Constructions of Reality – Questions about the Truman show (1998)

Yesterday we watched Truman show in class, this is the third time I have since the Truman show. However this is the first time that I have seen it in awhile and also being more interested in film. Giving a fresh perspective on it. Fay was given us some questions on the main themes of the film.

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There are two worlds represented in the film,

What key elements of the mise en scene separating the two worlds?

The film is separated into two worlds, one being where the character Truman lives in this fake reality for a TV show. Whilst the other is the outside world looking at the TV show’s world.

The TV show has a very old 50s and 60s vibe. Bringing in that force fun that the show keep opposing on Truman as a character. This also ties into theme about how everything is perfect and the American dream. They do this by having lots of different light colours whilst also still being faded, this colour scheme reminded a lot of Wes Anderson films.

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They also really sell this atmosphere with alot of the props pretty old fashioned for the 90s. This really creates a great contrast between the two worlds. Really selling that the TV show isn’t what it seems to be.

The real world has a really drab world with the colour. With it being alot darker in the brightness and contrast. And having a total different colour scheme, of a lot more darker colour. This really shows the difference between a world created and a reality of the real world.

What film styles help convey different situations?

One of example of film style convey a different situation, is when Truman has an argument with his wife. There is alot of movement shots of trying to track him whilst also having lots of POVS. I feel that this adds to suspense of the scene, and tension. As Truman gets closer to the answer for the fake world.

What is the indeed audience for the show?

I feel that the intended audience for the show is everyone, due to it showing all aspects of life in the reaction shots of the audience. It would also want to appeal to all ages due to it being such complex show it needs as much money as possible.

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Reflection of TV presentation – True detective

Today I presented one of my favourite TV shows to the rest of the class. This was True Detective season 1. This is the presation in full, I would this as reminders and then expand upon whilst talking. Keeping me on track and not rambling.

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This is was the comments that the class gave back, scribed by Kira.

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As a whole I felt that got all my points across in the pitch that I wanted to. This really helped due to the fact that I had a great presentation with me to help tell points that were condense. And not rambling on about the story and plot details. I talked to Elena afterwards who said that mine was very good, giving very positive feedback.

Even though I was very nervous I felt I did very well in terms of speaking in front of the whole class. If there was one point that I which I felt I could improve on, it would have explain the plot in more detail. Due to the fact that plot is so detailed, I felt that I should of had maybe two sliders covering that subject matter. I felt this because most of the questions regarded around the plot.

Overall though I felt I did myself proud.

Evaluation of the TV pilot

In this blog post I will be evaluating the final edit of my TV pilot, looking at what I need to improve and what I should do next time. I will break down my evaluation into sections, looking at one scene at a time. You can find the link to my edit here on youtube:

Bedroom scenes

I feel that the opening shot of my short film was a good decision in establishing where the surface is supposed to be in relation to the TV series. It also is a much better opening shot compared to Gael sleeping in his sleeping bag. For the opening shot I took a quick snippet from the book of eli trailer showing the trees, this was meant to be the landscape of the surface. I then did a dip to black showing a clip of a crow from a wildlife program flying away. I then colour corrected the crow clip to match the colour of the rest of the film. I thought this was a good opener, showing the surface that the characters keep referring to. With also being the setting for the tone.

The opening scene even though it was done in a rush condition, I feel it still works. If we would have had more time maybe we would have been able to iron out the continuity errors due to having more time on our hands. It would have also been able to make the conversation more visually interesting.

I feel that for this scene the lighting works really well. Having it seem dim light but also still being able to fully see the actor’s faces. This creates the tone of the film whilst also not hurting it. The audio works fine I feel, showing the viewer that the area is quite echoey whilst still getting the actor’s performances recorded.

Market walking scenes

We had two market walking scenes, showing the transition from the market back to the corridor scenes. I feel like these scenes are the weakest of the short film, due to the fact that the shots even though are interesting get pretty boring after a bit of time. However I feel that the audio really helped with this scene, having different music for different locations.

This was enable to happen thanks to the fact that Joe, our sound recordist, was recording when we were just walking through the streets of Camden. This meant we got lots of different background to use for the different shots, adding the atmosphere of the scene. I feel to improve these scene we maybe would have prepared more, rather than just filming randomly where we were walking. Having more of a set layout, with also trying to get different variation of shots. I also feel that this holds up the pacing of the short film, making it go as smoothly or build up the tension as much as I wanted it to.

