Today we were introduced to our new unit of Practical Screencraft.
We were shown a documentary by Marc Issacs called 'Lift'. I had actually seen this documentary once before on my college film course a few years ago so I was delighted to watch it again.
After watching the documentary we were asked to answer a list of questions. Here are the questions and answers.
1. What do you think this documentary is trying to tell us?
I think that this documentary is trying to tell us is that people aren't what they seem, they have more depth to them then you know as well as realising how many different people with different races and religions can all live in the same building peacefully. I also think it tells us that you can get into a habit of just going through like to just get through it. You just repeat the same repetitive motions over and over again. For example, the man that goes out every weekend to try and meet a lady but ends up coming home drunk and alone so I then think that its makes you think about your own life as a viewer.
2. Does this documentary make use of the space and materials?
Yes, I think it does. Issacs shows a range of different shots relating to things about the lift. Such as he shows us the lifts mechanisms and how and what makes it move. He also shows us parts of his body through reflection within the lift, outside the life and a small fly buzzing around the lift. I think that this is slightly ironic due to the fact that he himself, is like a fly on the wall watching the people in the building go about their day to day lives. Another thing that he shows us is how confined and small the lift is just from being at the back of it as well as one of the closing shots being him with his legs straight out in front of him.
3. What in short does the documentary film maker look at, and encourage us to look at - and to see - as most important about the principal subject of his film?
I think this is similar to my first answer, he encourages us to see that people aren't what they seem. The principal subject of Issacs film are people and I think he encourages us to look at the social barrier between people. For example, a guy wouldn't let him in the lift and occasionally when people saw him in the lift they would hesitate and back away and wouldn't get in the lift. He also subtly encourages the people of the building to talk to each other, he does it naturally and not abruptly by asking them questions.
4. Does this documentary film include directly solicited observation, information, reflection, or commentary by witnesses, experts,
other participants in relation to the documentary subject? What kinds of witnesses, experts and/or other participants does the film maker find most useful, how does she or he use them to get the film's chief points across, and what kind of response does the film maker seek to evoke by using these subjects as he does?
I think the the ones that speak to him the most are the ones he finds most useful as he can tell a story with the clips he gets of each people.
You have been assembled into production groups and required to produce a 2min long film using at least one lighting technique demonstrated in the class session.
The 2 minute long film could either a re-work from a film noir scene of your choice or you can work on something completely new and original.
We were then put into groups by our tutor. This meant working with new people. The group I was in consisted of Owen, Joe and Kieran.
We started by thinking of possible ideas of what we can do, if we should re create a scene from a existing film or just make up our own. We googled film noir to get ideas of possible shots which could help spark an idea.
Below are 2 of the photos we looked at.
After this we realised that we wanted to play around with the idea of shadows and having a sort of murder mystery.
I said that we should maybe make a more modern version of a murder mystery so have a man who is dressed in typically modern male clothes so shirt and jeans, with a snapback instead of a fedora. Owen then suggested that we could somehow use a piano or something to base our actor around. Fortunately, I have a guitar in my flat which was 10 mins walk away so I could easily get that if we need to.
After more discussion we decided to go with the murder mystery musician idea. We booked out the equipment for an hour so we could have a lunch break and I could run back to my flat to grab the guitar.
When we came back from lunch I had my guitar and the boys had collected the equipment we went up to the top floor of the college so film as it was a quiet place and we wouldn't be disrupted by anyone else. We decided to shut all the blinds in the room to create more of a dark atmosphere and got our set up sorted. We put a table in the shot and a few easels to the side to create more shadows. We placed our light to the right to create the shadows.
We then did all of our shots using shadows to create the illusion of a creepy murderer in the back ground. This took a lot more time then we thought it would as creating the shadows without seeing the actual person was harder then expected but once we got the shot we were so pleased that we stuck to it and kept working on it until we got it right.
We didn't actually have enough time to do any extra foley work so unfortunately the sound effects are all from youtube so next time we need to make sure that we leave enough time for this at the end.
While we were filming we all discussed who should do what role but decided that we would all do a bit of everything, ,except Kieran who didn't film as he was our main actor, but he did help with ideas for shots and the placing of the lights and how we could create the best shadow effect.
