Archive for the ‘ 162MC Narrative ’ Category

Final – Completed Short Film

Evaluation

The editing process was actually not as bad as I thought it would be. I downloaded Final Cut Pro X for my Mac and, compared the version before, its very simple to use!! If I was doing this edit on the old version of final cut then I’d have had a lot of difficulty.

Strengths: I think I picked the right piece of music for my edit. It took me around two hours searching for royalty free music and once I had found a good site it then took me quite a while for me to find the right track. Comparing my complete short film to my rough cut, my complete short has smoother cuts and flows better and after I got feedback from Bex I knew which clips needed to be corrected.

Weaknesses: There is a clip where the camera jolts up. I thought it was an exporting error but after going through the original footage I was able to see that it wasn’t, it was in fact camera shake or the person operating the camera moved it slightly. Unfortunately, I was not able to correct this during the edit because to correct it we would’ve had to film the scene again which we couldn’t because our female lead has gone back to university.

Opportunities: Originally I had planned for my friend to write a piece of music specifically for my edit. Unfortunately, she was unable to due to university assignments and deadlines. If she did write and record a piece of music it would have been unique and free for me to use without any worry about copyright. Maybe during easter when we both have a little more free time we will be able to work on a music piece.

Threats: I think the biggest threat in this short film is the camera work towards the end. Throughout the film the camera was on a tripod so it was steady and there was hardly any camera shake (apart from that one which I have already mentioned). When the wife is walking towards the front door the camera is being held in someone’s hands, not with a tripod, and therefore as the person holding the camera walks and breaths the camera moves slightly. We know what to do next time we film so the same thing doesn’t happen again.

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Rough Cut

Feedback from Rebacca Pittam (skills instructor/serior technician at Coventry University)

1. kitchen, when paint brush hits the floor – editing error. Before the shot of the paint brush hitting the floor, the girl lets go of the paint brush and before it goes to the next shot it is already fairly close to the floor. Also, shot of paint brush hitting the floor – looks too bright and yellowy.

I changed the editing error by cutting the clip where the girl lets go of the paint brush by 2 frames/per second so that there wasn’t a continuity error. In the clip where the paint brush hits the floor, I also changed the saturations of the midtones so the clip wouldn’t look yellowy.

2. The shot of the champagne glasses where the focus moves from the back glass to the front one – Holds for too long on the glass at the back and doesn’t hold for long enough on the glass at the front.

I changed this by, again, cutting 3 frames/per second from the beginning of the clip and extending the end of the clip slightly.

3. When the girl was lying on the sofa with the boy – too bright.

I changed the exposure of the midtones to -40% and the saturation of the midtones to 25%.

4. The shot of the girl and the wine when the focus is changed from her to the glass – hold the focus on the girl instead of moving the focus to the glass.

5. Transition of the girl walking into the kitchen – don’t like it, maybe fade to black instead. I have changed the transition to fade to black but this is quite difficult to show in a screen grab..

6. The shot of the front door handle – the picture jumps a bit, might be an exporting error or camera shake. I have managed the change this, I think it was an exporting error. (Again, this is difficult to show in a screen grab).

7. The beginning of the short until the falling of the picture frame, make it look a bit warmer and make the second part of the short (after the picture frame has fallen) much colder so it will just add to the emotion that you are trying to get across.

For the clips at the beginning that had the ‘warmer’ feel (love and happiness) I changed the saturation midtones in most of the clips to +20% or +25%. They did vary slightly because I did want to make the clips ‘warmer’ but I didn’t want the actors skin to become yellow. In the clips after the picture frame has fallen I changed the colour midtones to +30% and the global saturation to -20%. The shots that were taken outside and the ones in the corridor to the from door I had to change in a different way because of the natural light. I changed the colour midtones to +15% and the global saturation to -25%. If I kept the colour and saturation levels of these clips with the other ‘colder’ ones then the clips would look like they were tinted blue.

Changing the title of my Script/short film!

