Monday, 23 November 2015

Filming Complete

Yesterday we finally managed to get our filming done for our continuity task. Our whole group were present and each of us fulfilled our roles. We managed to get all our shots we needed within 2 hours, which shows we were efficient and well organised. Mason got most of the shots and took control in that department but I helped out when she was stuck or I felt like something needed improving. Aashna told us what we had to do next and directed the group strongly. I was also really impressed with our actors; Harvey and Jess. They learnt their lines quickly and we got most of the scenes done within one or two takes.
The only problem we ran into was that we realised our film was too long and we had to cut it down. We had to get rid of our proposed fight scene and have a mysterious phone call instead. Although this was a fairly major adjustment, we thought of a great alternative idea that meant we didnt have to edit the script too much and we still think we have a really unique and high quality short film.

I have already begun editing the first draft and i'm excited to put my skills into practice.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Technical Areas In The Exam

Before going into our exam, it is vital that we know what to expect. No matter what, we will definitely have to talk about how one of the following aspects is REpresented in the 5 minute 'tv drama' extract we have to watch:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Regional Identity
  • Ethnicity
  • Ability/Disabillity
  • Sexuality
  • Class and Status

These aspects are REpresented through four different technical areas:

  • Camera shots, angles, Movement and Composition 
  • Editing 
  • Sound
  • Mise En Scene
We have to think about how these technical areas help represent one of the above aspects. So for instance if we had to discuss gender and in the extract there was a low angle shot from a woman's POV and a man was looking down to the camera, This would suggest that the Male is more dominant than the female. This would come under the 'camera shots' area. We would have to think about how the other 3 technical areas are used as well as this. Does anything in the Mise en scene represent Genre? Does the music suggest anything either?

As part of our preparation for the exam, we have to think about the certain stereotypes that come with an area of representation and how they can be shown through the technical areas. Some stereotypes of gender are:
  • Male vs Female (binary opposites)
  • Males are more dominant than females
  • Females are more mature than males
  • Males are aggressive 
  • Females are tender, sometimes weak
  • Females often helped by males when in dangerous situations
  • Females show more emotion
  • Girls associated with pink,bright colours
  • Boys associated with Red, Blue 
The reason its important to know certain stereotypes and binary opposites is that we can already know all the different aspects we can talk about in our notes and actual exam, Hopefully this makes us more comfortable and confident in the exam, and results in a better grade.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Understanding Premiere Pro

The first thing im going to discuss is File Formats. When making films or video, you must consider what file format to export it in. Each format has different features and they are suited for different things. Here are the main three file formats and their advantages and disadvantages:
  Avi-  AVI files support multiple streaming audio and video. if AVI files are compressed using some codecs then in order to play the file it needs the same codec to be installed on the device. Put in simple terms, this means AVI may not play on all machines due to its codec. AVI files if uncompressed can be very large in size as compared to the other file formats.

Wmv-Windows Media (WMV) is a file type which can contain video in one of several video compression formats developed by Microsoft. The original video format, known as WMV, was originally designed for Internet streaming. It also compresses the video which makes it smaller and easier to use/upload. I use WMV when exporting my videos because I find it uploads quickly to youtube but retains a high quality.

Mp4- Professional but often large file format that can be played on the internet. Therefore good for youtube and other internet videos.

I should also note the file format .MOV because this is the main file format used by macintosh users. It requires a very specific codec to work but is very high quality with large file sizes.


When opening up premiere, you will have to decide whether to make your video NTSC or PAL. These are two types of colour coding systems that affect the quality of the content you make on TVs. NTSC runs at 30 frames per second. A frame is a still image, but when different images are put together it becomes a moving image, so your seeing 30 still images per seond. NTSC also has an aspect ratio of 720x480. Aspect ratio is the width and height of the image. However PAL runs at 25 fps and at a ratio of 720x576. NTSC is used in the US and Japan whereas PAL is used in the UK, Australia and Sweden. This means that if you try and play NTSC in England, it wont work on most DVD players.
So when opening premiere, you should make sure you select the right coding system for where you are using it.

Thursday, 12 November 2015


Of course, every film needs a script. Our group wanted to make an Action Comedy so we tried to make the script funny in places, but also fairly short as we need our film to be roughly one and a half minutes. Most of the action will be through the visuals and the shots we get, so the comedy needs to come through the dialogue. Obviously we don't have any professional writers in our group so we pulled together and did it ourselves. I took the lead in this part of the preparation as I came up with the comedy aspect of our film so I thought it was my duty to bring the script to life.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015


SHOT LIST (rough)
Title screen- 5/6 secs
Medium shot of main character walking into frame- 3 secs
Close up shot on face when he answers the phone- 3 secs
Medium shot of character walking down street- 5 secs
Close up face when he hangs up phone- 2 secs
Medium shot walking- 2 secs
Close up shot face, answers phone again- 4 secs
Extreme close up of watch before ending phone call-2 secs
Long shot of another man running into frame, tackling main character- 3 seconds
Various close and medium shots for short fight scene- 7/10 seconds
Crossover with transition to Main characters wife at home, finishing making dinner- 3 seconds
Close up on main character looking at the watch panicking- 1 second
Long shot as main runs away from attacker- 2/3 seconds
Another tilt medium shot of wife about to put dinner on the table
Close up shot as wife places dinner on table- 2 seconds
Camera then zooms to front door as main enters- 5 seconds
Close up shot of him doing up tie-3 seconds
Medium shot as he greets wife—3 seconds
Close up shot as he winks at camera- 1 second

