FMP Research

Secondary Research : Developing A Narrative

 

Syd Field ‘The Definitive Guide To Screen Writing’

Syd Field argues that a screenplay is a story mainly revealed in pictures and is about a character doing their thing. As in all good stories he states, there should be a beginning, a middle and an end though he notes it does not necessarily have to be in a linear order. He points out that the beginning is ususally around a quarter of the length of the film and is where the set up happens. That is, where the context, story, characters, background to the conflict, the dramatic need, circumstances and relationships are established. Moving on, he explains the middle section is where the dramatic action / confrontation happens. Where the main character encounters conflict in that they meet obstacle after obstacle to achieving their dramatic need. He points out that this section is generally half the length of time of the film. The end section he claims is where resolution occurs, where we find out whether the main character is successful or fails and represents approxiamately a quarter of the films length in time.

He explains that the narrative progresses through these different parts with the help of plot points that hook into the action and turn it round to lead on to the next stage. A plot point at the end of the set up stage he claims is an essentail function of the main character and leads to the start of the confrontation action. Then he argues there should be another essential plot point towards the end of the confrontation section that alters the direction of the action and leads to the resolution stage.

Beginning                                               Middle                                                       End

approx                                                     approx                                                    approx

1 quarter of time                               half of the time                                   1 quarter of time

Set up                                                 Confrontation                                         Resolution

                            plot point 1                                          plot point 2

Syd Field talks about the importance of knowing your character inside, out to develop a good narrative. He advises researching interior elements of their life that have formed them ;- what they need in life, think, feel, want, their attitude, point of view and critical incidents that have shaped them. Also he advises researching exterior elements of their life; what they do in their private, personal and professional arenas. He points out that some people begin developing a narrative by knowing what happens to their character but alternatively a narrative can suggest itself and develop from having this good understanding of your main characters and what their dramatic need is.

Wilst reminding us that conflict is created by having obstacles in the path of the main character Syd Field claims it is important to have the main character causing the action and not just reacting to things. He notes that there can be several plot points in a narrative and suggests a narrative may be enhanced by having subtext. He also makes the important point that it is important in film for the audience to be shown things by the characters actions (without being spoon fed ), instead of being told things by a series of ‘talking heads’ (too much dialogue).

Visual Storytelling in Film making

Stanley Kubrik and Visual Storytelling by Carlos Rivera Fernandez

In this short video Carlos Rivera claims Stanley Kubrick is most people’s greatest director of all time. He shows how Kubrick uses exposition shots and camera techniques that show facial expressions of the main characters to build a vissual narrative without dialogue. He then explains how Kubrick doesn’t allow the audio to take over because afterall it is film and not radio, but uses it to complement his visuals.

https://youtu.be/wT1dWpuzUJQ

Simon Cade : DSLR Guide

Simon Cade in this useful video -advises film makers to not just use over the shoulder shots and dialogue to explain things but to look for opportunities to tell a story visually. He claims this is quicker, more interesting and a more powerful way of showing emotion and conflict. He adds that we should allow the audience to think for themselves and make their own connections. He shows us a couple of examples of how you can use simple visuals ideas to show lots of information about the plot. He reminds us that ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ if used in a clever way and that we should concentrate on finding the best visual way to show our subject matter. To learn and get inspiration he suggests studying the films you enjoy and noting how they do it. He advises positioning the camera so it frames what you want the audience to focus on and that film makers concentrate on angling the camera and directing the lights to show the mood of the scene. He points out that costume, props and location can be used to show a lot of details about the character and help tell the story and notes how using symbolism to suggest something is often helpful to allow the audience to interpret images themselves for example, a red rose to symbolise love.

https://youtu.be/4X 5xvlTZpcY

Storytelling with Cinematography

In another video Simon Cade cautions us to not just focus on making pretty pictures. He counsels us to remember the basics of cinamtography is about knowing what to include in the frame and what not to include. He advises we leave some mystery for the audience to allow them the satisfaction of figuring things out for themselves but suggests we do try and cram as myc story into each shot as possible. He argues that each shot must add to the story in some way and not just be about having a nice landscape. He reminds us to be suprising for our audience and to be unpredictable with our shots.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFgptwI8eEs

Visual Storytelling

In this short video by Directors Vision we are again advised to show rather than tell our story. We are advised to only have things in our shots that help tell the story. A good place to start we are told is with what the characters are wearing as costume tells us so much about the characters background. We are also advised to remember locations can help tell the story as the let us know where our characters hang out. Finally, we are advised to catch facial expressions and body language to show emotion instead of using dialogue.

https://youtu.be/hll-wuJIyuA

How to Create A Cinematic Film With Shot Choice:

In this online tutorial we are told the easiest way to achieve a cinematic look is to go from wide shot to close shot, switching between the two and mixing up the order in which we we go from one extreme to another in. We are advised that often this is best achieved by switching from a wider lens to a longer lens and choosing carefully where we put our jump cuts. We are reminded that wide shots are good for establishing what characters are where and then to zoom in on one character perhaps from the same angle. We are cautioned that this doesn’t always give us the look we are after but that the more visual contract we include in our films the more attention grabbing they will be for our audience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tjDdyb9q2g

Using Powerful Camera angles and Shots for Filmmaking

Darious Britt in this information packed video goes through the different names for the most common shots used in films and gives us a useful reminder / overview of what they are used for as follows:

  • extreme wide shots for establishing location, where the characters and for good clarity

  • wide shots / full shots for establishing the relationship between the character and their location….we can see most of the character and get a sense of where they are. Also good for showing isolation of a character or loneliness.

  • Medium full shot / westertn shot for focussing more on the characters face or what their arms are doing as in a western.

  • Medium shots where we see just abouve the waist and can see detail in the actors face and something of what they are doing. Here we can connect on an emotional level but still see some of the surroundings.

  • Medium close up, this allows us to emphasize an actors face and see their expressions

  • Extreme close up, here the face fills the frame and we see in detail what they are expressing.

  • Insert shots, where a relevant object to the story is emphasized.

  • Point of View shots to see through the eyes of a character and see things from their perspective.

  • Over the shoulder shots, again to see a characters point of view but more framed with a sense of the other person.

Darius explains how lens choice will affect the look and feel of different shots, then moves on to remind us that using different camera angles can dramatically affect the emotional impact of our scences:

  • camera at eye level has an emotionally neutral effect. We see eye to eye with the characters.

  • Low angle shots and extreme low angle shots are used to make the character appear stronger, more powerful and dominant to different extents

  • Hight angled shots are used to make the character appear weaker and more submissive.

  • Over head shots give an objective view of the action and are an unusual view, useful for psychologically distancing the audience from the scene.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhJArnjpWU8

Cinematic Storytelling

In this book by Jennifer Sijll, we are advised to use the x axis to show conflict where two forces are aimed at each other with the antagonist right to left as this goes against the direction of reading, as we are shown in the book, can be seen in the opening sequence of the film ‘Strangers on a Train’.

We are advised to use the y axis to set up a linear route that represents safety and normality, that can then be broken to suggest a departure from this by changing the path suddenly. The example we are given here is that of the train shot tracks in the film ‘Strangers on a Train’.

It is suggested that we use diagonals to show difficulty or easiness for instance, going against reading direction and gravity is used to show the hardest route our character can take and vice versa. The example given to illustrate the point here is that of Stewart’s axe scene in the film ‘The Piano’.

We are informed that we should use the z axis to control depth of field and the size of something in the frame and we are given the example, of the snowball scene in the film ‘Citizen Kane’ to emphasize this point.

Imbalance, we are counselled is used to show initial conflict and to symbolize realtionships and using circles in our shots , we are told can be used to suggest confusion, repetition and time.

Mastershots 2nd Edition : 100 Advanced Camera Techniques To Get An Expensive Look OnYour Low Budget Movie.

In this book by Christopher Kenworthy, again circling is mentioned but this time we are advised that it can be used to show characters on the brink of an argument, much like animals would circle one another before a fight for example, vulctures or sharks.

It is explained how we can use having a character knocked to the ground in a conflict to powerfully show a shift of power and having a character down on the floor shows an imbalance between them and is useful for portraying which character is dominant in that point of the narrative.

At the moment of defeat we are advised to make it very clear which character has won to signify the conflict is over.

We are advised the best way to give an audience a shock is to have something jump in to shot filling a previous empty space and are advised this works best when there are no cuts, as it misdirects the audience more.

Directing

Below are some of my past posts showing my research and reflection on directing. From it you will see where I am in terms of directing and working with actors. In this project I shall be using this research as I have before but shall be expanding on it by delving into choreography as I am planning to direct and work with a dancer. The research on choreography can be found further down in this post.

Konstantin Stanislavsky

“Create your own method. Don’t depend slavishly on mine. Make up something that will work for you! But keep breaking traditions, I beg you.”

Stanislavsky was one of the most experienced and devoted directors when it came to working with actors. He was the director and along side Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, following an 18 hour discussion between the two he became cofounder of the world renown Moscow Art Theater. He spent around 40 years studying actors ways of working as well as using his own background in the craft. This was in the early days of psychology.

Two actors who Stanislavsky studied in great detail were Eleonora Duce and Tommaso Salvini two Italian actors held to be the best realistic actors of there time. From his studies he decided that feeling and truth  are strategic components used to help unlock creative intuition and that the way to command truthful performance lies with the subconscious. Based on this he became the first recorded person  to attempt to develop a psycho-technical training method for actors which should allow for the actor to form a neurological pathway between the conscious and subconscious to make a false belief that would draw out life like performance.

“Create your own method. Don’t depend slavishly on mine. Make up something that will work for you! But keep breaking traditions, I beg you.”

Stanislavsky said this quote in the knowledge that art changes according to societies beliefs and needs. For example in the days of early Christianity many pictures were icons depicting religious figures and symbols whilst in modern day western galleries pictures are more reflective of money and mortality with the likes of Damien Hursts half cow and Tracy Emins messy bed.

 

Characteristics are the things that make up a specialism while context is the background surrounding it.

My chosen specialism for this project is directing, in particular the working with actors side of things.

To direct a film you have to be able to clearly envision it in your head so that you know what you want. you have to be a good team player with the ability to get the best out of people in the role of a leader. You must have a respect for your craft and the craft of all those around you so for the the technical side of directing I believe a basic knowledge of all aspects are important as this will help yo to know what is possible and what could be pushed to new boundary’s. To direct you must be able to thoroughly read the script then use your understanding of shot types to make a shot list which will aid you in communicating the films look to others.

The characteristics of a director list from http://filmschools.com/resources/top-10-qualities-of-a-great-filmmaker goes like this:

  1. Authority
    Great filmmakers must have a strong sense of authority. They are responsible for leading a team to create an outstanding finished product and must command the team to ensure they are working at their best.
  2. Communication
    Great filmmakers must have excellent communication skills. They must be able to clearly articulate what their production goals are and be able to work with all team members to accomplish that goal.
  3. Creativity
    They must be very creative, and able to generate ideas for stories, backgrounds, music, and other elements involved in a film production.
  4. Decisiveness
    Great filmmakers must be able to make firm decisions and stick to them to help ensure production stays on track.
  5. Drive
    A great filmmaker has a tremendous sense of drive and ambition. He or she is willing to do whatever it takes to rise to the top of the industry and make great films.
  6. Grace Under Pressure
    Great filmmakers are able to handle pressure well. They understand that complications will arise during the filmmaking process and are able to handle the stress.
  7. Open Minded
    Great filmmakers are open-minded to changes in their ideas. They accept input readily and consider other points of view without judgment.
  8. Problem Solving
    Great filmmakers can quickly address problems that arise during production. They are able to identify problems and figure out the best way to fix them.
  9. Technologically Savvy
    A great filmmaker is familiar with many, if not all, of the technological elements that are involved in the film making process, and has a grasp on what is feasible and what is not.
  10. Vision
    Great filmmakers have terrific vision and can see the film from its conception through to its final product. They never lose sight of the ultimate goal.

Authority ensures that I am getting the best out of your cast and crew and means that you are going to do your best to keep them happy whilst ensuring that they are working all out towards your vision. Even though in industry this can mean having them work grueling hours in many conditions a good director should be able to use there authority to keep the team motivated and working. an example of a director who uses authority could be someone like Alfred Hitchcock however he abused his authority and over worked his cast and crew by making them do take after take after take without breaks. This shows that though directors need authority they also need self control and empathy otherwise people will hate to work along side you. there is an article here about directors who actors love to work with and why: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2011/jun/23/actor-magnets-terrence-malick-brad-pitt

Communication means that as a director I will have to be able to get my ideas across whether that is by word of mouth, emails and various other forms of online communications and demonstration such as shot lists and story boards so that everybody knows what my intention is and how I expect them to achieve this goal so that they can do there jobs with confidence. Directors communicate in the same ways to communicate different ideas but to do this you need confidence and patience so that if need be you can go through the idea one too one so that anyone can understand regardless of wether there brain works differently and needs a different approach.

Decisiveness is important as it means that if a problem arose and I needed to inform people as to our alternative as I director I shouldn’t stumble around making an idea then deciding to change it without giving that idea a good effort unless absolutely necessary. This means that I should be able to inspire peoples confidence by not being knocked down when something needs to change and that I can be comfortable too make a snap, but not rash decision and make it work. This is important as without a decision everybody will be held up which will lower the moral of everybody and create an aura of doubt.

