Research and analysis:
My pre production is primarily built of research both reviewed from previous projects and new.
To identify relevant research sources and topics I took the idea of my film (someone who’s lost realizes they have no heart and that it has been left at home) which came to me from the theme ‘home’ (I started thinking about the saying home is where the heart is and decided to make it a film.) And started thinking about the emotions I want to convey and the mood I wanted to set. My choices for the middle were:
Taking these emotions I was quickly able to decide that I was going to want to use the knowledge of camera settings and lighting to create a blue look to the shots. I also wanted to learn something new that could help achieve the same sort of effect which lead me down the trail of weather emulation particularly rain as rain like tears emphasizes sadness and gains sympathy from the audience. To do this I looked at a range of sources from blog posts talking about why milk isn’t used in rain simulation to articles defining the best ways to make rain seem heavier on a budget. I also found a few example videos by searching for key words like rain and weather simulation and then I used the knowledge I had gained from the other research to breakdown and analyze how each had been done in order to help me understand how to recreate the effect for different shot types and to show how those films had used the rain as I have to create a feeling of misery. The next thing was to look at my old research on camera settings and to talk about its relevance to my FMP. To do this I created a blog post with my old research in and talked about what I had learnt from the experience of using things like camera settings and volumetric lighting. These same posts helped with the next part which was to plan the mood for the ending. The emotions and moods I wanted here were:
To get these again my plan became to use camera settings to make it seem warm and comfortably confined as seen in one of the videos in my film aesthetic research (‘plastic’). I also realized that I wanted to keep it quite dark as from looking at images of warm rooms to make my mood boards I found that I was more drawn to the images with the deeper shadows. This is because if the space is to open the background starts to become distracting or have an almost clinical or ceremonial feeling to it which can be found discomforting. (It feels like you can’t go were you want or touch anything).
The next thing I considered was: what have I learnt this year that I can incorporate into this film? To decide on this I looked through all my previous posts and picked out the ones that I wanted to try to incorporate. I then took these posts and copied them into a new one with a breakdown of how I was going to use that research again in my FMP.
For my research I used:
- Previous experience as this allowed me to look back and reflect on what I have learnt this year covering everything from how to use a DSLR to the use of volumetric lighting in my last project. By doing this I felt that I would be better able to show the majority of things I had learnt this year such as Foley and lighting. previous experience helps because it is a lot like having done test shots (you have done it before and so you know where your going with it, where your boundaries are and where those boundaries can be pushed to new heights.)
- Critique workshop as this allowed me to discuss ideas and plans with the members of my class so that we could assign a quick research topic or trip to discover more about a section of our film. In my case I was tasked with talking to a barista about how to make the perfect hot chocolate (as it is the ‘ultimate’ comfort drink.) I took this task in hand and asked a Costa barista / assistant manager who I know through dance. This is useful because you get an understanding of how an acclaimed industry has followed a simple recipe that has kept customers happy since 1971.
- Video analysis as this helped me to visualize key elements that were needed in order to make my film work. It allowed me to explore how both industry professionals and amateur film makers try to achieve things like weather emulation both on a budget and without one.
- Survey was used for primary research. To do this I asked the class three questions about situations that they may or may not find funny in order to help me decide on an element of visual comedy to use in my film. This is useful because it means you get to hear from who is effectively your main audience to see what they would like to see most (market research.)
Overall I feel I have a good broad collection of research types and sources if I were to find another source I would try the library archives to see if there is any relevant articles stored there.
What went well:
During my research I found that there was a lot of very interesting information particularly around weather emulation and visual comedy this is because I learnt that the common belief about milk being used to make the rain clearer on camera is a lie and that to really make rain show up you need back lighting and a lot of water. Visual comedy thought in the end I ended up abandoning it as a style in my film I learnt a lot about the psychology of humor which will be very useful in the future as it can be used across multiple genera’s in order to target an audiences emotions more subtly than otherwise. The research on film aesthetic also went well as to make this I focused on how the videos effect emotion and atmosphere. When I made this post I started by breaking the first videos up into ‘color mood’, ‘composition and mise en scene’, ‘pacing and cutting.’ this allowed me to go into depth about the effect that the individual techniques in the videos had in order to create the overall feeling. I also included some more specific parts that focused on the effects that a video had psychologically as a whole which all helped me to plan which effects I would be using in my film to create that same overall effect.
