Evaluation

Originally outlined in my first proposal, I intended to create a short film about a group of teenagers and the lifestyles they live. The TV series ‘Skins’ inspired this line of thinking, however it soon became apparent to me that the key reason people love Skins, is down to the unique and diversified character profiling. Many of the characters in shows such as Skins have very different personality traits and individual problems, which the audience can often relate to. Relating to characters or becoming emotionally invested in their fictional lives often makes the audience a lot more interested in the film or show.  Due to the low budget that I have, I am unable to afford professional actors or crew, therefore changing the idea was necessary to allow me to create the film that didn’t need the involvement of as many people.

First proposal: https://euanscholes.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/13317-blog-the-week/

After this hurdle, I finally decided on the idea of a man cycling to his twin brother’s grave and on the way, he experiences a flashback from the night of his brother death. I’ve had to make many decisions based upon budget and the availability of other people willing to help out. For example, the decision of choosing for the only two characters in the film to be twins, means that it is possible to only need one actor for the narrative.

Upon changing my idea completely, I rewrote my proposal:

https://euanscholes.wordpress.com/2017/05/18/updated-proposal/

Despite settling for a final idea, throughout the course of shooting the film, I have had to make many changes in order to realistically get the film finished in time to a good standard. To illustrate how my idea has changed and how much work goes into a film.I have created a short showreel that contains an array of shots that never managed to make to the final edit.

https://vimeo.com/223112472

Despite, the numerous amounts of problems that have occurred during the process of filming, there are many aspects of the production which I am very pleased with. The first being the initial scene, which was filmed from the back of a moving van. These shots took a lot of time to get right, due to complications of passing cars and other factors such as making sure the framing of the subject was centred. Irregardless to these difficulties, I loved how the shots perfectly fitted together and the colours in particular of the first few shots were very vibrant which perfectly suited the nostalgic tone of the film. Often nostalgia is considered a very peaceful and happy sense of reflection, this can be represented through vibrant colours.

In many ‘blog the week’ and production posts, I have reflected on the problems I have encountered during filming. In one post in particular, I reflected on my executive decision to remove an entire scene from the film. I was not entirely happy with the inconsistency of lighting in the scene and it dawned on me that the film would still make sense with the absence of that scene. I believe it was the right decision to remove the scene, as the film as a whole flowed together much better without it. Unfortunately, this did make my short film a lot shorter but I would rather it be shorter and flow together better.

https://euanscholes.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/shooting-scene-two/

https://euanscholes.wordpress.com/2017/06/01/blog-the-week-010617/

Research was critical in how my short film progressed. I did practical research into a specific editing technique, which involves masking three clips in order to transition one shot to another. I did not end up using this technique because I did not find anywhere within my short film that it would be appropriate. However, I did learn and experience more practice in masking clips, so I do not believe the research was wasted.

On the other hand, the theory based research posts I created helped to shape the key foundations of my film. One research post was about music and its importance in films. This greatly helped with my project, as I wanted to have next to no dialogue in my film but instead, to tell a story primarily through sounds and visuals. Another research post was about analysing why pedestrian/vehicle crashes are so popular in films and what they often mean in indie based films. Not only this, but I researched how to create a vehicle/pedestrian collision on camera without making it look low budget and tacky. From research into a film called ‘Me Before You’ I realised that the character doesn’t necessarily need to be shown getting hit for it to be an emotional scene.

I believe I did enough research, however I do believe I could’ve somewhat demonstrated it more in the practical aspects of my project. Despite this, I believe the journey, rather than the end result is much more important to me as a creator. Unfortunately, I am not completely proud of my short film but I do believe I’ve learned a lot and exponentially grown as a filmmaker throughout the course of making the film.