‘Be decisive and live with the consequences good or bad. Trust in yourself that you’re going to get it right most of the time and that, when it really matters most, that you’ll get it right’ – http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/07/04/film-schooling-insider-insights-on-indy-filmmaking-be-decisive-in-production/

There is another list on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_director#Characteristics:

This list focuses more on the variety of characteristics that directors have had and shows that the role of director has a great deal of room for diversity.

Context:

Film directors have creative control over the project. They are there to ensure everybody is working well together to achieve your vision. they work closely with actors in order to help them create the characters and performance. As a director your mood can and will effect the moral of the entire cast and crew. it is important for a director to have good people skills and it is increasingly important that they are kind to there cast and crew. The role of director has changed very little through history the first directors however acted alone as they would work the camera and that would be all (no sound). The first moving image director could be considered Eadweard Muybridge who used multiple cameras  to capture images of motion which he then put on a disk that when spun would create the illusion of movement (the zoopraxiscope) since then the medium on which films are played and recorded has changed but the role of director hasn’t as Eadweard Muybridge had creative control over his work and worked to achieve his vision. by 1896 the first film lasting over 1 minute was directed by Alice Guy-Blaché she is thourght of as the first female director and is the earliest example of a modern stereotype director. She experimented a lot with the  Chronophone sound syncing system,  interracial casting, and special effects and color tinting. in this way she will have worked with a team of film makers bringing them together from across nations to achieve her vision since this time the only thing that has changed about the role is the size of the team people manage, the technology that it is recorded and played on and society’s attitude towards content. In the last few years with the digital revolution and availability of equipment there has been an incredible increase in the number of directors  and the amount of content being made for various mediums.

Evaluation

Research

what went well:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

 

Planning:

what went well:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Filming dance:

 

This is the result from David LaChapelle’s direction with a behind the scenes despite the fact that I wont be using Prima ballerinas it is an excellent resource for seeing how they follow the action and keep the dance alive.

From the video you can see that there are many pieces of equipment used to create motivated camera moves that follow the action these include tracking dollys, stedicams, tripods and drones. In a web page that I shall tag below the dancer Sergei Polunin says  “We need LaChapelle in the ballet world. We need something pop ― we need something that is now. And David is the best to shake things, to hype it up. For people to talk about us. I see him as a visionary for the future of ballet.” This shows that dancers whom I would imagine will form part of my audience for this project, may like to see contemporary filming techniques like those seen in music videos.

 

 

Planning : Secondary Research

 

How to Make A Short Film

Darious Britt in a very helpful video claims when making a short film, the shorter the better. This he claims it what audiences and Festival organisers prefer and is less costly to produce. He advocates ‘knowing your resources’ for instance, if you don’t have a horse don’t film a horse race. He recommends we show rather than tell what you want to communicate and to avoid narration except perhaps when showing irony. That we should aim to have a strong opening to make a good first impression and grab the audience. He advises including conflict and focusing on isolated events rather than trying to cover someone’s life story. He advocates choosing a filmic subject that suits having a camera pointed at it and counsels that giving your character a goal outside themselves makes this easier. He prescribes keeping the number of your characters to a minimum to reduce the problems of people dropping out. He cautions us to keep the number of locations to a minimum to make managing practicalities easier and to keep better control. He recommends keeping to subjects you know something about but says we shouldn’t be too nervous about taking risks with a short film for example, by claims having a character who isn’t likeable isn’t so much of an issue when we only have to engage the audience for a short spell. Finally, he prescribes watching lots of other shorts so we know what the cliches are and so can avoid them and be more original.

https://youtu.be/PalEaciHvXI

Visual Storytelling With the 5-Shot Method for Video Sequences

Shruti Shekar in this short online tutorial outlines 5 important steps for us:

  1. Brainstorming ….jot down all your ideas for filming, different things you want to film, type of mood, shots you want

  2. Build a storyboard …write this out or draw with stick figures what every you prefer, know what each sequence is going to cover

  3. Build a filming schedule juggle sequences into Interior and Exterior sections. Then again into scene locations. Then schedule so not everying is crammed into one day, have balance and thing about practicalities. Decide when you want to do the exterior shots so you can have consitency….weather conditions etc

  4. Do a B roll……take extra footage just in case….such things as shots of your actors hands, eyes etc….these can be useful later for editing and can particularly help with tranisitons and for avoiding jump cuts.

  5. Edit label your footage …when you did what…..so it is easy to find and you can put it together as per your storyboard.

https://youtu.be/rWPNTORWhPk

How to Shoot a Very Short Film w/ cheap gear: Pre-Production

In this online tutorial tutvid advises

a) To make the Story the most important element you consider

b) To decide on an overall genre, style and mood

c) To build a storyboard reflecting the mood

d) To choose your location, try using google earth to see where the sun is at different times at your location….where the shadows fall etc This he claims is vital if using natural light but always helpful for letting you know best time to film to get right mood ….and for continuity.

e) To make audio a high priority and get some good gear for this that is available at quite reasonable cost.

https://youtu.be/32U9zmQzvm4

 

 

FilmRiot : Prepping For A Short Film

Ryan Connoly in this video for Film Riot reminds us that prep is vital to ensure that things run smoothly in our film projects. He states that it is important to establish your idea first and research it and then to create a written outline of it. He then advises going through the script with different coloured highlighters to identify what needs there are in different areas for example, use a yellow hightlighter to identify where there are prop/set design needs, a pink highlighter to identify special makeup needs, a blue hightlighter to note special camera and lighting needs and a green highlighter to identify vfx needs. He suggest delegating this task if you can. Once the different needs are highlighted in this way he states you can use the highlights to draw up separate lists of what each area needs. For example, you can use all the blue hightlights to draw up a list for lighting and camera special needs such as a fog machine needed, fan needed, specialist filter needed etc. He argues you will then have a shopping list of things you need , people you need, tasks needed to be done etc and again he suggests this is a good time to delegate tasks and resource gathering to others.

Next Ryan, states you should share your mood boards, reference material, playlist and script with others that need it for example, the actors or collaborators.

He then suggest you should play out the film in your mind to produce a shot list. Then he argues you should go over your shot list a few times , trimming it down. Then he suggests you can move on to doing a story board. He points out there is software available to helf you do this for example, Shotpro (a newish ipad app).

The next step he claims is to identify possible locations using google if necessary.

He then advises putting together resource lists of everything that might be needed from gaffa tape/your swiss army knife to food and drinks for the cast and crew. He then states it is vital to then make sure everything is layed out the day before and is tested to make sure it is all working and that everything is formatted and charged etc.

https://youtu.be/-_1R2SEQ0y4

Secondary Research on How To Do A Call Sheet

The website Starboardmedia advises including the title of your film at the top in large type and stating what number the call sheet is. This they say is particularly helpful if you have cast and crew that are involved in a number of productions.

Then they suggest you have weather information and the call time stated clearly. They suggest the main production person should be identified, followed by the contact details of the rest of the cast and crew.

They then advise having an outline of the schedule and a clear note on the wrap time.

They suggest providing a map of the location next to details of how to get there. In the location address they advise to include a post code and remind us that many people have sat navs now so this is particularly helpful for them.

Next they advise having some health and safety notes and finally some production requirments so people know what to expect and can prepare themselves for example, include advice on the facilities available, clothing advice, notes on equipment they may have to use etc.

This website provides some useful templates for those interested to use. I would advise instead to copy and paste useful bits to make your own version.

http://www.starboardmedia.co.uk/how-to-write-call-sheets/

Sand Creature Makeup Ideas /Exploration

The main question that arose during feedback was how is the sand creature going to be created.

I first thought about using CG cracked makeup effect as I had during my last film ‘Facade’.

 

I  then found the following inspiration tutorial on youtube :

 

One way I could apply this to my film would be to try doing it as a base layer with a body spray of spray of colour on top.  This would create the from the earth look that I am going for.  To have this style creature I would use earthen and desert colours such as black, brown, orange, gold and grey as this will establish that this character is a personification of the environment. I could also change it up and use make up to try a more tribal style like that seen in ballet Rambert’s portrail of ghosts.

GHOST DANCES, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Britain - 22 Nov 2016

This design could be adapted to be more desert esque i.e. a cattle skull or sandy colours, patterns and it ties nicely with the stereotype of a sand wraith. the_sand_wraith_by_popclub

Because it fits the stereotype the audience will automatically gain an understanding of what is going on which in turn makes the narrative easier to follow.

The down side to this is the make up would be time consuming and could have a number of continuity issues as it will come of between and during performance. Due to the organic nature of clay this would be particularly difficult with the first example of make up as the cracks would keep changing.

 

Secondary Research on How to Design a Costume

Ngila Dickson costume designer for ‘Fellowship of the Rings’  in the video below, suggests costume designers should start by considering the hints in the script and she uses the example, Sarumen the white to make an obvious point. She advises we consider where the film is set ,what historical peroid it is set in, who the main characters are and how their status relates to others. For example, she adorned Gladriel in a white floating, semi transparent lace gown adorned with excquisite pearl beads to show she is a beautiful and ethereal being, quite separate from the tellurian inhabitants s of middle earth. She reminds us costumes should aid the actor to get a sense of the character and that designs need to consider what the charaters have gone through for instance she notes they may need to give a sense of age and time or in contrast to look pristine.

Edith Head costume designer for Paramount for five decades, in the video below, makes the point that costume design is not about being fashionable or looking pretty it is about being appropriate to a story. She suggests a costume can bring another layer to a scene for example, a black dress worn by a young girl may show she is feeling down or alternatively a sparkly dress may show this same young girl is trying to cheer herself up. She adds though that a costume should never distract the audience from the actor for example, a sparkly dress should not perhaps be worn during an emotive scene where a young actress expresses tears of sadness.

 

Michele Clapton : Costume Designer for Game of Thrones (see video below) remarks that she considers the wealth of the character and their relationship to others, the climate, what the character does in their costume for example, eat, sleep or fight, the attitude of the character for example, are they elegant or more or a practical person. She points out that colour and tones are very important to suggest things like relationships between characters and warmth of a personality and she advises to avoid trying to sanitise a look but to instead keep it real.

BAFTA Guru Costume Design in Focus series 2014 :-

• Daniel Orlandi costume designer on ‘Saving Mr Banks’ discusses the importance of working with the director to be true to their vision, think like a psychologist to figure out the character.

• Sheena Napier points out the importance of working in collaboration with the actor….seeing how they look in the costume and colours. She talks about how she is inspired by the internet, books, paintings and photographs.

• Colleen Atwood costume desginer for ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ claims it is important to show the world the character is living in from the point of view of the costume. She talks about establishing a working relationship with hair and makeup departments to work collaboratively. She also mentions the need to think about costs and availability of having enough fabric for costumes especially when a large number of costumes are needed and advises us to consider options such as using a cheap and plentiful supply of fabric you can add a print to yourself.

• Michael Wilkinson costume designer for ‘American Hustle’ on this issue advises costume designers to stick with their own ideas but negotiate. He gives us the useful tip of looking through the monitors to check how the clothes look under the lighting used to check the tone, texture and vibe is right. He adds that everything matters when a camera can zoom in closely…..an audience can see if a costume is clean or stained and this gives them clues about the character. Offering more practical advice he suggests how the clothes affect the sound may also need to be considered.

BAFTA ‘The Session’ series 2016 :

• Paco Delgado costume designer for ‘The Danish Girl’ says a costume can be used to give the characters point of view and he explained how he used stiff, buttoned up clothes to show how the main character felt imprisoned in mens clothes.

• Jenny Beavan costume designer for ‘Mad Max’ explained how the director’s look for he film was inspired by having watched a ballet and how the texture and layering of the fabric was important for instance she used delicate, light bandages to emphasize the purity of some of the female characters. She advises dressing the characters according to their needs when devising a costume.

• Sandy Powell costume designer for ‘Carol’ and ‘Cinderella’ advises working closely with the director but also with the visual effects team for example, to see if using accessories on a dress can be used to show magical transformation of butterflies by a fairy godmother. She suggests showing the journey a character has been on when dressing them.

 

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CGI Idea:

Another approach would be a CGI sand creature. This would require predesign sculpting texturing weight mapping rigging animating and compositing. This takes a lot of work and would require be to better learn the 3D engine such as blender or maya which would again take time and would differ from the particle cycles I would use for the fire effects. a great industry example of this can be seen with the likes of Ang lee’s the life of pi –

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454876/

 

Puppet idea:

An alternative approach could be to try and make a puppet. This would require some complex movements as it is a dance but unlike cgi this wouldn’t require any makeup redo time and so would have very few continuity issues. The main difficulty is enabling movement whilst maintaining aesthetic like that seen in Speilberg’s ET

– http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083866/?ref_=nv_sr_3

 

 

Primary research on Animals people associate with fire: for inspiration for my Sand creatures movement

 

As a small piece of primary research I asked a small group of dancers what sort of animals that they would relate to fire, they came up with : an eagle,  a fox,  and a lizard / dragon.  I found videos of each of these suggests that I could use as inspiration for movements during the dance:

The eagles spreading movement stands out as a usable move that may look really nice especially if its used with a jump as this would create a very large movement that could show a turning point or climax within the dance.

The jump and bury movement from the fox is interesting as it uses a nice pause before the release of energy which could inspire movement so that when controlling the fire there is a slight build up of energy before it is released.

The reptilian movement of the Kimono dragon is really nice as it is so contrasting with most quadruped animals and would nicely separate the traveller and sand creature taking away from the humanity of the creature.

