Stanley Kubrick short film – Moon watcher Evaluation

This blog post will be me evaluating my Stanley Kubrick project – Moon Watcher. I will be looking over what I could have improved and what I should do more of. This will help me for making the FMP I possibly can.

The aim of this project was to make a short film inspired by Stanley Kubrick. I feel I did this quite well due to the fact that I used an one point perspective shot in the beginning of the short film to establish the location of the short film, and had quite a lot of symmetrical shots with the ritual scene. For example having peoples faces directly in the middle of the frame and also having shots of two people on either side of the table.

I am of the opinion that I also was influenced through his storytelling. This because of the fact that my short film is very similar to his last film eyes wide shut. I also took notice of his unusual stories and offended at times being strange.

Areas of development

One thing that I should improve is to maybe change the sound levels so that they are all level. This is due to the fact that some different parts of the short film were louder than others. This is mainly the beginning of the short film where I am walking to the door. This is because of the fact that there is a lot of background noise, and isn’t fully turned down. Another issue with sound in my short film is when Conor opens the box on the top of the table, due to the fact that it is also quite loud compared to the other sounds and you can also hear the air conditioning come in. When moving forward I should make sure to have the sound mixer up when editing so I can make sure that they are all the same audio level. I should also play the film though the classroom speakers so that I can see how loud it will come out.

Another improvement I feel that I should make, is that of paying attention to every small detail. For example not having covering the table to add more atmosphere and tension into the scene. Rather than drawing the audience out of the film. However I feel in a weird way also works due to the fact that the ritual is taking place in college and I show that at the end of my film. Also with having someone’s shoes clearly visible in the shot. However I was able to get this out of the film by having a group crit tell me that they had noticed it when watching the rough cut. I then later cut it out. I feel that this primary research I should do more offend so I can make my film better before I make the final cut and upload. I should save some time for a rough cut to show people, then if needed I can reshoot and re-edit the film.

The last thing I want to touch on with improvements is the fact that some of the shots were shaking even though they were on a tripod, I feel this was because of the fact that the tripod wasn’t great and the camera I was using was very heavy. This didn’t help with the fact that I was focusing in and out and shaking the camera by holding the lens. Next time I will need to make sure to have a stronger tripod with also getting multiple takes so I have lots of to chose from in the editing process and not have to think about re shooting.

Good things I identified

For the good things about my work I feel that one of them is the costumes that I brought for the production, this is because of the fact that they added a level of atmosphere to this short film. This is due to the fact that you can’t see the people who are under the cloaks and the masks. With the added fact that they didn’t seem cheap or stupid, making them more creepy. Also feel getting them to wear all black with tights over their head helped as well, this was because you couldn’t see any of their skin, hair or eyes. Making them seem not human. This made the whole scene have much more atmosphere due to the fact that you could see my eyes. This had a contrast between my character and the non-human figures in the room. Getting them dressed in all black worked well because of the fact that you can only really see their masks against the black curtains. For next time I will have to make sure that I think about every the actors will wear. Due to the fact that it pays off in the finished film as I have displayed here, adding more atmosphere and tension.

The second thing I have thought I did rather well was the use of shots throughout the film. Having good cinematography, with the focus changing to give the focus on different actors. This added with the fact that the room was very dark and the masks were very bright made the fact that I could have good shots with people praying over the table. I feel having Stanley Kubrick for this project helped because I tried to have symmetry in short film. Making me trying to find it. Giving a wider range of shorts having more variety and more creative shots. I feel that I should go about with the same type of cinematography for FMP. I feel that should pay close attention to the framing within my shots and what feeling I am trying to put across with my short film.

