The film I made was following theme ‘home’. All the work I have done was preparing, making and editing my film. I am very proud of the final product, but as always, there’s defiantly things I would do differently if I was going to do it again. In this evaluation I will talk about my process and sum up my whole project.
This is my final film:
Research and Analysis
To identify appropriate research sources for this project I looked into films that followed with my themes and storylines. When it came to researching films, one of the types I looked into was political films as my final film was very political. Is was important for me to look into how to present a political film as normally they can be seen as controversial. I also looked into films that represented the theme ‘home’. I looked into these films because I wanted to see what other people took from the theme home. Home was my main theme, so my film is based around it. I could take ideas how the represent the theme and gain ideas/inspiration. I also looked into films that had certain techniques. For example, films with steady cam; lighting in dark spaces; and depth of field. I wanted to look into these techniques because I wasn’t very experienced at them. Although I ended up not using steady cam because of my wrist injury, I still learnt a lot from it which I can take to other projects. I also used a book and online article research sources. I think it’s important to look into books and articles because you can learn a lot about the tehcniques and skills of the industry. On the other hand, I used articles to find out about people’s stories from Syria. This was important to look into the people’s real life stories as my film was based on truth. I wanted to take parts of real life stories and incorperate them into my film so it was more realistic. ( People’s real life stories research: https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/secondary-research-real-life-stories-from-syria/). I also used ‘Pintrest’, a site where you can collect pictures and articles on one board, to look into costume, makeup and set design. This helped me as it meant all the pictures I needed where in one place, creating a sort of mood board.
Furthermore, I used a primary resource which was a questionnaire. It is important to use primary research when making a film as you can look into your audience and how they would react to certain things. My primary research was on what people knew about Syria. I wanted to know this because my film was based on stories from Syria and showing people what it’s like. Knowing what my audience know was important because I could base my final films around their opinions and what they knew. The film could then ‘open their eyes’ to what’s really happening in countries of war. (Primary research post on people’s views: https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/research-peoples-views/)
Range of Research
I think I would’ve done more research for my film as I only used a few research sources. If I had more time, I would’ve like to look more into different types of films other than political. This is because you can always learn from films, even if you don’t enjoy them or they have nothing to do with your project. However, I think the research I did really helped my final film become successful. I especially think this about my research I did on real life stories. This is because my story was based more on truth rather than what I thought was the truth. I learnt a lot from researching these stories as they normally don’t incorporate them into mainstream news or articles.
When researching my sources, I analysed and critically reflected on them. I did this by picking them apart and pulling out shots or parts I liked or didn’t like. From this I could find inspiration or themes that I liked to help create my film. I took the techniques and shot layouts and analysed them to make see how they did it and why. Here is an example of some of the analysis I did for the film ‘Family Life’. (Original Film: https://vimeo.com/157349293 , my analysis: https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/research-filming-techniques-and-storyline/)
This analysis shows depth, detail and focus as I looked carefully into the decisions of the filmmaker and the techniques they use. Analysing them in-depth is important because as a filmmaker, you can understand and learn the same process they went through to create their film. Also, it helps you decide if you could introduce that technique into your film. Also, by focusing and looking for certain techniques or storyline ideas, it means you can narrow down what you take from the film. If you analysed every shot, the research post would be extremely long. However, I concentrated in looking at presenting the theme home; camera movement/shots; colours; and character design.
When researching I found conventions in certain types of films. Within sad, angry or deep message films, they used darker lighting or darker/colder colour schemes. They use dark lighting or dark colours to set a ‘darker’ atmosphere. From this I took the idea of using dark spaces/lighting and colder colour schemes to use in my film.
(First picture from ‘Save the Children’ advert; second from ‘Political Asylum’; third picture from’ReMoved’)
Another style I discovered was using children to make films more emotive. When audiences see children in films who are sad, it pulls a heart string that is instinctive which makes people want to protect children. This technique is mostly used within advertising. I discovered this in my research mainly. Showing children gets people to donate money to the cause as audiences see that they are in trouble. This also is used in a few short films I watched.
