FILM NOIR TRAILER TASK 1

A good narrative is a base of a great game. In this task I am looking at two different crime scenes from the Rockstar game, L.A. Noire, where you play as different police investigators in L.A. solving brutal and difficult crimes form the 1960s.

In ‘The Stocking Murder’ a young woman is found lying dead, naked on the floor with her throat cut, her wedding ring missing, red lipstick message on her body and library card by her side. This case is linked to two other previous cases where a woman’s body had a message written in red lipstick on their chest which may be a copycat murder even the previous murderer returning, as the previous ones were not solved. Throughout this case the investigators continue to doubt each other to whom the murderer is as they have seen this kind of crime scene before. The victims clothing and personal belongings have been placed far away from the body, however still in the location, intentionally telling the investigators the identity of this woman but not showing them the less needed information about her. Additionally the killer appears to want to send a message considering the similarity between cases. Using this story for my trailer as I could work a lot with FX makeup, as most of the makeup is quite extreme, I would have to look at the makeup artist Glam&Gore.

In this case, ‘A Different Kind of War’, Cole Phelps (the investigator) is called in to solved the murder of Dr Halan Fontaine as he was discovered in his office, strangled, as well as figuring out the kidnapping of Elsa Lichtmann a patient of Dr Fontaine. This story would be fascinating to do for my final trailer as so much would be happening, that and they’re could be several ways as to how the story could play out, the trailer itself could have many tense moments as well as drama between officers and the victim’s family/ friends. Furthermore filming in different locations could make it more incising for the viewers as they’d be curious about where/ how the officers got there, therefore making people want to watch/ play the game. I feel that the use of lighting could be very useful in some shots too as it could foreshadows someone’s feeling or morals battling each other, similar to Kylo Ren in ‘The Force Awakens’ between him and Hans Solo on the bridge, where Hans is trying to tell him to come to the light side as he’s being brainwashed- half of his face is coloured red where as the other half is tinted blue hinting that there’s a battle between his conscious. Additionally the use of prop guns on set would making the trailer overall more exciting as they’d know that some characters are in a dangerous situation.

These are my two chosen stories, I believe that I’d be able to work with different techniques because of these crimes, such as lighting, makeup, locations, costumes, etc. Having something very dramatic like bloody/ gorey makeup would really get the target audience (ages between 20-35) as they’d be pulled in because of the different techniques used. When creating my trailer I will use the lines from the actual game, so then it links even more with the game and people can tell what case it is, as well as looking at the locations/ bodies. However it would be interesting to put my own twist on it, making based in a different type of genre either Sci-Fi or Cyberpunk.

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FILM NOIR TRAILER TASK 2

My team’s film noir trailer will be based on L.A Noire’s case file, “The Lipstick Murder”, this is where a serial goes around killing women and leaving a cryptic message on the bodies using lipstick. My group’s alternative story is where the chief of the police department (Myself) is the serial killer who has murdered two victims, however another body appears who is a copycat murderer where the body’s (Nichola) throat has been slashed. Additionally the third body that appears is the sister of the mysterious anti-hero (Nichola). This makes the investigation harder for myself as I knows there are two murderers but he cant admit that to the head investigator (Zach).

Myself, Matt, Nichola and Zach have our own individual roles which will ensure that our trailer will be professional and organised. What my jobs entails throughout the filming process is making sure the audio is clear when we go out recording i.e. using the correct boom box appropriate for the wind type, sketching up the story boards for the trailer so we know what kind of shots we can do/ get rid of and help during the editing process, putting the appropriate makeup on the actors & working with latex for the slashed throat victim and assisting Matt during the final editing process, so then Nichola can see if the tint is too blue or if a clip is too short. This’ll mean she will have to practice using various eye shadow pallets for making it appear someone is bruised and working with latex to give the appearance of ripped skin. When it comes to acting on set, Nichola will have to get used to wearing a corset and wearing a steam punk monocle as our main twist to the trailer is steampunk, that and practice on making a fight scene looking realistic as there will be a fight scene with in the trailer between the anti-hero (Nichola) and the police chief (myself). The main actors will be Nichola as the antagonist, myself as the police chief and Zach as the chief detective.

Nichola: main actor, screen writer, assistant editor, makeup

Matt: director, editor, designer, props, actor

Tom: cameraman, sound, main actor, management

Zach: main actor, producer, management

The location we’ve decided to film is in Camden, close to Camden Lock as it has a steampunk feel with the quirky shops and the fashion style that the public wear, they would be ideal for innocent bystanders in the background. Furthermore there are quite a few empty alley ways which will be ideal for chase scenes and sound recordings (there won’t be as much wind compared to recording audio on the main street). Additionally if we lack any props then we can always find a few items in shops and borrow a few off the local people. We may film in other places around London such as alley ways near our houses and within Kingston College for an interview scene. Before filming Nichola will have to make a large sign that says “Student Recording” as we will be working with realistic looking prop guns. Props that we’ll have to get for shooting will be the costumes (though they’ll be worn on the journey there), prop guns, police tape, a camera for Matt to take photos of dead bodies, metal pole for fight scene (made out of foam) and fake blood.

