Things I will be taking out of the finished video

I have already talked about my concern with using the pink hoodie and how I feel that I won’t be able to get it in there, without making seem forced. So I have decided to forget the idea and not include. Feeling that my film is fine as it is and will just look odd with the shots of Luc in a pink hoodie. So will now no longer place the footage of that in there. I felt that I have made the right decision as I have a great film at the moment and don’t to over do it and ruin the film with something that might not work.

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Another thing I was thinking about in pre production of doing was the after effect drawings around Luc’s face and cigarette.

After finishing a rough cut I don’t think that adding this sort of effect will suit the style. Due to the fact that the song is very slow moving and doesn’t have a lot of action in the music video, the after effects will contrast against this and probably make the film quite jarring as a result. As this effect is better suited to rap videos with a faster and more aggressive beat in the music and vocals.

Added on this it would have been very time consuming as well. So I am glad that I won’t be doing it in the final cut.

However I am glad that I thought about this before putting it in due to the fact that the tone will be messed by having this crammed in the final edit. To improve this in the future, not having to cut stuff out, I should have a look at all the scenes to make sure that they all fit the same tone and are all in the same style before I go ahead and shoot. As having the right tone for your project is very important and I should focus on this more in the pre production phase.

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23/05/17 – Focus group with a set of questions, self evaluating and helping a fellow student

Today I showed people my newest rough cut giving them a set of questions to answer after watching the film.

Self evaluation

Before I talk about the focus group questionnaire results, I will be giving a brief of the things I like about the rough cut and also things that I think I should change.

I feel that this rough cut is pretty much finished, feeling that there is isn’t much more to add and having the feeling that I happy with the outcome of the final film. I don’t think editing wise there is much to improve on and I feel that reshooting, there isn’t anything major that ruins the film. Only some of the shots having weak focus, however I don’t feel that this takes massively from the film and will much rather improve my wordpress then go back and reshoot.

However I feel that there is some colour correction left to finish up. Having to make some of the shots look a bit better, mainly the shots with Luc walking with the bike at the beginning. Making sure that they are a bit darker and not as bright. This was mainly because I filmed at 2pm where the light is quite harsh. In reflection I will probably try to aim to film at magic hour times when filming at outside again, so there is good light and no real shadows or bright light. Making the shot harsh.

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I feel also that I did to make the super 8 film more grainy and add more colour correction to it, making sure to have that raw film look. This is due to the fact that you can still tell that it is HD footage and doesn’t give the full illusion of the dream like state. Staying on the topic of Sam’s footage is that of the white flash that appears between reels of films, adding that authentic nature to it. This will also cover up one of the jump cuts in one the shots of Sam walking away.

Overall I feel that the main aspect of my film that I need to change will probably be the colour correction. After that I will be able to export and will be ready for a viewing audience. Tomorrow I will be adding a credits scene, after which on the Thursday and Friday I will be colour correcting whilst adding finishing touches.

Focus group: Questionnaire

I laid out a set of questions for six people to answer. I got people to watch the rough cut and then answer the questions on what they thought of the film. I got people that haven’t seen any of my film or any of the rough cuts I have shown already. This because I wanted a fresh take on the film and if I got people I had for other focus groups, they might of just said the same sort of things.

The questions were:

  1. What’s your general thoughts?
  2. What do you think of the texting scene, anything I need to change (the dialogue for example or the font)?
  3. Is there a scene that went on for too long, or any shots that out stayed their welcome?
  4. What did you think of the 8mm film effect (the effect over the Girlfriend, Sam, shots)?
  5. Is there anything that needs reshooting, or any new scenes that need adding?
  6. Do you like the opening title sequence and shaving scene?
  7. Anything that might need editing out, shots you didn’t like?
  8. Do you like the ending?

The reason for asking these certain questions was because of these are the things that I am most unsure about in the project. I feel that some people may not like the ending, hence why I am asking about the ending and if they like it. I am also worried about if I need to reshoot, making sure that there is any shots that need reshooting.

I will now be looking over what the audience members thought of my project. Giving my brief thoughts on what they said.

Dan – fellow student

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Dan managed to notice something that no else did, that being the typo in the text messages. This was good because after all the people I showed my work no one noticed that was the case. So I will be changing the typo whilst also probably picking a different font.

Dan also mentioned to make the super 8 effect stronger. I agree with him on this point and will be making the colour correction stronger and more grainy to really have that super 8/8mm film feel. Making sure that you can’t tell that it is HD footage.

