Empire Magazine Research

This morning I’ve been reading the May 2017 issue Empire Magazine and the articles on Arnold Schwarzenegger and his acting career. 

This is good as I want to show references to the sorts of characters he plays in my FMP.

I’ve been reading pages 90 to 95 and have read about how he admires the different directors he’s worked with. 

A quote from the article that I found useful is “I’m proud of most of my movies, but when I think about The Terminator I’m more proud of James Cameron. I’m the product of some really extraordinary directors. When I worked with someone like Ivan Reitman or Paul Verhoeven or James Cameron or John McTiernan in Predator, that’s when I could shine.”

I found this interesting because he seems more proud of James Cameron when he was acting as the Terminator and it’s made me motivated to make a film in that style. 

Proposal for my FMP

UAL Awarding Body – Level 3 Diploma

Unit 8 – Project Proposal

Name James Reader
Pathway Short action-based film
Project Title Final Major Project – Engage
Section 1: Rationale (Approx 100 words)
So far I have learned many new skills on how to focus and shoot better quality footage on DSLR cameras. I am now more experienced with working in groups with people that I haven’t met before and I can now confidently manage people. I am best and most passionate about making action films and I’m confident with working for clients with different views on what they think is a ‘good film’. I’m experienced in operating sound equipment and recording sound in general. I can use editing programs like Adobe; Premier, Photoshop and after effects, displaying my ability to edit out green screens using chroma key.


Section 2: Project Concept (approx 200 words)
My aim for FMP is to produce a short 6-minute action film. I want to showcase cinematography, and script writing skills and then plan the film accordingly. I will act in my film and direct people to help me record these scenes, otherwise, I will take control of the filming process and make sure I sound record everything. Additionally, I’m going to edit everything myself either at home or at college to show I can manage the project independently.

I intend to make a short action film which is around 6 minutes long. My FMP will reference famous action films like Jason Bourne and The Raid for the action.


Plus Batman v Superman for the visual style and lack of saturation in the image. 


I’ll plan the filming in a detailed manner. Before production begins I’ll research into Quentin Tarantino and his directing style. Especially in Reservoir Dogs. I need to learn more about editing an action sequence so I will look into YouTube tutorials and existing examples of scenes I like. My film will look dark and desaturated like The Raid giving a negative and hostile feeling to it.  


Section 3: Evaluation (approx 50 words)
I will show my idea to people and see what they think and if they like it. This is important as getting honest feedback is always productive. I will listen and keep going back and checking my progress to see whether I am still happy with the current result. I will make the most of the group crits and complete a final evaluation hat reflects upon my targets and whether I achieved them.
Proposed Research Sources and Bibliography (Harvard Format)
Citethisforme.com – Harvard referencing.
En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Tim Miller (director). [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Miller_(director) [Accessed 18 Apr. 2017].
En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Tim Miller (director). [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Miller_(director) [Accessed 18 Apr. 2017].
Vimeo. (2017). Who’s Who on a Movie Crew?. [online] Available at: https://vimeo.com/blog/post/whos-who-on-a-movie-crew [Accessed 18 Apr. 2017].
YouTube. (2017). How to Direct like Quentin Tarantino – Visual Style Breakdown. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGbwLLVIy8U [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017].
YouTube. (2017). How To Make A Long Take | Film Theory. [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/pJ2szv_ZXkU [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017].
McGregor, L., McGregor, L. and McGregor, L. (2017). The Sequence Shot – Indie Tips. [online] Indie Tips. Available at: http://www.indietips.com/cinematography-sequence-shot/ [Accessed 25 Apr. 2017].
Brown, B. (2016). Cinematography. 1st ed. [Place of publication not identified]: Focal, pp.64 – 69.
The Perfect Machine. (2017). Empire, (335), pp.92 to 95.En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Reservoir Dogs. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reservoir_Dogs [Accessed 26 Apr. 2017].

En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_v_Superman:_Dawn_of_Justice [Accessed 26 Apr. 2017].

En.wikipedia.org. (2017). The Raid (2011 film). [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Raid_(2011_film) [Accessed 26 Apr. 2017].

Filming inpirations

A lot of my inspirations have come from super-hero action films. In particular ones from Marvel. I’ve recently been to watch ‘Logan’ in the cinema which I was very impressed by.

I’m also a fan of ‘Deadpool’, ‘Wolverine’ and ‘Terminator’ as they’re all action based and feel I can have many references to that in my FMP.

giphy (1)

I wanted three main characters with the current plot being two of them leading separate military groups, and the other being a rogue agent almost like James Bond or Jason Bourne but with the healing power of Deadpool. Also his power is that he never misses a shot like ‘Deadshot’ from the DC universe.


The image below shows the character ‘Deadshot’ from the 2016 film Suicide Squad. My plan is to model my actor similar to him. I’ve already been online and bought gas masks and balaclavas in case I need them.


Deadshot is my favorite character in the film Suicide Squad is often a hired assassin, regularly boasting to “never miss.” This is why I want to pay homage to that. He is capable of using a large variety of weapons, but is most frequently portrayed as using a pair of silenced, wrist-mounted guns. The problem with my FMP is that I have no wrist mounted guns.


