Thursday, 26 May 2011


Health and safety when using lighting -

Use gloves to move barn doors on lights because they gets very hot.
When gelling a light put the barn doors forward to reduce risk of the gel catching light.
Always turn light off before moving it as the light bulb could blow if left on.
When a light is on a high stand weigh the light sands down to stable them.

Here are a few pictures of the lights we used and different ways that we used them.To give the light a orangy colour which gave the room a warmer feel, we clipped a orange gel to the barn doors of the light, and to give a felling of day time feel to the room we clipped on a blue gel to the light. If the lights where to bright we would put a black coloured gel over it which would fade the light. Also to make the whole room look lighter we shone the light at the celling and the light would bounce off the surface and give light to the room.

Here are some pictures of the living room

For the living room we put a light above where the gas lamp was and put a orange gel over the light to give the room a warm feeling as a gas lamp would have given a slightly orange glow. We also had a light with a orange gel shining at the fire place to make it look like warmth is coming from there. To make the whole room have a lighter feeling we shone a light at the celling so that the light bounced off and lit up the room slightly. We also had a light with a orange gel shining from behind the curtain to make it look like light was coming in from the outside like a sunset. This worked well to make the whole room have a nice warm feeling like a family home. In Gregors room we shone a light with a blue gel on it trough to the lounge, we then held the bed room doors open slightly and used the fogg machine to make smoke look like it was coming out from his room. We did this to make the doors look creepy like there was something terrifying behind them.

Here are some pictures of Gregors room

For Gregors room we had light coming in trough the window with a blue gel on it as we fought the main light source for Gregors room would be trough the window. I think this looked good in the photos as the room was dark and creepy looking with just a little light. We used the fog machine to give the room a really creepy look to it. In order for the fog to show up we put more light in the room, we used little lights attached to the desk and chair and bigger lights, one trough the window and one from the door way. The room looked similar to the house in pet cemetery with the moldy walls, wonky furniture and smoke.

These are just photos which I took on my camera but we also did some video recording of the rooms so that we could choose some shots which we liked. We also used a video recorder so that we could get the quality we would get if it was being filmed on a film set.

Trough this project it was hard working in such a big group because you had to rely on other people. There were a few things I think should have been done differently in Gregors room which didn't quite match up with the story such as the big scratches on the doors which look like wear wolf scratches, Gregor was a beetle so he wouldn't of made those types of marks on the doors and the walls where a bit over done I think. But the room did look really good in the photos and video shots, especially the walls so it all looked good together after all.I fought all the furniture and the layout of Gregors room looked really good and also how the room narrows at one end, made the room seem claustrophobic which is the look we where going for so that worked really well to. Also in the living room the wall paper seemed a bit to modern and I'm not sure that they would have that particular flower print on there walls at that time but I do like the subtle hints of terror in this room, you can tell by walking into the room that something just isn't quite right. Overall I think we have done a good job and I have learnt a lot. Altho we have had ups and downs trying to work as a group and to get everything done on time I am pleased with how our sets have turned out.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Making the bed

When making the bed there was a mix up with the wood order and my wood wasn't delivered on time so I had to make things in a different order than I planned to and there was times were I couldn't do anymore work to the bed until I got the wood so I was helping others with there work wile I waited.

The first thing I did was make the bed frame. The bed is 5 1/2ft long by 3 ft wide, I measured out all the timber and screwed them together to make a basic rectangle frame with wood going across the middle and at each end. I then nailed ply wood to the structure, around the sides and to the wood going across the middle. Next to make the sides higher I nailed on plywood which was 1 ft high to the sides to make the sides twice as high as this is where the foam will be put into to.

Then I made the panels which go on the front of the headboard and footboard. for this I used 6mm MDF , I drew out the panels on the wood and then used the ban saw to cut them out. Then I sanded the edges and sides of panels.

Next I drew out the shape of the headboard and footboard on to 18mm MDF. I then cut the curve on the top of the headboard and footboard using the jigsaw.

I then used the detail sander to sand the edges of the curves.

Next I glued the panels to the headboard and footboard, I also nailed each corner of the panels to make them more secure.

I then went on to making the posts. To make these I used timber wood, I cut two pieces of wood 1 ft longer on each end to the size of the headboard, I then cut two 1ft pieces of wood and glued these to each end of one of the pieces of wood, I then stuck the other piece of wood on top of the two smaller pieces. I did this to all four bed posts.

