Transform Project



My Transform Project

Original Scene, (Mia M., 2016)


For my transform project I started of with the idea of creating tension as it was a big part of the film ’13 hours’ (2016) which I did for my case study 2. I am interested with the ideas surrounding Poker, there is a whole atmosphere tied to the game and the majority of it is tension.



I looked into different poker scenes from films and came across multiple different ones, but the one that stood out the most was the scene from the film ‘Rounders’ (1998). In this scene there are two men playing a serious game of poker, betting thousands of dollars against each other.

I also looked at the poker scene from ‘Casino Royale’ (2006) where Bond is undercover during the whole thing. This gave me an idea for one of the characters being undercover, so I thought of a concept of one of the characters being a con artist and trying to cheat to gain profit.

(beaston7272, 2008)

The task for this project was to transform a scene by changing a small element of it, so I thought about what you don’t normally see during a poker game. The fantasy genre came to mind so my idea consisted of changing the two men into wizards.

I had a whole story to strengthen the idea of them being wizards by using the con artist idea and make it so he uses magic to spawn in better cards so he could cheat. However that would be a new idea all together which would fall to far from what the task actually was to begin with. So I found the scene from Rounders and decided to recreating it shot for shot but switching the characters to wizards to achieve a different outcome.

As I was transforming a scene shot by shot I just used screen grabs for the storyboards.



This worked well as it gave a clear indication of what the actors needed to do and what I needed to do during the editing process like transitions. I also wrote the dialogue and the screen directions on the storyboard so that the actors had this as well as the script to look at on set.

I knew where I was going to shoot as soon as I had the idea, I have a pool table at my house that looks very similar to a poker table and would look great if it was used in the scene. The scene is shot inside and under tungsten lights this location also allowed me to get the same effect by using my living room lights that are dimmable so I could control the amount of light I wanted above the actor.

In the scene there is random house hold items in the background, there is a TV, a lamp and shelves for example. So I kept some of the items I found in my house in the background to recreate that and try to add more idea to where the characters are and what type of place there in.


In the scene they play the game on a proper poker table, I don’t have access to a poker table so the way I got around this was I used a pool table. The table in the scene has orange fabric but my pool table has blue fabric however this worked well and gave the same professional vibe as the poker table did in the original scene.

The way I created the idea of the characters being wizards was costumes. I had them both wear a wizard hat styled off the wizard from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ (2001) called Gandalf, as this was more of the wizard type I wanted to go for. However I wanted to keep some of the modern feeling so had them wear normal clothes, I feel this gave it more of a back alley feeling rather than just two wizards playing poker.


(Gandalf ‘The Lord of the Rings’ (2001))

I used a proper poker chip set that I had at my home which added the authenticity to the scene, without it the scene would have been hard to tell what game they were playing and I wouldn’t have been able to achieve the shots where the characters bet.


The light in the film had quite an orange colour as it was set in a room using normal tungsten lights. I got this effect by using my living room lights from on set which were directly above my actors, They are dimmable as well so I could control the amount of light that I would like above my subjects. This casted a shadow from the brim of the hats onto the subjects faces. I used a small battery LED light as a fill light to get rid of most of the shadow and make the actors face visible.
This was directed from behind the camera to give the effect of it being another light source such as a lamp.


For the sound, it was all recorded on location. I used a Zoom Q2 and turned off the camera option. I set it up next to the actor but out of shot. For most of the time I left it running and moved it around depending on where it needs to, there was also one line of narration needed so I just gave the microphone to the actor and let him speak into it so I could dub it over the footage during the editing process.

At some points the scene required some poker chips to be placed onto the table, this caused the audio to spike which didn’t sound good. The way I got around this was I turned down the gain when the chips were being placed which stopped the spike and made it sound realistic.

The Q2 ran out of batteries half way through so I had to change them but when I changed them it reset so the camera was active which meant some of the audio I recorded had video along with it. This wasn’t a huge problem it just meant that the audio was slightly worse quality than the one without footage.

I took a royalty free sound effect of cards being placed on a table to create more of an effect when you see it on screen. It fit the scene well, I had to turn down the gain of the sound as it was to loud and overpowered the other audio.