Job Roles In Our Prelimanary task

As mentioned in a previous blog post, our task is to prepare and shoot a short film containing someone entering a room and engaging in a conversation with someone in the room. We are completing this task in a group of 3. My group is:
Aashna Jadeja 
Mason Clifford
Arthur Hill (me)

Each person in our group was allocated a different Job role that suits their skill set and characteristics. Aashna was given the role of Director and Producer. Her job is to direct and overlook the making and preparation of the piece. She must help with the script,camera shots and organise the rest of the group to make sure they are all working as hard as possible. Although the director is probably the most important role in the group, she must let the rest of the group influence her decisions and take their opinions into account.  So far I think she has done a very good job as a director. She has listened to everyones views, she has helped make our idea into a unique and interesting plot and has been very clear on when she wants things done by. If she continues in this way I believe she will lead us to a very good final piece. 

Mason was given the role of DOP (director of photography). This job requires her to take control with all the camera work. This means she must know different shot types, the best position for shots and most importantly she must know what shot to do when. Although most of this will take place during filming, Mason must also create a shot list so we know exactly what we are doing before we film. This means thinking about the task frame by frame and thinking about each and every different camera shot we will need. Mason must also think about the Mise En Scene in our film.For instance the lighting and setting is crucial for Mason to think about. I think Mason has done well as a DOP so far. One thing I'm really impressed with is that she has got involved with everything, even when it does not connect to her job role. We are running slightly behind of finishing our shot list but it will be completed before we begin filming.

As Editor my main role is to put together and assemble all the shots we have filmed and make the film interesting and seemingly professional. I have to take many things into account when editing; will the plot line be clear? Do the titles look professional? Which shots shall I use in the final cut? One thing I must do is match my editing to the tone of the film. This is expressed through transitions, background music and the length of shots.Despite my job being mainly in post production I have tried to get involved as much as i can with the other aspects of our preparation. I helped come up with initial idea and I am helping with the writing of the script. I for one am confident I can edit our film to a high standard and help make it a unique and entertaining piece.

So far I think our group is working really well together and we are each pushing each other to go beyond our comfort zone. The only thing I think we can improve on is being more efficient with our deadlines.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Rule of Thirds and 180


The rule of thirds is essentially a set of imaginary lines that divide the frame into nine sections. This creates reference points which act as guides for framing the image. The thirds are separated by lines going horizontally and vertically. If you want an image to seem more interesting and to stand out, you would place the focus of the image on one of the ‘focus points’ (places where the lines meet)

In the above image you can see the effect of using the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds stems from a theory that the human eye naturally looks to intersection points that occur when an image is split into thirds.
Of course rules are meant to be broken. When taking a shot of a person up close, it is sometimes better to place them in the centre of the shot, so it’s obvious they are important. However even when taking portraits, you should make sure that the eyes are on focus points, like so:

180 RULE

The 180 rule shows where to put the cameras during a conversation between two people:

The Brown haired character is looking to the audiences left, the blonde character is looking to the audience’s right. This gives off the effect that they are looking at each other when the different shots are edited and cut together, and therefore the audience get more immersed in the conversation. It is more effective than having both characters in shot because the audience can see more facial expressions and emotions.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Story Board

Here is our rough story board for our continuity task 'Home By 7'. We made it as a group as we thought it would be useful to look back on whilst filming. We are all very happy with it and anxious to begin filming.

Filming date set and Location

We are filming on Saturday 7th of November at Masons House. We wanted the film to seem real as it consists of a husband and wife seeing each other at there home. This meant that if we filmed it in school it would seem odd and unrealistic. Masons house is also good because the surrounding area is perfect for our fight and chase scenes. We have the whole day to film on saturday so we should be able to get most of our shots completed. However we have left next week free in case we need to anything differently. Moreover the weather on saturday is overcast, which suits the mood of our film.

Iceland Video

I recently went on a school trip to Iceland, it was a great experience. As there are so many things to see and experience there, I thought it would be a great oppurtunity to bring my DSLR camera, record some clips and put a short film together. It would give me a chance to try out some techniques and skills we have been working on in Media, such as rule of thirds and using premiere pro. I am very happy with the end result but there are also many things i can improve; 

-          Focus of camera: close up of black sand was a dynamic shot but sadly not in focus. Other shots not always in focus
-          Hand held most of the time is quite steady however when shooting a close up i should try to use a tripod where possible as these shots were zoomed in & this made them appear quite shaky
-          I struggled to make the church scene fit with the tone of the film, so i need to research ways in how to to smoothly change the mood of a film.

I used a Canon D3200 to film the video. Next time i would bring more lenses with me so i could get a larger variety of shots. I would also use a tripod to stabilise my shots.

Overall I am very glad I made the film because I feel more ready and prepared for our continuity task.