Bibliography – Creating Screen Fiction Research


A Look Through 14 Beautiful Video Game HUD Designs. 2015. A Look Through 14 Beautiful Video Game HUD Designs. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 12 March 2015]

BBC Academy – Production – Profile: 1st assistant director. 2015. BBC Academy – Production – Profile: 1st assistant director. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 February  2015]


BBC Radio 4 – The Media Show, The Clarkson Row and Handling ‘Difficult’ stars, The Future for Netflix, The Green Party Media Policy. 2015. BBC Radio 4 – The Media Show, The Clarkson Row and Handling ‘Difficult’ stars, The Future for Netflix, The Green Party Media Policy. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 18 March 2015]


CREW CALL: Location Manager/Scout Rob Story – YouTube. 2015. CREW CALL: Location Manager/Scout Rob Story – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 26 Janurary 2015]

First Assistant Director Greg Zekowski interviewed by Robert Reber (cinematographer) – YouTube. 2015. First Assistant Director Greg Zekowski interviewed by Robert Reber (cinematographer) – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 15 Feburary 2015]

I am the location scout for the show Breaking Bad AMA : IAmA. 2015.  [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 26 Janurary 2015]

Location Manager (Film) | Creative Skillset. 2015. Location Manager (Film) | Creative Skillset. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 25 Janurary 2015]


Special Effects and Graphics – Research and Creation

For pre-production I took on the role of SFX/Graphics. As our film is meant to centre around a video game addiction the script calls for some graphics that makes the audience feel as though they are in a video game. To achieve the video game feel I researched how first person shooting games look and feel to the player and will try and replicate this with the use of Adobe After Effects and Photoshop.

Ghost_Recon_2 metroid_1

To create my initial concept I looked at examples of real video games. We discussed using video game footage in our film but this would cause a problem with copyright and we wouldn’t be able to use our own ‘game’ footage underneath which is important in moving the story forward.

There were also a number of templates online for computer game Heads up Displays (HUD) but these again would infringe copyright and also had copyrighted logos involved from real computer games.

I decided to use these HUD’s and the templates online to learn how to adapt them for our project.


I used photoshop to create static images such as the text backgrounds and targets, then animated them with text and motion effects in After Effects. I overlaid a grid effect, cartoon and a colour gradient to try and replicate the game colour and high contrast look.

chat screen 2 chat screen audio premier

To create the ‘screen chat’ graphic that is displayed on screen I created a screen from scratch again in After Effects and Photoshop. I used images such as Army men and satellites to emphasis the games violent genre and used motion toles to make slight movements to give a more professional feel and make it more interesting for the audience. I incorporated audio effects that hopefully will be used in the final version of the film that sound like a home screen of a video game. roto

For our gun scene we wanted something highly exaggerated to finally get the ‘Unreal’ message across to the audience. I used rotoscoping to cut enable me to place explosion visual behind the character and again included the HUD effect.

Last Minute Location Change to Wales

Two Weeks before we are due to shoot our short film and i’ve been getting increasingly anxious about the locations I have chosen. It has become clear that our access to the house is increasingly restricted and we are struggling to get time to visit with the crew to arrange lighting and camera plans.

During our tutorials we discussed the benefits of filming in Bristol which would be easier logistically but with what seems to be vague prop and set design plans and a lot of work to be done in set design I feel that although filming at my original location choice would mean having to factor in extra time to travel, we would benefit from having a most of the set dressing already completed which would in fact save time in the long run. There is also the benefit of being able to leave kit such as lighting set up and having unrestricted access for shooting and any re-shoot if required.

I have suggested that we keep our outdoor locations in Bristol as we already have the filming permit for them and it has proved difficult communicating with the council in Wales for a short notice permit.

Secured Location in Bristol

After some thought about the problem of filming in Wales I decided to try and secure a location in Bristol. I know a friend who rents a room and she was happy for us to film out indoor scenes their after consulting her room mates. I proposed the location to the group and we all agreed this would be beneficial logistically although we would have to film in restricted times (when the house was empty) and dress the rooms ourselves.

As with the initial location planning I looked at securing outdoor locations near by the main location to enable faster movement of crew and equipment when changing locations. I settled on a small shopping street and local park in the Horfield area of Bristol. This was walking distance from our main location.

As our location was a rented house I had to gain extra permission from the landlord and this proved difficult because he lived in Ireland and used a management company to rent the house out. After a few emails back and forth though I have secured permission and we can go ahead with Planning the shoot.

Location Manager Initial Research

The job of location manager is one that has always fascinated me and during this assignment I was keen to take on the role to research how to complete it to a professional standard rather than just treating it like a small part of the production as is usually the case.

Initial research on the Creative Skillset website suggests that the Location manager not only sources suitable locations for the film crew but must also manage the whole crew when on set; this is a much bigger role that I imagined and was keen to take it on.  I was keen to work out what exactly was involved and how I could best do my job so I researched a number of professional location managers and also some of the agencies that assist location managers in my local area.

Alex Giannopoulos – Breaking Bad

Alex Gianopoulos was one of the location management team on HBO’s successful drama ‘Breaking Bad’. I chose this show to research because for me one of the key things I enjoyed in this show was the cinematic locations used and the detail that seemed to have gone in to choosing exactly the right location to fit the narrative.

Over time I learned that to please Vince, I just have to find cool looking shit holes..

In a Blog Q&A, Gianopoulos described the tight deadlines that he faced between getting the script and shooting the scenes, He explained that often they could have less than 8 days of planning before shooting commenced. Having such short deadlines I think emphasises the need to have a good database of possible locations to hand and having a really good working relationship with a network of local planning agencies and landowners, as well as a great knowledge of the producer’s vision for the scene so that time isn’t wasted on unsuitable locations.

Four Corners Monument Breaking Bad

Interestingly Gianopoulos also provided some information about the logistics of filming on location, He highlighted a scene at the popular ‘Four Corners’ monument on the border of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The monument is normally very busy and Gianopoulos described how they combated this by filming wide scenes on location at dusk when it was quieter, using a standing actor and then the close-ups were filmed on a soundstage where they could re-create a small portion of the monument and use the actual actor for close-up shots.  Filming a scene in this way saves money on closing an attraction and hiring the more expensive actor for scenes where they are not necessarily needed. This highlights also the need for a location manager to be considerate of budget constraints during production.

Location Manager – Rob Story

CREW CALL  Location Manager Scout Rob Story   YouTube

If found Rob Story through my research on YouTube into Location mangers and the way he works and his motivation was really something that I could relate to.  Story explained that as a location manager his job was a professional liar which ties in with my experiences of location managing small projects of my own. To have to have the ability to negotiate with clients and property owners is key to doing a great job.

With regard to actually scouting, much like Gianopoulos there is an emphasis in knowing your own local ‘patch’ like the back of your hand and being able to call up an ideal location quickly. Story explained that a locatons are normally picked not just because of their visual appeal but how close they are to the Airport so satisfy budget and time constraints, in fact he says that this is one of the first questions he asks a producer during the initial negotiations.

Story says that he enjoys driving and this is something that has helped him get to know knew locations. I can definitely relate to this and can understand that having a sense of adventure and just driving around exploring new areas, even as a way of self-therapy will be a massive benefit when building a database of locations to call up when required in the role of location manager.

When carrying out my role I’d like to take inspiration from Story. I don’t want to be they type of location manager that hides things from clients; I think the key thing when building a contact network for me will be honesty. I think if you hide the fact that things will take longer and be messier than explained will just prevent you from using that location again for other projects or even if you have to return for re-shoots.