Analysis/Reflection #6

I found the discussion of our ideas and drafts for our proposition supremely useful in pointing me in the right direction for the assessment next week. I managed to smash out a page worth of ideas, based around the various facets I believe are integral to film making, which basically served as a sketch of where my interests lie. The draft read as follows:

As the director, it is my (or our) job to unify performance, style and form in the coverage of a scene. The variety of elements we are required to consider make for a daunting prospect, it is no small task and the responsibility one has to the cast, crew and audience in delivering on one’s vision can be stressful and distracting.

The performance of ones actors is dictated by a number of factors. Appropriate casting, clear and concise direction, and a solid understanding of ones own vision and expectation. Though people often say a bad performance can be disguised in post production or in the quality of form, it is my opinion that a bad performance will always distract the audience in a way that kills the immersion one intends. This knack of good casting and direction is achieved through both experience and intuition.

The films that tend to grip me are often ones with a heavy handed style, films like drive and sin city come to mind. These are both extreme examples of course, there is certainly something to be said for subtlety and realism. The fact stands that style and form are the things which an audience will remember about the film, a kind of generalised memory of the film. Style is not something one can choose, I believe it is something which is distinct and innate to the individual. It is perhaps the most exciting side of directing and film making, along with the opportunity to tell stories, which I look forward to exploring and nurturing as I carry on this work.

Coverage is divided into two stages: What we film with the camera i.e framing and movement. And post production, editing. The coverage we obtain through the camera is immediate, and will hopefully be a product of proper pre production, the framing and movement will be a reflection of a unified style throughout the work. The coverage of the camera however, is immediate, somewhat spontaneous and restricted by time and money. The post production stage is possibly more exciting to me, in cutting up and sticking back together the footage obtained from the production stage, the director and editor get to play with a number of tools that will greatly influence pacing, tone, colour etc. While this also requires some foresight, it strikes me as a much more fluid and experimental process which allows for a greater understanding and realisation of the product which one hopes to produce for an audience.

Considering my reflections, as well as the exercises we have undertaken in class until now, I would be interested in taking the exercises a step further as part of my practical research for the remainder of the semester. I would like to cover a scene based off the same prompt in both a single shot and shoot-to-edit approach, as we have done in class, So that I can further reflect on the two stages of coverage. Furthermore, working with external actors, after carefully selecting them, will give me greater insight and experience in how I will be forced to (and should be) working in the future. I also look forward to more opportunity for pre-production, which will help make the production process a lot more fluid. Doing this a number of times, I am sure that my style will become more distinct and apparent.

It also made apparent more than a few anxieties which I have in regard to how I will approach the rest of the semester. Specifically, I am anxious about collaborators for my project. Obviously it would be suggested that we work with our peers and assist each other on projects. My concern is putting people on the spot, given that it is a pretty big ask for someone to take time out of their own schedule to assist with something as time consuming as a shoot. This is obviously an anxiety I need to overcome, so I will need to talk to more of my peers and gage who might be interested in teaming up and learning and researching the practical elements of the studio together.

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