Final Review


 In terms of the goals i had set myself for this semester I feel i have fulfilled my objectives. My goal involved experienced trial and error processes so as to increase my knowledge of the production process. Furthermore, I’ve learnt bountiful information regarding lighting techniques and their importance. What excited me most was that i was able to collaborate throughout the entire production process, and infuse ideas with group members in order to better and develop them. I entered this course with an open mentality but also a fear of the enormity of this process from beginning to end. However, I have learnt how achievable the creation of a successful short film if planned appropriately and specifically. I feel editing classes should have been intertwined within the weekly tutes as opposed to alternative sessions alone as they would have helped develop our skills better. I feel I could have put more effort into understanding the editing process; that is something to keep in mind for next semester.

Short Film Reviews 2014



Budgerigar: I found Budgerigar to be aesthetically pleasing, achieved prominently through the lighting tehniques within the interior scenes of the house. Furthermore, the camera technique involved very smooth transitions betwen alternative shots, which made for a melodious viewing. For further improvement, perhaps the infatuation between the two boys could have been a little more explicit so as so correspond with the statement at the end that Michael was “in love with someone else”. The interaction between the actors was magnificent in the way it continually built up the awkward tension between the family and Michael. The shift to a parallel sphere that exists in the mind of Michael number one worked well in subtly alluding to his psyche, rather than an explicit revelation of the character’s mindset.


The Hole: I found the concept behind the narrative of ‘The Hole’ inventive and comedic. Similarly, the repetition of the different characters (such as the old woman) walking across the beach and collapsing into the hole made accentuated the comic element. The diegetic nature of the sound was unconvincing as the dialogue did not match the screen movement. The monochromatic filter was reminiscent of silent comedy films, which prompted nostalgia. The central actor performed his role greatly in fulfilling the character of a sleezy, opportunistic man who was simultaneously likeable in his comic mannerisms evident in his inability to lift the girl out of the hole.


Granny Theft Auto: The story behind this film was ingenious as its primary focus was that of a very entertaining Italian woman. The actress embodied a true sense of authenticity as a confused older woman. The inclusion of the negative comments by the woman to the girl wearing the tiffany and co neckelace was a smart decision in that it offered justification behind the woman being taken away by the policeman. The simplicity in the narrative worked positively in helping achieve a story that was easy to follow from beginning to end. There were a few continuity issues that arose between the three boys looking back at the Italian woman who was being interrogated by the policeman; a few point of view shots from their perspective would have helped smooth these moments out.

Adobe Short Cuts.

One of the functions of Adobe Premiere that i have never previously used but have understood it’s invaluable characteristic within editing is the Duplication tool. The short cut for this function is shift+Cmd+/ . What i find so valuable about this function is that clips need to be saved as a back up. Furthermore, clips need duplication if being reused in two different sections within the film.


Another function of Adobe Premiere is Grouping. The short cut for this function is Cmd+G. What is so valuable about this is that groups of clips sometimes need to be moved across the time line so as to edit another element within the clips. It is primarily a time saving tool in my opinion.

Blood Simple

In this clip screened in the lecture from the Coen brothers’ ‘Blood Simple‘ describe what is happening in terms of the edits specifically in terms of the audio and video. Also name the different kinds of audio you can hear.

Within this scene, the director uses the combination of audio and video to create a intense environment which ultimately climaxes to the point in which Visser shoots Marty. For instance, there is a lingering close up of Marty as he wearily observes the images of his dead wife and her lover, which is cut to a close up of the image, and returns to his face reacting to the gory image. The timing of this edit establishes an anxious atmosphere. Simulatenously, the diegetic sounds of the crickets establish the silence within the scene, exarcerbating the tension within this moment. The cricket sounds remain throughout the whole scene as a constant maintainer of the suspense. The tension is developed in the way Visser’s dialogue , ” we have to learn to be discrete, trust each other” is played over a close up of Marty hiding the images in the safe. That established silence therefore enables the gun shot sound to be a complete shock for the audience. That piece of audio is the loudest within this scene so as to create a shock factor that jerks the audience out of any state  of complacency.

‘Directing Actors’ Lecture

Consider Sandra’s lecture “Directing Actors” and describe at least a couple of points that you took away from it (even if you’re not the director).

I found Sandra’s lecture really universal in terms of being applicable to different roles other than the Director alone. As making short films is a collaborative process it is important that, although everyone be aware of the boundaries of their roles, that they have a holistic understanding and a capacity to aid others.

Three points I took from the lecture:

1. Sorting A and B scenes ( this involves choosing which scenes are important and which ones you can skip if you run out of time in the shoot). This is so integral as there are many situations in which scenes drag on much longer than they were assumed thus, the director must make the choice between which scenes can be removed with minimal influence on the film.

2.Getting the actors to interpret the script on their own without dictating every action and delivery of lines. ( it is important to allow the actors to feel freedom to express the manner in which they understand the character and to make them feel as though their ideas are being recognized as this will result in the best delivery of the character.

3. The importance of rehearsing a script with the cast before the day of shooting. ( This is integral because, if the day of shooting is the first engagement between the actors, the chemistry is not fully developed and can result in an unsatisfying interaction between actors who have never met. Furthermore, it saves much time as the actors have rehearsed and blocked the scene, which will result in efficiency and productivity during filming time.


