Film TV 1
08 Occulus Mentis
I first watched this group’s film during the rough cut screening session and I must say that they did a really excellent job placing the final tweaks to it. The film is easy to understand, had really good actors and an amazing sound track to go with it. The male lead was extremely adorable and I respect his dedication for art (having to put on fishnet pantyhose and high heels). Although we had the same script at the start, it’s interesting to see how different people can produce two very different film.
I was so impressed with this film as it was shot only in one location but was not at all plain as it had different camera angles. The plot was also mind blowing when I found out only at the end of the film that the man in indeed talking to his own conscience in the mirror. Although the film was shot in the dark, the shots weren’t underexposed but came out beautifully. Definitely one of my favorite film that night!
05 Preteintiux Art
The opening of this film looked promising but it became somewhat dull during the middle part of the film. I reckon there was too much conversation going on between the three or was it the lack of action/plot in the film. I asked myself questions like how did the three were willing to become an art statues when the money from their sales did not even go to them? The film however manage to recover itself towards the end of the film where the three were abused by the daughter of the owner, and they were later thrown in the backyard. The make-up was very realistic and of professional standards! Good storyline nonetheless!
18 Donna’s Deed
This film opens up with Donna exiting the train station which goes on for quite awhile, I reckon the opening scene can be cut down to be much shorter. Also, when Donna sees the missing dog, she immediately knows the number to call when she has only walked past the ‘missing dog’ ad once. However, I like her point-of-view shots of the many people, all doing different things, at the missing dog owner’s house where they were celebrating people, like Donna, for being great individuals. I think those shots were done very well.
04 Family Traditions
The man in the story did a very good job acting out his role. The intercutting of the shots of a man, that looks like him but somehow had the impression of being his father, was somewhat confusing but it was all clear at the end of the film. I like the variety of shots of the man when he was loitering around town looking for people to talk to, great voyeuristic camera shots!
10 Blitzkreig Tots
Such a refreshing and exciting story line and excellent sound effects! Simple yet captures the attention of viewers!I spoke to Damian, the director of this film, complimenting how much I liked the film, and expressed my curiosity regarding the syncing of film and sound during the filming process. He said they had to take plenty of footage and then it all goes down to the post-production process. Plenty of footage = Longer shooting time = Tired kid actors. I can imagine such difficulty in filming with kids! But I must say, I loved the camera work too, this film is somewhat like ‘conscience’ where it is only shot in one location.
06 Movie Addict Anonymous
I love the concept of this film! The opening of the film of the man pretending to be physically disabled is humorous and served as a good element to go back to at the end of the film. I love the interview concept of this film, and the characters were each unique and interesting in every sense. The credits of the film even included bloopers! A very professionally done film!!
09 Still Water
The opening title of this film is beautiful! There were fantastic shots in this film, particularly the shot of the female lead walking to open the door. However, the scene of her watering the plants outdoors where she hear the sound of sea waves and her vision is blurred does not come across clearly enough. The focus on the flower could be played a little longer and added with a frustrated look on her face with gestures that suggest that her vision is playing with her. The sound in the film really compliments the film!
12 Screw Youssical
Probably the most exciting film for the evening! Such an interesting concept of incorporating rhymes in the narration of the film. The narrator’s way of speaking is comical, one that you hear in kids film. The characters in the film did a fantastic job too! The continuity in the film was managed well as I did not see anything wrong with lighting, all was well done! Love this film!
13 Head Case
A very emotionally moving film. The lead character in the film really captured my attention. Shots were beautifully captured. Although in the dark, it was not overexposed. I must also say, great filming location! The ending of the film is particularly heart aching, as the male lead mistaken the goodwill of a friend and ends up murdering him.
Another film that was based on the same script as our film, but gave such a different outcome. The transition between fantasy and reality was done amazingly! I loved the fact that mugs were used as a transitional tool. The ending of the waitress serving the female lead a ‘bloody mary’ is a ingenious idea, serving as a good comeback to the murder scene in her fantasy. Adding to that, the soundtrack compliments the film perfectly, absolutely love the music!
The snapshot of our film above was taken during the TV1 screening on last Thursday and I must say that watching our final product on the film with an auditorium filled with people felt AMAZING. It was just what Christine mentioned that the experience will be totally different when watching with tutorial classmates versus students from the whole course (and not to mention their actors and friends). Our film was screened before the intermission so that amazing feeling of fuzziness lingered on throughout the whole screening.