What I would improve:
In hindsight I believe that my breakdown of previous work could have more depth to it. By this I mean I should have been more specific about how I did it last time, how I will do it this time, what it will add to the film and why I’m doing so. The research on hot chocolate needed expanding to really have been worthwhile but it wasn’t relevant enough to the overall film to be my focus so I would have done granted more time and a better understanding of why hot chocolate is comforting to people. I would have liked to improve the detail of my sound research as it mainly addresses the sounds that I will be collecting rather than the background of Foley which I had done a previous film. I didn’t do this because again there was a lack of time and the sound wasn’t a strong focus in this project.
My research on visual comedy would have been better had it been incorporated in the final film more however I didn’t do this because the comedy aspect of the film would have created a piebald texture in the film distracting from the somber atmosphere and so spoiling the narrative so this could be improved by negotiating a better balance between the styles so that they emphasize rather than distract from each other.
Planning and pre production:
I started to develop my ideas by using the initial idea as a base shot list. And had a post about story line development in order to mention any key changes that occurred when planning the film. The film was developed by taking the story line and padding it out with travel sequences that would use the most techniques to convey feeling.
The documents I used to plan the film are:
Shot lists: to read what the film would look like in terms of shot type and the event that will occur in that shot.
Storyboard: to help visualize it in an order through images which can help greatly with mise en scene and organizing locations.
Location scouting gallery: to see where I could film and how I would use the location in terms of logistics and positioning for instance I needed to have access to water and a good place to pour water from.
Health and safety: because this meant that I could think about the risks and address them in order to avoid any accidents occurring during the shoot.
By doing the above I had a good idea of what I was going to do during the shoot as it covered most aspects of how I was going to achieve each shot safely. If I were to have done another plan it would have been a floor plan however I didn’t do this as there were multiple locations and most of the planned shots had relatively little movement and so it seemed unnecessary.
My research into weather emulation had a large impact on my planning in particular the shot types and locations. This is because in order to pour water over my actress I would need to have access to a high location from which the water could be poured from out of shot. To do this I chose locations with easily climbable trees, windows and bridges. I also took a ladder to each location for safety. Another thing I had to look for in location is that it was close to a water source as water is heavy and difficult to transport meaning that I needed a place I could fill the watering can to ensure that the rain had maximum effect I tried to avoid wide shots and stick to medium and close shots as people had done in the video ‘rain’ in my film aesthetic research where this had helped them make the real light rain look heavier and more personal.
As the project went on my plans adapted in order to fit the time frame, for instance a lot of shots were cut from the shot list before I drew up the story board. This is due to some of the shots not adding to the narrative and taking up too much time. also the original idea had the character making their way back on a large journey, but this changed instead to having the character lost and trying to find their way home as this meant that there would be a greater depth to the story as Arthur Ashe once said ‘Success is a journey, not a destination‘ getting lost means that it is both a mental and physical journey. Twice the journey twice the success (in the eyes of an audience seeking drama). This was a good lesson and I’m glad I went with it as this has the effect of pushing the narrative along and making location changes seem more fluid than they would have appeared if the character had ostensibly known their way.
In the project proposal I created a rough schedule which I quickly overtook simply because I had quite a clear vision of what I was doing and so my research and planning came naturally quite easy as I was invested in it and knew what I was specifically looking for because of this the schedule became fairly useless for times however it did provide a rough back bone for my tick list which in a way became my schedule.
What went well:
The planning of locations went well as I was able to find locations with good logistics for carting water. This meant that when filming the shots were able to be completed quickly as I didn’t have to spend much time filling the watering can. The tick list covered everything that I felt I needed to cover throughout the process of making this film which as a plan is ideal as it meant that as long as I followed it I wouldn’t miss out anything I thought was necessary which I didn’t.
What I could improve:
It would have been better for me to plan the days I was going to be filming as the days I filmed on were the sunniest this year which meant I have had to play with the camera settings more and had to do a lot of CGI in post which I will address later in this document.
I would have improved it with some annotation on the storyboard because as it is it is linked directly to the shot list but the way I have laid it out this is unclear and so wouldn’t be as useful if I was giving it to someone else to produce.
I could have emphasized each research topic in my planning even though I have said in my research how I want to use it I could have repeated this more strongly in the planning as this would have shown my route to the final film more clearly.
