Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Steve 'ESPO' Powers

Stephen J Powers is a New York City artist who at one time wrote graffiti in Philadelphia and New York under the name ESPO ("Exterior Surface Painting Outreach"). He was most well known during the late 1990s for his conceptual pieces as well as his role as the editor and publisher of On the Go Magazine. ESPO's work often blurred the lines between illegal and legal. Pieces like "Greetings from ESPOLand" utilized the style of the Asbury Park Billboards and appeared to be a legitimate billboard. On January 4, 1997 ESPO began his most ambitious non-commissioned art. He painted on storefront grates in Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant, TriBeCa and the South Bronx, covering the entire grate with white or silver paint and writing his name over it. Powers painted in daylight, wearing street clothes; he told the New York Times in 1999 that when passerby asked what he was doing he would tell them, "I'm with Exterior Surface Painting Outreach, and I'm cleaning up this gate"; the official-sounding name was enough to ward most people off. Powers targeted shops that appeared to be out of business and grates that were already heavily vandalized, describing his graffiti as a public service. In 1999 he said that he had painted around 70 grates. Powers is from Philadelphia's Overbook neighborhood; he graduated from Robert E Lamberton High School in 1987 and took classes at the University of Arts. He moved to New York in 1995.

In December 1999 Powers was arrested for vandalism after he participated in a protest conceived by Joey Skaggs,against Rudolph Giuliani's attempt to shut down the controversial art show at the Brooklyn Museum, "Sensations”; he charged that the arrest was politically motivated. A New York Times editorial criticized the Giuliani administration for its secrecy in the case, but dismissed Powers as "a noodge and self-promoter, one of those deliberately annoying characters whom most of us could do without." The Village Voice was similarly critical, describing Powers as an egotistical, careerist "celebrity offender"; the author writes, "in the graffiti world...many consider Powers a media-fed simulation of the Real Thing." Charged with six counts of criminal mischief e eventually accepted a plea bargain and performed five days of community service.

Powers stated in 2000 that he had given up graffiti. His work has been shown at the Venice and Liverpool Biennials, as well as numerous shows at New York City's Deitch Gallery. In 2003, Powers designed the artwork for Tommy Guerrero’s third studio album Soul Food Taqueria and performed voice overs for the international television series Kung Faux seen in over 150 countries around the world. His first solo museum exhibition was in the fall of 2007, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Powers has done many projects at Coney Island In 2005 he curated "The Dreamland Artists Club" a project in which professional artists helped Coney Island merchants by repainting their signs. In 2008 he created a waterboarding-themed installation there. His studio art currently sells for as much as $20,000. He is the author of a book on graffiti's history, "The Art of Getting Over," published by St. Martins Press in 1999, as well as the graphic novel, First and Fifteenth: Pop Art Short Stories, Villard Press, 2005. He has also designed clothing for Marc Eco, Nike and Calvin Klein

Powers was a Fulbright scholar in 2007. He used the grant to create murals in Dublin and Belfast's Shankhill area, with the assistance of local teenagers. His work in Belfast was inspired by the area's Political Murals; Powers told the New York Times that he was "taking the form of the murals, which are insanely powerful for all the wrong reasons, and trying to retain some of the power and use it in a really good way.”

Friday, 13 November 2009

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? (i.e. of film openings)

This is our contact sheet for our opening sequence. The first frame is of our main title. We decided to have the main title at this point as it enters dramatically. This is because the music changes and gets louder, also the picture changes from black to the panning shot. We chose the title ‘Retribution’ meaning “punishment that is considered to be morally right and fully deserved”. This title would be typical of an action thriller.

The second frame we chose is of the setting. It is a fade between the building and the skyline panning shot. It has an urban feel and suggest industrial trading. The purpose of the the purpose of the building is to show that the opening is set in a run down, secluded area. These types of shots are typical of openings as they put the audience in the right frame of mind for the film.

