17/05/17 – Focus group of new rough cut, self evaluation

Self evaluation/reflection

This is the first proper rough cut I have made so far. I haven’t done any colour correction or started with the VHS effects yet. This is pretty much the sort of structure I will wanting to get for the final cut. There is a link to the rough cut below, it ends when the music stops as I haven’t put any of the make up scenes in yet  and just have that footage still in my edit. This link is also the rough cut I showed the focus group to feedback on.

My overall thoughts are that it is a good project but could be improved with a few changes to the editing and the pace. I feel that the smoking scene goes on for too long and that the first biking scene should be extended. As it feels a bit cut off when Luc gets off the bike.

Also feel that there is a few close ups of Luc that I could reshoot due to the focus not being great. If I were to do reshooting I would do more reshoots of the bike, having more close ups of him riding the bike not just pushing it. I feel that I should also add the VHS effect in for sure with Sam, as it will make it look like a flashback or some sort of dream like feel.

Overall I am pretty pleased with the film as for a few edits that I could adjust, and maybe a few reshoots if I have the time left over.

Focus group

After making the rough cut, I then had a focus group over my work. With having them watching it individually, with then giving feedback on my work. Saying what they liked and what they would change with the editing. With also giving advice on what to reshoot if I had the chance. This happened over the course of two lessons.

Conor- fellow student

Conor liked the video overall but felt that I should cut some of the shots down as they were too long in some places. Mainly saying that the smoking scene went for too long. Saying that you could take some of the shots out. Saying there is some shots that seem not necessary. For example having three shots of example rolling the cigarette, as they are pretty much the same. I agree with him here, where he feels the smoking scene went on for too long. As this is what I was going to do first when editing started again.

Feeling that also the last shot of the shave scene should be shortened, where Luc looks into the mirror. However I disagree with him on this one as I feel that it looks that it goes on for that long, as not every shot needs to be cut quickly and try and grab the viewers attention.

For reshooting advice he said that I should probably reshoot some of the close ups with Luc as they are out of focus. This is mainly just the bedroom scene, with also saying that some of the bedroom shots are too dark. I agree with him on this point if I am going to reshoot, I will definitely do this scene to start with.

For more reshooting he mentioned how I could of had the flame come from the lighter, I agree with him again here and its a shame that I didn’t film from the other side of Luc, getting that flame in slow motion. But I will probably not reshoot this scene as it will be probably be the only shot I will be reshooting in the smoking scene.

Mark- Teaching assistant

Overall Mark also really liked the project. Saying that personally he liked the having some of shots out of focus, saying that it has a nice effect. However he also agrees with Conor, saying that the smoking scene should be cut down. As he feels that it is a bit too slow and starts to loose him at that point.

I agree with him here where the smoking part is probably the slowest part. I will get round this by adding more of the cycling at the start whilst also having more insert shots of the cigarette and maybe more shots of Sam instead. This is probably the first place I will start when editing.

Jack- fellow student

Jack was very positive over my work. Having that there wasn’t much to improve. He thought that I have done a great job already, however after thinking over it he came back to say that he thought that maybe have the focus change back on to his mum on the last shot. He also thought that maybe a good way to end would be to have it end with the timelapse fading to black. Making it so we don’t know what happened to him.

Even though I do like this idea, I feel that it doesn’t fit with the story that I am trying to tell. I wasn’t really going for a cliffhanger I was more going for a simple story which I could expand upon with the visuals.

Johnny – fellow student

Johnny, as well as the other people of the focus group, really enjoyed my short film. Saying that even though it’s 6 minutes he didn’t get bored and wanted to know what happened next. This is great to hear as this was one of my main worries about the project due to the songs length. However for improvement he also mentioned, like jack, how I could have changed focus on to his Mum. However I feel that I will have to disagree with that due to the fact that I quite like the out of focus nature of the shot and how it’s more focused on him. Summing the story in the last shot, how its focused on him and everyone else is off his mind.

He also mentioned how I should add a shot of him trying to call his girlfriend, showing a sign of struggle. I feel that this is actually really good advice and that if I was going to film again I will shoot this scene and try and place it in the story somewhere. This makes sense from a narrative perspective as well.

Fay – lecturer

Fay mainly agreed with everyone else saying that the smoking scene should be cut down. As it slows the whole project down a lot and doesn’t add a lot with its long duration. She also agreed with me to have the biking scene longer at the beginning instead of the longer smoking scene. Saying that the biking scene looks great but doesn’t last as nearly as long as it should do. I feel that this is really good criticism and gives me great confidence with adding more of the biking into the film.

