EDITING

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 12.36.34

Editing was a process Jannath and I collaborated on. Above you’ll see the finished edit consisting of a number of video files cut together, audio files and text.

In order to get a further understanding of the editing process, I read Walter Murch’s “In The Blink Of An Eye” which is truly a goldmine for editors. It explains the reasoning behind every cut which you should consider and offers a in-depth analysis of the editing process.

In The Blink Of An Eye

Below is the basic composition of what my timeline appeared like throughout post-production. The blue file is my footage; the visual file recorded by my Canon 600D which I’ve imported. Below that you’ll find a piece of media that is green. This is audio, and in this case, this is audio that was recorded externally using a RODE microphone and a Zoom H1 digital recorder. What’s left is the other audio that plays over the entire first scene; The Night of the Living Dead soundtrack. This is present in the timeline in order to tell the audience a movie is being played and adds digetic sounds into the scene.

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 12.21.48

Due to the hand-held look I was going for in this moment of despair for Peter, I managed to feature one of our film-making lights into the frame which completely ruins the magic of the piece by revealing this equipment. Someone might assume this footage is unusable but that someone would be wrong! By keyframing the video files movement in relation to canvas we have to work with in Final Cut Pro, I could successfully zoomed in the footage and move it up over time which carefully and successfully hid the light. With the help of the letterboxing this was also accomplished.

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 12.24.19

Making cuts is easy with Final Cut Pro. One can either change from the arrow manually to the Blade tool or simply press “B” to begin cutting. All that needs to be done once this tool is selected is to find the right point and click!

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 14.24.27

In order to make audio appear smoothly and naturally, often I used a fade for my audio files so either the sound begins silent and becomes louder, or it is loud and gradually becomes silent. You can see my using it below.

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 12.51.51

Advertisements

GENRE THOUGHTS

In film theory, genre refers to the method based on similarities in the “narrative elements from which films are constructed”. So let’s look at how this applies to my A2 film, Screen Three.

Films that fall into the drama genre exhibit real life situations with realistic characters, settings and stories and I think my film follows these conventions. Most people have been to the cinema to watch and film and many of those people have come across other members of the audience who have been a nuisance to them in their cinematic experience. In drama, “audience can often relate to the characters” and in this way, the setting and the situation of our short film is real and somewhat familiar to viewers which suggests that it belongs in the drama genre. Similarly, the abusive relationship and hateful conversation between the elderly man and the youths in our film echo the “intense social interaction” that drama films often expose to their audience.

Also, drama also features the portrayal of a journey or some kind of character development which I think lies within the story of Screen Three. At the beginning of the film, our protagonist, Peter, is calm, collected and relaxed in his environment. However, once exposed to the horrors of the youths’ abuse he dramatically changes and becomes a nervous, angry and reckless man who is a danger to those around him. The purpose of a dramatic story line is to “move an audience emotionally” and this character development, which is arguably the focus of the movie, is what achieves this effect upon viewers. “At the heart of drama is conflict” and with the youths’ abuse in mind, this is certainly within our film.

TITANIC-poster-movie

However, within drama films “a form of realisation or happy ending” is often featured. Our film does not conform to this convention with its dramatic, shocking ending but this “happily ever after” idea is conflicted in many dramas. James Cameron’s’ Titanic breaks all the conventions as all does not end happily for the protagonists but has rather a tragic ending.

ADDITIONAL SOUND RECORDING

The majority of the sound in regards to the first scene of our film, Screen Three, was recorded whilst we filmed. Recorded externally, I synced up the audio with the footage on Final Cut Pro’s timeline and worked to create the desired sound perspective and quality for the dialogue however, some sounds needed to be added in post production.

I wanted the “Youths” to be as aggravating as possible. They’re intended to irritate the film’s protagonist and also, the audience and so, in order to emphasise this idea, I recorded myself munching on popcorn and added it in when the footage needed it. When Gareth’s character bites into the snack for the first time in the scene we hear a loud crunch which arguably suggests his ignorance in his quiet, hushed enviroment and quickly gives the audience a first glimpse into his personality, especially when paired with the bashfully delivered dialogue.

Professional Sound Recordist, Grant Bridgeman, on set doing his thang!

Professional Sound Recordist, Grant Bridgeman, on set doing his thang!

The BFI Film Academy course I’m undertaking offers filmmakers, like myself, the chance to meet industry professionals to help us improve our talents. Recently I was lucky enough to meet Grant Bridgeman; a sound recordist who has worked on productions such as ITV’s television series, Mr Selfridge. He went through the do’s and don’ts of recording sound and made a short video clip highlighting errors inexperienced recordists like myself might make. This included distortion, interference with elements such as traffic and an insight into sound perspective. Sound perspective concerns a sound’s position in space as perceived by the viewer given by volume, timbre, and pitch. Getting it right is vital in creating the right effect. For example, if a wide shot makes an actor appear as small as an ant, having the dialogue he’s delivering seem close to the viewer and loud is very distracting and unnatural.

