It’s been a long semester of trial and error, but it’s finally come to an end. I completed the majority of what I wanted to create I’m mostly pleased with the results. Let’s start with an in-depth analysis of what I filmed.
I wanted to keep the coverage as simple as I could for this one. While I was initially going to shoot it identically to my original rehearsal one, I realised that since I changed the aspect ratio and I started working in quadrants that I needed to change up the angles and framing of it. I kept the same idea that their were only 3 different shots to cut between, and one of them is only used to establish the shot. When we changed the location to this space in my house, I utilised costume and colour more than I had planned. Since the background was pretty dry, it allowed Roland’s shirt to pop and Marianne’s hair to shine. It worked out that Marianne had dryer clothes because it created an off-balance between where the colour was on the two, which kinda made this ying and yang thing, not necessarily in each shot, but in the characters themselves. While I wanted Roland in blue and Marianne in red as seen in the play, this created a less overt representation of the character differences.
Anyway, we tried going full Wes Anderson for this shot by intially having the actors perpendicular to the frame, but there wasn’t enough going on behind them to warrant a good shot. By angling each shot slightly, more of their body filled the frame, making for a more visually pleasing image.
After starting with the basic intro scene, I took a book from Son of Saul and tried to replicate the shooting style from that. What resulted was something more akin to Birdman.
In the second scene, we filmed it about 5 or 6 different ways, all one take and mainly based around Ben (Roland). I ended up choosing one of the takes to my surprise and going with it. My plan was to cut it up the way Son of Saul did, but I was pleased with the result of this that I didn’t want to butcher it. Karl (cameraman) was given direction to experiment with what is captured and he chose to flip the camera onto Marianne at the perfect moment, which is why I love it. The initial idea was to only keep it on Ben for the scene so we see his reactions to everything as in this scene, Roland may have orchestrated the meeting with Marianne. We mostly stick on Ben, and we still capture his reactions, which include the subtle disappointment as the scene goes on and the reaction to the accusation that he planned the meet, which is one of the reasons I chose this frame for that moment. I wanted the camera to linger on a close-up of Roland as he tries to brush of the accusation.
The decision to linger on Ben’s back and have Marianne out of focus was a conscious one. This scene was all about Roland, and I wanted that to be abundantly clear. Also, by having Marianne out of focus in this shot, it somewhat represents Roland’s vision in the moment. He’s planned to run into her and probably imagined the meet a thousand times over in his head, so now that he’s actually met her, adrenaline has kicked in and he’s adjusting to the situation. I was really pleased how this turned out.
While the next two scenes didn’t get filmed due to time constraints, I did capture the short 5 ending sequences.These were all single shots and I had a lot of fun experimenting with these to see how I could change things up each time.
I think this shot is may favourite of what we filmed. I like it because it reminds me of a polaroid someone might have taken casually, but we are given the inside knowledge of what was being said. The colour of Shona’s (Marianne’s) hair with the outside light from the window hitting it is really pretty. Roland is cut off partially in the background, which is another reason it reminds me of a photo, because sometimes action is cut out of a frame. Shona’s hair is essentially the focus of this image. Both faces are obscured, so all you’re really looking at is the colour and light on the hair.
This shot is inspired by a shot in Rushmore, that involves panning to where the action is. This one I’m not super pleased with and I don’t think it was blocked well for the content of the script, but it was entertaining to make as it took many attempts to get something close to passable. I do like the slow drag onto Roland’s face at the end, to see his reaction enter the frame was cool.
This shot doesn’t inspire much from me. All of these end shots were all improved framing wise on the day, so I didn’t expect them all to be masterpieces. I think the problem is Marianne’s looking down for half of the shot and it doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because the camera isn’t angled up at her, which would have allowed a shot of Roland stairing up at her to match. Or maybe I’m being overly critical of myself. My instinct is this isn’t a great shot.
I like that I got to use depth here. The first two shots were very two dimensional in terms of character movement and framing, but here we have Roland walking up to the frame and an out of focus Marianne standing into frame. She again doesn’t need to be in focus because Roland isn’t looking at her. I created this scenario because I realised that we don’t know what the events that have transpired have been. These scenes are all alternate universes. I imagine Marianne said something that disheartened Roland, which made he get up and walk away. This was the only real time I toyed around with that idea, but I’m happy I did.
This is the final shot of the scene, and it was meant to be a call back to the opening shot of Marianne sitting in the waiting room. I personally don’t think it calls back to that when comparing the two, which makes this shot just seems awkward. They are both standing directly across from each other and it doesn’t look as good as I imagined it. Since most of these scenes I imagined outside on a brick wall backdrop, I saw this shot to basically look just like this, but if this was the bottom left quadrant of the overall shot. I don’t think I really wanted them to be this close, but with the room constraints I didn’t have much space to toy with. Either way, its a simple way to end a series of scenes that began just as simply.
I’ll have to wait to see how it all turns out as a whole, as it is technically unfinished. But it’s good to reflect on each scene separately. I was initially going to create a single file and upload that, but I don’t think I would have analysed each sequence as in-depth as I did. I’m pleased with the amount of variety I achieved in the small workspace I had. It all started with the guy at the party video from earlier in the semester when I used the same workspace to film that. It was worthwhile filming here again because of the constraint of the space, and forcing yourself to find interesting ways to shoot within it.
What I was aiming to do this semester was experiment with coverage. I wanted to focus on that solely, so I grabbed a script so I didn’t have preconceived ideas on how to shoot it, or ulterior motives on actually wanting to make a short film, which would have had myself less focused on the coverage as a whole. This class allowed me to understand how to frame a shot better, how to analyse a frame and how to break it down into smaller frames that work together to create a whole. My more focused goal was an attempt to adapt a play into a film. That goal was more project based and was only partially achieved due to the lack of a complete product. I don’t mind that I didn’t complete it though. I thought that I would but I don’t. The play is so open to interpretation that it gave me a unique toy box to play in as opposed to something more akin to Shakespeare. I was essentially given the dialogue and that was it. Everything else was up to me. It was a unique chance to learn about other aspects of film making besides writing, which is a great passion of mine.
Overall, I’m proud of what I produced, not because I think its brilliant, but because I learned a couple of things along the way.