For the first class of Film 3, the main exercise involved recording a 50 second shot of a certain place, while essentially introducing ourselves to the unfamiliar cameras. Initially, my group planned to shoot two people playing basketball just outside of Building 9, recognising it as some of the more interesting action occurring in Bowen Street. But just as we finally set the camera and tripod up, the two basketballers had decided to stop playing, demonstrating the unreliability of unscripted and unaware actors. Feeling a bit defeated by this, we settled for a long shot of Bowen Street, showing people walking and riding from one side of the frame to the other. While admittedly less interesting than our first preference, there was something kind of compelling about watching the many different people enter and leave a frame over such an extended amount of time. Once the frame had been set, the next important choice that had to be made was when to hit record. This choice was made by looking up and down Bowen St, waiting for a large pack of people and maybe some bikes, then hitting record just before they entered the frame.
Friday’s class began with us viewing and analyzing everyone’s shots from Monday’s exercise. I found it very useful to watch other students’ shots, as well as hear their thoughts. In relation to our shot, it was mentioned that our frame was slightly uneven, and there was perhaps too much headroom. These criticisms were clearly fair, and in the future could be fixed simply by giving more time and care before hitting record.
After this, we were given more valuable camera exercises, as they become more and more familiar. The other exercise this class was an audio one, as we had to capture a place through just sound, in under two minutes. My partner and I decided to record the coffee cart in Bowen Street, essentially for its distinctive sounds. Standing just a few metres from the cart, we were able to pick up sounds like the cash register opening, people ordering coffee, all while the typical ‘coffee shop music’ played in the background.
One week into the studio, I’m very much enjoying the slow intro style of the classes. Not discussing any of the assessments or the outline of the course as a whole in any real depth is a new process to me, and one I feel is useful in preventing me from getting ahead of myself.