Monday, 28 February 2011

Introduction to cameras

The camera we will use for filming

Before we were allowed to begin filming with the professional cameras, we needed to know the basic skills and how to work the camera itself beforehand. The technician Mickey used a whole lesson to visually teach our class what we need to know. He advised us that within the lesson it was crucial to take in all of what he was going to demonstrate to us as these were the very cameras that we would be using. We learnt the following:

Digital camera battery
> A fully charged battery must be inserted into the back of the camera (opposite the lens) before filming > Two memory SD cards (labelled with our group number) must be inserted into the side in order to be able to save videos
> Never touch the lenses
> Always turn off camera if not in use
> How to change focus (manual/auto) in order to produce clearer shots
> How to zoom in and out by turning the wheel surrounding the lens
> How to view the videos previously filmed

We were also given a tripod which is used to keep the camera steady when filming. The tripod can also be used to pan and tilt during filming. We were also shown:
> How to securely fix the camera to the tripod
> How to adjust the height of the tripod
> How to adjust the strength of the tilt/pan

After all the basic skills were demonstrated, Mickey showed us the techniques used when filming:
> Make sure there is not too much space above the actor when filming
> Do not follow the actor when they move, instead just use different angled shots which could then be edited to create a match cut

Friday, 25 February 2011

Practice film: Card swap - editing

After all of the shots from the 'card swap' had been filmed, we spent the rest of the lesson on the editing. We first began looking over all the shots we'd taken before then we placed them in order. As this was just a practice on using the equipment, our short sequences did not need to have special effects or transitions, the sequence just needed to make sense. We just focused on using short quick cuts to make viewers feel the tension between the two players in our scene, we did this by using a shot reverse shot on the squinting eyes of the actors (Jazzine and Emily). Throughout the time we'd been editing, we came across a major problem: we had a variety of shot but the cards that were placed were in a different order in different shots. This meant that we could not use all of the shots we intended to otherwise it may confused viewers when watching the mismatched cards being placed. We ended up using a long scene of the card swap after the introduction (the 'squinting' scene).

We didn't have enough time to add music due to the editing problems. Although our end result did look believable, we could have done much better. But as I had said before, this was just a practice which would not be marked. We have already learnt from our mistakes which we will definitely not repeat in any other filming later on. The 'card swap' has been uploaded onto to blog. From this first time experience, I have learnt a lot about filming and editing. This will be useful for our next project/short film.

Practice film: Card swap - filming

In the previous lesson, my group had planned everything for the 'card swap' scene which is our first practice using the JVC video camera. Our brief was to film a scene where two characters are taking part in a card game. We had the first half of the morning lesson up to break time to film then the second half would be used to edit and add sound which is about an hour and a half on each.

On the morning of filming, we were all ready to film but had just forgotten to bring in a pack of cards and a table cloth. Vanessa went to get some material from textiles to use as a table cloth while the rest of us set up our setting in the classroom. Luckily, Annabel had a stack of card for us to use but we ended up sharing the cards with another group as there was not enough. We borrowed a round table and 2 chairs from the staff kitchen for our scene. Everything was ready when Vanessa came back with a yellow sheet of cloth for our temporary table cloth. However, we ended up wasting 30 minutes of the lesson not because we were unprepared, but because we couldn't decide who was going to be acting in it.

After our long quarrel, we got stuck into filming. We decided that Emily and Jazzine will act while me and Vanessa will film. We filmed a variety of shots including point of view shots, birds eye view shots and over the shoulder shots. Due to the problem we faced earlier, filming went through break but by the time break was over, our filming was complete.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Black Swan

I recently watched a new movie called ‘Black Swan’ which is a drama thriller. It was released in the UK in January 2010, with an age certificate of 15 + and as I researched before, this is an average age certificate for thriller movies.
     For the structure of their opening title sequence they done titles over a blank screen, followed by the narrative opening, and allowed the music in the opening title sequence to lead into the narrative, just like the opening title sequence of ‘Dead Calm’ that I briefly mentioned in one of my blogs previously.

