Film 3: 24/7

Today in class we worked some more with the cameras to understand how to correctly adjust for exposure using zebra patterns, and how to achieve a shallow depth of field through a long focal length. I found the latter really interesting, since this is something I honestly wasn’t aware of, and understand now that a longer focal length compresses the image, meaning you get a shallower depth of field, and things in the background will look bigger. Paul used the example of the moon in hollywood movies always looking huge behind the characters in the foreground. This also reinforces the idea of moving the camera to frame up, and not the focal length. This means that in terms of steps for shooting, you should crash zoom in on your subject to focus, then pull out to frame up. If you need to adjust for depth of field, then you move the camera closer/further out to achieve the look you want. This is really going to help in understanding how to get the best shot with these cameras! As well as look at the cameras though, we went out in pairs and recorded audio with the zoom H4s. I partnered with Kenton to do the activity, which was to record sound at a specific location, so that someone listening to it back could tell you exactly where you were. We decided to go to Pearson and Murphy’s and record sounds specific to a cafe. First we pointed the microphone at the coffee machine, picking up the sounds it made, the clinking of cups being moved around and chatter in the distance of customers. Secondly we pointed the microphone at the girl serving and taking orders at the counter, which although more a generic sound perhaps, gave quite some specific dialogue. This raises some big ideas I’d also never thought about before, such as for a film, recording ambient sound means more than just going to a scene and recording. It means thinking about the scene and all the sounds that you would typically hear, and then going out and making sure each of these sounds is recorded so that each element is present in the film.


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