Project Final Post

Project film #3

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In this film I created my own story to shoot, the plan was to film a fight scene with a long take that demonstrating Asian cinema’s action movies visual style, and try to film a continuous shot to let the audience can feel the rhythm and power in the scene that what I have investigated and researched for. The place I chose to film was in Building nine edit suite, it is a good place for me to do this experiment because there is a long and narrow hallway, the effect of the tracking shot would be sharper than shooting in a spacial place.

I shot this in wide shot and shortest focal length to keep the shot as steady as possible, because I just used the simple handheld, I worried the shot would be shaky, but the turn out was good so I didn’t use the warp stabiliser in Premiere when I edited the scene.







As the screen captures has shown that I made a wide shot long take, so while the actors were fighting in the shot, we could still see the actors are in the middle of the frame. Also, the wide shot would let the frame showing the actions of the actors such as punches, gunfire and they die in the shot, it is a good result to me because those are what exactly I wanted to investigate in the project. Action and reaction in the same frame, to create the continuity in a fight scene to let the fight seems more realistic and powerful.

Project film #4

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This is the last video I filmed in this project, I shot the same script of the previous video I filmed, so the storyline is same with the previous one. The main actor, which is Henry, tries to escape and has fights with three stages of enemies who are trying to kill him.









This video was a bit easier than the previous one, because the camerawork was not as much as the last one. More than half the scene is just a steady handheld at the corner of the lift, so I only tilted the camera up and down while filming in the lift. With the advantage that fewer changes in camerawork, the footage is more steady than the one which was shot in the edit suite hallway. The sound effects like punches sound and gunfires are a bit playful like action comedy in 80’s to 90’s Hong Kong cinema, so it is a it weird but it kind of works in this scene.

I found this video has created a better pace and rhythm than the previous one because there is more than a half time is a steady handheld shot in the lift, when Henry is waiting the door opens on every level and fight, the atmosphere could be more intense than the hallway one that Henry is walking forward and peeping around to find the next enemy. The frame is so “silent”. I was satisfied with this video because I shot with one take only and I have got what I want in the project. The comparison between the hallway and the lift’s long take is mainly the camera movements are different but both of them have developed powerful and rhythmical fight scene that I have focused in the project.

Research #4 – Jackie Chan

It is a very inspiring video clip I have seen in the research that contains exactly what I am investigating about in this project. If I research about fight scenes, to research about Jackie Chan is necessary.

This clip is illustrating the differences of the fight scenes between asian cinema and Hollywood cinema. Obviously, Jackie Chan is the most qualified to comment the differences. In the interview, Jackie Chan points out that he likes to use handheld or dolly moves rather than using cuts in a fight scene.

He says, ‘Like American movies, there are a lot of movements. When the camera angle moves that means the actors don’t know how to fight.’ In Hollywood movies, we can see the cameras swing in the fight scenes to let the shot seems more violent. But Jackie Chan says, ‘I never move the camera. Always steady and wide angle. Let them I jumping down, I do the flips, I do the falls…’

Why those fight scene would be more impressive? Because it will make action and reaction are in the same frame. Apart from this, this is also about the budget, making a long take in a fight scene would help the tight budget, especially in Asian cinema. Also, a wide shot long take would let the audience feel the rhythm in the scene rather than cuts in every single hit like the fight scenes in Hollywood. I think it is about the continuity in a scene. If directors shoot the fight scene with a lengthy take, it could make the fights to be more real and powerful. In contrast, Hollywood movies use the cuts in fight scenes with close ups, sometimes they don’t show the hits at all, the audience cannot feel the power as well. In my project, I will try to make a fight scene with a long take to try to contain action and reaction in the same frame.

Research #3 – The Protector

This four-minute long take is a very arguable one because it seems to be a cut rather than a single long take. It could be seen that the fight scenes with long takes have a similarity that they are tracking shots with a wide shot size.

This scene has taken a very long time to finish this four-minute shot, they have used 4 days, 8 tries, 2 cameramen and came out with 1 final shot. As the previous post I have said, it is quite obvious to see the similarity of the long take fight scene are taken with wide shot, I think it could save the time to pull focus and focal length while they are shooting, to minimise opportunity of turbulence occur in a shot.

Project film #2

This clip is a remake of the opening of a Hong Kong film Exodus in 2007. I think it is good to film a remake to understand how directors making a film perfect. I chose to film this opening because it is one of the best long takes I have ever seen. Martin Scorsese’s are good but a bit boring to watch again and again. This shot was very challenging that I had to change the focal length and focus during the shot, and the hardest part was I had to do those things by myself. When I was on set, I showed the original clip to the actors to explain how would I shoot, and did rehearsal to make the blocking perfect. Then, in the real recording, I found it was very hard to control what I planned to do. The tracking speed was not consistent, sometimes out of focus. But I started to repeat the shooting over, I finished this single long take with 3 takes.





In the editing part, I added the slow motion and stabilizer to make the clip looks much better than the raw clip. And I found the colour tone and the background music could help creating the scary atmosphere a lot, it built up the tension from the start to the end of the clip.

