The Team

We are Flatline Films and we are currently in the process of producing our debut film 'Roadside'.

Director - George Gamble

Producer - Roam Hamilton

Cinematographer - Harry Knight

Here is our FlatLine Fims blog.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

GG - The Boom Microphone

We have decided to use the Boom Microphone in our production, there are many advantages to use using it.Firstly we film outside for a part of our production, we realised that when we just used the microphone already on the camera we got noise from the wind. This made the quality of the sound very poor. Also when we filmed our 'scream queen' screaming, because the camera was so close this also came out poorly. In our new opening scene we are going to include more dialect between the two characters as they walk down the stairs. By using the Boom Microphone the audience will be able to easily hear what they are saying.

The advantages of using the Boom Microphone are;

  • Better sound quality.
  • It doesn't matter how far away the camera is to the sound, the microphone will pick up all the sound because you can hold it close to it. 
The disadvantages to using the Boom Microphone are;
  • It is time consuming using it on set. Plus because we film at night we have limited hours for filming. 
  • The equipment is very expensive, we have to be very careful when using it. 
Me and Roam have both been shown how to use. This will help us on set when we come to using it because we can set it up quickly and efficiently. 
 A link to how to use a boom microphone

The dead cat. For blocking out noise of the wind when filming outside

Friday, 18 February 2011

RH - Century of posts!

Congratulations to me for reaching 100 blog posts! (this post ironically makes it 101)

Thursday, 17 February 2011

RH - Denotation of Kangeroo Jack opening (David McNally, 2003)

I'm looking at this opening so I can gather key conventions used in film openings, it is important to broaden my knowledge past the genre I'm working in which is why I've chosen to look at a comedy.

Warner Brothers and Castle Rock Entertainment idents were shown on screen. There was non-diagetic sound playing over these idnets. The Jerry Bruckheimer Films ident was shown, this was on screen without the non-diagetic sound and had the sound effects of the ident itself. The first few shots are establising shots over differant areas of the Australian outback. Whilst these shots are on screen the titles such as; disribution and production company, followed by the director. A voice over is used over all these shots, this continues throughout the opening. The camera then zooms in to a close-up of a Kangeroo. The voice over is still in progress when the location changes to America, we know this because the voice over tells us aswell as seeing an American flag. We are provided with expisition when it says at the bottom of the screen 'Memorial Day 1982'.

GG - 2nd Rough Cut feedback

After gathering feedback from our second rough cut we were told that we needed to improve:
  • Speed up the car footage, because it looks as if the car is driving to 'leisurely' and not quick enough. 
  • Change the order of the shots when the villain is walking up to the car. With a point of view shot of the villain 'stabbing' the 'scream queen.' 
  • The use of a 'Boom Microphone' so the sounds of the car unlocking and the 'scream queens' scream so they sound a lot better. 
  • Add a few more shots to make it longer. For example shots of Megan turning on the radio and of a road sign. 
We still have to add the idents and the soundtrack to our production. 

We still have to re-shoot our opening shots which we are doing tonight (Tues 1st March.) We are also going to get a few more shots of the final 'stabbing' as well tonight. 

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

RH - Editing

Today I looked at editing our footage that we took at our first re-shoot. The shots we took were our driving shots that involved a car crash. We have not yet re-shot the scenes of our couple Casey and Sam at the house. What stood out whilst structuring our footage today was that we had so much more shot variation than last time. We also have kept the identity of the killer incognito whereas last time they were on screen for much too long. Overall I was extremely pleased with our footage and believe with the right soundtrack it will be terrifying. Our killer stalks and is very violent with his actions which makes him look extremely threatening. We use a lot of short takes which works very well. There are a few things we have to do to make our car crash look better such as; speed up the footage of the car swerving, also add the sound effect of tyres screeching.

GG - Possible change of setting

We are having problems finding times when we can all meet. All the cast and producers can meet Wednesday. Our only problem though being the peoples house where we filmed our opening our out. This means that we might have to change the setting for our opening few shots. I have found another house in ilkley that is detached. It will be a perfect back up if we fail to film on the original setting. The owner has also confirmed that we can film on Wednesday 16th feb which helps us out a lot.

GG - Re shooting schedule

We have had all sorts of problems when it has come tore shooting our opening footage. Finding a suitable time for all the actors, if the settings is available etc... We have now found a spot when both me and Roam can go up with our actors and re film. This will be on Wednesday 16th feb. Although i am working till 5pm Roam is going up early and getting all the shots from outside the house when it is still light. I will then join them straight after work to finish off filming inside the house.