(First picture from ‘Care international’ advert, second from ‘ReMoved’)
I also found that in a lot of films/still photos where they want the audience to emphasis or feel sorry for the characters of people, they show a close shot of them where they look into the camera, or they are in the centre of the shot so they are the main focus. This gives the audience only one thing to look at with no other distractions. It forces them to see the character/person, even if it makes the audience to feel uncomfortable.
My analysis of these conventions helped with my final film as I found out ways that it could improve my film by following then. It also helped me find the techniques to use to make my film effective, like the one’s I researched.
A key lesson which I learnt from my research for my FMP was the use of dark and light lighting. I did some research into how to light dark places as I understood that it is a hard this to do. (https://wordpress.com/post/izzyfilm.wordpress.com/4642) Lighting is very important in filmmaking, and getting it right is very hard. I learnt that I need to keep practicing it for future films.
Secondly, a key lesson that I have also learnt is the importance of sound. In a lot of the films I researched they added in sound effects to make the scene clearer or link other scenes together. For example in ‘Political Asylum’, they use a lot of helicopter and police siren sound effects. Although the audience can see the helicopter or police car, the sounds tells the audience they are there. This technique is really useful in low-budget films, like my FMP. I learnt that I sound look more into sound and sound effects for my final film.
Another key lesson I learnt was seeing the importance of planning each scene. Most of the films I watched were very planned out, meaning they were more successful. Furthermore, I realised that planning props, set, makeup and costume was very important and something that I was interested in. For example the makeup in the clip I watched from ‘1984’ made the scene way more effective. The makeup artist made the character look skinnier and dirtier. If he didn’t look like this, I think the scene would’ve lost it’s dark, disgusting, and hard to watch effect. This is because if he looked normal the audience would have no sympathy for him, but seeing him worn and skinny shows he’s been in the prison a long time and treated badly. From the research I realised I wanted to look more into production design when making the film.
From all these key lessons, I applied them to my planning by making sure I involved them. For example, with the production design, I planned to try the different skinny and dirty effects to add into my final film. Or plan further sets where in the background there were posters and props that linked to the main themes of my film. It also meant that I concentrated my planning on the overall atheistic and feel to my film, instead of the camera work or editing. I also applied the idea of the importance of sound effects to my planning. By doing this, I looked more into using sound effects to build my scenes up. For example, planning to add sirens in and the characters to look around for them without actually filming a police car.
In hindsight, if I was going to go back to the research stage I would’ve researched more on how to record clean sound. A lot of my sound in my final film came out fuzzy and windy. I think that I would’ve looked into how to record sound correctly instead of trying to remember from the last few projects. Last time I had an issue with sound, which should have been a warning for myself to look into it.
I think I would’ve also looked more into lighting. On set, I found lighting very hard, especially in dark places. I looked into some of the techniques used to light dark spaces but still make the image look dark, but I didn’t have time to test it look into it further. If I was going to do this project again, I would practice the lighting and research more in how to do it.
I could have, to develop my research and analysis further, looked into more variations of sources. I mainly focused on YouTube videos and news articles. I only used one book, but I wish I used more. This is because you can learn a lot about film making from reading professional books. If I was going to do this project again, I would’ve defiantly read more prior to the project.
Planning and Preproduction
When first getting the brief, it was important to explore it. This would help me develop my ideas and understand what I needed to do to obtain a high level mark. I explored the brief in this post – https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/fmp-breif/.
Firstly, I looked into the themes to develop my ideas. (https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/izzyfilm.wordpress.com) The themes we got were ‘Home,’ ‘Broken’, and ‘Stranger.’ I wanted to see what annotations I got from looking at all 3 themes.
As you can see I didn’t want to make a film on stranger because I couldn’t think of anything good. I instantly liked the idea of doing something political as I have a strong interest in politics. I also explored the ideas of doing political films. This more linked to broken or home.