The third frame is to represent our costumes and props. It is of the petrol being poured over the hostage character. It shows the murderer character in a suit costume and the gerry can which is being used to poor petrol on the victim. We put our murderer character in a suit as it makes him look more important and higher up to the hostage. It is also a typical thing for openings to do because it helps the audience to understand who is who.

The fourth frame is to show our font. The font that we chose was called ‘Dirty Ego’. We found it on www.dafont.com. We chose this font because the style of the font looks rough, dirty and it has a stencil like appearance.

The fifth is to show genre and how our opening suggests it. We used this frame as it shows the genre well because it includes the violence and crime with the bat and also the different characters. We were aiming for a british crime/thriller so this frame is a good representation of this genre.

The sixth frame we used is to show how our opening sets up the story for the rest of the film. This frame has the character lighting a stick which he then throws onto the petrol which gives the impression of setting the hostage on fire. In this shot you don’t actually see the fire being lit but you hear the stick being thrown onto the petrol soaked ground. The way which this holds the suspense and ends on a cliff hanger is typical of our genre because it gets the viewer excited.

Our seventh frame is to illustrate how the characters are introduced. We think this frame does this well as it shows the hostage in the background as well as the other character in the foreground.

The eighth frame is of a shadow of the hostage being hit with a bat. This is to show our ideas for camera work. This is one of the shots that we are most pleased with as it is a less common shot and is more imaginative. We used a shadow because it keeps the mystery and doesn’t show the characters faces. This is to build up more tension and atmosphere. It is typical of openings to not give too much away as this can make the rest of the film boring.

Our final frame is a close up of the petrol being poured on the hostage. We chose this frame to represent special effects as the petrol in the shot is actually just water. We only used live action effects in our opening. This is typical of british crime films as guns etc. do not appear in real british crime.

2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?

i chose the hit-man from the film "hit-man" as the two characters are similar. there job is to kill and they both wear the same "uniform". they both wear suits which hides there job as people who wear suits are generally businessmen. they both seek revenge for something in our film you do not know.

3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

4. Who would be the audience for your media product?

this is harry, he is a man in his twenties. he has a 9 to 5 job that he feels it is at a dead end. he needs excitement in his life and he turns to film to escape from reality. he likes action films with crime, violence and a degree of drugs. he has never witnessed these things in reality so by watching films he feels part of the action. harry has a nice sized flat that he shares, wears nice clothes. even though his job is boring it is paid above average. he has a large DVD collection and has the latest games for his console. he has a nice car with all the latest tune pumping out of his 16ch speakers. he spends his money on what ever he wants.

5. How did you attract/address your audience?

this is our opening with anitation

6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

7. Looking back at your preliminary task (the continuity editing task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?

Looking back at your preliminary task (the continuity editing task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?

While doing the preliminary task we learnt a lot about the different camera and editing techniques. We have tried to use these properly and efficiently in our production. However in our opening we didn’t have any dialog so it was not necessary to use these techniques. Our opening was more about establishing a location and creating the right atmosphere for the rest of the film.

Film category

What does the ‘15’ symbol mean?

No-one under 15 is allowed to see a ‘15’ film at the cinema or buy/rent a ‘15’ rated DVD or video game. Parents are warned that ‘15’ rated works are not suitable for children under 15 years of age.

after reading the BBFC's categories of film age rating we think our film "Retribution" is a 15. There is a scene of moderate violence but it is shown in a suggestive was and not direct. the film could have swearing later in the film as the characters are "common" and gangsters. the category description of 15 rating fits to our interpretation of the rest of the film.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Creative Risk

The risk that we took was our shot of the shadow when the hostage gets hit with a bat.
We noticed the shadow when we were filming the normal shot and though it would look good. The risk was that we didn't know how people would interpret it and that it might not be clear enough. It paid off because it defiantly helped keep the feeling of mystery and everyone that we showed it to knew it was a guy getting hit with a bat.

If we were going to do it again we would light it better so that the shadow is more prominent.

Friday, 30 October 2009

feedback for tilly and yasmin

L3 - GROUP 8 (Yasmin & Tilly) Film Opening Rough Cut from cmdiploma on Vimeo.

