Friday, 22 October 2010

Preliminary task - Post-production

After we finished filming, we uploaded all the recorded footage onto the computer. This was very difficult because we could only upload the footage via our editing software - Adobe Premiere - which we had previously not used before for this task. Later, the computer also started freezing up so we couldn't upload the footage all at the same time, and we had to do this over two lessons, which in the end took a lot of time. After all the footage had been uploaded we started editing. We had only expiremented with Adobe Premiere one time so a lot of time was also spent finding out where everything is. The effects we used were fairly basic - fade in, fade out, titles etc. Another effect we used came as a late addition because we had had trouble with colours during the dialogue - when the first character speaks, the footage was very dark, but it was much lighter when the second character speaks for the first time. We expiremented with altering the lighting on Adobe to avoid this effect, but in the end we decided to use black and white throughout the whole film. This saved us the trouble of correcting the colours, and also added to the dramatic feel we wanted to create. We added to this feel further by adding some music from a royalty free website, Incompetech. Again we felt it captured the feel well, and made a huge difference by improving the film itself. We suddenly found our film was much, much better with black and white and the music included. All three of us are very pleased with the final result, and we especially feel we have captured the emotion and created the film we set out to make.

Preliminary task - Production

As soon as everything was in place, we were ready to film!
We realised that we would not have time to finish all the filming in one lesson, but it would in fact take several, so we filmed all the external scenes first so the lighting and weather conditions would not change. Filming for the external scenes went very smoothly and, as hoped, we managed to film all of these shots in one lesson. We then moved on to all the internal scenes, which were all filmed in the same order as they appear on the storyboard. This took more takes to get right because the camera we were working with started fading in and out every time it filmed. None of us could find how to sort this out, so we had to start counting down for the action after the camera had started filming. This took longer and we had to film several takes of each shot. Fortunately this was sorted out in time for filming the dialogue between the two characters.
We decided to include a tracking shot following the first character to create effect. We achieved this by placing the camera tripod on a set of wheels. This also took several attempts because Isaac (the actor) and myself (the cameraman) were both moving at different speeds each time, and in the first attempts we shot the face of the character could not be seen, which we knew was important to show the emotion the character is feeling.

Preliminary task - Pre-production

We were assigned with a preliminary task of producing a short film to demonstrate everything that we have learnt so far. For this we were divided into groups of three, and I worked in a group with Isaac White and Tom Coatsworth. We had to incorporate everything into the film such as shot, reverse shot, match-on-action, the 180 degree rule and others.
We started with our brief idea of the type of short film we wanted to make. Our vision was to create a short dramatic piece with suspense, mystery and fear, which I feel worked well because it allowed us to incorporate different types of shots well in the final product. Isaac and Tom crafted the storyline and I adapted their suggestions and ideas into a storyboard, which helped to visualise how we wanted the film to look and how the film could look. Only one scene from the storyboard was cut in the end (the shot with the heads on the floor at the end), which we decided before filming didn't seem necessary since we had thought of a better ending to the piece as seen in the final cut.
Throughout designing the storyboard, the three of us went out to the different locations around the school where we might film, so we had a better idea of how the storyboard should look. We also planned the camera angles and different types of shots here which we thought we might use. This helped us a lot and saved us time thinking about the locations on the day of the shoot. We also agreed at this stage that Tom and Isaac would be two actors in the film, and I would spend most of the production stage behind the camera, although Tom also had a chance to film during the first scenes of the film. Again, this saved us a lot of time, so I think we were all happy to have planned everything in advance before production would start.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Welcome to my blog! I’m Christopher and I’m taking media studies at Ringwood sixth form. I’m taking this course because I’m looking at animation as a future career, and also I’m very interested in films and animation in general.
Over the weekend of 11th/12th September we were asked to make a list of how we used the media over one weekend…
09:50 : Checked Facebook and e-mail.
10:15 : Looked on BBC News and Yahoo! News.
10:20 : Watched videos on YouTube.
16:20-18:00 : Watched a film (Ponyo).
10:00 : Checked Facebook and sent a message to a friend currently living abroad.
10:20 : Checked e-mail.
10:25 : Looked on BBC News and Yahoo! News.
10:35 : Searched for videos on YouTube.
14:20 : Saw an piece in a newspaper talking about a new Wallace & Gromit TV series due for broadcast in November on BBC1.
17:15 : Checked Facebook and e-mail again, one e-mail received.
18:00-19:00 : Watched a new episode from the American version of Total Wipeout, during which an advert part animated part live-action is shown, with animation by Aardman about half way through.