I was the editor for this. I really enjoyed editing this film as it's the first proper film I've edited in quite awhile so it was good to get back into it as currently its the path I wanna go down. After importing all the clips into premier pro I started putting them into order, going from just him alone to the creepy murderer getting closer and closer to visually build up the tension.
Here is the finished film:
I'm really happy with how this filmed turned out as I think it definitely reflects the title of film noir, this is because of the idea of a murder mystery and the effect with the shadows.
This is the first proper film we have made and I really enjoyed the process of making this as it is extremely different to anything I have ever made before. I've also been using new equipment that I've never had the chance to use before which has been really beneficial, such as the LED panel. This is helped me learn new skills and develop them. We were manipulating the lights to create a cool shadow effect to help show the film noir style. Being able to work as a small film crew was also a new experience as everything I have ever made before was alone as thats what we had to do. This is something I am looking forward to as the year progresses.
Doing this project and learning all these new skills has helped me develop my skills as cinematographer because it got me thinking about how lights and shadows can create a darker atmosphere and help show the style of film noir more.
Call and Response
We looked at directors of sound and some of their work.
Stalker (1979) by Andrei Tarkovsky – Glass scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNiVFCWMrqI
Rumble Fish (1983) by Francis Ford Coppola – Red Fish https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGzRtRB6Xhs
Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) by Jim Jarmusch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49tTzEifY6M
Robert Bresson’s Escaped Man (1956) – Attempted escape scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIux68hUlgY
Psycho (1960) by Alfred Hitchcock - Shower Scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VP5jEAP3K4
I really liked Robert Bresson's Escaped Man because the narration was built around the sound. It shows that a variety of sound techniques can be used throughout a short scene. The sound also lets the audience know whats going on. So in this scene when Fontine tries to escape, he flees from the car and the street noise is quietened so we can hear quick footsteps of him running away and police running to chase him.
Why is synchronisation important?
Is the sound dominant?
Juxtaposition -telling the image or showing the sound
We were put into groups and told to pick an object and a sound technique.
The objects were:
The sound techniques were:
The film has to be 2 minutes long and can have a possible loose narrative.
When we got together in our group we immediately started discussing ideas of what we could do and what object and sound technique we could use. All of us liked the idea of using the watch, no one had a watch so we slightly cheated and went for a clock instead as we like the idea of ticking.
The main idea we had were lights and having a circle of lights surrounding a clock. I then suggested using colour gels on the lights to create a different atmosphere and to make it more visually appealing.
For our loose narrative we played with the idea of someone waiting. To show this we thought about filming legs tapping, feet tapping, fingers tapping.
We booked out a Canon 600D DSLR Kit, 2 Battery Canon 600D/700D, 2 Bowens Limelight LED Panel, 1 Lighting Stand Kit (2 stands), Zoom H4n Audio Recorder, 4 Libec Tripod Video, 1 Mains Adapter for Zoom H4n, Sennheiser ME67 Microphone Kit & 1Colour FX gel Filter Set for Bowens Limelite. In the film room we also saw a light that we could possibly use so we took that as well as the clock on the wall and a fake clock just to experiment with them.
We decided to go back up to the top floor to shoot as we knew it'll be quiet and is a big space. There was also a big light up on the fop floor so we also used that.
To set up we all began unpacking the equipment. We set up the lights in the semi circle facing a white wall. In the room there was also a white block so I thought that would be a good thing to put the clock on as the colours will look visually good against the white.
The gel pack that we were given had half the colours missing so we had limited colours to work from but I felt we worked and got the best possible shots with what we had. For me, the shots were better then I thought they would be. We sort of jumped into filming straight away, we didn't really have a plan for how we would make this interesting to watch and not making the audience sit through a minute of just watching a clock with the colours changing. We got Lily on camera looking around impatiently, like she was waiting for someone. Lily then just started mucking about with the fake clock and I just kept filming her and turns out the shots look really cool and artistic so we just kept filming her messing about.
At the start we also realised that the clock we stole from the film room doesn't actually tick so we searched the college until we found one that ticked. We then filmed the ticking noise a few times as a couple times you could hear noise from outside the college so to make sure we definitely have a good one we did it multiple times. We also filmed some feet tapping and a light switch clicking on and off just for extra sounds.
