Who did you work with and how did you manage the task between you?
I worked with with Juliette Wileman, Abirami Logeswaran and Josh Stevenson. Juliette pitched a potential idea for the short sequence and we immediately chose to adopt this raw idea and built on it as a group. We had 40 minutes in which we decided on our idea and drew up a storyboard and shotlist, as well as deciding on who would act and their costumes. We chose Josh to act because he does AS Level drama and so had the most experience. We also chose Juliette as we wanted a female antagonist and she was most comfortable with the task.
How did you plan your sequence? What process did you use? What theories did you try and take into account?
To plan our sequence we began with a group discussion in which we discussed and finalised our idea by incorperating the elements of the breif into the idea. We then began to develop our idea into real shots before putting them onto a story board. This was followed by a shotlist in which we decided on the order, as well as the setups, for each of our shots. We followed this by having a walkthrough of the scene and exactly what would happen where. These 2 factors helped us hugely throughout the planning and shooting due to the fact we knew exactly what was going to happen, as well as when, allowing us to complete the task with very little stress and well within the allocated 80 minute time slot. During this whole process we had to keep a number of techniques into account in order to keep continuity. These included: narrative flow, making sure the sequence made sense; match on action, ensuring that as the shot changed the action remained continuous and did not jump and the 180 degree rule, making sure all shots were taken from the same side of the characters.
One problem that we had to overcome was the issue of lighting. In order to create mystery and a dark atmosphere in order to match our genre (which was a crime thriller) we wanted to use minimal lighting, with a blacked out room with only a small spotlight to create a small amount of light. However we did not have the time or means to do this in the short amount time we had to shoot and our limited resources. Instead of this we opted to fully light the room and instead create mystery by cutting off the top of our antagonists face throughout the scene.
What technology did you use to complete the task, and how did you use it?
In the shooting stage we used a Canon HV30 camera in order to capture our shots, along with a mini DV tape which would record and save the footage. All of our audio was captured using a shotgun microphone on top of the camera and we used Sennheiser HD201 headphones in order to check what sound was being picked up.
During editing we use Adobe Premiere Pro. We used this to select which shots we wanted to use before cutting them down and inserting them into the timeline. Once this was done we further edited them in order to match up the audio and ensure that we had seamless transitions between each shot.
What factors did you have to take into account when planning shooting and editing?
In planning we had to decide on many factors as this was the basis of our whole sequence. Once we had our idea we had to decide on the time and means that we had. For example we knew that we had a very short time in which to shoot, as well as very limited space, so we knew that anything extreme would not work and we, therefore, decided to keep our shots reasonably simple and short and stick to ideas that we knew would be feasible. We also had to consider where we would shoot and once decided, had to arrange necessary permissions from teachers and clashes with other groups.
In shooting we constantly had to keep an eye on how long we had and how long we would allow for each shot in order to be able to complete the task on time. We also had to follow many rules such as the 180 degree rule and 30 degree rule in order to ensure we had continuity. Another way in which we achieved this was to record more footage than we needed, so we would be able to cut it down to what we needed and would not be left with any gaps.
In editing we had to ensure we had match on action and make sure the audio was synced.
How successful was your sequence? Please identify what worked well, and in hindsight, what would you improve/do differently?
I feel that, in terms of the task given to us, our sequence was quite successful. The story of the sequence was exactly as it was in the brief so we followed this well. We also demonstrated match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180 degree rule throughout the scene.
One problem, however, was that as Josh walked through the door, in order for the audio to match up we could not have match on action and his position jumped backwards, it did not create much of a problem but may be noticeable for some viewers. However, we could not change this as we had no more shots that we could use. In hindsight we could have focused on this transition more and taken more shots in order to have enough for our sequence to make sense.
What have you learnt from completing this task? Looking ahead, how will this learning be significant when completing the rest of your foundation coursework, do you think?
This task has taught me a number of vital things that will play a huge part in my future development in media studies. I learnt how to plan, shoot, edit, and, possibly most importantly, manage a shoot within the time and means available. It has also taught me about many rules and techniques that must be followed in order to have continuity in a sequence and ensure that it makes sense.