New storyboard idea…

Posted: November 9, 2010 in Media

In light of my recent feedback/research I have created a new storyboard.

Well actually I sort of have two. The thing is I looked at my storyboard and thought of two different ways to go about it, so I made two movies on windows movie maker for my different variations of my new storyboard and I thought I would ask for audience members to compare them and say which they prefered as well as give general feedback. I didn’t change anything dramatic, just the titles, the music and the odd piece of dialogue, but I thought it would give me more choice in what sort of feel I want my trailer to have…

But for now, here’s my movies/ camera shots on my new storyboard and my initial captions and explanations of them…

Here’s my second idea…

And here’s my third…

Now I’ll upload my general storyboard (the initial thing I created) and explain the pictures/writing….

Well, looking at the feedback on previous storyboard I knew that it was a little TOO confusing for some audiences to understand. This being my main problem to overcome, it was a challenge to create a new storyboard for my trailer which would set up the story for my film without being too confusing or giving too much away at the same time. So, I thought about how the actual film (if I made it) would start and establish the equilibrium and then pick which bits I would feel appropriate to put in the trailer. This I found very helpful as I was, in a way, doing what most trailers do- take parts from the actual film and then put them together to make the audience want to watch the film itself.

So, my opening to the trailer is this- an establishing shot of my protagonist, (well, one of them- I think I’ll argue that the character named Jack is the other) named Alice, a teenage girl, walking down a country lane. At first this will be a long shot but obviously as the actor playing her walks towards the camera this will turn it into a mid shot. I want this shot of Alice to establish her to the audience and therefore establish her importance within the film because she is introduced to the audience first. I wanted her to be walking alone down this country lane which is also a quite bare looking landscape- this reinforces that she is a lonely character and somewhat considered as an outcast (which is vital to how she plays a big part in the film) this will therefore make the audience wonder why she is alone and whether this will change in the film- will she meet someone new? Will her personality change? etc etc basically it keeps the audience engaged/interested enough to watch on…

Also in this shot we will hear a piece of dialogue from a character called Dom, who is a cook at the youth club Alice attends regularly because she usually has nowhere else to go: ‘Are you alright, Alice?’

I thought this would help establish that although Alice is a very lonely character, she has a certain type of strong bond with the three owners of her local youth club- which consist of two  young men (Dom and Pete) and a woman (Kitty). And although in the actual film they are revealed to be very sinister and horrible characters, I want the audience to see the trailer and establish them as helpers or perhaps victims- friends of the protagonist who care for her and try to keep her spirits high. Therefore I am tricking the audience into thinking these characters will be good when in fact they turn out to be, in the film, the very opposite. (So in a way they are tricked by their deception as much as Alice is).

There is then a high angle/ over the shoulder shot of Alice sitting at a table (at the youth club), talking to Dom. She answers his question by saying: ‘I’m alright. As long as I have you lot, as long as I have the club, I’ll always be fine.’ (I know this alters a bit in each of the different variations but you get the jist). Here I thought the dialogue would be useful to establish just how much the youth club and the owners themselves mean to Alice. This then leads the audience to ask many questions- like why this is so and what may change this throughout the course of the film. I also thought the over the shoulder shot could insinuate mystery and lead the audience to want to see Dom’s identity. The high angle shot also of course, implies he is actually a sinister character who wants to exploit her…but doesn’t actually give anything away! Overall this sets up the equilibrium of the film- Alice is a lonely character but finds peace and friendship in her local youth club and the people who run it. So- will this change?? 

(The dialogue previously spoken by Alice may also carry on into this shot)

I then thought I’d have an extreme close up of a character’s feet as they walk down some steps. This helps to portray the thriller genre of my film (as extreme close-ups are a convention of this genre- often used to hide identity like I have done here) and keep the audience intrigued as to who this character is. I would then have a pan up to Alice’s face to reveal the feet belong to her. In her mid shot she looks rather happy and satisfied- connoting to the audience that this is our main character and we are currently being shown the equilibrium of the film itself.

This would then be shattered by the sound of knocking on a door (distant preferably) which is symbolic of two things- the arrival of our other protagonist, Jack (though to the audience it’ll just be a ‘arrival of a new character’) and the disruption of the equilibrium. The knocks on the door should be violent and angry- connoting to the audience that the film does not stay in a  state of peace. And upon hearing this noise they will begin to wonder just who has arrived in the film and what influence they will have on the plot- how will they disturb the equilibrium?

