Filming Day #2

We just refilmed our film opening with the new script and the new actor, Blake. We arrived at about 9:45am and set to work filming. It was very sunny and  the filming conditions were really good.

However, since it was so sunny, there were a lot of dog walkers and this meant we had to wait for them to get out of the frame which delayed our filming process. The first shot we did was the through the wall dolly shot. It took us about half an hour to set everything up and we did about twenty takes of this shot which ensured that we got the best possible result.

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After we finished the dolly shot, we moved onto the steadicam shots of Blake walking. We wanted to get the most complicated shots done first and then we moved onto the still, tripod shots. After we finished all of this, the establishing shots were filmed.

We then watched the footage back and we weren’t happy with a few shots. We needed to re film the scene where Adam’s character comes into the footage. We went back to the location and filmed this footage and that was our filming done.

A Filming Update

After looking back on the footage we filmed, we were not very pleased with it. Because of this, we have decided to re film this weekend.

The person who was acting in the footage we just filmed was my Dad but due work, he cannot re film this weekend. Therefore, we have changed the actor to a friend of ours – a teenage boy. We obviously do not want the character in our current story (a middle aged man) to be played by a young boy; it would just look very unrealistic and unprofessional. To deal with this matter, we have decided to change the storyline and plot to fit the requirements of a teenage boy.

In terms of the genre and the actual mood we want to convey throughout our film, that hasn’t changed. We still want to create an opening to a thriller film; hopefully fulfilling all of the requirements a thriller film has.

Instead of editing footage we are not particularly pleased with, we have decided to re film this weekend. This time though, using a different actor with a storyline which has been altered slightly to fit the actor in our film opening.

Filming Day

Today we went and filmed our film opening at Old Bolingbroke Castle. We had my Dad starring in the film opening and Adam helping with the equipment. In terms of roles, I took control of the boom pole and the sound and Adam took control of the camera equipment.

The first thing we did was set up the equipment. This didn’t take too long however, due to the weather conditions it did take longer than expected. It did rain every now again and we were worried that this was going to affect the footage. We carried on though.

Another difficult task we had was to have the dolly move perfectly straight. The dolly wheels kept falling off of the track when it went over a certain bump so we spent quite a long time adjusting that. To overcome this, I bough planks of wood in case of something like this happened so they did come in handy.

Looking back on the final footage we were not happy: the sound was incredibly difficult to understand due to the wind and there were a lot of inconsistencies within the film footage. We will try again another day.

The Remake of the ‘Lucky You’ Poker Scene

Since our ‘Reservoir Dogs’ opening tasks wasn’t the best it could be, we had another task to do. This time we had to recreate the poker scene from ‘Lucky You’ – a 2007 drama film directed by Curtis Hanson.

Planning

Instead of being in one big group for the task, we were separated into two groups. For the planning, we didn’t really do much. I watched the clip and wrote down what types of shots we needed to focus on and how long the shots shown for. Kieran, another member in the group, wrote down the pivotal card order for the scene to make it look as much like the scene as possible. Finally, Grace drew storyboards for the scene.

Unlike the previous task, we didn’t need to focus on costume or makeup. We needed to focus on the camerawork which made the filming process a lot easier.

Filming

For filming, instead of filming the whole thing in order, each shot separately, we decided to film the whole thing about 6 times, all in the types of shots we needed to do. Since we didn’t have long to film this, filming it in this manner was the quickest option. The script was quite hard to memorise and to our advantage, we were in a location (a classroom) which had a whiteboard in it. To make it easier for the actor who played the main protagonist, writing the script on the board made it a lot easier. To help the other actor with their lines, we wrote them down on a piece of paper which she then placed on her lap.  There were some complications with the filming. For example, the camera battery ran out around four or five times so it restricted the filming time even more. However, we did get it filmed in the end.

Artefact

Here is the finished recreation. In the footage, it plays the actual scene and then it plays the recreated version I edited.

Evaluation

In terms of a finished product, I thought it turned out okay. The timings were okay (they could have been better) and the shots were very accurate to the actual scene. Since we didn’t have a very long time to film it, for a scene which was filmed in about 30 minutes, it didn’t turn out too badly. In terms of improvements, I would most definitely make the shots match up with each other so there are no continuity errors. All in all, I am quite happy with how the recreation turned out.

Textual Analysis : Mise-en-scene

In filmmaking, mise-en-scene is anything which can be seen in the film, which is not covered by: camerawork, sound design or editing.

Actors 

The actors can be judged on their appearance. In terms of appearance, this includes: hair, makeup and costume. Not only that but, the actors’ actual performance classes as the appearance. Their actual performance includes things like: dialogue, expression, gesture and techniques used like “blocking”.

