Friday, 7 May 2010

Looking back at your preliminary task (the continuity editing task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?

There are several techniques and skills that I have learnt and developed whilst making this feature; whether it occurs in the Edit, acting performance, and most importantly, the planning.My Preliminary, I felt, was satisfactory. There were errors with continuity, the 180 degree rule, locations and Charlies ability to keep a straight face in some parts maybe due to his inexperience in acting on film  . We filmed it over 2 days. Due to some  lack of preparation we had to film in 2 different rooms which meant on entry the door colour had changed. This we attempted to hide in the edit with the use of slow motion and large font titles also we zoomed right in on the door handle to take the viewers attention away from the colour change and instead to the hand moving towards the handle. In several of our shots, equipment such as tripods can be seen in the background and even sometimes the foreground. In my original Preliminary edit I added background noise of the corridors in order to improve the verisimilitude through making the footsteps louder and adding a noise of a door closing. We also ensured Charlie wore the same clothes two days running in an attempt to maintain continuity; luckily his mistake in changing his shoes was not visible in the edit. We did, however, ensure suitable lighting when filming which meant good visibility. We had created a rough story board to which we stuck to closely, however no shooting script meant that we were relying on our edit to pull everything together. Looking back on this we should have had a better picture of what we wanted the final piece to look like and this could have helped us to cover and collect a wider array of shots to helping theediting process. If it was possible, I would certainly have planned in far more detail, the shots we were planning to use, and created and idea of how this would look in the edit.

I believe that as a group we underestimated the importance of  planning, and the impact of our camera angles. For example the use of a low angle shot clearly contrasts between the fact of who has authority and power at the time. A tracking shot shows speed and tempo, all these techniques can produce the image of your character. This technique would have been effective in our piece as power is a regular theme within it. I think that the wide variety of camera angles we used was very unnecessary, and time consuming. It was essential that in the edit, however we had a wide selection of shots to choose though as I said before the more you have the better the edit can be.I felt that my edit was far more of an exploration of the techniques and devices available, it helped me learn about adobe premiere pro and learn tricks and skills that I eventually used  than a meaningful sequence. There were several moments within the feature that I was happy with however. Although I struggled with the footsteps, which constantly sounded asynchronous to the image of Charlie walking; I was able to put the sound of the door opening perfectly synchronous to the image, when I finally found the correct sound on ‘’.

When we began our real film, our enthusiasm gave us a confident idea as to how it was all going to plan out. Of course, we were wrong. We did plan a suitable time to film, making sure we were all free for the entire evening, leaving room for possible errors or re-filming. Our opening scene was set at night and so lighting was essential. We scheduled to film during a full moon, which meant for the best light possible. We also had several bright torches just in case. Our storyboards were detailed, as were our shooting script which we did stick to, though not completely so in our edit as we found a more suitable combination of shots. We had compiled a list of equipment and props to ensure that none of it was lost or missing. The camera had also been fully charged with spare batteries, in case of inevitable needs. During filming, we knew that sound and lighting were crucial micro elements. The little dialogue we had was recorded after filming, and then made synchronous to the image in the edit. We used torches, streetlights, and even car headlights to ensure a good visibility. Although the opening scene is still rather dark, I feel it adds to the mysteriousness of the situation. We filmed the indoor scenes at jack’s house. Changing the bed sheets and moving furniture to create the convincing mise en scene necessary for the film. We had planned our costumes, thinking about the image and impression we wished for our characters to give.

I felt that because of our far greater organisational skills, the filming went far smoother, and was far less stressful and time consuming.

We paid very close attention the continuity within our film. We constantly checked that our costumes were the same when reshooting from new angles, and also watched back over our footage to check again. Our main continuity problems occurred when filming n the high street. It was rather busy, and each shot would show a different car in the road. We also ensured that the positioning of our props was the same and even the way we held them. For example, when I take the gun out of the draw it was important to ensure it was held in the same hand, in the same way.

When we began our edit, we compiled a general collection of shots giving a very general view of how our film was going to plan out. From there we progressed to add effects, sound and better quality of lighting etc. Learning from last time, we felt it was important to create our range of shots first, creating a meaningful collection that we were proud of and understood; then fitting the non diagetic sound around it as the music was not the main focus. When choosing the music, we selected an original piece that we felt was fitting to our idea, and not the other way around. Unlike last time, I wanted the effects to be for a reason. We used dissolve to create a jump cut, it was taking the viewer on a journey but the shots flowed instead of being extremely sudden. Another effect we reused to a better effect was the changing of the speed. In the last film, i used slow motion when one man is walking down a corridor. I felt this dragged on, as it continued for around 1 minute. In the latest film we used slow motion when Jack is shot in the back of the head. This made the moment far more effective, as it contrasted to the obviously quick speed of a bullet.

I feel that my ideas were rather ambitious, within my storyline, and some of my camera angles could not be achieved without the professional equipment we don't have access to. Although I believe I have progressed very far with my filmmaking skills, I understand there is still a long way to go and there are also still many things I would choose to do differently in the future.