Friday, 8 January 2010

Preliminary Exercise Evaluation.!v=WrvslqF4GzQ

The very first stage of our preliminary exercise was to come with an idea and a script that followed the brief that we were given. The brief was that we had to have someone walk through a door and across a room before sitting down and having a short dialogue with one other person. Bearing this in mind we made our script complete with stage directions and dialogue.
CHARLIE is walking down the corridor holding a bag. He opens a door and goes into a room where GEORGE is sitting facing the door. GEORGE is anxious. CHARLIE puts the bag on a table and sits opposite the man.
Is that it?
Its all there.
What about the girl?
Its all there.
After a long pause CHARLIE stands and leaves the room, GEORGE is left staring at the bag.

Our script was fairly basic and once the dialogue had been learned the script was not really needed as the stage directions were also fairly basic. We also constructed a storyboard which was very useful and was used between and during every scene to try and check that everything was going to work correctly. It held information such as camera movements and angles along with pictures of what the scena should ideally look like. It also helped us to keep track of the shots that we still needed to shoot which reduced the need to use the play feature on the camera and in turn reduced the risk of recording over shots or leaving big gaps on the tape by breaking the time code.

The first of our problems came when we started the actual filming process. For a start we had to chose where to film in school and as we needed a long corridor upstairs in the main block seemed a good place. Though as on the first day of filming we only had time to shoot the opening scenes where charlie was walking along the corridor with the bag we forgot the door we shot him walking towards may not be an option to use when we came to film the second time round.  As it turned out we were right and had to change the door we used from a red one to a blue one and were worried about the continuity being lost as this sounds like a drastic change. Though it is not too apparent that the red one was infact the door he was walking toward and as you can't see the wall in the close up of the handle shot we got away with using a different door in a different corridor.

Some rules we had to always keep in mind were ones such as the 180 degree rule in which the two actors in dialogue must stay on the side that they are first introduced unless the camera is shown to move across the line and therefore reestablish the line of 180 degrees. As the classroom we used was relatively small and the brief had asked us to have charlie walk across the room we chose to make the dialogue take place in the corner of the room so we had no chance of breaking the 180 degree rule. This in turn also helped to include our shot reverse shot which was also asked for in the brief.

As we moved throught he filming process we realised that we had not used the audio microphone to catch the dialogue more clearly this led to us having to be careful when it came to editing the piece together as I had to either use all the clips of film from where we didn't use the microphone or use all the bits of when we did otherwise the sound would have drastically changed in volume between lines which would have sounded wrong.

Another aspect of sound that really didnt work when I had finished editing my piece was the footsteps of Charlie walking down the hallway. I had found sounds of footsteps on and changed the speed and volume of them using the effect controls though I think I rushed it and when I looked at my finished piece the footstep sound was out of time with the actual movement of Charlies feet. This obviously doesn't help the verisimiltud eof the piece nor does it help with the match on action aspect of our piece. Looking back on it I would have just recorded Charlies actual footsteps using a microphone and this should have matched if he walked in the same strides in the clip.

The editing part of the process was the hardest by far in my opinion though I also learnt alot of tricks on how to use the programme. Generally when shooting it, so long as the acting and dialogue was learnt and done well, the scenes were shot quite quickly. It was only due to the discussions that me Charlie and George had about whether to stick to our storyboard or to change something and the time consumed by setting up the cameras and checking the angles that took the time and meant that it took us around four lessons to get all the footage from all the angles that we wanted to allow us as much footage as possible to come up with a good edit. Towards the end it was evident in the final piece that we had started to rush the setting up aspect as things such as the tripod and our script were visible in the shot. This was at the end of the day a preliminary exercise and was there to learn from and I think as a group we did learn a lot all the way from preperation strategies to editing and what little tricks and effects are available on premierpro. 

During the shooting process one aspest that not only our group learnt about from making mistakes at is not to rewind and watch every piece of film after filming as you are always running the risk of losing the time code and in turn leaving big gaps on your tape. Now this wasn't too bigger problem in this exercise though when it comes to filming our opening scene of our film it could be. If we lost too much tape then we might not have enough space to record all the footage needed. It can also make editing slot more time consuming as it can be very difficult to find some of the footage and in this exercise we actuall lost some pieces through doing this.

All in all this was a good exercise to do to learn alot about the process of making even a 2 minute short clip. Me George and Charlie have talked about things we would and wouldn't do if we had the chance and because of this I think we will be alot more educated when it comes to shooting and editing our film opening.