Lighting

To help create the ideal theme in a visual way, lighting does just that. Lighting creates an ambience of a scene. An example of this is bright lights or bright lighting; which can be used to represent happiness or hope. On the other hand, shadows can be used to create a sense of foreboding or happiness.

Setting 

Location, props and set decoration all come under the setting. The elements of the setting are carefully chosen based on the plot and what is happening in the scene at the time. Sometimes, directors use it for symbolism. These “symbols” may not be shown so obviously but, they may have a meaning to the story/scene itself.

Colour Palette

Colour shown in a film has a big influence of how the audience feels whilst watching the visual story. The influence power has on the audience allows the director to subtly manipulate the audience’s thoughts and feelings – this can change the feel and effect of the film. Colours are used to not only show the temperature of the scene but, to tell the story.

Textual Analysis : Sound Design

Sound design is a key part in the making of a film. Here are all the different types of sound design in the world of film.

Diegetic sound: sound that purports to come from the world of the film. This includes: sound recorded on set and the use of foley effects (this is everyday sounds separately recorded, which is then put into the film). The most common form of diegetic sound is dialogue. A way dialogue is also recorded is through the process of ADR (additional sound recording).

Non-Diegetic sound : sound added in post-production to have an effect on the audience. Two examples of non-diegetic sound is a composed score (music composed for the film) and compiled score (songs which already exists but, is then put into the film). Examples of composed scores are movie themes (‘Star Wars’, ‘James Bond’ etc etc) and “stings” which is audio punctuation (for example, in ‘Kill Bill’ when the alarm-espque sound is played). A narration/voice over also fits this category (for example, direct address is when the narrator addresses the audience).

Sound bridge: where the soundtrack from one scene continues to the other scene. 

Textual Analysis : Camerawork

Camera Shots

  • Wide shot/mid shot/medium shot: from waist to the top of the head (the most common shot used in the filming process).IMG_5385.JPG
  • Long shot: full body shot, this shows more of the environment.IMG_5386.JPG
  • Extreme long shot: a shot of the character in the environment.
  • Close up: a head shot.IMG_5387.JPG
  • Extreme close up: specific parts, for example: a shot of the eyes, mouth, nose etc etc.IMG_5388.JPG

Framing

  • The rule of thirds: this is a rule which is used by many directors and film makers. Things in the shot, which have the rule of thirds applied to them always look better. The rule can be used on a camera with the rule of thirds grid on the settings of the camera.

Composition

  • One shot: a shot with one person in it.
  • Two shot: a shot with two people in.
  • Point of view shot: the shot used to show the point of view of someone or something.

Focus

  • Shallow focus: a specific focus of something (a pen is focussed but everything else in the background).
  • Deep focus: everything is in focus in the shot.
  • Focus pull: within one shot, the focus changes from an object in the foreground to an object in the background and, vice versa.

Camera Angles

  • Eye level shot: a shot from middle point/eye level.
  • High angle shot: the camera is high (almost like it is above the subject).
  • Low angle shot: the camera is low (almost like it is looking up at the subject).
  • Bird’s eye view: looking straight below/what a bird would see in the sky.
  • Down shot: more limited than a bird’s eye view shot. A down shot would be done in a room whereas, a bird’s eye view shot would be done outside.
  • Up shot: opposite a bird’s eye view shot, on the floor/below something.
  • A dutch tilt: usually used to show drunkenness/disorientation.

Camera Movements

Aerial Shots

  • Helicopter shot: a shot done from a helicopter.
  • Shots using drones: a shot using a drone. It is like a helicopter shot but, cheaper and more stable.
  • Wire shot: this shot is done by using a wire which, the camera is attached to. For example, they used a wire to show a 100m sprint at the olympics.
  • Crane shot: a pivot with a long stick attached to it which, the camera is placed on. It can also be used to show shots on the floor as well as shots in the air/above.

Dolly Shots

  • Dolly shot: a wheeled vehicle on a track which means a smooth and precise movement (dolly out = further away, dolly in = moving forward/closer up).
  • Crab shot: uses a dolly track but, for sideways movement (called a crab shot because, it resembles the movement of a crab).
  • Arc shot: this shot is done by using a dolly track but, instead of sideways and forwards/backwards, it moves the camera in the shape of an arc.
  • Fixed shot: pan is a horizontal shot on a tripod and a tilt is camera moving vertically (tilting up and down) on a tripod.
  • Handheld shot: the cameraman is actually holding the camera.
  • Steadicam: the camera is strapped onto someone’s shoulder with a harness. This allows the camera to get a smooth shot from a handheld perspective.
  • Over the shoulder shot: used in conversation.

Zoom

  • Zooming in/out: using the lens to zoom in and out of a subject (zooming out of something is also known as a reverse zoom).
  • Crash zoom/dolly zoom: dollying into something but, at the same time, zooming out (and vice versa).

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