It was a great experience being able to watch the works of others. Some had really really good camera work, very different film genre, etc. It gave a grasp of what I can improve on my future work as well, also to judge where the standard of our work stand within the works of the others in the course.
It was interesting to hear the crowd laugh during the ‘pen drop’ scene earlier in the film. My boyfriend did too find that scene cheesy and he laughed at the sight of it, but it was a totally different feeling hearing many many people having the same reaction to one particular scene. The crowd also laughed at the scene where Zan, our female lead is sipping wine and looks to right where her boyfriend and her friend (who’s actually John, our director) is chomping on chips and gulping on beer like two very blokey blokes. In fact, it was actually John’s exaggerated munching motion that makes it comedic. It was in the initial plan that John wanted to make this film a comedy but we ended up making a drama/comedy as the Sally’s original script was meant to be dramatic.
Hearing the crowd laugh felt great as that gave me the sense that we manage to entertain the crowd. I even receive feedback during the intermission that other people liked the film and that there were really beautiful shots in there (a big thanks to Holly’s apartment!) I have to say we were darn lucky being able to get our hands on such a lovely shooting location! It was an exciting (also exhausting) experience journey producing this film but the sense of satisfaction is just too great to be put in words. Having my group and mine name rolling on the credits gave us a sense of achievement, of all our hardwork and dedication!
Above is a photo of us working very hard at Edit 6 from 10am to 3pm to get the final product together and have it exported as a mov, av3, mpeg2 file, media managed file, and one more at a h264 compression. We had great difficulties exporting the files into a av3 and mpeg2 file via compressor as the software is a total alien to us. Despite the step-by-step instructions on the TV handbook, we still had problems as certain settings and options were not available/not preset in the computer that we working with. As Evelyn and I were almost going nuts in the editing suite on our own (not to mention with growling tummies!) I decided to get the help from the techs! I basically ran up and down multiple times and eventually had hands-on help from Lachlan before we manage to get the files exported OK (I hope!) but not as according to the handbook.
To talk a little about the final touches to our film, I would say that our group’s film would be the more unique one, this is in terms of how we actually got the whole product together. It is because we didn’t record the sounds live on set, Evelyn our amazing director of sound had to piece the individual sound clip in GarageBand – which isn’t a bad thing after all as we manage to have layers and layers of diegetic sounds. But however the down side of it was that the transition between shots isn’t as smooth as we place a soundtrack in the background, which we had to bring the volumes up and down in order to construct the sense of movement in space. Moreover, we even had the credits created in iMovie. Talking about multiple usage of softwares! I have to say that we are quite competent from the aspect of familiarity (to some extent) with Apple media softwares.
However, it is because we had the sound created in GarageBand, and the credits in iMovie, the sound and movie clip had to be first exported and then later imported into Final Cut Pro. This is why I said the way we had the final product placed together quite uniquely. And because John didn’t manage to join us in this final editing session, a copy will be available online so he can have a look at it (no worries, he promised to shout us a round of frothies at the screaning!)
I’ve learnt plenty from this TV project and it will definitely have loads of help for TV2 next semester. NOTE to self: always record sound live on set!
This is an image taken during our shooting for our apartment scene. I have to say that my group members and I worked very well together and everything went pretty smoothly (apart from the hassle of transporting the incredibly heavy equipments from location to location). But thank god Sally and John had a car each, which made things so much more convenient, I cannot imagine needing to transport our equipments with a cab! although I must say, convenience comes with a price, we had hefty parking fees to pay (parking charges in Melbourne is insane!).
But talking more on the shooting itself, the four of us arrived at the cafe at 7am (that’s when the cafe opens) and started setting up the equipments doing trial shoots. We’re so glad the person in charge at Pearson & Murphy – Nick, the awesome coffee guy, was happy to let us shoot both indoors and outdoors (although we did most of our shooting outdoors) as the lighting is great. Sally was a fantastic wardrobe officer and of course, an awesome cinematographer. I had no concerns at all with her handling the camera. John on the other hand, was great with the actor and actress (he stepped in as an extra actor himself in one of the scene) and knew what shots he wanted. As we did not need much diegetic sounds, Evelyn and I were pretty much responsible to set up the lighting, keep an eye on the wandering dog (her name’s dizzy), moving the equipments, making sure our actors are comfortable (get them coffee!) and giving suggestions on the shots during the filming.