I really liked the idea of doing a film about immigration. It’s a very current topic at the moment that is in mainstream media and I am extremely interested it. They’re defiantly different and extreme views on the topic of immigration. But it would be very hard to pull off. I then began to think of how I could do this. I thought about how I could make a fictional piece based in Syria, and I think that was next to impossible as I live in the UK. I then thought of the idea of setting it in the UK. Not only would this be easier to film, it fits the idea of getting audiences to emphasise with the characters and real refugees in Syria.
I would have to pick and chose main parts of the story to put into the film. I made this into a full concept idea in my project proposal. (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/fmp-project-propsal/)
The brief restrictions had an impact on my process. The main restriction was the time limit. I wanted to do a full story, and I couldn’t include everything in the 2 minuets that I was given. Another restriction would be the time limit I have to make the film. I understood that I would have to put a lot of time and energy into this project. If there was more time to do this project, I could spread it out more.
When considering factors of this project, I thought about locations and how I would have to get them right. One of the issues would be trying to find a location where it looked ruined and derelict. As my storyline followed the story of a family, I thought it would be important to show ruined and broken buildings. From the research of real stories, most included about how the places they lived in where bombed or abandoned.
A second factor I considered was actors. Pulling this off effectively would be hard to do without good actors. I knew I needed to have good actors to make sure the stories were told properly. When casting I would have to look into if the actors were any good or if they were experienced.
Thirdly, I had to consider timing. I wanted to put a lot into this film, which would mean a lot of planning. I made a schedule to make sure that I would keep stay focused and in time.
Challenges I anticipated
A challenge that I anticipated was trying to get the story across without seeming too dramatic, but staying close to the truth at the same time. I had to think carefully about what parts of the story to put in, whilst staying away from violent imagery, which most of the stories I read had in.
Another challenge I anticipated was finding good locations. As I said in the section before, finding good and realistic locations would be hard as I live in Lancaster, which isn’t known for derelict buildings. I knew I would have to look into building sites and half torn down buildings.
Another challenge I anticipated was
As I kept planning, my plans adapted and evolved. One of the major changes which happened during planning, was the use of steady cam within my film. I was originally going to focus on using steady cam in my project. However, I got a really bad wrist injury which meant I couldn’t use the equipment properly. I decided to focus more on still shots and look more into what is in the scene then how it is filmed. (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/9052016-project-diary-plan-development/)
From this, I also decided to look more into production design which meant that I could look more into props, costumes and locations, which is what I am more interested in.
Another part of my plan that developed was cutting the mum character out of the script. In my original script, I had another character who was the mum in the family. After a few draft script I decided to cut the character out. She didn’t add anything to the story, and not only that, I didn’t know any actors who could play her. (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/scripts/)
Keeping a planning record
It is important to keep track of your planning when making a film as you can keep track of your ideas, paperwork, and other parts of film making. To keep track of my work, I made blog post for each section of work. For example, scripts were all together (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/scripts/) or all my real life story research was together (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/secondary-research-real-life-stories-from-syria/). I also created project diary blog posts, this meant I could know what I did each day and when. For example the 25/05/2016 Project diary which also contained notes from the small meeting I had. (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/25052016-project-diary-meeting/)
Pre production is a very important part of film making. It means that as a filmmaker, you can plan in-depth to create a more effective final film. I created pre production documents to make sure that my final film was more effective. This is a list of all the documents I made with linked attachments to each one.
