Photography Workshop

This is a recent photography workshop which only I and Shane attended as it was not a part of the school’s programme.
Through this short lasting workshop I was able to further develop my knowledge in photography. I had experimented with the depth of field’s effects upon photos. In some of the photos below you will also notice the rule of third being used.
Those are the photos which I had time to edit in Adobe Photoshop CS6. Although, my editing is yet not perfect. I am perfectly proud of what I have achieved in knowledge about photoshop in my 30 days trail. Once I have completed my exams, I plan on purchasing the full software to continue developing my knowledge in photography. Being able to shoot ‘beautiful’ or ‘eye catching images’ will also benefit my directing skills.


This photography workshop was held by Sony. However, afterwards, I and Shane (Hamdaan) went  to central london to further develop the skills we had learned.



EVALUATION 4 – How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planing and evaluation stages?

How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planing and evaluation stages?



1- WordPress is one of the main technologies we have used to document and organise our media products. Not only has WordPress helped us in organising our work from the start of the production (planing & storyboarding) until now (uploading our final media products on it), but it is also a free open source blog available to anyone who may want to make a blog. This website was much easier than the powerpoint we made last year. This is because WordPress is very much like the many social networks which digital natives (our class) are used to using comfortably and on daily basis. Another advantage was the limited possibilities of losing our work due to a broken computer or a lost USB etc.
Although, for an unknown reason, I personally was not able to make a page with a subpage (even with the help of the school’s technicians). I still found the usage of posts very organised, and has contributed in keeping my work in order.


2- Canon EOS 650D was the most important factor in producing our film as well as poster. Without a camera there would be no film. However, this was not just a camera. This camera has helped our project to double its success as it can shoot in 1080p in 50fps which allows us to shoot in HD. It has also got a 18 MP Hybrid CMOS sensor which allowed us to shoot in dark areas such as the forest, yet receive enough light to have a beautiful shot in the frame composition. For our poster we used the Canon EOS 600D which is an older version of the 650D, but both cameras have fairly similar abilities.



3- Youtube is a globally  known, video sharing website which played a crucial part in both our research & planing,  and in sharing our product. During the research which we had each done individually on our summer holidays, I had personally found short-films such as Bump, In Chambers, Lou Lou Lives Here , The Virus, Signs and The Desk. Each of the mentioned short-films has had an impact on my decisions towards the genre, and  towards the types of shots I decided to use as a director. Youtube had also allowed me to search for tutorials on ‘How to use Adobe Photoshop Cs6′ since I was a beginner.

Youtube has also allowed users to upload videos in HD quality, therefore, we were able to upload our film in its’ best quality. This is going to please our global audiences on youtube.


4- Adobe Photoshop CS6 is one of the most known photoshop softwares upon photographers. This programme  was the main element that helped me in producing our film’s poster. Although, we had

Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 08.10.08used a green screen in the background of the actual image; photoshop’s auto-select tool  eased up my job even more. Through using this programme, I was able to make the poster with a over  7 different layers. With all of the available effects and editing options, I was able to make a professional looking poster. This software was extremely important to our creation of poster. I truly do not believe I could have accomplished a poster as professional looking as ours without this programme.




5- Adobe InDesign CS5 was the programme which our member Hamdaan (Shane) had used to create the film’s magazine review. With this programme he was able to add photos of our production in the background of the text, centre, top and sides easily. This software has helped him in achieving a professional magazine review page style. This is because the software is specifically designed for magazine editors and news-columnists. Although Hamdaan only used the trail version with the limited features it has, he still achieved a worthwhile magazine review which I am very proud of.



6- Google was probably the most helpful  and most commonly used search engine by us. By the word ‘us’, I am referring to the entire globe, considering how Google is the most popular search engine by people of all ages, in all counties. Google had helped us in researching the codes and conventions of media, text analysis, royalty free music, film posters and even short films or movie trailers. It was also a great source for information about directing styles. I recall looking up Alfred Hitchcock’s directing style in The Birds.


