Method of Working (Part 34)

34. Screena

For the presentation that is nearing at the end of semester we have to create a 40 clip that shows the work that we have done. Included in this clip is the screen, which is around 30 words with a summary or a definition or a quote from the semester to explain our video. Mine is:

External Composition: A form of compositional relationships is the momentary relationship between one shot and the next. This is hidden within a scene because the audience is unaware of how much the transition between one shot and the next influences our judgments and expectations.

(Video to come)

Method of Working (Part 33)

Simone’s Voice Record Session:

After filming my scene, Simone, another class member, decided to record three of us speaking about our investigations and what our thoughts are with some aspects of filmmaking. This recording is a casual conversation that was taken over a lunch break.

This was a great way to see where we were all up to in our Method of Working, and to see everyone’s views on filmmaking and Uni.

Method of Working (Part 32)

What I learnt from this shoot:

What I have learnt from this final shoot would be that planning is crucial to all stages of filming; continuity has to be correct otherwise editing doesn’t work; sometimes creating spontaneous shots can work well for the overall scene; filming too much is better than not enough; and that working with the locations means for a greater outcome.

Overall this shoot has been a great learning experience both personally and professionally, as I have surprised myself in what I can achieve, and also how I handled the overall shoot with the actors from ‘StarNow’ and filming crew. Using actors was something that I have never done, and getting them for this shoot means that I know the process for future shoots as well.

This whole semester has been little steps, and I still think this shoot was a step, but a bigger one. I will always be stepping up to reach the top, but this was one of the most challenging steps I have done, but I am a better filmmaking because of it.

Method of Working (Part 31)

 Deconstruction and Refection of ‘Carpark Scene Final’

Overall, the final scene that I shot had a positive outcome. Everything worked out well, and it all went to plan with the help of my three classmates and two actors from ‘StarNow’. I filmed some shots that weren’t in my initial planning, however some of these were the ones that worked the best for scene coverage. To reflect upon this process I have broken this experience down into three sections, these being pre-production, production, and post-production stages.

PRE-PRODUCTION: This was the stage that I thought was the most important as it was the time to organise and plan everything that was going to happen throughout the shoot. I wanted everything to run smoothly and go according to plan, so when I got to the post-production stage there were no mistakes that could be fixed with better planning. For this stage I sourced three actors from StarNow, two made it on the day of filming; and I got three of my classmates to act, be sound operator and be camera operator. I was worried coming into this project that I would have no one to help me, but it all worked out in the end. It was the first time for me, organising my own shoot, but overall it was a great experience.

PRODUCTION: The production stage within this process was challenging in ways, but it worked in my favour. Arriving at the location I went to where I planned to shoot and there was no light, so I walked one more level up the carpark and found that it had more natural light that worked with the solid objects within the carpark, creating strong shadows and lines. I wanted this as the filming location, because my previous shoots have been dull. Maree was camera operator, so she filmed the entire scene; Mia was sound operator; and Simone, Rebecca and Jean-Beau were actors. Throughout the filming process there were multiple takes on each shot, as someone would move to the wrong position or say the wrong lines. Once all of these elements were right, there was a successful shot that came from it. The production stage went for just over two hours from the time we set up, to the time we packed up. This gave me enough time to film the scene that I planned, while adding a couple more that were spontaneous. Within this time I also recored wild lines for the audio when the actors say their lines in case it was unclear. In this stage everything went smoothly but we had to alter a few shots because of the sun; this made the frames over exposed. This was one of the problems of the day, working with natural sunlight. You film one shot and its sunny, and the next shot would be dark as the sun goes behind the clouds. Everything was shot in chronological order, so I knew what the shots were and how it would look in post-production.

POST-PRODUCTION: Due to the in depth pre-production and production stages, going into the editing stages proved to be easier than all of the rest. Maybe it is because I feel more passionate about this shoot, or that it is because everything was checked twice in production that there was little to no continuity issues and no other outstanding problems that I had to deal with. The only minor ones that I came across was that the boom pole was visible at the very bottom or the very top of some shots, which meant I had to crop the frame. This meant that I lost some of the framing that I wanted to include, however an audience would not be able to notice this. I started with an assemblage of all my shots to get the correct order, and followed this with a rough cut. This was were I started cutting the shots down to were I wanted them to start and finish. Because I filmed more scenes that I planned for, I had the luxury of choosing the best ones that worked for a successful scene coverage. After I had all of the cut shots in place I worked on the finer details of editing, this being colouring, sound and continuity; allowing the scene to flow on from shot to shot.