I then thought, to carry on this theme that a new character (Jack) had arrived and disturbed the peace, I would have a POV shot from this new character’s (Jack’s) POV as the door they were knocking on is opened. This si also an establishing and reaction shot as it establishes another owner of the youth club (Kitty) and shows her reaction to who she has opened the door to. But because we only see her reaction, we don’t get to see what character has actually arrived so it leaves the audience guessing and wondering why Kitty reacts the way she does.

To confuse the viewers of the trailer even further I thought I would include a shot which is supposed to be from a different part of the film (much later on, when Alice has started to try and spy on who she thinks is the killer, which is Jack). An extreme close up of the character’s eyes looking through a letter box I thought could connote mystery- who is this character and why are they looking through someone else’s letter box? And thus, this also portrays to the audience that my film will be a thriller as extreme close ups are often viewed as a convention of this genre.

Here I thought a low angle/ reaction shot of Alice would help build tension and interest in the audience- as she will have a shocked and scared expression on her face, and her emotions are also portrayed by the character expressing the words: ‘Oh my god!’. I thought a reaction shot would help keep the audience ‘in the dark’ about what Alice is reacting to and why she is reacting int his way- thus making the audience intrigued to know the answers to these questions. The character’s horror at what she is seeing also portrays that the equilibrium has been disrupted and the audience wonder what has disrupted it and who will help restore it.

A long/ establishing shot of the character of Dom- a cook in the youth club and friend of the protagonist, Alice (also in previous scenes in the trailer) I thought could help hint that perhaps he is not an entirely ‘good’ character like how he  is previously established to be. This is because in the long shot his stance will be quite intimidating and he will holding a rolling-pin in his hand like it is some kind of weapon- this insinuates that something bad is happening to the characters (the disruption- leading them to try and fend for themselves and fight) and they instantly want to know how Dom is involved in this and what side he is on (killer or victim?). A female voice (which I think will be Kitty’s) can be heard in this shot saying: ‘Please leave me alone, please!’ and this also builds tension in the audience as well as conveying the mystery of the film as they wonder who the voice belongs to, what is happening to them and how this all links in to the shot of Dom.

An extreme close up of a hand grabbing a shoulder of another character quite roughly/intimidating (a shot taken from my previous storyboard) I thought could would not only make the audience feel as if something bad is happening to some of the characters but also conveys the mystery feel of the film as we don’t know who these characters are and what relationship they have. I think it implies another character is controlling or manipulating another but the audience knows little details so cannot know who this is or how it links in with the film. In the film this shot is really a flashback into the killer’s (Jack’s) past- hinting to what the youth club owners (Dom, Pete and Kitty) did to Jack when he was a child. But I thought that by putting the shot here this could make the audiences perhaps insinuate something different and not lead the film itself to become predictable. 

Another extreme close up now, of a female character’s mouth as her mouth itself is covered with duck tape. This heightens the tension in the audience as they can see something bad is happening (which in truth, is Kitty being tortured by the killer) but no identities are shown and therefore they do not know exactly which characters are involved. This makes them wonder to the identity of this killer and the victim he is preying on and what will happen to her. The fact this shot is helping to convey the disruption of the film is also portrayed by Alice’s dialogue, a question stating: ‘Who’s doing these awful things?’ (I think this may alter with each movie maker thing I’ve made but you get the idea of what she’s asking…) I think this dialogue establishes to the audience that Alice is going to be the hero of the film as she is determined to discover who the disruptor of the equilibrium/killer is. This also raises a lot of questions for the audience to ask- such as who is this killer? What are these ‘awful things’ that Kitty speaks of? Why is she so determined to find the killer? Will she be successful? etc etc

In this shot I tried to introduce the important character of the film who is the child who lives with Jack (who is named Ray) and makes the audience wonder who this character is (as we only see the back of him) and what part he’ll play in the film. I thought using a long shot of the kid sitting on the swig could convey to audiences that this character is quite strange- as he is isolated and alone. It hints to the audience about how in the film itself Jack does not usually let him venture outside and keeps him locked up, which is one of the main and underlying questions of the film. I think that by having him on a swing conveys the character’s innocence and could imply to audiences that he is a victim of the killer (but in truth he is Jack’s innocence and exists only in his head- which I am trying not to give away in the trailer as it is the biggest twist in my plot and therefore would only be revealed at the very very end). 

A shaky, hand-held POV shot of a character looking at a house from behind a tree/bush I thought could portray to the audience how Alice begins to spy on a character she thinks is responsible for the disruptions of the equilibrium (which is how the youth club owners are all starting to be killed off one by one- but are all seen as suicides) and tries to restore the equilibrium herself by catching the killer- which shows she is the hero of the film. But the audience will not know who the character is that is watching the house or who the house belongs to, so they will wonder these very things and how it all links into what has already been shown to them (they’ll get a hint of surveillance or spying going on but they won’t know any details in other words).

