Film Writing Post 16

Today in class we focused on sound, more specifically the use of a production sound mixer. I had recorded sound in previous shoots but I had always used the Zoom H4n to record. Not that the Zoom has not served me well as it is a simple and reliable device but with a production sound mixer you have so much more control over the audio you record.

What I always found frustrating with the Zoom was the method you can adjust gain as you have to press a button but on the mixer you calibrate the gain with one knob which can be pushed in and then fine tune the gain during the shoot to compensate for changing levels with another. I like the fact that there are two levels of audio gain so that you can be more precise when you slightly alter the levels during the shoot, which can make a huge difference in the editing phase.
The rule that whoever is wearing the headphones has to also have the mixer is sound advice as the mixer is capable to ear-damaging levels. It may come across as common sense but there are instances where someone might forget even the basics safety rules so it was a good refresher on the subject.

What was also interesting was the point of having the most important subject in input 1 as the example of an interview was given. Some interviewers have the bad habit of saying “mhm” and “aha” while the interviewee is talking so if a sound designer wants to eliminate them they could do it without any real hassle. This will make the interview better as a whole as the most important subject between the interviewer and interviewee is the interviewee since it’s not much of an interview without them.

Film Writing Post 15

After our last consult, Tom had the great idea to film a video podcast every week leading up to the presentation of our scenes. This is especially good for the reflection aspect of our assignment as we will be documenting our ideas and how they evolve over the production phase. It will also showcase the challenges and uncertainties we face and how we adapt to these challenges. We will include snippets of these segments as part of our final presentation with the scenes that we will film.
We plan to do it in the style of the writer room, where we gather around a table and discuss the relevant topics of the week. It can be tempting to go off track while filming the podcast so we must write up discussion points as well as a designated moderator to keep the group on topic. This will make for a much more organised podcast which hopefully will be filled with interesting points as well as some ideas that we will actually carry out.

It is perhaps a bit unrealistic to expect that we will all be in the same room since that has only happened only once this semester, therefore we hope to at least get everyone to appear once on the podcast. It will be ideal if we film these sometime on Thursday since it’s the day we are meant to be in the same room. We should plan to make a screen test of this so we can have a better idea of how to actually produce these segments.

In the editing phase of these podcasts we could also include opening and background music as well as images that relate to what we are talking about. We will not go as far as adding sound effects because we aren’t making a morning radio show since that will set a certain tone that will be undesirable for our podcast.

Film Writing Post 14

The group has decided against my idea to utilize the 3D text for the oblivious reason that we should keep things simple especially since we are falling behind in terms of our schedule. Instead we use 2D text which will be much simpler and less time consuming.

We are still yet to allocate the two scenes that we will shoot in the coming weeks and as far as for our protagonist, the character will be gender-less as the best performer will be chosen to play the part. I think this is good decision as the character had no real gender restriction to begin with so the end result will be that we get the best person for the role.
As for location scouting, Michael thinks that his house may be a good place to shoot a few of the indoor scenes so we will check the place out this coming Tuesday. I read the script a few times and for me there are two scenes that can be visually interesting as well as relatively short in terms of time to capture. These are the fight between the protagonist and the love interest right at the beginning of the script as well as the scene where the protagonist is trying to read his/her own subtitles. The chosen scenes powerful and emotionally charged scenes that can be accomplished with the little time we have left. The first one will introduce our character’s insecurities with the love interest leaving him/her alone for week and the second scene will showcase his/her downward spiral. In this scene the character will start to question his/her own sanity as well if he/she is being truthful to themselves. I will propose these to the group and see if they agree with my choices and if not I guess I’ll have to find other scenes but since we will be filming indoors there are only so many options to choose from.

Film Writing Post 13

I said in an earlier post that I will test the difficulty of the VFX that will be required in the making of the two scenes of the short film. Since I only used Adobe After Effects once before, I was not too confident in my ability with that particular software, but still wanted to at least attempt to make 3D Text on Adobe After Effects. With that said I decided to go on so I could learn how to go about it. It turns out that this may be achievable after all as it was too difficult a process. I needed to use 3D camera tracker that will outline all the camera movement in the clip and I can choose where to anchor the text. From there I could add depth to the text and adjust the lighting but didn’t get to since I ran into a few complications. The footage became distorted somehow and because my laptop is a bit outdated, the whole process was very slow to say the least in terms of rendering. The important thing is that I gave it a shot and I think I will be able to accomplish it when I edit the footage in the RMIT editing booths, so in the end I did achieve my objective. I will now see if this is the type of subtitles that the others had envisioned since they might want some standard subtitles, more like the SBS format of 2D text. Either way I am prepared to do what is asked of me since I now know how to do 3D text as well as 2D text.

Film Writing 12

Final Draft

The projected length of the short film is between 15-20 minutes so being a crew of six students making a film of this length in just a few weeks would be quite a difficult undertaking. As a result we discussed some more definite end goals to aim for as these seemed much more realistic in terms of expectations. These goals are to complete 15-20 page script, a complete shooting script with shots and notes and two scenes. This means rather than make a rushed and poorly done film in its entirety, we will focus on two scenes that will be carefully shot and meticulously edited. Despite not having to produce the completed film, there are still quite a few challenges that we will encounter along the course of production. Some of these challenges include time constraints and availability as well as the editing phase, more specifically the visual effects of these scenes. Since we are on such a short deadline we must work as efficiently as possible to ensure that we achieve what we set out to do. We must also account that there will be times that all six of us will not be able to make it to every shoot as we all have other commitments besides this project. If we keep an open line of communication in the group and have a clearly outlined deadline for specific tasks, we should be able to adapt to any situation change in regards to absences. If needs be, we also have to option to reschedule if time is available. Since none of us are especially proficient in the visual effects department there are some doubts in regards to our abilities to actually achieve the visual effects we aspire to create for these scenes. The members that will be in charge of editing will be practicing with test footage and in the chase that they are unsuccessful there is also a contingency plan.