Evaluation question seven - Looking back at you preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression of the full project?
Evaluation question seven – Looking
back at you preliminary task, what do
you feel you have learnt in the
progression of the full project?
What brief were you working to?
For our preliminary task before we had even begun planning for our
main exercise we had to film a short video of a person walking down a
corridor, crossing into a room. Then we had to edit them sitting down
and have a short conversation with another character. This was very
beneficial as it helped us experiment and use shots such as shot reverse
shots (which included the 180˚ rule). The task was a basic continuity
exercise. It had to involve match on action which we used with the close
up of the hand on the door handle. As well as this, it was our first ever
time of editing on professional editing software such as ‘Final cut pro,’ so
we were able to learn a lot that we could incorporate into our two
The 180˚ rule is where the camera can’t cross a
certain point in the shot so the audience is not
confused as it would cause a change in
background. The picture to the right is an example.
What I knew before I started the
Before I had started this course, I had had little
knowledge on the subject. I had used a basic video
camcorder before such as ‘The Flip pocket
camcorder,’ and basic editing software such as
‘Windows live movie maker.’ Over the duration of
this course I was able to learn about the different
shots used for what circumstances in films. Also I
was able to understand how to control a
professional camera, especially after we recorded
over some vital footage that we took as a learning
curve. Everyone in my group took turns in the
editing process on ‘Final cut pro’ so we were able to
learn a lot about the subject as a result of the
Match on action used
In the preliminary task we had to include match
on action to make it flow and look natural to the
audience. We had a long shot of a character
walking down a corridor and then a close up to
their hand on a door handle. Then it cut to inside
the room of the door opening. It was fast paced
to make it look natural and the audience
understood what was happening.
We used match on action shots in our two minute film
also. For instance when Tom is on the suicide bridge
there is a wide shot which leads to a close up with the
help of match on action. Also, in the memory scene
Summer puts her hand on the gazebo and spins round,
there is a match on action used there also. With the help
of the preliminary exercise we were able to understand
how to use match on action shots correctly. As we
created a ‘thriller,’ match on action shots were helpful to
build the tension.
Shot reverse shots used
In the preliminary exercise we used a shot reverse shot when the two
character are having the conversation. We edited it on ‘Final cut pro’ as
it was the same editing software we would use for the main task. We
understood how to use shot reverse shot from the preliminary task
which helped us for the two minute piece as we used a conversation in
the beginning of ‘Delusion.’ We incorporated the same shots into the
film such as the shot reverse shots and wide shots to create the
conversation. Because we had already created a conversation in the
preliminary task we understood what we needed to do in our main task.
The types of camera’s we used
For the preliminary task we used the ‘Panasonic HDC HS80,’ as it gave the film
a professional look but the camera was easy to use. No one in the group had
used this camera before but it was relatively easy to get used to and
For the main task however, we decided to use the ‘Sony HD 1000,’ as it was a change
from the camera we used in the preliminary exercise. We aimed to learn how to use
different camera’s, and test to see which one was the easiest to use and film on for
the full 5 minute film we will continue next year. We believed that this camera was
better as it gave our film a far more professional look, the sound quality was better
and we understood more about it as we spent more time on the two minute task
compared to the preliminary exercise.
What else did I learn and improve on?
Apart from learning how to use the shots needed in a
conversation or how to use the camera, I also learnt how to
produce a script for the task which was vital as it included
dialogue and also the shots we needed to use and when to
use them. Because we used a script for the preliminary
exercise, we understood how to use it for the main task.
However we did not completely stick to it for the main task
as we had better ideas as a group when it came to actually
film it. If there was any room for improvement in the
production process, then it would be to stick completely to
the script next time.
I also learnt how to use the editing software, ‘Final cut pro.’ I
had never used it before the preliminary task, so when it
came around to editing our full two minute film, everyone in
my group understood what we had to do and we didn’t have
to waste time in figuring out how do edit certain things like
we did for the preliminary exercise.
How we could have improved the
The preliminary task was a basic continuity exercise to show the skills we had
learnt, and to put those to practice. It was also good practice for the two minute
film. We could have improved our preliminary exercise by using better
equipment – such as the camera used in our two minute film. Our film ‘Delusion’
is of better standards compared to our preliminary task as we had more time to
plan it and incorporated more ideas in the editing side of things such as the
music and sounds we used. Therefore, if we had more time to plan our
preliminary exercise again, I believe it could be better. Also, in some footage of
our main task (the two minute introduction to a film), we broke the 180˚ rule.
We took it once again as a learning curve; we thought it was best not to use that
particular footage, and made sure that we did not break the rule again.
We also picked up some new skills from the preliminary exercise that we could
incorporate into our film. As I’ve already said, we used a conversation in our film
which we took from the preliminary exercise as we already understood how to
film and edit it. In ‘Delusion’ however we also included a graphic match for
example – which we took the ideas from ‘Psycho’ as that film is a thriller like
ours and we believed that the audience would be able to make comparisons to
our film and Hitchcock’s film. We had already used wide/long shots in the
preliminary exercise therefore we used them again in the two minute film. But
we still incorporated new shots into our piece such as high angle shots for
instance to represent power and how the protagonist felt.
The comparison between the two
First of all, we used a wider variety in shots in our
main task compared to the preliminary exercise.
This made our film look more professional.
However, because of the preliminary exercise we
understood to film and edit match on action
shots, shot reverse shots etc. To add to this, we
understood how to edit the film for the main task
after we had filmed it as we had already used ‘Final
cut’ previously when editing. This was helpful in the
production process of ‘Delusion’ as we didn’t have
to spend as much time concentrating on how to use
the editing software. In ‘Delusion’ also, we used
sound effects and music to build tension as our film
was a thriller. We did not use any music in the
preliminary task. If we were able to do the
preliminary task again, it might be something that
we would look into. We spent a lot more time on
the main task in comparison to the preliminary task
and more preparation time went into it, which
made our main task look more professional.