When I got all my footage onto my computer none of it was labeled so I spend some time going through and naming them all depending on where they would go in the project so I didn’t have to listen and watch through them all during the editing process. I then split everything into separate folders, audio and footage.


Ones I’d done that and imported all the footage and audio into Avid, I went in chronological order adding the first clip then adding the dialogue afterwards. I didn’t know about syncing your footage in Avid until after I had finished the editing process so I just timed each individual piece of dialogue to when it was said on screen. Although the way I did it worked well and wasn’t noticeable, it would have saved a lot of time if I had synced the footage before hand.

Then after all the dialogue was added I moved onto sound effects. There was a very small amount of sound effects which were all just sounds of cards being placed as it wasn’t loud enough for the microphone to pick up as well as their voices like the sound of the poker chips.

I used the same song from the scene however the music was edited for the final product of the film so they are slightly different. It works well and fits the scene well, it also does a good job at representing what the characters are feeling.

 (roundersost, 2013)


Once I was done with the audio I moved onto colour grading. I experimented with using a blue tint as that is the colour I link to wizards and mages in the fantasy world, but due to the amount of orange tungsten light coming from the lights above my actor it didn’t work well so I stayed with my original plan to keep it at a warm temperature.

I had already used the lighting to achieve the same orange tint to the scene so when I tested adding some orange using colour grade it just made it look unnatural and didn’t look right. All I did with the colour grading was darken the scene a tiny bit to make it look a little bit more professional, I didn’t want to darken it too much as the original scene was really bright as it was set to appear under tungsten light in a similar room to the one I filmed in.



After I colour graded I tried adding some black bars to make the footage have a cinematic effect, however I didn’t take this into consideration when I was filming so some of my footage was cropped out when I added them. In the end I decided not to add them due to this reason.

Target Audience

My target audience is people who are interested in poker and tension, Some people would be interested due to the original film and are interested to see what I have changed. It will not be appropriate for younger ages as there is a small amount of explicit language that parents may not approve of, this will also apply to people who don’t agree with swearing and are offended by it. So the target audience would be 15 – 80 year olds with the exception of people who might get offended.



I was really happy with how clear the audio was this time compared to how my audio was in my FMP. I do think I should have added some aspect to the story to create the idea of them being wizards such as the characters using some sort of magic to try to win like I talked about in the research section.

I also think the lighting could have been better as a few shot you can tell that there was a light shining at the subjects so some scenes are lighter than others. This problem would be easy to fix if I was to redo this project.

I think I could have transformed it more by putting some more emphasis on the fact they are wizards. It would have made more of an impact to the scene itself almost creating an entirely new scene.

Overall I am pleased at how my project looks and sounds. Although there are a few tiny issues that could have been easily avoidable they didn’t ruin the outcome of the project.




(No Date) Available at: (Accessed: 29 November 2016).

roundersost (2013) Rounders – glowing glimmer (soundtrack OST). Available at: (Accessed: 29 November 2016).

(No Date) Available at: (Accessed: 29 November 2016).

(No Date) Available at: (Accessed: 5 December 2016).

beaston7272 (2008) Last poker hand in casino Royale (2006). Available at: (Accessed: 29 November 2016).

Transform Project

Tension Sound Task


For this task I had to create tension using sound. My group decided to do an exam scene which was a good way to use sound for tension as there is a lot to think about and loads of possible sounds you could find in that environment.

There was no sound recorded on location, we recorded Foley sound separately in the dead room using a Zoom H1. Most of the sounds required objects that we had access to which made getting the sounds easier, but we could have used completely different objects to create the sounds if we had decided to.

I gradually added each sound once the visual for it was seen on-screen, then towards the end it got louder and louder until the character couldn’t take it anymore and stormed out the room.

I gradually raised the gain of each of the audio so that it had the effect of getting louder in the room. I also added reverb to some of the more prominent sounds so it would sound like it’s echoing inside the characters head as if everything was getting too much to handle.

I colour graded this project to make the scene darker than it was shot, I felt by having it a little bit darker it added some tension to the scene which helped backup the sound in making the scene have tension which is the task we were trying to achieve.

