In my PROJECT PROPOSAL I said I was going to make a post-apocalyptic world where overpopulation has caused a mass starvation which has led to the majority of the human population becoming cannibals. My project is based exactly on that idea involves many things around that .
I kept it to around 5 minutes long and kept it to a thriller genre. I also kept the lighting as the most important aspect of the film as that’s what I needed to achieve for the campfire scene.
I feel I could improve the running away scene to create a better feeling of the need to survive by finding more appropriate music for the scene.
I used lights that can be dimmed to create the fire effect and also had wide shots using a real fire. I used an orange gel that I purchased off of amazon and placed it over the light to give it a more orange visual to add even more to the fire effect.
I uploaded it to YouTube and got some feedback. They said that the running away scene was too long so I cut it down a bit for the final product, they also agreed with me that the audio was inconsistent and they could tell where I had to use the Zoom and where I had to use the built-in microphone. They said that the angles seems slightly out-of-place at the end which I agree with and think I should use some movement to bring the shot to life a little bit more, they also said that the lighting effect I used was really good and worked great for what I was trying to achieve.
I took pictures of behind the scenes whiles shooting to show how I achieved the shots and effects I did. I also had a member of the crew take it whiles I was filming so you could see how I got the shots that I did as well as the lighting effects.
I also followed the production schedule however finished a bit earlier as it didn’t take me as long to film as I thought as everyone worked really well together and worked quickly. I felt that I got all the shots I needed at the time however once I finished editing I think I could have got more shots while I had the actors there and could have had a range of shots.
Introduce the project in your own words.
My project is a visually driven short film about a post-apocalyptic cannibal world where a couple try to escape the anger driven society by running into the wilderness and meet a stranger.
List five strength and five weaknesses in your final design.
The good things about my project in my opinion are the lighting, the story, the locations, the introduction and the actors .
- The lighting worked well in the campfire scene for using a light that isn’t very powerful it still gives a great effect and looks exactly how I wanted it to.
- I think the story is a good idea and has potential however I feel I could improve the story telling by doing it again.
- The locations worked well for the film and everything looked smooth between scenes.
- The introduction is my favourite part of my production as it really sets the scene and the tone of the film. I used the shots of abandoned sheds and fields on purpose to create the feeling of an apocalypse and let the audience know the scenario the film is set in.
- Although the actors weren’t perfect, it was their first time and they listened and understood everything I said. They didn’t question anything and asked if something confused them which was rarely.
The bad things about my project in my opinion are the sound, static shots, music, last scene and the story.
- The sound was bad because the shotgun microphone I was using didn’t have a stable connection and didn’t record sound when plugged into the Zoom, therefore I had to use the Zoom on its own. The location we were filming at was really windy and some scenes there was nowhere to put the Zoom without picking up audio of the wind, I tried to reduce the amount by putting a sock on the mic but it still picked up wind. I ended up using the sound from the camera for the scenes where the audio was windy.
- All my shots are static, I think it would look better if there was motion in there as well to break up the static shots.
- I feel the music when the people are running away was to upbeat for the situation so to improve this scene I would find better music that fit perfectly with that scene.
- The last scene was supposed to be a bit surprise as the man the couple met is actually the man the from the rumour they were talking about. The stranger they met at the start was wearing a specific style shirt which was also seen in the back of the van in the last scene to show that he had been killed by the man that they met. However that wasn’t pickup by the majority of the audience so I don’t think I put as much an emphasis on the shirt.
- The story was good but the scenario was very clear. I feel I should have added a scene into the introduction showing cannibalism taking place to really show what was happening and how the world is now.
Was there a theme for the design ideas? Can you describe it? Can you reference any influences here?
The theme was thriller apocalypse films like ‘The Walking Dead’, ’28 days later’, ‘Dawn of the Dead’. They all have the same sense of survival to them and follow the same techniques, there is a lot of quiet scenes in these types of films to show how society is no longer active and the population is slowly dying out.
What experiments and exploration did you do (what happens if). How comparisons/difference can you identify?
The first thing I tried was to use a dimmer I bought off of amazon and plug a halogen light into and it worked, however I though I could use another light as a back light but when I plugged that one in it blew the switch. Then when the two dimmers I bought blew I was experimenting with different lights and how I could possible use them with out a dimmer. I tried using my iPhone and shining it through the orange gel whiles mimicking the actions of a fire, overall it might have worked however it was too strong of a light and didn’t look realistic enough. So I made a makeshift dimmer light by using a house hold bulb and wiring it up to a household dimmer. I also put a lamp shade on to the bulb so I could specifically direct the light where I wanted it.
Find a similar type of design publication – place it next to your own work – what comparisons/difference can you identify?
