Uncategorized

FMP – Final Evaluation

When initially presented with the Final Major Project, my immediate intention
was to make a documentary because that is what I have enjoyed doing most over
the course of the year.
After planning out a loose idea for my film, I tried to contact my subject who I
was very confident would work on the film. Unfortunately we couldn’t come to
an agreement so I had to abort my project and look for a new idea. This was
terrifying because I really had put all my eggs in one basket and I learnt that in
future, I really shouldn’t invest too much into one idea when I don’t have any
guarantee with it. If I pursue something ambitious, I should make sure that I have
an alternative idea that could be used as a spontaneous replacement.
After coming up with my new idea, a short film, I started looking at research that
I felt would be truly helpful to my project. This consisted mainly of studying
obscure film characters and looking at surrealism in filmmaking. My idea was
based on a character that I had in my head for a long time so I was excited about
taking this small concept and blowing it up into a visual presentation.
In hindsight, adapting an old idea didn’t really work out how I would have liked. I
mainly put this down to the fact that I get bored of ideas and concepts very
quickly so from the off set, it didn’t feel like a fresh, original idea.
After researching characters and screenplays, I decided to write my script and as
I already had quite a vivid idea of the plot, I found this process relatively easy
and the research helped me to get into the heads of my characters much more.
When it came to pre-production, I wish I had taken more time to create a
detailed plan for all my filming because I have since learnt that it is so much
better to work on an organized set. There are times when I wish I had a plan in
front of me because then that would also give me the ability to use creative leigh
way to try out new ideas. Before this project, I felt that I could show up on set
and improvise but I believe that if that is the style I want to adopt, I at least need
a bit of preparation in case a problem arose.
I felt quite comfortable working as a director and I liked getting the opinions and
ideas of everyone on set because I feel like sometimes I was looking at an idea
too subjectively and an objective perspective can really open up your eyes when
panicking or stuck. I was comfortable around all my crew-members and I also
felt confident with all the equipment. Working with other students making films
was incredible helpful to me because we would learn from each others mistakes
and there were several occasions when people made me aware of a problem that
I was making that they had made to a worse degree.
The post-production process was much more intense than I expected. I thought
that I would assemble quite a rudimentary edit because none of the projects
ambitious elements required after effects or graphics. I learnt quite instantly that
this would take longer than anticipated because I had lots of problems with the
focus of shots and audio. These are mistakes that I should’ve been aware of on
set but because I missed them, they have came back to be problematic in the edit.
I felt like I managed my editing time better than any other aspect of the project
because I was efficient and objective every time I was with my footage. Without
sounding negative, I wasn’t too happy with a lot of my shots but this actually
made it easier for me when editing because I didn’t really have an unbreakable
attachment to any of my footage. If they weren’t good enough, I’d cut them out
without any hesitation. I’m quite comfortable when working with audio in

Premiere Pro and this came in useful because a lot of my problems lay with the
audio.
Now at the end of the project, I truly feel like I have improved my abilities in all
aspects of filmmaking. Going forward, the area that is most crucial for me to
concentrate on is the pre production work because I really feel like not having a
thorough foundation allowed for several aspects of the project to constantly
change and fall through at unexpected times.

Post-Production, Uncategorized

Adding Graphics to Edit

When adding the opening titles to my film, I decided to have it display on the wall in the background of one my shots. This made quite a boring shot more interesting so it was helpful from that perspective but it also looked light quite a nice design because I picked the font to be the colour of the dressing gown and it rolls off it nicer.

Applying the effect was much easier than I had anticipated using the ‘mask’ tool and it only took a few minor adjustments on a few frames to make it look completely seamless. I maintained the same font for the end credits because I felt that helped create another link between the beginning and the end of the film.

Research, Uncategorized

Radio Presenting

When looking at how my radio DJ’s would host the show, I decided to listen to a few different radio shows to check for any cadence or chemistry that I wanted to incorporate.

A show that was very useful was the ‘Kermode and Mayo Film Show’ on BBC Radio. I liked listening to this because it was a film programme but the chemistry between the two presenters made for an entertaining show. Simon Mayo acts as the dummy who knows nothing about the films being discussed and he will sit back and ask Mark Kermode questions to get the most out of their debates and reviews.

A lot of radio shows will use social media for fan interaction and some shows are now even broadcast through the internet with live feedback from the fans. I will consider this and see if it is possible to include the audience from the radio show to further add to the misery of Walter the protagonist.

Research, Uncategorized

Shot-Reverse-Shot

When studying camera techniques for how to film my conversation scenes, I came across the shot-reverse-shot method, which is incredibly common but can have some alterations that make it more visually interesting.

