Sunday, 12 August 2012

Assignment 1

PDF Files
Tutor File: Tutor_Report_Assignment_1.pdf


My story is about a person who waits for a call. When he answers the phone he gets bad news.


Frame 1: somebody is laying on a bed, looking above.  I wanted here to evoke in viewer question what is happen so I used the medium close-up shot.

Frame 2: A telephone shot: close-up of telephone. The shot of telephone shows that maybe the someone is waiting for a call.

Frame 3: Someone receiving a call. An extreme close-up frame should give a clear picture what the call is about. The ECU reveals the feelings of the character.

Frame 4: Medium close-up or Mid-shot to see result of the call - character's expression.

Frame 5: Medium close-up: we can see how the character face with information from the call. There can be a drop of tear.


Critically assess your finished product:

Where is the tipping point which I mentioned in exercise about how to learn?
As usual I am not satisfied with it :-). I have to admit that when I have draw the storyboard I thought it will be a good small dramatic sequence. We will see somebody receive a bad call. We do know what exactly it was about but we see the expression of the character. I think there is a lack of creativity. Maybe I did try to express more sadness, I do not know. Maybe I do not like it because I am the actor and a shyness is enhancing my critical mind, I do not know. I like the receiving the call (frame3) shot. It tells us nearly without words that the message is bad just because we see expressions. The film is strong medium to tell the story without words and I think it will be my intention to try to tell the stories in this way. I like illustrations which do the same thing. I remember now that a film Eraserhead by David Lynch has minimum dialogs and the meaning is build by shots and each audience has their own meaning.

What I have learned:

1. To be carefully what the actor is wearing because in the shots you can see that on the T-shirt is a name of company.

2. Frame 4: when I filmed myself I did not realize that behind me is an open door. The figure is connected to the darkness of the space in door. I do not like it but I let it be. There would be better contrast if the door would be closed.  Using a shallow depth of field could help here also. I like the depth of field which use Stuart. It helps to concentrate on focused object/subject. 
3. Even I filmed every frame few times (3-4) there were problems to chose suitable moments, e.g. I finish the scene too early, or I was too much blinking or my head was badly placed in frame.

4. The sensitivity about my new Rode microphone: when I was cutting the shots I could not believed that the microphone is so sensitive to record my hungry belly :-))).

5. Stay close to the story board: I wanted to add some action into the frames, I mean action like going up, laying down on bed etc. After I loaded the shots into PC I tried to connect the shots together. It were those actions in shots which encouraged me to change order of frames against storyboard. I wanted to have those actions there such as the character go up to pick up the phone but I have problem to connect it with the phone shot, so I move the shot of phone before the shot of somebody is lying on bed to avoid a problem with connection. You can see it in second video on my blog. When I have read the assignment again and saw the notion try and stay true to your storyboards I made the sequence again accurate to the storyboard. I deleted the mentioned actions and connected the shots in order in the storyboard and it worked. The sequence conveys the same meaning without redundant actions. It means that the preparation stage is the most important.

6. Frame 5 and a drop of tear: I wanted to show the sadness by  a drop of tear but I was not able to do it. When the camera was on I did my best but no one tear reveals. I tried to listen to sad song but nothing helped.

7. Frame 4: I do not like the composition here. I wanted to have my head on the right side but when I turned camera on I did not see that I moved a little bit to the left side :-).


I need to more explore the framing and angles of camera by studding them in other films. I still do not know how to use them properly to support different meaning / feeling. As I discovered I need to strengthen the preparation stage I need to do more things like notions about angles of camera and actions within every frame in storyboard. 

Here is the sequence which was cutted as a first:

CROW: high and extreme angles

The angles supports the feeling of comic book hero.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Camera low angle - Terminator2

The low angle camera in terminator 2 gives to him a feel of big strength. I have prepared some sequences here you can watch them:

Monday, 6 August 2012

Setting up your shoots by Jeremy Vineyard

I have found this book and as I was browsing I found some information about montage. Eisenstein's definition of montage was a collection of "elements" which build something like tastes, sights, sounds, textures and smells. Here are some links to study more about montage and Eisenstan's welknown Potemkin sequence

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Project 5 How to learn

Look back at a piece of work you have produced so far, including any notes and blog entries that went with it (OCA Digital film, pp.31). I chose the last exercise: An objective POV:

What you set out to achieve:
Basically I followed a scenario of the exercise to film a short sequence of an alcoholic in the objective POV. I wanted to tell the story in short time with using some new camera angles which I had learnt about. My concerns were about the right use of the angles.

