Additional Work: Film Editing


Independent: Depict!

Project Design, Implementation and Evaluation – Criteria 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1 & 4.2

For this project, I require an external brief so I looked online for film competitions. My tutor told me to look at Depict.org, an online competition where the only restriction was the finished video must be 90 seconds or less. This sounded ideal so I went online to look at the competition and the previous winners to see the sort of standard I would be up against. I read through the brief and it suited this task perfectly so I decided to go for it. This competition was much more feasible than GeneroTV or Mo film projects. The Mo film and GeneroTV briefs were all a lot more specific and complex and in terms of budget, time and available resources I think would have been too difficult to do to a decent standard. Personally I would rather attempt to create a video for the depict competition anyway because I like the idea that you can film anything provided its 90 seconds or less and the video must have been completed after September 2013.

Depict Competition

 

Because the brief states the video can be no longer than 90 seconds, I began to think of things that I could fit in to this time frame. I wanted something that would be simple and easy to film but that shows something interesting and unique at the same time. As I was trying to think of ideas, my brother asked me to help him take some photographs of his car which gave me the idea of creating a short film that shows why people take such pride in their cars. As he was cleaning his car, I got a few shots of him cleaning it and afterwards I asked him to talk about his car and why he loves it so much. I hoped that if I could get some good shots and some decent dialogue then I could create a short documentary style video in a short amount of time. This would be ideal because the filming process would be completed in a matter of a few hours. I wouldn’t have to travel anywhere for filming and as my brother would be the only one in shot, communication and monitoring the filming would be easy without the pressure of trying to direct lots of people or actors.

I used my 600D to film and as I was at home, I had access to all my equipment, lenses, tripods etc. This meant the only problem I had was a flat battery that I was able to replace within minutes. My brother was happy to help me out so didn’t mind me filming him or his car and was more than helpful when I asked him to talk about his passion for cars. I got as many shots as I could to ensure I had enough footage for a decent edit. I wanted the video to feel fluent and natural so I didn’t use a script, instead I just recorded a conversation that me and my brother had about his car and then edited out anything I didn’t want and took the best bits to add over the top of the video. The first time we tried to record the conversation, the camera was picking up a lot of noise from general movement so we tried again but sat still and spoke a bit louder which improved the audio. We finished our conversation when I thought I had enough to add to my video and I packed away all my equipment.

I began to put together an edit while all the shots were fresh in my memory. The first thing I did was get all the visual in place so I could then just drop the audio over the top. Most of the shots I got were good and useable so I put all the best shots together which gave me a 60 second video to work with. I then edited together the best bits of the audio and placed them over the top of the video but the voice recording on their own didn’t sound right so I added a ambient background which greatly improved the edit overall. By the end, I had a minute long video which I thought would be fine for the DepicT! competition as it met all the required criteria, so I uploaded it to the competition (Screenshot below)

Capture depict upload

 

The finished Video:

Evaluation:

I enjoyed this project a lot overall. I really enjoyed having no set restrictions on what you can film and although the time limitation was something to think about, I don’t think it stifled any creativity. It was a relatively easy project to work on in the end, once I had an idea of what I wanted to film the filming and editing process flowed nicely. I like the overall look of the finished video, my only regret is that I didn’t make better use of the audio. I wanted the conversation to flow and sound natural so I didn’t write a script, and whilst the dialogue does sound authentic, I think it lacks substance, I would have liked a bit more in terms of detail about my brother and his feelings towards his car. But this is something I’ll definitely think about in future projects. I think I could have improved the film by recording the audio at a separate time in a more suited environment where the sound quality would be a bit better. I would have also given my brother a list of possible topics to touch upon but not a script, that way I could have more detail on what I wanted to hear but without the pressure of reading a script and it sounding forced.

 

The Making Of Documentary – Media & Make Up

Film Editing Criteria 1.1, 1.2,3.1 & 3.2

On 12th March myself, Frankie, Craig,  Andrew, Vicky and Sam were asked to film a ‘making of’ style video for the Media Make-Up Department as they helped out the BSC students with a short, zombie based film. We arrived in the morning and began to shoot straight away. Throughout the day we followed the media make up students as they prepared actors and got them looking the part. In the afternoon we focused more on the behind the scenes action of the BSC students as they shot the film.