- Project Proposal: A project proposal is a pre production document where you talk about your concept ideas and what needs to be done for the project to be successful. (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/fmp-project-propsal/)
- Project schedule: The first thing I did was create a project schedule to make sure I kept on track and focused. It also means you know when to get stuff and the order it needs to be done in. (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/21042016-project-diary/)
- Research posts: To define my story line, techniques and overall effect of my FMP, I made several research posts. The first one I made was secondary research on people’s real life stories. (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/secondary-research-real-life-stories-from-syria/) Within this document, I looked into news/magazine articles, TV adverts and documentaries, to find out more about real stories that are happening in Syria. It was important for me to research this as it helped me develop my story line further. The research post I made was Filming Techniques and Story lines. (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/research-filming-techniques-and-storyline/) This was important to research as looking into others people’s films can inspire your own. The next research post I made was primary and secondary research on people’s views. (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/research-peoples-views/). I looked into people’s negative views in the media or in general. I also looked into pro immigration arguments. This was important to do as the main purpose of my film is to get people to talk about immigration and empathize with the people it effects. I also did a primary research survey to see what people thought. I did this because it gives me a better understanding of my audience.
- Storyboards: Storyboards are an important part of planning a film. I made a few different drafts to get it right. I developed these as I went along. (First draft:https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/1st-draft-story-board/) (second draft: https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/1st-draft-of-story-board/)(
Final story board: https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/final-story-board/)
- Location Scouting: Finding good locations for my film was important because they needed to look realistic. I went out and looked around Lancaster looking for several places that matched my ideas. This was quite difficult, especially finding derelict buildings, but I eventually found places to film. (Blog post: https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/outside-loction-scouting/)
- Make up design: For my film, I was going to need to create certain effects to make it feel more realistic. (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/character-design-makeup/)
- Costume design: I wanted to design costumes for my film as I chose a color scheme, and I wanted to look more into authentic and the importance of costumes. I made a blog post researching and designing them (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/character-design-costumes/)
- Scripts: Scripts are very important for film making as it helps everyone involved in the film. It gives a clear story line, scene break down, shots, dialogue and everything that is needed for the final film. I made several different drafts of the scripts as my plans developed and changed. Here is the blog post where all my drafts were saved: https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/scripts/
- Shoot schedule: Making a shoot schedule was important as it meant that the day would run smoother; people would know when there needed; what locations we needed to go to next; and we wouldn’t miss out any shots. (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/schedule/)
- Props/costume/equipment checklist: This document was important because it meant that I knew when things were needed. This also meant that I could keep checking the list every time we moved location.
The pre production documents really helped develop my final film as it meant that I had developed all my ideas fully by gaining inspiration off other people; getting feedback off tutors and peers; and constantly evaluating myself and my work. The pre production part of my FMP meant that my final film had added value as I planned it in detail. If film isn’t planned it can seem disorganized; rushed or messy. All my actors and crew knew exactly what they were doing before the shoot as I sent out the documents a week before hand, and I knew the exact story line and how it would look before the day of filming.
Testing and Development
Importance of Testing
To identify key elements for testing, I had to look into what needed practice the most. I decided the most important thing to test was the make up. A lot of my shots were still and being filmed on tripods. I was adding the intensity and negative effects through makeup, costumes and props, rather than camera technique. It was important to test the makeup as it was probably the most important part of my film to get right. It was how I was going to show passage of time and the physical effects of the war and their journey. I also needed to test them because I haven’t had a lot of experience with normal skinny or dirty makeup effects. I’ve done similar makeup in the past, but for people in face paint or trying to achieve different looks. This meant that I used different colours and techniques. The makeup for my film is different as it needed to look real on camera more than anything else.
Planning my test
To plan and prepare for the test I had to make sure I researched into how to create the effects, examples, real photographs, making sure I had the right equipment and so on. Here is a list of my workflow:
- Firstly, I began a blog post dedicated to makeup within character design. It was important that it was all in one place so I could come back to it and make sure I was doing it correctly. It also meant I could cross reference it when I needed it. (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/character-design-makeup/)
- Secondly, I wanted to understand further was physical effects immigration and war can have on people. It was important to look into real photos of people so I could see what effects I needed to achieve. I also added photos of fake bruises, skinny effects and pale makeup so I could compare it to what it actually looks like. I created a pintrest board to help collect these photos. (https://uk.pinterest.com/izzypye/immigration-character-design/) I analysed these on the blog post.
