Saturday, 29 January 2011

Closing Post:

Since starting my AS Media course, I have learnt brand new techniques, ranging from camera angles, camera shots, lighting and so much more. I have enjoyed every second of it and I have worked extremely hard to make sure that I cover and analyse every section of my work.

I hope that you enjoy browsing through my induction blog as much as I have had creating it.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Accident Evaluation and Video:

The Accident Evaluation:
Presented above, is our final version of our short movie called ‘The Accident.’ Our original task was to learn the names of the different camera techniques and to work out which one’s fit suitably with the scenes we were about to film. This was probably the first time for any of us where we were given the opportunity to act, direct and edit our own original film. We were ecstatic to start this project, so we jumped straight into the task feet first and began shooting our film. Our first attempt to edit our film did not go as well as we would have hoped to, for the reason that as being new to the media facilities we weren’t sure what effects and techniques to use which would result in our movie looking far more professional and realistic. Due to our poor editing skills, the movie looked unrehearsed and messy; as each individual scene did not show any sign of continuity. Each section jumped scenes and was completely out of sync with each other.

Thankfully, our class teacher gave us the opportunity to edit our film for the second time, by doing so we were able to change the timings of the scenes so that each segment flowed gracefully alongside one another. This highlighted the use of continuity and it demonstrated that no time had passed during each scene. We were also able to add transitions and effects to our film, so we decided to go for a black fading backdrop which zoomed onto the screen at the beginning of the film and it gradually faded away towards the end of the film. One might say that by using this particular effect this has resulted in the film looking dramatic, possibly eerie and suspenseful.

Additionally, I believe that by being given a second chance to make changes to our film, we were able to use some of the transitions and camera techniques which we had learnt in class in the weeks before, and add this to the final version of our film. Thereby, our movie gave the impression of being professional and each scene began to run smoothly alongside one another demonstrating the use of continuity.

Continuity Evaluation and Video:

Continuity Exercise and Evaluation:
In class we were asked to produce a short film sequence demonstrating the use of continuity and how it allows scenes to flow gracefully alongside one another. Whilst filming our short film sequence we were asked to include a short segment of dialogue and display how to open and walk through door ways in numerous shots/takes. After watching back our first attempt of our continuity video, we realised that it did not flow as well as we would have liked, as some of the scenes kept jumping alongside each other. However, after much hard work in the media pod we managed to adjust a few scenes and edit sections of the dialogue so that the continuity film ran more smoothly. Thankfully, we managed to produce a well equipped film sequence.

1) What do you think was the point of the activity?
One might say that the aim of this activity was to understand the use of continuity and how it is used in today’s media industry and how this technique is used numerous times in films, TV and so on. We were asked to practice on our filming and editing abilities so that we could produce an effective continuity film sequence. In our movie, we were asked to capture one of the two characters opening a door and walking through it into the next room. We had to consider which camera shots/techniques that we were going to use and which shots would enable us to create a clean continuity sequence. Additionally, we had to think about the location where we wanted to film our scene and where about we could attract enough lighting.

2) In regard to your finished sequence what worked well?
It may be said that our continuity sequence came together successfully for the reason that each scene flowed continuously alongside each other gracefully without any hiccups or problems. The camera shots were extremely clean/neat as it followed from one scene to the next. For example, when our actor opened the door and walked through it, we were able to capture a fluent shot which demonstrated the use of continuity. We filmed the shot as a long shot, and the camera tracked the character as she walked down the corridor. When we filmed the scene where both characters were having a conversation, we included a variety of camera shots such as a face to face shot, a reaction shot, an over the shoulder shot and a close up/point of view shot (POV). Apart from some disruptions and background noise when filming, I believe that our finished sequence came together successfully as we took our time and effort to produce a well equipped continuity film sequence.

3) What would you aim to improve about your sequence? What continuity mistakes did you make?
If I was given the opportunity to re-film our continuity sequence, I would definitely want to edit the last scene of our film, for the reason that in the last few seconds of the scene the camera seems to jump as it tracks the characters movements. Unfortunately, this creates an unprofessional, unclean camera shot. Additionally, when filming each segment of the film I would make sure that the camera keeps rolling for a few more minutes before ‘cutting’ the scene. This allows us, the directors/editors to add more chunks of the scene into different areas of the film if we are in desperate need of a couple more minutes of footage.

4) What did you learn from this activity?
This activity, allowed me to have a greater understanding of how important continuity is and how it allows scenes to flow more elegantly alongside one another. Furthermore, I was given the opportunity to learn how to edit the scenes which we had filmed on a software called ‘Final Cut Express.’ Additionally, I learnt how to use different camera shots and which ones worked best when filming certain scenes, for example when we filmed the scene where both characters were deep in conversation we often used a ‘reaction shot’ as this would illustrate the expression on the character’s face. What’s more, is that the activity taught me that when you’re filming a character walking or running, the camera should always be tracking the actor/actress so that you do not lose the character in your shot, this also highlights the use of continuity as the character moves from one scene to the next as if no time has passed during the film.

5)  Compared to ‘The Accident,’ how would you rate your pre-production, production and post production this time around? Justify/Explain.
Compared to ‘The Accident,’ our continuity sequence was extremely successful and impressive for the reason that our sequence flowed gracefully alongside one another and demonstrated the use of continuity, whilst ‘The Accident’ lacked continuity and jumped between each scene making our film look unprofessional and amateurish. Our pre-production for our continuity sequence was well thought out, as we planned what camera shots we were going to use, in which order we were going to film our camera shots and lastly, how we were going to link our shots together to produce a successful film sequence. The production of our continuity sequence flowed efficiently as it took us no time at all to film each scene of our movie, as we already knew what type of camera shots we wanted to use. Post-production, was exceedingly easy for us as we only had to edit and shape up a couple of seconds at the beginning and ending of each scene so that the continuity flowed alongside each scene of the film sequence gracefully. Realistically, the pre-production, production and post-production of our movie successfully enhanced the continuity in our film.

