‘ Fraction’ Evaluation what have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product? Tanika Hibbert
I have found that when filming with a DV camera some of the visual effects that I had wanted to carry out had been more difficult to do so. For example deep and shallow focus was near impossible to film due to the limited technical ability of the DV camera. On the other hand using the DV camera was essentially extremely easy to use and did not cause any major difficulties that could not be rectified through editing. The DV camera proved to be not overly complicated which made it easier for me to focus on how well I capture the cinematography rather than wasting time on working out the mechanics of the camera.
I believe that I have learnt a mass amount about recording since starting ‘Fraction’. I have learnt that when recording you must always obey the 180 degree rule in order to maintain the mise en scene created and not to ruin the project that you are trying to portray to the audience. Whilst recording ‘Fraction’ I learnt that certain scenes may require you to use the camera hands free. In order for my to make ‘Fraction’ look as dynamic as possible for viewers I wanted to get a variety of shots. For example the low angle shot of the detective reading the case file required that I use the DV camera hands free which at some points made the camera unstable and made the project not look as professional as I would have liked. I have also learnt that when out on location and on set it is important that you shoot the same shot in six different ways that way when it time to go through the editing process their will not be a lack of shots to choose and also would reduce the chances of having to go and re shoot the same footage. We also understood that in order to get the best shots then we may have to put ourselves in positions that could get us the best shot, for example climbing a tree to get a good establishing shot.
Editing image and video
The visual quality of the DV camera was extremely clear but did not emphasise small details the same way that a HD camera would have, this however came to my advantage when it came to editing; making the blooded room easy to distort as it was not that clear to begin with. We also recorded three different angles of the same shot so that when it came time to editing we could overlap the images to reinforce the psychological element of ‘Fraction’. In addition we continuously changed the pace of the piece throughout, making it go extremely quick at times but as we done it throughout it made the piece visually more dynamic to watch for the audience. we were also able to use the different variety of shots to create various match on action shots, shot reverse shots and some restricted shots. We also used all of the footage from the antagonist in the blooded room and shortened all of them to half a second and played them at the end of the sequence to create suspense and nervousness for the audience.
From the first edit of ‘Fraction’ we used a fairly simple soundtrack that was inspired by the opening soundtrack of the hit US show Criminal minds. When we played it with a rough edited version of ‘Fraction’ audience feedback told us that the music was far too repetitive and didn’t build suspense where dramatic scenes were occurring. I have learnt that by adding instruments such as guitars, violins and drums builds suspense and makes it much clearer for the audience to understand that something was about to happen. We were also told that there was a lack of diagetic sound in our fist attempt of making a soundtrack so we instead of having a soundtrack play throughout the sequence we let the sound that we had recorded when shooting play and turn down the soundtrack so the audience could hear the natural surrounding of the crime scene. I learnt that adding diagetic sound makes it more relaxing and natural for the audience to watch.
Equipment and programmes
When editing ‘Fraction’ there were many programmes that I had used. The first programme that I had used was iMovie to transfer the recorded footage from the DV camera to iMovie on the Apple Mac, which then was transferred to final cut express where all the editing of the recorded footage was done. I had also used Photoshop to create our ‘Tell’em Productions’ logo, originally I had wanted to create an original image but this was not possible so we took an image from Google and added some text to make it our logo. Garage band was also use to create the soundtrack as well as LiveType to make the titles for ‘Fraction’. The equipment used to whilst making fraction was a DV camera, two batteries and two tapes and a tripod that was used to put the camera on so we could get steady footage and move the camera around without it shaking. I also used various props to make our mise en scene
We started creating our product by sitting down and as a group and coming up with an initial idea. After which we then began coming up with characters and deciding who would be the antagonist and who would be the protagonist, we thought that since we had twins in our group that we would use this to our advantage and create a character on a psychological break but clearly portraying the different psychological aspects of his mind. Once this was done we then began visualizing our narrative by creating a shot list and an illustrated storyboard to match the shot types. We then created a schedule of where and when we would be shooting. As a group we created a list of props and costumes that we would need in order to make our opening sequence look as realistic as possible. Before we started shooting actual footage we ordered everything that we would need props wise from eBay and the costumes we brought in from home.
We also had to wallpaper a small room with white paper so that we could splash all of the fake blood on the walls. We found that the blood was more pink than red so we decided to use a red tint on a light to give it look more bloody. We then shot the scene of the distorted male in one afternoon. We then began shooting in Tooting Bec park but whilst shooting on our first location we found that we ran into legal issues with the police that meant we were no longer allowed to shoot in Tooting Bec park. We then had to create a new schedule for a new location. We decided to continue shooting in tooting Bec park but in a different location that would not upset the public ad shot the entire crime scene footage for the whole day. Once all of the footage had been shot we came up with the title ‘Disambiguation’ after receiving audience feedback on the title we were told that the title was too long and didn’t embody what are film was about. We then uploaded all of our footage and edited them on Final Cut Express along with the soundtrack on Garage Band.
In addition to filming and editing, it was vital that we kept a day to day log of everything that we did to do with our project on a group thriller blog as well as our individual blogs. After our project was completely finished we had to get audience feedback on what they thought of our project as a whole, did it follow the codes and conventions that you would usually see in a thriller and if they would like to go and see our project in the cinema.
When filming we shot some very long takes so the when it came to the editing process we could add digital effects to them. For example when the detective is walking from a distance we sped it up and slowed it down twice for it to look like a continuous rhythm, we continued to do this throughout the sequence to make it more dynamically interesting to watch. We also took still images of the evidence markers and added them in between the scene where one of the forensic team members were taking pictures of the crime scene as audience feedback told us that they were interested to know what he kept taking pictures of.
I published the opening sequence of ‘Fraction’ on Youtube, Facebook and Blogspot. I done this to get audience feedback from as many people as possible.