IMDB Quick Research Guide

Hi class…

Just a quick step-by-step to finding things on IMDB. 🙂

  1. Go to IMDB.com (duh!)

2. Search for the film you are researching:

3. Er… look. You’ve found the page! 

4. Scroll down the page until you see “Company Credits”. Click “See more >>” to get fuller details.

5. The first part of this section (Production Companies) tells you who actually produced (made) the film. As a general guide, more production companies usually suggest a smaller/independent film. The risk is spread across more people, and they each put up less money in the first place.

P.S. Consider the difference between Atomic Blonde‘s list of production companies with Cars 3

You can often find more information about the film on Wikipedia, or a film’s official website, or newspaper articles, or Rotten Tomatoes, or… well, you get the idea! 🙂

Next up will be a wee bit help with part 2 of the homework. In the meantime, don’t forget to sign up for Edmodo.com.

Internal/External

Just a wee note to help you and that came as a result of a question…

In essence:
Internal factors relate to choices the producer makes for their own reasons or that they have control over. (e.g.: Band image/producer’s target audience/casting/budget/etc)
External factors relate to things outwith the control of the producer but which the producer has to bear in mind such as Codes of Practice (from CAP), working conditions must comply with relevant legislation (e.g.: Health and Safety), regulatory bodies (e.g.: BBFC/ASA/the Law!),  and so on…
In general terms, when you made the poster, you had internal factors to consider such as actors (who you have control over), budget, software, lighting, equipment, etc… but while making it, you have also had to be aware of (and possibly made changes to comply with) external factors such as making sure your poster is legal, decent, honest and truthful… etc.
So in short… an internal factor is one that a producer controls, and external factor is one that someone else controls… yes, they sometimes cross over, but keep it simple… stick with the obvious!

Final example from PQD:

Internal: The producers choose the cast (Terence Stamp)
External: The BBFC issue the classification certificate (15)
And a cross over: The producers approve the script (and allow bad words) which is an internal factor but as a result of their decisions, the BBFC give it a 15 certificate which is an external factor.

And We’re Back! Research Time…

So, time to get busy. The links you will need to chase up are as follows:

And that’s plenty to be going on with!

 

 

 

 

Institutions: Part The First

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-20-42-13Ok folks… the slides are the full set including some rather important things we haven’t covered yet but need to for the product (so feel free to read through them and be ready with questions)…

Click on the clown to download them..

Don’t get too worried about memorising the various Laws at the moment, the key thing at this stage is to be aware that there are Acts and organisations that influence media production and products… We’ll be covering them in a case study later in the course. 🙂

kids-club-phoenix-bbfcOne thing I do recommend you do is familiarise yourselves with the very excellent BBFC website… and possibly get the free BBFC app (iOS or Android). The BBFC have a very pragmatic and honest approach to film classification and you will learn a LOT simply by taking some time to look through the site. If you’re looking for a way to get started, try picking a film you know and see what the BBFC have said about it. The BBFC Insight is an excellent overview of the thinking behind a particular film’s rating… though be warned: SPOILER ALERTS AHOY!

To be fair, the BBFC will warn you when you’re headed into spoiler territory, but still…

Finally, if you didn’t get the chance in class, do have a go at trying to Rate A Trailer yourself. 🙂

Institution (Waltz?)

Obscure prog rock reference aside, I’ve just had a query about Institution and PQD.

Most of the information you need is on the slides, but for clarity, the most important things to remember are:

Stamp PQD PriscillaCasting: Terence Stamp (Wikipedia, IMDB, Guardian interview) would have appealed to an international audience as the big ‘name’ in the cast.

Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Bill Hunter would appeal to the home Australian audience… (Incidentally, click through on the links, especially Bill Hunter’s as it’s an interview from 1994 so fits in nicely with society… and also how casting can work)

Get the casting right, you pull in an audience, your film makes money… or more importantly, your message gains an audience…

Production: What would have been the challenges of producing PQD? Especially at that point in history and against the prevailing social background (fear of AIDS, homosexuality was still frowned upon, and so forth)… would it have been easy to get the necessary finance for the film without the likes of Stamp/Hunter on board?

