Colour Grading



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#CLIP 1 -Close up of hand on recorder: The initial clip is in colour and really accentuates the purple in contrast to the brown surrounding it. The second screenshot is that of the same shot however we colour graded it and made it monochromatic. Through this process we found we were able to add a new ‘horror’ aspect reminiscent of black and white horror films like Frankenstein.  This grading choice was the one we chose for our film as we also found it created a good juxtaposition to the saturated comedy footage.

#Clip 2 – Girl in Horror Movie on Bed. This shot we emphasised the contrasts by not only making it monochromatic but by increasing the contrast so as to highlight shadows. The issue with the clip below it revealing the boy and girl in bed is that it was too over exposed so we had to colour grade that to achieve the same aesthetic as the close up of the girl. Thus we had to lower the brightness of the shot.

#clips 3- Girl Dancing. Here you can see a very slight difference between the two shots of the girl dancing in the film. the first image is slightly less saturated and as such it did not contrast greatly with the monochromatic nature of the horror. So we increased the saturation of the shot so as to bring out the colours of  primarily brown, blue, black and white. This subtle change in itself was successful because it helped to differentiate the ‘comedy’ film footage from the ‘planning’ stages which is much more subdued in colour.




Semester Review

I’ve honestly loved this course this semester because it was the first time I’ve been able to apply myself in every part of the production process. In the previous semester I chose to stick to my strengths and refused to expand that capacity so as to learn about production processes that were foreign to me. This is the first film which has been based on my idea and for me it’s been so rewarding seeing it come to life with a collaborative gorup that works so strongly together. I certainly got what i wanted out of this semester and that was to be more immersed in editing which i was initially afraid to try. I found great the synthesis between our independent work as a group and the class teachings which were really practical and set us up perfectly to go out on our own and film our movies. I am pleasantly surprised with how accustomed i have become with the EX3 and Z7. Most of all I’m surprised by how thoroughly we got to experience lighting and its set up and functions. I would have loved however to experience actual editing classes so as to increase my confidence however everything else has been most constructive for me, especially as a practical learner.

‘The lovely month of May’ (Jean Ravel, 1964)

When observing the film, ‘The lovely month of May.’ – (Jean Ravel, 1964) I am immediately confronted with a somewhat jarring music soundtrack. The low tuned piano and consistently fast pacing of the drums within the background function to elevate the rapidness and slightly uneasing tune. One way in which I am able to describe the music is to explain it as ‘colourful’ in a way that it balances out the monochromatic filter on the film. I appreciate the manner by which the efferverscent music soundtrack reflects a specific city period represented within the documentary.

Evidently, this is a strongly music driven film. The suddden variations within the music function as episodic dividers of the documentary narrative portrayed. Although the music functions as a directorial mechanism on it’s own, the audience’s attention is specifically focused on a thematic structure through the narration that enters the film 1 minute in. The voice describes a sense of relief, peace and distraction with specific banalities that the parisians can now be occupied with as they are near ending the Algerian War.

I appreciate the fullness of the frames in that there’s a consistency with that sense of intensity established by the rapid paced music. This is nicely juxtaposed to the serene, gentle voice of the narrrator which in my opinion, function to make the voice central and clear for the audience to focus on. The soundtrack and consequently, narrative, progressively changes as the music adopts a slower paced character involving a guitar sound that emphasises a sense of serenity matched by close ups on specific people living within the city; becoming more personalised . Once again the narrative shifts as the music returns to a fast paced, heavier and more off-tone soundtrack. This shift is again matched by a faster pace in editing between the faces within the city. The audience is taken on an interesting and eclectic journey through the different city areas. The camera seems to constantly pan so as to direct the viewer’s eye-sight to a specific element on screen whether it be the wide range of classy hats worn by the parisians (which itself has adopted a them throughout the film so as so emphasise the parisian style at such point in time). The constant close ups shown of the policemen seem to contextualise the period, which is that of the end of the Algerian war.

The camera work is interesting here in that it takes on both a ‘fly on the wall’ characterstic and an interesting omnipotent character role on it’s own. It serves as the all-knowing and all-seeing eye to the city life in Paris during the period of 1962 in which it was filmed.

The camera framing seems to conitinously vary from close ups on individuals within the city and cuts to long shots of moving objects or beings wihtin the city to emphasise the business of the period. The constant movmeemnt within the frame similarly abides by the thematic structure established through the music, narration, and editing technique.


