At the start of this semester I had no idea what I was going to gain and achieve from this subject – this semester. It’s been an up and down journey, sometimes I felt motivated and other times I felt like I couldn’t do anything. It has made me realise how much choice I have in the matter – that anything is possible, and I can do what I actually want to do. It’s just hard to find what exactly that is.

This semester has made me look at coverage, covering a scene, in a different light. I think one of the most effective tools this semester was the ‘no discussion’ we had at the start of the semester. I liked how we didn’t sit around and talk about whats to come from the rest of the semester, instead we just went straight into the content. The exercises were a great way to meet the class, but also to just set us up to somewhat be ‘shocked’. After we did our own interpretation of the script / description given and covered it with a camera with constraints, we then were able to see the real scene. It was just great to see what we could do. I also found the lectures at the start to be very enlightening. The amount of class time all up, was much better than just two hours a week. I felt like a I really got a lot more out of it.

I felt as though my technical skills improved a lot – just because we were doing it and interacting with the devices, rather then just learning about them verbally. It was also fun to be given the freedom to work independently but also make close bonds with the people in out class. So far in this degree, I have not had a class that I liked more! It was great to listen to feedback, give feedback and just have a conversation with the people around you (in a non-formulated) – and we were all curious about what we were doing and really made it a mission to work as hard as we could. The only confusing part was where to find all the assessment briefs and everything else put online. I feel like it was in a lot of different places  – and it was just a struggle to find everything. But I got there in the end!

This semester I have done a little but of ‘self discovery’ – working out what I want to do and what I see myself doing. Photography is something that has always driven me, and is something I feel most confident doing. Cinematography is something I thought would suit me, and something I would feel would work me and something I would enjoy. This semester has challenged that notion, and that original thought. Although, I do love being in control of the camera – I wanted to look at directing. Something sitting in the back of my head, and something I have wanted to do since I was a young girl is acting. I had a huge fear of stages when I was younger, and would get so excited and nervous that I would faint. I felt so out of my comfort zone that I didn’t know if I liked the feeling – or if it was good or bad? So I wanted to be behind the camera and help those in front feel confident. It then brought me to the question – to be a great director, do you need to know how the actor feels and how to relate to their role? This is where my investigation begun. I wanted to research directors and read, watch and see what they do and how they are the way they are. I always wanted to look at actors and their comments on directors, what types they enjoyed and why. I started watching films to inspire me once again, and write about what I saw in each film – what choices were made and how I thought the performance was. I really wanted to focus on the reflection – I wanted to really find what I liked and disliked about the film.

Watching B-roll, behind the scenes, interviews on set (before, during and after the film) – really broke it down for me. Something that made me really excited was seeing the actors click from being their roll while recording, then once called cut, how they transform back into themselves. It is amazing to see actors click from one person to the other while being the same person. It honestly fascinates me. There is something about watching an actor get into their role, and performing , then going back to ‘themselves’ that makes me question what is real, and what makes a good performer and what are we really viewing. It’s interesting to think that a character that is written can be played by someone who can adapt to the character created and the add their impersonation as well as the directors. It’s a beautiful mix. It’s amazing that one character can be played by anyone, but could be completely different with each person whole plays the roll.

Darren Aronofsky’s, Black Swan (2010), gave power back to me. There is something about that film that just inspires me to be a creator. I am always on the edge of my seat. The coverage if the film, personally, is incredible. The use of mirror rooms, and the stages makes it all feel a little TOO real – but in the best sense. I am so happy I watched this again, because it gave me the power to move of the previous slum I was in and just create what I enjoy.

I used the film investigation to think outside the box. I wanted to make use of my surroundings – and so I filmed what I think looked aesthetically beautiful – tree’s for example. I am not sure if this was the best way to go, because maybe it would have been a change for me to work with a narrative. My previous works don’t show much of a ‘story’, which in a way is a great thing – but also, I maybe should have experimented with it. Yet, I can do that now!

In this semester break I am setting myself a goal to film a scene – a scene with dialogue, footage that I will edit, and I want to do casting for it. Maybe it will turn into something more, or maybe it will be terrible (hopefully not). That doesn’t matter –  I am setting myself a goal. This is a goal that I really want to achieve in this break – because if this subject has taught me one thing, it’s just to get out and do it. Keep creating and making.