I chose to blog about Black Swan is because with many awards wins and nominations, with some still pending, Black Swan is a hugely successful thriller. I have picked up on very influential features within the movie such as, using non-diegetic music to play a big part in creating suspense. Also to not have too much unnecessary dialogue as it drowns out the suspense being created. I also learnt not to try and give away too much information at one point, to just allow it to play out throughout the movie. This in turn will maintain the audience’s interest throughout, keeps things more clear, and allow more surprises throughout the film.
I intend to take what I learnt from this movie and incorporate it the best I can into my own thriller opening title sequence.

The opening title sequence is not yet put up on youtube so the best I can do is give you the trailer and encourage you to watch the movie. Enjoy! I know I did.

Hurtwood’s House Youtube site

I was browsing through Hurtwood’s media Youtube site and came across a thriller opening title sequence called ‘Redemption.’ I really enjoyed this opening because I thought it was very successful in creating suspense. I saw how it incorporated Alfred Hitchcock’s advice about giving the audience information, and this clip gave us information of him making a bomb and hiding the bomb into a teddy bear. Suspense she created because the audience feel the bomb is going to bring harm to someone, and this someone could even be a child, hence why it was hiding in a teddy bear.
     It also was reminded of ‘Se7en’ when watching this, through the use of a discrete structure of thriller opening, and images of hands a ‘dangerous work.’

From watching this I learnt ways I could I try to also incorporated Hitchcock’s advice and therefore create suspense successfully. 

Here their thriller opening title sequence, Redemption:

Watching Documentary

We watched a documentary called 'Watching,' about thriller openings and how they are made effective.

In the documentary the presenter Thomas Sutcliffe said, "Films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible." By this he meant films need to get their audiences attention immediately and suck them into the movie. For example, the movie 'Casino':

Through this the audience are forced into immediate interest/attraction.   
     However according to director Jean Jacques Beineix, instant arousal poses risk’s that can be harmful to the movie. The risk is that, now that you have the audience so highly engaged into the movie by starting off with something big, you have to follow this up by maintaining and holding the audiences interest for the rest of the film. He believes “a good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn’t know nearly enough yet, and at the same time make sure that it doesn’t know too little.” Beineix believes this way is effective because in this way, as Alfred Hitchcock said, the audience gain enough information to remain highly tuned in knowing that something will later happen, and therefore gain and maintain the audiences interest.
     On the other hand critic Stanley Kauffmann brings forward a classic opening, believing this style to be most effective. A classic opening is for example where the film begins with a opening/establishing shot for a city/town, then a shot of a building, then a window etc, we are zooming in to the most important element e.g. the person. This works because the audience, as Stanley Kauffmann says, are through this way, told the organisation of the world.

The opening title sequence of ‘Seven’ by Kyle Cooper was very effective. The reason why it was so effective is because it was able to tune in their audience and give them a mood/emotion to follow with. This was hugely achieved through their use of non-diegetic music and the font titles, which are small and stand out against the black background. Another way this opening title sequence was effective was through the added effective of flashes of light, distortion of the images and titles, and the shaky effect with the titles. This was able to introduce the audience to the genre of the film- psychological- and introduce them to the narrative.

     Orson Welles also wanted to achieve a very effective opening title sequence with ‘A Touch of Evil.’ To try and achieve this Welles wanted go straight into the film with no opening titles because he believed the opening would be more powerful if there were no titles thus giving more attention to the narrative. However Universal Studios went against this idea believing it was too risky to go against the conventions like this, and added the titles to the opening of the film. Welles and many other people were very disappointed by this and thought it ruined the initial effect of the opening.  

With opening title sequences, there is a very famous trick called ‘A favourite trick of noir’ which is when the beginning of the film is also the ending of the film. An example of this trick being used is with the opening of ‘Casino.’ I trick is effective because it is able to as Thomas Sutcliffe says, give the audience instant arousal but avoid Jean Beineix risk of loosing the audiences interest, by keeping the audience inquisitive trying the puzzle the story together to figure out the reason for that ending.