When I wrote my script I was having trouble thinking of a title for it. I didn’t want it to be anything cheesy but no matter what I thought of it just sounded wrong. I made the mistake of looking at words in a thesaurus and after looking up words like upset, distraught and clicking on just about every similar word I was ready to give up & call it the most cheesy name known to man.

I then came across the word “phantasm” which means: a figment of the imagination; an illusion or apparition. I then looked up words that were similar to that and came up with phantasmal. I had originally chosen this name because it described exactly what was happening to the woman in the short, she was imagining something that wasn’t real.

During editing for my rough cut I was staring at the name and then came to the conclusion that I hated it. So I spent a good three hours researching names of films. I also re-read my script and treatment to remind myself about what I wanted the audience to feel when they saw the title by itself. To me the word Phantasmal makes me think of magic and something incredible happening…not woman that is grieving for her husband.

Reading my script again something clicking in my head. The wife wasn’t just imagining something, she was imagining something which she longed for, she longed for that happiness with her husband and I wanted the audience to think of that when they see the title.

I went through a few titles:
Craving Happiness – this to me made me think that the person was hungry or something.
Wishful Happiness – every time I said this I kept saying Wishful Thinking. If I say the wrong title (and I’m the producer!) would others get the title wrong??
And finally, Desired Happiness – this was easily the best out of all of them. Desire means: a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. This is exactly what I wanted to portray in the title.

New title: Desired Happiness

Final Script

Analysis

Strengths: The overall narrative is good. I’m glad I only put two main characters in it, if their were more characters I think it would take the attention away from the wife which is definitely not what I wanted to happen. The layout is set out correctly which makes it easier to read and it makes it look professional.

Weaknesses: There isn’t a lot of dialog and sometimes this is a good thing but the more I look at this script the more I think that there should be a little more dialog.

Opportunities: If I had a couple of thousand pounds for a budget I might have changed the time period that its set in to the second world war. This would give me a chance to do a lot of in-depth research about that time period; interior design, clothing, how people died during world war II (shot, mines, illness etc). I think it would be more interesting, if it is researched properly and filmed properly.

Threats: The real problem here is that some people in the audience might not understand that the scenes with the husband didn’t happen in real life, although it could be seen as a flash back, this all depends on how this is edited.

Filming day

Firstly, getting equipment for filming was a hassle. Brett and Luke tried to hire out the Z1′s, a tripod and other useful items of equipment, however all of the equipment we needed were unavailable. We ended up using Luke’s Canon 550D. Brett and Luke were able to hire out dedo lights. They weren’t able to get a microphone out because they didn’t know which lead connected to Luke’s Canon. We had to just use the Canon’s built in microphone and, at the end of the day, there was hardly any dialog in the film so it didn’t matter much.

Brett and Luke were picked up by Shelley so they could get to Shelley’s Dad’s house and set up the lighting ready for when we arrived so we didn’t waste any time. The actors that Shelley organised were called Esther and her boyfriend Daren. They’d been together for around 3 years so, for the more intimate scenes, they’d be comfortable around each other.

We decided to do the intimate scene first to get it out the way because Daren had to leave by 3. We all decided that it would be better if Luke filmed, as it was his canon we were using, and Brett would help direct for this scene. We came to this decision because if we had all seven of us staring at the actors it might be slightly awkward. Brett came into the kitchen where the rest of us were and asked what shots we all wanted, he also had everyone’s storyboards so those gave him an idea of how we wanted the shot to look like.

We then decided to shoot the painting scene. There wasn’t much space on the landing where we were filming it so only two people were allowed upstairs at any one time. This wasn’t a problem but it did take more time than expected.

Once Daren had left we were all able to be in the room for the final scene (Esther’s emotional scene) and we were able to direct her so we all got the shots we wanted.

This picture shows the lighting technique that Brett used. He made it so it seemed like it was very early morning, making it look like there was a slight opening in the curtains. This, I feel, was very effective and will make the edit fun because we will be able to play around with colour balance to make it look really gloomy and depressing.