Interviewing a Choreographer / Dancer Teacher as Primary Research for my dance film :

I bumped into Ms Aleyna Woodend whilst having a coffee with my family at Stollers in Barrow In Furness, she is someone I originally met when I took typing lessons after school a few years ago and she expressed an interested in what I was up to now. On learning I was planning to do a film with a short dance /combat piece, she explained that although she is retired now that she had been a LAMDA trained, dance teacher in her time and had a wealth of experience in choreography and performing. She very kindly offered to visit my home so I could interview her on how to start and to give me some top tips.

When Aleyna visited me at home as agreed, she had remembered I had wanted to do a dance/combat piece and had brought a CD of some music for me which she felt would be good to use because it was from the action film The Matrix and she had brought some teaching/choreography resource packs from LUDUS dance school for me to borrow. We listened to the track and looked at the resources and then had an informal chat over a coffee.

Aleyna advised establishing the basic story / theme first including: how many dancers there are to be, why they are fighting, how the conflict is resolved, props to be used, what sound track I want to use and how long the dance is going to be.

She explained how she used music as her main stimulus when choreographing and how she would match the climax of a fight with the crescendo of the music and we discussed that movements can be added to go with the beat or be off beat. Aleyna suggested using movement words as a stimulus to devising moves and she gave me a list of words she had prepared for me to think about, these were as follows :- space, stretch, speed, stamp, squash, slide, stillness, shrink, stumble, shake, stop, strong, sink, saunter, stalk, sag, sudden, spin, shiver, swirl, swivel, soar, spin, sway, swoop, swiftly, silence, shape, spring, slither, stretch, small, spiral, stance, support, shield, shimmer, settle, explode, advance/retreat crush, dart, leap, bound, balnce, drip, collapse, drift, jerk, punch, slice, smash, reach, pathways, crumple, frail.

Finally, she suggested speaking to Saxon Meadowcroft a dance teacher in the area about having some lessons in classical ballet to get the basic techniques and to enquire about using the hall at North Scale for rehearsing. I thanked Aleyna for her time and advice and I promised to keep her updated as to how I get on and to return the resource packs. Aleyna expressed an interest in attending the screening of my film and I agreed to see whether this would be possible or to send her a link to view it on either youtube or vimeo.

Secondary Research on Choreographing a Dance/Combat Scene

Ludus Dance Company Teacher Resource Packs x5

From reading the teacher resources packs I noted the following useful points : –

Dancers could be asked to consider weapons and how they could depict them in their movements. Dancers could think about different fighting styles, battle formations, changes in speed and proximity to others to suggest conflict.

Dancers should be encouraged to be aware they are telling a story and depicting a mood to the audience. They should be aware of the emotions they are showing.

The era and culture being portrayed may be relevant for example, are you showing English Soldiers or perhaps Ninja warriors.

Consider how the characters would walk as a good starting point. Are they predatory or afraid.

Consider the energy the characters have.

Consider what props will be used and the environment.

Make sure the dancers are warmed up.

Allow the dancers to explore and improvise so they have some ownership of the piece.

Use picture, poems, words, videos, emotions for inspiring dancers to improvise.

Consider using repetition of movements particularly if there is a chorus.

Consider who you are making the dance for and how it will look from their point of view.

Decide on the music, how clear you want the beat to be, how will it give a sense of momentum and progression.

Consider what can the body do, where can the body go, how can the body move, who/what can we dance with. What overall structure will the dance have.

Get the dancers to think with their hearts not just their heads and to just jump in and improvise / move spontaneously to your chosen music. Observe and perhaps film then to select movements that are most appropriate and discard unnessary movements. Refine your selection then combine the refined selected actions to create phrases then use transitions to form sequences with a beginning, middle and end,

Use all the body to show poise and stillness where appropriate. In particular,consider opening and closing poses.

Consider causes of conflict and consequences for example, if I hit you will you hit me back or will you avoid further conflict.

Ask dancers to consider personal experiences of conflict in their life and to draw on them Ask dancers to think about how the emotions will be expressed by their faces and body parts. Ask dancers to think about things that will escalate a conflict and the costs and benefits of fighting to the character, the dangers and opportunities.

Designing Dances : How to Choreograph in 10 steps

In this online article by Melissa Cyr 2016 we are advised to :-

1. find inspiration in music, stories, emotions, different dance styles, historical periods and places.

2. choose the music first and edit it so it is of the right length.

3. identify a theme, story or feeling

4. map out your timing and sections on paper

5. envision the dance as a whole, how the floor /space will be used, the different levels of it ie, the depth, length and height

6. account for dancers skill levels

7. choose steps

8. try it….

9. check audience can relate to dance

10. recycle learning from elsewhere.

https://www.google.co.uk/url?

sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjxlpqL5ZrU AhUFLcAKHZcbDn0QFggmMAA&url=http://dancesportplace.com/designing-dances-how-to-choreograph/&usg=AFQjCNFhRRjYhOaEiZ8H8BtBeBB3iHJ-Aw

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Health and Safety / Risk Assessing : Primary Research Interview.

 

 As my mother Mrs Cheryl Taylor is a trained nurse, first aid responder and Health assessor with nearly 30 years experience in her field, I thought it would be useful to interview her to see if I can get some top tips from her sharing her knowledge and experience. She was horribly camera shy but happy to help and after I asked her to introduce herself and talk about health and safety considerations she talked in detail without the need for further prompting and questioning from me. The main points I have noted from this interview are as follows:-

  • there are lots of health and safety regulations that come under the umberalla ‘Health and Safety Act 1974’.

  • if employers / project managers want to keep their staff and equipment safe, follow the law and follow their insurance policy requirments they need to carry out risk assessments for all work sites, work activities and they need to take into account individuals needs.

  • It is important to consider …how people are going to access and exit the site. How are they going to get there and back safely, refreshed and comfortable. Will they need lifts, maps, instructions, escorts, refreshments, access to a secure place to change and keep their belongings, access to a toilet.

  • The site needs to be visited and assessed for hazards and the level of risk

  • A hazard is something with the potential to cause harm such as a fire and the risk is an estimate of how much of a threat it is…or how likely the hazard is to cause harm.

  • My outside/ sandy locations present hazards from the weather….the sun, rain, and wind and from the sand, fire, public.

  • The activities we will be doing present hazards for consideration including :- from carrying heavy and valuable equipment, dancing outside in the sands exposed to the elements.

  • The individual needs of my staff and crew need taking into account. Do they have any medical conditions such as epilepsy we need to know about, do they need access to certain medications, do they have any allergies etc.

  • A risk assessment then moves on to cover how to reduce, avoid or minimize the risk of the identified hazards. Basically, the things I can do and put in place to hopefully avoid harm coming to any of my cast, crew and the equipment.

Following this interview I thanked my mother for her time and for sharing her knowledge and I promised to involve her as a first aider in my shoot days. This primary research has left me feeling more confident about my shoot days, more prepared and more like a professional in my approach. I also now know I need to seek out some first aid and risk assessing training for myself in the future.

https://youtu.be/N8XC7ak0EDs

VFX:

In my film I want to try out some new visual effects in terms of partical simulation and rotoscoping.

Upon searching the internet to find out if there were any new techniques in after effects for making rotoscoping easier than frame by frame with the pen tool. very quickly i came across cc’s rotobrush and refine edge tool. the rotobrush tool uses the colour diffrence information to locate the edges of objects in the frame it then searches for those same edges in each frame of your footage. The downside of this is that as it is such a powerful tool it will take a long time and needs a large ram and cpu and can still run very slowly (though still faster than frame by frame by hand).

For creating fire I came across this tutorial on controlling particals in cinema 4d.  This introduces a number of settings to use when creating fire with particals much like auto desks fume fx. This also teaches me some basic manipulation and collision techniques that I could use to make it easier to composite later on. as an alternative i also found this after effects tutorial in case i cant pull of the partical effects like those shown above.

This method would be a lot more pc friendly but gives much less control and so i wouldn’t use it unless it proved necessary. so i shall do this in testing to see if i can play with some settings and pull it off.

 

 

The two videos above demonstrate a practical and cg way of creating a fake sandstorm which could be an interesting addition to my film as it could be an interesting ending. the practical one in-particular seems really cool and is something i would be keen to try out.

 

 

Secondary Research into Pitching a Film

What To Do When You Pitch Your Script
Jacob Kreueger advises spending time making sure you pitch your idea to the right person where possible. Find out if they produce your kind of films and that you have mutual interests. He suggests you shouldn’t get into used car salesperson mode because if you have a good idea or script you have something valuable that the right people will really want. He adds that if your find yourself in a situation where you are pitching to someone who doesn’t have an interest in your type of film then make the most of it by asking for advice instead, networking by perhaps asking for introductions to the right connections.

How To Pitch Your Screenplay or Film Idea.
Paul Castro succinctly points out that it is very important to state the title of your film, to state the genre then to outline what your film is about in a cinematic, dramatic way with passion and enthusiasm. He advises matching the frequency / world of the person you are pitching to…..the pace they like to talk at and style of address they prefer. He adds that it is vital to believe in yourself and how you can add value to the listener’s business.

The Art of Pitching a Movie Idea Using the Rule of 3
Director Marc Zicree argues that it is essential to treat people how you would want to be treated yourself when pitching. He explains that you need to keep your pitch brief and not pitch about every beat or shot or you will bore the producer. He says never pitch in an inappropriate place for example, at a social gathering….and explains his idea of meeting someone 3 times before pitching your idea so more of a relationship is built up and the process is more respectful. He advises doing your research on the person you want to talk to and their right hand staff and to consider talking to these people first at events. He suggests showing your dedication and integrity by putting your own money into your ideas and by showing you actually do what you are going to say ….unlike 99% of people in the business who only talk about things. He tells us that being consistent, dedicated and
disciplined is important and that we shouldn’t focus on trying to be rich and famous but more about being free to do meaningful work…. What a lovely guy!

https://youtu.be/q6Lc-_tSN1c

WikiHow to Write A Film Pitch
Wikihow advises us to follow the following 8 steps :-
1) Think of a tagline…one sentence to outline your film and grab your audience’s attention.
2) Include just the highlights in your pitch don’t go into too much detail.
3) Use your characters name to progress your story.
4) Keep your pitch short.
5) Include any suprise endings.
6) Avoid using cliff hangers.
7) Think about who will be listening to your pitch and what they need you to tell them.
8) Tell them your contact details.
http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Film-Pitch

Posted in Fmp Year 2, Uncategorized, Year 2 Films | 1 Comment

FMP Ideas Generation

1. An idea is nothing more or less than a new combination of old elements”

I agree with this statement from James Webb as the fact that we think in a language means that in order to come up with a completely new element is impossible however a location is set it will still be a location whatever a creature looks like it is still a creature and so there is no escaping the fact that you will be using the same materials as somebody else. this doesn’t mean you have to copy there combination though for instance you don’t have to paint a portrait of the same person or from the same angle lighting and colours, it is possible to create something new from the same element.


“2. The capacity to bring old elements into new combinations depends largely on the ability to see relationships”

This statement I also agree with as thought it won’t always be necessary in some abstract cases most narratives have a relationship. for instance in a treasure hunt the two sides could be complete opposites but they have a common goal. In advertising the product is shown in a scenario in which it is used as this means the audience will see that relationship. This means that their product comes into mind when there dealing with or planning on dealing with that scenario (cars aren’t advertised on a rowing boat).

Are all humans able to come up with ideas or is it something we can/need to learn?

I believe we all have an innate ability to have ideas and see relationships, but the more we exercise this the easier it is to use and the less the harder. I believe we can train ourselves in spatial awareness mindfulness and observation which will give stimuli greater impact.

What stops you or gets in the way when you are coming up with ideas?

Tunnel vision – focusing on one idea too much.

Motivation – not having a reason to come up with anything.

What can we do to help ourselves come up with ideas?

Notting down the other ideas I will get so that I can come back from them.

setting short term goals and rewards for motivation.

Can you talk about and/or provide links to some useful tools for generating ideas?

https://www.wazoku.com/25-idea-generation-techniques/

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Past project ideas generation:

In collaboration with the performing arts class students we looked at three scripted stimuli.

Script 1:

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Script 2:

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Script 3:

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Script 4:

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When coming up with the ideas we would take parts of the script and all say ideas and when we had ideas we liked we wrote them down and sometimes expanded on parts of them.

In the end the group decided on the poem script (script 2 as above.) As you will be able to see in the sheet we produced the ideas we liked all seemed to have a sort of falseness to them in terms of the characters (mannequins, clockwork masquerade, dollhouse.) of these the group seemed to unanimously agree on the idea of a dollhouse in which one character turns the porcelain order into chaos. To do this we are looking at the possibilities of making it into a dance film and how we think we could set it up like a dollhouse in terms of set costume and makeup.

from the dolls house suggestion we have devised a number of alternative takes on the idea. They are:

  1. Dinning room dance with robotic contemporary styles to show contrast between the fake and the real.

  2. People taking dolls to work so the dolls live the same life.

  3. A girl with a broken family uses dolls for escapism using them to demonstrate her perfect family.

  4. morning routine where the person “dolls up” then goes outside and everybody else is also dolled up.

  5. “Dollception” dolls who play with dolls who play with dolls etc.

  6. Russian dolls  here people open up to reveal other people

Ideas Generation for FMP

 

Using the above mentioned tried and tested methods I began my FMP by devising some mind maps on the brief stimuli given of flow, horizon, identity and attachment.

 

Flow:

 

flow-mind-map

This mind map shows some branches for the flow stimuli. The first thing I thought of from flow was fluid, as fluids by definition flow. The next one I came up with was time then conversation and movement providing the four branch stimuli.