1st –

I went on to Starnow and picked out a few people I liked – I then searched them and found that they looked completely different to photograph the put up. This really put me off… I have put a lot of pressure on myself, and I think not having trust in the person I am filming may impact the way I direct. I know I am just being a bit of a wuss – but I already feel a little uneasy about the process. So I have decided to film it two different ways (maybe more if I am feeling overly inspired). 

I am also cutting out the dialogue… This might be able to allow me to focus on the coverage of the scene – really lay out the scene. Think about where I want to shoot from. Location – and composition. I can also rely on me and the subject to see how we work together in the space and gather interpretations of what is expected. 


#1 Improvise with a friend 
This sounds like the lazy way – and it was proven to be difficult.
My friend was/is not an actor – and she has no intentions to be one either. So it was an awkward experience for her. I had to really accommodate to her – make sure she felt comfortable.
With the script – without dialogue, I eliminated the second character and it made about the girl. I wanted to highlight something in relation to the script (in post-proudction) I want to put subtitles over the frame. Before going into ‘filming’ I wanted to improvise the location + set + camera. But I set how to film the girl doing average things – such as reading, drinking tea, getting dressed. I was seeing it in my head how I wanted to the viewer to see it – read the subtitles but see the visuals and relate them to the girl. Such as – has she been asked to dance already, or if she was somewhere would this be happening etc. I am thinking about doing a v/o. I don’t know if subtitles will take away from the imagery – which it sometimes can because it’s hard to concentrate on two things (for me anyway).

So while filming, I brought my tripod and camera and told her briefly what I wanted to film – and she didn’t really ask if there was a script or an intention for it. She was happy to do whatever. I asked where she would do these daily tasks and she said in her room. It was night time, so there was a lot of differently lighting, but I am thinking now I would prefer to do it during the day even outside. But a better source of lighting would have been better. I set up my tripod – and it broke. I need to invest in a better tripod. But this really made me not want to film – I had two voices in my head, Paul will be angry I didn’t ‘frame up’ my shot and not using a tripod AND Maddie shit happens, go with it. So it spun me off a it, but I decided to do it – and she didn’t mind because she was still happy to do it. Which was good – because then I really didn’t know what I was going to do. There was one shot I really wanted to do – and that was come in from the door and ‘walk’ over to her and film her putting the shirt on… But we attempted this and she couldn’t do it naturally. So we scrapped that – and we just started doing something simple. I just asked her to lay down and talk to me about what she does when she is feeling good, relaxed and a little bit accomplished. She then told me that wearing nice underwear makes her feel empowered – and so I told her to put that on. We then did what we intended to do, and completely improvised. She was cold, so she left her socks on. Then i just started talking to her – and moving my camera around her body and asking her what she thought and how she felt. I did this so I could get an idea of what made her comfortable/uncomfortable.

I am not entirely happy with the content I filmed, because it really wasn’t what I wanted at all and it just isn’t thought out enough for me to actually like it…I think I may like filming the second one better, because planning will go into and hopefully a damn Tripod. I have also done something similar to this in the past… and I just feel like I am not pushing myself enough and it makes me disappointed in myself. I want to set up a crew, and do all these things – I am just not backing myself enough.

I am hoping, at this point, that I will edit this anyway.
I am so avoiding this subject a bit – because I am not pushing myself and it’s making me feel a little bit down on myself. Again that’s not an excuse. I am just extremely frustrated with myself at this moment. I just feel like I am not achieving what I want. I need someone yelling at me… or I am just over thinking it.


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In a Friday class, (I think it was week 9) – we were put into groups and were given the time to investigate something. I really enjoyed my group – the good thing about the subject so far is that I have really gotten to know most people in my class and am keen to work with the (without feeling shy and a bit scared). Although, I still feel a bit timid – but I just need to get over that.

Michael suggested the ‘Vertigo’ zoom (as he referred to it). The Wednesday class was about short little exercises to do with zoom, focus, focal point etc. So that really helped with out investigation. I was really REALLY happy with who I was working with – we were able to bounce of idea’s and have a really good time. For this investigation we chose the ground level hallway to do this. We fiddled around and we ultimately needed a dolly to create a smooth shot (give us the dolly Paul)  – but we made use of a wheely chair and tape. We originally tried a handheld approach – but there was too much human error. We ended up taping the camera to the chair. Tom said on the ground (because we had a chair…) and Gabby and I pulled the chair back, while Michael watched and directed. Henry was on camera – changing the zoom and focus at the same time we moved. This ended up being a physical gesture – he was basically doing the splits. Aria was at the back watching the monitor from the camera (we didn’t bother with audio). We did this shot multiple times, pushing the chair faster, and changing it up each time till we were happy.

