PRELIMINARY TASK BRIEF: Continuity task involving filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. This task should demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule. My group consists of Oli, Kaleigh and myself. Oli will complete the editing process and I will be in charge of Mise en Scene. Kaleigh will operate the camera with assistance from Oli and myself. Casting decision resulted in Oli and myself acting in our extract due to previous experience with shot composition.
Mise en Scene I was responsible for Mise en Scene and controlled and decided the following: Actors: Oli and Myself will play strange adolescent students. Location: We will shoot in the Glass Room due to its mix of natural lighting in the daytime and overhead lighting when it is dark meaning we can maximize productivity. Set: Our set will consist of two chairs facing each other. Costume: We will wear our normal college clothes as it fits the conventions of the genre we chose. (Comedy, see coming slides) Props: We do not need any props for such a small clip or for any fulfilment of comedy conventions.
Genre and Audience We decided to choose the genre of comedy due to our low budget and the expected size of the clip. (20-30 seconds) We researched other comedy films and thought we would follow the example of Anchorman and Zombieland in giving our extract a surreal fell in terms of dialogue and performance. We also believe the two aforementioned films have a similar target audience to us Our target audience is predominantly male and aged 16-25. They will most likely be in education and alternative in appearance and humour. We believe our average audience member would look like the image on the right.
Dialogue After a discussion we came to a decision that our dialogue would be: Oli: Hello, how was your weekend? Jack: It was alright, I don’t remember anything though. How are you anyway? Oli: I’m okay, but doesn’t it feel like we are being watched though? Jack: YES!
Potential problems As part of the task we had to take into consideration the following: 180⁰ rule – if we cross an imaginary line between the actors in our extract, the images will not make sense to our audience as the characters positions will have switched (see top) Match on action – cutting from one shot to another with the shots matching in terms of action from one to another (see middle) Shot reverse shot – When two characters are having a conversation and looking at each other the change of shots needs to make clear to the audience that the two characters are looking at each other. (see bottom)
Experimentation On Monday 24th January 2011 we experimented with the cameras to gain an understanding of them and their limitations. We played around with different camera angles and shot types. We particularly experimented with over the shoulder shots and shots of a door being opened in order to practise the 180⁰ rule, match on action and shot reverse shot. We amended our storyboard as we included a pan that was not achievable as it did not adhere to the match on action rule or the 180 ⁰ rule. We decided upon a cut between shots to replace this. However we decided that a mid-shot was appropriate for the dialogue. We came to a collective decision about shots for our next lesson.
The real thing All of our filming was completed on Wednesday 26th January 2011. We discussed continuity, camera angles, the 180 degree rule and came to a collective decision as to the composition of shots. I controlled the lighting as the day drew to an end so that the set was well lit. I also made sure of continuity with regards to clothing and body position so that our extract flowed correctly with no errors. We all completed our allocated roles successfully with aid from other group members. We uploaded the footage onto iMovie and decided we would not use any editing techniques other than a simple cut due to the fact we had good footage that flowed well with purely cuts between shots. At a later date we decided that fading to black at the end of the extract would bring a more natural end to it. To watch extract CLICK HERE
Evaluation of Preliminary Task I think our preliminary task went well. We got all of our filming done to an acceptable standard in one lesson and benefited from a practise session. We will consider this when filming our ‘main task’ We successfully fulfilled conventions of the comedy genre. We will probably use the same room to film our ‘main task’ and the background noise interfered with the quality of the dialogue so we will take this into consideration. Our extract had minimal action; our main task will have more action to excite our audience.
MAIN TASK Brief: the titles and opening of a new fiction film, to last a maximum of two minutes. ROLES: Oli will operate the camera. Kayleigh will control Mise en scene. I will edit our extract upon completion using iMovie and also act. Our friend Alex will act in our extract
Genre and Audience We chose the genre sci-fi for our two-minute opening to a film. We discussed conventions associated with sci-fi genre and discussed colours, costumes, lighting, edits, location and props. We understand that all these things contribute to an audience understanding the genre. We will achieve these conventions through decisions based on these discussions (see coming slides) Researched conventions of sci-fi films from short films like The Courier (2009) as well as an extract from the film Raven(2010) which helped us realise that sci-fi films are recognisable due to repertoire of elements such as extra-terrestrial life and science based storyline and iconography such as technology and a male lead hero. Based upon the clips we watched we decided our extract like our preliminary task would be aimed at 16-25 year olds that are predominately male. They will most likely be in education and alternative in appearance and humour. We believe they would look like the young man (pictured right)
Mise en scene After a discussion we decided our extract would stick to sci-fi conventions. Colours – White, bright colours. The inside the building will emphasize emphasize cleanliness and organisation of institution (A.R.S.E) and grey for outside to contrast the two. Lighting – Natural lighting. The office and lighting from the environment around college will fulfil sci-fi conventions Props – Gun, Office Equipment, Technology. All shall be included and are relevant to genre, aiding iconography. Costumes – Office wear. We will contrast with casual wear.