I think the strengths of this video are the stills of the different stereo types with pictures and a short description. I also like the way that it is written on paper to show that these stereo types especially exist in schools.

However the weakness of this idea is that the stills don't stay on screen long enough to read the description all the way through. Also because they've had to lower the quality so that the video can be streamed online it's hard to read the writing but there isn't really anything they can do about that.

The only fault i can find that they could change is some of the cuts look strange when it goes from the white stills to the video. I think this is because the still images only take up half the screen so the cross dissolve only takes up half the screen and the other half just fades in from black.

They still need to do they're titles.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Roughcut feedback

L3 - GROUP 9 (Tom H & Louis) Film Opening Rough Cut from cmdiploma on Vimeo.

The feedback we got for our roughcut was useful and really showed us how important it is to have other people look at it before we finish it as there were things that we didn't notice but other people did. One of these things was where the guy in a suit goes to unlock the door and puts the baseball bat on the floor he then goes into the shed and hits the prisoner with the bat. However when he goes into the shed he doesn't pick the bat up, he leaves it outside. I dont know how we can get around this without having to film the shot again but we will try.
It was also pointed out in our feedback that our match on action shots could be cut neater so that the pening flows a lot better.

The strength of our video was rated as the location because "it has a really urban and grimy atmosphere and builds a lot of tension and mood". This is exactly what we were going for so I am pleased.

Other feedback was that the music made it seem like it was going to be more of a street crime film rather than a film about organized crime which it was it is supposed to be. We were also told that some of the titles should be moved like when it goes into widescreen, the titles should be in the picture rather than on black./>

When we get back we are planning to cut out match on action shots a lot better and over all make the video look more professional. There is not much more to do apart from moving some of the titles so that they are more centered.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Film with things in common

I wanted to use a shot from American gangster but i couldn't find it so i couldn't put an image however i will keep looking. it has allot of similarities to the opening that we have done. The theme is the same with the gangster re paying a debt by taking a life. this is why we called the film retribution meaning to repay. This scene also captures the gas can, the gangster and the hostage which is all the same as ours. The gangster character also uses a gun to murder the hostage but we thought that this would give the wrong sort of impression as British murders do not include guns very often so we used a baseball bat instead. But the idea of using a weapon to show power of the character is the same.

Shooting so far

We have finished all our shooting so far and have made a rough cut with no music or titles.

We had two days which we went out to shoot. In the first we just got the big panning shot, all of the shots of buildings and the shot of the railway. The second day we got the rest done in louis's dads shed. The shooting all went very well and we got all and moe of what we had planned. We did change the sequence slightly as we found things that we thought would not work and things which would work better like the shadow shot.

Best shot of filming

My favorite shot was when we had a shot of the shadow of the gangster character hitting the prisoner. I thought this was good because it was arty and gave a very good atmosphere

Thursday, 15 October 2009


This is my opie which i made on photoshop. I took the picture on photobooth with the bulge effect on, thats why my hair looks too big and my eyes too far apart. All the different colours are on different layers. I made the shapes using the pen tool.

If i did this task again i would ajust the pen tool so that there is a thin line between the shapes. I would also use a better picture which is not out of proportion.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Sunday, 11 October 2009


No homework and still no sign of the missing earlier material which you promised to put on from Pages about Juno.


L3 Group 9: TOM H & LOUIS - OPENING SEQUENCE ANIMATIC from cmdiploma on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

contact sheet

We made this contact sheet in photoshop using images that we found on images.google.com which we thought represented the ideas that we had in our heads. The font is one which we downloaded on dadfont.com when we were making our font board. We changed some of the images to black and white to make them look more atmospheric and also changed the brightness and contrast.

our idea

our opening sequence is going to be a action, gangster thriller. the scene will start with a man tied to a chair. he will have the appearance that he has been beaten up and brought to the location unwillingly. There will be freeze frames on the characters with titles.