The equipment we will definitely need for our filming will be a boom mic to block out the rough rusting sound of the wind and focus more on the voice of the actors, we probably will not need a large boom as we wont be recording in a windy environment. Something that will also be needed will be a light source whether it be a torch or portable light box as lighting is key for recording if we want to highlight someone’s face to make their facial expressions clear and we’d need a light source if we were recording in a dark environment. As well as those two we’ll need a high quality camera, a reflector to capture natural light, microphone (for the boom box) and scripts for the actors to work on and a heavy duty tripod to put the camera on and to carry the wire which will be plugged in the boom box.

In conclusion we need a selection of items for filming, ideally we would use high quality equipment to ensure we have a high quality video with sharp audio and visual details. As we would be hiring them, we’d have to record in Camden quite early/ late as we’d have to give the equipment back after a few days. Personally my group and I have come up with a great interpretation of the “Lipstick Murder” case and it’ll look very striking with the cyber punk theme.

FILM NOIR TRAILER TASK 3

Storyboard 2

Risk assessment sheets are key when it comes to film productions because people have to be safe throughout the production, this usually included blunt objects, prop guns, body doubles and stunt cushions. With our production we checked through this list seeing what would effect this filming and our health and if there were then we wrote down the severity rating going from 1 to 5. One of the conditions that we had to be careful with the most is weather as it would roughly be 5 degrees Celsius and we would be doing shots in the cold, this would be challenging as the actors could be uncomfortable and it could even damage the equipment.

risk_assessment_form

The script was Nicholas job to create, this meant writing up what characters say, various shots and characters motions when saying lines. Usually she would write character’s names on the script however the only character with a name is Zachary Creer, so she decided to just write the actor’s names. After creating the first draft, she compared it to her storyboard and discussed it with the team and we thought it would be best to get rid of the Gene Krupa- Sing Sing Sing (Truth Soul Remix) song from the original L.A. Noire soundtrack and replace it with a song that suits the genre more. Additionally Nichola moved the dead body shots down to about 30 seconds into the trailer, therefore making it more of an impact when the viewers see the victims of the crime.

werewolf-script

werewolf-script-take-2

Next was costume and makeup, this was something I was not experienced with, so with had help from an FX artist Lauren Brooks (@xlauren_brooksx on Instagram), she already had a large portfolio with gruesome makeup, some are listed below. Getting assistance from Miss Brooks was ideal as she knew how to use FX makeup whereas neither myself, Matthew Roberts, Zachary Creer or Nichola Humphreys had much knowledge about it. Some keys products that will be used for the FX makeup would be the Kryolan Brandel Make-Up Palette, Naturo Plasto Wax, Vampire Blood and Kryolan Brandel professional Powder. The possible injuries that we would need for our trailer would be bullet woulds, sliced throats and bruises.

Every film character has an iconic costume, for example Bane in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ or Darth Vader from ‘Star Wars’, like them we tried to make a each character have a unique style however we didn’t want the costumes to give off too much colour/ attention that it would reveal parts of their character and spoil the story. Having a tonn of browns, black and whites, these are pretty neutral colours, according to colour-meanings.com  “brown colour meaning calls for high priority, a strong need for security”, “White contains a balance of all colors in the spectrum that represents both the positive and negative aspects of all colors”, “The closer the gray comes to black, the more dramatic and mysterious it becomes.” and “Black is a color that is often used to portray something evil, depressing, scary and even death in the Western civilisation… In color psychology black means power and control”. We tried to have the three main characters (Nichola Humphreys, Thomas Duncan and Zachary Creer) to be a mixture of all three colours to have a balanced appearance.

When filming we will need a large list of equipment, this will mean hiring out equipment such as a Tascam DR-05 Voice Recorder, Sigma 24mm Art Lens, DSLR cameras, Rode boom stick, Windshield Microphone, 2 in 1 Light Reflector and an XLR cable to connect the recorder to the microphone. Devices that will be available to us will be a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500, various mobile phone for photos/ recordings private computers for editing the final cut. The range of cameras will help for our filming because we will be able to capture movement more clearly; DSLRs for the gorey close ups and the character expression and the Cyber-shot for action scenes where the camera follows the movement. As we wont be filming in too many dark areas, we will only be using the light reflector to focus on someone’s face in a scene, other than than we will be using natural light so it wont effect the dark cyber punk tone too drastically. As Zachary Creer’s character will be the main protagonist his costume will change the most, in fight scenes he will not be wearing the long brown coat  whereas in casual shots and crimes scenes he will have the addition of the coat.

(Add photos of equipment)

equipment-hire-sheet

Props were essential of our trailer as we’d want to have action scenes to keep the target audience (young people and adults, 15-30) “glued” to the trailer. The props we used were a fake mp5, fake pump action shotgun, fake revolver, a blunt screwdriver and fake pistol, these would be the weapons used by different characters. Additionally there will be a batting stick for the fight scene between Matthew Roberts and Zachary Creer.