Evaluation of Preliminary Film 2: Sound and Text

Last lesson we were able to add sound and titles to our match cut film. We used Soundtrack Pro to add sound to our clip, but at first we had a little trouble using Soundtrack Pro, seeing as the last time we had the opportunity to use it we didn’t fully understand the instructions given by the teacher and had little time to play around with it. But after a while of playing around with and asking teachers for help, we became more comfortable with Soundtrack Pro and started to enjoy it. We first focused on the diegetic sounds (sound effects) rather than the non-diegetic sounds (background music). We added diegetic sounds such as footsteps and doors opening/closing etc. We also incorporated some non-diegetic sounds like soft music fading in the background as the bad news dropped to try add comedic suspense to it. At the end of the clip we had violins that played that linked from the narrative and carried on once the clip had stopped so that we can put our titles in as the non-diegetic music played.
     We used FinalCut Pro to add the titles to our clip. We didn’t have many problems in getting the font and design as we had extra time in the previous lesson because we had finished editing early. However we did come across a problem in actually getting the titles to appear in the actual clip. FinalCut Pro kept told us our text was ‘un-rendered’, so we rendered it but it continued to tell us our text was ‘un-rendered’ after many try of trying to render it. We asked teachers for help, but they too couldn’t understand the problem, so we ultimately had to leave our clip without titles.

Us working in the editing suite doing sound and text

On the other hand I think our preliminary went very smoothly, and I believe we all learnt a lot from this, which would greatly benefit us in our final thriller film. I think we could improve for the final thriller opening title sequence film, by allowing ourselves to have much more time for sound because we with this preliminary clip we didn’t have enough time to properly focus on the non-diegetic music. So in order for our final thriller opening titles sequence film to be successful we will need plenty of time for the non-diegetic music.      
Soundtrack Pro with our work under contruction

Doube screen with us picking the sound to use in Soundtrack Pro

Monday, 7 February 2011

Preliminary Match Cut exercise - adding sound and text (part 2)

     In today's lesson, since we had finished the editing in the previous lesson, all we had to do was add sound and text onto our clip.  There were still abit of confusions with using Soundtrack Pro, but we managed to work our way around them, or call Bernard for help.  It was a very relaxed lesson and I think it was a very good way for us to get more practice with sound.  I believe this whole match cut exercise was to get us into the habit of the filming and editing process, so we have enough knowledge when making our final piece.
     When we first started applying sound to our piece, we focused more on the sound effects rather than things like the background music.  So we first played about with sound effects for a door and for footsteps.  Towards the ending, we then focused on sound effects for a 'comedic suspense sound' and then focused on instruments (violins to be more precise) for the ending of the clip.  We then noticed that we could have some soft background music whilst one of the actors were speaking so we played around for abit until we found one that fitted the scene.  We also adjusted the volume at the ending of the clip (violins) so that instead of it just jumping in, it would rise from a low volume to a high volume to add more effect.
     Once we had finished with sound, we went on to add text to our piece, well attempt to add text.  We added scrolling text at the end of the piece to say who it was edited and filmed by, and we planned to put some text at the beginning of the clip to say who was starring in the film.  However, we had a problem with the text.  When we added it onto the film and played it from the beginning, it wouldn't show and it was saying we needed to 'render' the footage, but even when we rendered it, it still refused to work.  We did ask Bernard for help but even he couldn't understand why it wasn't working, so we just decided to leave the footage without text.
        From the way the filming had gone, I had an image of the clip being comedic.  I did actually want it to be thriller-based as it would prepare us more for our final film, but it turned out to be quite different. Nonetheless, the process of this exercise will still contribute towards the preparation for our final film. Notes for our final piece would be to learn how to 'render' our text and to know what type of sounds, we will need so less time will be spent searching for different types of sounds.

 sound was first added (left screen) and loads of different types of sounds (right screen)

 sound has now been adjusted to fit each section, and loudness of sound has also been adjusted to fade in from a lower tone to a louder tone.
   sound is all done and the final clip is exported onto Final Cut Pro, where we begin to add the text

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Font Analysis

When advertising a film or the opening title of the film is shown, we have various fonts which are to help compliment the film. First impressions are key. Fonts make a very big statement before the film allowing the audience to make decisions to whether this film is worth watching or will the film make sense. For example, If the opening to a thriller had pink writing and candy splashed around it. It would make the viewers question if their watching the write film. 

 Fonts are broken down in to mainly two categories; Serif and San-serif (Without Serif). You can clearly distinguish the differences because serif typefaces have extra decorative lines at the beginning/end of the letters, for example:
Times New Roman
The font has flicks at the end. Generally Serifs were massively used in older films but are still used today for a more formal approach. San-serifs tend to have a definitive edge for example:
 Arial Bold
We know where we stand with the font there are no extra parts its just the letter. However, there are some san-serifs which have a rounded edge which makes them very informal and different to look at rather than conventional straight lines. 