Sunday, 4 October 2009


I like the sims idea! Crazy! You still need to remember to paste your Pages doc onto the blog. Very good reference to the prelim task

prelimanary task

For this task we had to re create a film which our teachers had made. We had to use continuity editing which is where you cut the clips so that the next clip starts where the last one finished. e.g. if the is a long shot of someone opening a door and then it cuts to a clos up of teh handle going down, you need to make sure the handle is in the same place at the end of the first clip to the begining of the next.

We also had to use the 180 degree rule (only shooting within 180 degrees of the characters in the shot). The match on action rule which is to help when doing the continuity editing and the shot reverse shot rule. The 180 degree rule is very inportant when doing this to make sure you keep the characters on the same side of the screen.

I think we did well in this task as we got all of the shots done and used continuity editing as well. I think if we had teh chance to do it again i would make the volumes louder for the diolog as you cannot hear it very clearly. Also i would put longer gaps between the speach and cuts as it seems like the convosation is very fast with no gaps between different characters lines esspecially the lines 'I want to burn a blank CD' and 'What do you need it for?'


Action film, 15-25 yr males, based on a fictional comic book. (28 words)

Super hero fights vilons in a war against terorism, sidetrack love story with typical atractive women who eventually finds out about heros powers through a series of events.

Supernatural thriller, female audience, international co-production. (27 words)

Women moves into new house with husband. women suspects house is huanted but husband does not belive. couple find eveidence of supernatural presents and investigate. couple disapear.

Independant film peturing young protagonist, financed through regional funding. (31 words)

In Britain. Two young male friends move to remote town with family. young boys go on 'adventure', meet a man. man turns out to be syco. familys move away with boys.

animated feature, adult audience, based on fictional novel. (35 words)

Two humans find themselves inside the sims game controlled by other humans. try to fine a way out leads to loosing minds. start to cause trouble in game. die while stuck in game. game ends.

Friday, 2 October 2009

font board

The fonts we chose are all very edgy, dark and distorted and this is why we chose them. i feel that they go with the feel of our opening.

mood board and title board

The Pictures we chose are to represent the setting and atmosphere of our opening.

credits for opening sequence

a Invisible production presents
an a.c.e film
tom stevens
louis peters
elliot fraser
costume design by tilly murr
art direction by yasmin wright
prodction by design steven holloway
casting by boris north
film editing by sarah jenkins
cinematography peter williams
original music by hannah thompson
Produced by bill ditton
Directed by Scott Wordell


Monday, 28 September 2009


You need to paste in the Pages stuff- otherwise very detailed and coming along well

Sunday, 27 September 2009

case study of a film opening

TITLE- The title 'jackass' appears at the end in a very basic arial font.

INSTITUTIONAL INFORMATION- The first is Paramount Pictures with the normal Paramount logo clip. There is also MTV films usual spaceman logo clip and Dick House Productions with the cockerel. These are all also shown in a basic arial font when the clip starts. At this point it also says 'in association with Lynch Siderow productions'

JOB TITLES- Music Supervisor Karen Glaeber, Editors Lix Ewart Mark Hansen Kristine Young, Director of photography Dimitry Elyashkevich, co-producers Sean Cliver Dimitry Elyashkevich, co-executive producers Michel Klepper Jessica Swirnoff, Executive producers Trip Talylor John Miller David Gale, Produced by Jeff Tremain Spike Jonze Johnny Knoxville, Directed by Jeff Tremain,

MUSIC and OTHER SOUND- O'Fortuna by Carl Orff. Creates a feeling off doom.

MAIN CHARACTER INTRODUCED- all of the 'jackass crew' are introduced with credits and freeze frames of them.

MOOD SET UP THROUGH SETTING/LIGHTING- They appear from a big cloud of smoke in a massive shopping trolley. They are going down hill in the trolley and are blasted with cannons filled with fake blocks of concrete.

INTRODUCTION TO ACTION/STORY- You kind of get to see what kind of content is going to be in the film. Generally if you watch the jackass movie you have probably seen the TV episodes anyway so you will know what they do.