We then packed up all the equipment and went down stairs to put all the shots onto the mac and then onto a shared google drive folder. I was going to be the editor of the film as I really wanted to experiment with the editing and see what I could get out of it.
Definitely looking at all the clips now this film I think will be different to everyone else and is definitely an experimental film, more about the visuals then the sound.
I decided that I wanted to just use the ticking sound effect to sort of go against the visuals by being quite simple. I then decided to have the clocks changing to the beat of the ticking, just to add a bit of variety with the shots so its not just long shots of clocks for 30 seconds. I also doubled up the ticking sound when this happened to add more depth into the sound. I then slowly decided to get more abstract by overlaying multiple clips of lily with the clocks and multiple shots of herself and also using the same shot but flipped just make it even more weird looking and experimental.
I really enjoyed doing this task as limiting us to one sound technique and having to include once specific object was really fun and challenging as we had to think of ways to make this object the centre of our film and make it interesting to watch. I was really pleased with the final outcome as I feel its very experimental and very different to anything I've done before. I never really paid much attention to how lights can effect the atmosphere and mood of a film before so doing this has definitely made me more aware of how much lights and colours can really effect a film.
Doing this project has definitely helped me develop my skills as an editor because it got me experimenting with different elements of premier pro that I hadn't thought of using before for a film. I thought that they would be suitable as this is much more experimental. I used effects such as overlaying multiple clips, mirroring clips and slowing down clips. I never really thought it was appropriate to use on a narrative film so I'm really glad i've had the chance to experiment a lot more and be able to do an edit that doesn't really have to make sense.
This is the finished film.
Types of Microphones - Sound Matters
Shure SM58 - non directional, dynamic
Rode NT1-A Condenser Mic - more sensitive, studio dialog recording, directional, figure 8 pattern, static mic, wouldn't use this on a shoot. Uses an xlr. Uses phantom power.
Shotgun mic Beyerdynamic MCE 86 - Supercardiod polar pattern - good for vocals and dialogue.
Dom showed us some examples what the microphones sounds like and showing us the proximity effect.
Shure SM58 -
Proximity effect - How close the subject area is to the mic, if you talk really close to the mic the more bassy it sounds and the further away the more noise you can hear, 5inches is a good distance. Make sure the person is at the right level.
Rode NT1-A -
Sounds a lot clearer, more definition. 48 volts is whats needed to record. Good for 2 people recording narration. Goes closer, the bass becomes louder, further away you can hear more of the room.
Vocals, stringed instruments.
What can you do with mics? What do they sound like in different situations? Think about this.
We were then given a project related to sound.
Record 3 situations using 3 different types of microphones.
Take the sound clips and eventually put them on a soundcloud page to archive our sound. Can be dialogue, music, anything.
Adobe Audition. - Notes on how to use
Mainly used for post audio editing. Playing around with EQ or levels.
Open up a session track.
Create a template relating to what the situation is.
Bus - group of tracks
double click each track so see it on its own.
Cmd A to high light the whole track.
Parametric EQ - good starting point.
Make sure if doing dialogue you need to use a pop shield.
Deadline: 30th January 2017 9:30am
Elephant man - gus van sant
Observational cinema - the film maker has to edit the film,
Cinema vérité -
Direct cinema - fly on the wall
Improv - truth sonf van highlight subjects hidden behind crude reality
The Shining -
The rhythm of him peddling on carpet to floor sets up a good rhythm
Not a lot of narration - dialogue, it build us suspense, we know something is gunna happen
Steady cam shots - similar to elephant man
Same angled shots - repeated
28 days later -
A lot of wide shots, to show he's alone, how empty the location is
Slow paced music - used a live sound track
Gross point blank - live or let die
Sound and the camera angle can completely change the theme of the shot
Cinema from a geographical perspective
Andre Gardies - L’Espace au Cinema (1993)
Diegetic space - the sound aspect, how can this be differentiated - is sound important? replace an image? or compliment it?
Narrative space - dialogue, camera techniques
Viewer space - what is the viewer seeing?
