Everyday Media

An everyday blog about media by everyday blogger Louise Alice Wilson.

Tag: Reflection

Week 6 – Reflection

This week was an interesting week, as rather than work through specific activities we ended up discussing what it was we wanted to work on for the rest of the term, which certainly was a very interesting experience. I guess its rare for a teacher to ask you – “what do you want to learn about?”.

Essentially Robin got each of us to tell him what we would like to focus on for the rest of the semester, or what we were enjoying and from that he could gather a deeper understanding of what the class collectively was interested in exploring next.

Lots of people had plenty of good ideas about what to do, a few people suggesting we attempt to recreate a shot we liked, in order to learn from it – which I am really interested in doing and thus said that very thing. Others suggested they wanted to create something they felt was worthy of a ‘showreel’ – though I guess thats a big ask from a studio, but I certainly would love to create a piece of work which I am that proud of. Some people wanted to do things that were a bit more radical, such as explore more ‘abstract or artistic’ lighting, such as the use of coloured gels to light a scene. Or to explore how different genres utilise different lighting setups, which of course would be dramatically different depending on the genre, as ever genre has their own rules. It’d be interesting to see how something would never be done in a certain genre, but would be pushed to the extreme in another genre.

From that we somewhat deduced a plan for the rest of the studio which essentially involves us getting into groups and filming a small scene of whatever we wanted, leaving it up to us to choose. I’m in the same group as I have been for most of the semester – minus a few of the usual suspects – and am pretty excited to see what we come up with.


Until next time,

Louise Wilson

Week 5 – Reflection

This week, again like last week we were hands on filming more scenes. However, unlike last time the scenes we shot this time were a lot simpler, or maybe they just felt a lot simpler?

We were given the exercises ahead of the day, but this time our group (which was the same as last time) didn’t plan the shoot out prior to the exercise but rather worked it out on the day. Our group however got to shoot in the second half of the class, as everyone else was out shooting in the first half of the class, so in a way we did get a little extra time for planning.

For the first half of the class Robin gave us a mini lesson going through cinematography terms that we’d learnt thus far, grouping related terms together and adding new terms to the ones we already knew – thoroughly expanding our cinematographic vocabulary. Then Robin also showed us numerous clips where we got to visually explore the terms we were learning, as well as simply appreciate some brilliant filmmaking such as Orson Welles’ ‘Citizen Kane’ and a number of other classic examples.

At the tail end of this lesson we quickly planned out which group member would do what in the scenes we were shooting and we decided to switch roles around, to drastically different roles than the ones we were used to. As we’d worked out that even though we are encouraged to switch roles or try new things, often people that were comfortable or interested in particular areas kept doing the same roles. For example I’ve always been very interested in doing camerawork so I always offer myself as DOP or camera assistant, Darcey quite loves directing, so would often take on that role and Sam has discovered that she makes a great First AD so she kept offering herself for that role.

This time we decided to switch it up, so I was an actor along with Alex and Aly, Sam was on camera, Quinlan was directing and Darcey and Alaa were doing the lighting and sound. Having radically different roles was great, it was nice to sink into the role of ‘actor’ and just be told what to do and where to stand. I just focussed on practising my lines and making my ’emotions’ feel genuine, rather than being fixated on getting ‘the best shot’.

I remember Robin saying that he kept rewatching our clip as the acting was quite – I can’t remember the exact word – but somewhere along the lines of engaging? When I watch the footage back I guess I tend to agree, both Aly and I attempted to be as genuine as possible, mimicking the emotions that someone would feel, in the situation we were in. Which was essentially bumping into someone you thought didn’t like you, and realising they did. I guess we all can relate to that?

It was very interesting also to see how someone else deals with the problem of getting the right framing, or avoiding showing specific objects in frame, or dealing with locations with starkly different exposures. It meant I could learn by taking a step back, rather than being right in there – which was a new experience for me.


Until next time,

Louise Wilson


Week 5 Reflection: http://www.mediafactory.org.au/louise-wilson/2018/04/27/week-5-reflection/

Week 6 Reflection: http://www.mediafactory.org.au/louise-wilson/2018/04/27/week-6-reflection/

Basic Research Project: http://www.mediafactory.org.au/louise-wilson/2018/04/27/basic-research-project/


Reflection – Art

A painting by Yvan Favre, a french painter from Clermont-Ferrand.

I love Yvan Favre’s paintings, because they elevate everyday scenes into beautiful works of art, such as the painting above which is simple a woman riding the bus. Whilst looking over Yvan Favre’s other work it becomes clear that he finds inspiration in the everyday, rather than inspiration in the surreal. But when you closely at his paintings you realise that just like in films, this painting also ‘reproduces reality’. This painting is not simply a paint by numbers version of what Yvan Favre saw in front of him, but rather a reproduction of what Yvan saw but edited to be much more ‘visually pleasing’, by adjusting things such as the colour palette and the contrast of the scene itself.

The woman in this scene is lit by a key light coming in from the window on her left, which looks like a relatively soft light, that doesn’t have particularly defined ‘shadow edges’ even though it does have quite dark looking shadows. As I said earlier I think some ‘reproduced reality’ is going on here, so I think Yvan has really deepened the darkness of the scenes shadows to provide more contrast and to give the scene an overall greater oomph, which makes it slightly unreliable for understanding what kind of lighting Yvan has painted into this scene, as it may be inconsistent with the kind of lighting you’d actually see in real life. As you can see in the image above, everything the sun is directly touching is illuminated within the scene, whilst the shadow areas virtually fade away into darkness. But nowhere in the image do you see really distinctive shadow lines, expect maybe the woman’s spinal shadow – which may been exaggerated for purely aesthetic reasons.