- Using the pictures as inspiration, I looked into tutorials to see how I could make these effects. (Fake bruises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JNqagQx6qk)(Starving girl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I18mOcN1to)(skiny/starving zombie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQQtCsJ0peM&feature=youtu.be)(shocking ugly skinny starving girl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eU-o5eYBk8) Although some of these don’t fully apply to the effect I was going for, I could take some of the techniques they used and add them to my own.
- I then created a drawing of how I could do one of the characters makeup.
- I then started to practice the techniques. I did this in a series of videos, which I used for my test shoot.
From these test shoots I learnt a lot of lessons regarding how to do the makeup for my FMP. I learnt how to perfect the looks, which would make my final film look more effective and realistic. I learnt the importance of making these effects look realistic as it adds a lot to the film.
It was valuable to test the make up as it helped develop my final film. It gave it a higher production value look, and made it feel more real. By making it more real, the audience would feel more connected to the characters and the film as they felt and looked more real.
The test shoot changed my planning and pre production mainly by changing schedule for the shoot. I planned in times where I would do the makeup and effects before each scene. I also had to think about when I would need certain makeup and which scenes. It also meant that I had to find someone to help me with the makeup as I had a large cast and not much time. I found my friend Iris who had an interest up, and we did stage makeup together in a school show last year.
I think the test shoots impacted my final film. When shooting, I put a lot of time into making sure it was effective.
In the actual shots, the characters look much more realistic to the story. I made the characters gradually look more dirty, skinny and messy. This not only showed the physical effects of immigration, but the passage of time. Here is a series of photos of makeup showing the difference between each scene for Emma.
The makeup in the film shows her progression and how the effects of leaving the country and the war has had on her. By the end of the film, you can see that she is skinnier, dirtier and looks more worn.
Production and Shoot
To organise the shoot, I made a schedule to help organise myself, cast and crew. This was sent to everyone in advance so people knew exactly when there coming and needed.
I also created a checklist so I could organise what I needed and when. This was an important document because it made sure I didn’t forget any of the props, costumes, paper work, equipment or other things.
I also made a list of what props and costumes were needed in each scene for the runners.
The planning for the shoot helped me a lot. It meant that I was well prepared and ready for the shoot. I could also cross reference during the shoot or between filming scenes what I needed and when. It also meant that the people helping me knew as well.
On the first day, the first challenge I had was the light in the first scene we filmed which was scene 6 (the candle scene). Filming this scene was difficult as the lighting was hard to get right. This is as the only light that was in the room was the candle light. To fix this I bounced the LED lights off the white walls. I also had similar challenge when filming the van scenes. It was very dark inside the van, so it was extremely hard to light.
Also, an issued that happened was Mathew and the Van being late because of the traffic. That meant that myself, the cast and crew had to wait around till he came. However, I used this time effectively by setting up the equipment; briefing cast and crew what to do;
Another challenge that occurred was on the second day. I checked the tide dates wrong, so the sea was very much out. This meant I couldn’t get a shot of the ocean or water. To fix this for the section when they were in the boat, I filmed it from a low angle, meaning that the water wouldn’t be seen anyway. I also made a rocking motion with the camera to make it look like the boat was moving. Then with the scene after, I made it look like she had dragged the boat to shore.
I think that my pre production wasn’t in enough detail about expected challenges. If I’m being honest, I didn’t have enough time to think about problems or challenges that could happen on my shoot. However, I added extra time on my schedule for mistakes incase anything did happen. So even though there was a lot of set backs, I kept on schedule.
I think that my schedule and planning allowed me to have a successful shoot. This is because the day flowed better as everyone knew what they were doing and when. It also created a less stressful atmosphere as it was more planned, and less last minuet like a lot of my shoots were before.