Keyboard shortcuts

Through my editing experiences I’ve found a knowledge of simply keyboard shortcuts can be invaluable in it’s time saving ability. One such shortcut that i have recently found is ‘opt+right’ which simply trims forward by only one frame. I used to do this job manually with a mouse and it was tedious as It takes an extended period of time.

Another shortcut I recently discovered is ” Opt+Cmd+Left” which simply minimises the font by one size on the frame in focus. This may not seem particularly salient but to me it is a great time saving tool which is specifically relevent with all of the episodic titles.

Another shortcut i discovered is ‘opt + k’ which plays the in section to the out section. This is indeed invaluable in its time saving ability sond  that you don’t need to drag the mouse to play and stop each clip.

One other shortcut is ‘ Shift+Cmd+]’ which brings the clips to the front is most convenient not only in its time-saving characteristics but in the simplicity and clarity of bringing the seperate clips forward especially when there are many clips on the timeline which can cause confusion when trying to get through each one.

‘Conventions of sound in documentary ‘ – Jeffrey Ruoff

I was really interested in the specific sound based concepts discussed within Jeffrey Ruoff’s ‘Conventions of Sound in Documentary’ essay. For instance, the essay discusses the way in which ” location sound” in documentary making “discrimination among sounds difficult” (pg.24). What is specifically great about this concept is it’s relation to our documentary. As we are making it episodic and distinguishing between the planning process and the two fictive featured films. Therefore, this concept can be used to our advantage by ensuring the spontenaiety of the planning moments lack clarity between different sounds, whilst the final 2 genre films will entail strong clarity between the different sound effects ( for example, the voice over will distinctly differentiate itself from the music track played within the film etc).

Similarly I was fascinated with Michael Rabigers instructions as quoted from ‘Directing the Documentary’:during the interview, you should maintain eye contact with your subject and give visual feedback while the interview goes on. Nodding, smiling, looking puzzled, signifying agreement or doubt are all forms of feeback that can be relayed through your expression” (pg.30). This is particularly relevant to our documentary as an enormous and salient portion of the film is centred around the planning process within the group. after watching several pieces of footage we found them somewhat disengaging in that the central figure would speak whilst we looked directly at them with very minimal visual reactions such as nods and interesting agreements etc. Therefore, this instruction provides much advice that directly influences our film as we attempt to create a planning process that is not too systematic that it results in boring scenes for the audience but rather ones they feel engaged in as they witness every individual in the meetings phsyically participating.

Forbidden Lies : sound analysis

Within this dramatization of Norma’s original story as released in her books, the love story between Norma’s best friend and her supposed lover is emotionally realised through the music. The post-dubbed track is that of a woman singing a beautiful love song entailing lines such as “hear these words and set her free” and so on. This functions to establish a specific ambience that is jarringly crushed when the female journalists voice suddenly interrupts the music as she assertively comments ” this is not the truth’. The sudden cutting of the music functions to jolt the audience out of a complacency whilst encouraging them to realise that the dramatic re-enactments just seen are completely untrue. From such point, the narrative progresses strongly with this jordanian woman’s voice over regarding her work in the investigation of jordanian women’s deaths. Norma then appears as she reads her book in sections which then jump to women proving that Norma’s words are all incorrect and filled with lies. The importance of sound at in this segment is highlighted within these sudden cuts that follow a systematic approach: norma is heard audibly reading a section from her book, follow by a voice suggesting these statements are invalid. As the filmmaker follows the journalist discovering the lies in the book a fast paced, playful and investigative soundtrack functions as background music to elevate the explorative mood. What is interesting in this segment regarding the sound, is the contrast between norma’s words and the journalists. As they’re voices are intercut, we can still hear a clear distinction between the recordings of these voices. The somewhat rusty recordings of the journalist function to emphasise the present tense in which she currently speaks, whilst the higher volume clear recording of Norma’s voice adopts a fictive characteristic. This contrast is elevated through the lower volume level of the journalists speech in comparison to Norma’s. Similarly, the naturalised atmospheric sounds present when the Journalist visits many of the described places in Norma’s story serve as a kind of comic irony to the fictive sounds of Norma as she reads her book aloud. These sounds, such as the subtle background speeches of random passers by also function to emphasise the reality of these sequences as opposed to Norma’s ultimately fiction book. The great thing about this segment is that the filmmaker was able to get a complete Audio reading of the book by norma and manipulated her voice in a way that it functioned to provide episodes that are then chronologically proved untrue.