How you can identify what you achieved:
Certainly feedbacks are the main tool for recognizing if an intention was fulfilled. It is important to have more feedback resources, for now my resources are - fellow students, family and my brother. The feedbacks tell me how other people see the result.

Whether you achieved it:
It is really hard question, I think it depends on our skills which are able to judge our work. When I see my drawing from my high school I cannot believe that I thought it is great piece of art (how arrogant I was :-)).  I am always dissatisfied with my work so I work on until a balance between satisfied/dissatisfied will emerge.  In that moment I have a piece for a moment. I think our satisfaction with a project is more relevant than the feedbacks. Clearly the quality of project = skills which we learnt.

What you learned from this:
Surely the filmmaking is not only about shooting pictures. There is a scenario step which tells the story by letters followed by a storyboard where the story is telling by frame pictures with annotations what happens in every frame (angle/move of camera, what the talent should do etc.). When I compared the objective POV exercise with the previous exercise subjective POV I have agreed with Stuart note about that there are too many things on screen. It reminds me that less things means better focus for him on main thing in a story. The light conditions must be taken in mind. I was changing some shots for the final sequence and I saw the differences in saturation and coloring. The differences were really huge and I had problems to correct them by the software. I have no skills how to set up a camera to get approximately same results for shots in different conditions or better say how to measure it or something like this. I think the lightning will be an area where I need to learn a lot. About the storyboard: it is very helpful tool which helped me to avoid to shooting shots from variety angles to confide that cutting step connect and build the story as I have been always doing in this style.

Is better to struggle and improve your weaker areas or should you cut your losses and focus your strengths?
Good question. How we know what strengths and weaknesses we have? We can compare ourselves with others, we can get feedback from educated persons whose can give a direction in which we can be good. So I think we should struggle and improve mainly our strengths or better say we should focus in area where we are strong. I think about the film, we can be better in writing a story than shooting frames for example so it is logical that we should improve our skills in writing, but it depends on every person and it is personal decision what we want to do. Everybody can get high skills and filmmaking is a craft which we can learn and be successful in it but there is an aspect of an effort which we are willing to put there. Of course without talent  we hardly reach the top place of the ladder. So I think our strengths are indicators/arrows which tell us direction of our path and we should focus on it, if there is a weakness which is an obstacle on this way we should improve it, learn it or we can have another person who is strong in it within a networking/team which we are communicate /working.

How can you ever really know what your strengths and weaknesses are?
Definitely we need a response from society, critics, discussions with our tutor. We need to share our skills with others. We need a critical judgment. We also need to build inner measurement to judge our work personally, we need to find a balance between not to be too much dissatisfied because after we do not nothing and be aware not to be too much satisfied because we can produce something without value.

How do you know what you need to know if you don't know what it is yet?
Strange question. What is it behind it? I think it is a comparison. When I see my first sequence I consciously know that there is something missing if I compare it to the professional sequence. My mind tells that there is something wrong, but not always tells me what it is? Where you get the information what it is? I always try change something. I do a research, trials how to improve something and get new information, skills, techniques etc.. I like and do photomontage, I bought many books about Photomontage but especially one is the most worth. The author has webpage where he every Friday make comments on works which were put there. Without his feedbacks I am sure I could not achieve any progress. Again, when I see my first photomontage, it is simple without skills which I have now after 3 years attending the Friday challenges. Of course a serendipities are great resources of new information.

Who can you ask or where can you find out?
Definitely tutor is in first instance. Second are fellow student. Third should be other people involved in same area (networking, web forums). The family but there is question how their view is critical.

How do you know if you have improved? When is it time to move on?
I think my inner feeling tells me it - when I am satisfied with the work. When it is? I think when I wholly understand  what I am doing and if this is right. My opinion: if we are able to brake rules we know how the rules work.