Fluids are a large category as this covers anything in a state of liquid gas or plasma, because of this I was able to come up with a fair collection of ideas. Water was my first thought as water is the first thing that came into my head upon hearing the word flow, this is probably due to its sheer abundance in the world and its necessity to survival that makes it so prominent in my mind. From water I thought I could come up with some various waterbodies to focus on (the sea, tap water and rivers.) Then theres the two sides to water above and below, to show this I added a boolean connector with no arrows so that on reflection I could remember that I have the possibility to film below the surface. The sea and rivers made me think of some water sports that have been hobbies of mine since primary school which would create possible documentary roots. From following the more human root of tap water I ended up thinking about plumbing and some iconic figures connected with pipes. IT and Mario come from completely different genres yet both of their there existences depend upon the pipes as a way of getting from A to B. moving on from thinking about the idea of water I remembered my science days in which I covered the water cycle.

 

Air was the second word to say hello though it felt very different to think about in terms of water as the first thing I thought about is how do you see air? This lead me to smoke clouds and pollution as these can all actively be observed however taking a different angle on it I thought about how air is used taking me to flight as there are many things in the world that utilise air in this way from birds to insects and more recently people with planes and base-jump-suits and mythical creatures like angels. birds in particular interested me and I started thinking about starlings and geese and the patterns that they form when in formation.

Fire is worryingly interesting to me as I have childhood memories of sitting around campfires and telling stories around them. The way that fire moves is intriguing to me and its manipulation in terms of fire jugglers and chemistry mean that I would have a lot of freedom for taking it forward. Thinking about fire as a dynamic fluid and as an almost living thing I came up with spreading; like wild fire this shows fire in a more awesome form but violent, uncontrolled and destructive.  As working with fire would obviously problematic to film I then thought about how to make CGI fire as part of my FMP.

Time is a strange one as it seems to flow yet there is much evidence to show that it doesn’t. The fact that it is a concept rather that a physical existence makes it difficult to make a simple film about however I thought that though I could do this I could explore the more physical effects of time such as day and night, running sands and the turning of the seasons and years. Time further interested me in terms of it having a set direction and being finite so that everything has a deadline. This is seen in loads of films from the largest features to the smallest shorts as very few films are about a character with all the time in the world. By giving something a deadline you have a grip on the audience as long as the consequence is big enough for them too want to see, but at the same time not see. One thing that sticks in my mind when thinking about time was showing how it flows in a certain direction following the laws of thermodynamics i.e entropy.  Another area that springs to mind, is the visual aesthetic of showing sand (grains and particals in great number flowing) also the patterns that are formed on a large scale like ripples in the sand or sand dunes.

My least developed bubble is the conversation bubble as it sort of hit me last moment that conversations only work if they flow. This made be think about what gets in the way of the flow of conversation as it would be easy to come up with a film about finding that flow (kings speech style.) This could be taken down either the fact or fiction route and as it is human orientated there is more flexibility in terms of what I could do with it. Wit came to me because wit is one of the most stand out factors in making a conversation flow and so could be really interesting.

Movement is the other bubble I came up with which branched into my interests in dance, gymnastics and martial arts. These styles of movement  can be choreographed as solo pieces or as group pieces to create the impression of something different and larger than the individuals themselves, that is created through the movement. Movement in particular the transitions between sequences are strongly related to flow and devising and filming these sequences could be good fun.

 

Horizon:

From horizon I came up with three main branches; Ending, Distance, Goal.  Distance can be taken as close, far and neutral of varying degrees which each change having a strong proxemic influence for instance something closer is more intimate and so can show emotional closeness or intimidation. Being far away can show loneliness detachment or superiority.

Ending covers pretty much everything in existence but when it comes to types of ending I decided to break it into four cliff hanger, happy, sad and the world. as these are easy to breakdown into simpler more focused ideas.

Distance became about journeys and scale and how they effect narrative and visuals for instance a close distance means that you can see it in greater detail and the story tends to be microcosmic. From far away you see vast landscapes but not much detail and so the story tends to be macrocosmic.

Goal suggests that an individual or group has successfully got somewhere they wanted to be or has an aim to be somewhere by a certain point. This opens up opportunity for conflict and so drama. There are also different goal types such as short and long term which would have different story styles.

 

Identity:

 

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Identity is a very human concept when it comes to narrative as we consider different peoples to have a collective identity and each individual to have there own identity as well. Though we are the same species and aren’t truly separate we define ourselves and others through fashion and acts.

Fashion can be taken as what we wear the trends amongst groups icons in media and the styles in play the stories around this could be taken in a documentary direction or a adaptation of peoples perspectives in history or modern culture.

Identity can be stolen which opens up stories of crime with the likes of imposters who disguise themselves and fake paper work in order to pretend to be somebody else. The reasons / motive behind this could make for an interesting story.

 

Attachment:

 

 

Attachment can go in many directions possession covers people getting taken over and owning things which people are attached to. Love is an emotion that generates plenty of stories in people so its an easy go to. Taken would be about something people are attached to loosing the thing that either causes the attachment or that they are attached to. Stuck would mean literally attached to something by some sort of force or mental pressure. Addiction would cover some common issues found in media but that have large impacts on peoples lives.

Narrowing Down My Ideas:

 

The following is a repeat of the mind maps with red on the branches to cross out the ideas that I felt were either impractical or didn’t hold my interest in terms of the stories that I came up with around them.

 

horizon red

 

flow redidentity redattachment red

 

From the bubbles I had left over from this narrowing down my ideas excersize I came up with some further ideas  as follows:

 

Day night tunnel: Somebody enters a tunnel during the day when they come out the other side it is night time. The same happens in reverse when they go the other way. As the film goes on the  The film would conclude with the sun rise and sunset swapping the day and night side of the tunnel.-links to: Flow – time, day to night.

Modern day treasure hunt: A kid receives a letter that sends them on a short treasure hunt to find a gift left to them by there mysterious grandparents. The kid is a keen explorer and sets off to find the treasure that starts with them investigating there family home. There they find the next clue leading them to a dried river. The treasure hunt takes an Enid Blyton’s ‘The Treasure Hunters’ / Spielberg’s ‘Goonies’ feel of a child searching for lost treasure with some interesting puzzles and child like clues. The treasure leads them to a  secret underground room full of treasures concealed in the side of the riverbed -links to: Identity – personality, patterns.

Sad music video about age: to sad music a dying persons life flashes before their eyes making them relive the highlights of there life before passing on. The film would jumble beginning middle and end where the dying person starts seeing their younger self living out the best times. As the video progresses they start talking to there old self and finally in there last moments they see each other hold hands and pass on into death. -links to: Identity – personality.

Short horror film about a deserted house: A person enters a house then finds that they cannot leave. Creepy stuff happens, moving objects, strange sounds. They find out  that it was a prank by there friends. -links to: Horizon – ending, mystery, suspense.

Hansel and Gretel style short: people go traveling through the woods and come across a strange cabin that is overly inviting and supernatural. when they come back it is completely different. -links to: Horizon – ending, observation, detail.

Dodgy tail of attraction between two magnets: a stop frame animation where two magnets that are personified fall in love. the tale would start in a garage and take a Rapunzel like turn where one magnet is placed on a high shelf and the other is far below. Using paperclips as hair the magnet on the high shelf creates a ladder / rope to assist the other magnet to reach them. -links to: Attachment – magnetism, love.

Person with things stuck to them: Everything they touch gets stuck to them. Taking on a comedy feel the story will follow the persons endeavors as they try and free themselves from things and the more things they try the more things get stuck to them to the point where they can barely move. in the end of the film they find that the solution is to relax and so they achieve their freedom. -links to: Attachment – stuck, glued, trapped.

 

I decided to take a break from all of this at this point as my head was spinning as more and more ideas came to my mind and I was going slightly mad.  Also because  it was my 18th birthday  on the 25th.

I returned refreshed after a couple of days off and decided to explore the stimuli of flow in more detail as this was the stimulus I was most drawn too.   I decided to look at  four areas in depth and to look at the strengths and weaknesses of each idea before making my final decision.

Water as a Flowing Liquid and Flowing in a Cycle

As mentioned above, from my brain storming and free associating on the the word flow, I came up with the idea of filming something to do with water, which obviously as a liquid has flow. When I was at school I was quite good at science and I can remember that water on Earth moves/changes its state and has a cycle. I remember that when it rains the water travels through the rocks and into the ground and rivers. How, this water is then taken up by plants and animals whom obviously need it to live. That water then is expired or transpired back into the air by the plants and animals or evaporates straight back into the air, as the wind and sun act on on the surface of rivers and the sea …. turning the water into a vapour…..the cycle then continues as this water vapour comes together to form rain clouds and it rains again. I was quite excited as the ideas started to come to me of how I could show water as a vital element for both plants and animals….and how it not only has a flow as a liquid but has a flow in the way it cycles and is shared on Earth……..

I have visited Ingleton on a number of occasions hiking and climbing with my family and I can remember visiting ‘White Scar Caves’. Here water can be seen seeping through the limescale rocks and there are underground waterfalls and pools. This would make an excellent location for showing (perhaps with some mid range and close up shots) how rain gets into the ground …ie, the first part of the water cycle, http://www.whitescarcave.co.uk/home

Near the centre of Ingleton it is easy to access a series of magnificent waterfalls, that Ingleton is probably most famous for. This would make a truly spectacular location for filming water as it gathers momentum, flowing rapidly and pooling etc. I could use some wide and mid range shots here. http://www.ingletonwaterfallstrail.co.uk/

I remember on these same, family holidays visiting ‘Gordale Scar’. I remember seeing how the rocks on top of the scar have been sculpted by the rain water seeping through it, to form an amazing stepping stone formation. This would make an excellent location to show the power of the water at the beginning of the water cycle, again by using some wide and or mid range shots. Indeed, this is such a spectacular location that Warner Brothers used it in filming ‘Harry Potter : The Deathly Hallows (Part 1)’

http://www.malhamdale.com/gordalescar.htm

Nearby, Gordale Scar is the enchanting waterfall at Janet’s Foss…this could be an excellent and alternative location (to Ingleton Falls) for filming the water flowing, gathering momentum, pooling etc. http://www.malhamdale.com/janetsfoss.htm

At Malham there is a campsite and at both Malham and Ingleton are fabulous youth hostels that I could stay at for the shoot.

As I live on the island of Walney, I never have to travel far, to visit a spectacular beach. Any of the Walney beaches could be used in the film…..for example, they could be used for extreme wide/panaramic shots of it raining into the sea……maybe of thunder and lightening if I can capture this on film.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Walney+island+beaches&tbm=isch&imgil=8pd9UMVw-1Cw5M%3A%3Bv4_W5UqqoaGDYM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.alamy.com%252Fstock-photo-overlooking-the-beach-and-duddon-estuary-on-walney-island-nature-reserve-23544126.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=8pd9UMVw-1Cw5M%3A%2Cv4_W5UqqoaGDYM%2C_&usg=__rybHeKXAQls8H176uaALq1Hbwow=&biw=1920&bih=974&ved=0ahUKEwjIhfmNxavUAhVFCsAKHeCxCEgQyjcISg&ei=Wdc3WYj1McWUgAbg46LABA#imgrc=7foBQyN_8E8-iM:

On the two hour bus journey to college, that I take three times a week, I am regularly treated to the sight of low clouds of mist that gather in the early morning over the forrest areas near Newby Bridge. This is a wonderous site to behold and it would be a truly amazing scene to capture perhaps with a drone of how water evaporates back into the sky.

Photographer Mike Garrett has a photograph of this (see link below) that gives an indication of how spectacular this sight is, of water returning to the beginning of the cycle as it evaporates from the ground:- https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj_lbGAx6vUAhXrKsAKHYpgDkcQFggsMAE&url=https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Morning_Mist_Over_Newby_Bridge_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1502642.jpg&usg=AFQjCNGy94mRTtHKHKaniqGOX7RJQUA9iw

As a sound track I could use the exquisite music of Yiruma…..aptly titled ‘River Flows in You’….it is literally, an audio representation of flowing water.

My mother plays this all the time on her piano and would be able to play it at different speeds for me, so I could have different recordings and could tailor the sound track to match an edit of my film. There is no music that ‘flows’ better in my opinion. https://youtu.be/LyTBCaCnYco

Alternatively I could perhaps use Yiruma’s music ‘Kiss the Rain’…..this again is something my mother plays and would probably match the footage. https://youtu.be/so6ExplQlaY

The above video is very inspirational with lots of close ups of water droplets on leaves and images of reflections in the rain. I could do my own version with close ups to show how important water is for us and for visual appeal. For example, close ups of droplets falling into reservoirs for drinking, on plants and vegetables in an allotment, on spiders webs etc.

Stengths of Water cycle idea

Weaknesses of Water cycle idea

Can think of lots of extreme wide /panoramic shots that would be visually appealing. Very cinamtographic.

This idea doesn’t build on my previous work on working with performers /directing and doesn’t show my vfx skills in any way.

Can think of lots of close up shots that would add variety and be visually appealing

Filming this could be quite expensive …visiting the locations and staying at youth hostels. Some of the locations charge just for parking and access, so may want to charge a fee for filming.

This idea definitely hits the brief stimuli on more than one level.

Filming in the rain and near all that water could be risky for myself and the equipment.

Can think of some perfect music to go with my film

There are lots of similar examples of short films like this out there on youtube,…..even to the same music.

