Look back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
Looking back at my research as a result from my preliminary task and Planning
When we first started the preliminary task back in September, most of our group/class had little/no knowledge of how to make any form of short films, but by the end of editing together all of our final short films, I am able to say that I am confident enough with my skills that I have learnt and developed over this period. We organised ourselves into groups of four this, however were chosen who we would be accompanied by for this task. It helped that many of this media class who already acquaintances of mine so it was inevitable that I would have someone who I knew. I now understand why the preliminary work was so crucial as in the sense that storyboards, floor plans and shot lists are vital to a well-organised shoot. This meant that I was successful in getting our shoot shot promptly because I listened to my tutor advice of the planning being too ambitious so it's a good thing that we kept to our origanal shot ideas. Prior to the task I had no clue of what match on action and the 180 degree rule were, but these terms are now second nature to our work and we do not need to think twice about what the are.
For our preliminary task, I was chosen to be the main agonist in our film, being in the fair share of the shoot. The work we did for the preliminary task helped to inform us of what was to come on the thriller opening work; we learned that we must carefully plan the storyline of our shoot, shots and shooting days to create a technically adequate film that would be considered professional and believeable with the intended connotations.
Negotiating within the group and Shooting
During the thriller planning for our opening sequence which was to become 'Missing'. I had the role of deciding which of our group members would be involved and also suggesting the theme of a runaway, which the theme itself becoming the main influence for our opening in 'Missing'. We used the idea of apparel when deciding on costumes, linking back to the conventions of particular characters in Thrillers for minor details, such as the pearls worn by Eve in 'Once Upon A Time In America' to symbolise the tears of abuse played by Alicia. In terms of lighting, we were at an advantage filming in winter, kept to a limit of a few hours’ filming per shoot but provided us with a with a low key, snowy setting with the lighting which connoted the menace. We also used articifial lighting in the terms of using a drama room for a spotlight concerning our flashback. Whilst editing I learned that the repetitive image of Alicia's character Eve at the end of the film when looking at her stalker for the first time could be utilised to increase tension as well as show the antagonist's shadowing sense by following her but not being spotted.
By analysising real media products such as 'Once upon a time in america' we were able to create a character who symbolised tears in a way of abuse and having a poor life up until this point. We also used Sean Bean for Essex Boys for our male character in terms of him wearing a leather jacket to show his hard hitting nature and personality.
When casting our actor/actress, we had a group of three for this thriler task, accompanied with Alicia and Zoe. Our aim was to have one male and one female character so Alicia was the obvious candidate for it as Zoe was excellent when it came to the filming and angles that would make our film appealing with input/suggestions from everyone else. It only left myself as the only candidate to be the male character which I happily accepted. Having us three in a group meant we could trust everyone to be at shots and actually being able to execute our film.
At the editing stage, we seperated in two editing groups with me editing on my own, however we both stuck with the name of 'Missing'. We chose 'Missing' as the title due to the reasoning it links in well with the plot for our opening as a girl who doesn't want to be found. A title should be shown to be individual to the storyline of the opening sequence so it has relevence to the film itself.
When choosing an mp3 for our sound, I made sure I didn't choose one that was overly loud or distracting as it would take away the attention of the viewer; while at the same time keeping the tension building and suspence to the scenes it related too. I felt my film bared resemblance to an professional film as it, on viewing could be imagined to be a real thirller shown in cinemas.
The gradual dissolves and transitions intensified the inclusion of flashbacks which themselves would aim to make the film more ambiguous. 'Seth' having already abused Eve in these as it reflects on what has already happened so it can relate to what is actually happening in the sequence of events in the opening. After completing my film and recieving constructive criticism from teachers, I feel capable of editing to a suitable level of skill. The film, was given decent feedback from my first audience seen in question 5 and also others that have seen it.
What have I learned?
Over this period, I have learnt that the audience are the most integral part to any film as if they are not impressed by the film then obviously they are not going to want to watch the rest after watching the opening. After I received feedback from classmates and my tutor, I was able to adjust my film accordingly so that it became more satisfactory on improvement. Once you understand the audiences expectations it is easier to make the opening more successful as you understand what they want to see and also guaruntee some form of audience.
Making the deadline for the film was strenuous, but in the end manageable due to the fortuitous nature of how my timetable run out as I had a fre day to work on my film and improve it as much as I physically could. With practice I have been able to work well enough under the pressure of a deadline from the preliminary task to this thriller opening. I have learned that completing the work on a day to day basis can help to relieve stress and reduce the workload of the editing process as it is more spaced out and also gives less to do over a short period of time.