Thursday, October 26, 2006

One Shot - The Movie

To stimulate our creative thinking in film making, the College of Art required us to make a movie without stopping the camera. A so-called 'one shot' movie. This is different from movies where one scene leads into another by means of 'cutting' between scenes. The assignment thus made us think of ways to change the scene environment whilst recording.

I liked the idea of taking the One Shot concept literally and wrote underneath script for our movie:




SFX: Startup and playing of a gramophone
(Morriconi: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)

(loud, through megaphone)
[camera: sepia] Action!
[clapper board in view with title: ONE SHOT]

In the house two cowboys are seen, near to the legs of a woman on the floor.
BAD COWBOY 1 (BC1) zips up his jeans and buckles up his belt.
BAD COWBOY 2 (BC2) takes furniture out of the house (leaves view on the right).
BC1 leaves the house (from the left).
BC2 returns into house (from right), takes the mirror from the wall.
The wall rotates to the back, opening up the scenery behind,
whilst BC2 leaves (on the right).


GOOD COWBOY (GC) is seen on the left, trembling from fear.
BC1 walks up to him (from right) pointing his gun at CG.

(John Wayne like)
Pull your gun and you're a dead man!

You SCUM. Rape my wife and plunder my house.

BC2 crosses the stage (right-to-left) with a mirror under his arm,
revealing the DIRECTOR.

(John Wayne like)
And now we take your life too... [shoots twice]

(loud, through megaphone)
[camera: take sepia off, CUT!
quick zoom out to reveal ...]

SFX: Gramophone scratches

(whilst walking up to BC1)
ONE shot! ONE shot, damn it.

DIRECTOR (cont.)
(taking the gun from BC1)
We need ONE shot.

ACTOR2 (=BC2) puts down mirror.
ACTOR1 (=CG) picks up a bottle of water.
Torn and bloody WOMAN walks off the set.

DIRECTOR (cont.)
SFX: Music stops. (pointing gun at BC2, and fires)

SFX: Skipping record sounds.
ACTOR2 falls dead into the backdrop sheet
and the sheet comes down to reveal the wall behind,
that has on it as text:

SFX: Music comes back "FIN"


Click below image to download and watch the movie "One Shot".


NOTE: To play this movie Quicktime available for free at is required.

One Shot poster


Note: No cowboys or cowgirls were hurt during the recording of this movie ;o)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Wiki University Film School - Story Board

The next step in making a film as we have started, called "Seduced by the Dark Side" is to breakdown the script in lines with numbers.(source

For example,

EXTERIOR - The local movie theater - NIGHT

(1) The Young Person and Old Person stand looking at the movie poster outside the theater.

(2) Young Person: "That was a great movie..."

(3) Young Person (contined): "but I do not understand one thing."

(4) Old Person: "What's that?"

(5) Young Person: "How can anyone be seduced by the Dark Side?"

(6) The old person thinks for a while.

(7) Old Person: "What computer do you have at home?"

(8) Young Person (eagerly): "A Macintosh!" (return)

(9) Old Person: "But what computer does your father use at work?"

(10) The young person thinks for a moment.

(11) Young Person (amazed and excited): "Seduced by the Dark Side!"

(12) The Old Person smiles.

(13) Old Person and the Young Person walk toward home together.

(14) Fade to Black.

The End

From here on we can start drawing tiny pictures of the numbered lines (scenes) that when put in sequence form the storyboard.

Position of the heads
    In simplest terms, a storyboard is just the location of the heads of the people in the scene. If you can clearly show the position, size, and expression of each person's head, most everything else is clear.

Body Optional

    The body of the actors can also be represented but not required. By drawing the body, you can show how each actor relates to the others in the scene.

The Lens is the Thing
    The relationship of the characters in the shot is not about acting but about the lens that will be used to film the scene. Draw the storyboard to show the relationship between the actors and you will also explain what lens is needed to capture this image.

Wiki University Film School - Story

Hello and welcome back to my blog on Film making!

