Category Archives: The Asylum Trailer Blog

The Asylum Trailer Blog

4th March 2015

We’ve started a new project. Jim’s started talking us through our unit which the project’s focusing around, which is: Camera and Light skills.
(below is my notes on what we discussed)
Camera skills:

– Exposure: Too much light, or not enough light in the shot
If the exposure is too high then it can over expose a shot, and bring out the highlight (which is white areas) – don’t blow out the highlights, or you will lose detail (Rule 101 of Cinematography)
– Aperture (“Iris”):
Open or close this will alter the focus, as well as the amount of light (exposure) that is let into a shot.
It allows you to control the Depth of Field (or Depth of Focus) – from Foreground to Background – which alters how small or wide the shot on what you focus on.
(Zebra – a tool on the camera to show areas that are over exposed)
1) Knowing your lenses! (Go Pro, Fish lens, etc)
2) How much light! (Not over exposed, nor under exposed)
3) Placement of Objects/Camera (You may need to move the objects, or camera, if what you plan to focus on is too far away)

– Opening up the aperture(iris) makes the focus shallow, while closing the aperture makes the focus further back
Control Exposure with out effecting the iris:
– Move the light source (if possible)
– Use a filter (one of the best ways) which is like sunglasses for your camera

FRAME RATE VS SHUTTER: (Shutter needs to be double your Frame rate)
– Shutter speed: The faster it moves the less amount of light that comes through, a downside is that it’ll play with the way the shot looks.
– Shutter speed standard: 50 for TV (higher shutter speed makes the image sharper)
Frame rate (fps – still image per second) for TV:
– 25fps (Europe/Australia)
– 30 or 23.98 or 29.97 (USA/Japan)
24fps (48 shutter) Worldwide

– Exposing is the main part of maintaining the ‘highlight’.
If not captured correctly in Post production, then an attempt to correct it in the editing stage (e.g by lowering the brightness) will not work.
While filming use a ‘Histogram'(a tool on the camera itself) which changes as you film, depending on what you film .
To move it to Right the footage will begin to become over exposed as the scale heads to wards the white, by moving it towards the Left the footage begins to become Under exposed (see image below).
Underneath It All (image:

(Skin tone needs to stay in the middle of the ‘Histogram’)

When filming it is best to follow the ETR (Exposing To the Right) Technique:
a) Protects Highlights
b) Brings up shadows (Detail)
– Dynamic Range: The range of light a camera can take (High contrast).

Questions I need to answer:
Q1. Should I expose to the ‘right’ to maximise Dynamic Range, or should I protect the highlights?

Q2. If I expose to the left what potential problems could I encounter?

5th March 2015

Jim’s continued in discussing ‘Camera and Lighting Skills‘.
Below are my notes on today’s discussion.
– Mostly use Prime lens (in professional filming)
– Difference between Prime lens and Zoom lens:
-> Variation between range:
* 18 – 55
* 33 – 135

FIELD OF VIEW:(What the camera sees in the angle)
– Lens set (angle sets):
* 28mm -> Wide
* 50mm -> Human Eye
* 135mm -> Telephoto (shallow depth of field)

In a scene it is important to argument natural lighting with film light.
If you have to close the aperture, but can’t zoom in enough – use a different lens.
– Shallow Depth of Field:
1) Wide Aperture
2) Telephoto lens
– Deep Focus (the opposite to SDoF):
1) Closed down Aperture
2) Wide Angled lens

* Controls the Light and Shadows with in a shot
* Controls the Depth of Field
-> Wide aperture gives shallow, or narrow, depth of field
-> Closed aperture gives open, or wide, depth of field
Shutter Speed:
* Controls turing motion blur to sharpness from movement in a shot
* How much light comes into a shot
-> Slower speed means more light can come in (1/50 is the standard for a filming of 25 f.p.s.)
-> The Shutter speed needs to be double the frame rate
-> The Shutter speed needs to be changed depending on the subject which is being filmed (e.g a car chase, or fight, scene so that, if personally decided by the director, the detail of the cars, or people, will still be seen)
Frame rate:
* Increase frame rate when wanting a slow motion film.
-> 25 f.p.s. is the normal playback, however if you film in 50 f.p.s. then playback in 25 f.p.s. it gives the footage a slow motion look.

DYNAMIC RANGE (Where how much light is going to be picked up across the board):

We watched a couple of scenes from the horror film ‘JAWS’ to see what lens types are used. The main scene which we focused on mainly was the beach scene where the public is attacked. We see the main character, Police Chief Martin Brody, sitting on the beach tense, because of his awareness of the shark. When suddenly a boy is attacked by the shark – in this scene we see the camera perform a contra zoom – which is where the camera moves back, and the Focus puller (a member of the crew) makes the lens zoom in. This scene will have been done with a 16mm (ultra wide) lens giving the look of ‘Barrel Distortion’ which gives a rush look effect. (In my opinion the barrel distortion gives a look of physical realisation)

(footage: scene at 2:01 – 2:03)

Importance for this effect:
1. Deep focus -> Depth of Field
2. Barrel Distortion -> rush effect
3. Distance from subject

6th March 2014

Jim did a brief discussion of what we’re covering today, however we are going to head to the studio, and actually put what we’re learning into practice.

