4.1 – Reflections of What I’ve Learnt

Before shooting my final scene, I have endeavoured to investigate the screen through a multitude of screen tests. Besides one, none of these screen tests have any relevance to my work at the end of the semester. However, they have been integral learning experiences, and I have been taught very important filmmaking lessons.

Lesson 1:

The scene I shot in Mia’s living room, which can be found on my Google Drive, entitled Lord Knows Best, taught me the importance of planning and careful decision making. I started the day comfortable with my vague knowledge of what I was going to shoot and how I was to go about it. This backfired on me entirely. I had no idea what I really wanted to do, and only after minutes that seemed to drag on for eternity, spent humming and hawing, was I able to put a plan together. From this, I will learn to be completely in control of the shoot of my final scene, not only have I written a screenplay, but I will also involve myself in the storyboarding process, in addition to constructing a shot list and a schedule to keep me on time.

Lesson 2:

While I still had it in my head that I wanted to shoot a scene in Mia’s bathroom for my final investigation, I did in fact shoot a screen test, using Mia as my model, sitting in her bathtub. The aim for this screen test was to achieve the imagery that I had spent so long achieving in my head. Whilst the conditions were perfect, with the lighting, and camera positioning exactly what I wanted, it did not compare to the almost mythical look that I had been thinking about for weeks. I learnt the necessity to compromise one’s vision for screen realism. If not compromise, then at least an honest understanding of the abstract nature of one’s own imagination. I believe that it is through multiple screen tests, going back and forth between bringing your vision to screen and altering it in your head, than one is able to achieve supreme satisfaction.

Lesson 3:

Another one of my screen tests, the one with least relevance at all to my investigation, involved practising vertigo zooms. Regardless of my ability to actually capture one perfectly smooth and working zoom, it was an immensely rewarding experience. This taught me about how one should properly utilise one’s crew and equipment. The complexity of the shot required me to coordinate my camera operator with the movement of my makeshift dolly operator, along with the zoom and focus puller. This was intensely intricate, and while we were not able to pull it off, the proximity to achieving it taught me that it can easily be done with the right equipment and full teamwork.

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