The film "Rocky" uses a San-serif called Franklin Gothic. Franklin Gothic is bold and what i believe to be "no thrills" what you see is what you get. Even though i have seen the film many times, you get this feeling it was a great decision to choose this font. It definitely defines the film"Rocky". The choice to use a San-Serif shows that this film will most likely be informal and use informal language (which it does). 

The film "Titanic" uses a Serif called Trajan.  The extra "flicks" at the end of the letters show that this film may not be so straight forward as it may seem to most viewers. Although the colour white clashes with the crashing of the waves especially when mentioning the actress's name "Kate Winslet". I believe that was a poor choice. There are other background pictures of crashing waves which allow you to see the white font in front. The choice to use a  Serif font shows that this film will be serious and formal.  

When considering our opening title sequence we will look into the choice of font very carefully. We know that we would most likely use "Live type" to produce our opening credit rather than "Final Cut Pro" because there is more creative options to be more unique with the text. Colour combinations are also vital when selecting the right font. If the font on "Rocky" was red it would be too bright and striking. It would deviate the attention from the frame as a whole.

Preliminary Match Cut exercise – Filming and Editing Evaluation

In this lesson we had a chance to film and edit our preliminary animatic clip that we made last lesson using the jelly babies. Natalie and Vanessa decided that they would be in the final this time because Emily and I were in the film for the card swap. This way we all got a chance to use the cameras, and be in front of the cameras. Once we had got a room for ourselves to film in we started filming straight away, because we had learned from our last practice film, when we were discussing so much, what shots we should do, how we should start it etc., and this time we didn’t do any of that, we just started with any shot because we planned on taking many, then we could just put it all together when we edit. Although we got straight to it, during the process there was a lot of idolized chatter, consuming a lot of our time. However we were able to included most of the shots from our jelly baby storyboard and a few extra ones. We were able to finish a few minutes before break, giving us some time, so we imported the files onto our video drive - and we would have imported them onto Final Cut Pro as well except we were in another room, and we didn’t know which one yet - so that when we came back from break we would have more time.
     When editing our group decided that two of us should edit the film and two of us should work on sound, so me and Emily did editing and Natalie and Vanessa worked on sound. This way we would spare a lot of time next lesson when we do sound and titles, which again we would plan to cut the group in half, and two of us do one and the other two the other one.
     The editing went pretty smoothly, unlike last time when we had problems with the accuracy of elements within the shots. We were able to include not only one match cut, but two, and the shots were able to continue well from one another. Unfortunately we forgot to take pictures during our filming, but we plan to take lots in our next filming.

I feel we much improved from our last practice film, because we were actually able to complete the film and edit - unlike last time - and with time to spare. However we could still have improved by being more focused and talking less about other things, something which much got in our way in the first practice film. Through this experience I hope to improve for the final title sequence film by learning from my mistakes, and trying to even better incorporate the things that worked well.       

Preliminary Match Cut exercise - animatic jelly babies, storyboard and planning.

In this lesson we had to make a storyboard – using jelly babies – for a clip we were to make in the nest lesson. Our storyboards were made from still shots using a digital camera. We were told that our clips and storyboards had to contain a ‘match cut.’ A match cut a is a transition between two shots where an object or movement at the end of one shot directly matches an object or movement at the beginning of the next shot. This match cut had to be with someone opening the door and then coming in through the door.
     We took pictures of the jelly babies representing each shot. We included a range of different shots including: a eye level shot, one person in my group went down on the floor to take the picture so we get an eye level shot of the jelly babies, because the jelly babies had to represent humans, so we wasn’t going to use high angle shots. Long shot, when the jelly babies were walking in from the door, which then turned into a close up as the jelly babies got closer to the camera. A bird's eyes view, to establish the area, and a over the shoulder shot because there a very common and useful shot. Our group was very successful in ensuring we had finished the storyboard in good quality, in a reasonable time, so we then had more time to edit out shots.
     In the editing suite, we had to put the still images together to make a shot film clip, with FinalCut Pro. When we joined the images the continuity of the editing was good, but the duration of clip was too long, so we shortened it from ten seconds, to four, but it was still a bit too long, so we finally shorten it to two seconds.
     I think the reason why our group were successful in this project is because we had all learned so much from the first practice film we done and understood where we went from, and made sure we avoided those things this time around.
     However we still had some trouble in finding and assorting in final cut pro, as we kept accidentally putting all the pictures on the timeline, instead of just the one that we needed, we took up some of our time. To avoid this happening again, i will study up on using FinalCut Pro. 