The third thing I thought I did really well was the editing and the colour correction. For the editing and the rhythm of the cuts I thought worked really well. Having the shots end at the right time. With also continuity between all of the shots transitioning nicely between different shots making seem I have set up two cameras when I had only one. I feel I should bring this into my next film due to the fact that it works really well making seem very professional, for this to happen I have to make sure the actors move in a very similar way so I can very easily cut between two different shots even though I have one camera. I also managed to edit out someones shoes that ruined the atmosphere, I did this by cutting at certain points in the short film. I learnt that I should cut this out by having a small group crit. I feel I should do this type of primary research more offend due to the fact that it improves my short film a lot more and people can point out things I didn’t know before I go ahead and do the final cut.

For the colour correction this is the first time I have used it in a short film, but however I feel it worked really well. This is due to the fact that it made everything in the frame much more darker adding to the atmosphere and tension. With the fact that it you could barley see the rest of the actors and only really seeing their masks. The colour collection also helped with keeping continuity, because of the fact that the lighting was different in some of the shots due to them being in different places of the TV studio. This made the whole short film a lot better and didn’t distract the audience from the film. I will have to make sure to use colour correction in the FMP so I can make the camera look like they had the same lighting and also made it have a “cinematic,” look. (Before and After.)

beforeafter

Finally and I feel most importantly I had a really good idea. This was important due to the fact I needed to keep people interested and have them drawn in. I also wanted my project to stand out from the other projects that were submitted. I will have to make sure that I come up with a good idea for my FMP due to the fact that I need to keep people interested and invested into the short film. This is because they might overlook some errors in my filmmaking if I had a creative idea.

Conclusion

Overall I feel that is one of the best short films I have made so far. I feel that I have developed a lot of skills when doing this project, one of them being working with a crew and having more than 2 actors in my short film. This was a good experience as able to get to grips with controlling people and telling them what to do. This will help in me with my FMP. I also feel that having colour correction in time for the FMP would be good. As I feel I would be a lot quicker when editing due to getting experience with colour correcting before hand.

This will short film will greatly help me when moving forward with my FMP as I learnt a lot from what works and what I need to pay more attention to. For example looking at every detail closely and making sure that everything in the frame makes sense and doesn’t break the atmosphere or tone of the short film.

Colour correction – Stanley Kubrick short film

For this short film I decided to use colour correction for my short film. This was because of the lighting was different in some of the shots. Making it distracting and also losing continuity. I also made it so that it is more dark making it more creepier and weirder. Due to the fact that it is harder to see the black curtains in the background now, thanks to the colour correction. I also made it so the lighting was always of the same colour. Here is an example of before and after editing some of the shots in the short film.

beforeafter

As you can see the difference is small but I feel it makes a massive difference in the long term for tone aspect and a continuity aspect as well for the lighting being different in different areas of the location. I will make sure to use this in more short films in the future and including the fmp due to the fact that it makes it look a lot more professional and cinematic.

 

Guest speaker from the film industry

Today we had a guest speaker come in from out of college to talk to us about the industry and also about cameras. His name was Gabs and has his own production company where he makes short film, adverts and music videos.

He started by showing us some of his adverts and telling us how he got the job offer and how he went about filming and setting up the for the shot. Saying about how he would assign people to certain jobs for each different shot and also how he would get a brief from the company or organization which he would have to apply to. This is good because of the fact that he have already got practice of this from our projects we have been given from our teacher.

When he was talking about cameras there was a number of topics he covered, one of these were lens. Saying there are two different types of lens, prime and zooms lens. Zoom lens being able to zoom in and out while the prime being fixed at a certain position. The prime lens are each different with each being more zoomed in or less. The zoom covers all of these, however at a lesser quality and also being cheaper.

The next thing he talked about was the f stop. This affected the lighting of a shot. The scale of the f stop could from 1.4 to 22. 1.4 being really open and letting a lot of light in the shot while having it at 22 makes very narrow and having it at very dark and not letting a lot of light in. It also changes the depth of field of the shot. With the higher the number on the f stop makes it have a much longer depth of field while lower has a much shallower depth of field.

The shutter speed is another thing that we learned from the speaker.  Saying that normally the shutter speed should be twice the number that your frame rate is at. For at 25 the shutter speed should be at 1/50. When the number getting bigger the shutter speed gets slower. This is due to the fact that the shutter speed is time for the shutter to closes every second. For example 1/50 means it closes 50 times in one sec.

