Fern Arisara

Ways of making studio has helped and led me to where I am now, which is where I wanted to be since the beginning. I have learnt a lot of practical skills and creative perspectives from the class, which led me to do a piece of work that represents who I am as a media student. Before, I had a really broad idea of what filmmaking is. Throughout the course, I’ve learnt that there are so many ways to tell a story and also to show your perspectives via your film.

My goal in the beginning was simple, I keened to understand better about filmmaking and to enhance my skills and ideas of what media is all about. As I’ve been interested in design, I was wondering how I can combine design and filmmaking together in order to tell a story. Colour theory in filmmaking seems to appeal to me the most in terms of how not many people realise that it is one of the most important aspect in films. A lot of people seem to focus more on the right angle, exposure, white balance, cinematography etc. I began to investigate how colours affect in films, and how directors use it differently to create a piece of art. As I was exploring, I found colour grading really interesting in terms of how it enhances the film, changes the mood, and so much more.

I continued my investigation by doing an experiment in colour theory in filmmaking. I started off by choosing a location, which I had two in mind, laundrette and swimming pool. I find these two places interesting in general as they are calming and fun to play with sound and movement when it comes to making a film. My ideal shot of a swimming pool was basically somebody swimming, simple. However, it is not as simple as it sounds, the film would involve how waves are made, the sound of children playing in the background, and even the silence underwater. With laundromat, my idea was to show my personal perspective of the location itself, how it is such a beautiful place and how it can be more than a place to do laundry. Even though the swimming pool scene would be fantastic to shoot, I ended up shooting only at a laundromat due to the fact that it is difficult to be authorised to shoot there. However, I would say I am quite lucky that I have a perfect laundromat to film that is only five-minute walk away from my house, the place is in retro colours with vintage machines and design.

After having the shots that I wanted, I began to put them all together in Final Cut X Pro. I am happy with all the shots I have, the location is perfect. I started to do colour grading, I would say it was the real first time doing it. During the work, I discovered that colour grading is quite easy, however, to get the right colour, shade, and tint as you expect is challenging. I mainly graded the tone in two tones, warm and cold. I used a lot of yellow/green tone as the location has more of retro colours which looks incredible with yellow/green tone. I find red tone the least favourite for me as it doesn’t suit the location and the mood I wanted. In my film, there are several shots that involve dark exposure and really bright background, which shows really great shot of the shadow. I tended to grade the shots in warm tone, which presents more of sad, depressing mood. Throughout the colour grading, I enjoyed discovering how colours can actually affect the scene and mood. After playing around with the colour and exposure, I continued improving my work by enhancing the sound and movement in the film. I made all the shots backwards to make it even more interesting. The biggest challenge of all is to find the perfect voice over. At first, my idea was to have people talking in the background, combining with the sound of the machines. However, I ended up using my own voice reading a poem by Alexander Pope called Eloisa to Abelard. It is an inspiring poem.

I would say my project turns out abstract, yet interesting. I am happy how it turns out. In the end, I used the sound of sea waves to give it a feeling of calming and the water. This project taught me a lot of skills and I didn’t know and also brought me to another level of filmmaking. My goal at first was to understand better of how it works, I did achieved it. Hopefully, this experience will help me to be able to deliver messages effectively and creatively.

Fern Arisara, Ways of Making, 2016.

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