The day was a great experience and I enjoyed helping out. It was a useful insight in to how the BSC students shoot their films compared to us and it was nice getting to know some of the Media Make-Up students.

Below is a screenshot of the editing process after I had acquired all the footage we had. There was an issue when Sam’s video footage went missing but we had to just use the footage we already had and stills.

Screen Shot

Here is my final edit of the day:

Client Video: ‘Single Ladies’

The Performing Arts department wanted a few of us to film a spoof of the ‘Single Ladies’ video by Beyonce so Richard, Ed and myself volunteered to film and edit it for them.The video would be very similar to the original video but with three guys doing the dance instead of three girls. So on the morning of the 18th March, myself, Richard and Ed met up and went to the theater to get started right away. Originally, we wanted to use the jib so we could get the fluid movement like the original video but we were unable to get it so we just used handheld shots and tripod shots. The filming process went very well and the shoot was complete in just over an hour, so with the rest of the day free, we decided to get straight on with an edit. We used Premiere Pro CS6 (pictured) and the edit was complete by the end of the day. We put together all the shots and added a black and white colour effect to mimic the original video.

 

 CS6 - Single Ladies

Enter the Pitch

Editing Criteria 2.1, 2.2 & 2.3, 3.1 & 3.2

Enter the Pitch is a competition where film makers can pitch an idea for a short film through creating a short trailer. The chosen trailer will then be given a sum of money to turn the pitch into a short film with the help of top quality help from industry professionals.

The short film had to last no longer than two minutes and have a biblical influence. This could be from a biblical passage, one of the ten commandments or anything found in the bible. After reading up on the rules I went away to look for a quote from the bible that could influence my pitch. The first thing i did was research bible quotes on the computer and after searching through pages and pages I found a quote that I liked. Although I looked at hundreds of quotes, the one I chose was simply ‘An eye for an eye’. After I decided this was the quote I was going to use, I went away and researched real life stories of revenge to get inspiration.  A few days later I had come up with a rough idea of the kind of story I wanted, I then discussed my idea with Joey and Evan, who I was working with, and together we altered, improved and finalised the story. We also decided on costumes, equipment, props and locations.

Costume wise, we wanted the character to look as ordinary as possible to not draw any attention away from the storyline so I asked Evan to dress in basic, one colour clothes.

Equipment list: 550D x 2, Joey’s 1.4 50mm lens, Giotto Tripod, 4 x Canon batteries, Camera mounted Light.

The only things we had to account for in a budget were petrol costs and food for the evening which all came to around £30 total.

The Script:

‘So, there it was. The 15 minutes that rendered my life pointless.

Everything I lived for and the only good things I had in my entire life now gone, taken from me by him. My mum had been knocked around by that son of a bitch for years. She never admitted it but she didn’t have to.

I knew what happened. He knew he could get away with it. I should have been there. I’m not a religious guy but an eye for an eye seems only fair.

I knew exactly what I was going to do.’

This was just an idea as to the kind of thing I wanted but after Evan read it out loud, it sounded good so we all agreed to stick with this as the voice over.

As the story was to be told by narration, the first thing we did was record Evan’s audio using Joey’s Zoom mic, we recorded in the sound booth to make sure we got the best quality sound possible. The recording went well but I still thought it wouldn’t be enough on it’s own so later that night I set about recording some music to accompany the narration. After all the audio was ready, I edited the audio and had that in place so we could just film the footage to match.

Locations: For the locations we decided to shoot the majority in and around Melton. As we were shooting at night time we would need as much light as possible so well lit areas were a must. We needed a park/wooded area, a car park, an alleyway and a busy main road so al these locations could be found around Melton. We also planned to shoot an an abandoned house a few miles outside of Melton, but when we got there it was too dark and we decided not to use this shot in the final edit anyway.

