From recollection, the film Rolling was really impressive, without dissecting it at all I was left with the feeling that they had done a good job immediately after the viewing. Going into a bit more detail, I think the reason why it worked well was because of the simplicity of the plot and the elements that were involved in making the film. The fact that the majority of the film was shot in one location enabled attention to be delivered to other areas, like the dialogue and acting. However, even though I think that this simplicity worked, with such emphasis being placed on the actors, there were times where they didn’t quite pull off a realistic portrayal of a conversation. Part of the blame could be put on the script-writing also as I think some of the reason why at times it didn’t work was because the script didn’t quite allow for a smooth conversation.
A element of the film that I think worked incredibly well was the slow motion tracking shot of the two leads walking down the supermarket aisle. I think this worked well both aesthetically and figuratively, the slow motion could represent the feeling that the protagonists ‘whole world stops’ as they say happens during momentous occasions.
From Week 3 reading, Creating the Sound Design.
One point that struck me from this reading was a pratical one, one that is simple yet is fundamental to sound recording and would affect the professionalism of our short film. It was how we can use the microphone to convey emotion. Using different microphones to manipulate the tonal quality of a recording is something that I would have previously completely overlooked. From the reading I now understand that one mic may enhance mellow sounds and make the the sound full bodied whilst another may capture voice’s sharper and crispier to convey an emotional edge. The placement of the microphone to the actors also affects this, closer placed mic’s create an intimate, warm sound while a mic placed futher away creates a sense of distance.
Antoher point that was interesting and new to me was the way in which certain words and sentences create an aural mood. Word choice in a sentence can affect its impact. The sentence “waves crashed against the rocks” is more appropriate than “waves hit upon the boulders” due to the hard, crisp sounds of its words compared to the rounder, gentler words of the second.
The makers have successfully used sound in ‘Clown Train’ to create an atmosphere that is unsettling and stressful. The film uses classic horror sound conventions to build suspense, to create unease and to scare. A sustained high note can be heard for much of the film, ending in phases of absolute silence to a louder more abrupt stinger. A state of stress is created by the repitition of a screeching, unpleasant noise that is reminiscent of the screeching train noise at the start of the film. At points of, and sometimes just prior to, points of high drama all atmospheric noise in cut completely. This forces us to become completely aware of the silence, aiding in our empathy for the character but also to build suspense through the awareness of this developed horror film technique.
In the 1963 film ‘The Haunting’ sound is used similarly to create suspense in an unsettling atmosphere. Similar to the notion of visual ’empty space’ in a shot where the majority of the frame is left empty for possible action, The Haunting could be said to also use empty noise. Sound is kept minimal, atmospheric noise is almost inaudible to leave space for an intensifying pounding. Once the pounding stops, silence is utilized to create a high-stress atmosphere.
2 points that I took away from Kathryn Millard’s journal ‘Writing for the Screen: Beyond the Gospel of Story’ are the importance of production notes and the benefit of improvisation. Millard emphasises the importance of collecting imagery, sounds and other resources that help to create a tone or feeling that is desired. This is similar to a designer creating a mood board to keep a collection appropriate and complementary. Millard explaining the benefit of improvisation was comforting to me as the pressure of producing a comprehensive script at the start of the production process is daunting and stressful for me. The fact that it is encouraged to play around and see what works best, throw out ideas and come up with new ones throughout the process relieves some of the pressure of having everything strictly conforming to the script.
Something that I took away from Jasmines lecture on screen writing is the fact that the screenplay should be kept simple and mainly focus on character actions, location and dialogue. This enables more attention on character development and plot without getting caught up with how a scene should be shot or put together. This is something that I sometimes can’t help to think about as I try to write a plot outline but I realise that thinking about how a finished film is going to look at the time of script-writing is much too premature.
My goals for this course is to be able to construct a coherent narrative from beginnings of a story outline to a polished short film. The ability to imagine a story outline and to form that into a succinct story that makes sense and is entertainment is something that I have always struggled with. To not over think the narrative and to be able to imagine a simple plot, is something that I think works best but have a hard time putting into practice. I am excited to learn how to produce a short film from start to finish and to be involved in all steps along the way.
Traditional documentary- starting point to end point in a manner predetermined by the author.
Authorship and control are defined.
Interactive Documentary- starting point proposed by the author, we determine the path. Control is handed to the user. The boundaries of authorship and control over the discourse become less important.
In linear documentaries we watch the film by pressing play, our actions are reactive.
In Interactive documentaries we must understand the system and make decisions to move forward. We must find out how the system works and move ourselves forward through it .
The linear documentary requires a type of cognitive participation from its audience.
The interactive documentary requires a cognitive and physical participation along with decision making.
It is a living system- the process of change does not stop.
Taken from Convictions Installation at STUK and Targets Installation at STUK.