Apart from that Dan didn’t have much to say in terms of negative points or criticism towards the finished film. Which was very pleasing to see. I will make sure to take the advise of making the super 8 effect stronger, having the full effect of the dream state.

Nathan – fellow student

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Nathan as well really liked the film. Saying that it was “really great,” giving only a few editing pointers in terms of cuts with the flow of the project. Mentioning that he felt with Sam looking back at the camera and then going on to walk off felt really off and unnatural, not going well with the rest of the film. Not sure if I agree with him on this point and don’t really see a problem with it, I will see how it looks when I place the white flash of the reel change in-between the jump cut. Seeing if changes anything, but I am not sure if I will change the shot.

He also mentioned to me that it might be better to have the ending be him cycling off as the last shot and fade out from there to credits.  I see how this could work, better fitting the music with slow motion cycling. I will have a experiment with this editing technique and see how it looks. If it works I change the ending if it doesn’t I will keep the ending the same and have the last shot of his Mum.

Mark – Teaching Assistant

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This is one of the people I have already shown my film to in one of the previous focus groups. Still saying that my film is good he also mentioned how it looks a lot better with the super 8 effect over the footage of Sam. This is good because he has seen both versions, the one without any effects and the one with a super 8 effect. With giving the feedback that it is the super 8 effect was better than the original.

After cutting down the woods scene from his previous focus group advice, Mark still feels that the woods scene could be cut down a little more. I might play around and see if I can without heavily effecting the time of the music with the film.

Tammy – fellow student

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Tammy really liked the film, seeing that she pretty much liked every aspect of the film. But had a few criticisms with the sound and the texting effect on the bedroom scene. For the sound she mentioned how the poster rip was very loud compared to the rest of the diegetic sound. I will make sure to lower the sound levels of the poster rip to match the rest of the levels. This was good that she noticed this because otherwise I don’t think I will be able to.

She also mentioned how the bug was a bit distracting from the shot where Luc is smoking. For reference there is a shot with Luc smoking and there is bug on his arm. I feel that I can’t really change this but I can appreciate telling me about it in case I could fix that mistake.

For the advise on the bubbles around I feel that I won’t be taking this advice on board. Due to the fact that, like I have already mentioned, I don’t want the texting to come off cliche or too predictable.

Ethan – fellow student

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Ethan pretty much had the same comments as Tammy, saying that the audio with the poster rip should be levelled properly and the bug was a bit distracting in one of the smoking shots. He as well mentioned that the opening scene some of the audio clips were a bit too loud as well, I will have to get some proper headphones to listen to the audio clearly making them all the same level.

Connor Norton (another Connor from the other Conor that I had previously in my other focus group) – fellow student

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Connor really liked the music video along with everybody else, saying that it was very good and thought it worked really well. Also mentioning that he agreed with all my creative decisions in the music video. For negative points and ways I could improve he nothing to say, saying that he only wished there was more. This good because this showed that he lost track of time and hasn’t getting bored by the whole experience. As this is the most thing I was unsure about, the length of the project.

Overall thoughts of the focus group

I thought that this focus group was good. As it let me know of any final thoughts of the project. Whilst telling that it was good enough to submit as a final major project. People thoughts were very positive and only a few light criticisms that I could change to lift the project even further.

I will now change I think is good advice and do some final colour correction. To then finally exporting it to be submitted. I am aiming to have it submitted by Wednesday next week. So I can have plenty of time to evaluate, go over my blog post making sure its as good as it can be and get ready for presenting my work in front of the class.

The reason for doing this is so I can get a more focused feedback on what I wanted to know from people. With it being on what I was most scared about at the time. In reflection I feel that I should do this for every section of the FMP. For example having a focus group for the main idea, with having another one for some footage I shot recently unedited. With people saying if I should reshoot.

What I am understanding from reflecting constantly is that I should maybe more constant throughout my work progress. Trying to keep at the same sort of speed constantly and keeping doing things again and again. For example, always having focus groups throughout my progress.

Filming another student film there FMPWP_20170524_09_23_29_Pro.jpg

Today in the last lesson someone needed helping their FMP, so being ahead of schedule I thought I would lend a hand to help him in his project. He was filming his main part of the film and wanted help with the overall shot composition and sound. My job was to wear headphones and make sure that the sound was recording properly. Not needing to hold the boom as it was on a tripod facing towards the person speaking.

I wanted to share this as I feel that sound is my weakness in filmmaking and I feel that any experience will help me in the future when it comes to recording it next time. Making sure to get to grips with the equipment and recording device. I felt that it was a good experience and I liked working in a group when filming the scene. This also helps as I didn’t do much sound recording for my FMP. So this made sure that I had done some sound recording in the space of the FMP.