By making the schedules, scripts, a lists it helped me manage my crew, contributors and cast. This is because it helped them keep organized and on schedule. Furthermore, to help manage my cast, crew and contributors, I explained how important it was that they all listened and were sensible on set. Once I talked to them all, they listened and were patient when I asked them to be quiet. I didn’t have ay problems with my cast or crew.
My plans evolved and adapted on the shoot day with the house scenes, where people are lined up and someone gets shot. I wanted to film the scene 15 minuets away from the location we were already filming at (the car park for the van scenes.) However, I decided that instead I should film it at the car park because it meant not all the people had to walk far and that I had all my equipment out ready. I think the shot looked just as effective and still matched the colour scheme.
Another plan that adapted was cutting out the tap scene and the playground scene. I decided to cut theses scenes because they weren’t vital to my storyline. Also, I couldn’t find enough children to make the playground look authentic.
I think that my pre production was adequate as I spent a lot of time putting detail and effort into it. I think that there was any major problems that happened because I scheduled myself and the shoot well. I also planned a lot, which made my final film more thought out.
Post-production and edit
Approaching the edit & work flow/edits
To manage myself, I gave myself a time limit for each part of the edit. The final edit needed to be done for Tuesday the 14th June at 12 o’clock. That meant that I had a week to edit my film. My edit was pretty easy, so it wouldn’t be too hard. The hardest part would be colour correcting and sound.
This was my work flow process:
- Upload rushes and log them
- upload rushes to premier pro
- edit an assembly cut
- Export assembly edit
- Colour correct, trim, fix sound, make credits, find music, find sound effects
- Upload draft & get feedback
- Make all the relevent changes and finalised everything
- Export and upload final film
To approach the edit, I started by logging my rushes and filing them correctly. This meant they would be easier to find and edit as I knew where each one was. Here is an example of the filing for scene 13, shot 1.
I then created an assembly edit. (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/06/10/assembly-edit/) This is where you put all the relevant scenes and the sound together to see how it flows together and what needed to be changed, cut or adjusted.
After I created my first draft (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/draft-1-edit-2/). In this draft, I colour corrected; started fixing some of the sound; adding in sound effects; added credits; and improved it from my feedback.
Finally I created my final edit. With all the feedback I got from my tutors and peers I refined my edit. (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/final-film-2/)
During my editing process, I added in scenes that I had to go back and film that were in my original script. This was mainly the bag shot of it being packed. This shot was important as it gives the audience the idea that the family are leaving. I also added in another scene. From the feedback i got from my draft edit, it became apparent that the first 2 scenes didn’t flow very well together. It went from being happy to sad. It was too in our face and didn’t work. I wanted to add in another scene between so I wouldn’t have to cut out the first scene. I filmed the character Emma doing homework. This made the 3 scenes flow better as they matched each other more. I think I could have planned better to avoid this by creating a test shoot of the first few scenes. If I did this, I could’ve scene that the jump was too negative.
Tools, techniques and skills in my edit
With the sound, I recorded it badly on set. This meant that I had to try to fix it in post. I decided with the diagetic sound to audio gain it, I also put a dehummer on. This made it less fuzzy and windy. I also how to edit some of the sound effects. For the scene where the character Malcolm was sat protecting his family, I wanted there to be background noises that sound like they are coming from another room or outside. To create this effect I added reverb.
I also did a lot of colour correction. Color correction is important because the colour of a scene can add a lot to the scene. I used it to enhance my colour plates and also make some of the scenes seem more dull. This creates a darker atmosphere and mood. I used the three way colour changer on premier pro. This meant I could change the colours of the shadows, midtones, and highlights. I also changed to brightness and contrast on some of the shots to make them more dull or vibrant.
A lesson that I learnt how to do during my FMP was putting on the reverb and changing the settings of the sounds. I looked up how I could make sound effects sound like they are in a different room so I could learn.
A lesson I have learnt for my edit is the importance of being organised, this includes logging rushes and keeping a tidy timeline. These two factors are important because it helps you find rushes easier and it also helps you find points on your timeline easier.