Vegas 9


7 –  Pinnacle and Sony Vegas are editing softwares which my teammate, Hamdaan, used in order to edit our film effectively. His primary editing software was Pinnacle which made all the simple cuts and such, while Sony Vegas was used to create effects and transitions in-between shots. For example, our film is introduced with a black shot that fades into our  first scene of the girl (Shaney). He also used Sony Vegas to construct the 3D titling sequences which showed our production’s name (‘CoolShooters Production’).


8-  Whatsapp and Facebook are social networking applications found on our smart phones. Both played a crucial part in the ways which our group communicated. For example, we made a group chat on whatsapp for the entire cast to decide on filming dates and to remind each other of the props each of us needed to bring with them. On the other hand, we also made a group on Facebook for those who did not have a smartphone. Facebook had more advantages over Whatsapp since it is a site as well as a phone app, making it easily accessible to everyone. We also shared our ancillary tasks with each other through Facebook, and suggested ideas to each other.













9- Apple & Microsoft Windows and Intel i7 processors are the technologies we have used throughout editing all of our media texts. While Hamdaan used the Windows 8 HP laptop to edit the film and the magazine review. I  used the Apple MacBook Pro to edit the poster. Both of our laptops have an i7 processor which is an extremely fast processor compared to other computers including the school’s computers.


10- Audio-Technica is the condenser mic that we had used alongside out camera (as both we’re connected to one another). This company produces microphones of a high quality with low prices for students or low budget film makers to use. This was extremely helpful in our production, as we needed to capture some delicate ‘walking’ noises which would have been difficult to capture in the camera’s mic.

EVALUATION 3 – What have you learned from your audience feedback?

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

The audience feedback is a very crucial part of every artist’s work. Sometimes it is hard to make a decision of your own work, therefore you need other people’s opinions on it. To speak specifically of film makers: the audience uncontrollably build up exceptions in your film as they watch it. If your film does not follow their wanted expectations they will not enjoy your film.

Of course, I have already spoken of our hybrid genre of Mystery and Horror to add interest and shock the audience. This is where we found out if it was as successful as we’d hoped or not.

As you can see from this video, our film was quite successful. There were some negative comments, but overall, it is successful in our audience’s eyes too.

A negative comment we received was due to the harsh sound build up of the alternative score. Another one was both negative and positive, as it was thought that our film is too short. This signifies to us that our audience have enjoyed the film and they to see more. Unfortunately we’re on a time limit of five minutes.

The positive comments which takes lead.

1- Very eerie and creepy antagonist – we estimated that a completely black figure could slightly frighten our audience.

2- Good soundtracks – For our sound tracks, although we are able to compose our own musical score, we decided to use the background music/score found on

As a group, we are aware of the copy rights each artist has over their music. Therefore, we used the music from incompetech as it is royalty free. and we owe this website for our film’s success!

3- Good set – We have the mother nature to thank for providing us with such a forest that is also nearby our school.

4- Good farming & shots – We have all worked together hand in hand, and  pre-planned the shots on a storyboard in order to achieve those successful camera frames.

5- Good ending – Before settling for this ending, we actually had another ending in mind. That ending was: the protagonist wakes up (at the end) then repeats everything she has done in an endless loop. But I personally feel the ending we have now is much more successful.

6- Creating suspense from the very beginning – I believe that the music with the storyline are the main two elements that helped our intended suspense to touch our audiences too.

7-  Good actors – The actors we have chosen are not only friends, but are also drama students. We were doubtless of having any ‘bad acting’ during our production.

8- Original plot – This was the most difficult to achieve, but after working hard on it, we were capable of success.

9- Good use of Mise-en-scene – As you may have noticed from my blog, we researched the dress codes and such for our characters from an early point. I am glad that our audiences have noticed our hard work.

Last but not least; although we have received some negative feedback, it was to do with minor issues which could not possibly take away all of our products’ success (film, poster and magazine review). I personally am glad to have received those negative feedbacks, because from this, I as a film maker have learned my mistakes and will hopefully never encounter them again.


EVALUATION 2 – How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary text

EVALUATION 2 – How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary text?