Look at the respective credits for the two main producers, Al Clark and Michael Hamlyn. One has a background in drama (including the critically acclaimed adaptation of 1984), the other is known for music videos… how might these backgrounds have helped producing PQD?

The production companies involved include the New South Wales Film & Television Office who have a specific remit to promote film-making and as such help subsidise ‘edgier’ subject matter.

Marketing: Look again at the 5 posters for the film included in the slides… can you see how each is designed to appeal to a different audience (mostly through the choice of anchorage — either quotes form reviews, or specific blurbs). This is all part of creating a ‘buzz’ around the film, and so encouraging people to want to go and see it.

Finally… read this Guardian article about the 20th Anniversary of Priscilla. It contains this rather useful paragraph that neatly sums up PQD’s main message and why the film was so important:

“That’s just what his country needs,” Bernadette scoffs. “A cock in a frock on a rock.” And, actually, that was just what the country needed: an intelligent and entertaining Australian film that embraces LGBT culture without turning turning a quintessentially personal story into an exercise in outrage-pedalling and button-pushing.

Being realistic, Institution is unlikely to be the stem for Q1, but if you swot up on the above, you would be able to tackle it if it did. 🙂

PS: Don’t overlook the money

PPS: Check your spelling!

  • Stephan Elliott
  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (PQD)
  • 1994
  • Australia

PPPS: The aria is called Sempre Libera, it’s from Verdi’s La Traviata and the translation of the lyrics is as follows:

Free and aimless I frolic
From joy to joy,
Flowing along the surface
of life’s path as I please.
As the day is born,
Or as the day dies,
Happily I turn to the new delights
That make my spirit soar.

Love is a heartbeat throughout the universe,
mysterious, altering,
the torment and delight of my heart.

Oh! Oh! Love!
Madness! Euphoria!

If that doesn’t sum up Adam/Felicia/Guy Pearce’s character, then what does! 😉

PPPPS: Can you tell I’m going OTT as I want you all to do well?

BBFC Prep

Banner-Image-2014---06-12-12AIn preparation for tomorrow’s lesson, you could do worse than familiarise yourselves with the BBFC website. In particular, you should check out the guidance for the following ratings: U, PG, 12 and 12A and 15.

There is also an excellent Education section which has loads of useful resources and information, including an opportunity for you to ‘Rate a Trailer‘… which is an exercise that will provide immense use to you as you finish your own! (Hint! Hint!)

 

Go For It!

There are a couple of really interesting MOOCs starting in February that you might be well advised to check out. No, seriously. Especially if you want to get more in depth knowledge for a future career choices (or any approaching SQA exam, possibly).

They’re both free, and both supported by industry bodies. I’ve copied the blurb for each for you to check them out (Click the title to visit the site)


Film Production: Behind the Scenes of Feature Filmmaking

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 13.24.04ABOUT THE COURSE
Over three weeks, The Production Guild of Great Britain, guided by respected film and television professionals, will demystify the process of making a feature film. You will discover the key stages of how a film gets made and the different types of production.

Want to start working in film production?

We will explore the different departments, and how they interact and work together. We will look at the structure of a film crew – how individual job roles fit into the wider crew – and get to grips with industry jargon and etiquette.

Each week, you will have the opportunity to test your own knowledge and understanding via multiple choice quizzes, and post your thoughts and ideas for discussion with your fellow students

Starting out as a Runner

Anyone with a more specific interest in working in the film industry will gain an understanding of entry-level jobs and potential career progression pathways. You’ll also hear hints and tips for how to get on in the industry and pursue your dream.


An Introduction to Screenwriting

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ABOUT THE COURSE
Screenplays form the starting point for most dramatic films, the essential work from which all other filmmaking flows. All of the tender romance, terrifying action and memorable lines begin at the screenwriter’s desk. This free online course will introduce you to the basic elements and key concepts behind a professional screenplay.

The University of East Anglia’s School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing have built this course with instructors and recent alumni from their famed course in Creative Writing.

Where could this course take me?

The course is a must for anyone new to scriptwriting and for more experienced writers who wish to raise their scriptwriting to a professional level. It will establish a common vocabulary for approaching the screenplay and form the basis for upcoming courses in dramatic adaptation, the crime screenplay, and other genres and skills.

