During my preliminary task, I was very unexperienced with camera and the best way to use it in order to give the right impression. I didn’t use a tripod or monopod for any of the shooting and so a lot of the shots I got were unsteady as well as there not being much continuity between shots either. In contrast, in my final project I have used tripods and monopods as well as occasionally holding the camera myself to create a range of angles and styles that matched the genre of my film. I also learnt to focus shots properly and create steady tilts.
In my preliminary task, editing was quite simple as I only had to crop clips and put them together to create continuity. However, in the final project, I had a much wider range of options when it came to editing to make my final film stand out and be as effective as possible. I learnt how to create jump cuts in shots to make the audience feel unsettled. This is where you crop the same shot several times in different places then patch it together to make the clip seem disjointed. I was also able to place clips in the wrong order on purpose to create flash forwards and flash backs. I learnt that editing is a very important part of the film making industry as it gives the film its own identity and allows the creator to portray different feelings and themes to the audience through visual language.
In my preliminary task, I didn’t take much into consideration about sound continuity and so in the film I made the clips sound disjointed. I did not include much dialogue either so did not get to test myself on how to film this in the future. In my final project, I decided to leave dialogue out as I wanted my film opening to be a silent yet effective representation of loneliness and I felt that dialogue would take away from this since there is only a single character in the entire film opening. To solve the problem of sound continuity I chose to mute the actual sound of each of the clips and instead download artificial sound clips from Youtube as well as add a musical backing track to create atmosphere. To add even more effect to my film and to create a sense of discomfort with the audience, I decided to overlay lots of different household sounds as they appeared on the screen to eventually build up and create a wall of sound before being completely muted for the end title. I learnt that sound is actually a very important part of a film as it is the main way to create moods within an audience.
This is a screen recording and video of myself talking about using the different technologies: Premier pro, cameras (Lumix and Canon) and After effects.
Script: Premier Pro
I’m going to show you how I use premier pro. Obviously I’ve done quite a bit already, wish I’d filmed from the beginning but that wouldn’t be ideal. Currently I’m laying sound down, trying to create emphasis on my main character’s mind and how it’s working. It’s kind of chaotic which is why I’ve overlaid lots and lots of household noise whereas the music is more of a base noise; I didn’t want it to come across as average and with feedback realised it would be better with household noise. I looked at certain clips and saw how I could find sound effects to making it more effective, for example I’ve added the bird sounds, a fan sound effect ( I reshot that so the fan was moving because it was more effective) and the text message sound effect. I haven’t done anything too fancy on premier pro, I’ve added a few fade in-fade outs between shots just where I thought it was appropriate *give example in-between dog and phone shots*. The difference in lighting between these two shots was quite harsh so as you can see it looks a lot smoother now with the fade out whereas originally it was quite jumpy and I just didn’t like it at all. I also did the same at the end with the title, just because I wanted it to be nice and smooth at the end. I also added a volume change on all of the overlaid sound, not on the music because I didn’t think it was necessary, so I’ve made the sound much louder on the household sounds towards the end just because I wanted to add emphasis on that and make it really dramatic towards the end. *give example of using sliders on volume*. As you can see I’m keeping everything quite quiet unless it needs to be loud so when the sounds first come in they’re quite loud, so for example the alarm clock and things all are quite loud when the first appear same with the bird sounds in the shot of the teddy bear alone outside. But as I said, I haven’t really done anything too fancy on premier pro apart from just put the clips together and hope for the best really, I didn’t watch many tutorials as I kind of wanted to experiment for myself and see what felt right for me and what worked and what didn’t. I had to do some resizing on some shots *give example of second window pane shot*. This shot was originally too big for the screen as I filmed this shot and a few others on a different camera because my camera was a nightmare. Other than that I haven’t done anything much, I haven’t had to change lighting of any of them which is really good, originally I did have another shot but decided to cut it as the lighting was really poor quality. Overall I’m happy with how I’ve done using this software, it’s quite easy to use especially for my genre because it’s quite simple unlike an action film.
Script: Using Cameras
This is the second part of my evaluation about all the technologies and what I learnt about them. What I learnt about cameras was quite a lot, it was an interesting experience really. Basically I used a different brand of camera (Lumix DSLR) to film all of my footage and I was quite proud of it. The camera self focused and it did everything I wanted it to do without having to press anything, it was really fancy and I had no idea how to use it properly but I thought, I’m going to give this a shot anyway. There were quite a few accidentally good shots. Anyway, I had filmed about an hour’s worth of footage and then it got the point where I needed to upload this to my mac. I went to put it on my premier and it was really juddery, there were green lines all across it and I knew this was not right. Basically, my cameras format didn’t go with the format of premier pro meaning that I had to convert all of the videos. So the teachers and I thought this would be really simple, we’ll just get some simple converting software and we can put it through that and we’ll be done in like an hour. No, we tried countless softwares to try and convert my footage, we finally found one we thought would work but it only worked on a really short clip so after a week stressing we were really happy to have sound something. However with the long footage it was still juddering so we had to start thinking of what else we could do. Finally, one of my teachers had some software on his computer that he thought would work and it did so I was so happy. However, this took something around 3 weeks so everyone else had already started working on their films and I had to sit there with lots of footage I couldn’t do anything with. What I learnt from that experience is that maybe I should do more research before filming or even trying to film. I should’ve checked up on whether or not my camera was compatible because I knew that everyone else were using Canons and I wasn’t. I’m using a Canon right now which I borrowed from school and it’s so much better. It’s so much easier to use and again I didn’t really watch any tutorials or anything on how to use it. For me it’s a bit touch and go, I don’t really like the conformity of being told how to do something, I prefer to learn for myself. The day I brought it home I sat down with my friend and she was drinking a milkshake and I was trying to work out how to use the camera. I eventually worked out how to use it and it has been pretty reliable. One thing I have learnt though is that you can’t really change the focus easily, so if you wanted to get a shot and you wanted to slowly ease into the focus it’s really noisy on the camera so I ended up putting some sound effects over the top. Overall camera experience has been a bit up and down for me but now I’ve started using this camera (Canon) it has been so much easier for me. That’s basically it for cameras, I’ve learn to research more and to invest in a Canon.