As a group, we feel that our main product and both of our ancillary tasks complement one another effectively.

I will firstly speak of the poster which I made:


‘that is really good editing, I wish I could edit like that. Good job guy!’ – Shawell Atarid

‘The effects look real, and the teddy bear is good symbolism’ – Namoose Ayub

As the film is set in a forest, our main theme colour is green, which reflects upon the nature of that area. This colour was successfully carried to our poster through colour editing in Adobe Photoshop CS6. Furthermore, the main characters of our film were doubtlessly carried into our poster. The dreamer girl was placed in the front while the dark figure stood behind her. This exact idea was carried throughout our film production -the dark figure is always shown behind the girl-. I also decided to use a transparent, black image, on the dark figure (antagonist). The use of this will straight away reflect to our viewers that the girl is haunted by that dark figure.
In the poster I have shown the dreamer girl looking slightly upwards as though she could feel someone behind her. I also instructed our actress (Shaney O’Donovan) to look very fearful during the photo-shoot. The overall look of the poster (in terms of actors and their placements) very much matches the final scene/shot of our main product.
I would like to point out that since no characters were truly hurt in our film, again, the transparent, ghostly image could make some viewers wonder whether the dark figure is truly a “ghost” or if it is simply the girl’s imagination.
The use of the teddy bear in both our film and our poster symbolises the girl’s innocence, comfort and protection. When the dark figure leaves a note to the dreamer girl on the teddy bear, it reinforces that the dark figure is invading the girl’s comfort zone and is stealing her only protection.

According to the comments we received regarding this poster, I feel that it is purely successful.
This poster has had such a success due to our usage of the green screen which made applying effects very easily and effective while editing the photo. Organising the day for our actress (Shaney O’Donovan) to come into the school was the main difficulty (since she is no longer a student here). But after all we had a great photo-shoot with many great photos taken. The hardest decision was deciding which photo to pick as they main poster photo.
Below is a photo of our photo shoot day:
the one

The magazine review, on the other hand, was harder to get audiences’ feedback on, considering how most people did not have the time to read an entire magazine review. However, we managed to get the opinions of three students. One which is an English student (Sara Moura).
Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 00.54.06

‘I think the Review is very entertaining, it’s not like a newspaper, the language is much more – fun.’ – Sara Moura

‘The images are cool, the language is easy to understand, if I hadn’t known you made this I would have assumed it was a real magazine article. But I think people should have given a bigger better logo for ‘Ripe Tomatoes” – Aaron Sahadevan

‘The colour scheme with the forests is interesting. I like the background image of a forest and also how it contrasts to the 2 images from your production on both pages’ – Trish Amrat

The magazine review Ancillary task is also effectively linked to our production as it contains a brief summary of our main product. However, it also addresses our production process. The use of this idea will interest those youngsters who hope to become film makers.Moreover, the magazine interviews our two actors Shaney O’Donovan and Hamdaan Khan (known as Shane Khan). Those interviews will help build to our actors a fan base making them more popular to other casting directors.

Although, Shane decided to not edit the photos in the magazine, I believe they still link to the poster ancillary task perfectly as well as the main film task. Shane has decided to take the natural set of the film. He has done so because although, he’s speaking of the final film draft, he also mentioned of the process of filming this. Therefor, wanted to show the reader how our set truly looked like in our eyes. This move could help us get more audiences (those who enjoy film making). Finally the layout of the photos appears attractive to the eyes. This will help us in getting more people to read this review and hopefully watch our film.

Overall, I feel that both of our products work perfectly together to give our target audience an idea of our main product’s content. I personally feel that one of our two ancillary tasks is indeed strong enough to encourage our target audiences to watch out film. Our group could not have been more satisfied with the products we have established this year, and it is hopefully the start of a long journey for us, as film makers.