The Schedule:

There wasn’t much of a definitive schedule as such, we planned to meet at 8.30 in the evening and then film until we had everything we needed. Myself and Joey would spend the afternoon at college going over any final changes or alterations to the shot list and then hang around until we met Evan at around 8.30pm.

Although it meant traveling around a bit more, I decided to shoot all the shots in chronological order. I prefer to work this way so we know exactly where we are in the story line and to ensure we don’t miss anything. We filmed until just after 2.30am, by this time we had all the footage we needed and I was very pleased with the evenings work.

At the end of night we all reviewed the footage and all agreed it was a very successful night of filming. And with the audio already in place, the only thing to do was go home and edit the film ready for submission the next day. After hours of filming I had a finished product that I was happy with, I sent a copy to Joey and Evan to make sure they were also pleased with it and as they were, I submitted the video accompanied with the necessary entry form. Below are some stills taken from the night of filming:

 

The Edit:

I began the edit of this video as soon as I got home from the shoot. By this time it was gone 3am but I wanted to at least get started whilst all the shots were fresh in my memory. So the first thing I did was take all the footage and put it on my laptop. This took quite a while as there was a lot of footage but eventually all the files transferred and I was ready to begin. As pictured below, there were over 40 video clips to begin with so the first thing I did was go through all the footage and label them with a short title describing what they were, for example ‘car close up’ and for clips that I was already sure I would use i would add ‘_good’, such as ‘Evan driving_good’. Some of the clips were too dark and unusable so they were deleted straight away but I put all the other clips into a new file and then added a sub folder for the best clips entitled ‘Best’ (as pictured below), Apple Mac’s have a colour coding system which would have been better to use but as I was working on my laptop this was my only option. After all the files were labelled I imported them all in to  Premiere Pro so i could start an initial assembly of the clips and put them in chronological order, I like to work this way so I can get the storyline established ready to improve later. Pictured below is how my timeline looked after I had a rough draft of the story, but this was too long so I began to cut down the clips, cut some out all together and add some effects where I thought appropriate.

 

The Edge

Assessment Task 2 – (Criteria 1.1 3.1 & 3.2)

‘Macbeth’ Trailer – Provoking a Response: The Signification of Technical Codes.

The Edge

For this project we were asked by Level 3 Performing Arts to make a cinematic trailer for their forthcoming production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. We would be working closely with Jon Holmes and the Performing Arts students for this assignment so we decided to work as one group to put our knowledge of film codes and conventions to practical use over a two day shoot. To begin with, we had a group discussion to decide locations, style and the general look we would be going for in the trailer and after a few days of brainstorming, we were all happy with what we were aiming for, a eerie and atmospheric tone to portray one of Shakespeare’s darkest works. The trailer was to last only 90 – 120 seconds and in that time we wanted to use experimental film techniques that we had previously learnt in film studies.

We chose to film the trailer in the college’s boiler room which is located by our classroom. The boiler room is downstairs and underground so the lack of natural light was perfect for the mood we were going for and being placed by our class room was very useful for securely storing equipment and allowing people to take breaks when needed. The boiler room, pictured below, is a dark, dusty and metallic looking location which made for an ideal scene when combined with our choice of lighting, two 350w lights and one 650w key light. The room provided us with fantastic looking shadows and gave off an atmospheric feel which showed up nicely on camera.  The majority of the trailer was filmed using the Canon 7D and the Carl Zeiss lenses which gave brilliant detail and depth of field for close ups of the actors and actresses and provided a great professional filmic look. We also used my 550D for some of the other shots. Whilst some of the group were filming and setting up in one section of the boiler room, some of us went to explore and see if we could pick up any interesting looking shots that could contribute. Frankie, Joey and I as well as a few others came across a doll and some other interesting items and decided to try and pick up some filler shots using the glide track, my camera and the light from an iPhone, these shots came out very nicely and fitted well with the other pieces of film. Throughout the day we all worked together and everybody helped out with the filming, lighting, music and communication with other students. After two hectic days of solid filming, we had collected enough footage for our edit so proceeded to pack away the set which, again was made easier by everybody working well together. After a collaborative effort on the edit, we were all pleased with the footage we acquired. The location mixed with the lighting, costumes, make up and performance of the students made for a very professional looking finished product that we were all delighted with. We used a collection of different editing techniques, including colour effects, focus pulls and clever transitions to create the surreal and almost disturbing look we set out to achieve.