Research #2 – Daredevil

This is another long take that inspired me to shoot in the project. Fight in a narrow hallway, and a smart skill that using the rooms in the hallway to do off frame fights. Audience will wait Matt, the main guy coming back to the hallway. Also, there is a shot that throwing the microwave to the hallway is one of the best moments in this shot, it could bring Matt and audience back to the hallway and push the scene forward.

But it was not an easy shot, this single shot has been shot for two days, 12 times in total. When it came time to shoot, they spent the first half of the day blocking the choreography with cinematographer Matt Lloyd to make sure the camera movements and the action were in full synchronization. “The second half of the day was just going for it full tilt,” said Silvera. “In that particular fight, we had over 105 fight beats. Normally, on any given cut on a film, you’ll get three or four beats before you see a cut. We had guys coming at him from multiple angles at the same time — never just one guy at a time.” They finally found the perfect shot around the tenth or twelfth take.”

So I have come up with an idea in my project is to film in a narrow hallway, to make a long take fight scene, to investigate how to control the coverage in a fight scene with a long take, and how to communicate with actors before the shot.

Research #1 – Hanna

In my opinion Hanna is not a good film, at least I don’t really like it, but there is a scene impressed me in the film that I use it as an example in my research.

The main actor Eric Bana says “I like to be able to do the fight from start to finish without stopping so that on the day you’re covered if the director wants to shoot it in any particular way. What makes it different when they do decide to do it in one shot is it’s just more pressure because you realize there’s no way for any mistakes or for anything to be picked up or fixed… It becomes more like a sport. The cameraman, the focus puller, the guy dragging the cables, everyone has to be absolutely perfect on one take. So it does become more like a live performance and there is more adrenaline on a day like that. It’s good fun.”

It could be seen that it is a very difficult to make a fight scene with a long take. In this scene, when in the subway, we could see that the camera is rotating around Erik (Eric Bana), I think it can create a very intense atmosphere to show there are more enemies coming around Erik in the fight scene. So that the camerawork would be a key point to get the fight scene success or looking good in a fight or action scene.

Long Take Inspiration #2 – Hard Boiled

One of the most famous things in Asain cinema is action movies, especially in 70’s to 90’s Hong Kong cinema. Hard Boiled is an action movie directed by John Woo in 1992, this film has brought John Woo to the Hollywood. These long take is a very well known and remarkable in John Woo’s films. This ‘bulletic’ long take could compare with another classic the slow motion gunfire scene in A Better Tomorrow that is directed by John Woo as well.

This scene is constructed in a very simple way, the actors, Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung are at both sides of the frame, and the enemies are in the middle. This two and a half minutes scene almost remains this construction all the way. Also, this framing could bring Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung to the foreground that emphasises they are the main characters in the film.

Long Take Inspiration #1 Exodus

It is one of the best long takes that I have ever seen in my life, and it inspired me to do a remake of this scene in this project. This scene is the opening of the Hong Kong film Exodus in 2007, there are the cops with weird swimsuits and diving gears torturing a man who maybe innocent. This 3 minutes long take develops an atmosphere that is scary and constructs this film film into the genre of film noir.

What I did in my video is to investigate the relationship between long takes and fight scenes, how could be fight/action scenes looking more powerful in long takes rather than editing the footages like Hollywood style jump cuts. And I think it is good to start with remaking this scene because there are not many fighting moves and it’s easier to handle.

Project film #1

This is a remake of the stairs exercise that is done on week 7, I think it is worth do it because I investigate how the directors to reach the perfection while they are filming in the research project. In this film, I chose to do exactly the same with the week 7’s exercise, same shots, same sets, and same actors. I did the repeat was to challenge myself how to make the video perfect with the constraints. I filmed it in the class time, so it was very limited for me to shoot, but it was a great opportunity to do the “running and gunning”, run and gun is not just a basketball strategy, it also applies on filming. As a remake of the previous exercise, I have had the images in my mind already, so I could film straight away and do the same thing. This time I knew that I had to control the focal length, exposure and focus better since I was not satisfied with the one I filmed last time. And I finished shooting with around 25 minutes because I was familiar with what I shot on set, I knew how to communicate with actors and what the shot angles I needed, so I could speed up the shooting and made it effective.

Reflection #8

In this week we had a very practical exercise to do, for me it’s not a new thing that I did learn before, actually I have been going through those in Film-TV 1 last year, that’s the relationship between focal length, exposure and focus. Of course I’m not going to say that I’m familiar with those techniques, but I have taken the advantage from my photography experience that I could understand those knowledge with ease.

The class exercise is very inspiring that how to adjust the ‘right’ focal length, exposure and focus in different situation. The difficulties that we could not imagine is we have to do a lot preparation before the shot, even the shot is just last 1 or 2 seconds, but we had to get it ‘right’, marking down the focal length and focus is the hardest part in the exercise, because we have to figure out how the subject, camera movement and tons of other things that we haven’t imagined would affect the shot. So the Bowen Street walking exercise is the most challenging one, but the most interesting one, the people on the street, cars, bikes, the direction of the subject going… all of them could affect us that how to put the mark. I think it’s the most helpful exercise in class that would benefit us to shoot the videos ‘right and make them looking good in the project.