Logan (Wolverine)

After watching Logan in cinemas last week it confirmed it for me that I want to pay homage to Wolverine by making my main antagonist like him. From what I’ve gathered and what I’ve researched about Wolverine. I now know he can heal and regenerate all physical and mental harm to himself pretty quickly and so I’ve been looking at tutorials on how to make gun shot wounds look effective. Here is an example.

They mentioned in the video the types of make-up I would need and showed an editing tutorial in post production on how to pull it off. I’ve spoken to Ceri and she’s happy to be the make up artist on set.

If I can pull the head shot off, the next step is to learn how to make the wound heal like you can see in Wolverine’s forehead in the GIF bellow. I found this GIF to be a great example as my actor will be shot in his forehead as well.


Any damaged area or lost anatomy, he will completely heal and regenerate with no lingering side effects in seconds, even forcing objects embedded in his body out so he can heal properly. Even if he clinically die, he can quickly resuscitate himself, making him near-immortal. However, he is still capable of feeling pain and enough harm to him can render him unconscious. This is a key part of character building for my character in my FMP.


I want my film to be quite dark almost like a war film where no one really has a happy ending.

Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne has a tormented past, which continues to influence him throughout his lifetime.


Jason Bourne is a fictional character created by novelist Robert Ludlum. The character Jason Bourne is the antihero and so this helps me as I’m casting my character to be an anti hero like Jason Bourne with lots of action where you’re unsure if he’s saving  the day or not.


Cinematography Research 

This morning I’ve been reading about cinematography and camera shots.

I’ve been reading a book called Cinematography Theory Practice by Blain Brown and have been especially interested in pages 64 to 69. The page you’re looking at is page 66 as it’s all about tracking shots and Dolly shots. I’m really interested in this because I want to make the cinematography in my FMP the best I can.

A part of the page that I found useful was the figures on the left-hand side as you can see this image

This shows the camera counter moving to the actor. This has made me rethink my opening shot for my FMP. I now want a long opening shot going from one end of the filming location to the other with characters moving around inside. This will be the opening credits for my FMP and will have the text tracked to the actors as they move past the frame.

Research on director’s styles of filming

I’ve been watching through YouTube looking at interviews and how to direct like my favorite directors.

I thought this was helpful because it really shows how he directs with excessive use of close ups, violence, and over exposed skies and lights.

This is an example of the films that have inspired his work.

compare qt.png

It would be brilliant to have a long shot for the opening shot for my FMP titled ‘Engage’.



Conventions of filming



These are some important conventions of filming inside my short action film idea.

On the day of filming, I needed to keep in mind that the location isn’t secluded and so every so often throughout the day members of the public would walk near where we were filming. This meant I had to keep the realistic looking gun props hidden so they didn’t notice or get alarmed. I take this extremely seriously especially as people might not think were just kids making a film for college.

I’m glad that I bought loads of food prior to the day of filming that all my crew could appreciate. I had to think about some of my main actors as they were vegetarian or had an allergy to nuts so the food I bought had to meet their dietary requirements. This reflects upon having ‘supplies stocked up’.

One thing I think I did right was the colour grading I used for the location we filmed at. Luckily on the day, it was quite cloudy but full of green so I found removing the yellows and some greens really gave it a negative and hostile feel to it.

I’ve worked with the actors that I used in my FMP before. We all know each other from school and so have a really close friendship, apart from my cousin Conor that agreed to play the role of two extras in the film. He hadn’t met any of the actors before and I hadn’t worked with him before either. Thankfully though he listened to me when I was directing which made me less stressed and enabled me to focus more on what we had to film next.


Researching acting and soundtrack

As my short action film currently titled ‘Engage’ will have actors in it, I’ve been looking up tutorials on acting. I felt this was also important as I will be one of the 3 main actors myself.

Producing my FMP and making it a success is very important to me as I am passionate about making this the best piece of work I have produced in college. Too help with acting tips I’ve been watching YouTube videos by a channel called ‘FilmRiot’ which I enjoy and watch a lot of. This is their video I watched about tips for acting.

Possible soundtrack for ‘Engage’

I am aware that if I use copyrighted music, there’s a chance that it would get taken down off YouTube, and if I’m not able to use the music I like then I’ll use royalty free music which I’ve done in the past. Especially with my own film ‘The final Mission’ that I’ve made outside of college. Plus of course I did the same when creating ‘Arrested’, the short film I made for the 9 year old clients in the ‘FUTURE’ project. An example of the music I used in ‘The Final Mission’ is below.

Below is the scene where I used that music. I’ve literally listened to hours worth of different music during the production of ‘The Final Mission’ and re edited scenes again and again until I’m happy with them, the film is still currently incomplete but this is the most recent edit of this scene.

I had to do a lot of research whether it was actually royalty free, whether it suited the film, whether I thought the clients would approve, and whether there were any better options. I did this by looking up tutorials and trying it or for myself.

This is a song I feel would suit the theme of my film perfectly. This is because my aims are to make an action film including characters you can get attached to that come across a sinister chain of events leading them all to fail the task they we’re attempting to achieve but with a deep back story about the characters

I’ve also found this song I’m sure I can make use of maybe In the opening credits. I’ve got the three main actors in mind including myself with other extras in mind too. These are all friends of mine that have acted in my films before.


I’ve got the three main actors in mind including myself with other extras in mind too. These are all friends of mine that have acted in my films before.

The actor on the left is my friend Jack that has agreed to be playing one of the three main characters in my FMP.