Gabriela Seow

PB4 – Press Skip

(Stills, ‘Press Skip‘ – 2017)

The Concept:
Press Skip is an intimate series of up-close and personal shots, following an individual athlete as they attempt to jump rope. The aim is to allow the viewer to experience the intensive build-up of energy that the on screen individual is bringing across. The focus will be  on the component of audio mixing and layering, and also matching up footage with required audio. The title Press Skip stems from the idea of merging a digital component (pressing skip on a remote) with the main subject of the clip (skipping), hence playing with the phrase.

The Inspiration:
– Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (Douglas Gordon, Philippe Parreno 2006)
– Football As Never Before (Hellmuth Costard 1971)

Both films follow an athlete during a match in real time; recording atmospheric audio as well as the athlete themselves.

The Subject:
An individual actor as an athlete, jumping rope.

The Setting:
Basketball Court – RMIT University (Building 80)

The Equipment:
– Canon 60D
– Zoom H4N Mic
– Shot Gun Mic Extension

(22.5 second screener, ‘Press Skip‘ – 2017)
What a journey True to Form has been from start to finish. Although the ending of the semester was not all smooth sailing for me, I was determined to piece together at least something that I could showcase during our studio pitches. This also gave me the opportunity to get back in touch with Premiere Pro, which I honestly had not touched since Media 1.

My original intention for this shoot was to gain some experience with focusing on audio, as this was a component that I often neglect whilst creating content. I definitely got to experiment with layering audio in the end, even though I only managed to produce my screener. I managed to reach my goal and record various components of sound separately (atmospheric, breaths, rope whipping against air, jumps, etc) in order to achieve the maximum quality for each clip. One thing that I was definitely struggling with was the inability to get a clean sound without any atmospheric disruptions, as there was a lot of construction happening around RMIT. In the future, I would probably look at renting out a sound booth to record the detailed audio, or learn how to clean up audio recordings either with Premiere or Audition.

Overall I was happy with the ‘look’ and aesthetic of my recorded footage; I really enjoyed playing with the natural sunlight against the actor’s face, as it created the effect that I had originally envisioned internally. I really wanted to play around with the lines that are on sporting courts, which was why I was determined to shoot on one. The basketball court (behind building 80) had a really interesting intersection, where the blue and the red court met in the middle. Although I tried to incorporate the unique flooring into my work, the shots did not end up matching up with my intended piece of work.

I definitely chose the wrong camera for this shoot – the DSLR used was constantly autofocusing in and out on the moving subject. The camera was set on auto as I personally found it difficult to confirm that the subject was in focus when adjusting the settings manually because of the inaccurate playback on the small DSLR monitor. Due to a minor health setback, I had no physical ability to single-handedly operate a larger camera at the current point in time, but I have tried my best to work around this minor flaw by cutting around my clips and merging the focused sections together. This was definitely a learning curve, as I know that if i were to shoot with a DSLR in the future I will have to pay a lot more attention to manually focusing. I also now know that I would have preferred working with a different camera.

This was a semester that pushed me outside of my comfort zone, as I am not one who is completely confident with taking on full reign over my own project. I had to call the shots, and I wasn’t comfortable doing so. Prior to taking up this unit, the experience I have had working on set was always being in roles that were quite on the sidelines instead of making the decisions. I am determined to keep at it, and continue shooting and editing clips throughout the semester break and my degree. The main thing that I have learnt is that there is no such thing as too much practice when it comes to film making, as the more you practice, the more you will eventually familiarise yourself with the camera and develop your personal style of shooting. From all this that I have now experienced, I can confidently say that I have definitely grown not only within my journey to become a film-maker, but also as an individual.

Thank you, True to Form.

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