 

Jon Holmes comments on ‘The Edge’:

HND students and Level 3 Acting students have been working collaboratively to create a short promo for the forthcoming, self-devised Acting Performance of Macbeth, called ‘The Edge’.

The shoot was a short, but very intensive day; in very hostile working conditions in a Bolier Room. The performers not only had to adapt to the conditions, but also stay focused on character and theme when called upon. As with all shoots of this type and quality, there were numerous takes needed from varying angles. Each set-up or shot would take 30 mins to an hour to compose and light, which required focus and dedication from the actors to produce when called upon; not one of them found wanting.

Additionally, the film was shot on Film Standard Prime lenses. This gives the promo that “filmic” look, but also gave the performers another, added restriction to their performances, namely: shallow depth of field. On all shots, the performers had little or no room for error having to work within a very confined focal range of 5 – 10 mm, which meant that the students had to hit their ‘Marks’, or they wouldn’t be in focus. This calls upon multi-stranded concentration –   using physical memory and procedure – whilst staying true to the core of their characters and physical performance.

The HND Moving Image students worked very hard to not only preserve the inherent themes of the brief/adaptation through the aesthetic of the piece, but also to work within very tight and filthy conditions. This was a real test to not only light a shot for aesthetic, but also to work with limited power requirements and space. Again, like the actors, all students were very professional in their approach and produced very professional results in a relatively short space of time.

Moving Image students commented on the fact that this was only made possible by working effectively and positively as a team across both the other moving image students and the actors alike. They said that the focus and the commitment of the actors made the project possible and without the performers’ dedication to the shoot and to the process of filming, it wouldn’t have worked.

 

Client Work – BMC High School Musical

Assessment Task 2 (Criteria 2.1 & 2.2)

On May 20th, myself, Joey, Frankie, Jordan and Andrew volunteered to film our college’s performance of High School Musical in the theater. The showing would be performed by the first year performing arts and musical theater students.

Before the show, everybody booked out and gathered the equipment we would be using for the night. The equipment list consisted of:

  • 4 x Cannon 550d’s with a spare battery for each camera. (All with SD cards)
  • 2 x 32gb SD cards 1 x 64gb SD card and 4 x 8gb SD cards
  • 3 x tripods
  • 2 x mic stands with road mics with 2 XLR cables
  • 1 x zoom microphone

Our original plan was to ask the theater technicians to record the audio as we have asked them to do on previous projects, however when Joey and Jordan asked we found out that it wouldn’t be possible due to technical difficulties. Our plan B was to use two microphones, located at the side of the stage, to capture the audio. A friend from the BSC, Nick, suggested using the zoom microphone in the center of the stage whilst using the Rode microphones at the side of the stage in order to capture the audio from three different places. We proceeded to use this set-up and although it wasn’t as clean sounding as the technical recording we had planned first, it was still usable for post-production.

After we sorted out the sound recording issues, we decided where we would all be sat for the filming process. Joey was located center stage, below the boards at the front for central views and close ups. Myself and Frankie where located at either side of the stage to get establishing/cross shots. And Jordan and Andrew where located at the back of the theater to get wide angle shots.

The show began and we stated to film. As the show went on, we all encountered a few problems. There were problems with the camera focus from Jordan’s camera, which was sorted out quickly. Mid way through the first half my battery power began to die, but fortunately we had put a spare on charge by me in case so that was also changed quickly. Frankie and I were also both short on memory from the memory cards, so we selectively chose which bits to film between ourselves. After a short interval, we continued the film the second half of the show with little trouble.

Overall, I feel this production was a success. Although we all had problems to deal with, I think everybody performed well under the pressure. I would be happy to work with the same people again, in the same conditions. However this did teach us all to thoroughly prepare and double check all aspects of the camera, including memory and battery life.