We then moved onto Henry’s fighting scenes – where I was DOP and worked with Henry to try and achieve what he wanted. Gabby and Aria were the performers first up – and Henry choreographed each move (which he is great at). The by watching what they did, I discussed the movement of the camera. He wanted a few ways of how he wanted the scene to be filmed – one was just the ‘standard’ and no movement. The other was movement, zooms etc. The next fighting scene was with Michael and Tom – and they really enjoyed it, improvising where they could. But this is when I was able to hold the camera handheld – it got a little heavy so I swapped with Gabby for a bit. But it was all a lot of fun – because we all got really into it. Henry gave me a lot of leeway – as he was more focused on the movement of the performers (not sure if the safety procedures were put into place…) but not one was hurt and it was good fun. I can’t wait to see what Henry (or anyone else) edits. I didn’t know what I was doing, as I have never really paid attention to fighting scenes – so this was really good for me. I learnt a lot – and realised how much work went in with the communication and even trust.

This was probably one of my favourite classes thus far – it was so fun and something that, normally, you wouldn’t get the time to experiment with. So I really enjoyed this. I just need to have faith in something I want to do… While also making it a productive class for everyone.

DOOR EXERCISE – Reflection

This exercise turned out to be very interesting – everyone had their own roll and needed to stick to it, while supporting one another.

I unfortunately missed the first groups filming (traffic) – but I made it for my groups. Because I was late, I opted to be the ‘performer’ – as I thought that was fair. I was working along side Gabby (the other performer). We all set out with a plan as to what type of shots were to be done and the time limit. Our group for time was really well – we actually finished all the shots we planned 20 minutes before the end of class. We then had the time to improvise shots, and as Chris said – “Make Paul froth”. So we tried to get a bit more creative, and do shots that we might think would look cool. We attempted a tracking shot without a dolly (let us use a damn Dolly Paul) – with a chair. Which was really fun, we attempted that a few times, obviously not as smooth as we would have wanted it… We also reshot some shots that we thought could have been done a little bit better, performance and frame wise.

I thought this we a good exercise as it quickly enabled us to work as a team and just do what we needed to do.

Editing – I doubt myself in editing. I really enjoy doing it – but I am very fussy with things that I am editing. So far me it was hard to edit this – just because the shots weren’t exactly what I wanted. That’s more about me being a perfectionist. I also tend to get frustrated because I can’t get it how I want it… I also find that when I am not inspired or passionate about something that I have shot, I can’t edit it. It’s the same with my photography – if I am not inspired with what I have made, I procrastinate editing and don’t really enjoy the process. Although, I can do the other extreme where I love what I have done and can’t change it because I feel I will ruin it – and then I look at it too much and become way to critical. I am highly critical of myself, it’s one of my downfalls.

So editing this was difficult for me – I wasn’t left inspired after filming. Maybe that’s also because I had to edit myself on screen and that’s cringe worthy enough. So I did some weird edit which reminded me of a UK crappy tv show with a weird pace… I could be wrong though.

Presentation – NOT POSTED ON TIME

MAY 1st

Up until today – I have not felt the need or desire to write a post. Actually, I avoiding thinking about this subject all together.

I felt a bit depleted. I felt a little rejected and annoyed. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was expecting something a little different. I doubted my idea and my investigation straight after I did it. I didn’t receive critque, and that offended me. I know it was not intentional, AT ALL, and I blame no one – but I didn’t seem to get what I wanted. But I didn’t know what I wanted, so that complicates the situation further.

I felt so vulnerable standing there. I wrote my speech down, and I was ready to go. But there is something that I do, something that I always do – and that’s completely forget about the speech I wrote and just speak. I follow the guidelines of what I have written – but I just can’t bring myself to read out a speech. I like to see peoples faces, I like to see how they react and I also like to see how I feel when I am standing up there.


avoiding this blog for a little while…

MY METHOD OF WORKING pt…. (losing track)

Darren actually did an acting class to be able to relate – he wanted to be able to cry in front of an audience. The day that happened – he quit.

