Substantial Blog Post

This semester has been quite a learning curve. I think I have gotten the most out of this semester more so than some of the other semesters to do with film making, mainly because we got to hone in on one aspect of it instead of being broad and doing things half heartedly. Definitely a testament to Paul and Robin! It makes sense focusing on one ‘scene’, I feel like I got to be a lot more ‘aware’ of what I was actually doing and filming, which helped create more meaning and substance behind the actual shoot. With past courses, the emphasis on the short film as a whole (pre-production, safety, certificates) sort of flooded the film making aspect of the course, they are obviously important aspects of the process as whole but something I wasn’t really interested in. I started off the course with a vague idea of my interests and aesthetics that I liked, namely Terrance Mallick, David Fincher and other music video directors like A G Rojas. All of them showed themes and aesthetics that really struck a chord with me, the combination of the cinematography and production design really appealed to me. Themes of the supernatural, eerie horror and the psychological states of it’s characters. This formed the basis of my research into scene construction, and the elements of it that excited me and formed the starting basis to how I was going to approach my own scene. I am much more of a practical learner, So a lot of my research went into practicing certain shots and camera movements from films like The Tree of Life and Zodiac. Mallick’s scenes were almost constantly moving, with a combination of hand-held, steadicam and dolly shots that were extremely fluid which provoked me emotionally which is the first aspect of the scene I wanted to address. Fincher was a little different in the sense that he only used hand-held onse or twice throughout his films and preferred a very methodical, measured movements of the camera, the reasoning behind this being that camera movements that aren’t possible by human camera operators he found more interesting and diverse. This formed another area I wanted to address, not as deeply as Mallick but definitely look at. I practices some shoots with a friend, without a story line just to practice exposing correctly and seeing how I went with the combination of slow motion and the standard frame rate. This helped me iron out the creases before I went on my final investigation / shoot. For the story I created a basic story line that would allow me to incorporate the different aspects of film making I wanted to address while keeping it relatively short. The outline of the scene being two characters in limbo, one trying to escape and the other who has just arrived. I found this isn’t how some other people saw it when I showed them drafts but I kind of like that, it made them think to themselves what it meant for them personally which is what I like best about filmmaking. In that facet, I believe I achieved what I set out to do. Overall I was extremely happy with how my final investigation turned out, there were some parts that I didn’t include which I probably wanted to, as they didn’t fit aesthetically but in the end I have a piece that looks nice and conveys what I want it to convey. I found most of my research was achieved practically as I am not one for deep analysis, which worked for me, as I wasn’t thinking too hard about trying to make it look like something else, rather using the elements of the scenes I looked at to create something that reflected my interests and beliefs etc.


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