Within the image above you can also see parts of the woman’s head and shoulder, which in camera terms would almost feel ‘overexposed’ as the colour is almost completely removed by the blown out white which appears to take its place, as the windows sunlight strikes those particular areas. Whilst this image may be a creative reimagining of one woman’s bus ride, it most certainly imparts that feeling of being sun drenched, whilst also simultaneously hiding in the shadows.

Until next time,

Louise Wilson

Reflection – Film Scene

I’m not sure if this is technically ‘a scene from a film’, but it’s most certainly a scene from within a film. As in, its the title sequence of a film. I decided to analyse this scene as its one of the most disturbing scenes I’ve ever watched, not in a disgusting way but rather in the way that it has stuck with me ever since I watched it and it certainly has a most interesting lighting setup.

Nocturnal Animals (2016) – Title Sequence

At the start of this clip, from 0:06 to 0:22 the only thing you can see is confetti falling within the frame. This confetti looks as if it’s been lit by a hard light, separating it from the black background and allowing it to be visible to the human eye. It then fades into a series of montage shots that show various women dancing naked to the music. These women are lit front on, by a relatively soft light that wraps around their body and castes them in a flattering softish yellow light, as if they were old Hollywood starlets. They may also be back lit as they seem quite visually separate from the background, which is heavy red draped curtains.  However these women may have been simply CGI’d in front of the image of the curtains.

It’s quite hard to tell the direction of the light, but it seems like there’s a key light slightly to the right, which is above head height, casting a slight shadow downwards, with a frontal fill light coming from the left. Overall the scene feels quite dark and ominous, whilst still feeling romantic and beautiful. I think this balance was achieved by using a soft light to purely light the subjects, but having a darkened background to give the overall scene quite a dark and toned down feel to it. Whilst this is a pretty obscure scene, I do think it’s an extremely beautiful and most certainly moving scene, that benefits greatly from the dramatic lighting setup that the cinematographer has chosen to use.

Until next time,

Louise Wilson

Week 2 – Reflection

Why do we light? I thought this was one of the most interesting questions brought up in this weeks class. I’d love to create a list of ‘why we light’ and continue to add to it over the course of the semester, so here it is:

Why do we light?

  • Spatial Continuity
  • Temporal Continuity
  • Emotional Impact
  • Necessity (Night)
  • Control
  • Reproduced Reality: Films don’t look like real life.

I’ve most certainly missed some things, but will certainly make an effort to consistently add to this list.

I also loved the concept of ‘Reproduced Reality’ which Robin brought to my attention in class. Robin stated that films, television and essentially most media content is ‘Reproduced Reality’. So rather than being actual reality in terms of look, dialogue and characters (and a whole heap more) it’s actually ‘reproduced reality’ like an attempt by human beings to construct something that both looks like real life as well as looking ‘like a film’ or looking like a fantasy version of reality. I jokingly said to my classmates that next time someone asks what I did on the weekend, rather than say “oh I watched this cool film, or I binged a whole pile of Netflix” i’ll say “oh I just watched some reproduced reality.

I feel like it’s an extremely simple way of consciously acknowledging that no, this isn’t actually reality and yes it does abide by its own unique rules and guiding regarding aesthetics and character development and such. So often we accept media as being ‘truthful’ or ‘reflective’ but rarely do we think about the ways in which we have constructed this faux-movie-reality where nothing ever really looks like that, or no-one ever really talks like that, yet we accept it as somehow being intensely truthful. I look forward to thinking more deeply about this concept and applying this approach to the way I view and make media in the future.

Until next time,

Louise Wilson

Week 1 – Reflection

How I came to be in Robin’s ‘Film Light’ studio is actually quite an entertaining story. Maybe only entertaining to myself though? Essentially when I rocked up to the studio presentation day I ran into my old studio head Paul, and he said to me “Hey Louise, why aren’t you talking to any of the studio heads?”. Because they’d recently introduced this ‘new way of doing things’ where instead of the studio heads presenting their studios to the class, they would simply stand there and you could go and ask them questions about their studios. Which for me is extremely devastating news as I make quite a consistent effort to talk to as few people as possible. So of course I replied to Paul “Well which studio do you think I should do?” and Paul replied “I think you’d love Robin’s studio”. And that was that, it was sorted. I put Robin’s studio as my first preference and indeed I got it and here I am, and Paul was right, I do love it.

I guess I didn’t have a crazy number of expectations regarding this studio, but it’s most certainly exceeded most of those. My main expectation was to understand the technical aspects of lighting a scene to a greater extent, as well as increasing my ability to ‘artificially’ light a scene, with hot and heavy lights and such. However, I was happily surprised to not only be learning those things but to also be learning a theoretical framework of how to view, understand and apply lighting principals.

From the very first lesson Robin focused heavily on getting us to use light that is readily available as well as ‘read’ scenes for their lighting quality and to appreciate what light is available in any given environment. Which is a great fundamental base to start on, rather than to begin with a ‘three-point-lighting’ setup which encourages you to view ‘lighting’ as the simple act of adding light to a room. As Robin made clear light is present in essentially all environments, so to ‘light’ a scene is not only to add addition lights but to work with what light is already there.

Post One: http://www.mediafactory.org.au/louise-wilson/2018/03/09/week-1-reflection/

Post Two: http://www.mediafactory.org.au/louise-wilson/2018/03/09/week-2-reflection/

Post Three: http://www.mediafactory.org.au/louise-wilson/2018/03/09/reflection-film-scene/

Post Four: http://www.mediafactory.org.au/louise-wilson/2018/03/09/reflection-art/

Until next time,

Louise Wilson

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