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.)
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.
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.