From this day on YOU will have the opportunity to participate in making a film (all be it a short one) like myself through a FREE workshop at Wiki University, see

In the next couple of blog entries I will keep you up to date about my progression through this course of film making.


Lets start with what is called "THE STORY"

The short film is titled "Seduced by the Dark Side" (courtesy Robert Elliott of WikiUniversity) and goes as follows:

An very old and wise person and a young person (about 12 years old) are outside a movie theater. They have just seen the movie, Star Wars and are going home. They now stand in front of the theater, looking at the poster of the movie on the wall outside the theater.

The younger person says, "That was a great movie... but I don't understand one thing." The older person says, "Hum, what's that?". The younger person says, "I don't understand how anyone can be 'seduced by the dark side'".

The elderly person thinks for a while and then answers, "What computer do you use at home?"
The young person immediately responds eagerly, "A Macintosh."

Then the elderly person slowly says, "But what computer does your father use at work?"
The young person thinks for a while and then smiles in amazement, exclaiming loudly, "Seduced by the Dark Side!!!"

The old person smiles knowingly at the young person. The young person is very happy knowing he has just learned a very important lesson. Now the two have formed a bond that will last a lifetime.

They begin walking slowly home together.

The End.


Next, we will FORMAT THE SCRIPT so a film can be made from it.

Here is the information you will need to type the script:

  • The location

  • The time of day (Day, Night)

  • The names of the characters

  • The dialog

  • The action

  • The parenthetical descriptions for the dialog

  • The transitions


Scene Introduction (INTERIOR vs. EXTERIOR)?
Since we are outisde we use exterior which is abreviatted EXT.

The Location?
Just say Movie Theater for the location.

NOTE: The Movie Theater will later in editing be 'painted' onto the screen, rather than shot in real; using a technique called 'matte painting'. With a matte painting, you must build a partial movie set. This partial movie set must be as big as the movement of the actors so the actors never walk out of the partial movie set. Then the rest of the movie set is a painting... created with paint, with a 3D model, or with special effects.


The Time?
The time will be Night since the most movies end at night. However, we will probably film at dusk so we have better lighting.

In sum, our script reads:



There are only two speaking roles in our movie. Extra people such as people in the background are never listed in a movie script.

The old and wise person will be simply called OLD PERSON. The young person will be called YOUNG PERSON.

We don't want to limit our choice to one gender.


We need to write down just the words that are spoken. This is the meat of the script.

That was a great movie... but I don't understand one thing.

Hum, what's that?

I don't understand how anyone can be seduced by the dark side.

What computer do you use at home?

A Macintosh.

And what computer does your father use at work?

Seduced by the Dark Side!!!

NOTE: The text between parenthesis is called parenthetical descriptions for the dialog.


The actions is what goes on in the story which is not dialog. For a movie script, this must be very short. NOTE: A book takes sometimes 2 days to be read, whereas a film of that book lasts only an hour.

At the beginning of the scene, all you need to write is
An old and wise person and a young person stand in front of a movie poster.

At the end of the scene, all you need to write is
They begin to walk away.


At the beginning of the script all you need to write is

At the end, all you need to write is:

And here is my script: Seduced by the Dark Side.pdf


In next blog we will cover how to STORYBOARD this short film.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Samir Mehanovic, Director

Visiting speaker: Samir Mehanovic

Friday 13 Oct, 2-4pm

Main Lecture Theatre,
Edinburgh College of Art,
United Kingdom

Ex Master of Design (Mdes) student who won a BAFTA award 2005 for Best New Director with his film “The Way We Played”

Excerpt from The Sunday Times - Scotland, 27 November 2005

Left to right: Darius, Samir Mehanovic, Suzanne Shaw

Samir Mehanovic escaped Bosnia to find sanctuary in Scotland. He has now won a Bafta for a short film in which he revisits a painful history.

Samir Mehanovic was saved by art. Not in the poetic sense, but practically and arbitrarily: one spring evening in 1995 the young Bosnian director left Tuzla’s central square for a theatre rehearsal only minutes before a bomb fell there, killing many of his friends.