I have to say, we were very fortunate that our actors were so comfortable working together. They had to posed as a couple for a film when in reality they are just good friends. Imagine needing to do a make out scene with ur best mate, yikes! but they did a good job, we are all so proud! furthermore, they even refused to be reimbursed for the meals they spent on, and only willing to take coffees.
We have since had a 5 hour editing session down at the edit suite and I must say, everything is running just smoothly. We all want to piece the film together as soon as possible as we all have other major assignments to complete respectively.
The photos above were taken during TV tute in week 9 where one of the group did a filming rehearsal. It is only then I realised the complications and time needed in getting the camera and other equipments set up and ready for a shoot. It took almost an hour to fully set up the equipments, even if it means only to shoot a 5 minutes footage.
The rehearsal definitely gave my group members and I, and definitely the other classmates of mine, a rough idea of what it is like on the actual shooting day at our respective shooting locations, and cast and crew. The group that did their rehearsal made use of the dolly tracks which my group will not be using as it takes time to set up, and also requires plenty of space to be operated. Although we won’t be doing any dolly shots, this rehearsal has helped us feel more confident about managing time and other shooting matters when my group do our shooting at the Pearson and Murphy cafe this coming Tuesday.
Also, the TV test that we sat for in the lecture has been returned (which I only just passed) and realised that I can’t even define simple TV terms such as coverage (which I now know is the different shots taken for a scene that would give more choices to the editor in post-production).
My group members are currently hyped-up about getting our film shot this coming Tuesday which would have put a large worry behind our minds by Wednesday. Necessary editing plans have even been made this week itself just so that we will be able to work on it and finish this film asap. I love editing, so I can’t wait!
Due to file size constrain, a lower quality version of the film is being uploaded.
Group members: Sally Tabart, John Roebuck & Evelyn Ng
During this filming exercise, much can be learned in preparation for the much-anticipated actual filming project. What’s most vital is being prepared for the set which includes, be clear of where in the location we want to shoot, talking to our actors; making sure they know what is/are the film/scene objectives, and most importantly getting our exposures/white balance right.
I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo today as part of my Histories of Film Theory course. And I must say, this is the first time I find myself so engaged in a film screened in this course. I walked out of the theatre shocked, speechless and just left in awe. Every aspect about this film is just so fascinating; the storyline and the camera work.
The storyline may be a little complicated but Hitchcock puts it into film and made it looks so effortless, as I could follow every step of the way.
James Stewart’s character fear of heights is illustrated the pulsating image of the view below, which I felt gave audience a strong sense of what he is experiencing. The strong sense of the pulsating image is intensified further with the sound effect, a sound effect that gave the feeling of terror and fear. Such a sound effect is considered very much cliche in modern movies.
The tinted effect that lasted throughout his entire dream, accompanied with the high-pitched music is just nerve-wracking. The purpose of the tinting worked very well to suggest to audience that James’ character is somewhat psychologically disturbed as he cannot let go that his lover has committed suicide. Furthermore, this tinted dream footage is actually a clue that is related to later scene, an aspect of the film that Hitchcock has so cleverly done. The prolonged tinting effect gave me an eerie feeling even I feel like I’m being hypnotized or going insane. This is because I associated the seeing colours to the likes of seeing stars in cartoon when one is being knocked unconscious – not being in the right state of mind.
Hitchcock shows an extreme close up of the bouquet of flowers and then moves the camera (instead of a cut) to the very-similar-looking flowers on the portrait and does a zoom-in on it; and the same follows for the similar hair style. In my opinion, the camera movement and zooming from the item to the zooming of the item on the painting was SO beautifully done. It just worked perfectly well. Notice also, Hitchcock uses a mixture of soft and hard lighting, but more so of the soft one in this scene, which in my opinion only intensifies the mysteriousness. Hard lighting can be identified as there are shadows cast against the wall when James’ character walks in the museum and there is shadow cast on the bench where the flowers are laid.
I have much more to talk about this film but it may seem that it will be never ending.