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Introduction to editing

In order to produce a good thriller, a variety of shot may help but to keep the audience hooked, editing must be used. Other than music, editing makes a film look more thorough and professional but only the right equipment can produce high quality films. All the filming we will do later on will be edited on 'Final Cut Pro' which is an Apple software. Although this would be our first time editing our own shots, this is not our first time using 'Final Cut Pro'.  We were first introduced to the software in the 'Bait tutorial' around the time when we first started Media; we had to edit ready-made clips to produce a short story.

'Final Cut Pro' allowed us to produce quick cuts, match cuts, add transitions and many more. Using the program was quite challenging at first but once I got the hang of the process, it became quite enjoyable, however, I still needed some help when producing the harder tasks.
Here's a tutorial on how to use 'Final Cut Pro':

Friday, 4 February 2011

Preliminary Match Cut exercise - filiming and editing (part 1)

    In yesterday's lesson, with the animatic storyboard we had already created in the previous lesson, we began filming instantly.  Luckily for me, even though I was late, I arrived just as my group were beginning to film.  We decided that Natalie and Vanessa should act in this film and that me and Jazzine should handle the camera, as it was the other way around during our card swap film.  As there was loads of messing about during our card swap film, none of us wanted to waste the time we had so we really just got down to work. We tried our best to include loads of different shots, so when we got to editing we could see which ones worked best.  We finished filming just before break and had a bit of spare time so Vanessa and Jazzine exported the files onto Final Type Pro.  This made things easier for when we all got back from break. 
     During our editing process, we decided to divide the group in half to make things faster.  In my opinion it only requires 2 people maximum to edit a sequence, so me and Jazzine focused on editing whilst Natalie and Vanessa focused on sound.  Anabel then told us that we'd have our next lesson to add sound and subtext(s) to our piece, but we still thought it'd be good if we played around with the sound for abit as most of us had a weak knowledge of Soundtype Pro.  Towards the ending, we then swapped over so everyone could see what everyone had done.  Everyone was happy.  Next lesson should be fun and I can't wait to add sound and text to our piece.  I also aim to watch some tutorials to broaden my understanding of SoundType Pro.
    Editing has just began, timeline is very empty

 Editing coming to an ending - more clips on the timeline

 Two different screens we were working on.  Me and Jazzine working on the editing on the screen on the left and Vanessa and Natalie working with sound on the screen on the right.

Analysing 3 scenes from 'The Stepfather' in detail

When watching 'The Stepfather' in class, we had to analyse the suspenseful scenes; what   happened in the scene and what made it suspenseful. Although this movie uses a lot of typical plots (generic), I found it quite frightening but interesting at the same time as there were many times were I the viewer knows that something is going to happen whereas the characters don't.

Example 1: 
Knowing that his neighbour Mrs. Cutter is suspicious about him, David the killer wants rid of her in order not to be exposed. On his way to town, David drives past Mrs. Cutter's house twice giving her a sinister look. Although this may not necessarily mean that he is after her, it is the music that gives the impression that she is in danger, this is called a motif. Later in the day, Mrs. Cutter is alone at home with her cats when she hears a knock at the door, we the audience knows that it is David whereas she doesn't; this creates suspense keeping the viewers drawn. She immediately goes to open the door, but with no one in sight she steps outside to see who was looking for her. The use of a point of view shot from inside the house lets the audience know that David is in the house peering at Mrs. Cutter; this creates suspense as viewers are now expecting something to happen. Believing that nobody is there, Mrs. Cutter steps back into her home; this is when the nail-biting music starts to build up. The audience prepare themselves for something horrific to happen. As the music reaches its cadence, one of her black cats suddenly jumps out of nowhere making the audience jump but feeling relieved that it is not David; this is called a false plateau. As Mrs. Cutter goes to grab her cat, David is then uncovered. This was the most suspenseful part of the scene as I was terrified what would happen to Mrs. Cutter but at the same time still wanting to watch.