I wanted to have the same effect as the scene ‘O Brother Where Art Thou’ has in the campfire scene and I think I achieved it well. I got the tree in the background and the effect looks very similar, However I think I achieved the effect a different way than the film did. It looks like they filmed the whole scene in a forest but I filmed it in my aunties back garden.
I think I achieved the apocalypse feel however not up to standards with ‘The Walking Dead’ which was one of my influences toward the apocalypse genre. The reason for this is the difference in production budgets, they have $2.75 million an episode and I have £30 for lighting equipment.
What were the key areas of development in this project?
The key areas where the locations, I had to change my location multiple times due to different reasons, The main reason was that I couldn’t get electricity in the woods for the light. I managed to achieve the effect I wanted by filming in my aunties back garden as it has a tree and stumps that can pass of as a forest and it works well. I also had to change location from Herne Bay park because one of my actors couldn’t make it at to that shoot due to work so I changed to a quieter location which meant we could film the same day as act 1.
Review your proposal – what changed, what develops did you make, did you manage to complete everything you set out to?
In my proposal I said that I was going to make a short apocalyptic film about cannibalism. My short film is still about that and is still a thriller, it follows the same story and has the same actors as I said at the start. I completed everything I set out to and also finished earlier than expected and agreed on my production schedule.
What did the client think of your concept? How did that make you feel?
My client liked the idea that the main requirement is lighting, and that I’m mainly going to focus on the lighting aspect of it and try to master the campfire effect using dimmer lights and the darkness. I liked the fact that they agreed with me as that was my original intention in the first place.
What could you adapt in the work produced to improve and develop it?
If I was to do this again I would try to improve the audio by filming when it’s less windy and I will get a shotgun mic that works which would improve the audio by focusing on the person who was talking. I would also add more motion to the project as it’s mostly consists of still shots and would look better if there is more motion such as slow pans. I would also find better music for act 2 where the characters are running through the forest as I feel that the current music is too upbeat
Is the final work appropriate for the needs of the client? Does it sufficiently answer their brief?
My project follows the proposal that I created for the client. It is appropriate for the clients brief, the only thing that changed was the locations due to actors needing to go to work during the planned shoot therefore I had to change to a quieter place.
Reflect on your pitch to the client; how did you feel about it before? Did it go better or worse than you expected? What was the feedback from the client/lecturer? What do you think you could improve next time?
When I pitched my project to my client she listened carefully to everything I had to say then gave me some good feedback. I appreciated that she liked my idea and didn’t ask to alter anything, she mentioned I should try to make it as visually driven as possible which I agreed with which was nice. Next time I should prepare more as there were times where I had nothing else to say so there were moments of silence.
Feedback from presentation of final piece
There were obvious sound issues that I experienced and have spoken about, I did warn the audience before they saw it to let them know.
During the running scenes in the fields, the audience said that they thought there was no sense of emergency and danger. Ways they said I could improve this was by adding clips of people feet following the characters as they look behind them or people pushing branches to walk past. The music during the same scene is to upbeat, it doesn’t add the feeling of danger.
For the first scene I could have a crowd or one person running down the ramp to show the danger and help show what they’re running from.
As the director I knew the story off by heart so didn’t need any conformation in the project but as a member of the audience there were some things that they didn’t understand.
I use cuts to change between angles, some however cut to a too similar angle and just looks out-of-place.
Final Major Project
I’ve spoken about the audio issues I had with the original project and how it affected the outcome of the short film. I was disappointed with the outcome so decided to re-record the dialogue and some extra sound effects. I had to use different people to voice the characters as the actors used weren’t available at such short notice which did seem wrong as one of the characters was voiced by someone really young, however this sounded better than the original sound and wasn’t too out-of-place.
I added some reverb onto the dialogue for the scene under in the underpass to add to the effect of the location, this did make the dialogue for that scene sound greater.
I didn’t use a tripod when filming so a lot of my shots are shaky, I didn’t realise this at the time but when watching it back found out how bad it made the scenes look. To fix this I condensed the five-minute short film into a three-minute one by shortening each clip which drew less attention to the shakiness and more to want is happening on-screen.
The extra audio I recorded adds a more realistic effect to the scenes so for example the last scene when Charlie picks up the bottle it makes a liquid sound this just gave the scene more life. However I should add more sounds to it to create the same effect, the more sound the more realistic the scene will feel.
The last clip in the film is Charlie saying ‘Got it’ this was a big part of my film and wasn’t long enough to create the effect that I wanted from it. I added a freeze frame to try to prolong the effect and allow the audience to process what that meant by making it seem more important.
By cutting some of the clips down I changed the story slightly, The story of the character the couple met in the tunnel changed slightly as in the original he ran off ahead but now he stays behind. This doesn’t changed the outcome of the story just that one scene.
artlessartorr (2014) ArtlessArtorr. Available at: https://artlessartorr.wordpress.com/ (Accessed: 14 June 2016).