Monday, 14 February 2011

RH - Our Target Audience

Our core target audience ranges from the ages 15-24. The reason for this is that the BBFC rating we have aimed for our film is 15. The reason this ranges up to 24 is the rough guidelines for a TA, this applies also with 12 and 18 rated films. This is a link to the BBFC film classification website

We are aiming our films at males rather than females because males tend to be more attracted to the Slasher genre whilst females conventionally tend to prefer the Rom-Com genre. In our opening we include a 'Screem Queen' this should appeal to the males audience because she is a blonde busty, sexually active girl.

Teenagers who are sexually active should be able to relate to particular scenes because of the inclusion of subtle hints, and certain dialog that a younger audience wouldn't be able to relate to.

The actors in our production our from Yorkshire, the key stereotype of people from Yorkshire is that we all have really broad accents. We are associated with a flat cap and a whippet, this alludes to a rural life. Within our production one of the locations is in the countryside. This will reaffirm peoples stereotypes of the region. This productions core audience however will be Yorkshire men.

Class and status, the teenagers are shown in a large house which signifies they are well off, however then 'Casey' gets into the purple VW Polo, we can denote from this that she is working class and a new teenage driver. If we apply the commutation test and change the car to a £50,000 Mercedes then suddenly the text means something completely different. If this was the car we would denote that she is extremely rich and probably a posh Yorkshire 'snob'.

Finally our secondary target audience is from the age range of 13-34, we have chosen this as our secondary target audinece purely because BBFC ratings doens't stop kids under the age of 15 from viewing these film weather it is at the cinema or on DVD. Also we have increased the age from 24 to 34 because by doing this the slightly older genreation will be able to relate to intertextuality for example our 'Screem Queen' is called 'Casey'  refering to Drew Barrymoore's character in 'Scream' A link to Casey's character in Scream. Also our male character is named 'Sam' refering to 'Dr. Sam Loomis'  played by 'Donald Pleasence' in 'Halloween'. A link to Dr. Sam Loomis' character in Halloween

GG - BBFC Ratings

Suitable only for 15 years and over

No one younger than 15 may see a ‘15’ film in a cinema. No one younger than 15 may rent or buy a ‘15’ rated video work.


The work as a whole must not endorse discriminatory language or behaviour.


Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse. The misuse of easily accessible and highly dangerous substances (for example, aerosols or solvents) is unlikely to be acceptable.


Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised.

Imitable behaviour

Dangerous behaviour (for example, hanging, suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on detail which could be copied. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised.


There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’). The strongest  terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable.


Nudity may be allowed in a sexual context but without strong detail. There are no constraints on nudity in a non-sexual or educational context.


Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail. There may be strong verbal references to sexual behaviour, but the strongest references are unlikely  to be acceptable unless justified by context. Works whose primary purpose is sexual arousal or stimulation are unlikely to be acceptable.


No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is appropriate for 15 year olds.


Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable. There may be detailed verbal references to sexual violence but any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet and have a strong contextual justification.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

RH - Soundtrack update

We planned to create our soundtrack using Garage Band however George (Director) was finding it difficult to produce something. We were also hoping that we could use some music from his brothers band but we were unsure if this would be possible and how it would fit in to the genre. Today I was reminded that my parents have a friend who composes music as a career, I gave him a ring and discussed the possibility of getting a piece of music composed for our film or use something they have knocking about. We are hopeful that I can meet with him and compose something to match up with the footage. Despite this being very promising, we are going to continue to persevere at composing something on Garage Band in case this doesn't work out or we need to add in additional sound effects.

RH - Behind the scenes of our re-shoot

This is a video I took whilst on set, at this stage it is getting dark which explains the lack of quality.

GG - Night of Re-shooting

Our new recruitment Tom Pickersgill
             Tonight me and Roam re-shot our footage. Because we had problems with some of the cast we had to re-shoot the whole thing.
             We believe we have made the car crash scene much better and believable. We achieved this by taking more shots of the car swerving. This will look a lot better on screen. The Villain also spent less time on screen to add to his 'hidden identity.' You only really see him when he approaches the car after the crash. We use a lot more shot variation throughout the whole of it, this will give us a lot more footage to use when editing.
             Yet again our actress Megan Claydon did an excellent job and our new recruitment Tom Pickersgill also did an outstanding job.
             Tomorrow (Friday 11th feb) we plan to complete all of our filming and be ready for editing. Roam has manage to pull in an old friend to help with the soundtrack. We should have everything ready for monday (14th feb) and get adding all the final touches.