Film TV 2 – Abstract Exercise

Having gone through the process of collating somewhat randomised images and sounds in an attempt to formulate an abstract concept video I learnt a great deal, primarily about the creative potentials of randomly piecing visuals that do not appear to correlate at first view. I chose a two singular tracks as my main sounds, that of the typist and woman on speaker, and the rustling of leaves as people walk by. I found the layering of the two tracks made for an interesting concept, which alludes to the concept of the technological world trumping the natural world. I found i could supplement that idea with the vision by simply juxtaposing the sound of the typing with the vision of the tree branches swaying as a type of acoustic/visual discoordination. In order to make the theme more explicit, I played around with sudden, unexplained cuts of the ‘nature’ shots whilst maintaining the smooth continuity of the typing track to highlight the juxtaposition.  I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the recordings, which turned out to be very clear with little noise disrupting. However, i found, specifically with the shots of the rustling trees, the clarity was not as defined as i had hoped, which is due to a lack of focus on the central subject in the screen. Similarly, I could not insert one of the videos because it was extremely over exposed, which is a reminder to check not only the exposure levels but the gain and white balance to fix the colouration. However, the struggles with video worked successfully in inspiring me to make use of a black screen to emphasise the disruption of nature.

Originally I was unsure how to approach the editing process, it was simply a trial and error process which is one i have not ventured on before. I attempted many layerings of sound and visuals until I was inspired by the idea of technology vs nature. The best part about this process is the way in which it forces you to think abstractly with the material you have as there are dangerously ‘literal’ results of planning out an idea and gathering the exact material you want.


‘Directing the Documentary’ – Michael Rabiger

Reading Michael Rabiger’s ‘Directing the Documentary’ made me aware of documentary theorists beyond that of Bill Nichols, whose 6 modes we had previously studied. I was intrigued by Michael Renov’s four modalities of Documentary in his ‘Theorizing Documentary’. Interestingly, I feel as though each documentary assumes the four modalities themselves – 1.record,reveal or persuade 2.persuade or promote 3.analyze or interrogate 4.Express. This opinon however, is subjective. Reading these categories encourages perspective over the extent to which each documentary might utilize each of these modalities. The discussion then becomes, not about whether each documentary has any of these elements or not, but to which degree each documentary has those and what contribution they have to the entire documentary. Uing Nichols’ terms, an ‘observational’ documentary will record, it may, to a degree, promote a perspective ( it may be close to appearing neutral), analyse an atmosphere/environment through stylistic choices, and express an idea or style held important to the director.

‘Imagining Reality’

I found many concepts in ‘Imagining Reality’ to coincide with my personal beliefs of documentary.

1.Pawil Pawlikowski regards, “For me, the point of making films is not to convey objective information about the world, but to show it as i see it and to find a form for which it is relevant” (pg.389). This idea strongly resonates with my perception of documentary and offers an interesting similarity between itself and fiction films, of which some films offer personal perspectives on the world. Similarly, it negates narrowminded views of documentary as simply natural recordings of everyday life, as, all films are filmed and edited in a manner that cannot be objective as it is a personal judgement of the world.

2. Pawlikoski discusses the industralised nature of modern day television in the sort of documentaries chosen to air. He nostaligcally describes a period in which he decided to make documentaries as opposed to fiction because of the lack of “nervous producers and accountants breathing down your neck” (pg.391). This explanation of documentaries on television has develeoped a more elaborate understanding of the narrowed category of documentaries that are strongly influenced by the ‘verite’ style and how dangerous this is to the freedom and expressionistic possibilities of documentary making. It encourages an experimental style of documentary that breaks out of this somewhat constrictive film-making environment. However, from an industry perspective it causes problems from film-makers with creative ideas for documentary.

‘End of the Line’

The discussion regarding the intentions of the director of ‘End of the Line’ suggest the film was designed to offer insight into the true nature of living in such isolation. The documentary sets out to reveal the harshness of the outback,which is often, according to the director, a reality that is grossly underestimated. In relation to the shock factor of the film, I believe the director achieved such an objective. However, I believe the film functioned counterproductively in the sense that it offered elaborate insight into the central character that was the older woman with strong religious beliefs. To such degree, the film became somewhat of a personalised definition of the nature of living, through the eyes of this strongly assertive woman. I found the film to be slightly alienating as the common opinion of those featured in the film insinuated that ‘city people’ lead somewhat overly distracted and   frivoulous lives. I found the choice of participants narrow as it did not spread across a wide ranged age group, which does not offer a broad view of all opinions held in Broken Hill. I found the photographic elements of the film worked greatly in corresponding and supplementing the isolated nature of Broken Hill (for instance, the long duration of the still long shots of the land).