Can think of several amazing locations to use and enjoy visiting.

Filming this could be quite isolating for someone who likes working in a team.

I can do this film without having to have a cast or crew…..or with minimal help

The music may be a little sentimental and it may not be copyright free to use and this would be problematic for entering my film into festivals which I hope to do.

Time Flows / Entropy

As mentioned earlier, the brief stimulus of flow, reminds me of one of my favourite science subjects at school was Physics and of how fascinating the idea of Entropy was. This theory explains how people, objects and systems always move from a more ordered state to a disordered state and how this gives time a direction. In other words it describes how nearly everything gradually declines into disorder as time flows. Brian Cox neatly explains this in the following video:-

https://youtu.be/uQSoaiubuA0

This gave me the idea of doing a visual narrative that shows both time flowing and entropy…..

Beginning with a scene of Spring I could visit the Conishead Priory in Ulverston, which has in its’ gardens patches of snow drops and crocusses….crocci? I could have close ups of new plant shoots… pushing there way through the soil; mid range shots of blossom / pussy willow on the trees and lambs in the fields, close ups of fresh daffodils, wide shots of a woodland full of bluebells etc. I could then show entropy by filming a close up of faded bluebells or daffodils, mid range shots of blossom falling etc and then I could fade out. In the next scene I could represent the Summer Season with someone paddling in the sea, a child making a sandcastle, and the tide ebbing and flowing. I could show entropy here by having a close up of a dropped ice cream melting and similar to in the BBC video noted above I could have a mid range shot of the sandcastle being blown by the wind until it is just a heap For the Autumn scene I could have an interesting low angle shot of leaves falling and a high angled shot of someone kicking up the leaves (old and fake leaves can be bought on Ebay). For Autumn, I could also have a close up of people round a bonfire with mid range shots of fireworks and I could represent entropy by filming close ups of the remains of the fire ash and burnt out fireworks. For the scene of Winter, I could use CGI to make an extreme wide or wide shot of a snow scene and perhaps have a mid range shot of people celebrating Christmas. I could show entropy here by having a close up of a snowflake melting on a window pane. As I fade in and out of the four scenes I could fade a sound track in and out of with music that fits each season. For example, I could use the best bits of Vivaldi’s four seasons music :-https://youtu.be/d2XM1EMzaWs

Alternatively, I could choose other tracks that I think fit the mood of each scene… to think of just a couple of examples, for summer ,I could have the following stunningly beautiful track by

 Israel Kamakawiwo’ole . Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World (video) :-

https://youtu.be/Z26BvHOD_sg

or for winter, I could have that old classic ‘White Christmas’ sung by Andrea Bocelli :-

https://youtu.be/0kbMbaR-xJQ

Strenths of Flowing Time/Entropy idea

Weaknesses of Flowing Time/Entropy idea

This idea clearly fits the brief stimulus of flow.

There is something about this idea that is a bit sentimental / cheesy.

I don’t feel it is very original or inspiring.

I could cast some of the scenes so could enjoy team working and building on my previous knowledge of working with actors and directing.

If I wanted to enter this film into festivals I would have to limit my choice of music to tracks that are copyright free .

This idea includes a good range of shots and would include some interesting high and low angled shots.

I would have a lot to concentrate on, casting, directing, vfx as well as shot planning etc

This idea would allow me to show off some of my vfx skills.

I would have to start filming very early and film again towards the end of term to capture Spring and Summer.

I could concentrate on colouring and framing shots with this idea

Doing the vfx of the winter scene is a bit of an unknown and I am not sure I have the software or equipment to go for this.

I believe this idea would be quite cheap to film…I would only have to buy the odd ice cream and some old and fake leaves off Ebay….yes someone does sell these.

This idea would be a good challenge because it would involve me in doing lots of different roles, directing, vfx as well as shot planning.

Flowing Sands

Brian Cox, showing a sandcastle being blown by the wind into a more disordered state in the above mentioned video, brought  me back to another idea on the brief stimulus of flow I had mentioned above, looking at how sand flows:- I realised I could use extreme wide shots to show how sand flows in the way that it is blown by the wind to form dunes and how these dunes, undulate and change all the time. How the wind whips the sand up and shapes the mud flats and scars. I live near two areas that are known for having amazing sand dunes and miles of mud flats, scars and beaches. The first area is North Walney a nature reserve that is free to enter and accessible by walking a couple of miles from the free car park (with toilet facilites) at Earnse Bay. It is a stunning, patrolled nature reserve that must obviously be treated with respect.

http://www.golakes.co.uk/Barrow-in-Furness-North-Walney-National-Nature-Reserve/details/?dms=3&venue=5087313

The other area is Sandscale Haws at Roanhead. This area again is a national nature reserve that must be respected. It is quite popular with the public that use it as a place to walk their dogs or as a family beach and it has a car park and toilet facilities. It is has amazing views that could be captured with extreme wide and sweeping shots. The largest sand dunes are less than quarter of a mile from the car park and when it is particularly windy if you walk another half a mile on, you come to the end of a scar and the wind can be seen to whip the sands up like a desert storm.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sandscale-haws-national-nature-reserve

I could have some close up shots of sand running through my hands for contrast to all the extreme wide shots. I could perhaps have a go at presenting / narrating with this idea. For instance, I could tell my audience where I am and describe how the wind has shaped the environment then show examples with my shots. Alternatively, I could fit my scenes to a poem. This is one that particularly appeals to me :-

A sand sculpture in the hands of time

This sandstone sculpture,
soft, ephemeral, unreal,
we create every moment,
just for ourselves,
fighting the fragile nature
of the material, that
at once, facilitates,  and equally resists,
is both memory
and forgetfulness,
harmony and dissonance.
Tongues of time active ever,
love its taste, than anything else,

gradually gobbles it up
with relish.
Come, stop by,
and appreciate.
It won’t be here,
after some more summers,
but it won’t be destroyed too.
It would be the grains ,
in any sandstorm,
for ever.

K Balachandran

Alternatively, if it didn’t prove too long, I could use the following poem by an anonymous writer :

A Desert Dream Of Wind And Sand

I sit and hear the desert wind, sand hissing past,
winging by on the deserts breath. The moon hangs
still above the earth, enshrined in vaults of darkest
black, an infinity of stars to frost the sky. I sit here,
on the shifting crest of a tall and windswept dune,
contemplating the majesty of starry sky, and the silence
of the desert winds. My mind empty, wanders, and I
seem to hear, in the howling of the desert wind, the yipping
cries of jackals, and a strain of music, faint and thin, riding, on
the whisper of the desert winds. I look and see, a palace, light
shining from many windows, and colored pennants, whipping
in the desert breeze, spices seeming, rich and dry, waft around
me, caught, in the twisting zephyrs of the deserts breath. I stare, and
slowly, the sounds of the palace reach my ears, women laughing, singing, and the lilting tones of music strange and wonderful, lift me
from the desert sand, and set me forward, stumbling from fatigue and
thirst, towards that place of light and sound, a refuge surely from the
stinging sands, and the whispering voice of the desert, dry in its susurrations, as an empty skull, bleached and hollow, sockets set to the
contemplation of the desert winds, dessicated remnant of mortal man, till wind and sand consign it to the deserts breath. I stumble forwards, eyes locked on that vision held before me, and I, with all remaining strength and speed, run towards that deserts dream, and in my folly, I
strive for speed, even exceeding the desert wind. At last I halt, and in my weariness, stumble against a mighty gate, set with gold and jade and onyx, moonstone high, and amber low. I set my hands to wondrous gate, but lo! the gates are fast and strong. They do not yield to the feeble push of weary traveler, nor to the entreaty of dry and sand parched throat, imploring it to stand aside. I fall at last, defeated, and thought, to die here, before these gates of opulent splendour, would not be so tragic a fate, as the deaths of thousands, lost as I in the immeasurable vastness of the desert sands. But yea! There in the darkness of night as I made my peace with God and his angels and consigned myself to the inevitable fate of eternal rest, that near unnoticed, the gates swung voicelessly open, and through it I inhaled weakly, the scents of anise and cumin and cinnamon and allspice, all mixed with the intoxicating perfume of the daughters of the desert, scented waters and mulled wine. I reeled, dazed by the glory of light and sound and scent. I was lifted then by gentle hands, soft and cool, with the featherlight touch of sweet virginity. I fell, spinning, into the cool dark of grey oblivion. I awaken, rested, in the dark. Birdsong wafts in through arched windows. Below, I can hear the women singing, talking, as their needles clack in unrelenting harmony. And yet, this all seems to fade, to become less real. I listen harder, and yet, I hear instead of the singing harmony of before, the lonely song of the desert wind, faint and yet as if it had ever been, and this all some fantasy, imagined dream more true than life? I open my eyes. I lie there, back pressed to chill stone, jutting up into the heavens. The scents of man dissipate and are gone, replaced by the dry and whispering aura of the lonely desert, faint sage upon the wind. I close my eyes. falling, I slide to the cold sands and lie there, waiting only for death to take me, that I might once more approach that vision of holy beauty that awaits those that live and die in piety, and with the grace of heaven. A hand touches my shoulder. I do not look up. The hand remains, insistent in its immovability. I rise, slowly, turning, so I might see my unknown companion, with me, in the heart of the windsept sands of the great expanse. A man stands there, robed in white, black veil obscuring all save for dark eyes, set deep in his weathered brow, like jewels of onyx, set in a dark and seasoned stone, left to the desert, in years gone by. “Come. It is time” The man whispers through the desert wind. He beckons me, fingers set with jewels and stones, gold thread belts his waist. He turns and walks silently, out, towards the eastern sky. I follow him, seeming vision of guidance, sent to set my feet on the path of life. I follow him and yet, gradually he fades and is gone, vanished, beside a weathered stone, lonely in the great expanse. I fall to my knees, head bowed, strength gone from soul and body. I hear dimly through the haze of weary enervation, even as death enshrouds me, the trickle of falling water. I lift my eyes. water pools before me, gift of life, sent by spirit of guiding thirst. I drink and life within me lifts its head, water streams down wind partched throat, and even as I fall into cool oblivion, knowing that that vison of heaven awaits me, water soothes me, as I fall at last into darkness, and the shining vision of heaven around me, I close my eyes, darkness enshrouding, as I perish beneath the moon and frosted sky.

Strengths of Flowing Sands idea

Weakness of Flowing Sands idea

This idea does fit the idea of flow.

I would not get to build on my previous skills developed working with actors /crew.

It could be very cinematographic, I can think of lots of gorgeous panoramic shots I could use.

I can think of extreme wide shots and a couple of close ups but not many other types of shot I could use to give variety.

There are a number of coastal locations close to my home that could be used.

I have done a short film based on a poem before and find them a little dull/ sentimental.

I could film this myself with perhaps just the help of my mother as a driver and father as a strong pair of hands

I don’t get to come up with much of an original narrative with this idea.

This would be a cheap option to film.

I’m not sure this represents enough of a challenge to me at this stage of the course.

If I narrated or read a poem, I could focus on doing a really good audio track / voice reel.

Flowing Movements of a Dance

After college, I attend contemporary dance classes at the Brewery Arts Centre for a bit of light relief, work life balance and because I just love the physical relief it brings me.  This gave me the idea of building on my skills from having worked with actors before, to now work with an external performer to create a dance for the brief stimuli of flow. One, of the people I dance with at the Brewery Arts Centre is quite serious about doing as much dance as possible because he is hoping to apply to University to study Dance professionally and is hence, trying to put together a show reel. This got me to thinking if I worked with this guy I would hopefully, have a willing and talented performer that would get some personal benefit from having been involved in my project.

From my research on developing a narrative, I then thought about adding to the drama of the dance by making it a duet with a climactic confrontation and then conflict resolution.

There is something very similar between martial arts, fight scenes and dancing. They both involve sequences of flowing movements. This may sound ridiculous, but at this point, I could here in my head the character of Mad Eye Moody in ‘Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire’ reminding Harry Potter who was facing fighting a dragon to” play to your strengths, Harry”.

On the matter of strengths, I realised that I not only have experience and contacts in the dance world but I am also a black belt in Karate and an instructor. I hence, now had the idea that I could be the second dancer in the duet and could bring some of my martial arts knowledge and experience into the dance sequence. As I pictured this in my mind something about doing a fight, duet then made me think of a favourite animation series I had loved as a child : Avatar. In particular it reminded me of the following fight scene : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGTTVw2YKYU

This made me think of applying one of my other strengths to a dance/fight sequence, that is, my ability to self teach myself vfx skills. In particular, I felt I could learn to use a particle generator to add cg fire to a scene.

I was very excited at this point as I felt what I had come up with represented quite an unusual idea that would be very different from anything my peers would do, as it played to my very particular set of skills. Thinking about doing a dance I realised I could film a dance scene virtually anywhere we have room to dance and that I could visit different locations after I have thought more about the narrative. Once I have chosen a suitable location that fits, I could have wide shots establishing the location of the duet. Mid range shots at the start of the dance establishing what the characters are doing. Single shots of each dancer with some poses so I can add cg fire more easily. Close up shots to show the emotion of the opponents in the conflict etc. I then thought about what music and sound track I could use and researched the internet and came up with the following two potential tracks:-

KPM’s Music : Into The Fire https://youtu.be/U23Gy6CG70w?list=PLBI38Df7q5RUyiDZeN2nrhFLyA0HN5D5u

From Avatar The Last Airbender : Last Agni Kai (Avatar Sountrack)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFnnNijn_OI

Strengths of Flowing Dance idea

Weakness of Flowing Dance idea

This idea fits the brief stimuli.  