Some more advice she had was about the jump cuts in the film, saying that the ones with slow motion work really well, because of the fact that it is slow collating with the music. However the jump cuts with the real time footage don’t work nearly as well. Saying that its too jarring and doesn’t match with the rest of the song. I feel that I agree with this point and will try and find a place to either edit them out or to make the cuts longer and more slow in time with the music. The examples she gave were the sleeping bag shot and the shot where Luc gets the bag. I can fully remove the shot with Luc getting out the sleeping bag, but might have to for the shed shot make the cut longer or add a fade.

Elena – course leader

Eleana really enjoyed my piece. Saying that my actor had a really good performance and was great for this story. She also really likes the idea of having Sam with an super 8 effect over the footage. Saying that it will make it so that the audience is unsure if its a memory or a dream.

Advice mainly came from doing reshoots, saying that it may be good to have Luc have more struggle in some of the scenes. This ties in with Johnny’s point of having him trying to phone her. This advice is really compelling me to do some more shooting with Luc. This would also give me some time for reshooting as well. For more reshooting advice Elena stated that I should have more action of the gears changing on the bike or maybe Luc doing more things with bike rather than just straight forward shots. I sort of agree with this however I will be not just reshooting just for that. In reflection I feel that I should of got more insert shots of the bike rather than just the bike wheel.

Elena also gave some criticism on the editing side of my project. Saying that it should stay on for Luc longer after the text happens. This was great as I knew that there wasn’t something quite right with my bedroom, with the rhythm of the cuts. But I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Fin – fellow student

Fin had a lot to say about my final major project. Saying that he thought it was great for a student short film and could really do well. He wanted to give as much advice as he could because he really enjoyed my project.

He mentioned how the sound fade between the titles music and the shaving sound should be more obvious. I will have a look into this seeing if I could change and play around with the sound. Staying on the subject of sound, he feels that I should have the credits be silent, I disagree with this comment as I feel that the last part of the song would be a good fit for the credits. As it has no singing and just the instrumentals slowing down. Feeling that this would be a good fit with the story. And not having awkward silence at the end of the FMP.

Staying on the subject of the ending, Fin gave the suggestion to a final fade on the last shot to the credits. I really like this idea as it shows the ending of the short film, rather than it just cutting to credits. For bedroom scene he agreed with Conor that it was a bit too dark in some places where Luc had some close ups. Giving me some suggestions on if I was going to reshoot it how to light it properly without having a proper rig. This really helps as this has enabled me to start thinking about ways of reshooting the scene if I was going to do, by giving me a suggestion on how to do it. He also stated that I could just play around with colour correction seeing if I could just add more light to scene in post. He then added to this that I should have lit up the poster rip more, as he didn’t really see what it was. In reflection I feel that I should have done it more towards the light and not have Luc’s shadow over it when filming. I hopefully will be able to turn this up in post production to make it more clear what is going on.

He really liked the posters being placed in the room as well. I thought that this wouldn’t be any good and I was thinking of reshooting and taking down them, but Fin disagreed. Saying its a good way of getting into the character’s mind and what he is interested in visually, without just telling us. With reflection I fully agree with him and feel that it was a good story telling move to keep the posters up around the room.

For the opening credits he thought that I should have placed them up on the bike scene around the 2:06 mark. I understand his point but I feel that this is too far into the video for the credits to be introduced, making it jarring and not work with the film. I maybe will experiment with this point, but I am going to probably going to disregard this point. While talking about the beginning he mentions that some of the sound mixing doesn’t make that much sense, the water running being too loud compared to the rest of the shaving shots. Saying that I should turn this down. After releasing this I will make sure to turn this down, I am very glad that he mentioned the sound as I will probably would have just ignored it.

I then discussed the problem that I had not being able to fit the scene in where he questions his identity. He was also unsure on where to place this shot, saying that its hard because you don’t want it to look forced. But still being a really good idea to get some visual interpretation in there. He couldn’t really help with my problem but gave the suggestion that I should add one frame into edit of it for sure. I feel that this might be a good idea for something to experiment with. I will be thinking over the weekend on how to place this scene into my short film without it looking forced.

Overall

Overall I have really glad that I did theses focus groups, getting people’s perspective on the different aspects of my film. It has enabled me to have new ideas to improve my work and also make it stronger. It is also good to have an outsider’s look onto your work, as you might be too attached to the project to see its flaws. Most of these ideas I would never have thought of, so I am really glad that I took the time to individually show people my work in full.

With reflection I feel that I should do this at every point of the creative process. For example getting people to look at my basic concept in more detail and also look at a script giving feedback before I go away and start shooting. Meaning that I have a strong idea from the get go. I will continue to have focus groups for my reshoots (if I do any) colour correction and any more changes in editing.

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