Film 3: 28/8 (notes/reflection from class)

(This is the brainstorm / list that came from the prompts in class today, helping me to better understand what I might want to do for my project):

Consider everything you’ve done this semester:

written an observational ‘narrative’

shot abstract shots without theme

learnt that I had a lot of fun when filming to be abstract and mostly for aesthetic rather than linearity or narrative progression

cut together a three shot sequence

reflected on ways emotion is shot or shown in cinema/television indirectly

tried to film in different ways to explore effect on mood and the emotion of the character

through discussion with Robin learnt that its not just about the different shots, but the amount of time you shoot for. Of course, the kind of shot can put you more or less in the shoes of the character in question, but even if the shot doesn’t force you to identify with the character all that much, if the shot is strangely long then eventually the viewer is going to find themselves questioning the mood and importance of the action (or lack of) and hence identify with the subject. Also talked about how in a crew, others will want to follow a shot list. Get what’s needed and get out, and will question aesthetic shots for the sake of aesthetic or dismiss longer takes when it is deemed unnecessary for the flow of the narrative, even in you as the director if you want that for a different mood or feel.

thought of old works I haven’t looked at in years – how I used to think, what I wanted to make

wrote to understand exposure and depth of field on my DSLR

wrote to understand magic lantern

learnt how to use a boom, slate, etc.

learnt what ad does, director, cinematographer, etc.

Technical and procedural:

What are you interested in?

directing, writing, editing, cinematography

not sound or light, but understand its importance

What are you good at?

cinematography? I don’t think I’m good at lighting, and don’t really understand sound beyond not letting it peak

I think I can plan well, organise people too. Maybe not as good explaining what I’m after unless I can show it. I think I can write well too, and love to edit.

What would you like to be better at?

I’d like to have a better understanding of lighting, but I don’t want to dedicate time to it (dilemma, much?), but I know how important it is, so I guess that

also, even though we’re told that we’re lucky that we’re not making a short film or a full piece because we get to more creative this way, I think there’s a presumption that we’ve been taught things we haven’t. I want to know more about pre-production, and I want to be a better creative writer, and learn how to write a script, block out a scene, write a shot list, consolidate with actors, understand how long it might take to undertake a whole shoot and know this before going out into the field, etc.

List everything you’ve learnt or consolidated this semester:




camera movement

What roles do you see yourself in?

right now, freelance filmmaker seems awesome. Making YouTube videos, music videos, ads, etc. Cinematographer, writer, director, editor, all in one.

List things that interest you:

topics, places, characters, themes, ideas

Characters that are quirky, or that should be unlikeable but are made likeable by the POV presented

innocent romance – ie. not sex, but friendship, trust, etc.

imaginary friends

dream worlds

dealing with anxiety in the abstract, or other mental illness


focussing on the mundane in the scope of bigger drama (think being human)

locations: homes, schools, stairs, the stairs at the back of building 9, building 59 – hallway, lockers

80s movies – teens, quirky characters like ducky, music scenes, cliched characters

actions – dancing (badly, in bedrooms, etc.), choreographed fight scenes,

threatening main characters – Tarantino

monster movies, particularly vampires – so close to being human, like when they are presented as nearly human. metaphor for menace in real life, darker urges, bad people in the world

footloose dance – shots of feet

friendship as a theme

loneliness as a theme

immaturity, but not in a negative way. wonder at the world, that kind of thing.

characters that dress ridiculously for character – think lots of 80s movies – bill and ted, lost boys, breakfast club, pretty in pink

comedy like tom kunzt, aunty donna, etc.

comedy done through shots and editing

comedy reliant on character’s relationships, that is then aided by editing

montage sequences

lo fi for the sake of lo fi – think misfits

teen stuff, character based, relatively tame material, set in familiar places like schools or houses, dialogue heavy is okay, but love music scenes and montage sequences

character based stuff is great – bill and ted, breakfast club, misfits, buffy, etc.

editing like edgar wright – creative, the cinematography and editing makes the comedy. fight sequences are choreographed to music, often ridiculous, moving through time or to new location done creatively, special effects like scott pilgrim, cutting to show the manic thoughts of a teenager, shaun of the dead montage when listing things to do (pick up mum, etc.)

edgar wright meets john hughes – style of wright with the aesthetic of hughes? or even just fashion of the 80s. edgar’s style is more interesting to me, and he also focusses quite closely on character.

What do you think you might like to make?

something that shows anxiety through series of shots, abstract perhaps,

a short comedy style piece along the lines of edgar wright

a scene done in the style of a montage/music scene from an 80s film

showing feelings through shots, like dancing, walking alone, cutting between shots quickly – could incorporate wright and hughes styles whilst branching from the ideas  I had before about showing emotion

a character profile would be cool too, perhaps there’s voice over but its not specific to the person, more talking about their interests, or listening in on a conversation they’ve had, or an argument, or their music, etc.

character profile on someone who is quirky. dresses like they’re from the 80s, acts like they’re from an 80s film. shots of them dancing, feet, etc. split screens. slowly character is revealed in bits and pieces. almost like a music video aesthetic, could be edited much in the same way

I have a real interest in character, but I also love Edgar Wright’s style of editing, and the kind of aesthetic of 80s teen films. Think John Hughes in terms of extreme, if not somewhat 2D characters, who wear elaborate costumes, have big presence, etc. Also the kind of montage scenes that come from both Wright’s and Hughes’ work. I would like to present a character in this way, quirky, perhaps at odds with their surroundings (80s looking character in the modern world). Could probably take a lot from music video stylings in terms of this teen film montage sequence. In editing, playing of Edgar Wright, split screens could be used, repeated shots. My other work kind of dealt with trying to express things about character without being explicit through dialogue or narration. I still like this idea. Perhaps there’s voice over of past conversations or something that has been said about them or whatever, but nothing is direct or easy. Slowly character is presented piece by piece. Perhaps ends with something mundane, like them on a tram or something.

How are you going to work?

Probably individually, with crewing on others. 


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