His job concerns“the art of capturing sound without comprising the image”.

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 09.44.58

IMDB’s page on Grant Bridgeman displaying parts of his impressive filmography.

Despite the lack of light, warmth or energy to much of anything, my father and I visited when he keeps his vehicles to record additional sound. With the Zoom H1 digital recorder and a pair of my UrBeats headphones, we recorded a range of actions such as the car starting up, lurching forward, braking to a halt and finally the engine simply running whilst the car’s stationary. Thanks to my headphones I could check for any interference while I was recorded and so I ended up with great quality sound that went straight in my film. I also recorded the pushchair falling over and a female scream to add to the intensity of the finale.

upload image

If you look below you can see an area of my timeline during post-production on Final Cut Pro. Each file is explained on the left of the image.

editing scene two

hhdfghdfhd

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 12.45.31

TARGET AUDIENCES

target audience

When money is put into a film and money is intended to come out of a film, it is very much a business venture. Within business ventures one must understand what they’re getting themselves into and a big part of this is evaluating who is going to consume what you want to make and why? For example, if you spend £1,000,000 in creating a film about model trains it’s unlikely to gain a high amount of revenue due to the niche audience it exclusively appeals to. Cindy Kennaugh, President of ‘On The Mark’, explains target audience profiles (TAP) and makes it clear why they are important in business.

She writes that  TAPs are a written and “very detailed appraisal” of your customers’ characteristics, attitudes, and behaviors. TAP information typically falls into two categories: demographics and psychographics.

  • Demographics –  describe who your customers are. The most frequently used demographic variables include age, gender, occupation, location, marital status, income, education level, and nationality.
  • Psychographics – describe why your customers act as they do. For example, you might determine that you have price-sensitive customers who choose the least expensive option, or trend-conscious customers who prefer the newest, most fashionable option, or early adopters who are open to choosing new, unproven options.

Thoroughly addressing and analyzing your film’s target audience helps you and the rest of your fellow filmmakers make better, more consistent customer decisions about how to best market and sell your piece. It also reduces confusion among functional areas through a common business foundation for decision-making. Improve overall marketing focus and communication effectiveness by appealing to the customers directly and understanding what they seek in a film production.

It’s important to figure out why audiences should watch your movie.

In addition to getting inside the head of your audience, your next task is to figure out why these people enjoy your genre. Why would they want to watch your movie? What makes your movie unique from the other, competing movies in existence? How will your movie to appeal to viewing needs of your audience?

So lets think about my A2 film, Screen Three.

peter

Peter Glanfield in SCREEN THREE.

Our film is a drama which is thoroughly explained in my blog concerning genre. Before seeing a drama piece, most audience members are expecting a character, probably a protagonist, with whom they can empathise with and follow throughout the story such as Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) in The Shawshank Redemption. I recognised this and wanted to achieve this audience gratification within Screen Three. I did so by creating the old man character and directing the audience’s attention upon him. I planned to do this through the cinematography in order to focus much of the film upon him. Conflict is the core of most films, which is an element audiences expect within their viewing experience, particularly in drama. The conflict in Screen Three works to capture audiences and make them more easily empathise with the old man character.

The old man character is interesting since he appeals to a huge range of people. Whilst appealing to the older community who can more easily familiarise with him and his situation, young people can see his vulnerability and the pain he is experiencing throughout the film which may draw them towards this character. In this way our film appeals to a mass audience who can ride with my film’s protagonist as the film unravels. The usual age group for dramas is 15 – 45 this tells me there is a big demographic audience that can be targeted, and this works with this character.

Conventional dramas feature realistic characters in “realistic, familiar” settings. With this in mind, not only does our film appeal to fans of drama, it also appeals to more members of society since the movie theatre is a piece that can empathise with. Many audiences members may find this comforting and something they like about the film which draws them in.

Jason Brubaker is a Hollywood based Independent Motion Picture Producer and an expert in selling a film and therefore has a wealth of knowledge in regards to target audiences. He asks, “why should your audience spend two hours watching your movie?” Answering this question is important in regards to making your movie; what will the audience get from our film and how will the film be crafted to appeal to an audience with this in mind? Well I believe audience members will sit through the piece for the ride. Due to the empathy created for the protagonist through the drama in the piece, they’ll want to know what happens to him. The film is under five minutes long which appeals to young people who’ll flick through the internet looking for short films to watch and also grabs their attention for long enough without them becoming bored, which appeals to many audience members.

SIMILAR MEDIA PRODUCTS CONCERNING SCREEN THREE

No film is made without inspiration, including that from other films. This video details the research process I undertook to make my film and how similar media products such as films, novels and music videos influenced my work .

The video delves into the likes of The Butterfly Effect, A Clockwork Orange, Scream 2 and ‘Movies’ by Alien Ant Farm.

PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY – SCENE TWO

I feel as though I was more than prepared for shooting this second scene which concludes the film and brings it to its tragic ending. Concerning location, I had done extensive amounts of research, planning and tests shots that really worked to my advantage during the shoot in that I really had gotten the right place to film which lead to no problems shooting there. You can see my work with locations around the area and specifically around the area my group decided to shoot at by clicking on the hyperlinks provided.

Cinematography was not an issue either. I had previously captured the car featured in scene extensively and was more than familiar with its shapes, which made me confident in making it look attractive in my shots. Examples of photos I shot can be seen below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I had planned out what lenses to use for each individual shot, such as the first shot, being a wide shot, being filmed with a wide lens (18-55mm). Another example would be the close ups I featured in my scene which I filmed used a 55-200mm lens. Using a lens like this that’s capable of zooming in so far creates the isolated feel I wanted for the scene by compressing each layer in the frame in on each other. This isolated feel is also created by being able to get up close to our actor, Peter Glanfield, which also emphasises his emotion in the shot.

1

Here’s the owner of the car, Andrew Bell, posing a model to experiment with lighting before filming commenced. This gives us more time to experiment, concerning intensity and positioning, and more time to shoot.

Lighting a scene is vital in filmmaking. Rarely can you approach a location and immediately start to film. As well as creating an atmosphere, lighting is significant in showing everything in the scene clearly. The camera is not nearly as sensitive to light as the human eye; just because you can see what’s in the frame well doesn’t mean the camera will achieve the same. I used three-point lighting for my scene which I discuss extensively in the video below.

Despite having these three studio lights, I decided to substitute the backlight for the car park’s street light as it seemed to appear more natural. I think the shots looked great with the lighting and everything that’s significant in the frame is lit clearly and effectively.

2The image above was captured at the final position the camera poses during the first shot of the scene which was achieved using a crane. I think this is one of the best lit shots of the sequence due to the focus on the car, the insignificance of the background and the all-around well-lit subject. In order to achieve this shot, I first realised the natural light source was coming from the right side of the frame and so, to make a natural-looking shot, I positioned my key light here, and to balance it out and to light the car’s grill I used a fill light.

4

Here, you can see the role the key light played during a shot later in the scene.

3For the safety of everyone involved in the scene, Andrew took the time to go through the actions Peter would have to undertake for the second shot. Under my direction, Peter had to get in the car, appear preoccupied and anxious before starting the car, turning on the headlights, appear to run over a push-chair and show his reaction all in one shot. Using a 200mm zoom lens was how we achieve the effect of running something over. As I mentioned before, zoom lenses compress layers in a frame and so while the push chair was a few feet away from the car, it appeared inches away from the grill. This made the shot safe and unthreatening to those involved.

IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE

One half of Electric Egg -  Steven Hatton

One half of Electric Egg –
Steven Hatton

During the first few sessions of the BFI course at Lincoln University, as a group we were lucky enough to be taught by the video production, photography and animation company; Electric Egg. This consisted of Neil Baker and Steven Hatton and amongst the vast knowledge they handed over to us to feed off concerning the origins of cinema, the manipulation of film reel, how to “read” a piece of filmmaking and much more, a book was mentioned to us as valuable learning material. It was stressed that us students got our hands on it and as days passed I began to hear more and more about this book, such as from my Media Studies teacher who also recommended it to me.

In The Blink Of An Eye

My copy of Murch’s masterful “perspective on film editing”.

The book is “In The Blink Of An Eye” by Walter Murch, which serves as a “perspective on film editing”. Editing is a huge part of making a film. The “puzzle”, which is a word Murch uses to describe the process of piecing together a movie in post-production, can make or break a piece. It can create and stimulate effects whilst being capable of r undermining or destroying others and so the editor, or the editors in some cases, play a vital role in the creation of a film, or any form of moving image for that matter.

Murch’s book works to my advantage through the “wealth of first-hand knowledge” it communicates and every page thrives with information from an experienced, talented and intelligent film editor. Early in the book I realised the significance, the freedom and the true, inevitable effect editing has on the audience. It is not an element of filmmaking to be over-looked and should be taken very seriously and executed with much care and thought.

As Fred Zinneman describes in the book, Murch’s piece acts as “wealth of first-hand knowledge about the mysteries of giving birth to a film”. As a “perspective on editing”, it truly helped me identify the psychological reasoning behind a cut and the vast possibilities a sequence of clips can have if edited together differently. It has significantly influenced me by giving me a deeper understanding of how editing works and the priorities a film should have. Murch’s “Rule Of Six” puts “emotion” at the very top of a filmmaker’s priorities, and this idea is something that has significantly influenced my filmmaking for the better. The second half of the book discusses the change to digital editing that has occurred over the last decade and details Murch’s experience with Final Cut. This serves me nicely since Final Cut Pro is the editing system Jannath and I will be using to assemble our film, Screen Three,