Method of Working (Part 30)

Analysis of ‘Carpark Scene Final’:

‘Carpark Scene Final’ begins with a wide shot of a carpark which explains to the audience where this shoot is located. Three characters then walk into the left of frame from behind the camera and the keep walking up the dotted line on the ground. This helps with the symmetrical aspect of the scene, continuity, and working with the strong lines that the carpark has to offer. The camera then cuts to in front of them, and shows the characters still walking; this way the audience can now see who they are and what is behind them. Due to the solid shapes and the time of day, this shot has strong shadows which the characters work with through their movements, which is motif throughout the entire scene. As the male character answers his phone he drops away from the two female characters, and follows the angle of the shadows. This shot has the three characters in the right of frame, which means that something is going to happen in the left of frame. As the male drops into the left of frame it fulfils the audience’s expectations, and makes the shot symmetrical. As he answers the phone the camera cuts in to a MCU, tracking his movements as he walks. The first two shots were still shots, so by having this scene with camera movement, allows it to be a more interactive scene. When the male stops walking the camera puts him to the left of screen because of external composition. This is because when he is on the phone he looks up towards the girls who are in the right of frame, however in the offscreen space. The scene then cuts to the girls walking ahead, where they then turn to face each other. This is a medium shot so that their emotions and lines delivered are what is in focus. During this conversation it demonstrates external composition. It begins with a two shot then cuts to a CU of one character replying. This character is in the right of frame looking left. The audience suspects that she is replying to the first girl, and to identity this, the camera cuts to an over the shoulder shot of one character focusing in on the other. This format for the conversation makes the audience focus on each girl separately, allowing the audience to comprehend their emotions and facial expressions. From this conversation the scene cuts to a wide shot of all three characters, where the two girls are in the foreground of the frame, while the male is on the background to begin with. This suggests to the audience that they need to concentrate on the two girls as they deliver their lines. Throughout this section, the shots cut back and forth of being single shots, and in an external composition format. As one of the girls finishes her final line the male walks past them and the camera follows this movement with a MS. As he hangs up the phone he speaks to the girls in an external composition format, with a reply from one girl in a MS. The character who replies first walks out of the frame in the direction of the male, then followed by the second girl. This shot is similar as the first one, as they walk into frame, and then they walk out of it. Leaving the frame focused on the carpark at the end of this scene, allows the audience to reflect upon what they just saw, and to understand what happened and why.

Method of Working (Part 29)

Shot List:

Before shooting this final scene I wanted to make sure I planned for this in great depth, so that on the day I knew the structure of how everything would go. However, in the back of my mind I had to think about the box. I wanted to try to think outside of the box. And planning might not let me do this, so I will see on the day if this works or if it doesn’t. But either way I will have a storyboard and a shot list. I have got two actors from ‘Star Now’ (acting agency) that will be helping me with this scene, along with three members from my class, Maree, Mia, and Simone. Planning for this shoot was quite difficult, because I didn’t know what to expect or if I was doing the correct procedure. As I haven’t worked in this type of environment with this many people, I was overwhelmed. However this meant that I had extra hands to help me achieve my final outcome. Below is my shot list for the weekend that I went off.

  1. Actors walking through carpark towards car. Wide shot. Still shot.
  2. Front view shot of characters. Actors stop walking. Rob answers phone. Wide Shot.
  3. Close up of Rob answering phone. Walking away from the other two actors. Falling a bit behind them.
  4. MS of Liana turing towards Tommy for reaction and starts having a conversation.
  5. External composition of Liana in left of frame. MS. Still.
  6. External composition of Tommy replying. MS. Tommy in right of frame. Still shot.
  7. OTS (Over the shoulder) of Tommy, seeing Liana in frame. Left of frame. MS. Still Shot.
  8. OTS of Liana seeing Tommy respond. MS. Still Shot.
  9. Wide Shot of all three actors. Still Shot. Rob is not visible again, however still in the background.
  10. Liana and Tommy continue walking to the car, with Rob still in the background. Wide Shot. Still Shot.
  11. OTS of Tommy seeing Liana reply with the brother line. MLS. Still Shot.
  12. OTS of Liana seeing both Tommy and Rob. See Rob hang up phone and looks towards Liana. MS. Still Shot.
  13. MS of Tommy and Rob. External composition between the three of them. Looking towards Liana who is in the offscreen space. Still Shot.
  14. MCU of Rob. Still Shot. Saying line about what’s going on. External composition with Tommy and Rob.
  15. MCU of Tommy responding to above shot. External composition with Tommy and Rob.
  16. Wide shot of all three starting to walk and get into the car. Still Shot. View from behind them all or beside them.