SOMETHING TO CAPTURE AUDIENCE INTEREST- A lot of action and they are in a big shopping trolley going down a hill so you want to see what happens when they get to the bottom.

Monday, 21 September 2009


Though I am happy for you to make the blog look more attractive, do remember that this is submitted as part of your assessment, so just Tom H’s blog is enough for the title!

You could do with a bit more detail in your post on how you used the technology (especially final Cut) Which tools did you learn to use?

This blog will be the evidence of your research and planning for the AS coursework, so there needs to be lots on it and lots of detail to it.

For the post on Shifty, you need to say more about how the moodboard task worked and how it was based on a particular scene and trying to give a sense of atmosphere from that. Later you will be creating moodboards for your own project ideas.

Very good work on the clips you have chosen


Saturday, 19 September 2009

Student film openings

This film opening has obviously had some time put into it. The character has a costume on and the shot has a rehearsed route which would be necessary as it is one continuous shot. The speed that the camera is moving also seems to be planned. The scene also has a black and white filter on it which ads effect.

However, the shot gets very boring, very quickly and doesn't really come across as a title scene. There's just under 2 minutes of footage where there are no titles. I feel that this is what causes it to get boring. Also it sounds like there is some noise from the footage but the soundtrack is too loud so you can't hear it properly. This also feels to me like it is taking away the title scene mood and effect.

Opening sequence

I looked at videos on YouTube of opening scenes of films. I looked at scenes from Watchmen, RocknRolla and Superbad.

Superbad is probably the most simple of the three scenes, however it is my favorite. I like its retro style and i feel that it gives a small look in to the type of characters. I like the simplicity of the titles and the way that they have used silhouettes.

unfortunately i couldn't find the html for watchmen but this is the link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=573XmVOdD2Q
This sequence for watchmen is 5 minutes of very short clips fading in and out of eachother which have been slowed down a lot to about ten or fifteen seconds each. The clips show the news and issues which are referred  to in the film.

The thing i like about the titles sequence for RocknRolla is the way that the pictures seem to still be being drawn as the sequence develops. This gives a rough sort of feel to the film. Also the soundtrack helps to give it this rough look because it is very roughly played guitar with rock drums.

Thursday, 17 September 2009


We were given basic instruction on how to create layers and text in photoshop. We were then set the task of creating a postcard for the creative and media diploma including text for 'creative and media' and 'long road sixthform'. We also had to get our imaged from flikR.

I did not have any idea what kind of design i was going for but when looking for a background i found this picture of a huge DVD collection. This became my first layer. I then set about putting the text in. I couldn't find a colour that made the text readable because there were so many different colours in my background and the text had a very thin outline. I decided to go over the text outline with the brush tool. Next i started to fiddle with the brightness and contrast of the background image. Once i had something which looked okay i went a bit crazy. I first used te colour replacment tool to make areas of the backgroup grey which i thought would make it easier to read the text. I started to make some random shapes using the lasso tool and then filling them in with the paint bucket. I thought it all looked a bit bring and i had only used primary colours so i decided to play with the hugh and saturation. This is when the light blue and pink areas appeared. I thought that the text saying 'long road sixthform' and 'by tom holloway' should have a different colour around them to the rest of the image so i made some green shapes again using the lasso and paint bucket. I played with the text for a while trying to get the perfect colour but ended up with this sicky green colour.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Film opening

This is the film opening that i made with tilly from clips and sound that we were given. it was just an
exercise to get used to the basics of final cut. We learned how to simply put clips in the time line
and then chop them up using the blade tools or using in and out points. we also learned how to do
fades with the pen tool and titles. We then learned how to make the titles move. I found it easy and
a bit boring because i did the diploma last year and did exactly the same task however it was good
to refresh my memory.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

moodboard for shifty

this is my groups moodboard for the scene we read from shifty
We were given five random magazines to cut out pictures from. We chose the pictures of faces because we thought they looked like the characters in the story and the dark smokey pictures so show what we imagined the atmosphere to be like.

Saturday, 5 September 2009