Music according to change of the story

The story has been changed quite a lot of times and now it has been changed again which has meant thinking differently about the film. Instead of starting with the scene of Simon swapping shifts, the story will go straight into the introduction of Marek. I have been listening to some piano music and think that this will work well at the start, introducing the film, then progressing to a louder volume when the title is introduced. After the title is introduced I think that there should be some quite happy music when Simon and Elina speaks, showing a change in the mood as they have just met and it is a happy occasion. For the next part of the film I don’t think there should be any music, as it is a tense moment when Marek comes in with Elina. When he whacks the shopping out of her hand I think that the music should get louder and once again piano music should be played.

An example of dramatic piano music to create an effect to show that it is a tense moment is above.

When Simon takes Elina into the stock room to make a picnic for Elina I think

After feedback from our lecturers we have agreed that this works better that having it drag on, that way at the start Marek and Elina are both introduced. At the end of the film there is going to be a shot of Simon left in the aisle of Costcutter, the camera then zooms out showing that he has been rejected, with another shot of Elina walking away.

I have been looking at different types of music for the film and have decided that in some parts the sound of a piano would work.

At the start of the fil

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Updated Poster

Updated to include the new title. I experimented with other images but decided this was the one that suited the film best.

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Conventions of our genre

Upon my research I have discovered a short film which is closely related to our one. This short film entitled ‘Cashback‘ was found on the Indlie Movie website. Why it is so similar to ours is not only the location, as it’s set in a supermarket, but also because the main character is somewhat like our Simon. The main character here is somewhat quiet and reserved, going about his day doing what he is told by the boss. Except in this short film he has the ability to start and stop time when he cracks his fingers. When he stopps time he undresses people adn sketches them in the supermarket. There is a voiceover playing throughout most of the short film, which reminded me a lot of our one. Here the voiceover is used to describe everyhting, as there is very little dialogue. This is similar to our piece as most of what is expressed is shown visually through facial expression and some voice over parts. As this short film is about a boy at a supermarket and is a drama, I feel that our short film mimics this quite well and so it will have a place in the wider world.

The pace of a drama is very important. Dramas such as this tend to be quite slow paced and have long lasting shots of the surroundings. As we can see in this short there are a few shots of the camera simply travelling down an isle of the shop. If the pace is too fas then it gives of the conventions of an action/thriller. Dramas, especially UK dramas such as ‘About a Girl’ tend to have that gritty realism edge to them. Often low saturation colours and long shots depict a morbid mise-en-scene which revolves around the main characters life. Establishing that a short film is a drama is done quite quickly through the tone of the piece and how the characters interact. Slow conversations and monotonous routines of life such as going to work are often signs of a drama, as they are as highly realistic to every day life.

Dramas can have different elements to them as well such as a surreal take on a routine (like the freezing of time) or the encoperation of other genres such as comedy. Comedy in dramas can work quite well, especially in rom-coms. Our piece pulls from a small amount of comedy, but only enough to break the tension in the scene and to make it reflect what would really happen in real life in the situation. As IMDB states “A dramatic film shows us human beings at their best, their worst, and everything in-between” This can all be said to be true of our short, as we see human beings at their best (making a picnic for a girl he loves). Their worst (the abusive boyfriend, Marek) and everything in-between (the working out of how to approach Elina and tell her his feelings). I think that our short does well in encompassing all the different elements of a good drama, and that we have understood and completed our piece well for the genre we are representing.

 

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Editing Process – The Rough Cut

Today me and Gergana started going through all the footage. Overall,   the footage looks good and  we got some really nice shots in there.  All the storyboarded shots have been filmed as well as other extra shots that will be useful in the edit, even if not storyboarded. The lighting  kind of ruined some takes of the picnic scene, where the acting was really good , but that was the best we could get and now we have to work it out with what we have got. However, if  there will be anything  that we will  definitely  need  for a scene , and we’ll think that what we have already got is not good enough, then we will just go and reshoot that scene.

Editing software

An important detail  that we didn’t think too carefully about was the format of the video files that we have filmed on the JVCs. There are two options on the camera’s settings: mp4 or quicktime format , and our group mate Gergana suggested it was better to choose mp4 instead of quicktime, as this type of files would be compatible with macs and PCs as well.  Her intention was good, because she  wanted to  make sure we can work with the footage on our PCs , in case the Macs would  not available. But there is one thing that none of us thought about: Final Cut recognises only quicktime files, and not mp4. We could have  converted our files , but we considered it is better not to do it, as it would have been a big waste of time and the high quality of the footage would have been lost as well. So  we have decided to edit our film in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

First steps

Before we even begun editing,  I started to visualise a possible version of our film in my  mind , thinking of what shots we could use. Then  me and G have discussed , just to make sure we both have a clear sense of  how the video  is going to look like.