Promotional Video – Chevrolet

Assessment Task 3 – (Criteria 2.1, 2.2 3.1 & 3.2)

Produce a promotional video.

For this task, our class was put into small groups of 2-4 people and informed on an annual competition that Chevrolet run. The competition required us to plan, shoot and edit a promotional video for Chevrolet, incorporating certain aspects that can be read in the Handbook.

This year the competition was about football, probably due to the new contract Chevrolet had recently signed a sponsorship deal with Manchester United. Nonetheless, the video contest was to create a video piece, lasting no longer than 90 seconds, which explained the basic rules of football to those who didn’t follow or play the sport.

We were told the video should be entertaining, upbeat and should have the ability to turn people who aren’t interested in football in to fans in some respect.

Rules:

• The creative concept should be visual/musical in nature in
order to be suitable for use in multiple languages.
• Due to copyright issues, clips from advertising or movies
that were not created in-house should not be used.
• Original music should be used; otherwise, permission from
the composer must be obtained in writing and submitted
with the project.
• All videos should feature a short “powered by Young Creative
Chevrolet” sequence at the end which can be downloaded
from the YCC website.
• Images of an inappropriate nature that could be harmful to
the Chevrolet brand will not be accepted; Chevrolet Europe
reserves the right to disqualify any film deemed inappropriate.
• The following may not be shown or represented: illegal or
criminal activity; dangerous behaviour, including reckless
driving, or the encouragement of dangerous; political,
religious or sexual themes.

Initially I was in a small group consisting of 2 other members, however due to differences and getting little work done I chose to move groups to work with Jordan and Richard. I helped out with the filming of their video and offered support whenever I could. This video production went well and the finished project was well received. However, I then decided to help Frankie with his animation video as this was an area I had never been involved with before and it would be good practice. The major downside to switching groups like this was the lack of time we were left with to complete a video which, at this stage, wasn’t even planned.

So Frankie and I proceeded to plan and set up our video. By this time, the submission deadline was only 5 days away so our task was to create, shoot and edit our video in a week. Although sounding daunting, having less time actually acted as an incentive to work as hard as we both could and I think we both did very well to finish a video we were both pleased with before the deadline.

 

Our idea was to use Play-Doh to create a ‘claymation’ style video in which two characters evolved in to the sport of football. With one of the characters being sad, the other character tries to cheer him up by turning into different shapes and sizes but with no success, until he changes into a ball, which then leads on to both the characters turning into 11 players. A football pitch appears and both now teams prepare for kick off. When we got started with the planning of the video, the ideas started to flow naturally and between us, we came up with an idea we were both happy with.

Our Plan: Using animation for our video suited our limited time as it meant we did not have to find actors or book multiple locations. The only location we would need is C20. Most of the equipment we would need would already be in that room so logistically it made sense to try and film in there. It also had an ample power supply that could support our power needs. C20 is also windowless so we could easily control our lighting and keep it consistent over the two days we planned to shoot regardless of weather conditions. Equipment list:

For our shoot we would need: Canon 550D, DragonFrame Software, Macbook, Tripod, Glide Track, 2x Flo Lights, Greenscreen, Play-Doh. The only thing we would have to buy is the Play-Doh which came to a little over £5 which was well within our almost non-existent budget.

Because dialogue was not allowed in our video, we decided to record the audio after our shoot. To avoid actual dialogue and to keep in line with the rules of the competition, we wanted our play-doh characters to mumble gibberish so we could get across the tone and emotions of the characters without using language, hence there being no need for a script. We wanted our video to seem like one long, continuous shot and the software we used enabled us to do this easily because each frame is an individual photo, enabling us to make small subtle changes after each photo that would eventually create a smooth and fluid motion when we edited all the clips together.

To shoot our video we used a program called Dragonframe, a Mac and my Canon 550d for the animation. The software we used basically took a photograph each time you pressed a keypad. After each photograph we would slightly alter or move the characters and surroundings to create smooth, natural looking movements. The process took a long time but it was worth it, eventually. Pictured below is the set-up we used. The photo shows the Mac with the DragonFrame Keypad which was all connected to the camera. We also used a small glide track balanced on two boxes to control the cameras side to side movement; this gave us plenty of control to move the camera from side to side without affecting the height of it. We had to be sure the camera would not move up or down because this would cause a problem when trying to align the Play Doh with previous frames.