Testing and Development:
The test shots for my film are in hear the main one being at 19:16 which was the test to see what the watering can looked like as opposed to a big rain machine this really helped as it showed that the watering can was going to work to cover up a specific area and it also acted as a reminder that objects in the background would have to be pre-soaked in order to pull off the illusion.
Production and Shoot:
When organizing my shoot I arranged to film at a similar time in each location so that the lighting was even. the time I used was around 6:30pm – 7:00pm. This worked well though each day was still very bright.
To counter the sunshine I used the camera settings in order to make the image have a blue hue and look darker before adding rain and puddles in post to make everything look wet and saturated. I’ve recreated this effect on the image bellow in Photoshop:
- Original photo.
- Hue / white balance shift to tungsten light (around 3000 kelvin.)
- Brightness and contrast adjustment + unsharp mask.
- Rain overlay.
- Motion blur.
- Masking areas and darkening them to make them look wet and saturated (done crudely in the picture as a demonstration).
To do this in camera the white balance was set to tungsten the ISO to 100 and the f-stop to 22 Because of this the focus plane was pretty large and the image wasn’t grainy however there was a point in the film just before the first heart shot when the f-stop was lower and so when the character moved the focus started to go out meaning I had to do a focus pull which took a few attempts (all of which can be seen in the all clips video) but in the end I was happy with the result.
At the beach I had no issues arise I simply told my actress what I wanted her to do and where to be then put the camera on a tripod and shot it from a few angles. I ensured that my back was to the sun as this prevented both lens flare and makes it seem more like the weather could suddenly change. This again came from my research into natural lighting and weather emulation. the only shot I wasn’t happy about was the one of the phone as the reflection of the camera could be seen in the screen (I dropped this shot and decided to try a Sherlock style graphic instead.) The shot I was the most happy with was the character walking away with a focus pull to show the phone being left behind as it felt like the most artistic and stylized shot. I also liked the jib shot where instead of having the character walk towards a still camera on a tripod with a zoom lens I had the camera move from low to high with a wide lens that pans in to perform the transition. The biggest factor to this bit was time as setting the jib up was very time-consuming and mean while the sun was fading which helped out in the forest and urban shots because I knew that it would take so long to set up and so I set it up before hand and did all of the jib shots in each location first. This saved me time as we didn’t have to wait on set for me to set it up. (and of course I didn’t set it up then take it apart only to set it up again which though obvious could have meant loosing a lot of time.)
When filming in the forest at Furness abbey my biggest issues were making sure that:
A) My dad was safe and comfortable in the tree. For this we had a rope and it was a relatively small tree however I know he struggled a bit and so I would have preferred it if he had had a harness on for safety or that I went up in his place as I am younger and can climb more safely despite his expertise.
B) Ensuring that my actress was warm and comfortable. This was achieved by having her where a wet suit beneath her cloths the only downside to this was movement restriction and it would have been difficult if she had needed the toilet. however I was very glad that the wet suit was used as it meant that she was warm and there for had more motivation for performance.
C) People walking past would stop to try to see what was going on, this was both distracting for my actress and a pain to keep them out of shot. In the end they left and it went smoothly from there however in my next film I know to go to locations at a quieter time or pick quieter locations. Here I used my research on film aesthetic and rain simulation to make most shots close or medium so that it felt more personal and looked heavier. The location worked as it allowed for the watering can to be poured from out of shot over the character in order to show interaction as though 95% of the rain in my film is CGI that I added after I don’t know how to do interactive fluid simulation so the watering can was necessary in order to make the rain seem more real.
The shots in the urbanized area was awkward as this had the biggest issues with the shot being over exposed and had the largest amount of people. For this area I stayed around my house as it’s by the sea so water is easily accessable and I didn’t have to spend a long time transporting equipment around. Here my favorite sequence is the car splash simply because I knew what I would be doing with the shots after, but I hadn’t told my family so they were confused as to how it was going to fit together untill I explained it to them afterwards which made them laugh. this would have been a good area to research as the film industry often does spend a long time in urban areas and so the more I know how to adapt the enviroment to suit me the more I will evolve as a filmmaker.