Jaws - wouldn't shoot land, every shot makes you feel isolated even though he's filming very close to land - this is how certain camera angles can really change the feel of the shot and how the viewer is seeing it
3 - 5 people
3 mins long
Demonstrate an understanding of visual, audio and lighting elements to make a professional production
Deadline: Monday 28th November, 3:15pm
A series of notes to lead someone somewhere to a prize/treasure
Re tracing steps, lost items - flashbacks of how the things were lost - similar to the Bourne identity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFhbNOXDNPA
Flashbacks have dialogue
Flashbacks from a different time in their life - a clone essentially - like moon
Filming at night
Different clues on her body for each flashback - for example phone number on arm - flashback of how it got there
Hangover with a creepy feel
Weird objects randomly in the house
Christmas fair for flashbacks - children laughter
Carousels in the dark
Fair ground - Royal parade
Streets of plymouth
Lost items or things to cause a flashback
Phone number all up arm
A certain phrase
Photo Booth photo with a person you don't remember
Chip fork in hair - throwing chips of someone
Starting shot ideas
Lily in bed, wrong way around laying on front - flops over onto back
alarm on phone - open eyes to a beat
Shots of the mess in the room
A long pan of the room
Goes into bathroom - looking in the mirror
Back into room and sits on the bed
First trigger item: open and used make up palettes - flash back to getting ready
Second trigger item: take out boxes - flash back to getting take out
Third trigger item: checks phone, photos at the fair ground
Ferris wheel or carousel - go pro shot
Shot planning development Ideas
We need as much of a variety of shots as we can
Long shots - Influenced by Elephant, the shining
Get multiple variations of different angels of the same shot
Texting an ex
Shouting a song while walking up the road
Make up brushes
Phone - for alarm clock
Take out box
Empty alcohol bottles - lots
Start of a synopsis
Lily wakes up and she cant remember anything from the night before. A pounding headache lets her know she probably had too much to drink. One thing she does know, she needs to figure out what happened.
Make up: Getting ready
Fun fair ticket:
Starting shot idea, basic descriptions:
Lily wakes up
Alarm goes off
Gets up and goes to bathroom
Looks in mirror
Goes back in to room and sit on edge of the bed
Anonymous stranger stirs in bed
Lily freaks out, gets up and paces around the room
Try’s to look at the stranger but you cant see the face
Filming (Take 1)
We set out to Royal Parade to begin filming for this project but we realised very quickly that the fair ground rides were all there but it hadn't actually opened yet and was due to open the following day. We did try and attempt to try and persevere and continue filming anyway as we had a very limited time to film and filming the next day would be a huge setback but we again quickly realised that it wasn't going to work as everything was too dark and just looked kind of sad and miserable. After talking more we all had seemed to get put off our original idea as we didn't really have the enthusiasm for it and after lots of discussion, we agreed that we were making this project too hard for ourselves by trying to do something so complicated in such a short time. As a group we decided to simplify our idea slightly and do a sweet love story about two people who are meeting for the first time and we are watching them meet and go on their first date together to a fair. We really wanted to keep with the whole fair idea as we knew that all the lights would look really good on camera and would be very colourful and appealing to look at. We all fully understood that changing out idea and deciding to film the next day would really set us back but we all knew that it would be beneficial and create a much better and more polished film then if we continued with our first idea.
It was decided that we would film in the morning at Lily's flat to get the back story of the two girls and then in the evening go down to the fair and film their date.
Filming (Take 2)
Filming went surprisingly smooth and quick. Even though we didn't really have a set plan of what shots we wanted to do specifically, we all knew what we wanted to portray which is a sweet innocent and lighthearted film that is just nice to watch, nothing too serious.
As the director, I was quite focused and just determined to get this done quickly so I did take a bit of control over the group by just being quite strict and stern as I knew that we had limited time to do this filming in. Filming on Royal Parade was probably the toughest part of this project as it was so cold and busy so it was hard to maintain focus on the shoot as the feelings in our fingers were going slightly from having to hold the camera or the sound equipment but this made us work quicker as all we really wanted to do was go inside and warm up.
Another tough part of this shoot was the sound. Because Royal Parade was so loud and busy most of the dialogue we have constantly changed levels and theres lots of background noise. Because the dialogue shots were all filmed from different distances it foes from quiet to loud quite a few times. We tried to level this out as much as we could in post but its not as good as we would have wanted. To maybe help improve this next time we could try bringing a boom pole out with us so we can get the microphone as close to the actors as possible.
