Category: Uncategorized

Colour grading exercise

Colour G 1Colour grading exercise.

To begin with I played with the grading on the shot of the dumpling baskets. It was the most obviously over exposed shot of our shoot to me and quite an iconic image for a story about dumplings and chinese culture.

I first wanted to warm the shot up and bring out the baskets so I drifted the master over towards the orange/yellow, section. Then I played with the brightness/contrast bringing them both down.

Colour G 2

I think this has a nice effect and more accurately resembled what I picture of steaming baskets when conjuring their image in my mind.

To contrast with these warmer tones I was also curious what taking it to a cooler place and then amping up the brightness/contrast would do. I took the master of the three way colour corrector towards the cyan/blues and then, as i said, amped up the contrast. I was surprised to find that I actually like the look of the cooler tones on this shot. The contrast might be a bit extreme – I don’t want it to have an obviously edited look.

Colour G 3


I then had a crack at another shot, this time with the dumplings in the basket out in the dining room – a vastly different lighting situation from the kitchen. This shot was taken in a much calmer setting so I think on a basic level the colours are pretty good.

colour G4With the first attempt at altering I just brought a little more blue in to give the shot a cooler look. Again I was surprised that I liked the blue tones through the image. I had just roamed around the circle seeing what I liked and I think because the yellows and oranges were brought out in quite a true way with the original shot it was nice to have a hint of blue come in.

I then lowered the brightness a little and upped the contrast a schmick. I am quite happy with the result. I think it helps to focus the eye on the details a bit more.

Colour G 5


Feeling confident using the master track, I decided to venture away from it in the second attempt and see what the effects were of bringing out the blue in the Shadows and highlights but bringing out a tiny bit of pink in the midtones. I decreased the brightness more so than the last attempt and hightened then contrast likewise.


colour g 6Similarly to the first attempt I think the contrast works well in highlighting more so the details of the image. I don’t think I like the greeny tinge to the image though so I think I’ll probably pursue the blues more in the final piece.

Going forward we’ll need to make a decision as to what kind of hues we want in the film. I think I am leaning a little more towards blue rather than orange/yellow now after this exercise. Time and time again in Film and TV I have learned that as soon as I actually take the time to give something a go, the task seems far less daunting and colour grading has been no exception! That being said, I think I wouldn’t want to underestimate the fastidiousness required to do a good job of it!



Film and TV 2 – Week 3 Reading – Aesthetics and Authorship

Rabiger, M. Direction the documentary, (p. 54-57). 4th ed. Burlington:Focal Press, 2004

Rabiger discusses the different modes of documentary storytelling referencing both Renov and Nichols break downs. In Nichols’ definition of his 6th category, Performative Documentary he highlights the characteristics as “concrete and embodied, based on the specifics of personal experience, in the tradition of poetry, literature, and rhetoric.” This struck me as a style to be considerate of when approaching our documentary (tentatively titled ‘Adulthood’). My group members seem to be very interested in pursuing an abstract take on the documentary and I think it will be useful in informing the narrative structure to recognize that we will be asking participants to reminisce  and/or articulate their own personal conception of adulthood and we want the abstraction to be grounded in something. (is that an contradiction of terms?!)

The other message I took from the reading was that while there are different modes of documentary, you don’t need to be bound by the characteristics of any one mode; you can assemble and personalise the stylistic qualities depending on your motive.





Film and TV1 Film reviews

I was really impressed with all of the films on Friday night. I thought all of the films had great moments in them and it was wonderful to see what we’re already capable of.



I enjoyed Milk. The simplicity of the story was great and I think where the strength of the comedy lay. I particularly enjoyed the milk slowly spreading across the floor and the suspense of the last two points connecting.

The actors were all great. It was shot really well – I am jealous of the motion shots of the guy on the scooter – they were really impressive.

I don’t have any criticism, I really admire the restraint in allowing the story to be as simple as it was and having fun with it.



The idea was great and writing to such an idea was ambitious! I would have liked to have seen more of the rapping and him trying to negotiate around the curse to actually communicate effectively at the end. I realise that that is a challenging thing to write though. The casting was good and the shots were done well. Was it a decision of production design to have the sheet over the bookshelf in his room? I found that a little distracting.

