"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious" - Albert Einstein

Category: Filmmaking


ECU: I am fond of the sense of rough drumstick covering my hand. This attractive sense makes me stay close to drumming

CU: Whenever I play drums, I can find myself filled with joy. That is why drumming became my favorite hobby.


WS:  I sit on the fluffy chair, feeling the pedals living my feet up.


OTS: I put my right hand on the high hat, left on the snare, and take a deep breath.


Interesting shots:  Finally, I start drumming.


RESEARCH TASKS – Connecting with horror

  • Describe key elements of the short film (use film language as much as possible)


Character is one of the key elements of short film, as short film unfolds its story based on characters. Therefore, action, dialog, soliloquy, and facial expressions are considered significant in short films as they are the ones which expresses character’s idea. Film techniques such as extreme close up and close up are used to express character’s features.


Theme is also a significant feature of short film, as it is what short film’s plot should be about. Some common examples of themes are love, good vs evil, betrayal, and so on. To illustrate the theme effectively, the film must have a structure which starts with introduction, then rising action, then climax, and ends with resolution.


Jump Scare


Jump Scare is a technique often used in horror films and it scares the audience by showing the abrupt change of image. This technique is supposed induce a “cheap scare” both physically and mentally from the audience.


Tight Framing


Tight Framing is a technique that puts a frame very tight on the subject of the film. When doing so the subject almost touches the edges of the film. This technique I used to draw an attention about a specific subject. Moreover, it can also draw audiences’ attention to variety of concepts around the character.


Back lightening


Back lightening is a technique to use the main source of light behind the character to highlight the figure of the character. Since the light source is from the figure’s back, it is hard to recognize the facial expression of the character. Therefore, it arouses curiosity from the audience about the specific features of the character.




Uplighting is to use the main source of light from the bottom. By doing so, the light highlights the character’s face. Therefore, it exaggerates the character’s facial expression, and it may be also used to maximize the scary feature of antagonist’s face.


Horror films must create an scary and tensive atmosphere so that the audiences can immerse into the film easily. Therefore, the usage of sound is significant, as it is effective in building up a tension. Infrasound is one of the sound technique used in horror movies.


Infrasound is a low frequency sound: a sound that has a frequency below 20Hz. Since this sound is hard to be heard, using this sound builds up the tension of the film. It also expresses negative emotions such as uneasiness, anxiety, and fear


People expect to feel scared when they watch horror movies. This reason is related to human compensation psychology. When humans feel negative emotions such as fear or anxiety while watching horror movies, happiness comes afterwards as a reward. Therefore, when making horror film, the director must make the film scary.


Cultural and historical backgrounds have a great influence on horror movies. For example, most Eastern ghosts are often seen well by others because they have the setting that they died with resentment. Therefore,  eastern ghosts openly slaughter people rather than hiding themselves.

On the other hand, Western ghosts are difficult to detect unless they are experts. Therefore, they evoke a mysterious fear. Since I am accustomed to those “eastern” fear, I can feel that I am more scared by those “western” fear these days.


In my horror film, I will include a mysterious fear. It will be about an unexpected spiritual visitor. Since I have no access to computer technology, I won’t be able to include the figure of the ghost. Due to this constraint and my preference of a mysterious fear, the ghost will be invisible for this film. However, the audience are aware of its existence since the ghost is leaving traces by turning off lights, making noises, or knocking on doors. To maximize the sense of fear, I will use some sound techniques like infrasound.











My story

For this project, the subject of my film is going to be drumming. The film is going to present me picking up the drum stick, sitting on the drum set thrones, and drumming. It will be in chronological order, starting with me picking up the drum stick, and end with me starting to play drums. Since this film is quite short, I thought it will be quite challenging to involve complicated emotion in it. Therefore, I decided to deliver my passion for drumming in the film. To make it interesting, I will try to make my film include actual drumming sound in the “interesting shot” stage.

My first 4 Shots

ECU of Hands


I will film my hands holding a drum stick. I will make sure my drum stick is highlighted and I will try to keep the background out of focus. This scene will take about 4 seconds.


I will use an aperture of 2.8.

I will use a 42.5 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.




For the second shot, I will film my face. I will make sure that my eyes and mouth are in focus to clearly show the expression. I should have a concentrating expression on my face. This scene will take about 4 seconds.


I will use an aperture of 4.

I will use a 25 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.




For the medium shot, I will take the picture of myself sitting on the drum set. In this scene, the only action I am going take is spin the drum stick. This scene will take about 4 seconds.


I will use an aperture of 5.6.

I will use a 25/15 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.




For the over the shoulder shot, I will film the drum set on the point of view of my shoulder. At this scene, I will show myself being ready for drumming; I play my left hand on the snare drum, and place my right on the high hat. This scene will last for 4 seconds.


I will use an aperture of 4.

I will use a 42.5 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.



For 5th shot, I will show myself playing the drum set. The camera angle at the top, filming down will on me drumming.  I will actually play the drum to make this scene interesting.


I will use an aperture of 5.6.

I will use a 25/15 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.


A story in 5 shots

Extreme Close-up (ECU):

Extreme close-up refers to the first filming technique among the 5 shot sequences. The specialty of this technique comes from its shot size. Just like its name, the shot size of this technique is extremely close; the camera extremely closes up to the hands of the character. As this technique is arranged in the first order of the 5 sequences, its feature of only showing the hands of the character makes evokes the audiences’ interests.

Close-up (CU)

Close-up refers to the second technique among the 5 shot sequences. The shot size of this technique is quite close, as this technique focuses on the face of an object. Since this technique focuses on the face, it can effectively present the emotion of the character, helping the reader to understand the character’s emotion. In most cases, the eyes are the most emphasized in the face.

Medium Shot (MS)

Joe Blogs: The Medium-Shot

Medium shot refers to the third technique among the 5 shot sequences. The shot size of this technique is moderately close, focusing on the upper body of the figure and a background. Since it generally shows the whole picture of the scene, it builds up a general understanding of the character and the surrounding for the audiences. Therefore, medium shot is one of the fundamental techniques of filmmaking.

Over the Shoulder (OTS)

Camera Angles: Over The Shoulder or Single Shot?

Over the Shoulder shot refers to the fourth technique among the 5 shot sequences. The shot size of this technique is quite close, and the point of view of this technique starts from the shoulder of the character. This technique focuses of what the character is doing, so it reveals the relationship between the character and the subject. Since the point of view of this technique is similar to that of the character, it engages the audience into the film.

Interesting Shots

Interesting shot refers to the last technique among the 5 shot sequences. Just like its name, there is not specific shot size to follow. It just has to be “interesting”, and this shot must put an end to the whole film. An unusual focuses such as “crawl on your belly” can be an example of Interseing shots.



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