Once the glue had dried the sides of the bed legs where rounded off using the wood router. I then used the wood lathe to round and narrow one end for the bed leg and then I rounded the other end for the top of the bed post. I did not put enough glue on the wood so the wood actully came apart when using the wood lathe so I then had to take all the wood apart and re glue them all.This time I was advised to put lots of glue on and then clamp them together which is what I did. So when I went to use the wood lathe again the wood stayed together. The bed posts for the headboard where twice as big as the ones for the footboard so they where to long to use on the wood lathe so I had to use the sanding machine instead. I them smoothed the bed posts out using the detail sander.

Next to attach the bed posts to the headboard and footboard I slotted the sides of the boards into the gaps which I made in the middle of the posts. To secure these I nailed them together. To fill in the little gaps at the sides of the legs where I had attached them I used polly filler. I then screwed a piece of timber to the back of the head and foot boards so I could attach the bed frame to it.

I painted the bed using wood stain which was left over from Adams sofa. The wood stain was quite light and it had ran out so I bought a darker one to go over the whole bed with but the wood stain I bought didn't look very good on the wood so I painted it instead. I painted it with a browny orange colour and them went over the bed with a wash of black and dark brown. I had to go over the bed quite a few times as the wash was to watery but we didn't have any paint left to thicken it up.

After the paint had dried I went over the whole bed using button polish to give it an aged look. For button polish you cover the surface with french polish and then drip and brush on methylated spirit, also if you drip on water it gives you these whitish patches which make the wood look worn down and a bit mouldy.

Next I put the bed together, I did this by screwing on the headboard and footboard to the ends of the bed. I screwed it from the underneath so that you couldn't see the screws. The bed was a bit wobbly so Adam had the idea of screwing down little pieces of wood at the end of the bed frame against the head and footboard to stop it from moving. It still wobbles a bit but it doesn't really matter because its only being photographed not used. For the mattress I used foam.

Then I sanded over the bed to give the wood colour a faded and worn look to it. I then filed part of the leg and nailed tiny holes in it to make it look like it had wood worm. I then used a chisel to clip away some of the wood on the leg and head board to make it look like Gregor had been gnawing it. I also scratched other parts of the wood as Gregor may have scratched the wood with his shell as he walked past or climbed on it, he also may have scratched and gnawed it out of boredom and frustration.

Lastly I put the bed sheets, pillow case and pillow on the bed. I aged the bedding by wiping on button polish which also made it look grubby. To make it look more dirty I wiped on a wash of brown paint. I made a patch in the middle of the bed and pillow darker than the rest to show where Gregor may have been laying. Also I added some fake blood to the covers as in part of the story Gregor gets hurt so the blood would have gone onto his covers as he lays in the bed. I then sprayed fire retardant over the whole bed frame and sheets as a health and safety requirement in theatre and film sets.

I am pleased with the design of my bed and think it fits in well with the room. Making and sanding the bed posts was quite time consuming and not having the wood set me back a few days but I managed to do it all on time before the photo shoot. On my original design there was a swirl in the leg and a curve from the leg to the sides of the bed but I haven't managed to add these features to my bed. I don't really think it needs it as the family didn't have much money so I don't want to make the bed to grand and look out of place so I don't really think it matters that I have left out that detail because it looks fine as it is.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Physiological Horror – Film reviews

The Machinist

The Machinist is a film about a man called Trevor who accidentally hit a boy with his car and drove off; because of this incident his guilt stopped him from sleeping and caused him to develop insomnia where he hadn’t slept for a year. He had blocked the incident from his memory and gradually strange things started happening to him in his living nightmare.

Trough out the film post it notes appeared on his fridge and one of them said who are you? Which is a question he and the audience where trying to answer though out the film. He was very skinny because of his insomnia, which was visually quite shocking.

“Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) is literally a shell of the man he used to be.”(David R Perry, 18/05/2009) This quote expresses how much Trevor’s personality and appearance has changed trough his guilt.
This is a clip from the film and as you can see he is extremely skinny. His skeleton frame looks quite disturbing. Also the dull colours and lighting in this clip and in other parts of the film, kind of show how he is feeling, as they are quite dull and depressing colours and this creates quite a creepy atmosphere.

He meets a guy called Ivan who has just started working at the factory Trevor works in. Well so he thinks anyway as his other work colleges say no one called Ivan works there. Ivan is quite a mysterious character who distracts Trevor wile working which causes an accident with one of the machines, which injures a man called Miller. After this incident along with his disturbing appearance and odd behavior his work colleges turn against him. Trevor becomes very paranoid and thinks that the post it notes where being left my Miller.

The only people who he regularly spoke to in his life were a waitress and a hooker and they became worried about his behavior. His insomnia and paranoia seemed to take over his whole life and affect everyone around him. He started to question who Ivan really was and eventually he murdered Ivan because Ivan claims to have killed a boy called Nicolas but in fact it was Trevor who had killed him in the car accident.