RH - Re-shoot analysis

Our actors Megan and Tom on set!
Crew on set after successful re-shoot
Tonight we re-shot our scenes in the countryside which involve a car crash. The re-shoot went very well and we took a lot more shot variation than last time out. Instead of having two shots which are on screen for a very long time we will now have five or six shots which are very shot takes. We also got some more driving footage so we have more to play with in terms of editing. We had to use a different actor to play our killer, but we are extremely pleased with his performance and everything went smoothly. We were very inventive with some shots which should provide plenty of variation when it comes to editing. We will re-shoot our opening shots in different location (house in the countryside) either on Friday or over the weekend, we plan to upload this footage tomorrow and make a rough cut with the opening that we already have so we can pass on the footage to a composer, this will then help us compose a soundtrack to a rough version of what the film will look like.

RH - Change in cast

We have had to change our cast for our film as our re-shoot schedule cannot be met by one of our original cast members therefore Tom Pickersgill has been cast in replacement of James Crowther. He will play the role of the killer.

RH - Call sheets (Re-shoot)

Roadside Call Sheets 1                                                             Roadside Call Sheet 2

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

GG - Soundtrack

Today I am going to look at making a soundtrack for our opening set of shots. We are going to use the software Garage Band. Seeming as i use to use this software when i was younger i opted to do it. We have also asked my bothers band (The Swing Movement) if they could compose a song for us, for when the 'scream queen' is driving along the countryside. We plan to have her listening to the radio but also have a song playing quietly in the background to add to the tension. 

A link to The Swing Movement's myspace

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

RH - New Treatment

New Roadside' Treatment

RH - Update

At the moment we have just staeted working on our soundtrack. This is going to be difficult and will take some time. Tomorrow we will be filming our re-shoot on both locations. This will complete our filming so we must make sure everything is perfect. During this we will film some behind the scences footage. This we go onto the FlatLine films blog. After we do this we will upload the footage and start editing our full complete version. Whilst editing the full version we will get audience feedback on some sample scenes. Finally when we have edited the footage we will mix that with the soundtrack and then compose one final edited version involving company idents, this will be our final cut!

Monday, 7 February 2011

GG - Initial titles idea

We are now at the stage of deciding how we want our credits to appear on screen. After looking at various websites and other horror/slasher films we are starting to get an idea of how we want them to appear. 
  • We have looked at the idea of Synchronised sound, the idea that the soundtrack is specifically timed to suit the images or the on screen titles. 
  • We have also looked at Serif and Sans-Serif fonts. Because ours is a horror we will be using serif fonts when designing the titles. We plan to use a font with sharp edges to the letters to help signify the genre of our film. By this we mean not using curvy lettering which will signify a comedy or a child's programme. The sharp lettering could signify a knife or a some sort of sharp weapon. 
  • We want the title of the film to appearer on a black background in either red or white font colour. We then want the names of the producer, director and cinematograph to come on screen in our first couple of shots overlapping the picture on screen. 
  • We want them all to appearer on screen through a fade in and fade out. The title will be in the centre of a black screen. The rest will be to the centre as well but nearer the bottom of the screen whilst our first few shots are playing.

 A few examples of good opening titles would be Halloween (1978) and Sweeney Todd.
Sweeney Todd's title sequence was nominated for Best Film and TV Graphics. 

A list of useful websites the help me think of idea's for our titles:
How to Properly Sequence Film Credits
The Art Of Film Title Design Throughout Cinema History
The art of the Title Sequence

RH - Rough cut feedback via Facebook

We have re-shot the second part of our opening and currently in the process of editing that footage. We are yet to re-shoot the first part of our opening, I have gathered more feedback so we fully understand what we need to do to make our text make sense.
Here is a link to our rough cut on YouTube

RH - In detail deconstruction of our rough cut

Firstly we were told to fade into our opening shot instead of just going straight into the film. After our panning shot we should also shoot cut shots getting closer and closer o the house and then cut into the house. When our couple (Sam and Casey) come down the stairs they should be talking because in our rough cut it was they were on screen for too long without dialog. Also when the couple come out side we were advised to provide extra lighting because it appears to be pitch black. Also in our rough cut there was a sound when the door opens, we were told to exclude this from our final cut. Also are shots are too long, we need shorter takes, this just requires shot variation.