Some revelations


Chosen reading : Michael Ragiber’s ‘ Developing a Crew’ in his ‘Directing: film techniques and aesthetics’

A key concept which I found truly relevant to working within a collaborative environment is that each crew member must have defined responsibilities that abide by a chain of command which the entire crew is aware of. I my previous collaborative projects, although the team worked well, frustration would arise as a result of a lack of full knowledge of one’s responsibility. When one member is not fully aware if their role within the filmmaking process, they tend to hinder the work of others,  causing a domino effect which hinders the production process. Not only is it salient to know one’s role but it is important to know that role in relation to the holistic understanding of the production process so that individuals can work together knowing which roles intertwine at points.  For example, the director, who answers to the producer, must have knowledge that their job entails roles such as researching locations and auditioning casts. .

Another key concept I extracted from this reading is The detail regarding the role of the director of photography. As this is my role within the film tv assessment I needed an elaborate understanding so as to satisfy my responsibilities. The DOP is responsibility of the selection of the camera and the lighting equipment as they are in charge of lighting and shot selection etc. Furthermore, the DOP is responsible for supervising the lighting and camera and crew which opened my eyes to the leadership skills I must have so as to get along well with the crew but also to remain in charge and have Ana Nikita to resolve conflicts or any uprising issues.

Lighting Lecture Week 7

The lighting lecture discussed the complexity of lighting as a cinematic technique and it’s importance within the filmmaking process. Acknowledging the salience of lighting is the first step, specifically for myself as the director of phtoography in ‘paperboy’ as it encouraged me to engage with the type of naturalistic style achieved by lighting within our movie. As discussed in the lecture, lighting test shoots are extremely valuable thus, I, along with my group, decided to have a session in which we would simply run lighting test shoots so as to be wholly prepared on the day of filming and achieve the correct visual aesthetic which remained continuous within all shots.
Furhermore, Robin discuss key terms ( such as hat of the key light, the quality of light and its temperature) and offered practical examples of lights to reveal the dramatic or even subtle changes that lights can offer and the ways in which lighting in the subject alters the audience’s perception of their character.
This encouraged thought about the way in which we wanted our two central characters, Oliver and Zoe, to be portrayed. For instance, the key is to emphasize Zoe’s  beauty so we thought about soft directional lighting (from the front) to illuminate her face and create an angelic visage.
Lastly, Robin discussed the power of taking light away and that light does not necessarily need to be added to the scene to achieve a desired aesthetic.

Lenny Exercise evaluation

I found the Lenny exercise to be successful in terms of enabling a practical test run of the way our short film will be shot. What I found worked in our favour was writing down the shots and descriptions of them as they were taken, which saved us much time in the editing suite as we knew the order of the shots and what they involved.  Furthermore, we  found that pre-planning the shots and learning the script before hand helped run things smoothly during filming, thus, after setting up the filming equipment, we were able to productively move through the shots in a correct chronology that was most  time-efficient.

The location proved somewhat disruptive to the action in that many people continually crossed through the scene, causing us to re shoot the takes. Furthermore, although the industrial sounds within the environment added a degree of coldness that suited the situation, they simultaneously interrupted the dialogue. Overall, this opened our eyes to the importance of strong audio to the final product and moreover, the difficulty of editing unclear sounds in post-production.

We also found that we were inspired during the process of filming to frame the subjects in a manner that was not pre-planned. Physically being in the environment with the camera is inspirational in itself as it encourages new ways of shooting the scene in order to achieve more symbolism or strong aesthetic effect etc.

I found when each individual has a clearly defined role and knowledge of that role, the team works better as a unified group. As such, allocation of jobs and understanding their requirements proved mandatory for a successful shoot.

Lighting Lecture – FILM TV

I went into the lighting lecture with very little knowledge on the basic techniques of lighting. I had always understood lighting from a very descriptive perspective as opposed to a knowledge of the way in which certain lighting themes are actually achieved.

The central concept I took away from the lighting lecture is that lighting is relative to the situation and the type of visual aesthetic you are trying to achieve within your movie, as such, there is no prescribed manual to follow but rather, your own vision for the film.

I also realised the salience of knowing and pre-planning shots and the lighting style within them before filming day, so as to remain organised and not waste precious time figuring out lighting techniques. Similarly, we must plan our shots around the knowledge of where the sun enters the room during sunrise, sunset and the period in between.

Another central practical technique is to shoot tests for lighting so as – not only to decrease stress on the filming day but also to achieve the best possible lighting within the frame – one that compliments the costume and visual aesthetic of the environment. I also understood the importance of lighting in that it enables both temporal and spatial continuity; We have much more control over the image as what one sees with their naked eye is not necessarily what is caught on camera.

Ready…set… shoot!

So… Why is it we shoot to edit? Why not make everything a long take?

Well, we shoot to edit because it enables us power and control over otherwise extraneous variables if we were to shoot in Long takes.

When shooting to edit the filmmaker has control over lighting within the particular shots.  If one were to shoot a single take whilst alternating between angles, the light sources would also need to be altered; if not, the result is a discrepancy between the lighting from different angles. When shooting to edit, the filmmaker possesses the ability to move around lighting sources ancontinually alter the white balance  (that is, if changing locations within one scene – for instance taking the action from one room to another).

Another  reason we shoot to edit it so that the editor and filmmaker have more variety of takes to choose from. As a result, The actor’s best performance can be chosen. Similarly, Actors do not have to delivery lengthy paragraphs of speech but rather,split into shorter paragraphs to improve their performance and focus on their acting technique more intricately.


Furthermore, we shoot to edit so that certain props can be moved based on their requirement or lack thereof within certain frames in a scene. During a single take , it is difficult to move around props during filming due to potential interruptions. A filmmaker may want, for instance, a certain picture framed within a shot because of its symbolic significance however, from a different angle featuring the same human subject, the filmmaker may decide the picture is disruptive to the frame and thus needs to be moved.