Working with a crew:
Working with a crew isnt strange to me, but with it being my family it was different and in ways more difficult because they can be too interested in what you’re doing and try to have a ‘helpful’ input and so you have to calmly tell them that it’s not their film and that you want to do it how its planned. I really enjoyed working with them overall because they were enthusiastic and quick to pick up on what I wanted them to do for example my dad knew were he would be pouring water from and knew the que to start pouring and would do so without fail. My mother helped by holding a umberella to keep the camera dry if it was anywhere near the water. My sister most of all as she was very patient and was a good sport in allowing me to effectively have dad throw river water over her day after day. In this sence I would happily work with them again.
I think that my pre production worked realy well as I was easily able to know what I was doing and so I was quickly able to get the shots I knew I wanted as well as some interesting experimental shots.
This shot worked well as it had good exposure and a clear image. In the shot the character moves there head from the upper left third junction to the lower right showing the character is undergoing a major focus change (from enjoying nature to checking a phone.) to film this shot the camera was set up on a tripod facing away from the sun with a wide lens and large depth of field. this makes it work as an establishing shot as it tells the audience that the character will be the focus of this story and that they are currently on a sandy beach area and have received a text. The sounds in this scene are the sound of an SMS received beep and the sound of distant thunder both of which I found online as I was unable to record them directly. if i were to get those sounds I would have recorded the sound of an actual phone and a spring drum as that creates a rumbling sound much like thunder. the wind and rustling sounds were a collection of ambiance tracks I recorded near Kendal castle as well as some more harsh rustles which I downloaded (three tracks playing.)
This shot establishes that the character (who is now central) doesn’t know there way and so it foreshadows the middle of the narrative. This shot also establishes that the character is in the wilderness and is nowhere near civilization. The composition of this shot forms a cross between the character and the landscape (with the heart in the center.) This shows that the is at a cross roads as they are going to have to make a decision about the direction in which they will travel. when they make the decision they travel to the left third line which incidentally is negative in terms of X and Y and so could be taken as suggestion that things are going to go bad. Again this shot was on a tripod making it seem still and balanced. the exposure on this masks the sky making it look overcast and without a true horizon which again emphasizes that this character doesn’t know where their destination is. The sound in this shot is just the ambiance continued from the last shot as it is the same location and as scene in my research on the uses of sound to establish a position as seen in iron man it is more important to have the sound in a location matching than the image.
This shot was a focus pull with the camera on the ground showing that the character has left there phone behind and so now has no way of getting help. to film this I laid the camera on the ground, roughly found the focus marks and started to shoot. this worked better without the tripod as with the tripod there was still to much elevation to the shot and it just didn’t look good enough for me to press the record button. once again the sound is the same.
This shot was done on the jib and again focuses on the fact that the character is lost. having the character walk towards the camera when in the last shot they were walking away creates a disorientation as now the audience is lost as they don’t know whether the camera has moved 180 degrees or whether the character has turned around at some point. By incriminating this directional bipolar you put the audience in the same situation as the character which is useful as it means they will be more attached to the character and able to empathize with sympathy. The movement of the jib in this scene from low to high gives the shot an energy like adrenaline as felt with anger fear and love (In this case fear and anger are the ones I’m trying to refer to.) The blue coloration refers back to most of my research –
‘Mood coloration: This videos look is similar to the style I would want to reproduce for some of the opening shots (particularly the frame at 2:16 and 4:53) before the rain starts falling as it is clearly sunny. It doesn’t look warm as the lighting is overcast (6500 – 7500 kelvin) and so has a very subtle blueish tint which makes it seem cooler. Humans associate reds with heat as flames and burns are normally red in color: blue is the opposite of red. also blue is the color we see water and ice which we feel as cold. (blue is cold due to association). This film uses a fairly large depth of field and neutral / cold white balance to achieve this effect. By making the scene look overcast it tells the audience that the weather is either going to get worse or has been bad recently. This is something I want to add to the film as it will help transition between weather patterns and create a more sympathetic atmosphere for the audience to engage with.
The blueish tint in this film creates a cold mood. This is there as it emphasizes the loneliness of the character and foreshadows the death at the end. It does this in a similar way to the Macmillan cancer advert (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1AeSiDOfns) where the cold is used to demonstrate the feeling of loneliness and to say that they are trapped in there own mind. If you take this idea of the coldness being someone trapped in their own mind then the blue tint to the film could suggest that it is actually about psychosis (developed schizophrenia) where the character is hallucinating and is driven to there death by the things they see.‘
I feel that this shot has been successful in the use of tinting and darkening as it has also show a slight passage of time as darker means later –> later means more dangerous. this shows the characters vulnerability.