We recorded audio before we recorded the footage which I felt was a mistake afterwards as some sound didn’t fit the video. If we had shot the footage first then we could have recorded sound as we were watching the video to make sure it fit perfectly. Recording sound afterwards would also allow us to make sure we got all the sounds we needed and that everything looked as it should.

I think this worked well. The ways the sounds slowly get louder creating the effect of the character hearing it in her head works great. I feel it would have made a slight improvement if we had recorded sound after the footage so we could line it all up perfectly so it would all run smoothly and be more appealing to the eye.

Tension Sound Task

Lighting Task

We were set a task to recreate a certain type of scene using light. We had to create a fire scene, a person watching TV and people driving a car.

For the fire scene we used two lights. One LED light with an orange gel folded over four times to get a darker orange. At first we tried shining the second light directly at the back of the subject to create a back light but that on its own was too harsh. So we decided to shine the second one facing away from the subject being shone towards a reflector that bounced the light back to the subject to achieve a softer back light. There was also a diffuser attached to the light to also achieve a softer light. We then slowly flickered the light to add the effect of flames in front of the subject.

For the TV scene we did a similar thing. We only used the one LED light for this shot but swapped out the orange gel for a diffuser. We only used one to try to get the effect of someone sitting in a dark room watching the TV so there was no need for a back light or a fill light. We did the same flickering effect that we did for the fire but less erratic and this gave the effect that the subject was sitting in a dark room watching the television.

For the car driving scene we had to think of a way to show reflections coming from the door window. We came up with the idea of holding a small sheet of transparent plastic in front off the lens and move it around which would reflect the light and hopefully recreate reflections of passing street lamps and buildings on a car door window. This effect turned out to work quite well and we was all impressed at how similar it was to the effect we was trying to achieve. If we had more time we could have tested out and adapted our techniques to hopefully achieve a more realistic look.

I think the TV effect worked the best and would have worked great if there was sound to go with it, it looked the most realistic out of the three and would be a good technique to use in a project in the future.


Lighting Task

Case Study 2

Research plan for ‘13 hours‘ (2016) case study.


  • Genre
  • Similar productions



  • Comparison of true accounts
  • Current war



  • Governments contribution to the Benghazi attack
  • Governments experience with war




13 hours is a Drama/Thriller that is based on the true story that follows a group of six former soldiers who where hired as security in Benghazi.

A Wikipedia article read “Thrillers are characterized and defined by the moods they elicit, giving viewers heightened feelings of suspense, excitement, surprise, anticipation and anxiety.”  (Thriller (genre), 2016). This is a correct statement for the film 13 hours as you go through the film with strong connections to the characters knowing that they are playing real men in a story that actually happened. The film is split up into sections of intense action, calm bonding moments between the characters and waiting anxiously for the next conflict. This adds a sense of realism to the film and a level of emotion that wouldn’t have been the same if it was just pure action or a completely different genre to begin with.


A film that follows similar attributes of 13 hours is ‘Lone Survivor’ (2013) it’s about a group of four Navy SEALs who are greatly outnumbered by a small Taliban force and fight along side a friendly local village to defeat them. This is also a true story and the characters played in the film are real people. They both follow the same pattern where there is bonding between all the characters to establish a connection and then there intense action. There was only one survivor of ‘Operation Red wings‘ which is the mission that the film is based on, ‘Marcus Luttrell’. He worked closely with the director ‘Peter Berg’ to get as close to the real story as possible.

In conclusion, there are a lot of films that are categorized as Thrillers which follow the exact same rules. However I think the fact that both examples are telling a true story is the reason they are so similar, as the soldiers who actually experienced the event have to follow a same set of rules under military guidelines which has an effect on story telling. Due to this I believe military thrillers that are based on a true story should have there own genre.



The film 13 hours is a true story and tries to portray exactly what happened. Erwin Stoff the producer of 13 hours said this, “Any time you are doing a real story or a true story, there is that temptation to say, ‘Well, it would be better if this would happen or that would happen.” He goes on to explain that ‘there is not a thing in this movie that is not verifiable by two or more sources.” This adds real power to what is shown on screen, knowing that every part actually occurred and the 6 men had to endure everything they’re shown going through.

