10.06.18 – Reflecting on my Context and Reddit update

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Today I thought that I my been lacking in some of my context, so I sent some of today writing up a short blog post on why I felt it was important for my to show drug use in short film. With also why I wanted the character Jasper to overcome it. This hopefully adds some more information on the initial ideas of my short film.

I also spent most of the day adding to some of my research, adding almost 1000 words to different blog posts on my wordpress.

After that I re checked my post on reddit to see how it was getting on.

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It didn’t get any comments however, it got 13 up votes meaning quite a few people liked my short film. With the views on vimeo now having over 130. Which is the highest one of my short films has ever gotten. This is added with the fact that it was only posted on Friday night.

I am now continuing to work on my wordpress trying to get the best grade I can making sure that I have everything in place for the official paper work hand in next week.

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The context on why I wanted to show drugs in my short film

In this blog post I am going to be talking why I chose to have the topic of drugs in my short film.

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The reason I wanted to touch upon the drug abuse when talking about youth culture is because I feel that a lot of youth are effected by drugs in their everyday life. With 35.1% of 17-18 have smoked pot in the past year and have smoked pot in the last 30 days. Showing that a lot of the youth experiment in drug taking.

This is something that I wanted to show my short film. Because I wanted to show all sides of the youth culture. And I feel that a lot of young people are wasting potential because they are getting involved with drugs at a early age.

The reason I wanted Jasper to show Jasper taking drugs, is because of the fact that wanted something to hold him back. Something that he will have to overcome. Like I said before a lot of the youth culture experiment in this behaviour, and I felt having that in the film showed some important character development for Jasper to overcome that. Building on his character and showing the journey and developments he has man as a person through the 9 minutes of film.

For my short film to also work I needed something to get in the way of Jasper’s goal. This being him wanting to be a photographer. When I made the obstacle drug related it made perfect sense. As a lot of youths get distracted by one form of drug abuse or another, making them not be as motivated in certain goals in life. Or not get the best out of education, not giving them a great job in a certain area.

Overall I wanted to show the reality of a lot teenagers. As my main intention for this FMP was to try and show an aspect of the youth culture or growing. As we transition from Teenagers to adults and have to figure where we are going to be in life.

Bibliography:

https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/teen-addiction/high-school-drug-use/#gref

09.06.18 – Getting the consent forms and uploading the short film

Today was mainly getting my consent forms signed and making sure I could get them handed in to the deadline day of the paper work. I had most of them signed due to doing them on filming days or in college. But today I did the last two, being Megan and Ellis who luckily enough both live in Reigate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have since found a way of uploading the short film finally online. I have started paying for Vimeo so I can have more weekly data allowance. Making it so I can upload my file on Vimeo. Meaning I can show my film. After uploading my short film I showed the actors in it. That being Jasper, Ellis and Megan who have not yet seen my short film. They all said it was really good, Jasper really enjoying the transitions. This was great because I didn’t want to let them down at all. Making sure that I had a good film to show for all their effort they put in.

After signing the forms I went onto Reddit to upload my short film. I felt it would be fun if I got some feedback from outside the circle of people I knew. Uploaded it to the subbreddit of short films. Hopefully mine we’ll get viewed and maybe commented. I am hoping to get some harsh feedback as the stuff I have got back has been all positive and I need to know how to move forward. And people on the internet don’t hold back.

08.06.18 – Exporting PG version and starting the WordPress grind

Today was mainly a relaxed due to handing in my final film, however I still needed to make a new one for a more PG audience. So I had to look for a more suitable track, thought about what artist would fit that place in my short film. My first thought was Frank Ocean, looking at his music library I realised he made a track for biking with only him. Taking out the verses of Tyler the Creator and Jay-Z which have most of the swear words. This song placed perfectly in my film and exported it once again with the new track.

The thing I found ironic is that this is the track I had to change for my last FMP because of the words. But since the new version realised after I am using to replace another track in my film for the same reason. I thought this funny and shows a circular narrative of my films.

After finishing everything with my editing, I now to need to make work on my WordPress. This means catching up on my WordPress making sure that I have everything sorted out for the official hand in of the paperwork next week Friday. The 15th.

07.06.18 – Exported the final cut

Changing the bus scene

Today started with changing the bus scene, having the transition go to Jasper on the street rather than him walking in the tunnel. This was because you could see Jasper through the window. Making more sense to go to the street shot. After making this cut it also flowed a lot better. With it looking a lot nicer, and not feeling as awkward.

After this cut I had two people view it to make sure. This being my actor Johnny who played Shaq and another student called Jack. They both really enjoyed the film, saying that it was great. They had no advise or comments just saying that I did really well.

Exporting

After the additional viewing I thought I was ready to export, being happy with my final short film cut. Thinking to myself that I did really well overall, with also thinking that this by far my best piece of work.

After uploading I had a slight¬†panic over my sequence settings. As the sequence I edited was not in the correct format and not in proper 1080p. This made me think that I a lesser quality film. So trying again exporting in the proper project sequence it made no difference. But I just had to make sure that I wasn’t missing out on a higher quality film.

However this was still good I doubled checked, just to make sure.