If I was going to do the edit again, I think I would’ve spent longer looking into adding more layers into the audio. I think adding more sounds in some of the scenes would have been good as it would’ve built the scene up more. I also would’ve sound recorded sound for the back packing scene, as there wasn’t any.
During my edit, my story line didn’t change, it was just added to. However, these added scenes made my story line flow much better. I also added the credits on at the end. This made me go over my 2 minuets that I was originally meant to have. The reason why the credits were important and my tutor allowed me to go over the time limit, is they rounded off the story. While the credits were rolling, I added in videos of real life refugee stories. This showed the audience what the film is based on and why the topic is so important.
I don’t agree with the statement ‘The edit is the final draft of the script‘ because I think that your story line can change within your edit. My scenes were moved around and I added in an extra scene, and also cut a few, to make it flow better as a story. I think the story line is fully developed within the edit, especially when adding in special effects or techniques.
When I edit again, I think the only thing I would approach differently is giving myself more time to do the final edit. I felt slightly rushed when making the edit because I decided it would be best for me and my film to have more time planning. Next time I would make sure I had a lot of time to edit, at it does really change and make the film.
Evaluating and monitoring
To record my work process I made blog posts nearly everyday; including project diaries, idea development and paperwork. Throughout these posts I critically reflected to help develop my film. I did this by analysing each post and reviewing it once I’d done. I especially did this on my research posts.
During the project, my reflection changed, as I got more and more detailed. I also got peer and tutor feedback on the last few parts of my project, making it easier to reflect.
I am extremely proud of my finished film. Although it is very low-budget and just a college film, I think that I put a lot of work into it and that shows. I planned a lot into how to make the film and make it to the best of my abilities.
My film helped me develop my skills as a filmmaker. I have learnt how to create an extensive pre production pack, with all the basic documents in. This includes storyboards; scripts; schedules; and production design. These documents are important as they all help plan towards the final film. Creating these documents to a detailed level will defiantly help the film become more effective. I can bring this skill into future projects as it will help me as creating pre production packs are always relevant in film making. It will help me develop my future films and make sure they are well planned. I don’t think the specific skill of developing a pre production pack is transferable outside of film tasks, but it has helped me understand how to fill in paperwork and meet deadlines, which is transferable. To develop these skills further, I can learn about other pre production documents that I didn’t use. For example, health and safety sheets, creating a presentation to show your film, call sheets and holding auditions.
Another skill I have learnt is organisation. With this film, I made it my main priority to be motivated and organised. I made a lot of checklists and schedules so I would keep on task and make sure everything got done. It also meant that I could keep going back to it and see where I should be up to and what I could do next. I found being organised very handy during my FMP because I kept on track and got everything in on time, which a lot of other people didn’t manage. It also made the project overall less stressful. I can bring this skill to future projects by making sure I plan out my project carefully before I get started. This will help me a lot as it means I will get everything done I need to and meet the deadlines. Being organised is defiantly a transferable skill into non-film projects as it will help me constantly in real life. It will help me meet deadlines, keep on track and stay scheduled, among other things.
A skill that I would like to develop is recording sound. Sound was quite a big issue for me, especially in the outdoor areas. I need to work on how I can improve my sound recording skills and get clean sound for my films. Furthermore, I need to work on lighting. I can light indoors, but when it comes to outside or dark spaces I’m not so good at it. I would like to learn more about how to light a set correctly without making the light look too harsh.
Within this project I have learnt a lot about myself. Mainly, if I really concentrate on a projects and put my mind to it the outcome can be really good and positive. In the past, especially during my GCSEs, I lost a lot of my motivation during my exams and the revision period. I always put this down to being dyslexic, not being good enough at the lessons, or not being bothered. But during this project, I really concentrated and wanted to do well. I think that my final project is something to be proud of, as well as all the paperwork. Another thing I have learnt about myself is that I should be more confident. I don’t normally like showing my work to people or getting feedback. From this project, I realized I need to have self-confidence because a lot of the ideas or filming I was doing was good, and I was getting positive feedback. I need to use the confidence to become a better filmmaker.