I am able to visualise it and feel it has a strong aesthetic appeal.

This is quite an ambitious idea as it involves me in several roles including :- performing, choreographing, planning, directing and learning advanced vfx

This idea plays to my unique strengths : my dance, Karate and self learning vfx skills

This idea will involve a lot of hard work and a lot of time because of the vfx

This idea will allow me to produce a unique film very different to that of my peers. Unique films lend themselves to unique, interesting stories.

This idea involves relying on a dancer and other people to film and crew for me. It will take a lot of coordinating with others and trying to do this whilst looking for consistent weather conditions is a challenge.

This idea allows me to build on my previous projects working with actors and hence, to learn from the feedback from previous projects.

This idea will need a lot of researching including on developing the narrative, choreography, costume design and makeup.

This film would be a reasonably cheap option to film depending on the costumes chosen.

If I want to enter this film into festivals I will have to limit my choice of sounds to copyright free tracks.

Dancing and Choreographing a dance are a lot of fun and definitely not isolating. 

I could explore a variety of dance styles

I could get carried away with choreographing, dancing and doing vfx with this idea and the grading criteria for this unit doesn’t really call for it.

I could use a variety of shots in this film and filming the  dynamic movement will be a good challenge for me.

Because of the amount of work involved in this idea I would have to plan very thoroughly and early.

This could be filmed anywhere we have room to dance. I could match my location choice to the narrative

 Filming a dance scene will be difficult for any crew I use, tracking the moves with the camera and lighting could be problematic.  At the same time, I will need to avoid just portraying a montage of poses.

Finalising my Decision on Which Idea to Go With.

I have decided to reject the Water Flowing / cycle idea for the time being, as I think it is a little too sentimental and could be too expensive and isolating for me to do. I have also decided to reject the Time Flows / Entropy idea for the moment, as again I think it could be a bit too sentimental an idea for me and because I think it lacks originality. I have decided instead to go with the Flowing Dance idea for my film choice. However, as I also strongly liked the idea of showing the flowing sands and the interesting extreme wide angle shots and close ups this option brings, I have decided to combine these two options together so I potentially will have the benefits of both options. I will hence, use the flowing sands as my location and will do a desert, dance/conflict film. This means I get to have fun dancing and choreographing. My idea is cheap to do and will fit the brief stimuli on more than one level. I don’t think this idea is as cheesy or sentimental as my other ideas and I get to work with others and build on feedback from having worked with actors during previous projects. I get to play to strengths I haven’t shown before, my dance skills, my Karate and vfx learning skills and I also get to work on a project that I expect will be very different to what anybody else will do in my class. I will be able to film at some amazing local, locations that will hopefully allow me to have some great extreme wide establishing shots and to have some variety in the shots used. As my dance sequence is to include conflict I will have two main characters fighting over a precious amulet. The traveller will be the lead and will be shown travelling through an environment of flowing sands and undulating dunes with this precious amulet. The second character will be that of the a sand like creature that will reflect the texture of the desert and will attack the traveller for the amulet. The conflict will be brought to a climax with the dancers showing flowing movements and adopting poses that I can enhance with cgi fire. The conflict will resolve as the the sand creature is destroyed and becomes part of the desert again and the desert will seek revenge against the traveller by whipping up a sand storm.

I will now bank my other film ideas and will concentrate on developing this dance film in the sands. I will move on to writing a detailed project proposal and doing some careful overall planning of the project to take into account the deadlines given.

 

Feedback on my Final idea:

The main questions that arose in my feedback were;

How is the sand creature going to be created? – This means that in my development I will have to look at a few ways to make the creature from make up and costume to CGI to editing the idea.

Where would it be filmed as there are no deserts in cumbria? – This means that I will have to explore locations that could appear to be like a desert.

How will the amulets importance be portrayed? – For this I imagine that it will become obvious from the shots editing and movement and possible costume incorporation.

There is a lot of CG ,  hence, is it realistic for the timeframe? – This will be found out through testing. I could instead attempt practical effects such as using flame throwers but these have more issues than the CGI.  To bypass some of these concerns I will make the CGI elements an unnecessary addition for my film and shoot footage that I could fall back on that works on its own without CG fire. The CG fire if it works on these scenes would be there purely to add to the aesthetic.

 

 

 

Posted in Fmp Year 2, Uncategorized, Year 2 Films | 1 Comment

FMP Project Proposal

 

Final Draft

Rational:

During this FMP I will demonstrate the following strengths :- I am imaginative and able to generate/develop ideas to closely fit a brief. I can plan effectively and prioritize so that I meet all deadlines. My work is informed by relevant primary and secondary research. I am a safe pair of hands, able to use a variety of camera equipment and support others to do the same. I am competent at using software to edit /develope narrative and can apply vfx to help enhance the visual appeal for an audience.

Reflecting on feedback from previous projects, I will focus on being more assertive, delegating more, communicating better with my cast and crew and maintaining an outward appearance of positivity. I wll also strive to be more flexible about adapting my ideas and more willing to accept the suggestions /contributions of others. To encourage this flexibility I will maintain a critical and evaluative approach throughout.

Concept:

The working title of my short film is : ‘The Amulet’

As a traveller navigates the sands with a precious amulet a creature of the desert fights him for it. The stimuli of flow will be explored by emphasizing the flowing sands and enhancing flowing dance movements with CG fire. It will be a visual narrative without dialogue but supported with a soundtrack that complements the action and mood. The conflict will build then resolve as the sand creature is destroyed and the enraged desert either drags the amulet and traveller down into the sands or swallows them up in a sandstorm.

My main role will be that of director which will involve me working on developing my dance/ choreography skills, as well as my shot planning and cast/crew management. On this occasion I would like to try working with a performer from outside my normal circle of family and friends. I will use natural lighting for my film and shoot during the golden hour so there is good light and contrast with minimal set up considerations. In terms of camera movement, I want to show flow whilst keeping high energy; so dynamic movements and transitions will be key.  To achieve this I will use my practical experience to support my crew to use the Cannon C100 and Sony FS700 with a shoulder rig or tripod. I plan to prioritize my workload so I shoot as soon as possible in order to give myself plenty of time for post production.

The primary research underpinning this project will be collected from interviews with dance professionals. I will use moodboards and carry out small scale surveys to gather people’s opinions on the character, costume, makeup and soundtrack. I will gather secondary research from relevant books, articles, blogs and youtube videos. I will be visiting local coastal areas of Walney and Roanhead to assess the practicality of using them as my location. I will visit charity shops and online auction sites to source the costumes and props. I will also carry out test shots and a dress rehearsal at my chosen location.

The project should have a natural flow to it ,as defining the characters and narrative should to some extent suggest the costume / makeup and dance. However, I also expect the project to evolve in a reactive way being impacted on by the contribution my performer brings to the dance, how well we work together and how the location dictates our moves. The narrative may change direction depending on how the shots turn out, how I feel the edit best flows and fits with the sound track and as my ability to apply visual effects allows.

In my reflective blog I will record feedback from my tutors and peers and combine this with my own thoughts on the positives and negatives on various aspects of my work including, the usefulness of research. This will demonstrate informed decision making and method and show an evaluative approach. I will use my reflective journal to repeatedly relate my work back to the brief and to check I am meeting the FMP unit requirements. I will use my blog to also regularly review the quality and quantity of my work in relation to the time frame given. I will document how these reviews, affect my priorities, plans, the narrative and overall direction of my project. I will supplement my written notes with relevant photographs and videos. Finally, I will evaluate the success of my project by summarizing the main lessons learned throughout and by analyzing the final screening to note what went well and what I need to improve on next time.

Schedule

Bibliography

Ideas Generation:

Water as a Flowing Liquid and Flowing in a Cycle, Research ideas

White Scar Caves. (2017) (website). Available at : http://www.whitescarcave.co.uk/home

Ingleton Waterfalls Trail. (2016) (website). Available at : http://www.ingletonwaterfallstrail.co.uk/

Gordale Scar. (website). Available at : http://www.malhamdale.com/gordalescar.htm

Janet’s Foss. (website). Available at : http://www.malhamdale.com/janetsfoss.htm

Walney Island Beaches. (online images). Available at :

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Walney+island+beaches&tbm=isch&imgil=8pd9UMVw-1Cw5M%3A%3Bv4_W5UqqoaGDYM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.alamy.com%252Fstock-photo-overlooking-the-beach-and-duddon-estuary-on-walney-island-nature-reserve-23544126.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=8pd9UMVw-1Cw5M%3A%2Cv4_W5UqqoaGDYM%2C_&usg=__rybHeKXAQls8H176uaALq1Hbwow=&biw=1920&bih=974&ved=0ahUKEwjIhfmNxavUAhVFCsAKHeCxCEgQyjcISg&ei=Wdc3WYj1McWUgAbg46LABA#imgrc=7foBQyN_8E8-iM:

Mist at Newby Bridge. (2009). (online image). Available at : https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj_lbGAx6vUAhXrKsAKHYpgDkcQFggsMAE&url=https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Morning_Mist_Over_Newby_Bridge_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1502642.jpg&usg=AFQjCNGy94mRTtHKHKaniqGOX7RJQUA9iw

Smilo82. (2006) Yiruma: River Flows in You. (video). Available at : https://youtu.be/LyTBCaCnYco

xXYuNPoOXx. (2006). Yiruma:Kiss the Rain. (video). Available at : https://youtu.be/so6ExplQlaY

Time Flows / Entropy. Research Ideas

BBC. (2011). Brian Cox explains why time travels in one direction – Wonders of the Universe – BBC Two . (video). Available at : https://youtu.be/uQSoaiubuA0

HarpsichordM. (2015). A. Vivaldi The Four Seasons, Nigel Kennedy. (video). Available at : https://youtu.be/d2XM1EMzaWs

Kamakawiwo’ole , I. (1993). Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World. (video). Available at : https://youtu.be/Z26BvHOD_sg

Idaxtoer90. (2009). Andrea Bocelli – White Christmas. (video). Available at : https://youtu.be/0kbMbaR-xJQ

Flowing Sands, Research ideas

GoLakes. North Walney National Nature Reserve. (website). Available at :

http://www.golakes.co.uk/Barrow-in-Furness-North-Walney-National-Nature-Reserve/details/?dms=3&venue=5087313

National Trust. Sandscale Haws National Nature Reserve. (website). Available at :

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sandscale-haws-national-nature-reserve

Balachandran, K. (2013). A Sand Sculpture In The Hands of Time. (poetry website). Available at :

https://hellopoetry.com/words/sand/

Anonymous. (2014). A Desert Dream of Wind and Sand. (poetry website). Available at :

https://hellopoetry.com/words/sand/

Flowing Movements of a Dance research ideas

Allan, M (2013). Azula VS Zuko Final Agni Kai. (animation, video). Available at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGTTVw2YKYU

Epic Music World. (2010). KPM Music : Into The Fire. (video). Available at :

https://youtu.be/U23Gy6CG70w?list=PLBI38Df7q5RUyiDZeN2nrhFLyA0HN5D5u

The Avatar Soundtrack. (2008). Last Angi Kai : Avatar Soundtrack. (music soundtrack). Available at : https://youtu.be/yFnnNijn_OI

Planning A Short Film

D4Darious. ( 2014). How to Make A Short Film : Important Tips and Advice. (video). Available at :

https://youtu.be/PalEaciHvXI

Tuts+Photo+Video. (2015). Visual Storytelling With the 5 – Shot Method for Video Sequences. (video). Availble at : https://youtu.be/rWPNTORWhPk

Tutvid. (2016). How to Shoot a Very Short Film w/ cheap gear: Pre-Production. (video). Available at : https://youtu.be/32U9zmQzvm4

Film Riot. (2015). Prepping for a Short Film. (video). Available at : https://youtu.be/-_1R2SEQ0y4

Secondary Research on How to do a Call Sheet

Starboardmedia. (2010) How To Write Call Sheets For Small Film Productions. (website, guide). Available at : http://www.starboardmedia.co.uk/how-to-write-call-sheets/

Developing a Narrative Research

Field, S. (2003). The Definitive Guide To Screen Writing. London :Ebury Press.

Developing a Visual Narrative and Shot Planning Research

Kenworthy, C. (2012). Master Shots 2nd Edition 100 Advances Camera Techniques To Get An Expensive Look On Your Low Budget Movie. California : Michael Wiese Productions.

Van Sijll, J. (2005). Cinematic Storytelling The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know. California : Michael Wiese Productions.

Choreographing and filming a Dance, Research

Ludus Dance Company Teacher’s Resource Packs, 5 packs compiled by Ludus Touring company. (1990 – 2000) :- ‘Clash’, ‘Timetrax’, ‘Crying out Loud’, ‘The Spark’, ‘Sold’.