One aspect of this project that I’ve found very challenging has been capturing sound and keeping the sound consistent in every shot. Last year, I struggled with keeping sound interesting and I used no sound effects at all. This year I wanted to change that and I set myself the goal of telling a story without minimal dialogue. I own a low grade plug-in DSLR shotgun microphone that enabled me to improve the overall sound quality of my film. In addition to this, I learned a lot about sound in post production. I used the ‘constant power’ audio transition between certain sound clips to ensure there were less jarring moments where the audio suddenly changed pitch and tempo. Furthermore, I attempted to edit a voiceover to make it sound like you were hearing it from the other end of a phone. In order to do this, I researched various audio effects such as the parametric equaliser through the means of youtube tutorials, such as this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_63dDzmi34

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If I were to go back and re-film everything, there is a lot that I would change. First of all, I would definitely plan more extensively, as I always underestimate the amount of planning and pre-production work that is necessary to ensure filming yields the results you are looking for. I’ve learned that you need to check the weather forecast and plan shoots in advance so that you’re not disappointed by the weather when it comes to filming. This happened many times due to the erratic British weather. On many occasions I was faced by inconsistency of lighting which made each of my shots look very different. I think it would have been a good idea for me to research cinematography, especially during outdoor filming, as I believe it would’ve improved the overall quality and consistency of my film.

Secondly, I think that I would’ve spent a lot longer perfecting the script and narrative of my short film. I consistently had to change things during production to realistically finish the film whilst keeping a fluent continuity. The film was also very short and I don’t think the narrative was clearly expressed in the short amount of time the film lasted for. I believe the film needed to be longer in order for the narrative to be succinct and clearly conveyed.

To exhibit and display my work, I have uploaded my short film to Vimeo as I believe it is a more suitable platform to promote my film on. In addition to this, it is being exhibited on loop at my college’s summer arts show. This will help promote it to the public and allow me to receive constructive criticism and possibly receive work experience or commissions. I believe I will reach my target audience as I clearly know who my target audience are and have cultured a film that I believe they will be interested in. Furthermore, I have ensured that my short film will reach this target audience by promoting it in the right way. In detail I explained my target audience and how I have attempted to reach them in this post about presentation:  https://euanscholes.wordpress.com/2017/06/16/presentation/

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this project and believe I’ve learned a great deal through trial and error. I think I could’ve produced a better film if only I had prepared more, however there are a lot of aspects of the film that I am incredibly proud of. Not only have I grown as a filmmaker and experimented with different filmmaking techniques, I have grown more confident in my ability to manage tasks and complete projects once I set my mind to it.

Presentation

Upon completion of my short film, I now need to brainstorm ways in which I can get my intended audience to view it. The audience I have in mind would be between the ages of 16 and 25, most likely a D and E in social demographics, as due to their young age, they would either still be in education or be working in a semi-skilled profession. In terms of psychographic segmentation, they would be classed under ‘Explorers’ due to their individualism and energy. I believe a younger generation would be more interested in my video, firstly due to the younger age of the characters in the film and secondly due to the genre. My genre is an indie-drama, which is similar to many short films created by filmmakers such as Bertie Gilbert who has nearly 500,000 young subscribers on YouTube. Therefore, I believe there is clearly a big market for indie-drama short films.

Now that I’ve established my target audience, I need to find platforms that I can use to promote my film. The first idea that sprung to mind, was to upload it to Vimeo and from there add it to some existing channels that contain playlists of short films.

You may be wondering why I decided to choose Vimeo as my video sharing platform, rather than YouTube, the most popular platform around. Well, the answer lies within the audiences that tend to use each platform. Vimeo tends to offer a mature community interested in art and short films, that often give constructive feedback. Whereas YouTube’s audience is much broader and offers a larger selection of content, such as beauty tutorials and lifestyle vlogging.

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YouTube’s audience reaches to 1 billion users, compared to Vimeo’s much smaller community of 170 million. However, note that within a smaller community, the quality of content is usually distinguishably higher. Therefore, I would much rather my own content be associated and linked with higher quality content, rather than unrelated low quality content that YouTube can sometimes offer. Most likely, due to the difference in audience numbers, statistically I would be more likely to get more views and recognition if I were to upload it on YouTube. Despite this, I still believe Vimeo would be a better option. Even though I may get more views on YouTube, the views I would get on Vimeo would most likely be from my target audience and those are the people that I want to reach.