Dragonframe – Pictured above is a screenshot taken from DragonFrame. I really enjoyed using this software and look forward to using again in the future. It was simple to use and gave us the result we were hoping for.

During the filming process, we did face a few problems. We had to start again twice. The heat from the flow lights dried out the Play-Doh very quickly, making it hard to mould in to the shapes we wanted. The Play-Doh would also fall over from time to time, making it extremely difficult to put back in exactly the same place. Even a few millimetres off the previous frame made it very noticeable when we watched it back. However after a hectic week we finished the video to a level we were both pleased with. The finished video had to be submitted on two DVD’s, one was for viewing and one was for sharing. The viewing file had to have an aspect ratio of 768×432 (16:9) and no larger than 60Mb and the sharing file was 320×179 and no larger than 80Mb.

 

 

 

Assessment Task 4 – (Criteria 4.1 & 4.2)

Evaluation of Chevrolet Promo Video

On Monday 29th April, after everybody had finished their videos, ourselves and the BSC students did a critical analysis of everybody’s videos in the film studio. This was to get essential feedback for our videos and to see where they could be improved or adapted. Feedback forms were given out to everybody. Assigned randomly, the forms contained a few different questions on different videos, this was to give a wide opinion and get a fair representation of people’s views on each video. All the feedback was anonymous. Some of the feedback we received can be seen below:

‘Sound effects were good, could have been improved with more time.’

‘The video was funny, universal and hit the brief well.’

‘I liked the sounds of the characters. It could have shown more of the football match.’

‘Fantastic stop motion and could have been improved with more time.’

Overall I was very pleased with the video. Given more time I think we could have made the movements of the Play-Doh more fluid and life like. I would have also liked to experiment with some more effects but as this was our first attempt at a ‘claymation’ film I was very proud of the work we accomplished in a relatively small amount of time.

Inspire Film Festival

Fiction Assessment Task 5 – (Criteria: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1 & 3.2), Editing (Criteria 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1 & 3.2)

Create a short film for the Inspire Film Festival.

Inspire – Short Film

 

For this project, the class was split into several groups and told to create a short fiction production for entry to the Inspire Film Festival 2013. I was in a group with Richard, Bradley and Sam. The three of us were then told to come up with a short film idea, lasting roughly between 5-10 minutes. To assist our concept, our tutor gave us three key components to integrate into our film – a location, an item and a phrase. It was important to make these three elements valid to our story and not just added for the sake of it. The location, item and phrase must all have a valid contribution to the narrative of the film.

Richard, Bradley, Sam and I went away to have a group discussion and to think about how we were going to proceed. We began by talking about possible storylines for our piece. The conversation and thought process flowed well and soon we had a rough idea of what we wanted our film to be about. After we had all agreed on a general story, we were required to pith our idea to our tutor in order to gain feedback and improve certain areas of the story before we proceeded to the pre production phase. The proposal could have been presented in a number of ways, including paper based documents or a kick starter style video pitch, however we decided to create a short PowerPoint presentation with a paper based hand out. As shown below, our presentation contained pictures of our chosen location, logistics of the shoot and s synopsis of our story.

During our pitch, ourselves and Paul had a critical discussion about our idea which enabled us to make some slight alterations to the story before we started pre-production.

We went away from our video pitch feeling pleased and confident of our idea and immediately proceeded to the pre production phase. Richard drew up the storyboard, release forms for our actors and a script.