While filming this we did attempt to do some long shots inspired by The Shining and Elephant around the rooms that each of the girls were in but each shot we did came to about a minute and a half. I know that the clip could be cut down slightly but considering we only had 3 minutes to create a narrative we thought that having one random minute shot wouldn't fit the feel of the film and would just look really out of place. This is definitely a style and technique that we all want to try again and use in a film eventually but maybe on a film that is a lot longer then 3 minutes.
Even though this project was very stressful to do, I still really enjoyed it as I have never done a long narrative film before as well as direct a film on my own. I did have fun being the director for a change as I haven't been one before so it's a totally new experience and a different part of the film industry that I have tried, howeverI know it's definitely not a career I would want to go into.
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Z96 on board light
Male-Female 10m XLR lead
David Simon - The Wire (2002)
About 6 series
Interjection of stories about baltimore
Every series had particular characters
David Chase - The Sopranos (1999)
Lost Highway - David Lynch
Complex story - A musician who's a schizophrenic, quite abstract - mash of two worlds - he's framed for killing his girlfriend and develops a second personality while in prison. Like two films merged into one.
Physic thriller about a Vietnam veteran that suffers PTSD after being back from the Vietnam war
Memento - Christopher Nolan (2000)
Character who is building up his memory by using images - you have no idea what is happening really - is it past or future?
The idea of using colour perspective to show different characters
Deny the audience what the protagonist is denied
He tells the story backwards
He doesn't know - so why should we know?
Told by a series of flashbacks
He needed a way of breaking up the flashbacks - alternated between colour sequences
Colour sequences - subjective, his perspective, voice of the mind, first person his thoughts,
Back and white sequences - objective, grainy, further away shots, voice over more like interview Grabs, run forward in time as the film progresses they become less objective
These sequences meet at the middle of the story
Todorov theory of narrative
French film theorist
All stories share a common structure
Christopher Nolan theory , similar to Todorov but with two extra steps
Equilibrium - All is in order
Disruption - Of the ordered state by an event
Recognition - That the disruption has taken place
Attempt to repair - The damage of the disruption
New equilibrium - Different from where the story began
A Russian Theorist who analysed fairytales
Can group the characters into 7 roles
The donor - someone who provides an essential object
The helper - aids hero
The dispatcher - send hero on a mission
The false hero
Binary Opposites - Levi Strauss
Constant creation of conflict / opposition that propels narrative
Narrative can only end on a resolution of conflict
Oppositions can be visual - Light / Darkness - Movement / Stillness
Love / Hate
Beauty / Ugly
Law abiding / Criminal
Freedom / Imprisonment
Where texts are these found in?
Twin Peaks - Dysfunctional
Into the wild
Leads up to some event
Non Linear in film
Challenges conventional rules
Alternative way of telling a story
Non chronological order
Research 3 different news stories to try and adapt into a script
Woman found dead in the sea
Flashbacks of how she died
What lead to her death?
Was she killed? Suicide?
Bitten by an insect
Infection - Unknown disease
Brightly lit to show sterile
Close up shots - confusion and disorientating
Looking lost and confused slowly leading to going completely crazy
Bitten by a mosquito
Vison begins to blur
Sound becomes distorted - high pitch noises
Start scratching at them selves
Close up shots as colour shots
Further away ones black and white - also similar to elephant
Going crazy - makes the victim loose their insanity
Could kill the partner
Flashbacks to show the abuse from worse to none
We decided to go with idea 2. We thought this was the best option to go with as we think its the one we could do the best as well as Lily having experience with SFX make up, so this would add a more realistic infection.
It was agreed that I would be the actor for this as I was going to be the editor so I had nothing else to do while filming as everyone had their roles already. It also was a bonus that I happened to be really pale so it looked like I was ill from the infection.
It was definitely a weird experience being in front of camera as I've always been behind the camera looking at whats going on so I found it really difficult being on front of the camera but Its definitely helped me have a better understanding and appreciate what actors do.