During our filming we will go to a wide range of areas to film, as we live in different areas in London each member had written down ideas where to film, the key places we chose were New Eltham (Scout Club and forest), Camden Lock, Wimbledon and Morton Park Green. Having these different locations adds a variety of different environments and possibilities to make shots like interrogation scenes, action shots and casual shots while still keeping to the cyber punk theme. New Eltham, Wimbledon and Camden Lock will provide us with shots that will continuously show that most of the investigation takes place in the city, other than the last body which is the plot twist of the story.

The location recce checklist is a document that is needed to see what services will be provided and what will be needed on the day of filming. This job was allocated to Zachary Creer and myself, we made sure to tell and show everyone where the local toilets are, how much money would be needed to travel and what the dangers could be to all the actors (Nichola Humphreys, Matthew Roberts and Zachary Creer). One of the major health and saftey hazard would be the the cars that drive through Camden as they are quite close to the busy walk path so one of us could collide with a car by accident.

location-recce-checklist01

Once we had all the elements together, next up was to name out trailer as we didn’t have on yet, these are a few different ideas we came up with. As a final decision we went with ‘Werewolf’ as it ties in with the original ‘Red Lipstick Murder’ in the L.A. Noire game where the murder’s nickname was ‘The Werewolf’.

Red Cop, Red Homocide, Doubt, Cyber Blood, Werewolf, Bloody Murder, Betrayal

FILM NOIR TRAILER TASK 5

During our recording we had to make sure the camera equipment used was treated accordingly as it wouldn’t have been easy to replace them, especially when it came to the DSLR and the Tascam recorder as they had the memories cards that contained the recorded files. It is very important in film industries to save their files accordingly and not damage the storage as it may ruin the rest of the film.

When it came to recording, we ensured that all the video files were separate to the audio files and tried not to get mixed up with one another, this is why separating a movie into scenes is much easier as once that scene is done a filming industry can start a new memory card with the next scene. Saving all the video files in the same area did cause some difficulty in my group’s trailer as we had to use a variety of different cameras (due to technical difficulty) on non consecutive dates.

The way in which we kept them safe, we arranged each file into an according folder, this was more difficult on the Cyber-shot as it had a collection of both behind the scenes video and final videos for the trailer. To make them easier to document I would arrange them alphabetically so then they would appear in the order we shot them rather than file size. As Matthew Roberts was editing the final piece Nichola would send all the files to him in a zip. folder so then he can edit them all, this is also the reason as to why there is no audio folder with in Nicholas computer system. Matthew Roberts’ email is mattsstuffstuff@gmail.com 

Re shoots were usually done if we weren’t satisfied with our performance or some one had forgotten the words, this is clearly seen in the bloopers video Nichola uploaded previously where we may have been giggling on set or doing something we shouldn’t have. One time that we found it particularly difficult to shoot would probably be in Eltham Scouts Club as we had more people on set, making it more challenging to gets things perfect and stay professional.

Before collecting the actors we needed, we had to make them sign an ‘Extra’s Release Form’ proving that they give consent to be featured in the trailer and that they were over the age of 18. The actors we got to sign this document was Oscar Homes, Connor Brooks and Amy Lott. All three extras played the role of gang members trying to kill Zachary Creer, however Oscar Holmes had the additional role of transforming into the first murder victim- without these actors, the trailer wouldn’t be as action packed or maintain focus from the audience with the diversity and look of each character. Additionally these people played the role as camera crew when either myself, Zachary Creer, Nichola Humphreys or Matthew Roberts were in shot. The only other crew member that we had working on this trailer was Lauren Brooks but as she was not featured in the trailer, we did not need her to sign a release sheet.

extra_release

FILM NOIR TRAILER TASK 6

After gathering the footage Matthew Roberts edited them into a trailer just over 2 minutes long. Most of the video had a Blue Ice filter placed on it in Photoshop 2016 and the text titles were edited using After Effects 2015. Below you can see the video prior and after added in the special effects.

The footage used was a mixture of the Cyber-shot and DSLR camera, the audio used was recorded on the recorder, camera and mobile phones, the song used was ‘I Am Dust’ by Gary Numan. This song was appropriate to use as is categorised as ‘Cyber Punk’ and matches the style of our trailer.

The use of a popular song in a niche genre and well played video game will attract two types of audiences as well as our target audience 15-30 year olds (the seriousness and the drama wouldn’t be appropriate for children and older generations to watch). As it wasn’t made with a high budget company there are a few elements that could’ve been improved such as the amplitude levels between voice lines and background music. Additionally there are a few acting parts that could’ve been improved such as the dead bodies as there are slight movements of them breathing and voice lines as some may not sound as convincing. For a trailer based on a small portion of a video game I believe that it is pretty well made, near to professional standards. Some shots such as the last bloody laughing scene, detailed dead body injuries and fight scenes are going to keep audiences captivated and want to watch the full length movie.