To further extend the reach of people that will view my video, I have submitted my short film to several different experimental short film Vimeo channels. If accepted, they will be promoted alongside similar videos. The followers of these channels will then be able to view my video and these followers specifically are more likely to be my target audience than someone that casually stumbled upon the video by chance.

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In addition to this, my short film will also be shown on loop at my college’s summer arts show. The show allows the public, students and family/friends of students to browse through what the first and second years have created for their final major projects. This is ideal for me, as there is always an opportunity for people to commission you to create something for them. As a filmmaker, people such as business owners or in general anyone interested in the medium of film can give me constructive feedback and possibly offer me work experience.

 

Blog The Week – 09/06/17

I have now finished filming the entirety of my short film. The final scene I had to shoot was on consecrated ground, so I had to be quick, quiet and respectful when filming. However, I do not believe this limited me. The quiet surroundings with occasional bird tweets added to the atmosphere of the film. The location itself was unusually colourful for a graveyard and this juxtaposition made for an interesting final scene in my short film.

From here onwards, I need to focus my time into editing. For example, I need to manually colour grade every shot using the ‘lumetri colour’ effect, as shown below in a screenshot of me working on my short film in Adobe Premiere Pro.

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One thing I have found quite difficult in editing so far, is keeping the fluidity of the film from being interrupted. To solve this, I have kept referring back to my original storyboard and notes to help me visualise the progression of the film whilst editing it.

Blog The Week – 01/06/17

For the past week and half or so, I have dedicated my time to filming the initial steps of my short film. Initially I went out to film but due to the weather, my shots did not turn out how I expected. I took note of what went wrong during the test shoot and the following day when the weather was better, I reshot the first scene and after editing it, I am very satisfied with the outcome. The colours and fluidity of the shots perfectly match how I visualised them in pre-production.

The second scene did not go well at all. The weather has been so erratic that I have had to remove scene two and adapt the narrative of my idea in order to make sure the lighting in the individual scenes are not too drastically inconsistent. If I could go back and restart the production, I would definitely spend longer filming more and make sure to shoot multiple takes at different times of the day.

Next week I intend to film more and hopefully start to finish up with the production process, before moving onto post production.

Shooting Scene Two

Today I filmed the second scene of my short film. Unfortunately, I am unsatisfied with the footage I managed to acquire. Due to the time of day I filmed and the weather, my shots were inconsistent and of poor quality. One problem I encountered was the wind, rendering the audio useless. Although scene two does not strictly need audio, only music, I believe if I add audio in addition to the music, it may create more of an atmospheric scene.18742541_1985138958381434_8005986_o

Another problem I faced was the time of day I decided to film at. Scene one was filmed around midday, but scene two was filmed early evening. I thought as both times I shot were sunny, it wouldn’t affect the consistency all that much after colour grading the footage. It turns out that I was wrong and the lighting was very inconsistent between scene one and scene two.

Luckily there were some positives to this film shoot. For one, I now have a further idea of realistically how my short film is going to progress and ultimately what it will look like when it is finished. I intend on reshooting scene two on a sunny day during the same time of day as scene one. Hopefully the reshoot will be a lot more consistent and a lot better in general than todays shoot.

I have uploaded a clip of scene one and two edited together. Unfortunately there is an absence of audio in some parts and you will notice the inconsistent lighting and shot transitions.

Shooting Scene One

As predicted, today’s weather was blue skies and sun all round. This meant lots of people were about and unfortunately a couple charity events were taking place where I intended to film. I overcame this by finding an entirely new location to reshoot the introductory scene of my short film.

I am very pleased with the drastic increase in quality between yesterday’s test shots and today’s shoot. The lighting, colour and framing have all improved, however a couple of the shots are slightly shaky and I’m not sure how much I’m able to stabilise them. From here on, I will film every other scene necessary to complete my film and towards the end, I will decide which shots, if any that I would like to reshoot.