This is something that I will have to focus more on. Making sure that the scene transitions happen smoothly with also having good pacing to make the viewer bored or confused on what going on.

Food conversation scene

I feel that this gave a good break up from the mold of having lots of tracking and medium shots. With having shot reverse shot of a conversation taking place. This also gave me experience in doing this type of scene, as of before I had no real experience with shooting a conversation scene.

I feel that audio be could have been improved, however I feel I did the best I can. This was due to the fact that we were recording next to a speaker playing different songs. This meant that there were different songs in background for each of the takes.  Saying this though I feel that I managed to not get much discretion with the audio side. Having one track of audio playing music from Cadem, managing to be louder than the music but not louder than the actors speaking.

“Fight,” final scene

The final scene was my most concerned about scene, due to the fact that there was so many people involved and we had to try and fact a fight of sorts. This was especially hard when filming for me. Due to the fact that I am not as confident as most people, I had to direct 5 actors and a camera man whilst also making sure to record sound. This hard for making sure to put everyone in the correct place for shooting. However saying this I feel that the scene worked out good, I feel that this has giving me great experience in directing a small group of people. Rather than just one or two.

I feel that this scene works really well due to fact that I feel it has the tone of the show, if it was going to made into a full length TV show. Having good lighting with also some really good performances. Having the dynamic of the height between Nathan and Daniel was a really good decision, because it brings over the menacing factor a lot more.

However I feel that there should have a bit more of a build up to the indiecent, building up the tension and suspense. This I feel is an issue with the overall pacing of the film rather than just this scene.

Overall I feel that I am really proud of this short film, feeling its probably the most ambitious short film that I have taken part in. Having to source the locations and then get a small production group together.  In terms of improving skills I feel that I have a lot sound. That both with actually recording the sound making sure that we can easily sync in post.  With also actually doing sound design with the different audio clips, making the world feel more lived in and adding to the audience’s experience.

The most important thing I will take away from this project is that I need to not be afraid to be firm and take control as a director. Making sure that everyone knows what they are doing at all times. So the film can be made efficiently and with also not having any hiccups on how I envisioned it. I will be showing my edit to my other classmates later this week for a group crit. Where the other members in my group could also see for the first time what I have done with my version of the edit.

EDITING SMOOTH SKIN – Rough cut

Over the weekend I have been editing my Smooth Skin project, trying to get a rough cut together. I have since got a rough cutline of the actual edit. Not doing too much to the sound or doing any colour correction thus far. In this blog post I will be talking about what I like about the edit so far. And I am going to improve later this week.

I feel that the look of the film and the cinematography turned out really good, having good shots that are well composed whilst also having good lighting even without having any additional lights. For the sound quality worked out really well, with also saying the sound number so we could easily synch up the audio with the visuals. This helped massively and saved a lot time in the editing process. Not having to go through and listen to see what fits with what.

I feel that the weaker sides of the edits our the market walking scenes and the scene transitions. For the walking scene I feel that look really good but really flow to well with the editing and the pacing. This ties into the scene transitions struggling to make the scenes flow. To improve this I think I will need to play around with the shots and see if I can shorted these scenes, or add something to the sound design to make it feel more like a world that the characters are living in.

In conclusion, I am going to show Fay my rough edit so I can get some advice on what to do next. With also trying to do more sound design with the scene where Gael is having the nightmare and also with the market scene. I also want to go through and colour correct the scenes, making the visuals darker to fit with the tone of the TV show.

Progressing with the Glow Wild project

I am still editing my Glow Wild with having it in the background while doing my TV pilot project. I have making an 1 minute edit for an advert for kew gardens. I have included two interviews out of the four we conducted. With havin some shots of the B roll that me and Joe filmed.  I chose mostly to use the B roll and have the interviews as narration over the clips. I feel for the footage I am pretty much settled on what I have chosen. Most recently changing the audio so it fits more with the music and doesn’t have such distracting background sound when the people who are being interviewed our talking.

I feel that I won’t spend too much longer on this task due to the fact that I want to fully concentrate on the TV pilot editing.  Making sure that I have enough time for colour grading and also making sure that I have good audio to with the visuals.