Practising Lighting in Studio

In preparation for my press-junket interview scene, I booked out the TV studio for an afternoon to try different lighting styles.

We set up a chair in the centre of the studio and then set up a camera, close-up, on the subjects face and set up 3 different lights.

We took down and set up the kit multiple times until each of us were confident with where each light should go and I was happy I did this exercise because I now feel like I can work as efficiently as possible and get set up for my shoot quicker with a professional look.

My other task I would like to conduct between now and shooting is watching several press junkets and taking notes on how the lights are used, in my sketchbook.

Other People's Projects, Production

Recording Sound on Jack’s Project

On Saturday the 19th, I was contacted by Jack to ask if I could come in last minute to record the sound for his film as the original crew member had just dropped out. I haven’t had a lot of experience working with the sound before so I was excited about the opportunity to improve on this area.

All of the filming took place in one interior location so it was a good environment for me to learn in. I was already familiar with what was required from the sound levels and the main problem I encountered was interference noise from the fridge which was right behind where we were filming. There wasn’t any movement in the scene and all of the dialogue was a conversation on one couch so it was easy to find a consistent level for the recording.

I’m glad I took on this challenge last minute because I now feel confident working with recording audio and it was another opportunity for me to see how people were approaching directing their final major projects.

Other People's Projects, Production, Uncategorized

Acting in Michael’s Film

I was asked to play a lead role in Michael’s film, ‘Freelance’. This involved filming across 3 days in different locations. The first day was filmed at various locations throughout Liverpool City Centre and we adopted a fairly guerrilla style as a crew so we tried to do a lot of our takes as quickly as possible due to the public disturbance. The other two days were filmed at Michael’s house and my apartment so we had a lot more control over the environment and this made for a much more relaxed set.

Working on this project was very different to working on Peters, predominantly because this was a fictional piece and it requires much more meticulous set ups. Out of the two experiences, this was more beneficial to me in terms of my project because it is more similar to what I want to create. As well as acting, I also helped out with set ups and props as these were two aspects of the production that I felt I could contribute towards.

Other People's Projects, Production

Filming on Peter’s Documentary

On Sunday the 13th, I acted as cinematographer on Peter’s coffee documentary. It involved travelling to West Kirby and interviewing coffee roasters who worked independently in a storage unit.

Working with a tripod in such a tight space was a challenge but we had two different cameras and we decided to use one as a permanent set up to capture the roasting process and then used the other camera to capture handheld footage and cutaway shots.

When reviewing the footage, we were happy with the amount of coverage we obtained and it was a great lesson for me because I now know that when I am filming, I need as much footage as possible to make the edit easier.

Pre-Production, Uncategorized

Locations Update

After visiting FACT to speak to the manager of The Garden cafe, they asked me to email what I would require to them, which I did immediately. They seemed supportive of the project but time is running out and I haven’t heard back from them yet so I am going to contact more coffee shops and look for an alternative location in case this one falls through.

When looking at the closing times of cafes, many of them tend to close early on Sundays and since the sunlight lasts until much later at this time of year, I would like to use the hours from around 4pm-9pm to film. I am confident that if I did this over two days, I would be able to get all the footage I needed.

The other shots could be done in one day with the studio in the college being used as the press-junket setting.

Pre-Production, Uncategorized

FMP Update 30/4/18

At the start of this week, I realise that I need to work on a few areas as filming is coming up very soon.

Most importantly, I need to sort my location which I have been working on and on Wednesday I have a meeting with the manager of a coffee shop that I am quite confident I will be able to use.It is also very important that I now find my actor because working out the dates is vital to get done as soon as possible.

This week I would also like to go through my script with my tutors as well as finalising my storyboard and risk assessment to get closer to a more organised production.

Pre-Production, Uncategorized

Update and Plan for Today – 27/04/18

I have now completed my script and have started to look seriously at locations. After walking around several local coffee shops in the Liverpool City Centre area, I have managed to get in touch with managers of a few shops and am hopeful that one of them will come into fruition.

Today I also plan to complete my risk assessment and storyboard so I have a clearer image of what I am trying to create to share with my cast and crew.

Pre-Production, Uncategorized

Post-Pitch Changes

After my pitch, I realised that I had a lot of work to do.

The biggest problem, I hadn’t considered was the run time of my final short. After going through a draft of the plot points, I learnt that it wouldn’t be more than 2 or 3 minutes long. For a few days, I panicked and considered changing my idea but after a discussion with my tutor, I realised that I could extend on my initial idea and add more before or after the current scene I had planned.

I have now added a new part before my original scene that I feel only adds to the film and will help make the surreal aspect clearer for the audience. Over the next few days, I plan on completing my script and finalising actors and locations so I will be ready for production as soon as possible.

Pre-Production, Research

How to approach Surrealism

When coming up with my idea, and discussing it with others, many people perceived it as a dark comedy. This worried me because I didn’t want people to watch the final film and say “That wasn’t funny”. I began to investigate how to approach making a surreal film and looked at my favourite filmmakers who work in this kind of style.

The Coen Brothers are my main influence when making this film because their films find a great balance between keeping the audience invested and surrealism. In their more quirky films, like Raising Arizona they will use sets, music and voice over to establish a the tone. I have learnt that it is important to establish the vibe for the audience as early as possible so I will definitely look for a way to show who, and what, my character is, in relation to the world around him.

The idea of having a horror villain in broad daylight, in an ordinary environment, surrounded by regular members of the public will be visually distorting and should already affect the audience. On the walk to the news agents, my character is going to walk past a large, vandalised poster of his new film as this will show the contrast between his glorified presence in the film world and his depressing existence in the real world that we are seeing him in.


Short Film Progress 18/04/18

As of right now, my biggest problem is the need for a very specific actor and location.

To add to the authenticity of the film, I need a more mature actor who looks like they could’ve been run down by a monotonous film franchise that has spanned across at least a decade. In order to find the biggest range of actors I could, I visited John Moore’s Drama Centre and LIPA hoping for some success.

At LIPA, I was given an email address to contact regarding casting calls and I was assured that if I email, they will be able to advertise the short film on the bulletin board. So my next step will be to send a detailed and thorough casting call as soon as possible.

I also began my search for locations because I am not under-estimating how hard it will be to find a shop to film in. Unfortunately, I have no links to anyone who works in shops so I will ask around among friends and head into several news agents to see if I can get permission to use one of them.

A lot of shops close early on Sunday so I am looking to use that and possibly make my production run across a few Sunday nights.