During the lecture a number of different lighting techniques and lights were displayed to give us an overview of what we may be able to use for our films.
For our film I initially thought that lighting wouldn’t be a real issue as it is a mood piece which doesn’t really have any focus on extra lighting to create the atmosphere. Whati did not take into consideration is that fact that lighting can be used to illuminate the face, in a natural way. Soft lighting, such as the LED panels, can be taylored to enhance the moody feelings. Hard light can also be used to enhance outside sunrays which will be helpful for our project.
After undertaking a practice shoot i found that the lighting can enhance the frame and add another element to the scene which is great and something i need to be more aware of for future shoots
Reading ‘Lighting the shot’
Light metering is a principle that is covered in the reading that I have always wanted to understand and the simple explanation helped me understand what it is all about. I have seen some behind the scenes videos of movie sets where the DOP uses the light meter whenever a new shot is about to take place. Although we won’t be using a light meter it was still very helpful to finally understand what it is used for and how it works.
This reading helped me come to the realisation of the importance of lighting continuity, especially if you are using artificial lighting. I think this will be hard however if you use the same 180 degree principle that you use for the camera with your lighting, it could help manage this continuity.
Cues would have been the most important aspect of Michelangelo Antonio’s directing this particular scene. The characters were constantly on the move which would have made it difficult for continuity but by choreographing and setting up the shots in the scene.
Another thing that Antonio would have had to consider is the placement of the actors in the shots which would have been achieved with tape or items as placement cues on the ground or on the wall. One thing that I am not 100% sure on is if there was more then one camera used. If there were two it would have made it a lot easier to capture the different angles of the actors while keeping continuity.
Rolling was a fantastic short film that definitely grasped the ‘moment in time’ aspect that for me makes a short film likeable. Short films don’t really have enough time to create characters or motifs through dialogue alone, meaning that to capture the same moment of emotion needs to be done with a larger emphasis on audio and visual cues. Rolling definitely had one of those moments that made me feel good. The cuts between the present and flashbacks helped the temporal aspect of the film which created a ‘a-ha’ moment which lead to me understanding the meaning behind the toilet paper. The lead males acting was very good for the role of the awkward lovestruck boy however the girls acting was a bit to confronting for what i was expecting of her role. This is an important part that will need to be noted in the production stages of making our short film, continuity and the way the actors are directed will reflect straight onto how the film turns out. Like Paul mentioned, the scene production in some parts of the film wasn’t as good as others. I’m not the biggest fan of critiquing films as it makes you sound like you would make a much better film, which in no means is what I am for but in any case this film is fantastic and definitely makes use of the ‘shortness’ in the short film.
COMMENTS ON CINEMATOGRAPHY
There are some comments from Martin Scorcese referring to frame composition and everything that you include or don’t include in the frame can have an impact how it is perceived or what is expected. I like how Scorcese outlines this as you can tell in his films that everything that can be seen in the frame is very purposeful and has a impact on the scene. This excites me as it will be something that the group will be able to experiment with, we will have control of how we want the audience to act while watching! Makavejev talks of realities both in the frame and out of the frame, there can be an erotic tension on the edges of the frame. All the viewer can do is try to believe what is on the outer space of the frame which can be used in film to create suspense or lead an audience a particular way.
In the film Clown Train, sounds is used effectively to help the viewer understand the narrative spaitially and temporally with certain cues throughout the particular scene. The atmospheric / environmental sounds used creates a very eerie setting and intently creates tension and unease. The wur of the stationary train prior to it shutting down sets the scene and complements the genre. The sudden tribal drums also adds to the tension and intensifies the dialogue of the clown. There are a number of instances that this eerie, minimalist atmospheric sounds can work including in scenes focusing on emotions (including happy) generally in montage sequences. The use of sounds also creates a unique filmic space that helps the viewer understand spatial elements, which is evident when the soundscape changes as it move from inside to the outside of the carriage and vice versa.
True Detective is a show I finished not too long ago that has a very interesting Narrative in terms of the actual content but also how it is undertaken. The narrative is about two detectives who portray both similar and different traits which have them constantly second guessing each other. The series begins with both of them being interviewed separately by two detectives in 2012. They recount the events of a case that happened 15 years prior as the show constantly flashes back between them then and now.
This continues for the first 6 episodes until it leads to the two detectives meeting up after their interviews and continuing their unfinished case.
The typical TV series crime drama narrative starts at the beginning of the case and goes on until it is solved. True detective is similar in this way however it features a different narrative structure that I have never witnessed which ultimately makes it unique and interesting.
For this semester in Film – TV 1 I would really like to apply myself to the course and all that it has to offer as I believe it will be very fulfilling and rewarding at the end. I would like to effectively work collaboratively with others in all aspects of the film making process whether it is screen writing or helping out other groups.
I would like to further explore my interest in cinematography by looking at other short films, (and feature film), (and TV Shows), to see how DOP’s use movement / stillness to evoke different feelings that help the progression of the idea. I way I thought i could begin to develop this interest is to start a journal with ideas and notes attained with all the films and TV that I watch on a regular basis. However, this may be my biggest passion in film making so looking into an area of film that I hadn’t really though about such as directing or lighting or set design may also be an area that I am definitely willing to try out.
By the end of the course I would like to have attained the skills and knowledge to be a competent film-maker, able to work collaborative with others to develop ideas in order to create rewarding work.
I learnt quite a few things from Jasmines Lecture on Monday. Most notably that film is not real life ‘because real life is boring’, which had me thinking for a while as I hadn’t really thought of it that way. Films definitely evoke ‘real’ emotions within you but thats not because the film is real life, it may be based on real events, although it is a tool for film makers to creatively use imagination as a tool to create certain feelings for the viewer. In the ‘Getting an Idea’ reading it had a circumstance of to script writers who had no real ideas of what to write about, so instead they thought of what they wanted to see on screen and based there script and ideas around that. This process may come in handy as sometime the scriptwriting process can become cluttered while constantly trying to envision it on screen.
From the (Mackendrick) ‘Slogans for the screenwriter’ reading for week two the first quote which stood out to me the most was “a true film is likely to be 60 – 80% comprehensible even if the dialogue is in a foreign language”. This made me think about the aspects of film that make up the 60 – 80% so that it is comprehensible. Which then made me think about the early silent films like this one i found on youtube Cook, Papa, Cook (1928) and the parts of the film that made it successful without any dialogue. The music, cinematography, acting, directing all play substantial roles in a film in order for it to be fulfilled production. I think this aspect of the film making process excited me the most as it will require me to look past the dialogue to see how the cinematography or the expressions of an actors face can be used to convey meaning in a different way to how dialogue usually would.
Another quote from this reading stating ‘Students films come in three sizes, too long, much too long and very much too long’. After watching some short films on vimeo, I was looking to see what they all had in common which made me enjoy them. I found that the simpler, shorter scripts were the most effective and the successful ones simply tried to capture a small moment in time, whether its a sought after emotion in the film or a sense of realisation within a character. In class Paul made a good point that a large script can be a good backstory to help an actor get into character, however for the purpose of the short film and the limitations that it has, a small moment within the script (the journey from pet crabs to a pet cactus) can sometimes be the most fulfilling and effective.