I will now be talking about the equipment I used for the sound recorder. I used a zoom to record the audio of Fin, this was plugged into a cable which lead to a microphone on a stand.

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This was because Fin was setting at a desk for this scene and wanted to make it like a sort of podcast feel to it. I then had headphones on, plugged into the zoom. Making sure that all sound has recording.

The opening shaving scene, inspiration (shaving)

In this blog post I will be talking about where I got the inspiration from to open my short film with a shaving scene. After looking at early short films by famous directors I stumbled upon on one of Martin Scorsese’s earliest works. This is the short film Big shave:

After watching it this gave me idea to start my short film with a shaving scene, as I needed a beginning scene with some diegetic sound in it because the rest of my film would have none. I thought that this would be a good way of doing it. Due to the fact that you could pick up the sound from razor and the water and have different sounds being played, experimenting with that aspect of recording. I also liked how the beginning was mainly all close ups. I would use this for the scene just having extreme close ups, not showing the character’s face until he uses the towel.

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I also liked how I would be paying a small nod to Martin’s work. But only a very few would get the connection. I also found it to be helpful looking at famous director’s films seeing how they started their careers.

Harvard referencing:

Big Shave (1967) short film

Initial release: 1967
Director: Martin Scorsese
Screenplay: Martin Scorsese
Producer: Martin Scorsese
Cinematography: Ares Demertzis
Cast: Peter Bernuth

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.

16/05/17 – Last part of filming, changing actors

Today I filmed the last scene that needed filming for me to continuing editing. I had to change actors on the day though. Due to the first actor pulling out and without warning. This has taught me to always have a back up on standby incase a actor can’t make the shoot. Whilst also having only people that I trust to be in my films and that are reliable. This was helpful as it will teach me a lesson about choosing actors in the future. Making sure that I avoid this problem in the real world.

This meant that I had to get another actress, Sam was happy to help with the project. The filming went well managing to get different shots in a short time frame at the end of the day. However I may need to reshoot some shoots as I may just not have enough. As I don’t have lots of takes. Overall I feel that today was a successful due to the fact that I got my last part of filming done and I also made a rough cut that people can watch.

Tomorrow I will be making a full length rough cut and having lots of focus groups to give feedback incase I need to reshoot or need to change anything in editing. This means I can get ready for after effects and colour correction next week. With all the different 8mm film and VHS effects on certain scenes.

In reflection I feel that I improvised well with the situation, managing to get a different actress ready for the shooting of the film. In future I will make sure to get a actress that is reliable and that I know personally, so I know if I can trust them and not letting me down. I will also make sure to have someone as a backup incase something goes wrong or they can’t make it. So I can still continue to film on that day.

UPDATED (2nd) – Actors, casting list

For my Seigfried music video I want my main actor to be Luc Seeraj, as I know he will be committed to the filming as he studies film studies and has a passion for filmmaking. He will also be up for filming for a full day and is someone I will get along with when filming. This means I can tell him straight what I want from him. I will also have Luc to help me with the filming, as he has a second camera and a microphone. He would be my second crew member and will help me film the scenes, giving me inspiration and advice on how to film certain shots and scenes.

Luc Seeraj studies at Reigate College, where he takes the film studies at A level.
Contact information: 07854328130

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For the actress I have chosen, Sam Nelson. Sam attends east surrey college studying Music level 3 year 1. This would be good as I am able to get the relatively small crew together at college and with the film location being at college, enables me to get ready and film straight away. Meaning I only have to film for about 10 minutes. She is also very helpful and cooperative which is what I need for my short film, so I can tell someone exactly how I want something done. She is also around the same age as Luc so this would make sense if those two were in a relationship.

Sam Nelson studies Music level 3, year 1 at east surrey college.

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Changing my actors again

Today when I was meant to film with Sara in the morning she was had to go home early and left me without warning. Meaning I was unable to film the scene I wanted to with her. So I have had to find another actress that will be able to do the small scene. Luckily someone from the music course was to help me out. And I will be filming with her later  today in the afternoon. Her name is Sam and she studies music at level 3 in year 2.

This has taught me to only depend on people that can be trusted and don’t come into lessons when they want. Meaning I should have a more auditions and have back up actors incase the first actor can’t make it. Meaning that this won’t happen again. With reflection I will now always have backup actors in the wings so that I am fully prepared for anything that happens.