Friday, 3 April 2009


This is our podcast for title sequence. Where myself, Taranpreet and Rebecca talking together through the process of our titles sequence. This adds to our evaluation, and we wanted to something as a group to end the very long process!. We are basically just talking about where our inspiration came from and the process we went through until the final edit.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


Q1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Our product is a title sequence, the reason for a title sequence is to simple credit the cast and crew of the film. It establish the audience on character, setting and genre. With Laylas Star we decided to follow the style of Catch Me If You Can title sequence where it tells the story in a simple form through the titles.

Our media product, Layla's Star, sits within the niche that is evident in the 21st century. You can split our film in two separate heading, the animation and the children's story.

First looking at the children story part of the product. More and more films realised in cinema today have an appeal to children. Like High School Musical and other Disney films they keep to simple storyline while being fun and magical for the younger audience to enjoy. Our narrative fits with this idea as the book Laura's Star, where the story came from a children's book, is very sweet and magical. It has the adventure slightly as well like Harry Potter, and the ability that the children watching it can then reenact the "Star friend" while the play.

The animation side of our title sequence is also relevant with films such as Shrek, Kong fu panda and bolt. Of course our is not at any high standard that these films are, however animation films seem to occur more and more in cinema now days.

Q2 How does your media product represent particular social group?

Thinking about representation in our film it is through our character Layla. She is young and her room and house appears to be middle class house. I think it is difficult to think who it is representing, apart from the obvious young children, in contrast to a horror or sci fi genre where there is an obvious group. As it is for children it is kept simple with no big advertisements or needs to feature in the film. It represents a young girl who is friendly who the audience can relate to.

Q3 what kind of media institution might distribute you media product and why?

Personally i think our product would fit nicely as a film featured on TV. For example on CBBC, a children's channel. Films such a The Tracy Beaker movie that was aired on CBBC worked well and it is very similar to ours as it was a book first. I feel that narrative is not broad enough to have it produced by dreamwork. However dreamworks are great for animation and have produced amazing animated films, but it is just our title sequence that is animated. Disney is another good producers as it has the knowledge and ability to advertise the film through merchandise in Disney Store and companies such as Mac Donalds. Disney have done this to films such as High School Musical and Hannah Montanna. Going back to my thoughts on being a feature film on TV, High School Musical did start like this. Therefor if our film was to be aired at the correct time and have a big build up to it, like High School Musical did, we could maybe also get a large audience. It proved that cinema is not the only place to pull in large audiences. Most of the companies i have mentioned are American, i like the idea that Layla's Star to be a British film. Children's Film and Television Foundation, CFTF, is perfect for our film and my ideal company as it is British and who produce many films for the bbc.

Q4Who would be the audience for your media product ?

As i have mentioned before the main audience is children, from our first ideas we knew we wanted to create a genre that a younger audience can enjoy. This was because we have never created something for a younger audience. It is mostly aimed a young girls as the colours a girly, like pinks and lilacs. The age range would be from 3-10, depending on the age they take a different element from the film. For example the younger ones will like it for the imagery and the colours, where they older ones will like it more for the narrative. Although it is primarily for children i think it is also a family film, a film that is easy to watch but is entertaining enough for an older audience. Layla appears to be middle class, as she has her own room and her house represents a middle class home, the audience i think will also be middle class. As the middle class are more likely to go to the cinema or buy films.

Q5 How did you attract/address your audience?

As it is aimed at a young audience, we had to make is attractive to them. We did this through pastel colours that younger people seems to draw more too. Also the object and setting are meant to reflect a children's bedroom. For example the bedroom setting, the bed has children's toys underneath and a teddy. Having our main character, Layla, as a young girl helps to attract the same age and gender, as they can relate to her. The music as well draws the audience in as it is exciting and adventurist which the younger audience would like.

We addressed our audience through the title sequence on the genre and the main storyline. The basis of story are all shown through each title, however as our film is not animation we decided to add a opening scene to communicate that.

Q6 what have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

From day one we have had a lot of trouble with technology, however the process of making our title sequence meant we had to rely on computers and cameras ,that don't always work!. For each second we had to have 10-20 photos, we really had to think about every second. We choose to construct our film through i-movie, this is because we was all familiar with how to use it. Also it is very useful for uploading photos and as we was adding so many we needed this.

Taranpreet drew Layla and we scanned it in so we was able to add colour through photoshop. We choose to have an original drawing, because Taranpreet drawings are brilliant and it is more creative, also can get a better image though an original drawing. Once we had it had it on photoshop programme we could create the setting etc. Every movement we had a new photo for. So we transferred the photos on memory stick then uploaded on to i-movie. This caused problems as we had so many ,the memory would run on the macs and the memory sticks. Having problems like this made it a lengthy process to get all the images together and through my blog you can see the all the problems there were. The blog was a great chance to get a chance to step away from the production and gather thought and ideas until we return to it. I liked that the end of every day we worked on the production i went home and explained what we have done and what there is to do. It was a great chance to organise what i had to do.

