Fiction Project – Post 3 – Collaborative Filmmaking

Filmmaking can be extremely stressful and difficult if all the crew members involved in the filmmaking process aren’t pulling together in the same direction and collaborating in a way that makes the creation of the film fun and challenging. We hear plenty of stories about conflict and compromise on film sets that happened between writers-producers-directors for different reasons and had a detrimental effect on the final product.

For a better communication between the groups outside the class, we have set up the Facebook group. So that every updated material or new idea and thought from us would all go on the group page. I personally played the part of animator so once I came up with new drawings or clips; I presented them on Youtube or Dropbox, so the crews would see them and leave feedbacks to me. So we could keep in touch and updated about everything for the project by online communication.

It is integral to the filmmaking that everybody is pulling towards the common goal: To take the film from the page to the screen in the best possible way and give it the best chance of being a fantastic piece of work. That means that everyone – from the actors, the producers, the writer and the director – all have to be in agreement and have effective communicative channels in place so that they all know what they expect from each other and know what is required to make the best possible film.

We all brought the individual advantages into the filmmaking process of Early on Set, We made the most of our past skills and knowledge meanwhile also learning the new stuffs. Giving the prompt helps to each other In order to ensure the problem is solved as soon as possible.

Getting feedback and constructive criticism is part of the game too; going with the better ideas from the others definitely will make the very best result. These ideas could be from anyone, because they might see the better results from their professional vision or just where they are standing at. And that is the value of working as a team in filmmaking, because it is never a one man work.

I have really enjoyed working with my group members who are with different but complementary skills, we working together in a structured way, innovating together, to make the film Early on Set, we have been very happy with the result. And that is the biggest price for every one of us!

Advertisements

Fiction Project- Post 2- The Production Process

The filming process of Early on Set has given me great experiences on camera operations, sound recording; lighting set up, directing etc. I realised the importance of the preparations from pre-production stage that serves the filming. Communicating with actors is very important for them to understand the plot and correctly express the moods of characters. Another thing I have learnt was to film as many shots as possible with different lightings or camera angles for later revises or replacements, because it is hard to find the problems with a single shot in filming unless putting them together, which gave me the greatest understanding of how all the parts fit together to make a whole. Therefore, it is not only the film’s narrative structure but also the film’s look and overall style.

DSC_0029

“Film is a unique art precisely because it requires a collaborative creative process. A variety of professionals and craftspeople work together to make a film. Some have expert knowledge of light and technology. Others are experts in sound, music, design, and construction.” (Martin Scorsese, 2011) Working as team is more than important in the production process, for avoiding the ambiguities in the future process, enough communications with the members in the crew could save the plenty times and energy on producing the film.

I have learnt that the cinematographer is responsible for shooting the film, but this involves much more than operating the cameras on the set. Specific tasks include framing and designing the light for each shot. In addition, the camera affects when and how we see a character — close up or far away, from a low or high angle, in high-key or low-key lighting. The final performance seen on-screen is the result of editing. Many minutes of an actor’s performance may be cut from the final film. This is a critical difference between acting on the stage and acting for the screen.

For the animation on this stage, it is more about collecting the facial features from real actor to create animated character and recording the voiceover from him too. We recorded several sounds in different lengths so that we will be able to choose the appropriate one for the final one. We have thought about the tone of speaking lines for animation voiceover would be exciting and coherent compares to old man’s normal speech, in order to indicate old man’s current metal status and also guide the audience into the intense racing. “The way an actor interprets and then plays a character affect the audience understands of the story. Often, the actor’s interpretation comes from personal experiences and values.”(Martin Scorsese, 2011)

In summary, we can see the process of production is the execution of carefully crafted plans made in pre-production and designed in development. The more time and energy a moviemaker invests in pre-production, the higher quality the end product.

Reference:

Martin Scorsese, The filming making process, 2011 http://www.film-foundation.org/common/11041/pdfs/tg_chapter2.pdf

Fiction Project – Post 1- Inspirations and Good Examples

Room for Rent and Loose Tooth are both comedies story but I think the ways they revealing the jokes are quite different. There should be a lot of dialogues going on in Room for Rent’s story as the story is about housemate interview which requires less moving acting, so in order to fulfill the story and make it funny, the dialogue must be smart and entertaining. The jokes could also be enhanced by controlling the speed of speaking lines and right pauses. Loose Tooth on the other hand requires more body movements to deliver the jokes; it needs contagious acting to explain the emotion and personality of the protagonist and supporting role. Secondly, in filming and editing aspects, these stories could dig out the even better results by good using of camera and good cuts.

So by thought of these points, our Old Man Can’t Drive although is an emotional story other than the two above, but it shares same film making theories and skills with them: the dialogues might be opposite form with the Room for Rent which are terser but strongly emotional, the acting would be smooth and sensitive. Good cutting would definitely help enhancing the mood in film.

As I discussed with group members about how to make the story more believable and fill up the part of old man’s past life scenes. We decided to recreate the scenes by making an animation. Consider the time would be massive for making an animation, and I also have got the inspiration from film Kill Bill that inserted a comic book style animation for explaining the past life of character O-Ren Ishii. So I have chosen to make a comic book style animatic(still frames animation) to recreate the intense rally scene, it could be very experimental but I think it is still worth to try.

The Kill Bill animation starts with a still image of real character with voiceover, and then it slowly zoomed into a one-third screen, the other two animated version of characters appears next to the real figure screen, and then it directly cuts to the animation. This kind of method might be critical for making our transition between real life and animation because we don’t want it to be too stand out and stylish, so I will think a way to smooth the transitions as much as possible, such as using the distorted effects instead of direct cuts.

So I had some research about old style comic book and comic books style animatics, thus I got the ideas of my animation would be a overall yellowish visual style combines with hand drawing sketches which would represent a past and old feeling. The camera movements would be considered to use carefully to match with the entire theme. The sound effects such as car engines and cheering crowd will be added too. The animation will be presented along with the voiceover of old man memorizing the race in the past.