After watching several scenes from films with conversations, I was always curious regarding the camera placement during conversations. Some have a classic over the shoulder style, which creates a nice, free flowing effect and allows the audience to follow the conversation smoothly. Some are filmed in a two shot which will focus more on the body language and positioning of the characters. These shots will probably be visually more important because they will be telling another story aside from just the dialogue.

I think for my scenes, I will adopt a traditional set-up at a mid-range to allow the body language of the characters to tell another story. Both characters in my cafe scene can be described through body language so I will make sure that the shots show enough of the characters.

Post-Production, Uncategorized

Bibliography

Films/TV Shows

No Country for Old Men, 2007, directed by the Coen Brothers, Scott Rudin Productions [DVD]

Barton Fink, 1991, directed by the Coen Brothers, Working Title Films [DVD]

Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984, directed by Wes Craven, New Line Cinema [DVD]

Nightmare on Elm Street 3, 1987, directed by Chuck Russell, New Line Cinema [DVD]

Friday the 13th Part 5, 1985, directed by Danny Steinmann, Paramount Pictures [DVD]

Fargo, 1996, directed by the Coen Brothers, Working Title Films [DVD]

The Wrestler, 2008, directed by Darren Aronofsky, Fox Searchlight Pictures [DVD]

Scream, 1996, directed by Wes Craven, Dimension Films, [DVD]

IT, 1990, directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, Warner Bros Television [DVD]

Yoga Hosers, 2016, directed by Kevin Smith, Invincible Pictures [DVD]

Creature from the Black Lagoon, 1954, directed by Jack Arnold, Universal Pictures [DVD]

Sleepaway Camp, 1983, directed by Robert Hiltzik, United Film Distribution Company [DVD]

Trigger Happy TV, 2000-2003, directed by Dom Joly, Absolutely Productions [TV]

Clerks, 1994, directed by Kevin Smith, Miramax Films [DVD]

Chasing Amy, 1997, directed by Kevin Smith, Miramax Films [DVD]

Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland, 1989, directed by Michael A. Simpson, Anchor Bay Entertainment [VHS]

It Follows, 2014, directed by David Robert Michell, RADiUS-TWC [DVD]

American Beauty, 1999, directed by Sam Mendes, DreamWorks Pictures [DVD]

Good Will Hunting, 1997, directed by Gus Van Sant, Miramax Films [DVD]

Taxi Driver, 1976, directed by Martin Scorsese, Columbia Pictures [DVD]

Knock Knock, 2015, directed by Eli Roth, Lionsgate Premiere [DVD]

The Green Inferno, 2013, directed by Eli Roth, Universal Pictures [DVD]

Halloween, 1978, directed by John Carpenter, Compass International Pictures [DVD]

The Shining, 1980, directed by Stanley Kubrick, Warner Bros [DVD]

Misery, 1990, directed by Rob Reiner, Columbia Pictures [DVD]

Gates of Heaven, 1978, directed by Errol Morris, New Yorker Films [DVD]

 

Books/Screenplays

Lee, S, 2013, Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus Volume 1, 1st Edn, MARVEL – US, United States

Field, S, 2005, Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting: A Step-by-Step Guide from Concept to finished Script, Revised ed, Delta, United States

Snyder, B, 2005, Save the Cat!: The Only Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need, 1st Edn, Michael Wiese Productions, United States

McCarthy, C, 2005, No Country for Old Men, Reprints Edn, Picardor, United States

Lumet. S, 1996, Making Movies, New Ed Edn, United States

  1. Mascelli, J, 1998, Five C’s of Cinematography: Motion Pictures Filming Techniques, 1st Silman-James Press Ed Edn, Silman-James Press, United States

Katz, S, 1991, Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (Michael Wiese Productions), United States

McCloud, S, 2001, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, 1st HarperPerennial Ed Edn, William Morrow Paperbacks, United States

Keaton, B, 1982, My Wonderful World of Slapstick, Da Capo Press, Unknown Edn, United States

Ronson, J, 2015, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Main Market Edition, Picador, United States

 

Articles

No Film School. (2018). 24 Life Lessons for Filmmakers from Werner Herzog. [online] Available at: https://nofilmschool.com/2015/01/24-life-lessons-filmmakers-werner-herzog [Accessed 15 Jun. 2018].

No Film School. (2018). This Video Might Be the Most In-Depth Exploration Into the Making of Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’. [online] Available at: https://nofilmschool.com/2014/05/staircases-nowhere-making-stanley-kubrick-shining-howard-berry [Accessed 15 Jun. 2018].

Ebert, R. (2018). Interview with Martin Scorsese | Interviews | Roger Ebert. [online] Rogerebert.com. Available at: https://www.rogerebert.com/interviews/interview-with-martin-scorsese [Accessed 15 Jun. 2018].

Grove, E. and Grove, E. (2018). zero budget filmmaking tips from Raindance Film Festival. [online] Raindance. Available at: https://www.raindance.org/10-zero-budget-filmmaking-tips/ [Accessed 15 Jun. 2018].