A tracking shot of Alice running through a field makes the audience tense as they wonder who or what she is running from and why. I think also making this shot shaky or hand-held could portray chaos to the audience and that something bad has happened but they are yet to find out what. It also conveys the fact the equilibrium is disturbed and problems are occurring for our protagonist- but we don’t know what or whether she’ll ever be able to get the equilibrium back. I thought this shot would be interesting to stick in here as in the film itself this scene would be taken from nearly the very end, when the main twist has been revealed to the audience and Alice, and she is desperately trying to find Pete, the last remaining owner who is alive, and warn him that Jack is indeed the killer and is going to kill him).

A mid/reaction shot of Alice shows her shocked and scared expression- making audiences wonder just what she is reacting to and why she is reacting to this way. Again, this shot makes the audience feel tense as they know something bad has happened in the film but they are yet to see what.

This shot is an extreme close up from a victim’s POV, of a killer walking towards the victim with a syringe in his hand. I think this will make the audience possibly feel scared and tense as we are literally put in the victim’s shoes  and as we do not know who the victim or the killer is this makes the audience wonder as to their identities and conveys the film’s mystery aspect (as thriller films usually have). I think I mostly got this idea from watching the trailer for ‘Se7en’ as in this it is clear there is a killer doing horrible things but the thriller’s identity is never revealed and this keeps the audience guessing and intrigued to know his true identity (usually leading to audiences inevitably going to see the film itself). We also, in this shot, hear Kitty say ‘You…’ in a breathless voice, hinting to the fact she knows the killer and this makes the audience tense as they wonder how she knows him and what effect this will have on his actions/the film itself.

An establishing shot of the Pete (which is also a midshot and from Jack’s POV) watched the character as he slowly turns his head around to see what or who is behind him. We then see his reaction- which is somewhat scared and freaked out, and we wonder just what or who he has found lurking behind him and why he is reacting in this way to it. Linking to this we also hear Jack say: ‘You don’t remember me, do you?’ which insinuates that this characters actions (the killings) are related to his past and the past of other characters. It also hints that he perhaps wants revenge for whatever happened to him and we begin to wonder just what this thing was and whether he will get his revenge.

There is also a POV/long shot from a character hiding in a cupboard or wardrobe of some sort from the killer (Jack). The killer then spots this character, whoever they may be, hiding, and slowly walks towards them with a weapon (probably a hammer) in his hand. This makes the audience feel tense and scared as they are, once again, in the victim’s shoes and do not know who the killer is, who the character hiding is and what the killer will do to them…

There is then an extreme close up of two hands (covered in blood) gripping one another tightly. I think I included this shot so as to confuse the audience as the blood on the character’s hands connotes bloodshed and violence int he film whereas the hands holding one another connotes conflicting feelings- of friendship and togetherness. The extreme close up of these hands also leads to mystery as the audience cannot see who the characters are, why they are holding hands and who the blood belongs to.

Similar tot he last shot, we now see an extreme close up of the killer’s (Jack’s)  legs as he wipes blood from his hand and onto his trousers and walks towards the camera. I think this could be a POV from a victim or another character as the killer walks towards them, which makes the audience tense as they wonder who the character is and what the killer will do to them/has done to them. The blood also connotes the violence and bloodshed the audience can expect within the film itself and therefore lets them think about whether this would be a film they’d like to watch.

A midshot of Alice curled up and crying establishes that during the disruption of the equilibrium Alice, as the hero, may be put through a lot of problems  she has to overcome- but it will be an immense struggle for her to overcome these problems- which links to why she seems upset. It also raises a lot of questions for the audience to ask- like why Alice is crying, whether it has something to do with the disruption of the equilibrium, whether she will be able to overcome this and restore the equilibrium afterall- is she strong enough tot be the hero?

Using another extreme close up there will be an axe swung down violently (which will be a very quick shot) which connotes violence within the film and the killer’s path of vengeance also. The audience are also left to wonder just who is using this axe and for what purpose. Here we also hear Jack say: ‘This time I’ll make sure you never forget!’ (or something like that) and this reinforces that the film has a big theme of revenge – as he wants to make sure that the characters (the owners of the youth club) do not forget something important to him- and the audience will be left wondering what this thing is that the killer wants them to remember (which is the horrible things they did to him when he was a child). As this connotes revenge within the film the audience want to know what he wants revenge for, who he wants it on and whether he’ll actually get his revenge in the end.