I think the story could have been a little bit more developed or the editing could have been a little tighter but for the most part I was impressed and found it to be an enjoyable film.


A Love Lost:

This has come along well from the rough cut screening. I am glad that it has been simplified and some of the special effects over the transitions have been removed. It’s enabled the shots to speak for themselves more.

Granny Theft Auto:

This was also good fun. I think it lingered a little too long on the boys sitting inside the car and I think it was a little too confusing as to what they were doing. I get the comedic element of wanting to reveal the second car at the last minute but I got quite distracted by why these boys would have broken into this car to just sit there. The casting was great and there was excellent character development with the Tiffany & Co necklace exchange.


I really liked the opening shot of this with the three running away from the camera through the field. I thought that was really beautifully shot. Like some of the other reviews, I do think the story seemed more to belong as a scene within a longer film rather than a self contained plot. I thought the producers did a great job in creating the illusion of the bomb shelter, it’s a bit of a shame that some of the elements roused laughter when maybe they weren’t supposed to.


Film and TV1 reading reflection

Select from one of the readings from week 1 or 2 and briefly describe two points that you have taken from that reading. Points that excite you, something that was completely new to you

Millard, K. 2006, Writing for the Screen: Beyond the Gospel of Story, Scan Journal, Vol 3, Number 2.

Reading Millard’s text felt a lot like learning about Grammar to me. Where she highlights the cliches to avoid and the rules to follow when writing for the screen and then goes on to advocate breaking those rules but only when you know how to. Like ‘Never start a sentence with Because or And’ etc.

To me it seemed that Millard was trying to convey the invaluable quality that cinema affords the creator in it’s ability to capture magic. Millard quotes Pomeranz (2006) in saying that “Cinema has certain qualities, and it’s the image. Sometimes this image has its own breathing or tempo. It has to linger, and will linger because you want to have more”. From my understand Millard is highlighting that part of cinema is rolling the camera and being available to capture as much as possible; that you can craft the perfect script and exercise maximum control over every element of the shoot, but that if you are not open to lightning striking and moving with the unexpected to discover new things, you wont be doing your art justice.

As someone who aspires to create art in some capacity I don’t think i’m alone in finding it difficult to relinquish the notion of control lest it means also relinquishing the sense of ownership to the work that I am entitled to feel. Millard confronts that impulse in me, and encourages the rational understanding of the potential benefit of fresh eyes and random influence and collaboration whether with other people or just with running with the real life interruptions to planned activities.

Millard also quotes McKee, and if i’m honest i’m not sure I have a complete grasp of Millard or McKee’s assertions. McKee is quoted with “While the ever-expanding reach of the media now gives us the stories to send beyond borders and languages to hundreds of millions, the overall quality of storytelling is eroding… The art of story is in decay, and as Aristotle observed twenty three hundred years ago, when storytelling goes bad, the result is decadence.” (1997)

I am not sure whether ‘The art of story is in decay’ is a comment on the decline in quality of story, or if it is that artfulness is found by exploring the grittiness of life. In fact, I have discovered through the help of my friend wikipedia that I have had a very limited understanding of the word decadence to mean indulgence and excess and never appreciate it’s origin being decay. I am going to have to think on what this quote means more… It struck me originally and I took it to be a comment on an overexposure to stories, leads to an overexposure to bad stories and we as a public are conditioned to accept and expect stories to follow these poor models…

I’ll return to this, I’m not convinced I understand exactly what Millard is intending with this quote yet.





Unsymposium 0.5

In this week’s symposium one of the questions asked was in a long tail society, would a hierarchy of recommendations occur and would that be bad. I think my reaction most aligned with Brian’s if my memory serves me correctly.

I don’t know that it particularly changes things in a negative way. If we think about it conceptually, in traditional distribution forms there was a dictatorial recommendation hierarchy where distributors and producers were essentially making their recommendations by which artists they chose to gamble on in producing and distributing their work. There have always been critics who, depending on their support base garner the power to recommend with more weight than your neighbour would. Through this niche interests have always persisted and minor players in the game’s recommendations have been heard by their specific audience so I would suspect things would improve rather than worsen in that the smaller players will have a greater chance at their voice being heard.