EVALUATION: 1- In what ways does you media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

1- In what ways does you media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

At the start of this academic year, each member of our group had a rough plan of the type of film they wanted to construct. As we came together and shared our different ideas, we found ourself looking into Mystery Horror rather than just the typical Horror that is being overly repeated and is often considered ‘boring’ and ‘expected’ by teenagers/young adults of this time. I have stated this from my own personal experience with Horror films (since I am a Horror fan) and from my friends’ thoughts of Horror films. However, according to the box office history for Horror movies found on – – the sales of Horror films have been at a constant decrease since 2007. On the other hand, if we take a look at the entire chart, the ticket sales are shown to have always been decreasing and increasing since 1995. This suggests that it is more than likely going to increase again shortly. Film makers are clearly challenged to make original Horror films, yet, similar enough to fall under the Horror genre.

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 20.05.03

This is a struggle that our group went through and came to the conclusion of creating a hybrid genre of Horror and Mystery combined. We have done so for many reasons which included the history of the box office for Horror films. We have found that the highest ticket sales were in the years 1997, 1999 and 2007. Then to further investigate, we looked at the films on those years with the most tickets sold: 1997 with Scream 2 and Scream (which is a hybrid of Horror and Comedy), 1999 with The Blair Witch Project (Mystery and Horror with a hand-held camera) and finally 2007 with I Am Legend (a combination of Action and Horror).

Adding Mystery allowed us to vary our film from others, and have a ‘shocking ending’ which is well known among successful films. A shocking ending is an ending that breaks the audience’s expectations at the end. Therefore, it leaves more impact on the audience. If we had used the typical Horror genre, our options would have been limited to two and could have been easily guessed by our audience. One: the protagonist getting killed by the antagonist. Two: the protagonist kills/escapes the antagonist. Furthermore, with our hybrid genre, it seemed more appropriate to end the short-film with a mysterious ending. The final scene of our film shows the antagonist (dark figure) standing behind the protagonist (girl), then slowly leans towards her without any shown physical violence. This had helped us to leave the film’s conclusion for the audience to decide: will the dark figure kill the protagonist or will it continuously surround the protagonist without truly harming her? Although, it seems more likely that the protagonist is going to get hurt, it is not actually shown in the film, therefore, the audience can use their imagination to decide.

Films that had inspired us with such an ending were Remember Me (where the protagonist dies during the 9/11 terrorist attack), The Sixth Sense (where the protagonist finds out he is no more than a soul), Inception (where the protagonist becomes trapped in his dreams) and the Saw film sequel etc. Although, not all mentioned inspirations were Horror, I feel that every movie has and should have aspects of every genre in it, but majors in one or two. This helps the audience to relate to the film better, since people have aspects of every “genre” in their lives.
As Jim Colins believes “since the 1980’s, Hollywood films have been influenced by the trend towards ironic hybridisation” which is what we had also done, considering how successful Hollywood films are.

Moreover, Horror films like The Ring, The Grudge, Paranormal Activity and sinister all include a dark figure which is the main element to the creation of horror and fear in a Horror movie. Our storyline shows the protagonist being innocent and vulnerable as the first few shots show her sleeping. Those used shots were also hand-held (therefore, shaky) which gives the vivid impression of the protagonist being watched. This hints to the viewer that the camera in our introduction is indeed the antagonist’s eyes. However, some of the shaky camera shots throughout most of our production reflect upon the protagonist’s vulnerability. This technique was inspired by The Blair Witch Project. Although, TBWP uses the shaky hand-held camera for a different effect (to get a realistic feel of video-taping all the actions), we were still inspired to use this. Our SLIGHTLY shaky camera was used to reflect upon the protagonist’s vulnerability as already mentioned. Another way we used to reflect on her vulnerability was her dress code: red pyjamas. The colour red is used to symbolises our protagonist’s fear, blood and death (at the end of the film).