Sundance.org. (2018). ’18 Sundance Film Festival – Short Films Programs. [online] Available at: https://www.sundance.org/festivals/sundance-film-festival/program/SHP-guide#/ [Accessed 15 Jun. 2018].

Sandhu, S. (2018). Errol Morris: creating reality. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2011/oct/28/errol-morris-tabloid-joyce-mckinney [Accessed 15 Jun. 2018].

 

Post-Production

Editing ADR

After reviewing my footage, it became extremely apparent that I was going to need to do some ADR work, specifically with the opening exchange in the coffee shop. A lot of background noise like people talking and doors slamming can be heard so I really wanted to eliminate these.

I booked an editing suite and sat my actors in there with a sound kit at a time they were available and we went through the lines. We realised that looping clips would help the actors find the rhythm so they could just say the line with the flow. A great perk of the looping is that if the actor messes up the line, they could instantly retake the line in seconds.

I found this process extremely enjoyable because it was refreshing to be with the cast in a comfortable and controlled environment and not really feel the pressure of time when trying to work.

Production, Uncategorized

Production Day Two

Unfortunately, the second day of filming didn’t go as well as the first. We were scheduled to meet and begin filming at 9:30am however we couldn’t find a crew member who could begin filming at this time. On short notice, we found someone who could start filming at 11:30am so already we had lost 2 hours of filming time which I found very alarming.

One of our actors was then delayed so we didn’t actually begin filming until 1pm. Thankfully my crew was extremely co-operative so we were able to film most of what we needed in this time. In the rush, I did forget to film some pivotal shots so it is going to be a challenge now to see how I can recover from these missing shots.

I did catch a bit of luck when filming because we had a spare camera and tripod so this allowed us to have two set ups for dialogue scenes and saved a lot of the time that we had lost earlier in the day.

To make sure I don’t have another day like this again, I’m going to assure that I have enough crew members and have people ready as potential back ups if anyone drops out.

Post-Production, Uncategorized

Editing – 1st Rough Cut Feedback

After assembling an extremely rough cut of my film, I called my tutor for advice on what I should look to improve when tightening it. In all honesty, I really wasn’t happy with my film and I had lost passion for the project so at this time I felt in a really bad place.

After watching it through once, we both agreed that it felt slow and like it was lacking something. We discussed various different ways we could improve this, tightening cut times, adding more angles, using more coverage, but in the end we decided to experiment and switch the order of the film.

The opening studio scene would now act as the end and the scene in the canteen would open the film. I made an edit as quickly as I could with this new order and just watching it through the first time, it made a lot more sense already.

Everything fell into place perfectly and it really surprised me that I hadn’t seen the structural enhancement that this decision would have earlier. The end line “Yeah, you’re done” now takes on a new meaning and adds a final theme and closure to the film that I desperately needed.

My plan now is to tighten what I have and then record the necessary audio and ADR before compiling my final edit.

Post-Production, Uncategorized

Editing – Sharpening Shots

When looking at my FMP footage, I noticed that I hadn’t checked the focus on one of my most important shots. This was an amateur mistake and I was really disappointed in myself considering the fact I had remembered to do it for most, if not all, of the other shots. I was looking for a solution to this problem, as a re-shoot wasn’t really a plausible option at this point.

When looking through various tricks and correction techniques on Premiere Pro, I played with a few different adjustments and found that ‘Sharpen’ really separated the background from the foreground and made the shot look presentable.

This is a technique that I would not like to rely on but I am glad I discovered it because it saved one of my most important shots and in future, I will make sure that these shots are in focus.

Production, Uncategorized

Production Day One

On the first day of filming, we had the editing suite booked from 9:30am until 1pm and I only had 7 different camera set-ups in this short sequence so I was confident that all the shots could be obtained in this time.

We had a slight problem right at the start of the day because the entire class was called together for a quick briefing so this affected my start time. The tutors understood the dilemma and let us go quite early so we went to collect the equipment. There was a slight delay in the collection so this delayed us further.

It wasn’t until about 10:30 that we finally got the equipment assembled in the studio. I was quite anxious at this time because this was a substantial amount of my booking time gone. I explained this to my crew who were extremely understanding and collaborative and the actors also understood, so we got to work with great efficiency.

We set up all the lights and I got the opinions of plenty of people on set who were interested in the visuals. The studio lights were very helpful because we could manoeuvre them to suit our needs and considering this is meant to be set-up like a studio interview, it was easy to get the look I was going for.

Overall, the filming process went as smoothly as I could have realistically hoped. I mainly put this down to the shot-list I created and the vivid visual idea that I had in my head. The organisation with room for creative improvisation was incredibly refreshing and I really learned to appreciate the usefulness of having details down in front of you as you work.