Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
The preliminary tasks was the first time I had produced any form media in the medium of film, all of the processes from technology to planning where new. At firsts it was hard and we had to learn how to film and edit a piece that not only looked good but also captivated an audience.
We encountered quite a few problems when filming and editing our preliminary task which was evident form the time it took, we filmed in in a whole week of lessons and edited it into weeks of lessons which for a short task such as the prelim one it was quite a long time. Our biggest struggle was probably sound, we had a lot of difficulty getting the sound right when filming and this was especially relevant with the dialogue at the end of our scene where we had a lot of background interference due to the fact we just used the camera microphone which has no noise cancelling features.
We also faced a lot of noise problems when editing our preliminary task due to the fact that we only relied on the camera microphone so some of the diegetic sounds we would have hoped for in our scene weren’t there. We wanted to have the sound of the door shutting along with the chair being pulled back to show the silence of the room and build suspense, although there were not picked up which mean we had to edit in sound effects from free sound sites in our piece. Obviously for unexperienced film makers this is hard to work timings and get them accurate with the actions happening at the time. Some of our sound effects were slightly out of sync and did cause some minor issues with our product.
Another problem we faced was lighting, in our preliminary task we had a few shots; such as our match on action which did not fit together as such due to the contrast of artificial lighting in the small corridor compared to the bight natural lighting from the large spacious room our character entered which meant our match on action almost lacked fluidity due to the contrast and looked like we had filmed it in a different location. We also had a few outside shots where there is visibly a different light due to the fact we filmed over several days, this is something we would have hoped to avoid but we had to refilm a few shots due to camera focus and movements which could be put down as teething problems.
How I learnt/improved on these-
When producing our main task we want to make sure that we had none of these problems continue from our preliminary and due to the development and reflection we had assured to point out all mistakes.
The preliminary task had taught us that planning was important and that the more planning we do the smoother our main task would go. We spent weeks looking into the conventions of Fantasy films as a whole and the opening scenes of fantasy films, this would help us achieve a higher level of verisimilitude and marketability in relation to industry standards.
When planning the dialogue for our main task we had a few stages. We decided when dialogue would be used in it on our story board, we decided at the start and in the middle of our piece and fill the rest with other diegetic/non-diegetic sounds such as music and sound effects. When we completed this we found some spells for Trish (Gisela) to say at the start of our piece when reading form the spell book and we recorded these to see how they sound and which one we prefer.
The dialogue from our entire opening scene was filmed and recorded at the location so it was syncromatically filmed. We felt that this would take out any complications caused by editing and would help fluidity. As you can see from the sound in our final piece we used a boom mic so that background noise was completely cut out and didn’t interfere with the dialogue we used and allowed the speaking to be clear and understandable throughout.
Here is the microphone we used to record Trish’s (Gisela’s) lines when she was sitting under the tree and Daniels dialogue throughout the piece. We didn’t really have any issues from sound in our final piece due to the clear audio quality.
I also feel that in the main task my editing and production skills had increased to a much higher level, my capability on the Macs allowed me and the other members of my group to use some techniques which we previously hadn’t didn’t have any knowledge of.
One of these was the colour board on final cut pro which I used to give the entire opening sequence fluidity as the shots filmed on different cameras and different days had slightly different lighting and contrasts. It was my job to sort this out and after a while I got the hang of it and discovered that you could save any combinations of colours as a wash to apply to all shots which blended them all together, I then went over all of them and increased/decreased the contrast on the shots.
We also increased our knowledge of editing by using the motion blur effect on final cut and the jump cut feature. The scene where Daniel is dazed was very hard to film as we had to film a POV shot whilst stumbling through the woods. Although this just didn’t look right to us as it wasn’t clear what was going on so Alisha had the idea to apply and effect over it and I searched through them, we decided that the motion blur was the best effect as it really gave the shot a dizzy and disorientated feel. This allowed us to really put the audience into the characters eyes so they could connect with our text. The jump cuts also helped us to connote this feeling as they added an almost blink kind of effect to our piece, during each one we also added a 1 second black screen which prolonged them to make them more vivid.
As a whole the way in which we used and developed all of our skills between these tasks is defiantly significantly obvious when you look at our main task compared to our preliminary task which was of a much poorer quality in all aspects of production. I personally feel that now I could confidently work on another production due to my wider knowledge and understanding which I have built up via the making of both tasks. Something that most defiantly helped me to build and understanding was looking back at my preliminary task and taking note on what I need to improve and then putting these practices into place on my main task.