Defining the parameters of video portraits. Learning how to make them flexible in accordance with the artist while paying particular focus to composition and the effect that it has on perspective.

 This has been the defining statement that has guided me through my studies of filmmaking this semester. I have learnt to develop upon my initial ideas that were somewhat unclear and ambiguous, into something that is very specific and beneficial to my development of skills as a filmmaker.

I begun this course with the intention to improve on my skills in creating – this included the technical aspects of capturing footage (the physical set up of the camera, white balancing, exposing and focusing correctly) as well as the more creative side of things which was creating highly motivated motivated footage.

Through conducting exercises that reflected this such as Three shots too many , Creating meaning , Aesthetic Images, I was able to critically refine this idea toward filmmaking and what it was that I really wanted to explore this semester.

In my Pitch the ideas that had been brewing through the early weeks of semester had somewhat come together in a clear and concise manner. I was going to create a video portrait on Cat Poljski that was a refinement on a previous project. This portrait would be the supporting video content for a passion project I am working toward – ivy ii magazine.

It was at this point I was lucky enough to team up with Bliss who is also passionate about creating video portraits. From teaming up with Bliss I was able to come to terms with the importance of collaboration.

Up until this point I had attached very negative connotation with collaboration or the dreaded group projects but after working with Bliss I realised it is all dependent on the content you are working toward. Through working with Bliss on this project these connotations attached to collaboration have completely changed.

Once Bliss was on board our project was fast tracked and our work was developing at a faster pace. We were learning from each other and challenging each others ideas. It was clear our skill sets were very different but this is what worked best about it. We were able to pick up on things that the other had missed and work together to achieve an end piece we were both satisfied with.

Our first shoot as a team was The basic interview shoot ‘ with the two boys from the Pink Lemon store.

Many mistakes were made.

This was a great learning opportunity as I was able to cement the necessary and failed processes in my brain. Small things such as exposing the image properly or pulling the couch out from the wall so that it looked deeper are key considerations that were specific to my environment when crafting the perfect frame. These compositional factors really do add up to create and interesting frame.

These are the kind of things we made sure to pay particular focus to in our second shoot with the Pink Lemon boys. This shoot again wasn’t perfect but was a significant improvement on our previous shoot. Bliss and I set up a shot of the two boys on a tripod but also had a DSLR capturing extra footage that we could use as overlay to add more variety to our film.

This made the editing process much easier and gave us a final piece that was much more aesthetically pleasing.

We used our edited piece of PINK LEMON as a great reference point for the things we needed to pay more attention to. The need for attention to detail when it came to sound quality, lighting was crucial. It was obvious to us how much of a difference it made once we added in things such as music and graphics. It’s this kind of attention to detail that allowed us to refine our skills before our final shoot.

Our final shoot was with TED one of the boys from Pink Lemon. This shoot really did allow us to showcase our skill set we had learnt this far.

These three shoots when seen side by side showcase our development as filmmakers through this semester. Starting with basic knowledge and reflecting on our flaws allowed us to tackle them head on and really try our best to perfect our skill set in filmmaking. Beyond the technical aspect of filmmaking it is also clear that our development of our creative process advanced as well. In our final shoot we captured over 50 minutes of quality footage which is a significant improvement on our first shoot, where we struggled to get a good 20 minutes out of the boys. We learnt to work with our subject and really draw out their essence as an artist.

My goal was to learn how to create a video portrait that was able to reflect the artist true nature. Together, Bliss I learnt a lot more than this alone.

We learnt and are still learning how to define the parameters of video portraits. Learning how to make them flexible in accordance with an artist, perspective and composition – thus conceiving a sense of filmmaking consciousness.

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