Example 2:
Jay, the father of Susan's kids, drops by at their house to say goodbye to his kids. Jay is greeted by David who lets him in. Out of curiosity, Jay questions David about is life at college, realising that his history makes no sense, Jay begins to get suspicious. At this point David is  nowhere to be scene. When Jay confronts him about the lie, there is total silence; this creates suspense as the audience knows that something is wrong or something is going to happen. Jay, still speaking, walks towards the kitchen. As he reaches the end of the hallway, David suddenly appears from behind using a glass vase to knock him out. Although the use of music can create suspense, not using any music can also create suspense as it gives out an impression that something is wrong.

Example 3:
Jackie, Susan's sister, becomes very suspicious after David refused to fill out the forms numerous times. Jackie prepares to leave as she is supposed to be visiting a friend but ironically there is a major storm indicating that something is wrong. As Jackie loads her luggage into the boot of her car, there is a point of view shot of David from behind the branches peering at her; this creates suspense because now that David has arrived Jackie is in danger. At this point, the audience is eager for Jackie to leave as quick as possible in order to get away but instead she goes to retrieve the umbrella from the swimming pool which collapsed due to the stormy weather. Jackie attempts to retrieve it several times but fails. The audience begin to prepare for the worst as the stormy weather indicates that something is going to happen. When Jackie finally succeeds, David suddenly appears from behind her grabbing her hair forcing it into the pool until she drowns.

In all of these examples, suspense is mainly created when the audience prepare for the worst as they are sure something horrendous will happen; they know this from the use of music, editing or just from generic scenes (e.g. the storm).

Tips for our Thriller:
  • Use point of view shots
  • Use sound to represent danger
  • Use motif for characters

Introduction to editing 2: FinalCut Pro

To edit our practice film we used a software called FinalCut Pro, which we will also be using in the final opening title sequence film. FinalCut Pro allows you to edit film, import and export videos, and special effects, such as transitions camera/viewing effects, and more things. This wasn’t my first time using FinalCut Pro, as I had to use in when editing the ‘Bait Tutorial’ so when editing this practice clip, although it was still difficult, it was so troubling. When I first used FinalCut Pro to edit the Bait Tutorial, it was really changeling, but after a while I got the hang of using it, with ‘I’ and ‘O’ as acronyms for in and out, I began to really enjoy editing and learning about how to get a clean edit and construct a clip with continuity.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Soundtrack Pro and LiveType

Soundtrack Pro logo

LiveType logo

In our media lesson, we were introduced to 'Soundtrack Pro': the program which we will be using to produce highly professional music to our film later on in the project. This software allows us to produce music and sound effects to add to film to make it more interesting. We were also introduced to LiveType: the program which we will be using to produce text for the titles in our thriller opening. This software produces texts from all different sizes and fonts with added effects such as fading to provide videos/films with more detail or just for a prefessional look.

Unfortunately, I felt that the lesson was very rushed as our teacher wanted us to learn about both of the software within a lesson. Although we may not need to use these programs at the moment, it is essential we know everything before beginning our thriller title sequence. Hopefully we will be prepared when the time comes. 
Here is the 'Soundtrack Pro' tutorial below:

Here is the 'LiveType' tutorial below:

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Animatic: Jelly Babies Analysis

 We were given a brief where our animatic  was centred around two jelly babies who were meeting up with each other and talking. Sound wasn't necessary at this point. We used a series of photo's using a still camera to make this animatic. This animatic is the foundation stage for our Preliminary film.

Jelly baby 1 at the door (above) 
 We thought about camera angles for our short clip to make this interesting. Jelly babies are small so we thought it was an unusual idea to make them seem as if they are using human sized furniture. We tried to do a match cut with the jelly babies opening the door. Personally I am not sure if we executed the match cut on the animatic. (In the Preliminary blog I believe we did a good job.)

My favourite part of the animatic is where the two jelly babies are moving forward together and the camera stays still. Each still picture showed the jelly babies coming forward.

To create awareness of the surroundings we used a birds eye view still image on the jelly babies. We wanted to introduce a variety of shots in the little time we had to shoot them.