Cyr, M. (2016) Designing Dances : How to Choreograph a Dance in 10 Steps. Dancesport Place, (online article). Available at : https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjxlpqL5ZrUAhUFLcAKHZcbDn0QFggmMAA&url=http://dancesportplace.com/designing-dances-how-to-choreograph/&usg=AFQjCNFhRRjYhOaEiZ8H8BtBeBB3iHJ-Aw

David LaChapelle Studio. (2015) Sergei Polunin, “Take Me to Church” by Hozier, Directed by David LaChapelle. (video). Avaliable at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-tW0CkvdDI

Sergei Polunin Fans. (2016). Sergei Polunin – Behind the scenes Take Me To Church. (video). Avaliable at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDfVEZlnaOc

BBC Earth Unplugged. (2013). Golden Eagle in slow motion – Slo Mo #9 – Earth Unplugged. (video). Avaliable at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM0JMoGABgk

Safy. (2010). Red Fox – Hunts mice under snow [ incredible way ]. (video). Avaliable at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yUwM5mHBD8

Smithsonian Channel. (2017). Here’s What Makes Komodo Dragons So Powerful. (video). Avaliable at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVKvJ8wSKp0

Costume Design, Research

Anario. (2012). Costume Design/Fellowship of the Rings/Lord of the Rings. (video). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FfvX8LP5MY

Videofashion. (2014). Edith Head (1978)- From the Videofashion Vault. (video). Available at : https://youtu.be/fDGbI0i2nCg

Games of Thrones. (2011). Costume Design (HBO). (video). Available at : https://youtu.be/F_iFAjvYFo4

Bafta Guru. (2014). In Focus : Costume Design. (video). Available at: https://youtu.be/oqCjksUhSTc

Bafta Guru. (2016). Costume Design from The Danish Girl, Mad Max, Carol and more. (video). Available at : https://youtu.be/XHykoyjeVt0

Rambert Dance. (2017). Ghost Daners : Getting Into Charatcter. (video). Available at :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pswB5ikZPg0  

Zip kaiTM VN. ( 2017). CGI Animated Short Film HD Sand Castle Short Film by Zipkai. (video). Available at : https://youtu.be/vy-ItIROuNw

Google images. (2017). (online image) Available at :

https://i0.wp.com/www.danzia.com/images/large/w/BWPMT217/BWPMT217_12_LRG.jpg

Google images. (2017). (online image) Available at :

https://i2.wp.com/i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NDE4WDQ5OQ==/z/SQ8AAOxyUrZS-t~f/$_3.JPG

Google images. (2017). (mood board of online images). Available at : https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/JWjVYXQW61HAwMrQaRSY1zRQfRdEj39VtUfGuE5OW_19zxhhdqswkS5iyFWY7yoRYaw66p8=s85

Google images (2017) (mood board of online images). Available at :

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/9O0CZax19lNa-QfbOb8PeqwyKrXKUDBot1dJ-igTWFdyHnPQHZM024bqU0959oXIo8_2=s85

Avatar. (online image). Available at :

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/avatar/images/9/98/Ghashiun.png/revision/latest?cb=20130705103954

DeviantArt. Desert Walker by MiscCee. (online image). Available at :

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiJpdaA673UAhVG1RoKHTGQBTkQjRwIBw&url=http://miscee.deviantart.com/art/Desert-Walker-266426820&psig=AFQjCNEpCGY7lz3i1YntU4-ogJGzvFv-Hg&ust=1497546880837426

Anantara. Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort. (google image). Available at : https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQoTvzB2y1HCPdryUKjQF1GJQn4TvS7M_EUUW_Aua1hVaTDACqB

Google Image. (2017) Available at :

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS_Ykkztn3dww0-YXDSJ1lLwPdOrHIYdjaZi-NYdaZHfCBPnk3CFg

Desert Fighters (google image). Available at : https://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/5f/36/e4/5f36e4df6277a6e1f0ca6cdfd06c376a.jpg&imgrefurl=https://www.pinterest.com/pin/462744930438649550/&docid=wXjV29x6wWYIvM&tbnid=BMxWluqQtUsMgM:&vet=10ahUKEwj0zbjV27bUAhVIB8AKHesNClI4ZBAzCAIoADAA..i&w=640&h=368&bih=771&biw=1536&q=desert rat fighter&ved=0ahUKEwj0zbjV27bUAhVIB8AKHesNClI4ZBAzCAIoADAA&iact=mrc&uact=8

Kristianathe. (2016). CRACKED STATUE MAKEUP TRANSFORMATION TUTORIAL. (video). Avaliable at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igi3yvK-pRQ

Pitching A Film, Research

Jacob Krueger Studio. (2012). What To Do When You Are Pitching Your Script. (video). Available at : https://youtu.be/DCpdEPJP0T8T8

Indie Film Hustle. (2016). How To Pitch Your Screenplay or Film Idea. (video). Available at :

https://youtu.be/0GNmHc3EBwU

Film Courage. (2012). The Art of Pitching A Movie Idea Using the Rule of 3 by Marc Zicree. (video). Available at : https://youtu.be/q6Lc-_tSN1c

WikiHow. (2016). How to Write a Film Pitch. (video). Available at : http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Film-Pitch

VFX Research

Colin Smith. (2014). Advanced Roto Brush in After Effects. (video). Avaliable at: https://youtu.be/t3mDbJMn16Q

FX HIVE. (2015). Cinema 4D and Turbulence FD – Smoke vs Fire Collision. (video). Avaliable at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WH1OEighxk

Visionary Universe (2016) Realistic Fire Simulation – After Effects Tutorial. (Video). Avaliable at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7TdqrB6N7w

Harry Wallin. (2015). “Desert” ww2 short film – making a sandstorm (Spielberg “Close Encounters) practical effects. (video). Avaliable at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CNhjFtc4RI

Martin Miroľa. (2015). Dust Storm – Fumefx. (video). Avaliable at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hGShzZr4Ho

HOKIROYA I Digital Art. (2015). Creature Creation – Modeling, Sculpting, Texturing, Rigging (BLENDER TIMELAPSE). (video). Avaliable at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?=sXg0IRKhEho

Posted in Fmp Year 2, Uncategorized, Year 2 Films | 1 Comment

FMP Scrapbook

Draft 1

Rational:

This college year I have made a small collection of short films.  I feel I have become much more confident and competent at using the sound and lighting equipment and at operating the cameras including the Cannon 5D, C100 and Sony FS700.  As I have decided that I would like to aim for Directing as a career I have deliberately focused on learning the people skills a director needs to get the best from cast and crew. This has been especially fun in the last two projects in which I have directed both family and drama students. Both projects were extremely stressful but I have loved the satisfaction at the end. From feedback, the things that I need to work on most now are my level of positivity, my assertiveness (as there were instances in filming where I should have been harder on people who weren’t doing what they were supposed to be) and my communication with others as  there were times where cast didn’t see where the film was going and so started loosing confidence. Last time I made a film my research and planning worked really well and I was able to confidently get the shots I wanted with a knowledge of how and why, so I hope to repeat this.  Being a director  has given me greater insight into every area, from working with actors, communicating my ideas to crew, planning the shots to entering festivals.  This all encompassing role has helped to deepen my understanding of  how equipment works and has massively challenged me to grow as an individual.  My favourite thing about directing short experimental dramas is that the creative freedom is basically unlimited.  This means that i am able to explore any mixture of styles and techniques and try to find ways of blending them together to create an original film.  My main aims for this project are to show how much I have learned as a film maker.  I want to show my creativity, show my ability to  with actors and crew, to use a variety of equipment and software, to show that I have developed skills as a  self directed learner who can apply relevant research to create and adapt a short project. Also that i am able to bring my knowledge and skills from other creative areas into the realms of film.

Concept:

The stimuli I have chosen from the Brief is the word ‘FLOW’:

The Amuletworking title

This will be a short film of no longer than 4 minutes, about a lone traveler who travels the dunes with an amulet. The desert wants this amulet as it values the artifact and so sends a sand creature to fight the traveler at night. The conflict will be expressed as a two and a half to three minute film made up of contemporary dance and a fight sequence which will be embellished with CGI fire. The conflict concludes with the sand creature being destroyed, but if there is time the desert will soon after takes its revenge dragging the amulet and the traveler down into the sands or by swallowing them up in a sandstorm.

For this project I shall be primarily directing which with it containing a dance piece will cover choreography, shot planning and crew management. This means that I will be able to combine the directing ability’s gained from my past projects and my passion for dance in order to create a meaningful, emotive and aesthetically pleasing video which will demonstrate conflict and a narrative ark without the need for dialogue. In terms of lighting I would like to have at least one case of Rembrandt lighting as this style of lighting looks natural and can easily be set up whilst maintaining strong aesthetic appeal. In terms of camera movement I want to get the flowing feeling whilst keeping high energy; so dynamic movement and transitions will be key to keeping the feeling right.  For my locations I shall be using the coastal sand dunes around Roanhead with the use of special effects make up and some custom costume designs to procure a desert  feel.

To evaluate my work I shall record my ideas and how they change by recording of all of my written work, short videos and photos of each stage on this blog so that I can reflect on each stage I see what I could improve and what worked well in order to learn for next time.

Bio: (to be done at end)

 

Draft 2

In a nutshell, during this project I would like to show how much I have developed as a film maker and learner and to challenge myself further to produce a visually attractive film that closely fits the brief given and grabs the audience.

Throughout this course I have  benefited greatly from the blogging process.  Reflecting on and evaluating my work has really helped me progress in the right direction.  I now encourage feedback from others rather than feel defensive about it because it is usually so constructive.

Feedback from my last two film projects has  informed me that I need to work on being assertive when delegating tasks, that I need to work on managing my stress levels and remaining positive in my mood when on set and also that I  need to try and communicate better with others.  For example, when filming ‘Tenebrosity’ I noticed that my cast felt very downcast themselves when as the Director, I didn’t hide my low mood and that conversely, when I was more positive that everyone was lifted and things went much more smoothly.  When Directing my last short film, ‘Facade’,  though I remained outwardly positive, there were instances where  I should have been more assertive and kept on top of crew more to keep them on task and  communicated more with cast who had at times had no idea where the film was going and so lost motivation and confidence.  I found both these projects more stressful than I had ever anticipated and that there is so much more to directing than I had thought.  Directing as a career however, still draws me but represents  a massive challenge and involves a very high level of interpersonal skills.  During this final project, I want to work on keeping the atmosphere on set positive and improve my ability to communicate my wishes to my crew and so  support and direct others better.  Moreover, I want to work on that I can del

During this course when it comes to written work I am aware that I have a tendancy to be a little over the top in the quantity of written work I produce.   In this project I would like to show that I have learned from feedback from my tutors in the respect and will endeavour to keep my research relevant  when planning the costumes,  makeup and devising the narrative/choreography.  I will make sure I  show that there is that method and reasoning behind my  shot list and visual effects used that relate to the brief and help develop the narrative.

During my time at college, one of my main strengths has been that I have always managed to meet deadlines set and prioritise my workload effectively.  I would like to maintain my record here and not let myself down, despite wanting to push myself and use up all the hours available to produce the most visually appealing experimental short I can.

In the past I have reflected and had feedback that I have a tendency to be stubborn and inflexible when it comes to my ideas.  Though this can be advantageous at times, I would like to show you in this project that I have honed my problem solving skills and am much  more flexible now,  particularly when it comes to such things as killing my darlings and welcoming the contributions of others.

Finally, I would like to show that I am a safe, reliable and professional film maker.  I will demonstrate this by carrying out a risk assessment to keep my crew/cast safe.  I will plan carefully so we film when there is less risk of the weather and environment  damaging the equipment and I will produce a checklist so the right kit is too hand and the  equipment is booked out when needed, fully charged and prepared for use.

 

Evaluation Points

Ideas Generation Strengths

  • I used brain storming and free association to mind map a wealth of ideas for each brief stimuli

  • I quickly identified the stimuli of flow as the area in which the ideas spoke to me.

  • I explored four ideas in more depth for the brief stimuli of flow

  • I combined two of my explored ideas for flow to come up with my final idea and in doing so I benefitted from the strengths of both ideas and reduced the impact of the weaknesses of each individual idea.

  • I now have a couple of good ideas I can add to my bank of ideas for future films

Ideas Generation Weaknesses:

  • I didn’t explore the ideas of the other stimuli in any depth

  • I cannot shut the gate….I am still getting ideas about ‘flow’ although I have made my decision as to what I want to do…I can’t stop the ideas coming.

  • In combining two ideas I have created some new problems for myself, mainly in terms of time and organisation.

  • If I am absolutely honest there is a bias behind my choice of ideas. As soon as it ocurred to me that I could do a dance and work with a performer, the other ideas paled into insignificance.

Planning Strengths:

  • I researched what other film makers advise you do when starting a short film so had a good idea of useful things to include in my planning such as doing shot list, resource lists, call sheets, as well as storyboards

  • I produced a time line, production diary form and schedule that helped me to monitor my progress

  • I produced a variety of documents to help with my planning that I will recycle and use again with other projects because they proved useful for example, my call sheet form and production diary record sheet.

  • My main aim with my planning was to ‘crack on’ and to be as organised as possible, because I knew I had a lot of post production to do and this aim will be what saves my project. I met a lot of problems with applying the vfx that would have meant I didn’t get my project finished if I hadn’t got a move on right from the start.

  • Luckily with my planning I knew, where I wanted my FMP to be at certain points and in reviewing my progress regularly I kept an eye on the overall progress of my project throughout. This overview of my progress led me to make some very difficult decisions to abandon aspects of vfx despite having done a lot of work on them. This was essential to completing my project on time.

  • I planned to cover heatlh and safety aspects of my project as part of my research and carried out a risk assessment for my cast/crew and shoot days. This may of helped keep my cast and crew safe and the equipment in good order. I certainly felt more professional for having done one and more able to concentrate on filming knowing this aspect was taken care of.

Planning Weaknesses

  • My plan to do a project that involved me in doing so many roles was all abit too ambitious. I have over stretched myself and put my health at risk. My tutors questioned me on whether I would have enough time to do the vfx as well as everything else very early on but I got carried away with myself, even though I knew the grading criteria wouldn’t reward me for so much extra work.