We did keep log sheets when filming, but because it was the first time when we’ve used the JVCs  for a  proper shooting, the camera operators forgot to keep a record of the  memory cards they have used , so the log sheets were not too helpful  later on, in the post production stage.

When going through the footage, firstly I started to rename all the clips by their content, and then I have organised everything in different folders, representing different scenes of the film. Meantime, Gergana started to drag all the files in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and to organise them by their names into separate bins.  Once the footage has been sorted,  we started to watch all the takes from each scene, trying to decide which one is better. We have also started to get rid of unnecessary footage and rename clips, depending on the  position of the camera, on how good the acting or the lighting was.  We didn’t care too much about the sound, as we knew that we’ve got separate files with all the sound.

As Dancyger  states in his book , ‘The editing  process can be broken into two stages:  the stage of assembling the shots into a rough cut and  the stage in which the editor and the director  fine tune or pace the rough cut transforming it into a fine cut.

So we first  started to work on our assemble edit, by dragging clips onto the timeline and put them in a very rough order based on your pre-production paperwork, such as  the  storyboard  and the shot list. At this stage,  we didn’t add any transitions on our  video and sound clips. We just arranged the cuts in a decent order because we  wanted to see if there is a story in there and if we can actually make a film from the footage we had. And we had indeed. The film was in there, but it was quite  hard to follow the story. Also, the film was more than 10 min long, and even though this was just a rough cut, it was  far too long. So we have decided to eliminate some parts that were irrelevant to our story (e.g. simon coming in the store, simon serving eggs to a random customer, simon  swapping shifts with another worker). After doing this, the film started to make a bit more sense.

By getting rid of  footage, we  actually followed  a set of rules known as continuity editing. As our lecturer Clifton stated during one of our lecture, ‘continuity editing is a type of editing that gradually evolved from the beginning of cinema.’ Just as early filmmakers  discovered  in the past, we have realised that  we didn’t have to show absolutely everything in a narrative , in order to make it understood by the audience. On the contrary , by compressing time and leaving out certain events  that were not relevant to the story being told, we could produce a more dramatic narrative, that  could be even more appealing to the audience. And this is exactly what we did.

Feedback

After  showing our rough cut edit to our lecturers, we got some really helpful feedback:

  • Always  choose to record in  quicktime format when setting up  a JVC. It is better to use Final Cut Pro when editing, as more support  can be provided from uni staff

This is definitely something that I won’t forget in the future and will always check before filming.

  • ‘There are some beautiful shots  in there’

It was really nice to hear this,  because personally, I have noticed only the  flaws in our footage, such as bad angles of the camera, the camera movements,  the framing – missing parts of the shot, or bad acting , bad lighting, distorted sound.

  • We have to make full use of footage that we have got instead of focusing too much on  the shots that don’t look nice, and maybe could be eliminated

A good example would be  our  initial, estabilising shot.  Our director Sam, wanted to have  a shot of the Costcutter sign outside the store,  zooming out and panning down on  a wide shot of the whole store, with Simon coming in the shot and getting inside the store. Unfortunately, all the takes of this first  shot  were  so  bad that we couldn’t use any of them. But do we really need this one particular shot? None of us really thought about that, until  one of our lecturer opened our eyes. We don’t really need to show that  our main character works  in Costcutter, or that the action takes place in a store, as it is bleeding obvious in all of the other shots that we have

  • We need to be careful with the sound. The background noise in the original sound is too noisy. 

We have to start going through all the sound files that we have recorded on the Marantz and  see if these could work better. If not, we  may want to re-record all the  dialogue  in the TV studio , and then sync it with the original sound and also re-record  some plain  ‘shop’ noise that we could use in the background,  throughout the whole film.

  • When starting to polish our rough cut, we need to pay attention to the continuity that results when two shots are juxtaposed.

This also reminds me of  Dancyger’s observation : ‘The second shot must have some relationship to the first shot to support  the illusion of continuity’ from one of his books, called ‘The technique of Film and Video Editing‘.

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Distribution

After researching online about the best way to go about distributing our artefact, especially looking at http://www.ehow.com/how_2077624_distribute-short-film.html. I have found that contacting small independent distributers may be the best way forward for getting our short film out into the world. I will begin to research more on independent film distributers and will be in touch with them once our final piece has been completed. For now I have found a long list of UK and international based indepenand film distributors, which can be found here- http://www.independentfilmdistribution.com/?page_id=18

Another approach I will be taking is getting in contact with film reviewers and journalists. Reviewing the film may mean that we get some criticism, but it will still be a way to make our short more wildly known. I will first be approaching people who are on media courses that I know and getting them to write a review of it online. A cousin of mine writes for a Warwick based film-review magazine, so I’ll try and get him to take a look at our short. Of course putting our artefact online is the best way to reach an audience, and may even attract fans and distributers.