First Draft of my Script

Here is my first draft of my script. It is rather short but hopefully, when my group has our first meeting we will discuss everyone’s script and give each other constructive criticism about how to make it long but adding scenes or by adding dialog. My script doesn’t have a lot of dialog in it and how I see it in my mind you will not be able to hear the dialog, only see it. This maybe a bit risky but I believe with the right soundtrack it will work brilliantly!

INT. LIVING ROOM. Mid afternoon.

In this scene young married couple, Ben and Alexandra, have just finished painting a room which, in six months, would be a nursery for their child. As they go into the living room they are messing around and giggling. They sit on the sofa and cuddle while looking at a sonogram photo, which they received a few days ago, of their unborn child. As they look on there is a knock at the door and this reveals the terrible reality.

Ben and Alex have just finished painting a room which would be a nursery for their unborn child. Their faces and arms are covered in paint as they go into the living room.

Alex enters the living room first and her expression shows us that she is filled with happiness. She is laughing and smiling as she enters.

Ben enters after Alex and, while laughing, he holds onto her waist and tickles her.

Alex tries to run away from Ben but fails

Alex

No, stop [giggles]

Alex manages to get away from Ben and half jumps on the sofa and Ben sits on her right.

As Ben sits down he picks up a sonogram photo of their unborn child.

Ben puts his arm around Alex, kisses her on the forehead and smiles.

Ben and Alex continue to sit on the sofa cuddling when there is a loud knock at the door.

Alex is now sitting by herself holding a glass of red wine in her right hand and a photo of her husband in the other hand.

You can see that she hasn’t slept for a few days because of the blackness under her eyes. She puts the wine glass and photo down on the table.

She gets up and wobbles a little. Steadying herself, she moves towards the front door. Before she gets to the living room the person at the front door knocks again, but this time with more urgency.

Alex goes towards the door, she puts her hand on the wall to steady herself.

As she opens the door, she sees the green pattern of an army jacket. She fully opens the door and she already knows what the army officer had come to say.

Army officer

[In between the words “I’m” and “so” should be a small pause] I’m so sorry.

Fade to black

Treatment

A young, married couple, Benjamin and Alexandra, who are both twenty-three, have just finished painting their spare bedroom which, in six months time, was going to be a nursery for their unborn child. It was a bit early to be excited about their unborn child but they were newly married and felt they could conquer the world. They’re both wearing scruffy looking clothes; Ben is wearing torn jeans and an old t-shirt, Alex is wearing one of Ben’s old shirts and black leggings. Their clothes and arms were slightly covered with the paint they had been using. Throughout all the scenes any dialog will not be heard, you should just be able to hear the soundtrack and it should start in a major key and end in a minor key. They walked into the living room, sharing a joke and giggling as they walk in. Ben is walking behind Alex, half tickling her and half holding onto her waist. They both continue to laugh and smile as Alex half jumps on the sofa and Ben sits next to her on her right. As he sits down he picks up a sonogram image and puts his arm around her. As they both look at the picture they smile and Ben kisses Alex on the forehead. While they relax on the sofa there is a strong knocking on the door. At this point there should be a shot of the front door and then back to where the couple are but now the mood of the short film has changed dramatically. Alex now realizes that what was just happening was all just part of her imagination. It was so real and life like to her and the reason for this might have been the alcohol she had consumed and the lack of sleep she’d had over the past few weeks. What she had imagined was what she wants to happen in the future, for Ben and her to have a child. Now that Alex is back to reality she is sitting on the sofa by herself with a glass of red wine in her left hand and a photo of her husband, Ben, in an army uniform in her right. She is wearing one of her husband’s old shirts, as she gulps down the last of her red wine you are able to see how tired she is by the darkness under her eyes. As Alex stands up the person at the door knocks again, this time with more urgency. She wobbles slightly when she puts down her glass and the photo of her husband, steadies herself and walks slowly towards the door. Putting her left hand on the wall helps her walk towards the front door without falling over. She opens the front door slowly. An army officer is standing at the door. At this point the soundtrack should get louder. The officer tells Alex that her husband was killed while on foot patrol in Afghanistan. Alex cannot believe it, you see her reaction and then it should fade to black.