quick selection tool
Masking tool
Smart radius tool

Thursday, 18 December 2014

How does the opening sequence of CSI: Strip Strangler attract the audience?

How does the opening sequence of CSI: Strip Strangler attract the audience?

                CSI: Strip Strangler is about a serial killer that breaks into victim’s homes in Las Vegas. He tortures his victims until they are finally murdered by being strangled with a household item. Grissom tries to solve the murders throughout the episode.

This series plays with audience expectations by using the typical conventions of the thriller/ horror genre. Each episode starts in the same way so the audience is anticipating that there is going to be a murder or the discovery of a murder. You do not see the killer until later on in the episode so they audience is left in suspense.

The opening shot is an extreme long shot of Las Vegas at a high angle. This implies that everyone below is a victim because high angled shots indicate vulnerability. The mise-en-scene is at night and there are flashes of thunder and lightning, these are typical horror movie conventions that signify something bad is going to happen so. This is allowing the audience to anticipate what is going to happen. The next shot is of an apartment building at night, shot from a high angle crane. This is implying to the audience that the victim is inside the building and that the whole building is vulnerable. However there is a light inside the building which indicates a safe zone.  It is shot at night because that is when people are most vulnerable and there isn’t much visibility, the building is isolated by trees and shadows, another horror movie convention.

In the next shot the camera tilts down so the camera is positioned to look up at the building. The building now looks powerful and evil. The light inside the building also dimmers, this is indicating that the safe zone has now gone and nobody is safe.  Throughout this sequence the sound is eerie and atonal; the non-diegetic crescendo is also building up so the audience is now anticipating something bad is going to happen.

The camera then cuts to a shot of the camera tracking down a dark and narrow hallway, this is suggesting that somebody is trapped. The shot is from the point of view of the killer; this is to put the audience in the position as if you are the killer. After this shot you then see the victim from the first time. She is filmed through the door at a high angle to signify that she is trapped and vulnerable.

There is then a jump cut to the woman’s face of her sitting up when she hears a floorboard creak.  She look straight into the camera so you can’t see what is around her or what she I looking at. When the lightning flashes the colour red becomes more visible, the colour red has connotations of blood, violence and death. She has a sense of panic on her face and she fills up most of the screen with only darkness behind her. The jump cut is used to unnerve the audience and create tension. The woman looks like a stereotypical victim; she is wearing night clothing and showing a bit of flesh, young and female. This is showing the audience that she is the victim because they have seen these types of victims before.  The then cuts to the woman’s point of view, you then see that nobody else is there. However there are more red objects and shadows where the killer could hide. Once she sees nothing she lies back down. Low strings play when this happens to let the audience know that just because she can’t she anything there is something there. She fills up most of the screen so you can’t see anything around or behind her.

There is another sound of a creaking floorboard and the woman quickly lifts her head up from the pillow and sits up. The camera then changes so we see her point of view, the room is mostly in darkness and you can’t see anyone there. When the lightning flashes there is a dark figure standing in the middle of the room. The figure is dressed completely in black and is holding something. The audience is kept on suspense because we are not able to see the figure’s face. The figure tenses and tightens some type of cord which the audience now thinks is the murder weapon.

There is then a jump cut to a high close shot of the woman screaming. The pace of the editing is a lot faster towards the end so it builds tension and makes the scene more exciting. The camera zooms into her face at a high angle to show her vulnerability. There is then a medium shot of the killer about to attack her. The audience then knows how she is going to be killed because the iron is yanked off the ironing board by the killer. The woman then moves up the bed at the camera follows her as she moves further away from the killer. The very last shot is of the woman screaming and about to be murdered.

A crescendo builds up over the last few shots which peaks when the victim screams, this is to build up tension and make the audience anticipate something bad is going to happen. The woman is filmed at high angled shots to objectify and isolate her. The audience knows she is the victim because of her vulnerability.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Wilhelm Scream

The Wilhelm scream is a characters scream from the film Distant Drums in 1951, however now it's popularity comes from the film The Charge at Feather River in 1953 and is named after the character Pvt.Wilhelm. Since then it has became an iconic scream and has been used in over 200 films. Some films often use it more than once in one film. It is still used this day in age however it is used for more of a comedy effect in modern films.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014


Without editing films would be too long and boring, it helps create and construct a narrative. It is used to condense long, boring activities into quick bursts of visual information. We are so used to editing that we barely even notice it and it can look 'invisible'.
In the assassination scene in North by Northwest between Roger Thornhill getting out the taxi and looking out the window of the United Nations building there are 26 cuts and they are most frequent during the convocation so we can see the reaction on the characters faces.
The pace of the editing can be used to create excitement and tension for example in the shower scene of psycho and when Marian dies the pace slows down as if her life is leaving her. The scene also transitions by showing a shot of the plug hole then a shot of her eye that is a similar shape and size.



Dissolve- when one scene dissolve into another and they overlap for a moment

Fade out/fade in- one scene fades out black or white completely and the other fades in
Wipes- one scene wipes across the screen, revealing or replacing the next scene.
Iris- The next scene replaces the last by appearing in the centre like the iris of an eye.
Jump cuts- two scene that feature a common element right after one another, so something stays the same whilst the rest changes this is used for disorienting or comedy effect.

Sinister - Official Trailer 2012

The 2012 Sinister movie trailer shows different transitions such as; fade to black and fade up, jump cuts

The pace in trailer becomes a lot faster to create tension.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Basic camera angles

Extreme close up
Close up
Medium close up
Medium shot
Medium long shot
Long shot
Extreme long shot