The iso is also numbered based, meaning higher the number the more light the camera has in the shot, this also means the picture is more gainer. When you have the number lower you have the shot being less exposed to the light and while also getting a much better picture quality.

Evaluation of the rough cut

This is a rough cut for my short film. I feel so far the footage I have got is good, this will be me evaluating my editing and what I could change before I upload in the VLE. I feel that I should add more to the beginning of the short film, this will require to film more. This is because of the fact that it goes quite quickly and the audience isn’t too sure what is going on. For the main sequence I feel that I should a different shoot which isn’t out of focus due to the fact that some of the shots have are out of focus. For the final scene there is some audio which doesn’t go well together due to the fact it jumps from different camera angles. This means that I will have to blend the audio so isn’t so obvious. For the credits I will have to change one of the actors names due to the fact that I spelt it wrong. Overall I feel I thought as a rough cut it worked quite well. Now I will have to reshoot the first scene with some additional shots so the audience can process whats happening.

Day 1 and day 2 production/filming of Kubrick short film

Day 1 of production

The first day of filming my short film was filming the main sequence (the dream sequence.) To help me film and star in the film was Joe, Jack, Ethan and Conor. I also used Conor’s camera for the shoot, due to the fact that it is quite high quality and has a shallow depth of field which I like.

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 14.23.03

This shoot took us about three hours over the course of 2 lessons. We filmed in the TV studio for all that time. For the shoot I used the lighting system in the TV studio so that I could get the correct feel for the short film. This is one of the reasons why I choose this location. For the shoot I got the actors to wear tights over there heads so that you won’t be able to see their eyes. I wanted this effect to make it more creepy for the viewer not being able to see if they are human. This then contrasted with the fact that you could see my eyes. Due to the fact they were wearing tights we had to take short breaks so that they wouldn’t get too hot.

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 14.22.43

For some of the shots you can see someone’s shoes, however this can be easily edited out. I should of got the actors to wear black socks or even have them all in bare feet. This isn’t a major deal however due to the fact that I edit this part out.

Overall I feel that the day of filming went well as I managed to film all the stuff I planned to and I also got lots of takes and different camera angles to pick from. This will give me alot of choice in the editing process.

Day 2 of production

For the day 2 of production we had a much smaller team. This was due to the fact that I was the only person staring in it and we it wasn’t as complex as the first day of filming. For day 2 me and Conor filmed the first scene where I come into the TV studio late. This went however I feel I shoot some more due to the fact that we can’t really see my face so this might confuse the viewer when I wake up from the dream.

The second scene is was the scene where I woke up from the dream. We filmed this in the classroom, I feel this went well due to the fact that we got the atmosphere of people working at their desk which is what I wanted. However I feel the last shot may be a bit shaky due to not having a stabilizer. However overall I feel that day 2 also went well and I feel we did it quite efficiently within the time frame of only one lesson.

 

 

Kubrick Essay

Kubrick Essay: Why is he the “Master”?

Stanley Kubrick changed cinema with his films like 2001: a space odyssey, a clockwork orange, the shinning and much more. One of the main reasons he is looked at one of the best directors that ever lived whilst also being very influential is because of how much detail he puts into his work, making actors do 100s of takes so he could have the perfect one. An example of him putting masses amounts of effort into the smallest detail could be from the film eyes wide shut where he got his nephew to take pictures of red doors in New York City for a whole year. Where the door would only be featured for about 10 seconds. This shows us that you have to pay attention to the smallest detail in order for film to good and to be a proper success. This helps be able to create great films due to him keeping an eye on every aspect of his films, making him become to people to be the master.