Script: After Effects
I’m just going to show you how I use after effects. I’ve already entered in quite a few titles and stuff as I’m only using this for titles. *gives example of text message* As you can see here I’ve just entered in some text to show what is written in the text message. I’m only using preset effects as they fit pretty well anyway and I’m running out of time. So we are just going to enter a title in *give example of shot*. I’m just going to check how long this clip is so the title isn’t going over two shots. So, I’m going to go over to layer, then click new and then click text. Then I’m changing the font back to what I’ve been using for all the other titles. The font is called ‘Open Your Eyes’ and I downloaded this font, it’s quite cool and fits well with the melodrama. I’m now thinking of an actor or friend’s name to write a role for in the title. So if I just type in her name like so *give example of typing name*. Then if I change from text to the arrow icon, I can move and reshape the title to where I want it to be then go back and crop it so it fits in the shot. So now we are going to go up to effects and presets and find the first effect which is slow fade on and apply it to the beginning of the title *show example of what this looks like on the title*. Then I choose the second effect which is fade out slow and apply it to the end of the title. Occasionally this cancels the first effect out but I can get it to work eventually. *Give example of fade out slow on title*. So yeah, that’s basically how I do my titles, like I said I’m not using after effects for anything else. After effects has been a little up and down for me, I obviously created my ident with this, which was the most challenging thing that I have done in this course. I ended up making it quite simple as I wasn’t up for going over the top like some of my peers did with theirs. I’m quite proud of my ident though, it worked well with the theme of Melodrama. I’ll just show you the preset I used on the text message. So, because otherwise it would’ve been way too quick, I decided to separate the two texts and bring the second text up before it actually came up on the phone to give the audience a chance to read it. The effect I used was decoder fade in as it looked better than typewriter which was way too quick and also very messy which I didn’t like. That’s basically how I used after effects.
In the first stages of the process to creating my film, I carried out a survey to ask potential audience members what they would expect from a melodrama. The prezi above shows my analysis of this survey.
Going into more depth, the results of my costumes question shows that the majority of respondents expect to see casual wear and I agree with this. Going back to the question about location, with limited good weather I chose to keep my setting inside only using a few rooms of the house as my location instead of lots of different places as I’ve realised that films can still gain depth in a single location. Finally, the last question about narrative shows that while depth can be created with a single event, at the time I believed that it couldn’t but I chose to go against this when it came to making my film as it made it less complicated.
I also interviewed two potential audience members, one of which I interviewed again laterin this experience and you can read it in question 4.
This interview gave me back the same sort of response as the survey so I knew there was some consistency with what my audience wanted and that I should follow this.
How Did I Use This to Attract My Audience
So when I first set out filming, it took me a good hour trying to find what kind of angles worked and what looked wrong. Before my actress arrived I decided to take a few test shots of the room I would be setting the majority of the film opening in. Later, when editing, I decided to use these test shots as I found they really worked and drew the audience into the surroundings of the character. From my own experience, I know when watching melodramas that they tend to take short shots of random things around the room, for example in Silver Linings Playbook there are many shots of his bedroom in the hospital. This sets the scene for the film and allows the audience to get to know the character better which is why I felt it was important to include these test shots as they created the perfect atmosphere for my film.
Costumes were pretty easy to be honest. I already knew that the audience expected casual so in truth I asked my actress to show up wearing something she’d normally wear and not to try to hard. The only thing was making sure she wore minimal makeup and to try look as tired as possible. This was so that it set the tone for the fact she was depressed as the audience wouldn’t expect to see someone who’s supposed to be lonely and dealing with depression to represented on screen with flashy make up and no bags under her eyes. It doesn’t make sense.
Choosing a narrative was quite difficult as melodramas have practically unlimited options for what they can be about and this is because they’re based on people and what happens in different lives. Looking at what the survey showed, I could see the best option was to work with something thats going to pull on emotions. Eventually I chose to work with the idea of suicide as it tends to relate to a lot of people these days and also because it’s effective in terms of the kinds of emotions it can arise. Suicide is also a recent issue and problem in society and as we know melodramas like to challenge today’s problems.