 After shooting it was time to your "Final Cut Pro" to edit and put together our animatic. We loaded the photo's from our video drive and imported them to the programme. The most irritating thing about "Final Cut Pro" is that when we imported the still pictures, the pictures weren't tiled across the the window. They were in a long line making use have to scroll down to add them one by one. (Later on we found a short cut to adding them on.) Unbeknown to us, all the images had been highlighted. So, when we dragged one picture we had all them come on to the timeline. Frustratingly, Jazzine had to manually delete and move pictures from the timeline which we didn't need. This took up way too much time. 

We played back the footage generated by the stills, however something was wrong. The transition from one picture to the next took too long. We later found that each still had a duration of 10 seconds. This was an extensive amount of time so we cut the time to 4 seconds. After much deliberation we decided even that was too long. The next change was from 4 seconds to 2 seconds. We were satisfied but not completely, it still looks like 4 seconds; however, we ran out of time.  

The final outcome of the animatic is good quality as we have picked up and developed skills from the previous card swap footage. 

Card Swap: Planning + Analysis

We were given a brief that we have to make a card game seem interesting. When considering an 'interesting' card game, We considered our main 4 areas we needed to cover:

Mise En Scene
  • Cards 
  • Lighting, how dark the room will be.
  • The table cloth just to bring uniqueness. Hence why we chose Yellow. 

Unfortunately we had ideas that wasn't able to follow through, but these was some of the ideas we did have:
  • Digetic Sound: Enhance the sound of the players laying the cards. Just to create tension, and exaggerate the concentration of the each players. Almost the pin drop silence being disturbed by cards.
  • Towards the end a soundtrack would fade in at climax of the card game. Then end in a big crescendo.
  • No Dialogue add to the tense and dark atmosphere which we are trying to create.


  • Point of view shots
  • Reaction shots
  • Over the shoulder shots
  • Close ups/ Extreme close ups
  • High angle shots
  • Eye Level
  • Birds Eye
  • Establishing shots
  • Cut in

  • Shot reverse shot
  • Quick cuts to create pace
  • Equal amount of air time for both characters. 
  • Pace of editing
 In the limited time we had, we tried to shoot the scene from various angles. In total we have about 12 usable clips to make our short film. The hardest part was cutting our video to make the film seem seamless. Easier said than done.  Our story line was that player 1 + 2 are playing a card game. Player 1 lays down a death combo which ultimately makes her the winner of the game. The card sequence and arrangement of the cards before that made it difficult when we were re-filming the scenes. In each shot of the scene, a different sequence of cards are being laid. Therefore the film can't be completely seamless. We tried ever so hard to try and rectify the mistakes. Time was against us. We were unable to have the time to attempt to put Sound on out film. 

Sound and Live Type: SKILLS

Live type is software which enables users to created animated text. To be honest, when had a quick demonstration, I never quite understood its features and what the users could do on it. There isn't much i can right on it. However this video i will post below does give you a good tutorial on its features:

Soundtrack Pro is software which allows you to create and edit samples of music to the users choosing. Once again the demonstration we were given didn't allow us ample time to understand its features. However, I understand what was required and how to do it. Unfortunately the interface which we was demonstrated on was different from what we had at our own computers. Hence, why we do not have sound and text on our recent videos. 
Here's a great tutorial video which does outline the basics:

Introduction to Editing: SKILLS

The editing software we will be using for the duration of the course is "Final Cut PRO". 
Features for final cut pro:

  • Editing HD clips
  • Add effects and transmissions
  • Add sound
  • Add Text
  • Editing 
  • Export Videos
  • Import Videos
The interface of the programme is daunting at first glance but after experimenting and playing around with the features you begin to understand how to work it. The main keys i have learnt are input "I" and output "O". When cutting a clip down I use those keys to get the precise place i want the video cut and simply, drag to the time line.

Sound & Livetype

When using Soundtrack Pro to add sound to our piece, I found it very difficult, and I'm sure the rest of my group did which was why we didn't have any sound added to our practice film.  I think it's because of the short amount of time that was spent on teaching us about it.  If a bit more time was spent on it, I think I would have a better understanding.  However, I did a bit of independent learning and found a tutorial of it on youtube.  It was very helpful and I would like to bring it to the group when editing our final piece so we all know and understand how to edit sound.

We were also introduced to Livetype which will allow us to create and add text.  I aim to get a better understanding of it, and just like the situation with soundtrack pro, I feel that more time could of been spent on explaining this more clearly.