Method of Working (part 16)

Weekend Exercise

Deconstruction:

The opening shot to this scene is a close up of the character’s feet, leaving the audience in suspense, as we don’t know who it is, and why they are walking backwards and forwards. The shot following this pulled back out to Medium Long Shot, showing the top half of the character whose feet the audience saw. The male character continues to walk backwards and forwards, and the camera tracks this movement. At the end of this shot there is a ‘J’ cut, when the audio of character 2 asks a question within the footage of the previous shot. This is on cue when character 1 faces where the voice is coming from. This shot is followed by a Medium shot of character 1 responding to the question. There are short cuts between the shots of this brief conversation, almost leading the audience to think they are nervous, and in suspense. The next shot is a cut to the camera positioned almost where the character is looking, that way we can see what is behind the character and to see his facial expressions. It is a Medium still shot, focusing on the character’s response to a question that he is being asked. In this shot and the previous one the character is purposely positioned to the left of frame, which represents the external composition. There is a voice coming from the right of frame offscreen, so there has to be room left for him to look into, and to illustrate to the audience that someone else is in the space with him. All of the shots so far have been medium and close up shots, so the end shot is taken back to a wide shot. The male character is now positioned to the right of frame, which suggests to the audience that something is going to happen with the space to the left of frame. The character then responds to the question and starts walking to the left of frame, towards the action, and this is how the scene ends.

Reflection:

This scene is a part of learning by practice, and focuses on the framing and coverage that I have been investigating in my methodology of working. I only had one person to act for me, and at first I was worried because all of the scripts had two or more people in them. I ended up working around this problem by having it through a first-person perspective, and having the voice of the camera operator (me) in the background. This might work with this scenario as the scene holds the element of suspense, and not seeing who the second character is, adds to it.

The scene doesn’t cross the line, so it has spatial continuity, meaning the audience wont get disoriented, however there are moments in the cuts where character 1’s face is looking towards the action instead of at character 2. This problem arose from not noticing where the actor’s head would finish and start respectively, resulting in the jumpy cuts from editing. The camera was always on the left side of the line between the two characters, the reason being the space looked smaller with the walls behind the character, and it meant the audience didn’t know where the action was coming from, and what character 1 was looking at. The actor was cheated out of the wall, and moved to the left in some of the shots, due to a sign being on the wall to the right of frame that I didn’t want in the composition.

For this scene, I wanted to specifically focus on framing and coverage, through external composition, the term I have been investigating. It is one style that I have come across while researching coverage and I have only seen diagrams, so this scene meant that I had the chance to create a scene that was my interpretation of the term. This was the main point that I wanted to highlight, and see how the scene would be executed with this style in mind. Having said this all of the shots were covered through compositional relationships, whilst staying true to the 180 degree rule.

Editing this scene was more difficult, not because I didn’t plan well, but because in production I missed the finer points of making the character finish in the same position as the next shot would start. This meant that the shots had a lack of continuity and meant that the cuts didn’t flow when the conversation was happening between the two characters. In a way I am glad that I found this out that way, because like directing last time I had to much space and unwanted objects in the background, this time I made sure I looked at those points. Part of learning by practice means that I will make mistakes, but I believe that this pushes me to finding my methodology of working.

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