I just wanted to understand what performance was…” 

A lot of what Aronofsky said resonated with me… about how people should question the meaning of things – and how that expresses character. I really enjoy listening to what he has to say.

I am just happy that finally my research has got me somewhere… it has made me feel something but confused.

Darren Aronofsky


I have finally, FINALLY, found a director I feel like I understand.

Since re-watching Black Swan – I have been watching interview after interview, reading articles – it is amazing. I have been wanting this drive the whole semester – I have been craving this feeling, and it’s happened by watching a film that previously inspired me. I have been watching lots of films as of recently, ones recommended by people around me, but I went with my gut feeling – and as I walked into that video store, I knew Black Swan was something I felt like watching.

This has proven to me that I should believe in my own instincts. I became so stuck with what other people in the course thought of me, what I believed was expected of me as a film student and what I thought I needed to do to make films.

I am going to was Aronofky’s films – all of the feature films her has created. After listening to his point of view, what I have read about him, and the visions he has – I like the way he seems to work. I say seems, because I need to keep reading and seeing. Or alternatively work with him… But the way he works with his actors and what he gets out of the actors is mesmerising.

One of my favourite scene’s in the Black Swan is the dance club scene. It gave me shivers. It’s where you understand that she is morphing into the black-swan (in my perspective) – the lights flash so quickly, and at times it seems are though the two separate bodies (Nina and Lily) are one. Bloody breathtaking. It’s also so interesting and different about it. 

The characters played are out of this world – they are extremes yet so damn relatable. You have an understanding of them, and you need to understand why they do what they do, and it all seems so natural. Aronofky’s says in one of his interviews, “I just want them [actors] to feel free”. This stood out to me – and it’s sticking in my mind. The characters are so emotive, so connecting and addicting to watch – it’s as though they have been pushed to their limits. For me, it seems that actors working with Aronofky’s are actors that want to really prove their abilities and talent to act. They want to see how far they can go – and he gives them that support to do so. Again, this is from what I have read and what I have seen. But it’s as if being in this film with him gives them this chance to push themselves to boundaries to what they usually wouldn’t go to. They may get that creative length to make what they can of the role and give it their own signature which only they can accomplish.

“It’s the same thing with actors – like you can have an idea what the scripts telling you but it doesn’t mean anything until an actor tries it on and sees what comes out of them and then you have to work with that because you cant force what they are doing into a mould because you will suck the life out of it.”

Another thing Aronofky mentioned is that he can have a view and perception of what they film may look like but he needs to the actors on set to really gather an understanding of what can be brought to the table (loosely quoted and paraphrased).

“Actors have to be free and your collborarators have to be free to express ideas and come up with ideas “

After watching ‘behind the scenes’ videos, Aronofky’s seems as though he is a very ‘hands on’ director – very interactive.

“Working with actors is all about trust”


“I work hard with actors – telling them im there to protect them and let them explore and to really go for something “


“A story that only you can tell “

Black Swan


I have just realised why the hell I am studying film. It is films like this –

I remember the exact moment after I saw this film for the first time. I saw it in the cinema, and I was with a few friends. Before it we were laughing and talking about what has been going on at school; who liked who, and what sport are you playing for the term. Leaving the cinema was a completely different phase in my life. It sounds stupid, but honestly – I can not think of any film that has moved me and completely engulfed me more than this film.

When I got home I couldn’t even speak – I went straight to my room and grabbed my laptop. I researched everything about it. The meanings, the storyline, behind the scenes, about the actors, ballet – anything. I couldn’t work out why I felt how I felt. Then I laid on my floor looking up at my ceiling reliving the whole film in my head. I then called my mum and told her EVERYTHING. She was nice enough to listen, but as I was speaking about it new things started to pop into my head about the film.

It was at this time that I realised I wanted to create something that moves people.

Today I re-watched this film – and it had an even larger effect on me. The room disappeared and when my sister would interrupt me I would get so emotionally disturbed I wanted to cry. That sounds crazy – but that’s exactly how it felt.

This is my epiphany – this would have to be my favourite film. It inspires me, it emotionally takes me – and I have missed this feeling. All these stupids doubts of myself, or whether I should be ‘classed’ as a film student – stereotypically, maybe I shouldn’t. But I know what I like and what I want – and I want to be able to move people like this film moved me. Maybe that isn’t through the medium of film – maybe it’s something completely different. But I have found clarity. I am so damn thankful for it as well.