  • I allowed a crew member to arrange to pick my dancer up on the second day of shooting which meant I had the two many eggs in one basket that day. I also didn’t build any allowances for later comers and traffic problems into my shoot days. This meant when my crew member was held up in traffic that day it nearly led to my dancer going home as they had waited 40 minutes to be picked up. It took a lot of texting on facebook and sweetening everyone up with tea and biscuits when they arrived at my house.

  • I put too many shots down on my first shoot day and possibly over faced my crew, although he said nothing to suggest this. I was over ambitious that first day and with hindsight would of been better doing 3 shoot days.

  • I didn’t plan to do enough shots for my B roll. I did do some extra footage but more shots of eyes and over the shoulder shots etc would of helped my editing more.

Visual Narrative Development:

What went well :

  • my narrative does have a beginning, a middle and an end.

  • I did use a variety of shots in my visual narrative as planned, for example, wide shots showing climate and location, mid range establishing shots of the dance start, single shots to show opposition and agression, close ups to show the emotion of the traveller.

  • My narratvie does have the set up, conflict and conflict resolution in the right places.

  • There is a jump scare after around 70 seconds that represents an action plot leading nicely on to the confrontation section.

  • My visual narrative fits the brief as it shows ‘flow’ in a number of ways. I have flowing sands, flowing dance movements, flowing cg fire.

  • My visual narrative is edited to be of the right length.

  • My visual narrative is unusual and very different from those of my peers.

  • My narrative is visually attractive with the cg fire, costumes, makeup, dance/combat action and fabulous location.

Visual Narrative Development :

What didn’t go as well :

  • my characters lacked depth and detail, for example, what does the traveller do in his work, who is he in his personal and private life, what is his point of view, place in the world or dramatic need. Who is the sand creature, what does he want etc. I hadn’t done enough of the fundamental character development work to define them properly.

  • similarly to the point above, there was a lack of back story shown. It wasn’t clear why the main character was in the desert; why he had the amulet; what power the amulet had; where the traveller was going; why the sand creature wanted the amulet etc. I should of used some exposition shots to give a back story and set up the dramatic premise or alternatively a voice over to set up the narrative more……..I was so busy focusing on showing ‘flow’ and fitting the brief that I have ended up filming more of a scene than a short that is a whole story in itself. My story in a nutshell is too confusing and vague.

  • my main character was reactive rather than having a dominant role… leading the action. It may have given him more strength as a main character to have shown the sand creature being drawn to the amulet and then to have the traveller starting the fight.

  • It definitely wasn’t made clear that the sand creature was part of the desert.

My Pitch Strengths

  • I must of made a reasonable impression on Rebecca Day as she contacted my tutor at a later date suggesting I applied for an opportunity in vfx she had come across.

  • My power point went down well as I didn’t use it to cover all my material ……

My Pitch Weaknesses

Research Good Points

  • I used both Primary and Secondary Sources, sought out the opinions of my peers and

    audience and used previous research I had already carried out for other projects on this course. As stated in my proposal, and hence as intended, I ended up with a wealth of material that demonstrates my work is well researched and informed.

  • My research was kept to areas relevant to my project and the sources I used were mostly appropriate / experienced professionals.

  • My research (particularly seeking the opinions of my peers /audience) helped with my decision making and so helped progress my project.

  • My research helped me plan better and gave me confidence as the director. For example, on the shoot I knew I had considered health and safety, what we were going to focus on as dancers and what shots I wanted and why. I felt well prepared.

  • My primary research helped me develop my networking skills. I now have more contacts in the dance / choreography world and feel more confident about approaching people for advice as I have found people are generally very happy to help if they can.

  • My research into health and safety has allowed me to identify that as a future film maker I may benefit from First Aid training and perhaps risk assessment training.

Research Bad Points

  • I feel I have carried out extensive research for this project and appreciate that this may be a nightmare for my tutors wading through it and may mean my project is more academic and hard work than was needed.

  • Interviewing a choreographer and my mother as part of my primary research has added to the pressure I have been under and the degree of interest people now want to show in my project. The choreographer Aleyna Woodend not only wants me to keep in touch with her but wants to attend the screening. My mother wanted to check my risk assessment and be at the shoot as a trained first aider!

  • My research has involved seeking the opinions of others and their advice. Sometimes people’s opinions differed from one another and to my own and sometimes I didn’t take peoples’ advice. This has meant I have had to struggle with finding ways to politely reject some ideas, explain my choices and be more assertive than I would of liked. For example, Aleyna Woodend the choreographer I interviewed was quite keen for me to attend classical ballet lessons with a colleague of hers and she gave me a CD of Matrix music she thought I could use. However, I wanted to use copyright free music in my project so I could enter my film into festivals and on trying the dance lessons she suggested I found myself in a class of awkward young girls feeling rather out of place and that I was wasting everyone’s time including my own. I am now concerned that Aleyna will feel I have disregarded all her advice and kindness.

  • Many of the suggestions /tips that came out of my research, were things I feel I would have know anyway and/or would of done instinctively. For example, I may not of choreographed a dance before but I knew instinctively to encourage my dancer to improvise. Similarly, I may not of designed a costume before but didn’t need telling that it had to reflect the character and not cost much.

My Choreographing the good bits:

  • I recognised we hadn’t got the same level of dance experience and made Mattie the lead and took on a smaller role myself

  • I delegated choreographing a solo section for Mattie to him to overcome problems I had met trying to meet up and rehearse.

  • In using a performer from outside my usual circle of family and friends I have improved my communication skills and ability to work with others.

  • I used our experiences of martial arts to inspire our movements

  • Our movements were very flowing and did lend themselves to my adding vfx later

  • I used lots of words and videos to inspire out choreography and had thoroughly researched how to go about choreographing.

My choreographing the less good bits:

  • I chose a dancer that had a lot more experience than myself which meant we weren’t well matched.

  • I would have been better

Visual Effects / the positive points

  • My use of different visual effects in this project I believe does show I am a good self directed learner able to use the internet and trial and error to develop new skills.

  • The visual effects did add to the visual narrative and films audience appeal. The fire was an important part of the conflict and was an essential element in the conflict climax and resolution. The fire effects did give an extra layer of interest for my audience without distracting from the performers.

  • The visual effects did reflect the brief stimuli of flow in that the fire extended the flowing movements of the dancers and it had a flow all of its own.

  • The visual effects have made my film very different from those of my peers. No one else was foolish enough to of attempted to use them.

  • Using computer generated effects can cover a multitude of sins if necessary and can be used to make tranisitons look more smooth for example, I used it to cut from the duet by the fire into the next stage of the conflict.

  • Researching and using visual effects in my film has helped me decide on the direction I want my career to take. I have found that sitting behind a computer screen for so much time has been quite tedious and isolating which impacts on my mental wellbeing. Hence, I now know I want to be on location as a cinematographer or director in the thick of the action.

  • Having drastically changed the visual effects I used during this project, definitely shows I can be flexible and am less stubborn now with my ideas. This was an aspect of my approach to work, that I mentioned in my proposal that I would like to work on. Indeed, I have now killed so many of my visaul effect darlings, I could be accused of being positively psychopathic.

  • Looking at visual effects has given this future cinematographer and director an invaluable insight into what a CG team requires from a scene.

Visual Effects / the negative points

  • I was over ambitious with my some of my ideas for using certain CG visual effects. After investing a lot of time and effort researching and attempting to apply them, I realised I had to stop and change direction. Try as I might the college computers didn’t have the rendering power I needed and I could see from what I had achieved so far, that there were not enough hours in the day for me to be able continue adding them.

  • Some of the CG visual effects I initially applied although they showed my skills off and looked interesting didn’t fit in with the film as a whole. Indeed, they detracted from the continuity and for this reason had to be abandoned.

  • The time I spent trying and then abandoning my use of some of the visual effects took much needed time away from the rest of my project. It skewed the focus of my attention. I had to keep altering my plans and going back to editing the film with my new direction.

  • The time and energy I spent behind a computer screen working on my visual effects damaged my mood, and has left me physically unwell with a throat full of ulcers and feeling exhausted. I have hidden this well and just grit my teeth and hung on in there.

  • The time and energy spent on visual effects is not justified given the grading criteria for this unit. Although I wanted a visually appealing film for my show reel, I know I will not be rewarded, grade wise for the hours I have put in.

The Shoot / My Directing, choreographing and crew management : the strengths demonstrated:

The Shoot / My Directing, choreographing and crew management : the weaknesses identified

Costume / Hair and Makeup : the best bits:

  • I explored different options for the makeup and costume for the sandcreature and took the strengths and weaknesses of different options into account including the opinions of my family and friends into account when making my decisions.

  • The sand creature’s makeup /costume reflected the brief and the story. There was a flow to the tassles and the makeup added to the reptilian feel of the character.

  • The sand creature was exciting and unusual which added to the visual appeal.

  • I had learned from past mistakes with the sand creature’s costume and made sure it didn’t blend in too well with the background.

  • Both costumes were inexpensive cheap to make, quick and easy to make and were able to withstand being danced in for the required number of times in the dunes.

  • Both my characters costumes were comfortable to dance in and fitted well.

  • I explored different options for the Travellers costume as well. Again I took into account the opinions of my family and friends and took the strengths and weaknesses of the different options into account when making my final decision.

  • The travellers costume reflected the brief of flow and fitted the story well. His boots and staff showed he was a traveller, the colours reflected he didn’t want to draw attention to himself. There was a flow to the staff and poncho tassles.

  • The Travellers costume added to the visual appeal of my film and my dancer loved it.

  • I thoroughtly researched areas to consider when designing costumes before beginning my own designs.

Costume / Hair and Makeup : the worse bits :

  • my travellers costume was a bit of a cliché

  • the colouration of the travellers costume and the tassles on both costumes did not make the job of rotoscoping easy

  • the sand creatures costume left me exposed to the elements and the clay I applied for the sand creature’s makeup left me cold despite having blankets too hand. This left me vulnerable as when dancing being cold can increase the risk of injury as muscles are more likely to tear when cold.

  • The clay restricted my movement a little and the cracking effect didn’t show up as well as I had thought it would from my test shots.

  • Wearing a skirt as the sand creature restricted my movments a little. I understand the feminist argument more now when they point out that dressing little girls in dresses can restrict their behaviour for example, a skirt flops down over your face when you do a cartwheel.

  • The amulet could have been more porminent and special….perhaps something custom made would have better reflected the narrative.

  • I used black ribbons to bind my feet on the first day of shooting. These didn’t stay in place and were a nuisance, so I had to think on the spot and use black electricians tape instead.

  • I had used gravy browning to stain the staff and this attacted dogs on set!

 

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FMP Understanding The Brief

From the brief I understand that I am to conceive, plan, produce and evaluate a short 2-4 minuet film whilst recording my every step on this blog. To do this there are key posts that I will have to do as well as keeping a diary style log of what i’m doing. To help me keep track of this I will produce a checklist with all the tasks I have to do.

 

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Initial Ideas

In collaboration with the performing arts class students we looked at three scripted stimuli.

Script 1:

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Script 2:

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Script 3:

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Script 4:

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When coming up with the ideas we would take parts of the script and all say ideas and when we had ideas we liked we wrote them down and sometimes expanded on parts of them.

In the end the group decided on the poem script (script 2 as above.) As you will be able to see in the sheet we produced the ideas we liked all seemed to have a sort of falseness to them in terms of the characters (mannequins, clockwork masquerade, dollhouse.) of these the group seemed to unanimously agree on the idea of a dollhouse in which one character turns the porcelain order into chaos. To do this we are looking at the possibilities of making it into a dance film and how we think we could set it up like a dollhouse in terms of set costume and makeup.

from the dolls house suggestion we have devised a number of alternative takes on the idea. They are:

  1. Dinning room dance with robotic contemporary styles to show contrast between the fake and the real.
  2. People taking dolls to work so the dolls live the same life.
  3. A girl with a broken family uses dolls for escapism using them to demonstrate her perfect family.
  4. morning routine where the person “dolls up” then goes outside and everybody else is also dolled up.
  5. “Dollception” dolls who play with dolls who play with dolls etc.
  6. Russian dolls  here people open up to reveal other people

 

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Unit 11 Evaluation

What went well:

Making the website worked well on Wix. I was able to very easily build a decent looking website with all the videos I want to share. On the website I included widgets navigating to my Vimeo YouTube and Instagram which could boost my web traffic and therefore views from potential employees.

I produced a Vimeo page so that I could upload videos without compressing them to much. This means that potential partners or employers will be able to fully appreciate my work.

In the research of marketing techniques I found an interesting assortment of  people who’s work interests me and saw how there marketing was done so that I was able to simulate this with my own marketing.

What I could improve:

My YouTube page is cluttered with rough edits and test shots so that anyone visiting my channel will get a pretty bad impression. it is like this because I use the videos in my evaluations, but once they have been used I need to remove any unwanted videos and set out a better layout with the videos I do want to show. Expanding upon this the videos I want to show are not currently going to be found by a search engine as they have no tags so once my YouTube has been cleaned I need to go through adding tags and sharing the video links on social media.

To improve upon my website I could buy a domain and get links to it on social media. this would generate web traffic so that it would appear higher on search engines like google this way more people are likely to see my work.

My twitter page is very basic and so does little to get peoples attention so to improve on this I would be wise to get some big names and big topics involved as there tags will provide a greater amount of web traffic thus gaining the videos I share greater hype and publicity.

 

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