Back in September, we were given our first opportunity to shoot and edit a piece of media. The piece we had to film was on continuity. At the time I didn't take much notice, but in reflection continuity is crucial to making a high quality sequence because you have to ensure you've nailed the basics. The miniute or so sequence was made needed to follow certain rules and include certain things. Our character had to open a door, cross a room, sit down and exchange a few words with another character. We also had to include an example of match-on-action and of shot-reverse shot, as well as sticking to the 180 degree rule. We only had 30 minutes to record and edited on iMovie. The task tested our teamwork, time management and also our ability to work sensibly and productively with our friends.
Overall, it's immediately clear that I've progressed a huge amount as a media student. From shooting low quality footage that was innaproproare to the task set, to shooting professional standard footage and editing, along with my group, to a high quality over an extensive period of time to ensure the best piece possible. I feel I've become more skilled and confident over the course and that was demonstrated in my final piece.
In my preliminary task it is clear I had little understanding of camera angles, movement and shots. The shots are all static, there are no pans or zooms. There is an example of a close-up and a mid-shot. However, there is a lot of shot-reverse-shot, this is partially due to the fact we were filming in the nurses room, which is a small space, and as a result we were unable to attain and longer shots. Also, the specification for the task said we must use shot-reverse-shot. In reflection, we went overboard and used far too many. From my textual analysis' I know that shot-reverse-shot is used occasionally but not consistently throughout a scene. Another thing I noticed re-watching the preliminary task is that a few of the shots are out of focus. However, the majority if not all these issues were rectified in my final piece. I used a range of complex camera shots and angles. We used a high angle shot to make 'Andew' (the protagonist) appear vulnerable and weak. Also we used camera movements, we had a slow pan and also a slow tilt in the therapy scene. We used a plethora of shots to show of our cinematographic skills. Overall I'd say that my preliminary task shows a very limited use of cinematography, but a much more advanced range of camera work is used in my final piece. As demonstrated below:
Here is a few shots from our final piece. There is a great variety, compared to the preliminary task where only 2-3 types of shot were used.
Sound was the biggest problem for us in the preliminary task, whereas I believe it's the greatest strength of my final piece. We attempted to use sound layering in the preliminary task but it is massively out of place as it is the sound of the doorbell ringing despite the fact of character doesn't press a doorbell in the footage. However this was not our biggest issue regarding sound. The dialogue was inappropriate for the task set, which meant we had to re-record the dialogue and add it as a voice over. This is very confusing for the audience as the dialogue no longer makes sense or fits the actions of the 'doctor'. Although this was annoying at the time, it was the area with the greatest potential to improve. The sound from Voices was very successful and awful lot better than the sound in the preliminary task. We used Adobe Premiere Pro to edit the sound, which meant we could undertake complex editing techniques to make a high quality piece. I used a voice over again in the final piece, however this one was far better and was vital to driving the narrative forward. We also had to spend a long time looking for un-copyrighted music and sounds on the Internet for the fish piece, which isn't something we did in the preliminary task, we just found any sound effect and added it, without any worries about copyright. We also layered the sound in Voices so that loads of sounds were playing at once, creating a cacophony of sound, which added to suspense. This isn't something I knew how to do in the preliminary task. If you watch the 2 clips at the top of this page, you will easily identify a vast improve run in the use of sound. So much so that I believe it went from my biggest weakness to my greatest strength in terms of editing.
Mise en Scene
The scenario for our preliminary task is that Cristiano Ronaldo goes to the doctors and is informed that he must take some medicine to return to full health and recover from his elbow injury. He refused and leaves. There are numerous problems with mise en scene in the clip. Some of those are pointed out below.
Wearing James Rodriguez's shirt, yet he is referred to as 'Ronaldo' at numerous points throughout the sequence.
The character wearing the black is supposed to be a doctor. The way he is dressed doesn't convey this to the audience. He looks like a regular teenager.
The lighting in this shot is too dark. It's meant to be a comedic scene, but the dark colours suggest otherwise.
They were a few of the errors the preliminary task contained regarding mise en scene. However there were one or two more positive aspects in the sequence. For example, the scene was based at a doctors and to replicate this we filmed in the school nurses room, which was as close as we could get to a doctors in school hours. I think the progression in my ability regarding mise en scene has been good between preliminary and final task. Initially whilst producing Voices, we had some trouble finding a location, which accurately replicated a therapist office, however in the end I believe that we presented a scene in a location that the audience identifies as a therapists office. Also the way our characters dressed represents a significant improvement. Both Andrew and the Therapist dressed in a manor suitable to their roles in the narrative. To find out more about the clothing we chose for our characters and why, check out my representations post, which is on the evaluation page of my blog.