Thursday, 7 April 2011

EVALUATION: Question 8

Before we first started, we all had some experience with filming, techniques and general knowledge of what the audience expects in a film. I believe the preliminary film we made was like a realisation of what we have to and how it has to be done. Although we had some knowledge of techniques of how to make a film, our knowledge was quite basic. The preliminary allowed us to get know in more depth camera techniques, planning and relating this to editing. This was all done through trial and error and looking at what can be improved. We have progressed a lot since the preliminary task as it enabled us to familiarise ourselves with the process of filming and editing. When we first started filming the preliminary, we only had basic knowledge of what we were doing and due to this, we ended up improvising throughout the whole clip. This showed us the importance of planning as everything needs to link together to allow us to create and edit a smooth film. With some relatively believable acting and luck through improvisation, we managed to pull it off. The preliminary seemed like an introduction of what we were going to expect and allowed us to make mistakes which we can learn from to better our skills. Had we been thrown straight into filming our full product, it would be completely disastrous as even with planning of the storyline, camera shots, setting etc. we still found it difficult to make, (especially when it came to editing as we were unsure what clips we should use and where we should it). 

The day before we filmed, I looked at the best techniques of recording and what camera effects and settings should be used for the best film effect. It was then that I discovered that all professional films are recorded in a certain format that gives it that "film effect" which looks different compared to a conventional TV program. The format that present films are recorded in are in 24fps (frames per second). I done some research as to why this setting is used to record films and discovered that it gives a more natural look to the human eye. This is because the human eye can only see a certain amount of frames per second and matching that will give a natural look whereas recording in another format such as 25fps will look unnatural. Even though it is only 1 extra frame per second, it does change the whole effect of the film itself. Some people had recorded in 30fps and when compared to ours, it was noticeable to see how unnatural and fake looking the film gave as an impression. 

The decision to record in 24fps seemed a smart move and this move was made based on how our preliminary looked in terms of "film realism." When we began recording, due to our location we discovered that we had to take many things into account when recording. We learned that lighting as well as camera angles and mise en scene had all had to be taken into account. This is where we experimented with various techniques. Intuitive camera angles were used to see if we can come up with something different, (something we had not done in the preliminary). 

Here we tried to be creative
but ultimately failed.
We learnt how to take different shots and explored the angles that seemed to fit scene. Initially in our preliminary, we did not take enough shots so the amount of shots we could use in editing was limited. Here, we learnt from that and took as many useful shots a possible so we don't have the same problem like we did in the preliminary. Trial and error was used to see what shots worked and what didn't. We recorded a certain scenes from certain positions; if it looked like it worked then we'd keep it and move onto the next scene. If it looked wrong and didn't seem to match the effect we were going for, then we redone the shot from another angle. This gave us a wider span of various shots, something yet again we did not think of in our preliminary.

The preliminary task was a great way for us to get to grips with the editing program Final Cut Pro. Having little experience before hand with the preliminary, we only knew then how to do the basics such as cut clips and move them around the timeline with little perfection. Since then, we have developed our skills and been able to do more refined editing such as split the sound from the video, slow down clips and edit to more professional standards e.g. cutting out unnecessary and unrelated clips to precision. This was only done once we became more comfortable with the software. With the preliminary film, we only knew the basics and as we were not entirely sure how to use the program, the cutting of clips and along with timing and continuity seemed quite amateurish. Match cuts was something we had taken into account this time. Instead of just throwing in clips together that seemed as if they related, match cuts were used to link actions together from different camera angles making the continuity much better as the clips linked together better.

As the preliminary was there for us to get to grips with the basics of film making, we did not use sound creating software as we did not have enough experience to use it. We did manage to get the hang of the soundtrack after we had a tutorial of how to use the software. The software we did use was Soundtrack Pro in the end. This program allowed us to effectively create music, sound effects and sound bridges to insert into our film.

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