My week of tests (27/10/14) – (03/11/14)

Over the past week I have rented a variety of equipment from the Colleges ERC, this equipment ranges from their new canon C100 to various light and sound rigs.
I got this equipment to spend the reading week trying out new techniques, these experiments varied from on set production to post production.
While shooting with the Canon I attempted to change the frame rate and shutter speed while shooting objects such a lava lamp or a glass of water, my reasoning for shooting these objects in particular was due to the way they moved. Capturing the ever changing lava inside the lamp allowed me to shoot very atmospheric and hypnotizing footage, but it also allowed me to mess with the speed that it moved.
This was my first experiment, by changing the frame rate and shutter speed the footage became naturally slower due to the insertion of more frames and thus easier to manipulate.
I found that my experiment had worked however due to the darkness of the room the footage had black bars pulsating throughout, after some research into the camera I found that I was able to stop this from happening by going into the cameras shooting settings and turning the flicker off.
The footage looked great but I found that the amount of frames required to shoot in the style I wanted wasnt possible on the camera as it lacks the ability to shoot in 60fps, after some research into the colleges kit it appears that none of the available resources have the ability to shoot in anything higher than 50fps.
Through editing the footage in Adobe Premiere, it is clear to see some of my experiment had worked and I was able to get the image manipulation I was initially looking for on certain close up shots.

Through this first experiment I have already learned a great deal, I have learned how to manipulate the settings on the c100 to reveal the best results, I have also learned a good amount about the equipment I have at my disposal which has now allowed me to reevaluate some of my ideas for my project, as some of them are simply not possible to create at this point in time. This revelation is disappointing as it means I will have to change some of my ideas for the final piece of this project however I have learned many valuable lessons from this simple experiment at the beginning of the week.

My second experiment of the week involved my professional practice work, while doing a location rec at Mount Edgecombe for the ‘Drawn To The Valley’ arts show I decided to capture some extra footage for this RED project. The footage that I captured focused greatly on space, shape and colour, three of the four things I wanted to research in this project.
While at Mount Edgecombe I filmed various things, such as the lush greenery and plant life they had on site, my thinking behind this was to refine my ability to manipulate the colour within a frame.
I wanted to look at how the colours in a shot greatly effect the atmosphere and mood.
The estate on Mount Edgecombe gave off various different vibes depending on the lighting during the day, at times it looked bright and inviting, giving the feeling of a happy setting, however as the day went by the same shot began to make the house look dark and imposing. I found this subtle change in lighting interesting as I had been there all day and hadn’t noticed the dramatic change until I looked at it through the camera, this is where the idea for colour correction on a lot of the footage I shot came in.
I want to be able to manipulate the various colours in a frame to give a specific effect e.g bright greens to give the impression of a lush and thriving forest, while the viewer could really be looking at a bush on a bit of a dull day.
I captured various pieces of footage at the event all of which featured a vast amount of colour and texture which I feel will allow me to create short but powerful mood trailers.

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From this experiment I have learned the important role lighting and colour have played in my previous works, I have seen how I have neglected some of these elements and the negative effect it has had on my films.
I have also known that this is an area of improvement for me for a while but after this experiment I feel like I have taken the steps necessary to improve my own technical ability.
While shooting this footage I have also focused on my cinematography, as this was something I had outlined in my initial proposal to the group.
Having atmosphere and colour in mind I found myself naturally shooting appropriate high quality footage without even thinking about it, I see this as a steady sign of improvement as I am now pushing the boundaries of what I considered a good shot before, I have also found myself taking the same shot over and over again until I get it just how I want it, no longer settling for it being ‘good enough’.
This change in attitude and style I find pleasing as it shows that within such a short period of time the level of development I have been making without realizing it.
I aim to take this change in attitude forward with me as I feel it will allow me to now constantly push the boundaries of what I can accomplish as a film maker.

This week of tests has been a great success for me as I have made strides in my own technical ability but mental ability as well, experimenting and researching new techniques has re-ignited the creative spark and drive I have frankly been missing these past few weeks.

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