what went well:
- My research of Stanislavsky as a relevant practitioner went well because I learnt about not only how he worked with actors but how he developed his methods of working with actors. Because of this his techniques should help me when working with people in the future as it has in this project.
- In my research I managed to find a large collection of ‘Bafta guru’ videos consisting of actors talking about there careers including what they like about working with certain directors. From this I was able to find out about how different actors preferred different styles of working on characters from sit down chats to method acting which made it easier to prepare for working with the different types from a directorial position.
- The specialism research into the characteristics of a director was helpful as from it I learnt what would be expected as a minimum from me as a director in terms of behavior and responsibilitys.
Even better if:
- In this project I found the researching of context behind directing difficult as the context being the factors surrounding the field effectively means how the role formed and has evolved I found this difficult as to know what parts of film history were really relevant I not my strong point however despite this I did find some very interesting so from this I know that next time I do context research I should probably find films simlar in style to my own and focus on the history in that genera rather than general film history.
- The collection of Bafta guru videos could each have been broken down into bullet points and then each point expanded on to find out why there suggestions do/don’t work in terms of emotions and social interaction. The reason I didn’t do this is honestly because I didn’t think to during the project. I will do this with some of the better videos on my next project where i’m working with actors.
- In this project I haven’t found any related videos which may have helped me to convey ideas to people as I could have used screen grabs and clips to give them a visual indicator.
- I should probably choose a living practitioner next time either as well as or instead of the deceased so that there is a possibility to contact them.
what went well:
- Writing the script went well as it showed me an area of film that I have done very little work on in the past. I really enjoyed the script writing as it felt as though I was conveying my ideas better and could go back and change / add details without loosing flow.
- As a planning exercise I met up with some of my actors and ran through some characterization games and exercises. i made sure to give them varying characters so that I could see the types of character they best portrayed and enjoyed playing so that when writing the script it would become easier for both sides to engage with the story as the story was meant to revolve around them. I also brought along some props to see which items interested them the most so that I could used some props as a narrative push.
- I wrote a shot list for the film that worked well for getting an idea of how the final film might look in terms of shots. this helps for letting people know were they need to be so that if I had any crew they would know how to shoot it the way I would like it shot.
- I did some lighting tests that helped me decide on the sort of lighting I would like to try out and how that lighting would then be setup in the final shoot.
what I could improve:
- My location organisation was to be honest appalling. I firstly assumed that the dark room would be free and that I could work with my original actors for a short time in there. so I had to set up then de-set up and move to a much brighter location which in turn rendered the script fairly useless meaning that the piece became a one shot improve which didn’t edit well but was performed well which in a way made it more disappointing that I wouldn’t be able to use it as I didn’t have time to get the performance to be repeated from alternative angles so I felt like a let down here, but used the experience to notice that giving a short amount of time on the script then using it as a base for an improv gave a more naturalistic performance. If I was to do it again I would ensure I had the right location and had more time with the actors.
- I wrote many scripts over the course of this project the first of which was to long and the rest of which weren’t as refined so next time I would work very specifically on one script idea and make sure it would suit the brief perfectly then ensure the performers are given plenty of time to learn it.
- the shot list could have had a storyboard to go along side it so that anyone i’m working with has a visual clue as to whats being done. I could also have expanded it with more shot choices and possibility’s for a more free and diverse edit.
The final shoot
what went well:
- The lighting set up went really well despite a few hiccups at the start as it created a mysterious atmosphere and looked arty.
- the set design worked well as i with the help of my family was able to convert my living room into a big darkroom which meant that the script (that they were going to use as a base) made sense.
- The performance went really well considering how many shots there were and how long it took to set up the lights. I gave them regular breaks which probably (defiantly) helped.
What could be improved:
- It would have been useful to have more crew as I had to cover all the lights camera and sound whilst my sister held a reflector so another person would have been useful. Next time i’ll as around to see if anyone’s free to help out.
- The costume choices were not great as I hadn’t really considered it but realized afterwards that my dad was wearing a dark jumper which blended in with the background in some scenes. In future I will ensure that the costume the actors wear have a decent level of contrast with the background.
- I have to make sure that I’ve plenty of time and are well rested as on the first day of shooting i was pretty ill and so exhausted which noticeably when reviewing the rushes from across the three days. I found out from asking about there experience that they felt guilty about my weariness and responsible for it, but on the next days felt that I was happy with them more and so they felt that they were doing better due to the higher energy. This demonstrated what I already knew about energy and moral in a directing positions so I know that even if ill I need to inform the crew and cast as such and to then act like you feel fine.
The sound worked really well for the final cut as it created a good atmosphere that fitted well with the visuals unlike my first cuts which I had placed random filler songs in that didn’t work well at all really momentary* (*hopefully) lapse of reason. The factors that I would change about the sound is the smoothness of some of the background noise transitions which would be done with the pen tool and closed back headphones.
Again in the final cut the masking of the background went well as it seamlessly covered up the parts of the film which were bright enough to see on the projector but that you couldn’t see on the camera or mac screen. To do this in the end I had to create an adjustment layer over the whole film which increased the brightness and levels and then work on the masks before removing the adjustment layer so next time I am doing masks I will automatically do this as it means that I will waste less time exporting, going back and exporting again etc as I didn’t realize this was the problem at first.
Next time I will also ensure a watch my spelling as I spelt starring staring which has quite a different meaning.
Entering a festival:
With Tenebrosity I have entered the Keswick film festival, a festival which I have previously won silver in as it has links with good names and has an under 18s category which improves the chances of doing better. I have also got an award back from another film which was shown at the Cumbria short film competition and now has an IMDb credit.
I have entered festivals as it is a great way to get your name out there in the industry and is satisfying to receive feedback from.