Furthermore, we used three different scores in our production. One which is clam and slow but has a sense of mystery within it (since it is in a minor key). This score does not last very long and adds a depressing/haunted feel to the scene. It was combined with the shaky shots in the introduction to, again, reinforce the idea of the protagonist being watched.
The slow paced score was combined with the long lasting shaky shots as we introduced our film. Those shots concentrated on the protagonist in order to familiarise our audience with her. Later on, (when the girl/protagonist wakes up) a new score gets used. That score is also slow paced too (with slow paced shots) however, has an adventurous feel rather than a haunted one. It further continues as the protagonist is familiarising herself with her surroundings. As she realises that she is being chased by a dark figure, she starts running. As she runs, the mood of our film is straight away shifted (to match the protagonist’s feelings). In order to sucessfuly shift the mood, we again changed the music score into an alternative piece which gradually builds up in both tempo and loudness suggesting an ending/coda to both the film and the piece. Furthermore, the music score here tends to become rather too loud and uncomfortable to the audience’s ears during the chase scene. This was done to illustrate the fear which our protagonist felt. Another feature to change in order to change the film’s mood was the pace of editing (making shots last for a smaller amount of time), as well as our characters’ movement speed (which had to be done during the production).
The storyline that I had just went though that is supported by the music score which was inspired by The Hero’s Journey. Separation from the protagonist’s comfort zone, initiation and the return.




Remember Me


INception  poster

i am legend





The advantage of not using any violence or strong language has granted us with a wider range of audience, targeting those early teenagers who are yet being introduced to Horror and are likely going to enjoy it more than our young adults. One of our main influences in targeting this wide range was The Sixth Sense which is also a Horror and is also rated PG-13 and has a very unexpected ending.
Another way we have used to target a wider range of audience (which may be slightly rare) was the use of the sign PG-13 on our poster. This belongs to America. However, we have used it to target both British and American audiences due to their larger population. We have been influenced to do so as we had studied the British production company Working Title during our AS academic year. Working Title had decided to target American audiences due to their large population, giving them a higher film budget.

After researching a variety of Horror films’ posters including the posters shown above, I have noticed that the protagonists are typically the main focus. On the other hand, the antagonist and the storyline take place behind the protagonist. The set of the film shown through the colour of the poster. For example, even though our poster isn’t fully green, it has hints of a green colour. This colour was added to reflect upon the storyline and set which is set in the woods/forest. Furthermore, the focus on the antagonist’s face shows her emotions which is also a part of the film’s settings. The dark figure, in our poster, is shown to be slightly invisible, again, reflecting on the storying since the dark figure (antagonist) is not always visible to the protagonist.
Furthermore, as I’ve looked at film posters I noticed how each poster of every genre must have a slogan reflecting upon the films’ storyline. So, after a discussion with the group, we decided to use the slogan “The entangled vision of a dream”.

While some films use the actors’ names in the middle of the poster, I decided to not use this idea. The two main reasons that drove me to this decision were the fact that our actors are not known enough or are not A list actors (since Hollywood’s films uses A list actors to attract a wider range of audience). The second reason was to have less text on the poster to allow the viewer to rather focus on the characters. However, the actor’s names, the production company, directors, editors and so on were mentioned in the smaller print on the bottom of the poster. I made sure that that print was white, as it was white in all posters I had researched. However, that text which held the credits for the cast is always a steeltongs font in real posters. Unfortunately, although I downloaded that font a multiple of times, it did not launch on Photoshop Cs6.
Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 22.45.12

I then had to give up, and decided to use the Impact font which was not quite the same, but was the best available to use.Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 22.48.50

This is our final poster product

Finally, although I am not responsible for our magazine ancillary task. I am well aware that our teammate Shane/Hamdaan has been researching the correct terminology to use in the magazine review. He has looked at the magazines Cineworld and Empire, both of which consists of reviews as well as posters to look at as an example.
the required type of language to use in a magazine review must be easy enough to be understood by a variety of audiences. Also, easy read is often seen as more entertaining. When completing the magazine, we made sure that the film’s title Sweet Dreams were the same font on both the magazine review and the poster as in the magazines we looked at, the posters and magazines were very similar to one another.

This is our final magazine product which we are all very pleased with
Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 00.54.06

Ancillary tasks – The Poster

We had taken photos during the production of our film to use as our poster images. However, they were not as good as I’d hoped they were. Editing them was extremely difficult in contrast to the final images we used.

