On October 15th I began the planning for this module, knowing that this piece of work is largely about research and development of our own personal skills I looked at my previous works for inspiration.
Seeing the past two years on this course in a short amount of time allowed me to really see the areas I had most improved in, giving me a great idea on where my strengths lay, however I could also see where I have been lacking in the past two years.
Seeing these weaknesses in my own work really inspired me to try and be better, I began looking at various techniques that would play to my strengths but would also enable me to work on my weaker skills such as the lighting of a shot, my framing and composition and my all around technical ability with the kit itself.
This project will also allow me to put some future thought into my final major film, taking research from this module and bringing it forward will be an invaluable experience.
Highlighting these weaknesses enabled me to think of projects I normally wouldn’t of undertaken, however after watching a few videos online I am now actually excited to try my hand at them, these techniques and projects include the manipulation of time with slow motion, this will allow me to learn some technical skill with the camera such as frame manipulation and shutter speeds.
Animated storyboards will allow me to plan better for pre production while also getting me more in tune with what I will need for the on set production itself, it will also allow me to work with animation which is something I have wanted to try my hand at for a while.
I will have to refine these ideas into actual experiments that I can attempt in the future.
I have refined my ideas down into actual projects and have presented them to my class mates, some seem interested in my ideas for the final major film and have given me some tips on the programs I aim to use for my slow motion manipulation. On the encouragement of a course mate I have had a deeper look into the program Twixtor which is what I originally had planned to use to achieve my slow motion effects, after looking at the program I have seen that it is not all its cracked up to be.
Twixtor requires very specific settings on the camera for it to work properly or work in a manner that looks good, knowing these settings on the camera is a definite help for my development however I may have to look for other ways to achieve the slow motion I am aiming for.
At this point in time I am still wanting to carry on with my slow motion idea as I feel it will be a great show reel piece and something that I could implement into a film later down the line, I have just filled out a equipment request form for various pieces of kit to experiment with over the coming reading week.
My hope is that with such a wide variety of kit, ranging from LEDs and three point lighting rigs to the new Canon C100 and a multitude of lenses I will be able to experiment with slow motion and visual composition techniques.
I have also secured myself a professional practice placement that will run through out the year, I feel that using this vast range of kit for this shoot will allow me to capture some great experimental footage, this will also be developing my skill set which is what I have aimed to do from the outset of this project.
I have just completed my week of work with the kit over reading week and much has happened.
I have conducted various experiments over the reading week and have learned a great deal, I have learnt much about the kit that is available to me and about my project.
I now have a great understanding of the Canon C100 due to repeated use and how I can manipulate its settings to provide the best quality footage possible, but I have also learnt what it cant do and just like the other kit at the college, cant shoot the type of slow motion video that I want for this module.
None of the kit at the colleges disposal aside from the canon 7D can up the fps past 50 and even then the 7D can only shoot at 60 which is okay but not enough for what I had in mind.
This revelation has allowed me to rethink this project as a whole and through this I have begun to focus more on the shape, space and colour of the footage I have collected, rather than the fluidity of the movements.
I originally wanted to create an atmosphere inside a fish tank and capture how a mix of colour in slow motion could create an almost alien world, this proved fruitless with the tech I have available, however I did capture footage of a similar nature with a lava lamp.
Although this footage was not what I originally intended it made as a great test for me at the start of the week and will be used as an example of my development through out this module.
While on this week off from college I have also completed some professional work for the ‘Drawn To The Valley’ event at Mount Edgecombe, while at this event I was able to further my knowledge of the camera and work on my cinematography which is something I have said that I want to improve on from the beginning of this module.
This opportunity also allowed me to use the varied landscapes at Mount Edgecombe to capture a large variety of test footage. Each piece of footage I have collected will allow me to work on creating atmospheric yet widely different experiments, one of which includes how colour and sound can effect the same piece of footage.
Learning about the camera and its potential is the first step for me in this project, I now aim to take the footage gathered and work on it in a post production setting. Editing of this footage will increase my technical ability within the Adobe skill set but will also allow me to further my experiments.
Manipulation of colour and texture is the next step for me with this project and it is one I eagerly look forward to making.
After some consideration and many hours of playing around with my footage from the Drawn To The Valley event I have decided that I will be using the finished project from this placement as my RED project.
This is something I didn’t expect as it is a competley different type of film than I am used to making, usually I work with narrative film or experimental film as I feel that is where my strengths lie however working on a documentary will allow me to develop my skill set further as a film maker.
I look forward to the results that working on this edit will produce as I feel I have already come far just from working on this placement.
I have been working endlessly with Kurt in the edit suites to complete this film, there have been numerous set backs which have included losing the entire near finished edit. This set back was crippling as I felt the work within it was very strong and something that yielded great results for my development.
Through editing this piece I have begun to work on colour correction, something that I have never used before, just from tinkering around with it I have found ways of making more natural transitions and giving a feel for the time of day.
Starting from scratch on this has been a great effort which has included many hours in the suite but it is finally finished with some aid from the Lynda.com website.
I have been using Lynda for online lectures, for this project I have been looking at the documentary sessions and talks on colour correction.
Using the knowledge I have gained from these tutorials I know now what to do to give a documentary a better flow and how to make the shots match up, specifically editing the lighting of a shot to match the one previous, this will create more natural lighting be it inside or out and will give the sense that the viewer is actually at the event experiencing it for themselves.
I have also been making some tests to work on manipulation of space, for this test I have been using tightly confined shots to give a feeling of confusion and claustrophobia, something that is essential for a horror type piece, which this test is.
This was also my first attempt at manipulating lighting, this can be seen by some crunched blacks but I feel the darker tones really bring out the more menacing aspect of my shots.
I have used some of these same shots in the actual edit with a much brighter colour correction and the contrast is great, each giving off their own unique vibe and fitting the individual pieces excellently.
I have given a short presentation to the rest of the class on my film and have received some great feedback.
The responses have been utterly positive but have also steered me in a direction for my grad film, mainly in terms of the developments I have made throughout this project.
I have gained a great knowledge of the Canon C100, improved my ability to edit greatly as I know now some of the more complex features of Adobe CS6, especially when it comes to colour correction.
Combining this knowledge on set will be great for my future projects as I will able to pull up a wave form monitor on the camera which will enable me to see the colours of the shot way before I get into the edit suite, this will allow me to adapt and plan on the fly if there ever is a problem with a certain shot.
All around I am happy with my progress on this module and I am feeling much more confident when it comes to making my grad film.