Video cameras as well caused problems as the tape was not good. Therefor we know now that when we film to use a brand new tape as it is then will only have our footage on. Even though i have moaned about technology if we didn't have it then wouldn't of been able to have created our film. When it works it was fun and good to do, but when it didn't it made all of us fed up of our film.

Q7Looking back at your preliminarily task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Our initial ideas were to create an animation title sequence. We all knew that it would be challanging and there would be a few problems however we was up for it. As a group we are all interested in art and wanted to use our skills to create something that not many people have tied to do. Way back at the beginning we spent alot of time looking at examples of title sequence. Such as Catch Me If You Can and Juno, we all loved these and was inspired.

As a group we each inputted ideas and worked well as a team. The first bit of animation we did as a group and we did a lot of trial and error. This was because we have never done animation before and spent a lot of the time at the beginning just experimenting. Once we knew exactly what we wanted to do we each took a section each and bought them together at the end. One thing i have defiantly learnt that to create a high quality animation you need millions of photos. Which we didn't do, however some scenes there was about 80 per 6 seconds and the flowed much better than the ones with less. As there was moments that creating it i got really frustrated i learnt to walk away from it for a bit then return. Computer are so unreliable and towards the end i think we were all used to that so we could handle it much better.

On reflection of the overall finished product i have realised how much effort goes into animation and how vital a title sequence is. Every mico-element has to express the same otherwise it will confuse the audience and not give the message that you intended. I have enjoyed making Layla Star, eventhough i have probably moaned to much. Working within the group i was in worked well as we each bought ideas together and all put equal amount of effort in to creat Laylas Star.

Finishing touches

OK the deadline is tomorrow!! and as other groups and years are also going to be using the mac room all day we have decided to come in early and get it done. All we had to do was to put Ian Elsmlie in the credits and attach the music. It all went well except a few photos were mucking up so we decided to delete them. It looks good and i dont mind watching it now as it has music. We have completed all of it now, but didnt get a chance to upload it on blog hopefully we will get a chance soon, however we do have a copy on dvd. When we was burning it on to dvd i think we were all happy that we have managed to get it done on time. Today we are also going to do a podcast to add to our evaluation.

We have music!

So close to the deadline and we have finally got music! we had alot of problems in finding the correct and copyright free music. Luckily enough Ian Elmslie composed a piece of music and it is perfect! We all listened to it and smiled out of relief we actually have music and how well it fits in with our animation. It has the twinkles that we wanted and the sense of an adventure as well, it reminded me of Harry Potter but not so dark. As we got this music this morning we added it staight away onto i movie and attached to our animation. We are in the process at the moment of crediting Ian Elmslie on one of the titles, so we have all the photos ready just need to transfer. We will be doing this soon then doing the finishing touches to it and of course a podcast !

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

where our animation is at the moment..

After weeks of problems we are at to this point in our animation. As a group we are still no entirely happy with it however we realise that there is not much we can do about it without causing more problems to the sync of the film.

filming and editing

From my previous blog are said that we have filmed, which we did, however when it came to editing it didn't all come out and there were problems with uploading it on the i-movie, therefor we filmed again.

We done exactly the same as last time, and used the same girl and same house.

scene 1
Panning from outside the window to "Layla" laying in bed, family member calls her, she wakes up. Walks out of her room.

scene 2
To keep the continuity we showed Layla coming out of her room and going down the stairs. The house we were filming in was a great opportunity to create this shot as the stairs go two ways at the top of the stairs, if that makes sense? so we could have the angle of this shot.

scene 3
This was the last scene of the opening of the film. Again we carried on with the continuity as she comes into the kitchen, still in her PJ's, and has a glass of water. The finale shot is "Layla" looking out of the window. We thought this would be a nice connection to the narrative of the film.

Thankfully the editing was easy to do and no problems occurred. As this was the second time filming the filming flowed already so we just had to cut a few clips to make them run smoother. At this point we have animation done and now the opening titles, also from the crit it came up to hold the titles for longer which we have also edited.

- music!!

not long to deadline, hopefully everything will get done :)

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Feedback from friday - when we filmed.

From the crit we realised we needed to add something extra to our opening sequence. Therefor we choose to do a few seconds to the opening of our film. We had a bit of trouble finding someone who fits the identity if the animated girl, and someone young. Rebecca and Taranpreet couldnt find anyone to film so the only person i could think of was a family friend called Hattie. She is much older than what our girl is in the animation but she is small for her age. We filmed in her house. The first scene was her waking up and walking down the stairs, ending up in the kitchen were she looks into the sky while drinking. We thought that if she looks up into the sky it connects the story animation to the opening scenes. On Monday, tomorrow, we can upload it and then edit it, get music and finally sorted :D