Set We will shoot in the Glass Room again. This time due to its adherence to sci-fi conventions. The glass room is:
CASTING We came to a decision that I would take the role of the Older Male as I have appropriate costume and our friend Alex would take the role of the Younger male as it would fit his character well. Alex will wear his normal casual clothes and I will wear office-wear to fulfil my role as an authority figure.
Storyboard + Notes For storyboard: CLICK HERE and enlarge/ zoom on image. For typed up class notes: CLICK HERE
Dialogue Dialogue 1 Jack: Late are we? Alex: Yes Sorry Boss. Jack: See you in a minute! Dialogue 2 Jack: Do you understand the seriousness of todays mission? Alex: Yes. I have been waiting for this opportunity! Jack: We have a problem in North-West Wales. They have landed. Alex: I can handle this boss! (Exits)
Potential Problems We have a very low budget which could be detrimental to the quality of our extract due to the reliance on technology and effects as aa massive factor in an audience determining a sci-fi film. We are going to film an increased amount of footage and therefore we may have problems with time; we are going to have to film a couple of weeks at a time.
Shooting Schedule Monday’s lesson : 09:00 – 11:00 Monday’s four hour free : 11:00 – 15:00 Wednesday’s free two hours : 13:00 – 15:00 Wednesday’s lesson : 15:00 – 17:00 As and when Alex is available to help us
Filming We completed around 90% of our filming on Monday 14th March and then uploaded our footage to iMovie. Oli operated the camera and our friend Alex acted for us along with myself. Kayleigh kept a picture record of our shooting on a mobile phone. We were successful and time-efficient to the benefit of ourselves and Alex. We filmed the shots as storyboarded and were happy with the results
Editing I uploaded our footage to iMovie on Wednesday 16th March and noticed a number of continuity errors with my arm positioning. I also noticed an error with the lift shot as Alex can been seen in the reflection and we decided our dialogue needed more footage. We will re-film the footage at a date good for Alex and ourselves and get the rest of our footage at the same time so we can be time-effective. We do however have a good amount of footage to work with.
Audience Feedback We showed our extracts as a group and received helpful audience feedback via surveys. Kayleigh and myself documented the results individually; her survey being more qualitative and mine being purely quantitative. The following slides will document my quantitative research results and our group response to the data.
Rating of product. Our product received an average rating of 3/5 stars – a decent score encouragingly although we clearly have much room for improvement. We hope that the improvements made to our extract in the future made with aid from our quantitative results would result in an improved average rating.
Variation of shot types Our product received a rating of 3.5/5 stars for its variation of shot types which was encouraging. We will not take this into major consideration upon re-filming and re-editing as we believe it is a respectable score and the finished product would improve the score naturally.
Following of narrative Our product received received 2.4/5 stars for the audiences following of the narrative. We will take this into consideration when re-filming and re-editing our extract although we believe that the missing footage combined with titles would help the audience follow or narrative more effectively. We would expect an improved score if taken again.
Costume Appropriateness Our product received 3.7/5 stars for how identifiable and appropriate the costumes were which was expected. We will not be making any changes to our costumes when re-filming and re-editing as the statistics prove the audience understood the costumes.
Quality of shot transitions Our product received 3/5 stars for the quality of the shot transitions. Some of the transitions were admittedly hard to follow and abrupt however considering the missing footage and a with re-filming planned along with re-editing, we would expect this mark to rise slightly.
Continuity within extract Our product received 3.4/5 stars for the continuity within the extract. Mise en scene was clearly controlled to a satisfactory standard
Relevant setting Our product received 2.1/5 stars for how relevant the setting was. This is a poor mark however we expect that this would improve as the missing shots are added to the extract meaning the story line makes more sense. The titles will be key to understanding the setting.
Emotional response to extract Our product received 2.6/5 stars for the quality of emotional response to the extract. This is very average and we hope that with the missing footage added, more intimate shots included and music added that that our audience would respond better.
Re-filming We successfully captured our missing footage and re-filmed our shot at the lift and uploaded it to iMovie. We decided to change the shots of the conversation to close-ups and to a POV shot as we previously had issues with arm positioning. This was also a direct result of audience feedback.
Final Edit It was my responsibility to take charge of the final edit.