Having to make a more “PG” version

Today Fay told me that the song I used might need to be changed for the end of year diploma show, due to a word that is mentioned in the lyrics. This is fine because I can easily place a more suitable track for this one viewing. This wouldn’t take too much time but I will still use my first final cut as the one to submit.

Uploading problems

After exporting my final version I wanted to upload to youtube so I could show my friends and family. With also having my work online so people can find my work online when they type in my name. However when I uploaded it to youtube I got instantly hit with a copyright strike blocking my video worldwide, meaning no one can see it.

This is because of the songs I used were copyrighted. So after this I filed a dispute using I am using them in fair use and not making any money off the product. I don’t think this will work but I might as well try and see the outcome.

I then later tried to upload on vimeo, however this went over their weekly 500mb upload that they give out for free. I then tired to upload it a lesser quality however this still didn’t being 64mb over. So I am going to have to pay for vimeo so I can upload my film somewhere. As I feel I have a really strong product and I want to show people.

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Mixing with speakers

Today after finishing my structure and editing on the visuals I went into a studio with good speakers to test out the sound. Having proper speakers to edit on so I can make sure my audio is properly edited and levelled properly.

I set up my laptop connecting the speakers in the audio jack so that the audio can come from the surround speakers. I had the room to myself as well so there was no outside noise.

This was really good because I was able to get the dialogue scenes at the same level, so it doesn’t have different sounds on each scene. I changed the audio for Shaq’s scene having it louder in places so you can more clearly hear Johnny’s voice. With this I also changed the car park scene making it louder with having the croydon atmosphere track in the background. As you could hear when the shot changes in the audio without it.

I then did some general mixing for the shots making sure that they are all at the same level, so no scene is too quiet or too long. After watching it a few times over with the speakers listening very carefully I was happy with the final mix.

Overall this was a good experience as I was able to get the sound to high quality. Making the overall film better. Due to sound being 50% of the film while the other is visual. The sound and music now really complements the finished film. Making it so much better, after watching it with better sound I feel that I have a really good project. With some more fine tweaking I will have a finished film.

 

References to Requiem for a dream

In my film I took a lot influence from my favourite film Requiem for a dream. So I thought it would be fun to breakdown and look at all the nods and references I made to Requiem for a dream in my short film.

Drug Sequence

The first one I want talk about is the drug sequence, as this is one of the first ideas that I came up with. When coming up with the idea for having someone trying to escape a life of drugs. I wanted to show the something that showed the effect of drugs more visually. Looking towards Requiem for a dream because I wanted to do someone getting away from drugs and that life, and I knew that the film’s story was about that.

This scene gave me the idea to have Ethan preparing the bong sped up so it contrasts against the slowed down smoke cloud. I felt that this really portrays the visual aspect of taking drugs. I wanted to get the feeling across of Jasper being high through visuals and music without just showing Jasper hitting the bong. I feel having a more stylised approach and not just straight up showing someone hitting a bong was more creative and added a lot to the film.

This happens a lot in Requiem for a dream. Having more having more stylised sequences creating mood and atmosphere, this being something I wanted to reference and show in my short film.

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Nathan’s Line

Nathan’s line one line in the film may seem a bit off and some people might not chose to have those certain words. The line I am talking about is “Are we gonna waste sometime or what?” The reason I chose to have this extract line is because its what Jennifer Connelly says before getting high in one of the scenes. I wanted to have this line because I think it shows us that the character know what they are doing is pointless and doesn’t help them, but they want to do it anyway.

It wasn’t a extract copy but here is the line that inspired it:

The Girl in the dream

When coming up with the idea I didn’t have anything for Jasper to aim for, or anything to let us know that he is going somewhere. This is where I came up with the idea for him to have the dream of the girl on the beach. I thought this was really cool in Requiem for a dream because its such a happy and bright dream contrasting against such a bleak and dark world. This is something that I wanted to have so the audience has some mystery at what is happening, with becoming interested in what the dream is with also the story of him and Scott. With how that all ties together.

I then wanted him to actually go to the beach because I feel that show he has made the right choice. That he is now on the right path in his life. Having the dream feeling like the story is leading somewhere. With also creating a foreshadowing, as without the dream I don’t feel the ending will have the same effect.

As when I came up with the idea I just came up with the ending on the beach not the dream. This isn’t until I saw this scene again I decided to have a dream of the ending half way through the film. Adding an aim and goal for the character without the audience really knowing what it is. But keeping the film going and having a direction to go, rather than just Jasper aimlessly hanging out and then just ditching his friends. The dream almost being a metaphor for the seed placed in his mind that he should leave Scott. Before he even knows he is selling.

The split screen

When watching the film I really liked the effect of the split screen, and I really wanted to place it somewhere in my short film. However I didn’t know where.

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Then Fay mentioned how I should maybe get Dan to text Jasper after the selling scene. This gave me the idea to have the split scene appear as Dan is texting him. I felt that this really added to the visual story telling as it shows that they are two worlds apart in the same shot. Dan’s character Scott is out once again, however this time Jasper is doing something productive, trying to better himself. This is also shows how Jasper has changed.

Overall

Overall I feel that Requiem for a dream has helped me a lot with this film, being a source for lots of creative and fresh ideas of present feelings and emotions. When coming up with initial ideas I should look into more new wave films due to the fact that they have done things that haven’t really been tempted before.