Category Archives: Planning and Research

The Gun Run (Video)

I thought it would be pretty useless having all these posts on the film if I didn’t actually upload the film itself, so here it is – The Gun Run. (Hosted on YouTube)

The Gun Run – AS Media Coursework



Production Exercise – Editing

For my AS Production Exercise, I managed to obtain all the clips I needed and then I put them all into Final Cut Pro. Once I had imported all the media I needed, I began putting all the clips into the right order with my partner. Unfortunately, my partner was only able to help me edit for one day as he was not at school, but in the time he was there, we made some good progress in terms of getting everything in the right order.

The next day I looked at editing things further. Fortunately, we had captured two versions of the same audio each time and so I could mix and match in order to get the highest audio quality. However, this did mean that I needed to match up the audio to the clips which proofed to be a more difficult task than I had originally planned because I had to get the lips synched to the dialogue correctly. I also worked at changing some of the lengths of different cuts in order to get the best cinematic experience.

When I got home, I looked at obtaining different sounds for my film. I realised that sound was a very important element of making a film and I had to add a couple of sound effects into the film such as when the lead character hits the seller with the golf club. I was quite satisfied once I had obtained all the sounds I needed. I also found a copyright-free piece of music from one of the sites previously listed which I added on to the end of the film where “The Gun Run” text is shown. This addition of the music made the introduction seem much better than previously.

In the final two days I have been working on the film changing lengths of the cuts. One problem I encountered was one of the match-on-actions which was recorded did not quite work because there was a sudden change in the brightness of the sun. I looked at changing the brightness but it just didn’t look right and so I was left with the painful option of keeping it the same. However, I feel that the decision to leave the match-on-action the same was best because it meant that the story made more sense, otherwise it would cause confusion. I also worked further at trying to synch the audio better with the video. Overall I am quite pleased with my results.

I feel that with the aid of my partner helping me in the editing process I might have been able to achieve slightly more and in a short period of time, however this was not possible and so I have done  everything I can to edit the film.

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 13.14.59


Production Exercise – The Gun Run Filming 2

Today, me, my partner and my actors went to film for The Gun Run. The weather was certainly better than previously, and we were fortunately given permission to film on the driving range which meant that it was more sheltered from the wind. This was also a bonus because the storyboard me and my partner created initially was based on the idea of being inside a driving range. We all arrived at about 10am and finished about 2½ hours later, where we believed we had obtained all the needed shots and recorded all the needed sounds. I felt with the aid of my media partner this time, the whole filming process went much more smoothly, and as the director I made sure that the actors knew how to visually express themselves for the purpose of the film in the best way possible. Although I did also work on the sound and make an input into the cinematography.

This time round, we actually ended up bringing more equipment than we could use. We decided to make use of as much we could so we also brought in equipment such as the steadicam and more props such as bags. This was good because it meant that we had more of a decision as to how we would go about taking certain shots. We also made good use of the boom pole and recorded some higher quality audio by using it which we will need to implement into the footage using Final Cut Pro. Additional footage was also recorded to use just in case we are short of time, although we should not actually need to use it based on what we already have. Although we slightly changed the initial storyboard, we first discussed things carefully enough to understand why we had made certain changes. An example would be the lead hitting the seller over the head whilst he was stood near a bunker, which he dramatically fell into – highlighting the genre of action within the film.

filming2 filming1

The next step is to add all the files into Final Cut Pro, synch the sound with the visual footage and then begin to edit parts of the film. Theoretically, this should not take very long – especially since it is only about 2 minutes worth of footage.


Production Exercise – Planning for filming 2

Fortunately, we now have both permission from the actors and the location once again to get the filming done. My media partner has since recovered so hopefully we will both be able to make it this time, even if it means dragging ourselves there. The only thing that needs to be done now is to get the equipment ready again for the filming.

This time round I will also try and get hold of a proper clap board, which should also assist with the recording process. This week whilst I am preparing for the filming procedure I will need to make sure I am fully prepared for the filming by ensuring I know which shots to film first and make sure I know the actors lines as well as they know them to solve any confusion. Also, we will be recording the sound in a much higher quality, which should prevent the wind noise which previously destroyed the captured footage. I think another problem I had when filming before is also not balancing the tripod perfectly because the  land in certain areas was on a gradient. After this experience I now know the importance of setting up the tripod so that it is stable, because instability can ruin footage.

I also found that it might be beneficial to use the Steadicam as seen as it’s available and would possibly provide a better way of taking a panning shot within the film than to use the tripod which might have an acceleration which is too high, making the footage look poor quality.

