Wk_10 Point of View


In the scene of Brain Cancer, the last shot is notable. It is very interesting to discuss what kind of a message that was delivered through cinematic language.

First of all, I intend to make a handheld shot from Veronica’s point of view, but this is not an actual point of view but her imagination.The purpose of this shot is to let audience into Veronica’s mind, a brain cancer patient’s world. All I do is trying to experience. I start to think of what a dying person would do at the end of his/her life. Does she/he care the result, face it or ignore it? Is she/he aware of how people think?What is she/he, maybe lost, maybe happy, or maybe nothing?

So, this shot starts at the position where Veronica stands as a her point of view. Then I start to move forward with camera act like a walking person approaching to the table. Staying on the MRI paper for couple seconds aims to create a good flow of storytelling. In my opinions, even though the individual is a dying person, he/she is unable to completely get rid of the trauma on her/his psychological level. Therefore, I chose to stares on the MRI results, because the cancer still matters.


The frame leaves the paper and slowly tilts up. Interestingly, the next movement that I am inspired by a famous Hong Kong filmmaker, Johnnie To, who made this particular shot in his film ‘Life Without Principle (2011)’. As I assume this shot that is Veronica’s imagination rather than a merely POV. So the camera is freely flying around the space. I take the camera to pass by  Julie’s face and the camera is going through the windows and Julie to the dark behind her. Conventionally, it is not allowed to do this as a POV shot because the shot represents an individual. However, this is an individual’s imagination, so it is freewill. Finally, I think this maybe a good ending for this scene.


However, when I show to someone else, some of them do not reckon this is Veronica’s point of view shot, nothing more than a normal shot. That really interests me as I want to know what make its meaning change. It is notable that Robin asks me why I keep the stillness of at the beginning of the shot rather than starting to move immediately. In my intention, this short stillness is created for a smooth transition between shots. The previous is a objective shot framing three characters together, then it is cut to a subjective shot of Veronica’s point of view. This stillness is going to make audience believe that the shot is subjective. It is because the change from stillness to mobile represents the essence of this shot has been different.

Wk10_Brain Cancer Shooting reflection

Over the weekend, I have made a short scene called ‘Brain Cancer’. This scene consists of four shots. Although the number of shot is few, the shots, for me, are impressive. However, there are a serval of adjustments during the process.

Dollyfigure 1

First of all, the dolly shot cannot be finished due to the space that was too narrow to move. My intention that the dolly shot compose with three movements (see, figure 1). However, I consider the transition would be very abrupt and ugly between the process of 2 and 3. Therefore, my finally decision was stopping my camera at the 2nd movement. If I were making this choice, another question was arise. ‘How do I continue my movement without doing movement 3?’ The dolly shot supposed to show two characters in the scene, Julie and Emma. Without movement 3, it cannot reveal Emma at the end of this scene and it would lose the continuity while cutting to the next shot that shows Julie and Emma together.vlcsnap-2015-05-19-01h00m20s218figure 2

So, I use Emma’s hand. It is not necessary to illustrate Emma’s complete appearance but I can show her partial body with which the shot convinces audience that someone else exists simultaneously. Showing Emma’s hand achieve not only achieve a great transition between shot by shot, her hand also create a dynamic vision. Even though the shot is slight changed, it seem to be much better than I thought. Thanks for the constraint of space.

There are some continuous problem from shot 2 to shot 3. I found that Emma’s performance is disconnected in these two shots. Her eyelines do not match. In shot 2, Emma is talking to someone off-frame and she looks at the direction. Shot 3 is a high angle wide shot in which Emma does not looks at the subject that she did in the previous one. She suppose to looks at Veronica’s head when she is talking to Veronica. So she should put her head up a little.

vlcsnap-2015-05-19-01h01m09s148figure 3

vlcsnap-2015-05-19-01h01m21s93figure 4

Another problem is the focus subject. The distance between Veronica and camera was out of the focal range. I could not focus on Veronica when I try to film. It is because I did not get enough space in the kitchen. My body has already been as close to the wall as I could, however, it does not really help. Therefore, I chose to focus on Emma who is amid Julie and Emma but this is not ideal decision in my mise-en-scene intention. Nevertheless, the shot is acceptable. Even though Veronica was not sharp like Emma, she is clear enough to notice.

Week 10_PLANNING ‘Shooting day’

This shooting is an experiment to achieve my project. My main idea is exploring the relationship between the manipulate of camera, the position of character/s and the constraint space.

This scene describes Veronica (Starred by Evelyn), who is diagnosed as brain cancer, and she does not want to tell his boyfriend. Her two best girl friends Julie (Polly) and Emma (Lisa) attempt to resolve this situation. Veronica is sad and depressed but she does not want to hurt her boyfriend because she loves him. Julie and Emma try to help Veronica out but they do not really understand what Veronica is thinking.

