Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Preliminary Exercise

The Task
For the preliminary exercise we had to show our understanding of continuity editing. This included using a match-on-action, adhering to the 180 degree rule and using a shot reverse shot with a conversation dialogue.
My group consisted of Martin, Leah, Dan and Me I think we worked well together and got along as a team. We decided from the start that we didn't want to make our film like any of the other examples of preliminaries we where shown because we felt that the Horror/ Thriller had been overused therefore we decided to spoof them slightly and so came up with the idea of something funny or embarrassing being inside the case. We couldn't decide what it could be and we toyed with ideas such as my little pony or an old CD of 'Ah-Ha',  as well as other ridiculous suggestions, before settling, during production, on what the item in the case should be.  As we thought it would be nice to end on something a little bit different,  we stuck with it.

For the pre-production process we had to draw out a story board,  we didn't have many problems with this. However,  we did find it fairly time consuming because we spent quite a long time discussing which shots we wanted to use so that they looked good.  As well as fitting into the continuity of the film and being relatively easy to shoot,  some of the shots we attempted where a bit ambitious so we quite simply cut them or changed them slightly. We all took turns in drawing the shots and all contributed ideas. We didn't need to write a script as our dialogue was minimal and mostly improvised. (story board shown below)

In the production of our film I had the role of the person carrying the case, I was also a camera man and I directed most of our 3rd day of shoot. In addition to this I (as well  as the rest of the team) contributed ideas throughout the production process. We had difficulty filming a few of our shots largely due to the Dolly and the carpeted surface we where on.  This was because when moving the dolly the camera was too shaky to get any good shots. This was a particular nuisance in a shot where we where attempting to simultaneously pan track and tilt, we overcame this problem by simplifying the shot to a low angle pan. Another shot in which we encountered the dolly problem was in the over the shoulder shot when the camera was tracking me. We overcame this by using the camera hand held and this produced a smoother shot. Another problem we faced was having to change tapes after the first day of production.  Although we didn't film a lot on the first day,  the one shot we did film required the use of a long board from another group. We filmed this shot on the first tape and on the second day when switching tapes the longboard was unavailable for the rest of production. To combat this problem we simply used the footage from the first tape although the white balance was different and the footage wasn't as good.
 I thought that my directing and camerawork was fairly good and I enjoyed the experience of doing something behind the camera and framing up shots, getting eyeline matches right etc. Whilst directing I (as well as everyone else) tried to get three good takes for every shot to make it as easy as possible for us in post production.  I felt that this approach although time consuming in production made it a lot easier for us in the long run.  I had a great time during the whole of the production and felt that we got through it efficiently.

Post production
in the post production we used Adobe Premiere Pro.  We decided to split the film into 2 parts, Leah and I had up until the match-on-action of me putting the case down and Dan and Martin worked on it from that point. We were aware that this may interrupt the rhythm of the final cut but both our groups communicated and kept looking at what each other was doing so that we didn't muck it up.
Despite having a small background in media and making a few short films this was actually my first time  editing a short film so I was fairly daunted by the process.  However after getting to grips with the editing software I found the process incredibly fun.  I also loved the satisfaction of getting a transition smooth, I think that the transition beetween the tracking shot of me walking to the high angle CCTV shot worked particularly well Because the prosses if me looking up at the camera was kept completly fluid, this ment that it didn't look jumpy or look like an edit. In the final cut we had to cut two of the shots at the start of the film -the tapping on the desk and the low angle pan because they where too fast paced and didn't match the rest of the pacing in the remainder of the film  Also, toward the end we had too many shots depicting one scence and so we had to loose one of them.  Because most of them didn't cover certain bits,  we had to mess around with it a bit. If I could go back and improve one thing in our edit it would probally be the fluidity of the shots from me entering the room to the match on action of the case. I'd probally re-take these shots to improve it however after I'd had a look at it Leah managed to make it look alot better.  I learnt alot in the post-production process about editing and how to cut from shot to shot and make it flow well.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

48 Hours In the Life Of....

Our first task was to record our media consumption for a full two-day period. So one weekend with pen and notepad in hand I went up to Brighton for my little sisters christening. here’s how is went down…
9:30- checked my Facebook/emails on the laptop along with various other websites
11:29- listened to heart FM in the car lots of adverts for various insurance comparing websites
11:30-got sick of heart changed the channel to BBC radio 2 no commercial adverts and  better music generally.
11:35-passed a billboard/placard advertising Ringwood carnival on the side of the road.
11:55- arrived at the train station and saw posters for sweet charity (the musical) also for a book of some description.
12:14-arrived at Brockenhurst train station saw a lot more billboards and posters advertising various things.
2:50- arrived at dads house in Brighton and we watched TV (in this case Fraiser on comedy central)
2:55- my sister (Sophie the 13-year-old one as opposed to the one getting christened) changes the channel to E4 to watch Hollyoaks, adverts for staples and some channel 4 shows.
2:56- after a brief struggle for the remote a change back to Frasier on comedy central (Sophie was not amused)
2:56(and thirty seconds) sister retrieves remote and Hollyoaks HD continues I conceded and am forced to sit through it as well as the big brother highlights that where recorded using sky +
4:15- I play some games on my dads I phone
9:15-I check my emails and Facebook again before going to bed and also chat to some friends using IM (instant messenger.
10:30 checked e-mails, Facebook and my YouTube subscriptions I end up watching a rooster teeth short, the latest MysteryGutairMan video and take on me by A-ha.
11:35- listen to music on heart FM on the way to the christening
1:27- I see various posters around Brighton marina advertising the local businesses
3:07- at the “after party” listened to dads music (café del mar) and looked at photos of Ottie (the sister that was christened)
7:50- went onto YouTube using dads iPhone to play some music that isn’t Café del mar I end up playing Insomnia by Faithless, Antmusic by Adam and the ants, My Sharona by The Knack and a couple of Kinks tracks.
and so my 48 hour record of media consumption is complete i hope you enjoyed this little foray into a slightly abnormal weekend. (usually id probably just be sat round on the Xbox all day…… and I’d do my media homework of course).
bye for now.

Hello world!

As the heading aptly says, Hi there. My names George and im taking media studies A level at Ringwood School, I’m taking the course because I’m interested in the film and television industrys. I’m also interested in the radio presenting and I have a comedy slot on a local radio station ( ) on the first Wednesday of every month from 7:00 to 9:00 in the evening (feel free to listen if your interested) with a comedy group called Radio Boscombe (link here) as a guest.
Also I (along with some other friends) have a YouTube channel where we infrequently post videos which we make. You can find that here.
well that’s all for now the next entry I post will have some actual work in it rather than just shamelessly plugging myself so tune in.