Method of Working (Part 28)

After shooting multiple scenes now, and coming up to my main shoot (where I want to tie all of my investigations together), I have a list of things I need to be aware of when filming so that I don’t make the same mistakes.

  1. Unnecessary space: I cant use too much blank space as it will distract from the focal point, especially if the location is ‘ugly’. I have been told there are strong lines within a carpark and I should be working with or against them.
  2. Types of shots: I need to keep track of the shots and why they are being used. I want to have a dynamic selection, and I don’t want to get to the editing stage with shots that don’t work very well.
  3. Actor movement within a scene: In my other shoots I feel as though I haven’t made enough use of the space with character movement. This time I want to change this. I want the scene to be engaging, to reel the viewer in, and to use the actors properly through the relationship between framing and the location. After doing the found scenes from Antonioni, he shows just how powerful actor movement within the frame can be. He also shows ways to prevent continuity issues which is my next point.
  4. Continuity: I have had a lot of trouble with continuity in the past scene, and I only realise this in the editing stage. I don’t want this to happen again, because it can be easily fixed in the pre-production and production stages. Have continuity issues means that the scene wont be at its best, meaning it wont be as impactful and successful. I need to work out a way around this, and I think its best to have every shot different and from a different angle or perspective, that way if I cross the line, or the continuity isn’t 100%, then it won’t stand out too much for the audience to see.
  5. Look for things outside of the box: I need to see what I can do that isn’t as mundane as the pieces from the rest of my shoots. I need to open my eyes and really see what I can do with the camera, actors and the location.

Method of Working (Part 26)

‘Carpark Scene New’

I started the new carpark scene with the close up of the actor’s shoes, just like what I had done in my previous shoots. I tried to use the objects within the carpark to help with the framing and work with them instead of against them. The actor’s feet walk backwards and forwards and then walk towards the cement pillar. This is when the shot cuts into the next one. The camera is still tilted down towards the ground/shoes and then slowly tilts up to reveal the body and face of the actor. This is showing his body movements and facial expressions as he looks around the carpark, suggesting to the audience that he is looking out for something. Character 2 then says their line while character 1 is still looking around from behind the pillar. He continues to stay behind this pillar until the final shot. It suggests that it is protecting him from the thing they are hiding from. This cuts to a front view of character 1 while he replies. The camera cuts back to a MLS of the actor, showing the audience a little bit more about his surroundings. As the actor delivers his final line he starts walking away from the camera, suggesting to the audience that he is going to look for something/someone. The final shot is of the feet again, however this time they are coming from over the camera and walking up the ramp of the carpark. The camera tilts up, following the actor as he walks out of the shot/scene.

Method of Working (Part 25)

Following on from the first and second stage planning I have arrived at a different scene coverage for the same script. I originally planned it so that it was the same as my last scene just fixing the recommendations made by my tutor. I did this with my iPhone 5 and edited it together to create a sequence, however I wasn’t happy with it. I was bored of it. I knew the shots that I did last time, and I knew what I had to take out, therefore I created a bland scene that is the same as my previous one. From here I re-hired an SLR camera to experiment with different shots in a different location, however in the same car park. This turned out positively in terms of scene coverage and framing, as it helped me think outside of the box. I scouted the car park and found a setting that is more visually appealing, that had solid objects that could help me with framing. The setting was situated underneath a light which worked well for the scene’s atmospheric outcome. The last mini shoot that I had done were shots with no dynamic features that enhanced the overall scene. With this next shoot I tried harder to take into consideration all of the things my tutor had told me, and also go further into my investigations, which is framing through external composition.

Method of Working (Part 24)


Moving on from the storyboard imagery I decided to do a second draft, however film it on my iPhone. This allowed me to focus entirely on the frame and how I would want to film this scene again. I got the same actor, and went to the same location. I did mostly the same shots, just taking some of Paul’s advice and putting them into action. One of his suggestions was to leave out all of the blank and ugly space that distracts from the action taking place. If this was my final piece I wouldn’t do this layout (I only know this after doing it), because the location is unattractive. This shoot was just another basic piece that goes towards my method of working, and I would call it one of my research pieces. This scene starts with a CU of feet walking, next is a close up of the face, then a full body shot of the actor walking, leading to a front CU shot of the actor’s face. This then cuts to a side view of the actor, looking at him from character 2’s perspective; and then finishing the scene with another full body shot, as he is walking. After finishing this draft I wasn’t entirely happy, because all of the things I researched and learnt, I find it hard putting it into practice; and this is one of my greatest struggles when filming. However doing these shoots wrong just means I have more to reflect upon and to learn from; it all adds to the experience.

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