MV5BMTIwMzAwMzg1MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMjc4ODQ2._V1_UY1200_CR82,0,630,1200_AL_

Another main reason why he has be able to stay in people’s mind so much and still be able to stay so relevant in the 21th century, is due to the fact of his cinema signature. This being shots containing one point perceptive. These shots become ionic in his films and influenced many filmmakers and many to come. This type of shot and filmmaking is very unique to Stanley Kubrick. However I feel what is so special about his signature shot is the fact that he doesn’t over use it and using it only when it benefits the story and the characters at the time. This is what makes him a master, knowing when to use a certain shot and when not to use one.

full metal jacket.png

Two of my favourite films of his filmography would have to be Eyes wide shut and A Clockwork Orange. This is because of the fact that I like their attention to detail and also feel that these have the best cinematography in them out of his films. With A clockwork Orange having good performances in them. I also feel that these two films have important context to them as well about the time they were made being very important to the film. For example A Clockwork Orange is set in a dystopian era. A dystopia is a futuristic society in which the citizens are repressed and powerless. The people are easily oppressed, and they are controlled by a totalitarian government. This is a criticism on politics and the government at that time. I feel that this makes the film much better, this is another reason why Stanley Kubrick is looked upon in such high regard. Eyes wide shut is also very striking for its time due to the fact that at the time there were rumours about Tom Cruise’s sexuality. This added with the fact that the film is about sexual fantasies makes the film even more bold.

 

He has key messages and values quite hidden in all of his films, he does this by having images in his shots and only if you were looking out would see. He would also have messages hidden in passing dialogue. An example of this would be in the film the shinning. A message hidden in this film could be that America overlooked the atrocities done to the Native Americans. An examples of this would that Hotel in built on a Native American burial ground, while having the name “Overlook,” hotel. This added with the fact that there is lots of Native American imagery throughout the film as well. This means why he pays attention to the smallest detail he is able to place hidden messages into his films. Another example of this would be 2001: a space odyssey, due to the fact that every person has a different reading of the film. This evaluates him above other directors due to the fact that he is able to have messages hidden to people. This also means there is no wasted dialogue in his scenes and everything is in there for a reason.

15-the-shinning-2.nocrop.w529.h903

However even though his films are considered masterpieces and work as case studies for filmmakers, his films never normally do well at the box office. This is due to the fact that his films are very hard to market due to the fact that they are very complex and multi-layered. This also makes it hard for him due to the fact that he doesn’t get massive budgets compared to most other filmmakers due to the fact that studios won’t give that much money due to the fact that they we won’t get the money back. The times where he has found box office success is when he has had famous actors in the lead role, examples of this include: Spartacus due to Kirk Douglas and the Shinning due to Jack Nicholson. However box office has no effect of how good your art is. This means box office is only really relevant at the time and the art is what stays around.

la-et-kirk-douglas-spartacus-pictures-001

Kubrick uses a lot of classical music in his works, but only when appropriate. For example having lots of music by the composer Beethoven due to the fact that the main character likes that music. An example of his good use of classical music would be for Eyes wide shut where he uses quite sinister music when at the ritual scene, to get the feeling of the unknown and creepiness. However he doesn’t use it in every film, an example of this would the film Full metal Jacket due to the fact he used music from that time period, the 60s, to set the scene and tone of the film. This also why people think he is a master of his work due to the fact that he takes time picking what music to play and for what reason.

beethoven-600x600jpg

I will be trying to use a lot of Stanley Kubrick’s techniques when moving forward in my short films, one of them being the act of paying attention to the smallest detail in a scene. This is due to the fact that you can the film a lot deeper than it is and also have a much better content within the film to make it that much better. Rather than only having good surface level. I will also try to copy his one point perceptive shots that are featured in his films, this is due to the fact that they are quite striking and also very visually appealing.

Overall I feel that Kubrick is considered a master by many due to the fact that he pays attention to the smallest detail in all aspects weather that’s in acting or the music Kubrick purposely handpicks every part of his films. Making each one very personal whilst only very complex, even if you don’t like Kubrick’s films I feel you have to admire him for what he does. Trying to get them as perfect as possible is something that all filmmakers what to do with their films.