This shot also had more sounds to it as once again the ambiance is continued bet there is also footsteps as the ground looks crunchy and so would not have looked right without them being there. i also had some experimentation with this shot changing it at the last minuet from a twig snapping that causes the character to stop to a flock of birds taking off suddenly which worked really well and is probably my favorite piece of sound in the film as it worked so naturally on an impulse. This i have to also thank my tutor for as he said to me that he didn’t think the twig snap worked because it sounded like the character was being followed then isn’t. I agreed with this and so started experimenting with other sounds like the thunder clap from earlier, this again didn’t fit for me as you don’t see any lightning so it started to feel cheep which lead to by third choise which was the birds.at the end of this sound the music comes in.
In this shot I also had the crash pan into the heart on reflection i feel that it went alright but could have looked smoother and if I was to do it again I may have tried a combination of Steadicam and jib by attaching them together. this worked well for my transition research which always had a moment of plain black in it which happened once the camera was close enough.
This shot was done by taking as wider lens as possible and holding it free hand above the model chest cavity I made. keeping the camera as still as possible I filmed as close as I could and pulled the lung to one side with my free hand. (Health and safety I wore surgeons gloves for that even though it should have been sterile.) When filming this I back lit the model by placing it between two upright wooden pallets with a lava lamp light below it other than that the lights were off as not many people have a luminescent chest cavity (despite this I wanted it to be visible.)
For the sounds here I had the music playing quieter with underwater ambiance and a wind whistle to emphasize that the cavity was empty when it isn’t empty I played a heart beat.
These too shots were done by placing the camera on a tripod and the torch I used for my volumetric lighting video in the rafters. After seeing what that looked like in camera i decided against using the talcum powder as the lighting is already volumetric and it has a nice aesthetic to it. to take the shot it was simply a tilt of the tripod head once with the heart there the other without.
There is only music playing here as it is a quiet looking space and I wanted to keep it that way.
This was filmed on the jib in order to get the camera to come out at the right angle where the tripod couldn’t. This shot uses the rule of thirds to show the character and the weather in balance. Roughly quarters are used here as in floor, sky, reaction, map. this is done to show all of the factors that are getting the character down and there reaction to it in this case they are looking up at the sky as if blaming a divinity or force of karma. Once again blue lighting is used for atmosphere and also the shot type as it is a medium close up showing the rain interacting with the environment as seen in my film aesthetic research –
‘The look of this film is defined by its use of mostly close shots of objects and plants being hit by rain and dripping like tears which is the sort of look I would want to duplicate in my film to emphasize the use of rain and to show that the rain effects everything in the film on an up close almost personal level. This also helps to create atmosphere on a macro cosmic scale by using multiple microcosmic elements which will help me greatly as it is forecast to be extremely sunny making wide shots difficult.’
This shot was done by lowering the jib and changing the angle of the head so that it was close to the ground in order to get a close shot of the ripples in the puddle and of the foot splashing in the water. This is linked to my research –
The look of this film is defined by its use of mostly close shots of objects and plants being hit by rain and dripping like tears which is the sort of look I would want to duplicate in my film to emphasize the use of rain and to show that the rain effects everything in the film on an up close almost personal level. This also helps to create atmosphere on a macrocosmic scale by using multiple microcosmic elements which will help me greatly as it is forecast to be extremely sunny making wide shots difficult.
This film has a darker look to some of the shots which make it seem more miserable by creating a dark miserable scene you create more sympathy for the characters involved as it implies that bad things are happening or are going to happen to the protagonist. Again this film has used close shots as it makes the light rain seem heavier and more threatening. however there is no character in this film so it doesn’t threaten anything that we have a connection too and so the effect you get is one of the third person comfort (distancing from a situation whether it’s weather, morals or an object.)
This shot has the foot in the center showing that it is the focus of the film and that the surroundings are causing the characters discomfort and by having the camera at a high angle looking down on the character the shot matches the mood. If I were to change this I would have lit it better but keep it diffused so that it still has the darkness to it but looked sharper and more detail would be visible.
The sound for this shot was got by recording my mother stepping in mud at a pond near where I live which was added along with the rain and ambience.