According to the story above, what I try to achieve is how I emphasize the connection among three characters in the space. I find a way to reveal each character following one shot and another rather than start with an establishing shot showing all characters.


Starting shot



The first shot is a dolly shot starts with a medium close up on Julie who leans on a window between kitchen and living room. The shot begins to pull back away from Julie following her extensive arm as a leading line to reveal the space. The motion stops until a piece of paper appears. Stopping on the piece of paper for two or three seconds, the camera is about to pan to the right to show that Emma is sitting besides the table and she looks at the direction of Julie and the paperwork hold in her hand.


The Second Shot: Reverse Shot


(Figure 2)

The next shot that I employ the technique of Shot/Reverse Shot by putting the camera behind Emma. See (Figure.2). This shot mainly consists of two characters, Emma who is in the foreground and Julie who is in the background, creating a different layers in the space. Personally, this kind of composition is my preference. In such a composition, there are many information that you could put into your scene because the space is rather flat, but really deep. The contrast of size and the brightness/darkness contrast is creating a visual effect that attracts audiences.

In this shot, Emma picks up the paper and she looks at Julie. For a very short moment, Julie and Emma have a tacit communication by eye contacts. They seem to understand something and They turn their eyes to the direction out of the frame. At the point, I consider that eyeliner is a significant line that reveals the following content. My argument that audiences always pay attention to the character’s performance. When the character looks at something, audiences will be aware of their eye. To reveal the next shot, my decision is to ask my characters both look out of the frame.


The third shot: Triangle Relationship



This shot is my favourite one in the scene. The success that I generate a triangle by arranging characters in different position in the space. Veronica is placed in the foreground, Emma sits beside the table amid Veronica and Emma in the kitchen, and Julie leans at the window that is at the background.

I think triangle is stable and attractive composition. First of all, you need three things to set up a triangle. In the story, Julie and Emma try to help Veronica to revolve the her problem. In this context, I, therefore, compose a triangle with my three characters. Veronica is the prime character in the scene so I put her into the foreground. Emma and Julie observes Veronica behind her.



Wk9_Character and Space

Character and Space from Kai-feng Wang on Vimeo.


This shot is an exercise that I did it in Friday’s class. Actually, this practise does not have any story background or dialogue. The purpose of this shot is improving my camerawork skills. Personally, I am interested in the relationship of character, space and camera. This idea comes from a Hong Kong remarkable  filmmaker Johnnie To. He is famous for camera movement and space manipulation. In his mise-en-scene, the image are dynamic because To always move his camera to reveal new content. Sometime, even though the characters are still, To prefers mobilising the camera.

In my case, I aim to create a vivid image with a camera. This shot consists of two major factor that make it succeed. First of all, camera movement is the prime technique. To reveal the new space, What I did is walking backward slowly by handholding a camera.  In a way, I am able to show more information to audience by pulling the camera from Evelyn’s face to Alex. This is amazing to see what the camera shows in the backward process.

Secondly, I found that some parts of human body, like arms, legs, fingers and eyes, sometimes create a great leading line to compose the frame. Before I start to film, I try to figure it out how do I connect this character together? Where is the connection bridge? Perhaps, Evelyn’s right arm could make this work. So I ask her to expand her arm and to point to the direction where Alex is. Then, it is ready to go. I start to pull the camera following her arm to the spot that I can frame both characters. Although neither character is almost motionless, the picture is so beautiful and dynamic.

Week 8 Reflective Writing: Depth of Field

The main purpose of this week’s tutorial was achieving a technique that is changing the focus while shooting. I missed Wednesday’s class, but I attended in Friday’s one.

In Friday’s class, what we were doing was filming an individual who was approaching to camera by adjusting the focus to keep the motion subject clear and sharp.

So the first thing, the most important thing, to do is marking the setting before shooting because this is easy to find out the problem while reviewing. The other thing that is making a mark on the focus so that you can know when to adjust the focus.

We have practised three or four times and we reviewed it. We found that the subject is still a little bit out of focus even though we used a larger aperture, like f8 which I prefer using. I thought the subject can easily be in focus with f8. There were two reasons that made me believe I was right. First of all, the larger number of aperture is used, the deeper depth of field is created. Secondly, the longer distance between camera and subject, the deeper depth of field is generated. My assumption seems to be right based on this theories. However, I missed something that is the size of focal length. The longer focal length is employed, the shallower depth of field is made. So, here is the question. I used the maximum focal length that is approximately 81mm when I made today’s shot. Even though the larger aperture is employed, the influence of focal length is significant. This was the reason that the subject was out of focus. Therefore, the next time, I may be using a much larger aperture to increase the depth of field like f11 or f16, or utilising a shorter focal length.