I uploaded the new footage and put the relevant clips in place and we decided that a cut was sufficient most of the way through our extract due to the good quality of footage.
I added futuristic music by an unsigned friend of mine (Tom Goode). The music fit the genre due to its futuristic electronic sound and added more emotion to the extract – this decision was a direct response to our audience feedback that gave us a low emotional response.
I added the music to the end of the extract for an amusing affect as I have my head in my hands and am bemused.
We made a mistake with the lift shot and re-filmed it. The mistake is still visible however and I had to put a quick cross-dissolve in to make the extract flow better.
I added titles to our establishing shot and CCTV shot to fit sci-fi conventions. I also added credits throughout the extract.
Unfortunately our extract ended up 1 second too long.
I was particularly happy with the match on action as Alex entered the office.
Evaluation of Media Product The upcoming slides will individually evaluate certain elements of our media product. Use, development and challenge to forms and conventions Our product uses associated forms and conventions of sci-fi films through the use of locations, props and costumes as an indicator to the genre of the film. Our product develops associated forms and conventions of sci-fi films through the characteristics that are displayed by one of our characters. He is not a typical male lead role with many unorthodox traits shared with young people such as bad time-keeping skills and over-enthusiasm that make him identifiable to younger audience members. Our product does not challenge forms and conventions of sci-fi films much but does adapt aspects of sc-fi films due to its British setting and actors. It is also aimed at a strictly teenage audience.
Representation of social groups We chose to stereotype our older character who is the boss of the younger character as a typically old-fashioned and dislikeable boss. This makes him identifiable to many audiences with authority being particularly disliked by the teenage/ young adult audience of 16-25 years of age that we aimed our product at. We chose to represent our younger character as the hero of our story with many unorthodox but likeable qualities (mentioned in previous slides). At the start of the extract we show that he has been drinking, we also display his excitement and inquisitive tendencies throughout the extract. His characteristics are intended to make him identifiable to our target audience of 16-21 years of age.
Media institutions that would distribute our product? A British film distributor such as FILM4 or Working Title Films may distribute our product due to its British Actors, type of humour and the fact that it stars young people and is aimed at young people which could make it popular with that particular niche audience. They would also know how to market our product through releases to young audiences like Four Lions (Film4) and particularly Paul (Working Title Films) These companies have a reputation for distributing films that attract younger audiences and these would be appropriate media institutions for our product.
Audience for our product The audience for our media product would be a teenage one with an age range of 16-25 years of age. They would be able to identify with the younger character and understand a dislike for the older character. They would identify with the humour in the product. The genre of sci-fi is one associated with teenagers and young adults, many of these people are interested in futuristic ideals and technology and would have watched other sci-fi films such as Paul and Raven.
Attraction and addressing of audience Our product hooks our audience through the slow start to the extract combined with modern connotations of technology and the amusing cliff-hanger at the end of the extract inspiring curiosity. Our audience would want to keep watching as the hero of the story is clearly destined to fail in his strange mission in ‘North-West Wales’. The possibly hilarious outcome would make an audience wish to watch the rest of the film, sci-fi audiences also enjoy and expect excitement in a film. Our audience would be addressed due to the fact they are an alternative audience for watching a sci-fi film and would be compelled by the problems encountered by our younger character and the iron rule of the wiser elder character.
Lessons learnt from technology The tripods take a little time to learn to manoeuvre and therefore it is sometimes appropriate to re-shoot things and shots can be shaky and appear un-smooth when panning or tilting. I learnt that the quality of the cameras can inhibit progress due to the lack of freedom they grant the user in terms of focus adjustment meaning when tracking or panning the shot can blur; we had to film our establishing shot a number of times until it was of sufficient quality. The editing software has minimal transitional effects that can counter bad footage and therefore in the future I will make sure I have perfect footage to convey what I wish
Learnt during progression from preliminary task to full product I learnt how to effectively use different types of shots such as over-the-shoulder shots, match on action shots and panning shots. The intimacy of the shot and the emotions it conveys became obvious to me as we used the camera more and more; for instance a close-up’s ability to convey emotion. It is important to be flexible in terms of time and also to be willing to scrap storyboarded ideas if a better alternative is available to re-shoot. Preparation and research into similar products pays off when it comes to filming because the influence of your research aids the fulfilment of conventions and forms associated with the chosen genre. In our case a good choice of setting, props and characterization of our older male actor makes clear the choice of sci-fi genre through effective iconography. I learnt that reliance on other people can hinder the efficiency of your time. Having a flexible time-scale would have been an advantage in hindsight. If given the chance again I would have got more filming done as soon as possible in order to maximize efficiency.
Finished Product CLICK HERE for our finished product.