Filmed on a tripod for steadiness, this shot has the character traveling from left to right showing that they think that there traveling in the right direction as it is positive in terms of X and Y. for this the watering can was held up on the bridge and poured into the gully where the camera was set up with an umbrella. Once again the blue lighting and hue is used to emphasize misery and sadness however the character is looking in an upward direction to show hope along with a low angle to show slight elation. On the return journey hear head is down because all that she hoped has come crashing down on her increasing her misery and frustration. (This was done in one take while the tripod was moved.) The sound was just footsteps and ambience such as rain.
If I was to change this scene I would have increased the tripods height for the negative walk from right to left to show the anti climax more dramatically.
This shot was also on a tripod and has the character slightly to the right to show doubt. This shot is to show the realization that they have gone the wrong way and that the map of Glasgow is of no use in Cumbria. The rain in this was a nightmare and will be addressed in post production. The blueness and darkness is matching the other shots, but I feel it would have been better if there was some highlighting on the face for definition, but as I was using natural lighting I wasn’t able to do this. However next time I will take an led panel with batteries as a backup.
This shot was done on a tripod and is looking down on the torn up scrunched map which shows that the character has now abandoned it and is making there own way home.
These shots were horrible in terms of settings which meant that they don’t have the aesthetic I was hoping for especially after the effects however I was happy that I filmed at a higher frame rate as this has added more definition to the water that splashes over the character.
The sounds here are of a car engine and the splash of water against plastic.
This shot was done by pre soaking the surroundings with a hose pipe and setting the tripod up at the top of the stairs. the sound was downloaded because the neighbors had oiled the gate and so it didn’t squeak as normal meaning I had to improvise.
This shot was meant to be my homely shot linking back to my research and mood boards –
These images contribute to the idea for the films look as common factors tend to be common for a reason and so will help me plan the lighting and placement.
Overall along with the crisp packet sounds of fire it did have the warmth I was after however I do think it should have been lit better so that again there would have been more definition on the face because you can’t see the comfort in there expression without highlights on the features on the face. This would have been done by having a diffused flickering front light and an intense fill light present.
What went well:
Using the jib went well as this worked really well to give the shots a fluid movement that helps to show the energy from the characters frustration and adds production value due to the smoothness of the movement.
The shots in the attic of the jar with the heart in worked well because the subtle volumetric lighting techniques I learnt in the research helped create a good sense of depth and focus and created a nice aesthetic that was similar to a cute homely style which though it theoretically doesn’t suit the object of focus worked for the film.
What could I improve:
If I were to re-film this I would find locations that are more interesting as landscapes for instance strange rock formations as this would add an element of mystery to the film that it jut doesn’t get from the locations I could get to this time (if I could drive I would have done this.)
The Foley worked really well as none of the sound in the film was recorded on set, but I feel that there wasn’t enough depth to certain parts of the film. For example you never hear the character breath and though the music disguises this I feel it should still be there.
I would definitely change the fact that I filmed on the sunniest days of the year because so much color correction and camera settings have been needed that it feels overloaded and obvious. All I’ll say for this is that it gave me a good opportunity to show what I can do at the moment in camera and post when it comes to inverting an ecosystem.
Making the rain:
Almost all the rain in this film was CGI which was unexpected but thankfully my background with making special effects helped out greatly. (The watering can didn’t provide enough coverage in my shots so I had to resort to special effects.) To make the rain I created an after effects composition with the clip I wanted then created an adjustment layer with the cc rainfall plug on. To make the rain realistic I changed the particle velocity to match the velocity of the watering can droplets. The amount of particles changed in every scene in order for it to look right as the wider the shot was the more particles were required. I also had to change the size and size variation of the particles in order to create a greater sense of depth in each shot for instance in the shot above the drops are all small to create a greater sense of depth. The rain then looked more genuine but not like part of the scene to make it look like a part of the scene I applied a fast blur and changed its amount until it looked like it was diegetic (this didn’t work on the bus stop shots due to the exposure meaning that if I wanted it to work I would have to have done a sky replacement then apply the rain however I didn’t have time for this so I did what I could unfortunately this made the shots blurry and effect heavy so I wouldn’t do this next time. Instead I would film on a non sunny day.)
When making the rain I had to mask around objects and people which was an extremely tedious process where I used the pen tool to create a mast around the object inverted it then key framed the mask path every three frames to follow the object. This was the hardest to do in the shot shown on the screenshot above as the characters hairs were all over the place and each one needed masking. To make the mask clean I added a slight feather of about 1px so that there weren’t any harsh edges.