A skill that I think I need to improve is staying positive. When it comes to big projects, I think that I can get myself down when stuff goes wrong. This pulls me off track and makes me lose focus and perspective. I think I need to learn to accept that problems will always occur, and learn how to deal with them better instead of being negative. This will make me a stronger filmmaker as it will help me become more motivated and inspired.
I can use this film to become a stronger critical thinker as I thought a lot about each stage of the film, including pre and post production. I analysed each part, to make sure that I could improve on certain parts of my project. It helped me see my own weaknesses by getting feedback and evaluating myself. This helped me develop those weaknesses.
To create my film, I had to do a lot of research on the real stories of people in Syria. All the people are extremely inspirational, which was my I was so passionate about my story line and film. From the stories, I took extracts and made them into one story which created my FMP. Here is my research and extracts from real life stories (https://izzyfilm.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/secondary-research-real-life-stories-from-syria/ )
Below shows my inspirations for a lot of my scenes:
‘One of doctors at the hospital where I volunteer, a man who is related to Bashar Assad, supervises the nurses. Several times he told me, “you should not help the wounded, never, because they are terrorists” — even though most of the patients were children and women. But a few months later, the doctor had me arrested. For six days I was tortured.’
‘They would randomly call out people and tie them up with their arms and legs spread out on the wall, and beat them’
‘When we were living in Daraa, the Shabiha men broke down our door and came to our home.’
‘I was studying with my cousin when the soldiers came and arrested about a thousand men randomly’.
‘some people tipped us off that the regime was coming to the area and kidnapping people…They broke the door to my house and as they were breaking things inside…’
Abandoned building scene:
Paying for travel scene:
‘The man was picked up by smugglers in Turkey, who forced him to pay $1,125 (£720) to cross’.
‘Then I was separated from my mother and my brother when I was hurt by a land mine while we were trying to leave Syria.’
‘I live currently in Amsterdam without my family.’
‘He was assured that he would be put in a safe boat but made it to the shore to discover a small rubber dinghy…. They only want to get your money – they don’t care if you die….The boat was punctured and we fell in the water. I was in the sea for 45 minutes before they pulled me out.’
As you can see, I was defiantly inspired by real Syrian people. By taking parts of the story, it made my fictional film close to the truth which was important to me.
Progress and ambitions
I think this film has not only helped me develop as a filmmaker but as a politically minded person. This whole project helped me connect with asylum seekers and see what they go though. It helped me understand how wrong it is that no one is helping them. I think it has made me change my ambitions as a filmmaker. I would love to make more eye opening films, as I really loved leaning about important topics and showing people a hidden reality. I might as well use my power of film making for good. I think it has also made me realize how much I love directing. I really enjoyed working with a group of people and bringing my ideas to life. However, I also gained interest into production design because I loved finding costumes, props and locations.
‘Films are never finished, only abandoned.’
I agree with the statement above. I think that when filmmaking, it’s hard to make a final film that is perfect in a filmmakers eyes. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be proud of it or think it’s really good. I think filmmaking is constantly adapting and changing as time goes on, meaning that films are becoming more advanced each day, with new techniques or topics. Also inspiration is everywhere and you don’t know where you’ll find it. You can find inspiration for a scene in a film that you’re just about to finish, but you can’t add it in.
What would I change
If I was going to start the project again, I would’ve done to do some primary research on refugee stories by going to one of the camps set up in the UK and interviewing them. I didn’t do it for this project because I didn’t have a lot of time. I would have loved to get information first hand and talk to the people first hand that inspired my film.
I think I would have also incorporated steady cam into my film. This is because the use of steady cam in films makes the audience feel like they are more involved in the story. This can make the audience emphasise with the characters and story line more.