I don’t usually watch thrillers – they have never been something I enjoy. I am going to watch more – because if I think this film is my favourite film, then maybe I should do my research into more thriller films.

Right now – I can’t actually write down what I feel. I want to write down my analysis of the film – but I just can’t. I want to indulge in this moment and just keep it going in my mind. I want it to keep spinning and I want it to keep playing back.

Thank-you Black Swan.



This week has been very enlightening for me – I feel a little less stuck and confused. I feel a bit more pro-active now – with actually setting legible tasks to do. I can discuss films and I can set goals to do. I think doing my own research and reflecting on films is helping me a lot. I am teaching myself how to critique films, point out what I like and what I don’t like. It also gives me a chance to watch different kinds of films, some that I may not usually watch.

The next research task I am going to do is researching drama/acting school and participate in a class. I don’t really know how they work, but I guess thats why I need to research. Personally I want to get over my fear of performing in front of people and stop being curious about acting and discover if I actually enjoy it – by doing it. By doing this – I also want to gain a perspective into a ‘performers’ point of view. Because I know that I am completely nervous doing any sort of performance, and to be able to direct an actor do we need to relate to them?

Although in saying all this – I still want to do exercises as a director with actors. I think this is where the list of actors may come in to place. I not only want to experience acting/performing but I want to further my skill set in directing and directing actual actors. So with these two sides, I want to explore them both. Along with researching films and directors, and performers – I think I will build research into something maybe like a case study or even an investigation.

I want to include the production side as well – so while directing (with the scripts we are given…?) and working with actors, I want to work with other people in our course. There will be someone using the camera, someone doing sound etc (if they would like to). I also may want to perform in their scene? Maybe. I think if I am going to commit to doing drama/acting outside the course, I need to put it to practise. That is – if anyone will take me. But I also want to help others with their projects if they need help.


Boyhood (2014)


Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

Genre –
Drama (IMDb)
Richard Linklater Film History – (25 Films)
Known for –
Before Sunset (2004) (Want to watch)
Boyhood (2014)
Before Midnight (2013) (Want to watch)
Dazed and Confused (1993) (Want to watch)
Actors –
Ellar Coltrane – Mason
Patricia Arquette – Mom
Lorelei Linklater – Samantha
Ethan Hawke – Dad

My View / Critique

I was writing an essay and thought I would watch this at the same time – my essay didn’t get done. I was totally engulfed in this film. It blew me away. I found myself becoming personally attached with the characters. I was transfixed. Watching the characters age just blew my mind. The concept of this film it so very cool and so very addicting to watch.

Ethan Hawke felt so real to me. His performance felt very real and I loved his advice to the kids throughout the years… It’s stuff I wanted to hear when I was young. It was an understandable film and very relatable. Mason’s acting was just so consistent – even though he was growing older, he was never that different to what he started off like. With the 12 years difference – everything related and everything shown related to final character resolution. Watching Patricia becoming older sort of blew me away – how her was shorter, and body shape changed. All characters had different journeys and each one I could recognise with something throughout my childhood.

The way it was filmed – was equally at fantastic. The way that they were growing up almost gave it that documentary-like feel. It felt like I was a part of their life, or learning about their life. Sometimes throughout watching the film I would forget that it wasn’t a real story and it made me almost angry because it just felt so real. Except the scenes in the car where there were multiple camera shots and it wasn’t realistic (to be a ‘live’ documentary). My favourite shots were the medium-long shots of Mason. Within these shots Mason at his age is really capture – environment included. The miss-en-scene and Mason were completely  attached, colour wise, and it gave a really homely feel (images below).

So I really enjoyed this film – the way it was structured and the personalisation of it all. I think Time is such a huge theme – watching it pass and seeing someone age 12 years in a few hours is a little scary. It made me feel reminiscent of my childhood – the good and bad. It also made me think how TIME has just gone by – and I think about all the things Mason overcame and went through, and I think about all the things I overcame. Everything he did lead him to his ending position – so it makes you think that everything has happened for a reason and everything that happened, the good and the bad, creating who I am today and where I am. Watching anyone age and go through life’s obstacles is relatable as it really is life.

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