Making the credits:
To make the credits I took two images one of muddy water and one of damp mud. To get the text I made a text layer and went to convert it into a mask layer then I copied the data across onto the image of the mud and set the first mask to invert. To get the edges I played around with the roughen edges effect (in particular the scale and evolution settings.) The next step was to make it look as though the water was moving to do this I added a turbulent distort chose a direction and key framed its evolution.
In the first edit of my credits I had a mud transition which was created by making a brown solid applying a cc mercury effect and applying gravity and velocity so that it looked like a mud splatter. in the end I dropped this because it felt wrong for my films style. ( looked more like it belonged in Shrek than my film.)
If I were to change these I would have taken my own picture of the mud as it’s color didn’t match the color of the mud in my film despite the color correction I did later.
This links to my research –
This is a research post on titles and fonts I did. Text will be used in my film for both the title of the film and the credits I shall also use them for a motion graphics scene in which the text that the character receives will be shown over the video in the same way as texts are shown in sherlock.
What are Titles and why do we use them:
Titles are words at the beginning of a film which name the film and tell you something about the film that imagery cannot. they give an introduction to what the film is about.
What are Graphics and why do we use them:
Graphics are images and moving images that are manipulated by using things like CGI filters and animation.
What is a font:
A font is the features / details of a typeface for example Bold and Italic are fonts also making the letters thinner and changing the spacing is a font.
What is a Typeface:
a Typeface is the design of the letters and numbers such as ariel or comic sams.
Do’s and Don’t ‘s:
you should use the text to draw attention to a specific area using fonts and typefaces that suit the film. The colours should be relevant to the film. for example a horror film could use dark colours or white as these are symbolic for death and fear.
nightmare on elm street shows this through the thin blood red disheveled title suggesting murder. the warm bodies poster shows rom com through the anatomically incorrect heart in warm and horror through the fractal noise in the typeface.
you should never use more than 3 colours or typefaces as this would make it painful to look at for example:
the titles will have to be relevant to my film which means that the font should look homely and comfortable. Almost like a door mat as seen below.
Titles and graphics:
The text graphics were done by adding the premier text layer over the video in the place where the character had just moved from. To make it clearer I added a drop shadow so that it shows up against the background.
The titles were done by again making a text layer with the key words at different sizes and the ‘the’ and ‘is’ to be baseline shifted to make a line between top and bottom line. The font was chosen as it looked homely (and Cath Kinston / Western in style.)
The tools I used were the ones seen above RGB curves, brightness and contrast and three way color corrector. These were to slightly darken and add a blue hue to each shot. This also meant that the contrast was reduced along with the output levels meaning that the image quality was reduced which I didn’t like, but felt that it was necessary to get the right look for the film.
I also added a vignette to the shots of the heart and bus stop in order to bring the audiences focus into the center towards the action. It also seemed to add depth to the scene and make it look like your watching through slightly tired eyes.
In my film plenty of shots have been dropped and there are still ones that could have been dropped for instance the shot of the phone with the character walking away and all the prior shots could be abandoned and it would still be the same film. my tutor said I should do this (killing your darlings / Chekhov’s gun*) meaning the phone didn’t come back into the story and had almost nothing to add to the narrative. part of me agreed with this but I didn’t want to loose the symbolism in the shots in the end. Before I made my mind up however I did an alternate edit showing it without and asked people which they preferred and the majority of my suspected audience liked it with rather than without.
*Wikipedia Chekhov’s gun is a dramatic principle that every memorable element in a fictional story must be necessary and irreplaceable, and any that are not should be removed
Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.
The heart beat:
after collecting the heart from the butchers i filmed it as close as I could while in focus with the lens I had to then make it look as though it was beating I duplicated the video and masked around the heart tracking the mask to the video and manually adjusting it when needed. Then the layer on top I key framed to change up and down in scale by about 10 percent. Then I added a heart beat and watched the amazement on peoples little faces. :)
Edit time line:
To conclude this film has been a great experience from which I have learnt a lot about a huge array of topics ranging from weather emulation to factors from anthropological psychology of humor. I shall definitely be using the things I have learnt in this film into my projects next year and into my career and hobbies and an looking forward to doing so. me and my friends already have some plans for future films which will now be a lot more effective due to our experience’s; me with this project and them their FMPs. In future I would like to be trying more profound story lines and more advanced shot types so I’ll have my work cut out but I do feel proud of my first steps towards this.