Continuity Exercise and Evaluation

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Evaluating our photograph representing our film genre:

2a) Describe your shot and identify in what way it could be described as representing your chosen film genre:
The film which our group produced was called 'The Accident,' we explained how our film represented our chosen film genre, drama. The camera shot we took of this particular photo resembles a 'Crane down, Look up' however it also bears a resemblance to a 'Meduim, Close Up.' The photo contains two teenagers, one male and one female looking down at something or someone in disbelief and in shock! Whilst one of the females hand is placed gently onto her chest, the other is seen gripping onto the staircase in fright. This illustrates that she is in a state of shock as her body language looks shifty. On the other hand, the male teenager looks horror stricken and looks as if he is paralyzed, perhaps this has something to do with the image that is in full view of them. It is clear to the audience that someone else is a part of the scene, due to the absurd reactions on the actors face and the fact that they are both looking down on something. The shot of our photo resembles a 'window' through which the audience are able to look into the world which we have created. Since the audience are unable to identify the third member in the photograph, this draws the viewers in as they want to understand what has happened in the scene and why the actors are looking on in shock. In addition, this adds mystery and uncertainty, perfect when filming a movie to fit into the genre of 'drama.'

b) What did you actually do to achieve the effect?
To create a bright effect, the only source of light which was available to us was two small wall lights, gleaming directly onto the front and back of the actor’s bodies. We used the camera’s manual settings to shoot the photo, steadying the camera until the light beam hit the correct spot to create extra brightness and to make sure that the background was visible to display the mise-en-scene so that it did not cast a shadow on the actor’s expressions or body language. The director found it hard to capture a shocked expression on the actor’s faces as minutes before hand we had been laughing with one another, but we finally managed to pull ourselves together and get back into character which the director used to his advantage and using a fast shutter speed, he took the photograph. I had been deliberately asked to place one of my hands onto my chest in order to show me looking down at the ground in disbelief/horror stricken. We chose to do a ‘Crane Down, Look Up’ photograph for the reason that it looked more realistic and to allow the audience to remember that there is a third person in the scene.

c) Identify what is successful about your shot?
One might say that the shot we created was successful because it outlines the film genre clearly. The lightning is distinctive and the actor’s expression undoubtedly suggests shock and disbelief. Without a doubt, each of these sections which made up the final snapshot worked well together to display the typical, classic conventions of what makes up a ‘drama.’

d) What would you do differently in hindsight?
If I were to re-shoot this photograph, I would definitely, without a doubt make sure that the characters expression looked a lot more realistic rather than looking staged. In my honest opinion, I believe that an actors expression gives a way a lot of what the character is thinking and seeing, if the expression looks staged it might be hard for the viewers to understand and empathise with the character. Whilst this is a minor alteration, I think that with just one adjustment the photograph will look far more realistic and proffessional.

'The Accident' - Our Video By Yasmin, Khushel, Harshiv and Ashwin

Self Assessment of 'The Accident'

1a) How successful is the editing of framing/composition of the shots? Refer to specific shots and justify/deconstruct.
After going through the hard work of filming, editing and framing our movie ‘The Accident,’ was produced successfully. It took both me and our group to come to grips with the use of different camera techniques which are used in today’s media industry when editing a film. However, after a few practice shots and a quick go at learning how to use ‘Final Cut Express’ we were on our way to creating a successful film. Before filming our movie, we discussed what camera shots we were going to apply to
our film and how it would benefit and make our film clip look realistic to the audience. The square which encloses every frame/shot of our film became similar to a ‘window’ through which the audience/viewer is able to look into the world which we had created ourselves. Throughout the duration of my film ‘The Accident,’ I wanted the audience to want this to be their reality. However, the one thing we were continually reminded of when shooting our film was that even with the ‘window,’ it unfortunately does not provide the audience with the ability to look around and take in the surroundings and information that we give them; sadly the audience are limited to only the knowledge we provide them through visual imagery.

b) How successful is the editing? Refer to specific examples of cuts and explain how successfully (or not) the audience has been positioned.
I believe that the editing of our film was created successfully, for the reason that we spent a lot of time and effort considering the finest and most professional, realistic way to cut and edit our camera shots in a bid to create a well equipped film. When editing and trimming our shots on ‘Final Cut Express,’ we paid attention to detail and made sure that the shots flowed elegantly beside one another, rather than jumping from different scenes as this would make the film look messy and untidy. The shots that we paid most attention to were the ones which consisted of dialogue in view of the fact that each shot had to be edited extremely well because if even a second of the shot was slightly out of place, this would ruin the rest of the movie making us, the directors look like amateurs.

c) How efficient was the shoot?
When we started filming our movie, we were extremely excited to start as this was probably the first time for any of us where we were given the opportunity to act and direct in our own original film. We jumped straight into the task feet first and began shooting our film. For the majority of the filming we managed to stay in character and film well equipped professional scenes for our movie. However, there were times when we experienced a few hiccups and began to either laugh, trip of get disturbed by the school bell ringing halfway through a scene, but despite all of this we still managed to have fun and produced a great movie.

d) In hindsight, what would you do differently at any of the stages?
If I was given the opportunity to do something differently, I would want to re-create sections of our movie preferably filming in a different environment or setting because when we originally filmed sections of our film, we were often disturbed by other students or teachers passing by. Unfortunately, this disrupted our scenes as segments of it picked up background noise or foot steps from other people. Therefore, if we were given the chance to re-create some of the scenes from our movie we would be able to film in a quieter environment, making the film look more professional and realistic.