Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Preliminary Task Evaluation

Full evaluation after the jump , Please read more.

As part of our AS media foundation portfolio  we were required to create a preliminary task in order to gain practical skills which will later on aid us in creating our final pieces. The main task was to complete a short clip featuring a character walking through a door, sitting down and exchanging a short amount of dialogue. Key points we had to focus on included match on action, the 180 degree rule and shot reverse shot. This task mainly helped us with developing our continuity skills so we can create seamless transitions within film through the use of filming and editing.
We began planning our task by creating a story board, this is technique used within media where a number of simple drawings and descriptions show the basic plot and the intended look of the finished piece in a step by step format. The story board shows information about camera shorts as well as giving an idea about the mise-en-scéne.
Storyboards do not have to be followed completely though my group and I managed to follow It well which meant that production went fairly smoothly as everything was pre-planned.
Things we changed in production included adding in a few more different angles at certain points in order to make our situation seem less static and staged.
Another point we should have assessed before production was the length of each shot, as we did not consider this we did not necessarily make a long piece as we edited the quite a lot to maintain fluidity within it.

Our task follows the basic story line of a mysterious character walking down a corridor to a small meeting room , she then converses with another character and exchanges details of “the thing” , after taking the secretive envelope containing “the thing” it is later revealed to be a cookie and the character is seen taking a bite before walking away.

In order to build skills and showcase a more interesting task we tried to use a number of shot types and angles in order to create something which is interesting to view, rather than just having straight on simple shots we tried a range of techniques including adding in an over the shoulder shot which is my favorite point of the task as I believe it shows the characters point of view which is slightly out of the ordinary. We tried to change our shots up so we could focus on things such as mise-en-scéne, characters reactions and the flow of the piece from room to room.

By doing this it allows for the action to be followed easily, something that could have added a more dynamic point to our piece was if we used panning. Panning can allow for a location and characters to be taken into view more and can get rid of the static aspect of non-professional filming. As we used a tripod for all our shots it could come across as the piece not having enough movement, something which is slightly noticeable about our camera work is that at some points the angles are slightly shaky which means we should next time learn to stabilize our shots and to be careful not to move the camera during filming.

Our task starts simply with a character walking towards the camera, in this establishing shot you can take in the fact that the task is based within a serious work environment as well as the fact our character is dressed in a smart way which could show what the video entails.
The establishing shot also shows what the lighting will be like for the film, as we were filming within our school fluorescent lighting is something that could not be avoided but by having a story line which features a straight forward business orientated conversation and interactions the lighting did not take away from the effect we were trying to achieve; and instead added to it as ambient, warm lighting would not have been suitable.

Along with this we also filmed during the day time so we would have an aspect of naturalistic lighting as well as making the scene seem more realistic as it was filmed in a setting during the day where normal  people are carrying out activities in the background , this meant it made our piece look much less staged.

We decided to dress our characters differently with the “trouble-maker” of the clip being dressed flamboyantly where as the giver of “the thing” is dressed in respectable smart casual clothing. By doing this it gives off an immediate impression to the audience and helps make sense of our short video.

When it comes to the match on action aspect of the piece we showed this by showing the continuity of opening a door, I feel we carried out this task well and that our shots matched up.
Next time I feel we should allow more time before filming a shot such as this so that we can roll the tape for a few seconds before action to enable us to make a simple cut instead of having a slightly jerky edit.

We have only used diegetic sound within our film as there was no need to use non-diegetic sound such as music. By doing this it means we stuck to a certain idea for our piece but I does mean that in the future we will have to practice adding sound to our shots with such skills as matching sound to action having to be gained.

Overall I feel our piece was well done in most aspects , despite a few small slip ups I feel mistakes will be learnt from and with practice we will be able to include even more diverse camera shots within out next task as well as improving our continuity skills further.

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