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Distribution

Throughout the short film I have been doing research into various different aspects of production. As producer, one of the main things I have been looking into is where our piece would fit in the wider world. Recently an opportunity for BBC Big Screen opened up, where we can submit our short films for the chance of getting them displayed in Birmingham. We will of course be submitting our final piece to there. Upon my research an excellent website I found which has helped me understand more about how to distribute my film is e-how.com. I’ve learned that such things as screening our short to distributers will be much more benificial than trying to self distribute. Both because of the time it will take to distribute by myself, and the money cost. As well as having no experience in this field. Getting a website looks like it will be a good way of making our film look much more professional as well. Something simple that promotes our film and that is easy to navigate around would be ideal. Even big Hollywood films such as Insepction have simple websites which outline where to purchase the film and where to watch the trailer. I think something much more simplistic than this website, but still keeping the professional look, would be fantastic. Unlike Inseption though we would not make people pay to watch our film!

I came across this video entitled “How to distribute your indie film” which helps explain the ways in with distributors may get your film out there but will give you very little money. This really is no concern for us, as the man in the video said “Maybe only something like a few thousand dollars”. Where as that would be very nice, I do not think we will be making money from this short. Our only intention is to get our film out there and get it recognised and appreciated by a media audience.

I have found that contacting small independent distributers may be the best way forward for getting our short film out into the world. I will be in touch with them once our final piece has been completed. For now I have found a long list of UK and international based indepenand film distributors, which can be found here-http://www.independentfilmdistribution.com/?page_id=18. Another approach I will be taking is getting in contact with film reviewers and journalists. Reviewing the film may mean that we get some criticism, but it will still be a way to make our short more wildly known. I will first be approaching people who are on media courses that I know and getting them to write a review of it online. A cousin of mine writes for a Warwick based film-review magazine, so I’ll try and get him to take a look at our short. Of course putting our artefact online is the best way to reach an audience, and may even attract fans and distributers. Distributing our artefact will mean that our short will no longer be a university project but will now be a professional piece of work out there in the real world.

 

I was expecting to do a post on the odd few short film festivals that I have found that look suitable to send our film to, but after researching it seems that there are hundreds of them that look perfect for ours to be sent to! I feel that our best bet of being accepted is by sending out video off to short student film festivals such as Exposures and Screentest Festival. We will of course be branching out and submitting our piece to all other short film festivals around the globe, there’s no harm in trying! Our short falls under the category of ‘Drama’ and there seem to be a vast amount of festivals that accept that, as I imagine it’s one of the most common genres. After the piece has been edited and we have a film poster/DVD cover I will begin burning the DVDs and posting them off, and emailing them to those festivals which accept online submissions.

Below is a list of but a few festivals that would be appropriate to send our short too.

Websites such as Britfilms.co.uk have an extensive list of all UK film festivals, of which i’ve one through and found many that would be appropriate. There are also loads of international festivals which we could try and send our film too. I am feeling confident that we will be able to get our film into at least one festival, and as stated, our best shot is with student film festivals. Any festival we get our piece in will be a great achievement for us, and I’m excited at the prospect of starting to apply to all of these festivals.

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Editing – problems and the solvation of them

Well, we have started editing yesterday. At first we started looking at the footage, which takes a lot of time because of the fact that the JVC makes separate folders for each clip every time when you press record. During the tutorial with Steve and his helpers at the moment we realized that we made a big mistake filming MPG4. Unfortunately non of us knew this will cause us problems. I told Shaun we should film like this because filming QuickTime if we need we can’t edit on PC or even look at the footage. Big mistake and now we have a bit problem because of the obstructions that this cause us about the using of editing software. Filming MPG4 we cannot edit on FinalCut but only on Premiere Pro. So we are forced to use Premiere.

The sound of the footage is really bad on some places. I can say most of it. Fortunately this is the sound on the cameras. We definitely had to pay attention to the right format on both of the cameras , just for a back up. But again fortunately we have all the sound recorded separate on Marantz which is good for us in this situation. I really hope that this will work and we will adjust it to the video properly. We can do it!

We were supposed to have the rough cut uploaded tonight but will be uploaded tomorrow because we didn’t have enough time to export it today because it was time for the building to be closed. So we will have it uploaded tomorrow. We have learned our lesson for future and will know how to set our cameras and how to record the sound and set it and everything. It will be pain but we will do it!

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