The events of 13 hours took place in the year 2012 in Benghazi, Libya. The attacks were carried out by an Islamic terrorist group called Ansar al-Sharia (AAS) there motives are to drive out all US and Western influences from Libya.

Overall, this film was made with the full intention of telling the exact story of what happened that night in Libya. The makers of this film wanted it to be a educational experience as well as a enjoyable one and the even brought the real men in to achieve this.




There is a lot of talk about how there just wasn’t enough security at the US diplomatic compound to protect themselves from the attacking Islamic group, which led to the group of 6 CIA contractors from a nearby compound called The Annex to rush to the rescue. The person getting the blame for the lack of security staff is the former US Secretary of state, ‘Hillary Clinton’. Hillary also took responsibility for the security at the compound, she stated “I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts,” (Surrey, 2016).

America’s experience with World War 2 was expensive, it cost the government around $340 billion dollars but most of the money was coming from us civilians who purchased war bonds and lending the United States government half of it.
Although the cost was extensive, it also aloud the farms to sell more produce. ‘American farms multiplied their output of wheat, corn and other foods.’ (The United States during WWII: The home front – video & lesson transcript, 2003)

A lot of the politics involved with the Benghazi attack bury the actual events of what happened that night, which was the main reason the men that were actually there wanted to help. They wanted to tell their story exactly how they experienced it without politics blurring the details.

In conclusion politics wasn’t very helpful and was one of the biggest reasons for the lack of security and overall the failure to defend the US Compound.




HistoryvsHollywood (2016) Lone survivor true story vs movie – real Marcus Luttrell, Mike Murphy. Available at: 7 November 2016).

Johnson, T. (2016) How ‘13 hours’ tries to get at the truth of Benghazi. Available at: (Accessed: 8 November 2016).

NCTC (no date) National counterterrorism center. Available at: (Accessed: 8 November 2016).

Surrey, M. (2016) Hillary Clinton’s role in Benghazi: What you need to know. Available at: (Accessed: 8 November 2016).

The United States during WWII: The home front – video & lesson transcript (2003) Available at: (Accessed: 13 November 2016).

Thriller (genre) (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: (Accessed: 4 November 2016).  


Case Study 2

Recreating scenes using Depth of field




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These are both examples of shallow depth of fields, which is where the subject closes to the camera is the thing in focus. I used an f-stop of f/5.6 and 48 mm. I could have achieved a better similarity by my subjects face in better focus to really bring it out from the background.



This is examples of shots that use a mid depth of field, which is where the background and foreground are out of focus and the subject is in focus in the middle of the shot. I used a f-stop of f/29 and a focal length of 33 mm. The background isn’t as out of focus as it should be however is still slightly out of focus for it to look similar.



These are examples of deep depth of field which is where everything is in focus. I used an f-stop of f/5.6 and a focal length of 25 mm. This could have come out better if i had more time to adjust to the exact settings.


We had a group of four people who all needed to get their own set of three images so we were a little pressed for time which meant the pictures above didn’t have as much time to perfect them as they should have. Although they were rushed, they looked good and there were a good amount of similarities when I put them side by side.
I was also limited to the amount of props and locations I had so there were going to be some obvious differences but overall the effect was the same.

Recreating scenes using Depth of field

Case Study 1

I am going to be looking into the social, political and chronological elements of the television program Dexter (2006-2013)


Research plan


  • The Crime rate in Miami.
  • Discrimination in the precinct.
  • The danger of weapon access in the America.
  • Expectations of middle class citizens.


  • Economy in Miami during the time of production.
  • Gang activity in Miami.


  • American Psycho





Crime is a big concern in Miami, It has over half the crime rate than the U.S. average for violent and property crimes. Specifically  Murders, which is a big part in Dexter (2006).


Dexter (2006) is heavily revolved around murder. This could have been the main reason the show takes place there. The fact that Dexter is based in Miami make everything seem more realistic and it makes more sense that there is so many criminals to keep the series going for eight seasons. Although Dexter’s (2006) main focus is murder, they can add a range of criminal activities into the show as the crime rate is so high and it differs from bad to worse.
According to the Daily Mail, Miami is the worst place to live due to the crime rate, income and poverty levels. This could have also been a reason for Miami being the location choice as it adds effect due to the genre of the show.