Trough out the film you start to wonder who is real and who is just in Trevor’s imagination. Ivan tuned out not to be real, he was like Trevor’s guilty conscience trying to tell him what he has done, something Tevor had blocked out of his memory.

“There are moments in this film where you can almost see unimaginable horrors in Bale's eyes. Also, his voice is soft, almost soothing for much of the film, but as he unravels, so does his voice.” (Judge Gordon Sullivan, May 19th, 2009 )

In this quote it mentions about how Trevor’s voice changes trough the film as the story unravels which is very true. At the start his voice was soft and sounds like he had very little energy. As the story unravels and Trevor gets more and more paranoid and suspicious he starts to get angry and this shows in the tone of his voice as it gets louder and harsher.

In the end after Trevor finally remembers what happened he turns him self into the police. He looks very relieved at the end and the clear bright white walls seem to represent this. Now that his conscience is clear he can finally sleep!

Rear Window

Rear window is about a man called Jefferies who had broken his leg so he is bound to his room for months. To pass time he looks out the window daily watching his neighbors lives go by. His girlfriend and a maid regularly visit him. One day when looking out his window and from the actions from one of his neighbors he suspects a man has murdered his wife. Him and his girlfriend keep watching the man for more clues to the murder. “Rear window, a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock, shows what voyeuristic tendencies would be had if left no other means of entertainment.”(Samuel McAtee, 16/11/10)

The neighbor looks very suspicious occasionally looking out his window to make sure no one can see him. Other suspicious behavior such as him cleaning a knife, his wife’s handbag had been left behind with her jewelry including a wedding ring in it and him packing her belongings makes Jefferies more and more suspicious of his neighbor.

Jefferies calls his friend who is a police officer over to his house to tell him of his suspicions but he doesn’t believe Jefferies and thinks its all in his mind from being cooped up inside. This makes the audience doubt as to weather his suspicions are right. But Jeffries girlfriend and maid believe him and want to help. Another neighbors dog is found dead and Jefferies believes the man killed the dog because it kept sniffing around in his garden and digging up the mud. They think the dog was digging up the mud because the man may have berried evidence of something to do with the murder.

Jeffries girlfriend wanted to find out what the dog was digging for, so Jeffries phoned the man and told him to meet him at a local bar. When the man had left his house Jeffries girlfriend and the maid when over to his garden and digging up the mud where the dog was digging but there was nothing there so the girlfriend snuck into the mans house, Jeffries didn’t want her to go into the house but there was nothing he could do and this left him feeling helpless. As she was sneaking around in the house this left Jeffries and the audience in suspense wile they wait to see what happens. She found his wife’s wedding ring and took it for evidence but as she was about to leave the man came back and found her. Once again this left Jeffries feeling completely helpless, as all he could do is watch wile the man attacked his girlfriend.

This whole film was filmed from Jeffries window so the audience could see what he sees like looking trough his eyes in some parts of the film. The man worked out where Jeffry was and came over to his apartment. The room was very dark and you couldn’t see the mans whole face which made the situation even more creepy, wondering what was going to happen next.

What makes the film creepier is that it makes you think that you never know who is watching you and you don’t really know what happens behind closed doors.

The psychological horror in both these films is quite subtle and thats what makes them more scary. Psychological horror is all about getting into someone's mind and creating deep fear with out in you face gore, which are often real situations that you believe could happen to you and often subtlety suggested. It can be something that looks quite normal but behind closed doors its something else, such as in the Rear window with the neighbor how he seemed to be quite normal to the outside word but behind closed doors he was something more terrifying. Thats what makes him more scary and the fact that it could easily be a real life situation so it plays on peoples fears. Another part of psychological horror is often a certain character who identity isn't really reviled until the end of the film. This plays on your mind as you know there is something not right about them but you don't know what. This is shown in the machinist as you know something isn't right about the main character and as he becomes more paranoid and odd situations happen around him this puts you more on edge about what his character will be revealed as in the end.

Physiological horror is very cleverly done, I think in your face gory horror would be easier to create rather than physiological horror, as physiological horror plays with your mind and sticks with you longer after watching the film. With gory obvious horror it can often be predictable and you have the comfort of knowing that it couldn't or is very unlikely to happen to you as its unrealistic but you don't have the same comfort with physiological horror.

Image references


David R Perry, 18/05/2009

Judge Gordon Sullivan, May 19th, 2009,

Samuel McAtee, 16/11/10,


Steven Casey Murray, 2001 ,