Thursday, 21 October 2010

Production Process

Once our storyboards were completed we were ready to begin filming, normally each member of the team would take on specific roles and duties but as this was our first filming exercise we decided everyone would have a go at the various technical and creative duties, camera operation, directing and continuity management and George and I would also be the actors.
First we gathered and set up the equipment we needed, a tripod which is vital for the framing of shots and instantly makes footage look more professional because it stops the camera from jerking which happens if filmed handheld, a camera of course which we attached a dynamic microphone with windshield to. We also used the dolly for the tracking shots but found that because of the carpet in the English corridor the shot was too jerky and so we ended up shooting handheld, in the end the shot was better for it (the shot was a tracking behind the shoulder shot of George which moves into a close up of George's head which deliberately breaks 360 degree as it tracks round into a close up of George's face) as the handheld 'style' used in Bourne and Bond films is in keeping with the thriller style we were trying to create. We also tried to be creative when working out how to film shots for example Martin and George had the idea of using a skateboard to get low angle tracking shot of George's feet.
I think we did well at taking our time over filming, making sure we had at least 3 good takes of each shot and playing back the footage before moving on to the next shot to make sure the framing was correct, that there were no unintentional camera movements and that we had captured clear audio. By not rushing the filming process it meant that when it came to the edit we would have an easier time fitting clips together because of the choice of footage and less likely to need to re-shoot certain scenes because of unusuable shots that were crucial to the narrative and shot sequence.
 However our methodical approach did mean that we had to complete filming over 4 or 5 sessions and from a continuity perspective this caused various difficulties and problems in terms of the weather conditions on different days and how this could affect the lighting continuity of the film and also in terms of appearance of the actors and having to remember to wear the exact same outfit everytime we filmed as well as potentailly the little things such as keeping the same hairstyle.
We did fairly well at working around the problems we faced in terms of location, for example when we couldn't film inside a classroom we shot the corridor walking sequnce although we made the mistake of shooting with a camera that didn't have manual focus or manual white balance control, we replaced it after we had filmed the first shot but because of the complexity of this shot and time concern we were never able to re-shoot it. We were lucky in that the white balance didn't differ that much between the two camera's but potentially it could have been a continuity concern.
Whilst shooting we constantly had to use our storyboards as reference to make sure we were capturing the right shots and that could fit together, specifically for shots we would use for match on action sequences as we didn't want to have to make jump cuts when it came to editing the shots together. We also didn't constrict ourselves to filming in complete chronological order instead filming shots in terms of location. Although this may of saved us some time, we could of potentially been quicker if we had created a specific shooting script.
Overall, we worked well as a team as we were able to be efficient and get on with filming and distribute responsibilities evenly. Perhaps if we had done more preparation we could have completed filming in less time as our storyboards weren't perfect and we often had to think on our feet to come up with different shot angles during filming to get the shot reverse shot we needed while keeping the rule of moving the camera by at least 30 degrees. However it was also to our credit that we didn't just follow the storyboards exactly but instead we made changes and thought up new shots, considering the look of the film as a whole and making improvements to our initial plan where needed.

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