As a group, we produced a preliminary task. This task included a 25 second clip of a character walking into a room, sitting down and conversing to another character opposite. The main reason for producing a preliminary task is to identify our weaknesses when filming. We shot a simple sequence that lasts, Chris Entering a room and sitting down at a table with Adam. The simple dialogue is the line of ‘I’m pregnant’.
From watching the link below, I can clearly state that we followed the 180 degree rule, apart from the final shot and used match-on-action.
180 Degree Rule
The picture above shows how the 180 degree rule works. In basics, a scene must be shot on an angle plane of 180 degrees; the camera must remain on one side of what is being filmed (the subjects) and not switch to the other side. This rule ensures clarity in filming and adds to the realism of the scene. If this rule were to be ignored, subjects in the scene would flip around and change positions, which is very confusing to an audience attempting to follow the narrative. With this being said this rule can be ignored when the camera pans, or circles around and object to give a circular view of a subject. This is because the audience can understand the scene and layout of the setting, whereas if it were cut to a shot not on the 180 degree plane, a very confusing, disjointed sequence would be produced. Notably, many directors have purposely infringed this rule. The late director Stanley Kubrick used an infringement of the 180 degree rule in the film ‘The Shining’ to cause disorientation to the viewers. Disorientation is massively effective in psychological thrillers, as it adds depth to the effect and immersion received by the viewers. Perhaps we could film experimental shots that break the rule on purpose, and shots of the same scene which do not when filming? We could then choose the most effective shot and camera angle and edit appropriately.
Match on Action
Match on Action is an editing technique used prolifically throughout the film and television media. It ensures a smooth running of a scene or sequence as well as providing a correct chronological outplay of events. (The events run in time). It mainly occurs when presenting a scene, then cutting to a closer shot of a subject to reveal a greater detail and then reverting back to the original shot.
3 Areas for Improvement
- Poor Lighting- The lighting is very low key, too low key to present the picture with the correct clarity. We should consider this when filming for the actual coursework piece. We can consider filming in the day rather than filming at night, which would ensure an even and realistic lighting throughout, although this would compromise and limit the detail and extent of content we are able to shoot.
- Shaky Picture – All of the shots are handheld, which has produced a shaky picture, thus contaminating the product with visual amateurism and a horrible aesthetic feel. We will counter this by using a tripod when filming still shots and a dolly or stable chair when filming shots where the camera moves, such as tracking or following. This should give a stable and clear shot whilst remaining a cheap technique however producing a professional look to the piece. Perhaps, if we are looking to produce a shot with a point of view, we can ignore these techniques to give realism to the piece. This technique has been used in various films such as The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield and the most recent Paranormal Activity franchise.
- Poor Sound/Sound Pollution – The sound in the piece contains non-diegetic yet irrelevant and unwanted sound as well as poor sound quality from the actual dialogue and events which are required to be crisp and clear. We can counter this by choosing an isolated set and warning people of our presence and our filming intentions. In order to clear up the intentional sound, we will: rerecord a ‘studio’ version of the soundtrack using computer recording software and hardware, strip most of the original sound from the sequence and place the studio version over the top in the editing phase of production. This will ensure a clear and crisp soundtrack to our piece. This is a professional technique which we will attempt to put into practise.
I feel the preliminary task was an extremely effective way of highlighting our flaws as film producers, mainly in the actual shooting phase of the film. It was a vital step and from here, we can further analyse our plan of filming and produce a storyboard to comply with our current abilities. I can now begin to explore a realistic genre, bearing in mind the budget and equipment at hand, and then begin to plan a storyline, dialogue and narrative for the piece. Producing an initial storyboard to accompany this planning would result in a better final piece.