The class watched examples of the trailer, made by the company ‘The Asylum’ who are famous for making ‘mock-busters’, which we’ll be making. The ones we watched that I found funny, yet strange, were ‘Sharknado’, ‘Sharktopus’, ‘Hot Shot’ and ‘Hot Shot: Part Deux’.
Then the class discussed Key Contents with in the trailer.
-> Cheesy one liner
-> Everything’s over the top (the acting, cheapness, etc)
-> CGI is kind of bad
-> Give away the story plot
Then the class started to think up with the final idea for the trailer – the main line of thinking is ‘what are we filming that the public will be reacting to, but don’t see much of it?’
In the end the class chose to go with ‘FOG’.
We then discussed what we’ll be needing for the trailer:-
-> SET PIECES (Locations):
* College
* Park
* Library (people scream, then librarian tells them ‘shh!”, people then scream quietly)
* Office
* Public toilet
* Salon? (Car?)
-> Hero – Man OR Woman: Military (after he’s gone – cause he’ll die near the begging – a weaker character comes, and saves the day?)
-> Corny one liner: ‘time to blow you away’ (Brad’s idea)
-> Over dramatic voice over
-> Music?

The the class discussed, on our own, some more IDEAS:
– Woman Hero?
– One Liner?
– Hero coming through crowd?
– Plot Twist?
– Shit Jokes?
– Rock Music?
– Selective Fog? -> Wipes out all men?
– Scene where someone doesn’t care?
– Fog have a voice?
– Over The Top Gore?
– 80’s synth music?

11th March 2015
Jim has given us warning that he MIGHT extend the project by a week (this is not yet confirmed).
This week we’ll be spending mornings talking about theories, while the afternoon will be fore planning. However Jim wants all of Friday for planning – if it can be done.
* Briefly recap Camera Lens
* Talk briefly about Lighting
(This unit involves little research and more analytical)
* Inverse Square Law:
In a nutshell – ‘Inverse Square Law dictates that when light is further away, the fall off of light is greater
The closer the light is to the subject the more exposed it will be, then the 2nd subject will be in less light therefore under exposed.

18th March 2015

Today the team started filming scenes.
We were each given a role and we’re separated into two crews. (During filming one crew will work to film, and the second group will help group two.)
Crew one:
1) 1st Assistant Director – James H
2) Camera – Martyn
3) Boom – Liam
4) Sound – Brad
5) Continuity – Chelsea (me)
Crew two:
1) 1st AD – Aaron
2) Camera – Josh
3) Boom – Major
4) Sound – Danielle
5) Continuity – Jim
It was strange doing continuity – however it was a somewhat simple job – as it was my job to make sure that when going from a long shot to a close up, or doing another ‘Take’ on a scene, everything in the shot before is exactly as it was… unless the scene involved something changing.
Filming went well though Jim decided to have the group speed up with filming towards the end, since some of the people with acting, and make up, had to leave early. We have nearly everything – except some pick up shots. We were going to go for lunch, then return to location – and film the remaining shots (which didn’t include our actors). However Jim said that the weather looked like it was going to rain.
This afternoon we have updated our blogs, we will be doing more filming tomorrow. Tonight I plan to draw up my story board ready for tomorrow.

19th March 2015

Today we moved on to scene two and three which was to take place in an office, and a toilet.
The crew I was placed with was meant to do the toilet scene – however Jim had to swap us around due to some members of the other crew not having a storyboard for the scene.
For today my crew members roles were:
1st AD – Jai
Camera – Brad
Boom – me
Sound – Liam
Continuity – Martyn
Focus – James
(During filming, however, Jai had to be our male character since our actor didn’t turn up. And James took up the role of 1st AD.)
My job was really simple I just had to make sure the mic was pointing at the actor (out of shot obviously), and kept it steady. Filming went really well – the only time we had to stop was just so that Jai could get his make up done.
The second crew filmed the toilet scene. Filming took place in the E block, which is an old part of college. I didn’t really have a job – I just observed them doing the scene… as well as snooping around the E block. They created a really effective scene, especially since they had a smoke machine.

20th March 2015

Today is the final day of filming.
For a start we are in the ‘Studio’ where we’ll be filming Brad’s scene as the “Hero”. While Brad is having his make up done, the rest of us are setting up the equipment – Danielle and me set up the Tripods and Camera.
Then I stood under the lights to help the others set them ready for filming – so that when filming on Green Screen it’s suitable to edit with.
This afternoons plan may involve the news scene, or Jim may just have us filming the refectory scene – because he is planning on us starting to edit next week.
The editing process shouldn’t take too long since we are only doing a minute long video.
We are almost done filming – however we weren’t able to get our other scenes. Jim has made a plan for next week. Wednesday and Thursday we will be filming our final scenes. Then on Friday Jim might having us going through Editing skills.

24th April 2015
Finally handing in final work!