This is the first time I am having to edit a film in non chronological order. I'm both dreading it and really looking forward to it as i'm not sure what i'm going to be able to do but I definitely think it will make me a better editor because of it.
A Field in England
Directed by Ben Wheatley
Laurie Rose - DOP
3 minutes long
Reference the film ‘The Bay’
Things to do
Write a script for the news article and record
Find location, an actual bedroom- Mine and marthas flat
Research more into infections
Name the infection and decide how you can get it. Bacterial, virus, parasite
Make our own virus?
Mystery parasite - unknown to scientists
Write Symptoms and put in order or severity
Cinematographer - Martha Baker
Director - Lily Konte
Sound - Owen Roberts
Lighting - Katie Seals
Editor - Lucie Eckersley
Blisters to the skin
Raised welts on skin
Death if untreated
Opening shot - Scratching
Initial infection - Filmed at college?
The days leading up
Elements of Narrative
Who is the audience? Everyone
Locations? Mine and Marthas flat
Time Frame? Filmed within the next 2 weeks, up to 2 days for filming and sound.
Budget? Mustard, taxis- cost will be split
Non -Linear Narrative
Bowen’s Led Panel
Z96 on board light
Acoustic Vocal Shield
Male-Female 10m XLR
5th of December- Pilot was shot, idea was conceived.
14th of January - Shoot one
23rd of January- Shoot two
26th of January- Sound was recorded
27th of January- Edit began
29th of January- Edit was finished
The street - Houndiscombe Road
13/01/17 - Non Linear Infection
We decided to keep with the same idea of the infection but develop it a lot more and make it better. We are going away from the whole mosquito bite being the way the infection travels and making up our own parasitic disease instead. As we now have a longer time to make this in and the film had to be 3 minutes it means we can focus and plan it out a lot more and show the infection slowly getting worse and worse.
As a group, we decided that we would try and not get my face in any of the shots. This is because we thought that It would add a air of mystery and we thought then people could imagine themselves in my position with this horrible infection. Our main purpose of this film was to try and make people uncomfortable while watching, making them feel itchy, irritated and uneasy.
We knew that this would work as while we were filming the infected scenes everyone in the group was saying how its making them feel itchy and wanting to itch themselves.
We unfortunately didn't get enough shots of the infection part of the film so we know that we need another day of filming which we will do early next week.
We had to unfortunately have another day of filming because we didn't get enough footage on the first shoot. This actually worked in our favour as we had more time to work on the sfx make up to make it look more realistic. We also experimented more with the lighting by trying out a red filter over the LED light to try and create a more panicky atmosphere. Even though it didn't make it into the final film it's good that we are experimenting more with lighting and how it can effect the mood and atmosphere of a shot.
After we had all the infected shots done we thought about when we watched 28 days later by Danny Boyle and how the opening shot was of the Jim, played by Cillian Murphy walking around the deserted streets of London having no clue whats going on. We decided to take inspiration from this and have my character wandering down the street seeing dead bodies lying around with the same scratch marks down their arms.
Creative Lyric Challenge
Our group came up with the song Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin really quickly which was actually really good as we only had that one day to film this as one of the people in our group was going home for the rest of the week so we had very limited time to get the filming for this done.
The roles for this film are:
Director and actor: Lily
We were discussing what sound we would have for this film and I came up with the idea of turning the song into a letter and have that over the top of the footage. This is what our idea came from as we thought that we could have the letter being from a wife to her recently passed husband who died at sea.
As it's a song about being by the sea and the location we are using is the beach it's fitting to have sounds of the ocean and waves underneath the sound of Lily's voice.
It was also a group decision that we would make the footage look slightly old and vintage by adding an orangey/brown filter on top. I looked through the filter options on premier pro but none of them suited the vision of what I had in my mind. I then just decided to have a play around with creating one myself with the colour wheel. After a lot of adjusting the orange brown and red tones I finally found something that works. I then showed the rest of the group and they all agreed that it was good. This was pretty fun to do as I've never really thought about using any of the colour editing or correction tools before so this was a good experience for me to have. I will now definitely think about using these tools again to further my knowledge in premier pro.
I had a lot of fun on this project as using song lyrics to adapt into a script or film idea is something that I've never really thought of doing before but after this I will definitely consider trying it out more.