Another extreme close up of a character’s hand going to open a door (which I may change so that it shows the character’s identity- which is Alice) This scene of the film is actually at the very end when Alice is locked inside Jack’s house after she finds out Jack is the killer. She then attempts to find the child called Ray who lives with Jack, and opens his bedroom door to reveal and empty room and show the character in fact, does not exist and never has. This shot (if it remains an extreme close up) conveys the mystery of the film itself and makes the audience wonder who the character is who is going into the room and what significance this room has  to the film itself (which turns out to be probably more important and vital tot he film than the audience may first think).

There is then an extreme close up of a lighter that has ignited a flame. THis is intended to create tension- insinuating something dark and anarchic happens within the film. With Jack’s shout of ‘No!!’ portrays that the fire may be linked to something to do with the film but he audience is left not sure of how. In reality this links to the ending of the film where Jack burns down the youth club so that no one can ever be hurt within its walls ever again. I think by having Jack shout an angry order of ‘No’ could deceive audience’s into thinking someone else burns something down to JAck’s annoyance, but it is in fact the very opposite.

The last shot of the trailer is of the swing, slowly left swinging by itself, which links back to the shot of Ray, the small child living with Jack, swinging by himself. The fact the swing is empty can lead audiences to think that something happens to him and reinforces his importance within the film itself- though we do not know how his role is important and what outcome it’ll lead the film to. But in reality I’m trying to show how Ray is actually a character that does not physically exist, but only exists in Jack’s mind (which is only revealed at the very end of the film and is the biggest twist in the film) but I think the audience’s will be deceived and think this insinuates something else completely different. 

Explaining the different titles…

The titles for the second trailer (above) begin with ‘Sometimes…’ <- I think this implies that something is going to be told to the audience and makes them want to watch on so that they find out what the titles are going to reveal.

And then ‘If you can’t forget…’ this links into the theme of the film of revenge- that Jack feels angry and tormented about the fact that he remembers and is reminded daily about what happened to him when he was a child, but his tormenters have totally forgotten what they did to him. So he naturally wants revenge. 

‘It can be hard…’ – this will intrigue the audience even further, as they wonder where this will lead. It also links to a character having a problem they have to overcome- so will they overcome it?

‘To forgive…’ this suggests the theme of revenge within the film- that the character of Jack cannot forget what happened to him when he was a child so he therefore cannot forgive them either. And what fuels his vengeance even more is the fact that his tormentors do not remember what they did to him. So it overall shows how the protagonist, Jack, will never forgive his tormentors and this leads the audience to think he will not be a merciful character and will not give up on his path of vengeance.

In the second trailer I added these titles, which I thought was a different route to go down and could be effective (depending on the feedback I get). Basically these titles show the process Jack went through in the past, which is what initially started his path of revenge:  ‘Hurt me…‘- shows how Jack was abused by his tormentors- they hurt and attacked him physically and mentally.

‘Abandon me…’ – continuing this, this then shows how, after the tormentors had hurt Jack as a child, they had left him and abandoned him.

‘Forget me..’ – And then, after abusing and hurting him, the tormentors then completely forgot about him and all the horrible things they had done.

‘But never forgive me…’ – I thought this would be a good twist in the titles as Jack, due to what he does (gets violent revenge on the tormentors) he does not want any forgiveness or mercy from anyone else because he will not give it to them (which hints to why he simply gives himself into the police at the end of the film and pleads guilty to mass murder- because he wants to take responsibility for his actions to set an example- because his tormentors did not). 

I then thought I’d add some ‘review’ titles over the top of some of the shots. I thought this would help make the trailer look a bit more professional and less amateur. But if the audience members comment on these snippets on the reviews (not helpful enough, too short, too long etc) then I can easily edit them and therefore improve them. ‘Absolutely stunning…A beautiful tale of vengeance…’ **** – this portrays to the audience that reviewers (well fake reviewers, but reviewers all the same) have enjoyed the film and this may persuade them to go and see the film itself. By talking about how the film deals with revenge this reinforces the theme of the film and gives the audience more information so they cannot decide whether they’d enjoy this film or not.

‘The darkest film I have seen this year…it will leave you compelled from start to finish’ **** again, I think this helps portray to the audience what the actual film is like in terms of mood- how it will make them feel while watching it, what kind of general feel it has etc- so they can consider if this would be a kind of film they would like to see. Calling it ‘compelling’ also could insinuate my chosen genre of thriller as thrillers tend to be quite compelling to watch as they are conventionally unpredictable and have a lot of twists and turns in the plot.


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