After all the necessary paperwork was completed, we began our shoot. The filming process would all take place at Asfordby woods, a small and isolated wooded area. The filming went very well and the actors we selected cooperated very well making it very easy for us to work with them. We originally scheduled to film over two days but due to weather conditions we had to reschedule for the sake of continuity, however the filming was completed very quickly and we were all pleased with the footage we got. Richard took charge of the post production and created an EDL (Click Here to view the Edit Decision List ), shown below and immediately got started on the edit. The video was editing in Adobe Premier Pro CS3 and After Effects CS5.CS5 was used to create a muzzle flash from the, as shown in a screenshot below. Richard editing the video quickly and after a couple of days he had a finished product to show us. I was really pleased with the edit; Richard added some nice effects to the gun to make it recoil and used some colour techniques to make the ‘premonition’ scenes seem dreamlike and separate it from the normal.

 

 

On reflection I feel this production went very well from start to finish. If I were to change anything then I think we could have made a few slight changes to the script, although I thought the general idea of the film was good, I think with perhaps more time we could have had a couple of days finalising the script as a group to give the characters more of a personality, however this would have been difficult with the time we had. I do think Richard deserves extra accolade for his involvement in all stages of production, he took charge of this project very well and directed everybody excellently.

Recreation Scene – The Truman Show

Assessment Task 3 – (Criteria 2.2, 2.3, 3.1 & 3.2)

Create a new version of a classic film scene.

The Truman Show

For this project we were each assigned an iconic scene from a well known film and told to recreate it, using actors from first year performing arts.

I was assigned a personal favourite, the classic scene from The Truman Show in which Truman finally speaks to ‘The Creator’ character after discovering his entire life has been fake and set up for the purpose of a global television show. The scene is an intense and emotional conversation between Truman, a man who has been stuck in a pretend world, created solely for him and the Creator of the show, Cristof, a man who has gained immense success, wealth and fame from creating and controlling the TV show that has trapped Truman for all his life.

I was very pleased with the scene I was told to recreate so I started thinking about the script and how to go about filming the scene straight away. I made up a script I was happy with and drew up a rough story board of how I wanted the scene to go.

Truman Show – Script

This was the script that I gave to the actors, however I told them to say what felt natural and didn’t need to stick to this 100% and I think this gave a real and natural feel to the performance.

I held auditions for the two characters I required. Originally, I selected my favourites as Sinead as the creator character and Jordan Gunn as Truman, however after deliberation I decided both roles would suit male actors so I chose to cast Josh Gallagher to play the role of the creator, Cristof. As I didn’t have access to a TV studio that can be seen from space like in the original, I chose to film my scene in college’s film studio, using very minimalistic set design to concentrate the audience’s attention on the emotional content of the scene. I used close up shots to try and portray the thoughts and feelings of Truman and used a simple set with little colour to detract from Jordan’s performance. For Josh’s scenes, I used a red lighting as I felt this gave a menacing and distant effect to his character, firmly establishing him as ‘the bad guy’. Both the actors played their respective roles well and I was very pleased with their work and professionalism.

Due to numerous problems throughout the pre production phase, including script changes and availability of actors, my shoot had to be on the last day before submission deadline, but with the help of an assembled crew, including sound recording and camera operators we were set up and ready to film in the afternoon. Despite having only a day to film, I was very pleased with the footage I got and was ready to edit the sequence.

The editing went well, I had help from Joey and Tom and after the music was edited and put in place, the afternoon was spent synchronising the audio and finalising the transitions to match the audio, but by 5pm I had a video I was pleased with.

 

 

The finished video was shown to an audience in Melton Theatre and was well received. I have since shown it to a few different people to try and gage an honest reaction. I was pleased with the overall feedback I received but after watching the video myself over and over again I would have made a few changes if I were to do it again. I intentionally made the set simplistic but on reflection, I would have liked to experiment with some different settings and lighting techniques, for instance I have since thought it would have been a good idea to film the scene in the middle of nowhere, in a field perhaps to demonstrate Truman’s loneliness. However I am still very pleased with the use of music, I used the same track that was used in the original film, Father Kolbe’s Preaching. The music suits the emotional tone of the scene and the controlled volume change emphasises the actors’ performance whilst providing a subtle background soundtrack.

Overall I think the filming process and finished video was a complete success. I was pleased with the quality and outcome of the film and I established some good working relationships that I’m sure will be used again in the future.