Ten years later, his eyes fill with tears at the memory of 72 young cafe-goers slaughtered by a Serbian shell in one of the defining moments of the Balkan war.

Arriving at the Edinburgh Fringe a few months later, the boom of the one o’clock castle gun caused Mehanovic to throw himself to the pavement in terror. Unable to face going home, he claimed asylum and used the dramatic arts to explore his motherland’s rupture from afar.

The Way We Played, a 13-minute short that won him the prize for best first-time director, is both self-exploration and great cinema. Filmed entirely on location in Bosnia, it tells the story of two young boys, a Muslim and a Serb, playing together on the eve of a war that will make their friendship impossible.

‘It’s been a long journey,’ says the 36-year-old graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, proudly displaying his statuette on the table in Edinburgh’s Elephant House cafe. ‘This means very much to me psychologically. It feels like a long drink of water after a marathon.’

Thursday, October 05, 2006

EMPS on the Web - Part 2

This is the second part of the web design for Edinburgh Movie Production Society (EMPS). For the first part, please visit EMPS on the Web - Part 1.

In the first part I have explained that a direct link from a web browser to a web page on the web server is not a good idea.

Example of a link to a nested web page, a BAD design

In addition, I have defined two words for this design.

  • the web browser is named the VIEW

  • the web page is named the MODEL

  • A direct link from a VIEW to a MODEL is NOT recommended, because of the complexity of maintaining this 'spaghetti' of links by the web designer.

    What IS recommended is the use of a central point of entry, through which the underlying web page(s) are called.

  • the central script on the web server is named the CONTROLLER

  • If, for example a script 'index.php' is stored on the web server than each link from a web browser (VIEW) to a web page (MODEL) is as follows:

    An example of circuit is 'public'
    An exampe of fuseaction is 'pageView'


    This solution, that 'hides' all the folder information from the web visitor, is following a design pattern, known as Model-View-Controler (MVC).

    Hence, I will give an example of how this has been used for the web design of EMPS. Ready... here we go!

    The request for a web page by means of the MVC design pattern

    STEPS (summary):

    1 - An EMPS web visitor requests a web page by typing in the browser [view details]

    2 - The request for public.pageView is received by the script 'index.php' in the default web server folder, named 'htdocs'. This script forwards the request to the script in the sibling folder, named 'scripts' and further down into the 'fusebox' folder. [view details]

    NOTE: for security the htdocs and scripts folders are siblings, not nested. This prevents direct access to the scripts folder by web visitors.

    3 - The 'fusebox' folder holds the logic that may direct the request to the 'controller' folder. Hence, it is in the 'controller' folder where requests are orchestrated. [view details]

    4 - After a lookup in a list of requests by name, this particular request is forwarded to the 'view' folder. [view details]

    5 - The 'view' folder holds scripts that format information and generate a web page, which is sent back to the Internet. [view details]

    6 - The Internet delivers the web page to the browser, it appears on the web visitor's screen. [view details]

    A lot of navigation and orchestration one would think, does that have an advantage over direct access to the web page?

    To answer that question with "YES", I will have to explain the inner workings of the FuseBox.

    Hold on... it is a bumpy ride !

    STEPS (detailed)

    1 - Although it is possible that a web visitor has enough information about the web site that (s)he decides to type the full request in the web browser, it is more likely that (s)he just hits a hyperlink on a previous web page that starts the request. For example, the previous web page has a button "Next Page" that can be clicked. This does not influence the effectiveness of the MVC design pattern.

    2 - The script on the Server that is referenced in the request, hence 'index.php', has the following content:

    Content of htdocs/index.php

    Because of the fusebox application path code line: "../scripts/fusebox" the script will automatically forward the request to the file fusebox.xml.php in the scripts/fusebox folder.

    Content of scripts/fusebox/fusebox.xml.php

    This needs some additional explanation:

    FUSEBOX (by


    3 -

    4 -

    5 -

    6 -