Group 5 Finished Opening Sequence - Removal

Group 3C Finished Preliminary Task

Monday, October 19, 2009

Preliminary Exercise Evaluation


1. Who I worked with and how we split the task between us:
- My group consisted of George Henry, Michael Greene, Despina Christodoulou and myself
- We decided to have an extra 40 minute group meeting to finalize the planning and the roles we would each have in order to prepare fully for filming session, to ensure it would run as smoothly as possible. In our meeting we decided not to have a leader, but make decisions as a group as there were so few of us, and we could easily communicate
- When planning, we all contributed to the ideas process, and distributed the planning sheets (storyboard, shot list, script) evenly
- To decide what each person should do when filming, we looked at a real film set. Normally you would find:
Director: Is in charge of the film crew, calls everyone to attention and tells them what to do
Production Assistant: Ticks off the shots done, and organises the Director
Sound Technician (and assistant): Checks the sound quality before filming begins and during, to ensure quality, and decides on what microphones to use (e.g. boom, shot gun)
Camera Technician (and assistant): Checks framing/movement of camera, and general visuals
Light Technician (and assistant): Checks quality of lighting of shot, and sequence, deciding on what possible extra lighting may be needed
Actor: Person(s) appearing in shot
Runner: At the command of every other role, ensuring they have what they need
- As there are only four of us, two acting throughout (Despina and I) and one partially (George), we picked the main roles needed. Michael and George shared the role of being Director and Production Assistant. The other would be Camera Director and Sound Director. Whenever Despina and I were not in shot, we would aid the others in these tasks. In each set up (second time around), all four of the group would watch back the shot to check whether it needed re-filming, either for sound or image reasons. We decided against having a lighting technician, as we knew this task was only to practise continuity, not image/lighting quality and the light on set was adequate
- We all contributed to the editing, however I was absent for the most part, and so George, Despina and Michael did the majority. I made sure I knew the processes they went through, and the mistakes/successes so as to benefit for when I'm am doing the main task

2. How we planned our sequence:
- To plan our sequence, we first thought of the rough story idea and agreed on it as a group. When thinking of the idea, we made sure to include a conversation in order to practise the shot reverse shot continuity technique, as well as some movement to include match on action
- Before writing down this idea, we walked it through, making sure it was practical and possible to shoot, as well as thinking where the camera/actors would be placed. We agreed the idea would work
- We then transferred this idea onto our storyboard (to visualise the final sequence and to communicate with every member in the group the details of the shot transitions, sound, framing, camera/actor movement so we all had the same goal), the shot list (to minimise the amount of set ups needed and to film in the most efficient order) and the script (so the actors would know what they are saying)
- On the day, we began by walking it through again to remind every role of what they are doing, and so the actors can practise the script and movements, and then we could being the filming

3. What technology did you use to complete the task, and how did you use it?
Hardware used:
- Canon HDV Mini DV Camcorder
- Tripod (to ensure steady shots)
- Shotgun mic (we decided against using the boom mic as we were filming in a small room, and so therefore we thought the voices could be heard adequately not to need it)
- Headphones (so the sound technician can only hear the sounds that are being recorded, and so can decide whether the voices can be heard or if there is background noise/feedback)
- PC based digital editing suite

Software used:
- Adobe Premiere Pro (razor tool to cut the clips, source and output monitors to view the clips and the working progress, two video and audio tracks to edit between, cut transitions, on board titling software for the text, drag and drop tool to order the clips, non-linear editing to edit in chosen order)

4. Factors we took into account when planning, shooting and editing:
- We had to think about our time management, to make sure we could fit every shot into the 1 hour shoot allocated. Therefore, we couldn't make it too complicated and had to use a location near by
- For the location, we had to think about where we could have enough space to fit all the equipment. There was also the factor of surrounding sound, like background noise from the surrounding school other groups, as well as the light sources avaliable. We chose an office in the media block as it was convinient, free from the other groups and closed off from the other rooms
- We had to think about the skills we had when assigning roles, and as we haven't previously worked together, this task was more challenging, as well as the fact, we had to double up as there were so few of us. Our story needed two girls to be actors, so me and Despina were chosen, despite the fact I have been previously wary about acting, but this forced me to work out of my comfort zone

- In shot 1 (0:04-0:07), where I walked in the shot it clean and steady
- From shot 1 to shot 2 (0:04-0:12 there is a successful example of match on action, as the cut from one side to the other of the door as I walk through it shows the door opened the right amount, and so the shots flow into each other as they would in real life.
- The pan across the room (0:16-0:17) is an establishing shot, so the audience knows the space relation between the characters
Possible improvements:
- In hindsight, we could've considered the framing of every shot more than we did. They all need to be tighter, to cut out distracting background and bring the audience closer to the action and characters. With the shot of George (0:22-0:24), the framing didn't work as the space was limited to put the camera in the right place, meaning we needed to think more carefully about space when deciding on set
- The conversation needs to slow down, to properly see the shot reverse shot technique, and to avoid confusing the audience
- The sequence doesn't have seamless editing, however this is not due to the editing but due to not filming a wide enough range of shots, such as filming the conversation in a master shot. With a wider range of shots, the whole sequence could be slowed down so the audience know what is going on
- The voices of the actors can be heard, but the background noise is also significant, so in hindsight we could've filmed somewhere where less people are walking past the room

6. What I have learnt from this activity and how I think this will be significant when completing the rest of my foundation coursework:
- I learnt a lot during the planning process, particularly the importance of the storyboard as we didn't spend enough time on the storyboard, and so we didn't all fully know what our final goal was as a team, which slowed the filming process
- Personally, I have found that acting is not for me as I am not 'camera friendly' or comfortable in front of the camera, and there are many better at acting than myself
- When things when wrong during the filming process, I found I reacted poorly, as I stopped communicating with my team as much, and feel I could have done a lot more to motivate, as the other members of my team did. This is something I am now aware of, and so will be concious to help out and communicate more when problems occur
- I learnt to think about the practically of the project, e.g. time allocation, props/actors/space avaliable and to properly assess each aspect to ensure they are possible
- I learnt a lot about constructing continuity, including not breaking the 180 degree rule, not breaking the 30 degree rule, using shot reverse shot when filming conversation and using match on action to create a flowing sequence
- I am now aware of how to use the audio equipment including the headphones, boom mic and shot gun mic to minimise feedback/background noise and to ensure the voices of actors/noises on set can be clear and distinct

Group 3C - Preliminary Exercise Paperwork (Storyboard, Shot list, Script)