What and how will I learn?

You’ll learn from a mixture of basic theory, script analysis and practical exercises. We will explore key principles as they’re expressed in great films, then immediately apply these concepts. Videos, articles and discussion steps will offer you the opportunity to learn and engage with other learners on key concepts and ideas.

By the end of the course, you will understand the key concepts necessary to write an effective screenplay and be fluent in the language used to discuss the form.

PS: I’ve participated in one of these courses before, and they are really interesting. I’ve also just signed up for them myself!

Useful Resource

I’ve just rejoined FilmmakerIQ (Yes, even I can forget login details!), and am posting a link here for you guys. It’s a useful site for movie and film related resources/research and occassional practical exercises/competitions.

It will expand your knowledge exponentially and regular visits and viewings will allow you to completely pwn parts of the course. Just be aware that it is an American site, and the focus when it comes to things like censorship and audiences is skewed to the good ol’ US of A.

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Click the image to visit FilmmakerIQ… go on… you know you want to! 😉

The ‘Plinky-Plonky’ One

Stuart_guitar_minionsWhen you’re watching Despicable Me 2 on Netflix at 8 in the morning, you know it’s a holiday! Anyway, I promised you some links to royalty free and copyright free (well, Creative Commons Licensed to be accurate) music for your forthcoming productions so read on…

It is really important that you observe all relevant regulations when you produce your film/trailer. One of the toughest will be ensuring your music/soundtrack is legal… and sad to say, this does mean you can’t just drop any old track from your fruit-based music player into the mix. You must source (or create/compose/record/mix) your own music. To make life easier for you, there are a number of sites that offer free and legitimate music you can use and these are listed below. You will need to do some homework on these by searching and listening to an awful lot of music to find tracks that will enhance your film… because sadly, there is a fair degree of pretty dire music on these sites!

Finally:

  • Keep a note of everything! When you download any tracks, keep a note of where you got it (ie: copy and paste the URL);
  • Keep a note of the date you downloaded it — this is really important in case anyone later queries the copyright… just ask the copyright holders of Happy Birthday To You;
  • Make a careful note of the terms and conditions of use (ie: download/save a copy of them)— most of these simply require that you give an appropriate credit in your film, but read the small print carefully. Some of the sites need you to create a verified account, and at least one requires you to apply for a (free!) licence to download and use the music.

OK, enough blethers and background… get listening! In no particular order…

INCOMPETECH

Incompetech is searchable according to Genre and/or Feel. This helps make it quite easy to hit the general ballpark. In addition, lots of the tracks come with the individual parts so you can remix it to suit your needs (ie: lose the vocals if you don’t want them…). There are some really useful tracks here with more good than bad. #recommended

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Free Music Archive

The Free Music Archive is a much more eclectic mix with many more non-western music tracks. These could be perfect for creating an eerie atmosphere, or for suggesting a different location. If you scroll down the page slightly, you will find Genre categories that can narrow down your search to a specific style of music… but I’d encourage you to think out of the box as some of the most effective uses of music in film happen when you are more creative in your choices.

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Sound Bible

Sound Bible is great for one thing: Sound effects. Lots and lots of lovely sound effects which are free to use (and see my earlier post on the use of foley sound to appreciate how important these are).

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PacDV

PacDV produces free music, sounds, voices, and so on. Limited selection, and they will try to sell you stuff, but the free tracks are better quality than most.

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And lastly… and perhaps the most exciting…

MobyGratis

If you’ve heard of Moby, this one could be perfect. MobyGratis is his attempt to support upcoming film makers and students. He has made over 150 of his tracks available for you to use in your projects… but read the conditions carefully! You need to apply to use the track(s) so you need to have selected them in plenty of time to get clearance… and no, you can’t just apply to use all of them! You need to apply for specific tracks. That said, he also encourages you to upload your finished product to share with the world… which is a pretty nifty means of gaining an audience. Go for it!

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There are, of course others, and I’ll maybe do a follow up post if needed, or you could ask me in class, or even better, leave a comment and share any you have found… Now get busy! 😉