Preliminary Exercise – Evaluation

The actual footage for our video can be seen here:

Overall, I felt that the first film we produced wasn’t bad. After all, the aim of the task was to include the 180 degree rule, match on action and shot reverse shot, which we did manage to successfully include within our footage. However, the point is, the filming we produced was far from being perfect, and thus I will go into some detail to explain what I felt went wrong, what we could have improved and also I will outline some of the strengths within our recordings.

First of all, a noticeable problem is the aspect ratio for the footage. Unfortunately due to technical issues the footage was in the ratio of 4:3 as opposed to 16:9 which meant that the film which we recorded would not play back in full screen, and the edges had been cut off. We were not the only group to encounter this problem, but of course it does need to be examined more carefully in future filming, to ensure that the audience get an optimal experience of the overall film.

When the film begins, in the first scene where the actor walks down towards the end of the corridor and reaches out for the door, match on action is performed. However, the transitions between the two cuts does not flow very well, and the speed of the close up shot of the hand opening the door is far too slow based on the previous speed of the walk down the corridor.

opendoor1

Nonetheless, if everything was in the right speeds – so it looked more realistic in terms of continuity, the different camera shots for the match on action work reasonably well.

In a later cut, where the camera is looking at the table and includes both actors, in the background a door with glass panels can be seen. The problem is not the door itself, but the fact that our group did not notice that the panels were reflecting the view of a microphone which moved within the scene. This is not good for the audience as they lose the experience of feeling like it’s reality. It is also slightly distracting from the rest of what is going on within the scene. However, the reflection is not too vivid and it is not noticeable to everyone, but it is still there which is definitely a mistake. In future to avoid this embarrassing problem, members of the group should all look around carefully at what is in view for the video recorder and make sure that reflections do not include anybody other than the actors themselves.

micerror

When an actor sits down at the table, the video recorder which was on a tripod moved up suddenly. After looking at this problem a number of times, our group decided that we must have nudged the tripod as it was filming the clip. In future recordings, members of the group must be very careful with being around the camera and make sure not to touch it, or alternatively touch it with some other equipment as it might move and the audience watching the film may feel disoriented and of course the recording would lose its professionalism.

During the shot reverse shot, where the actors are sat at the table and are exchanging dialogue we have decided that the camera was not in the best location. The camera should have been moved in closer to the actors so the recording looked more professional. I think the reason why our group did not perform this recording perfectly was because we were still experimenting different shots and we were apprehensive with getting in too close.

notclose

On top of this, during the shot reverse shot, the camera is never is the same place twice, even when trying to mimic previous shots. I think that this could have been prevented by looking at the video recorders previous footage and then trying to set the camera down in the same location as previously at the correct height and angle.

Another problem with the film was partly due to acting. In one scene, despite the camera trying to focus on an actor, the head of the actor goes out of view. This is a problem because it is important for the audience to see something in enough detail if they are supposed to be concentrating on it. Besides this incident and also the timing, overall the acting did not produce too many problems.

However, one thing which should have been noted down previously was the fact that in the film, where the actor is being called and pulls the phone out of his shirt and holds it in his left hand, the next time we see the actor which is in a small space of time, the phone reappears in his right hand. This might be hard to notice, but it is still a problem and it emphasises the importance to note things down such as how everything was in previous clips before more clips are recorded.

phonerighthand phonelefthand

There were also some sound issues, but this could not have been helped too much as on one day of the filming, we did not have the sound crew, and in the next we did. However, the different qualities of the recorded sound are definitely noticeable and it outlines the importance to use the same sound capturing device for the entirety of the filming process.

Overall the lighting within the film was good especially if you include the circumstances we were in. There were no problems with things such as silhouettes or  strange sun rays casting through the space between the camera and the actor/object. Our group were quite impressed with this, especially since we recorded some parts of the film at different times within the day so you would expect there to be some fairly noticeable lighting differences.

In future, members of groups must work efficiently as a team and also not leave individual members too much responsibility as it will only cause overall problems for the film. Since doing our first recording, I felt that I have learnt a great deal of the importance of planning before filming. If everything is planned well, the filming process will be reduced in time and less problems may occur. In future exercises, I may resort to this post as a reminder of previous mistakes so that I may learn from them.

-08spencerh

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