The original images we took were hard in terms of removing the background. This was because there were a lot of small leaves which fitted into the texture of our  dreamer girl’s clothes (Shaney). Moreover, her hair and the woods both had a light brown sort of colour.  This, again, made it harder for the software to recognise the difference between her hair and the woods.

Here’s the edited images that could’ve been our  poster:

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They are fairy good, but if you look closely at the edges, you can see aspects of the original background that were very hard to get rid of. After considering it, I decided that we needed to have a more professional photo-shoot for a better poster. However, persuading Hamdaan to agree on “wasting” 30 minutes of his time to do this was one of THE most annoying processes of this entire production. He used excuses like being “too busy” and his brother had “broken the mask”.  Although, we have a strong trust in our group, I knew what Shane has told me over Facebook was no more than a bunch of excuse to not have to do this.  I knew this because when Shane finished editing the film, I (and other class members) had noticed some issues in the continuity of editing. I asked, or rather begged him to take what he has done with me to slightly change it. Unfortunately, Shane (Hamdaan) could not trust me enough to change certain ISSUES of our film. He used the excuse of  have had “deleted all the videos in the USB” making it impossible for me to change anything at all.

Withal, for the posters, I did not give up easily. I had no choice but to force him into this photo-shoot. Shaney (the dreamer girl) seemed more committed to our group than he was. As soon as I contacted her, she was more than happy to miss an  day of her college to help us with the photo-shoot that was held in our school during lunch time. Here are some of the images we took during that very successful photo-shoot.:

IMG_2390 IMG_2392IMG_2404IMG_2380 IMG_2385 IMG_2394 IMG_2397 IMG_2399

As you can see from the picture on the right. Our only light was set on to the side of the actor’s faces. This was to get the effect of  of having a bright side, while the other would  have  a slightly dark shadow.

Here are some photos of the process of editing the poster:

Screen Shot 2013-04-27 at 11.31.05

Screen Shot 2013-04-27 at 09.27.39Through editing these photos, I ended up with five different versions. This was because Hamdan (Shane) and I could not exactly agree on the font of the poster I made. I then decided to take the opinions of others (who are also our target audiences) in order to help us make the right decision.

The main two things which I and Hamdaan could not agree on were. 1 – The smaller font print for the credits. Hamdaan wannted that font to be like the rest of the poster’s font. However, I knew from researching posters that it must be a “Steeltongs” font. However, as the Steeltongs font did work on Adobe Photoshop CS6,  I ended up using the “Impact” font instead. 2- The second thing Hamdaan wanted me to do was make all fonts on the poster into the same colour (white). I did also did not agree on that, and decided to keep our logan red. Although, Hamdaan did not agree on this, Sandeep did, and that is the majority of our group.

Here are the five posters we’ve made:


We ending up sticking with the third poster (which is one that the majority of our audiences agree on) even though we struggled in the choice between the fifth and the third one.

I made sure I used  a photo with the teddy bear in it. This is because the teddy bear is a very important symbol in the production. Having symbolism in our production can help in making our film slightly more memorable to the audiences. They will also be reminded by our production when they see a teddy bear. For example, I recall (from personal experiences) being frightened of looking into the mirror after watching the Horror film Mirrors.

I have also added a dark green sort of colour to the poster. This colour reflects on the protagonist’s adventure in the forest, but the idea of using this dark green was used because it adds a “Horror feel” to the poster.

Again, the reason I insisted on keeping our slogan/tagline the colour red is because it reflects to our protagonist’s dress code in the production (which is red).

Ancillary Task – Final Magazine Review

This is our final magazine review by Hamdaan Khan:ripe-tomato-mag-3ripe-tomato-mag-32

This film review uses a simplistic vocabulary making it easy for our wide range of target audience to understand and enjoy. It also speaks of both the production of our film as well as the final piece, allowing us to interest fans of film making into our product too. Hamdaan used the software Adobe InDesign CS5 to produce this magazine review. I personally feel that this has the look of a real/professional magazine review. As Hamdaan had produced this, I’m sure he will have much more to say about it. My contributions in this ancillary task were simply making sure both the poster and the magazine review used the same or similar font for the title “Sweet Dreams”.