There were many laws that made discrimination illegal which were placed in the 1960’s, if you thought you had been a victim of discrimination you have the right to sue your employer.
In Dexter there are a range of races and sexes employed in the police force. There isn’t any discrimination as through out the series they all have equal responsibility and some even rise to executive roles with in the precinct.
This could interest people as there is a wide range of different cultures within the same environment who of which with situations differently.



Access to weapons in America is really easy. There are many situations when children have accidental shot family or friends with the family rifle that lives on the living room wall. You can purchase all kinds of weapons in wall-mart which is the American equivalent of ASDA.  All you need to buy a gun is to fill out a questionnaire about personal details and a background check. This could have influenced Dexter to take place in American as anyone being able to gain access to weapons and firearms will increase the crime rate, and as Dexter is heavily revolved around crime it was the best location to pick.



In Dexter the main character tries really hard to blend in and make himself as little of a suspect as possible. He does this by being normal, he lives with his girlfriend and has kids. He lives the stereotypical middle class life.
By being a blood splatter analyst in the Miami police force he has already set a standard of living for him and his family, he would be one of the last people you would expect to be any sort of criminal as he is on the side of the law.
The fact that Miami has such a huge crime rate and is inhabited by many different gangs also make Dexter less of a suspect as he follows all of the stereotypes.



Economy in Miami isn’t great, it is in the top ten most poor countries in America. There is many slum areas in Miami and the average Miami family earns less than £30,000. This may explain the amount of crime in the city.


The average unemployment rate in Miami is higher than the average of the United States. This isn’t represented in Dexter but could be linked back to amount of crime there is as it is the last result of money income for many people.

‘Miami-Dade Has the 7th Largest Gang Population in America’ (Munzenrieder, 2016). Gang activity and specifically Hispanic gangs play a big part in Dexter as a lot of his targets are criminals from gangs. In Miami gangs are a big problem as there is ‘230 documented gangs with 1,700 members‘ (Gangs said to be terrorizing Miami-Dade, 2011). They take part in drug trafficking and turf wars in which they shoot and kill rival gangs, this is what brings them to Dexter’s attention. The amount of gang activity in Miami could have been another reason for it to be set in Miami because of the amount of opportunity for Dexter.




Dexter was very much influenced by American Psycho (2000) which came out six years before Dexter and follows similar aspects of it. The main characters both live a double life and are serial killers by night however they have different morals.
Dexter was taught by his adopted father to use his urges for good by only killing criminals or wrong doers. However Patrick Bateman, main protagonist of American Psycho kills innocent ‘Many of Bateman’s murder victims are homeless people.’ (Patrick Bateman, no date)

Although the characters are very different people, Bateman is mentally insane and will kill without any hesitation or any particular target. But Dexter will spend weeks, maybe months researching and following a target to make sure they have broken the law in some way or another and to be positive there is a good reason for them to be killed. This sets the barrier between good and evil and throughout Dexter it is difficult to decide which side of the barrier he is on, as he admittedly enjoys what he is doing but goes through so much to make sure he has the right man. However for Bateman it is clear that he is pure evil, only killing for the rush and the excitement, enjoying every single moment.






Advameg (2016) Crime in Miami, Florida (FL): Murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, arson, law enforcement employees, police officers, crime map. Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2016).

Reporter, D. (2016) Welcome to Miami, the WORST city in America, study claims. Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2016).

Baron (2016) Discrimination in the workplace | baron & Herskowitz law firm. Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2016).

Smith, A. (2015) This is how easy it is to buy guns in America. Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2016).

*, N. (2015) These are the 10 most ghetto cities in Florida. Available at: (Accessed: 17 October 2016).

American Psycho (2000) Directed by Mary Harron .

Six feet under (2001) Directed by Laffz 00 .

Patrick Bateman (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 22 October 2016).

Munzenrieder, K. (2016) Miami-Dade has the 7th largest gang population in America. Available at: (Accessed: 22 October 2016).

Case Study 1