Overall, whilst my first take on filming The Gun Run was unsuccessful, I still learnt a number of important things to take on board which I can then adapt to the next take on the filming. This means that we should end up with better footage than previously because I now have more experience with the equipment.


Production Exercise – Filming 1

So, today I went and filmed the initial 2 minutes for The Gun Run. I had prepared the equipment I needed for the filming. This included the storyboards, the shooting script, fake blood, the props and of course the filming equipment. When I woke up this morning, I unfortunately received a text from my media partner that he would not be able to help me film as he wasn’t feeling too good. Consequently, I was left with the grueling decision to continue filming by myself. Originally, I was prepared to film with my partner, but I wasn’t really prepared to film without him as there are certain tasks which require multiple people when filming, such as somebody to work with the sound. The sound issue essentially meant that I had to take my camera with the attached microphone, which I knew would not be as good as the external microphone.

Nonetheless, it was important to capture some footage, so I set off to Boston West Golf Course and met up with my actors. After meeting up with the actors, we then got designated a part of the course to film, which was essentially cordoned off for our use. So, at this point I had everything I needed, except it would have been more useful to have my media partner too so we could use the microphone. The first major mistake we came across which almost literally blew us over was in fact the wind. Despite the weather forecast claiming the weather for today would be sunny and a fairly warm 18 degrees celcius, it was in fact extremely windy and freezing. To begin with, I didn’t see this as being such a major problem, but then when I played back my first recording I realised that it was a major disruption to the whole filming process. The wind was so loud, that in fact it disrupted some of the dialogue and also in a few of the shots, the wind managed to shake the tripod slightly. This was not good news at all.

The only solution I can see right now to this problem is to scrap most of the sound using editing and then do voice overs for the actors. This however would certainly be a challenge as it would require the lips to be synced. Although it wouldn’t be impossible and might be the only option. Alternatively, I might be able to capture some more footage another week to use for the project. Having a second chance to capture more footage might also mean that my media partner would be there, meaning I would have more support.


Production Exercise – Fake Blood Creation

So, for The Gun Run which we will film tomorrow I decided to produce some fake blood. After getting a couple of teaspoons of clear hair gel, I then applied some red food colouring before adding a bit of purple food colouring to get a slightly darker colour. Fortunately, it is thick enough to stick to something when applied, and whilst it may look like a tastey jam of some sort, I assure you – it’s not. The fake blood will be applied to the golf club towards the end in one of the final shots, where the gun dealer in casual clothing is killed by the lead character in the smarter clothing. The blood should not end up on anybody directly, although it does wash off so shouldn’t be a problem if somebody gets a splatter on them. The colour isn’t wonderful, but for the purpose of the film, it will certainly enhance the cinematic effect.

Here it is, inside of a small plastic container. Note that there isn’t too much, which is because we decided that a blunt object such as a golf club would not create masses of blood.

Fake Blood

Production Exercise – Filming Solution 2

Unfortunately, after my other post where I thought we might be getting somewhere, we could not get the actors for Saturday. This of course was partly due to us rushing into the filming process as soon as we got permission from the course. However, on March 8th we are quite confident this time that we will be able to film. We have received permission to film from the golf course and have also been told by our actors that they can make it. I made sure our actors knew what to wear for the occasion and what time to arrive. This should go to plan, and we are filming in the morning so we should have plenty of time to get the filming process completed so that we can then move on to the editing stage which is of course very important. On another positive note, the weather seems to be gradually improving throughout the week, meaning that on our date of filming we should (fingers crossed) have good weather.

At this point, both me and my partner feel prepared. We have the actors, the location, the props, the filming equipment and our storyboard and scripts to support us through this process. On the date, I will be bringing suitable clothing, along with a few bags of equipment containing: a camera, a video camera with attached microphone, a steadicam and possibly a small container with some fake “blood” which will in fact be some clear hair gel with a bit of colouring added to it – based on my original blog post concerning the blood. As for the rest of the equipment, fortunately my media partner has the golfing equipment meaning we will have all the props we need. Which in essence, includes a golf club, a golf bag, a tee and of course a golf ball (which can be obtained on site).

After the filming process, the next steps will be to get a move on and get through the editing stage as fast as possible. However, obviously it is important that we do not rush it. My current plan of action is to spend as much time working on the editing as possible once we have the footage so that we can get the film ready to watch (with some minor adjustments) ready for the following week. After this point, I will be working on the evaluation of the project using a variety of different media techniques.