So apparently in week 7 Thursday’s class, we had to shoot the character profile or at least the trailer of the project, but for some apparent reasons, the cast is not finalised yet, mainly because only few people(including me) volunteered to act in the project and the number of characters were more than the volunteer ones. So after the presentation, all of us had a meeting and discussed with regards to crowdfunding, cast and things to be done by tuesday.
With the crowdfunding we decided that we will utilize it after many promotions be done by posting enough content on social media, with that we would have enough people to trigger funding for our project.
The cast is almost finalised, I’ll be playing the part of ‘teacher’s pet’, taking it for the team to be honest as I’m not a good actor but I’ll try my best. Finally with the production team, as for now we will be searching sounds at the moment. The guest panel Merran and Rohan suggested that it is best to find sounds early for the project. If we leave it to the end, we would only be struggling to best suit the video and wasting our time in the process. So all of the production crew will be finding both diegetic and nondiegetic sounds.
In week 7 Tuesdays class, all of us were given specific group tasks by the management team. So our production team had to just test the equipment. Nethaniel brought his Sony A77 DSLR, tripod and an external mic input to record sound. Aravindha brought his Sony stills camera (don’t remember the model) and Aref brought his Canon 5D Mark III. Yuxin and I helped them out, set up the equipment and tested it with them. We all were pleased with the video quality that it was giving us. But there are some things we must be concerned with. Firstly as we were using the external mic attached with Sony A77, it didn’t gave us manual audio control, Aref’s Canon 5D Mark III has that feature so we’ll use that as our main camera for shooting. Also we have to keep in mind that external mic won’t do a good job at recording quality sound, so we would record it by using Zoom H4N sound recorder and attach a boom mic to it for high quality output.
Beside that, we also decided what our main roles will be in terms of producing the content. Nethaniel will be the director (will overlook everyaspect of the production), Aref and Aravindha will be in charge of Camera operations, Yuxin will in charge of Editing and Sound, and I’ll be the co editor and lighting technician for the project. These roles will be shared as we continue on so that everyone gets a taste of everything. I really want to find out how to record quality sound, so I guess Yuxin will be a great help as she has industry experience. On thursday we will start shooting for the trailer, hope all goes well
In week 6 Thursday’s class our group sat down to discuss our goals and individual roles. We also talked about our skills set as well. All of us share equal level of skills that is required for this campaign like camera work, sound, lighting and editing, so we will share different roles as we move along this journey of our campaign. Till now, our goals are to produce video and image content that attracts the interest of the campaign’s target audience, to understand how different departments of the media industry collaborate in a project, and how to collaborate with a diverse range of both cultural and media backgrounds, both within the group and with the rest of the campaign departments.
While we agreed to our goals, we also did a test video for a sketch that the writing team prepared, it was fun and we have some idea as to how it may happen in weeks time. It may seem easy but I know that it will be a challenging job to produce high quality content. By next class hopefully each of our roles would be clear as who is doing what, I have a feeling that I might be getting the role of the editor. No one has shown any interest in editing besides nodding their heads to every skills they know, haha!
In week 6 tuesday’s class, all of us had in our minds (well at least what i thought) about project brief 3. Two to four members will have to devise a campaign strategy about any idea to be realised. It was then of our classmates suggested that it would be better if we all work on a single idea and divide roles between us. We all agreed to it and Mark gave a green signal as well, but the question was as to what idea we should work on. Couple of us gave some ideas and all of them were workable, it was then Dylan’s idea that we decided to work on. So the idea is simply to make a Mockumentary on the mishaps happening in university life. We unanimously divided ourselves into groups of management, content, production and social media. I’m paired with Nathaniel, Yuxin, Aravindha and Aref in production team.
I’m quite excited to work in this group, it is always challenging when you work with new people every semester for a studio and I’m fully committed to perform best and be a key player. I’m not sure as yet what role will I be doing in production, I’ll know that in next class when all of us will sit down and discuss our next move.
Yesterday all of us had to pitch our ideas which could have potential to send it Screen Australia (but it wasn’t necessary). Everyone had different unique ideas to put upon. My idea was of a documentary on a Pakistani traditional style wrestling called “Kushti”. It was two years ago when I actually experienced with my own eyes. I knew what it was and saw couple of pictures but never live before. My friend’s father passed away at that time and it was then I saw these wrestlers at the graveyard doing training. I was amazed that of all the places why would they pick such a place for their training, I started talking to them and getting more information about its sport and where it stood now and what they do when they are not wrestling. I took some pictures of them and thought to make a documentary someday after carefully studying them, but the project was postponed as I had to come to Australia for my education. Who knows maybe I go back someday and make a documentary on them. Some may think it’s a cliche idea as mentioned on one of the feedback I got in class, but I’m hopeful that it’s not something we have seen before, many have tried and made documentaries on what it is and how it is done but never they thought of its dying popularity and the people that are trying to save it; what do they do when they are not training? What are their views on it? These are the questions that I wish I can get answers one day.
Due to clash with my contextual subject, I had to change my studio to “The Digital Director’. To be honest I’m not sure what is going to happen, all I know is that I have to give my best in this studio. In this week, we were introduced to Digital Filmmaking and had a chat of how is it changing the landscape of cinema. Mark Poole mentioned there are three streams of Filmmaking, the technical side, the audience stream and the director.