Secondly we need to record our sound separate to our footage e.g. when she unlocks her car, we need to record the sound made by the car, for this we will use the boom mic. Also we were advised to add a radio voice over during our driving shots, we would do this to provided a bit of exposition. In our rough cut we revealed the killer a long time before the car crash which removes all suspense and tension from the audience. We shouldn't show the killer at all apart from the actual murder. When the car crashes we should cut back to the killer to show the audience what has caused the crash. Next we will have the car crashed with the sound of the horn going off, we again will record this separately to the footage using the boom mic. In our final cut we will try get the shadow of our killer on the side of our car without the killer himself being on screen. This will provide tension and suspense for the audience.

Finally when the killer does come on screen we must use really short takes from 3 or 4 different camera angles, this will firstly provide coverage and secondly if the killer is on screen for too long the entire effect will diminish. Lastly the actual murder. Once again a very short take is needed, as if it is on screen for too long it will look very poor as we cannot produce a 'Hollywood' style murder.

This is our rough cut that was deconstructed!

ALL - Rough cut class feedback

GG - Rough cut feedback

Overall we had positive feedback for our production. The viewer understood what was going on and enjoyed the set of shots we had. We still have some more shooting, and plenty of editing to do. We got a few ideas on how to improve our footage and wrote them down. For example more car crash shots. These will help us on our third night of filming.

ALL - 'Roadside' Rough cut

RH - Cherry Falls, opening killing

In the opening to 'Cherry Falls' a couple (Rod and Stacey) were murdered. In our production we are recreating a car crash, we are re-shooting this because we did not take enough shots from enough angles. We need a lot more coverage. In this incident we see several close-ups of the girls face. We need shot variation including a POV shot, close-ups of our 'Scream Queen'. One improvement we were told to make from our audience feedback was that we needed to hold off on revealing the killers identity until the actual murder. Some of the shots were shot through the windshield and others within the actual car. What they do well is that they cut between about 3 or 4 shots which is something we need to replicate during our re-shoot. One thing that we did well in our rough cut was that the killers shadow was moving along the side of the car whilst our killing approached the car in shot, but from audience feedback we were told that it would look scarier if the killing was not on screen and we could only see his shadow.
This is a link to a film review for 'Cherry Falls'

RH - Upcoming Schedule

We have booked the camera's out for Wednesday to complete our re-shoot. Tomorrow we will start looking at our soundtrack. During our re-shoot we will film some behind the scenes footage which will go onto our new FlatLine Films blog! We will take loads of shots during our re-shoot so when it comes to editing we have loads to work with. In the couple of days we will have our idents done and dusted. As soon as we upload our footage we will get audience feedback on several sample scenes that we will create. All the time during this we will be trying to link our soundtrack with our edited video footage. It's going to be very busy but between the 3 of us, we are confident of rounding everything off.

RH - Production company blog

I have just created our production companies blog (FlatLine Films). You can get to this blog from this link Every group member is an author on this blog.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

RH - Schedule difficulties

Unfortunately we cannot film our re-shoot on Friday as our cast are busy. Therefore we plan to re-shoot some shot possibly this weekend or if not we will re-shoot on Tuesday.

RH - New ideas

We have had group discussions and the outcome is that on our re-shoot we will include some brand new shots. The reason for this is because we believe that by making some plot changes it can make our film more interesting. The first change we have decided to make is that the boyfriend of our 'Scream Queen' (Sam) will give 'Casey' an evil look as she walks away from the house. We have decided this will be effective because it provides anchorage for the audience that 'Sam' is the killer, even though he isn't and it's very suspicious and menacing, we will go from a mid-shot to a close-up on his face. Another change we have discussed is that we feel we need more driving shots, this is because especially with the car crash we need to use short takes but to do this effectively we need masses of shot variation.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

RH - Re-Shoot

We have planned to have a re-shoot on Friday. The reason for this is because one of our shots has been lost. Secondly there are some continutiy errors with the light inside the house. With these errors it does not allow us to use any of out shot variation. All these shots are within the beginning of our opening. There are several things we need to eradicate on this re-shoot such as; camera stability, shot variation, lighting with the house. We also might re-shoot some shots within the house because we could improve on the framing.