Friday, March 8, 2013

Filming

For our first filming session, we filmed the first part of the film which each person in our class will be working on. It was a great opportunity to experience what it would be like to work on an actual film set; we were all assigned specific roles - I was in charge of watching the camera monitor, logging shots and taking note of any discontinuity.

Although I enjoyed working on it at the time, I realised I didn't do a particularly good job as later on when checking the shots I realised we were missing a long, establishing shot of Luca with the camera out of it's case, meaning there was an abrupt jump to him holding the camera. Hopefully it won't be too noticeable in the final film.

Other roles included monitoring sound, holding the boom mic, assisting the director, generally supervising the area to make sure people won't wander through the set whilst filming, and acting.


For the abduction shot, we filmed the actor in front of a green screen, and then filmed the same shot without the actor or green screen to act as the back-plate. This meant we could show the actors running behind the actor while he is being abducted, and show an empty back-plate afterwards.



I always feel a little apprehensive about filming as I feel the process involves a lot of preparation, organisation, and help from many different people (depending on the scale), however it went surprisingly smoothly and I found myself enjoying it as the day went on, though I'll never not be embarrassed by curious onlookers.

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The footage for the second part of the film was shot entirely in a studio with a green screen. There were a few of us using Luca as an actor and working on the set on the day of the filming, and again we all helped out with different roles. This time round I generally assisted with the equipment, holding the boom, and directing my scenes. 



I do enjoy directing, although I tend to be a bit of perfectionist and get too caught up with ensuring I can get the right shot, even if it's not entirely possible. For example one of my shots was supposed to be a high-angled extreme long shot, establishing the area and it's scale. We couldn't use a crane, so we ended up bending health-and-safety rules a little to achieve this shot. In the end, it was far too shaky, and although I tried to use stabilising techniques in After Effects the keyed footage ended up looking very strange and floaty, so I ended up leaving it out.

I was hoping to experiment with lighting to achieve a very dark, rim-lit effect, but I wasn't sure how to do this without compromising the effectiveness of the green-screen. I used only one light to emphasise the shadows, and decided to make it more dramatic using post-production techniques.

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