We also got to watch a bit of ‘Side by Side’ by Keanu Reeves which compares and contrast the film camera and the digital camera. In my view, filmmaking should jump to the digital realm now for numerous reasons, the production cost is lower as compared to using film cameras, in case of bad shot; the film reel goes to waste which increases the production value as compared to digital cameras where you can live view the scene you are shooting at the same time recording it.
I would definitely prefer digital camera for my projects; as being a student, they are in my price range and with the post production now portable (editing softwares on tablets and smartphones), it has become a life changing and easier to produce a film.
Yesterday was our last day for this semester. Works of more than 180 students were displayed in rooms allocated to specific studios. I have to say this has been a wonderful experience, not because of my film was on exhibition but the participation of my peers and mentor in this studio and their dedication really moved me to give my best. All of the works were great, I especially liked how the ‘Rocket’ studio one, where students gathered complex ideas and explained in video format.
It’s really hard to decide what to choose for next studio as all of them are great. A deep study is required before I carefully choose for my studio. As for the rest of the guys, my best wishes for you future.
Making a film with no script at hand and all based on improvisation, ever heard or seen such a short film? Well perhaps but I wanted to investigate whether I can make it possible for my short film. A couple of weeks ago, I watched a film called ‘The Bicycle Thief’ (1948). It is a italian neorealism film which has elements of non professional actors acting in the film, shooting on location, the struggle part of actors, cinematography which has long shots and usage of natural light and usage of both diegetic and nondiegetic sounds.
So seeing that, I wanted to discover the possibility of combining both of the characteristics into my film. The plot of my film is about a man in his 20’s who has nightmares of fire and some being that haunts him. Eventually that being grows heavily in his mind that he questions of ‘why is it happening?’ That being out of nowhere appears into his reality and confronts him of what is going through. As it appears that being is dominating, the guy wakes up and realises it’s just a dream only when further into the room that same being approaches him silently.
My objectives for this film is to make sure the narrative is understandable to the audience and they can relate themselves with the haunting dreams if they ever had or know someone that has gone through such experience. So there is a reason I have added a dialogue that would be clear for the audience of why the whole scenario is happening to him. It’s strange that when a filmmaker makes a story, you see some reflection of his/her personality into it, whereas I had a dream similar to my story and it felt so real and decided to create a reflection of it in a short film.
With the approach that I took, I shoot the whole thing as the narrative proceeds unlike the conventional films where parts of shooting are done before , I wanted my actor to go through the journey, since he is not a professional actor which also made sense to go with that approach. Secondly, I didn’t tell the story to my actor, I just told him to act as per given situation and give his best as it seems fit for the scenario and thirdly I wanted to use as much natural light as possible to portray the essence of ‘realness’ of film but for the introduction scene and the climax, I had to use artificial lightning as the room had bad window lightning.
With this film I leave it upto you to decide whether working with non actors and improvisation gives out the desired results.
Collaboration is an important aspect when doing or creating an artifact of some sort, all of the best minds gel in together and make a possibility of creating a masterpiece. But in Film 3, Collaboration is was in terms of providing assistance to each of our individual projects. Everyone had their brilliant ideas that wanted to approach and it would have been a shame if few of the ideas were to begin with. So it was decided that we would help our class members with their projects. In my film, I required an actor and an extra camera person to shoot while I’m acting, so Brydan and Mitch helped me out. To be honest I never thought it would run smooth as this is the first I was working with this guys, but to my astonishment we wrapped the whole shoot within the time frame. I guess it was our chemistry and seriousness towards the project that made it finish quickly.
That being said, we had mini exercises as well throughout the semester and all were based on some level of collaboration. I remember the first time I was Paired with Constance to shot a silent video of a random scene happening outside, I didn’t know what to do by then and made silly mistakes like bad camera angle or not following proper instructions of the class exercises. During week 2, I remembered I was paired with a group of students and we had to do an act of professional and someone copying it, My blood boiled at one point when they didn’t listened to me properly even though I set up the camera and white balance for the purpose of shooting and they wasted the time by setting it again only to reset it again by me, later I calmed myself and realised that mistakes do happen and we humans tend to it often so it is better to bury the anger, listen and look what they are trying to do and continue with the exercise. With this exercise, I learned that listening is important and the moment you don’t, your downfall is just the beginning.
With this studio, I don’t think there were any pitfalls as Robin was committed to our ideas and approach towards media making. I guess I can say and it is agreeable that students weren’t committed as such towards this studio maybe because due to their other commitments, but I think what is important is that the time selection of this studio was awkward as well, in between lunch time and consecutive two days being Thursday and Friday, so any work that was given on thursday couldn’t be done the next day and friday is always the day when people always rush towards home for the weekend. So it is best for the future that there should be some gap between the two classes for this studio. Now with Bonuses, everything I learned in this course is a bonus for me, things that I knew were polished like editing and camera work but I’ll always appreciate the lightning exercise, I really wanted to know how light system works in the film world and all of us collaborated and made a good scene with Farina’s soft skin on the screen.