This film was so good that I refused to leave my seat for the toilets. And I walked out of the theatre dreaded because Kim’s character Madeleine/Judy dies (for the second time) at the end of the film and it just rolled the credits there, leaving me with such disappointment because I wanted so much for Scottie and Madeleine to be together after being so convinced that they were made for each other having gone through so much.
Vertigo is definitely one of the old films that I’d recommend friends to watch. It is not only a great example to look at for inspirational camera movements and angles, but also for interesting plot line.
Robin gave a really good lecture this week about the importance of lighting in film. He said that anyone can operate the camera, but no everyone have the skills in operating it well. At the end of the day, the quality of the film goes down to the basic control of the F-stops. (Reminder to self: Bigger F-stop (smaller aperture) = Greater D.O.F)
F-stops determines the depth of field in the shot, the continuity of a film. Continuity is needed such when a part of scene had to be recorded at a different time or location and that the exposure has to match the already-recorded footage.
Following this week’s lecture, Robin encourages us to deconstruct films when we watch them, and using the film language i.e, terms like hard light, back light, etc. Thus, I will be deconstructing a scene from Bridewars (Gary Winick, 2009).
As Kate Hudson’s character is seated at the hair salon, there is a mixture of hard and soft light, but more on the soft light’s side. I am saying that because there are no harsh shadows, but there is more key light on the right hand side of her face.
As the scene moves to the hair stylist in the back of the room preparing the hair dye, the lighting is pretty hard from above. This is so because I could see the shadow of his hair resting on his shoulder and the shadows of his hands on the table top.
But when Anne Hathaway enter the scenes, I could immediately tell it has a soft light as the lighting is overcast.
Coming back to Kate at 0.23, it is again a mixture of hard and soft lighting, this time with the key light on the upper left of her face. It looks like it is natural lighting from a window, but I can’t be too sure. Either way, it proves that the filmmaker has done a good job with the lighting.
Later, the hair stylist is seen with a very soft lighting as I could not tell where the light source is coming from.
In my opinion, Kate’s character and the hair dye is given a harder lighting to illustrate their importance in this scene. It is logical, the hair dye is switched with another colour, which eventually ruins Kate’s hair.
Robin did mention in the lecture that it is very difficult to get the lighting perfect, even professionals struggle. One example that he showed us in lecture was a Hollywood film where they had a scene on a boat at sea and the effort in creating continuity was awful.
I was at gym the other day and a L’Oreal Men advertisement on TV. I couldn’t hear the audio but I was intrigued with the visuals in terms of how it was framed and edited.
The advertisement aims to tell the audience going for sporty activities like boxing, football and stunt motor biking can result in tired skin. It’s message is further emphasized with videos of Gerald Butler on his bike, and catching a football, but filmed from a low angle, to give the impression of such strength involved in the sports. Furthermore, Gerald is filmed boxing towards the camera, towards the audience, and not against someone else to have a stronger visual effect. The advertisement then presents the product which is said to help skin fatigue when coping with such active lifestyle such as Gerald’s.
There are plenty of shallow depth of field close up and extreme close up shots of Gerald to make their stand as a promotion for a skin product. Gerald is filmed close up against a pitch background so audience only pay attention to his face.
I’m particularly amazed with the editing effects found at 0.18 secs onwards whereby we see snippets of Gerald Butler from different angles when playing poker to driving his car off to his lover, intercut with dissolving black screen. This editing effect gives the impression of a fast movement spatially and timely.
This editing effect brings about the idea of ‘Accelerated Montage’ which I learnt in Histories of Film Theory.
Accelerated montage is defined as the “illusion of the steadily increasing speed of a locomotive without actually using any images of speed… simply by a multiplicity of shots of ever-decreasing length.” (Bazin 1997) The black screen dissolve at 0.18sec onwards in the video is made faster over time and is then contrasted and brought to a slow speed at 0.23sec with an extreme close of Gerald’s face, giving audience (or at least myself) the feeling of awe. The frame then turns to black and white, escalating the atmosphere even further. (makes me want to go out to the store and get the product, for the question is, for who?)
Bazin, Andre 1997, “The Evolution of the Language of Cinema”, Peter Lehman (ed.), Defining Cinema, (p.59-72), RMIT Learning Hub.