Idea / Pre Production Development – FMP

Introduction

Idea development is a very important part of making a film. In this stage you look through different ideas and stands to make sure you get the best out of your film. I have a general idea for my film, but it isn’t a start to finish plan. In this post I will carry on researching and developing it until it is fully formed and the best it can be.


15th April 2017

Feedback

To start I took my write up of my idea and decided to get feedback. This can help me break down my idea and start looking at how it will flow and the problems that could occur with it.

‘A child and sister runs away to the wild to start a new life. This idea would explore the concept of coming of age and starting fresh. It would capture the idea of childhood and wanting to escape a reality. It would show the childrens life in a series of snapshots in a lighthearted way, showing that it is boring and too much for them to handle. I want it to end on a high note of them escaping and realising they have freedom. ‘ 

Feedback:

  • Sounds good! Couple of things to think about: how are you going to establish that they’ve run away? Maybe you can draw some themes between their lives then and now? Like how they have diner differently in the wild for example. Few films to look at: Narnia, the railway children, Hook
  • Sounds good. Like really good. I think you can do a lot of things with the idea.
  • really like the idea! It’s a strong story and the message behind it is very clear. I guess the thing to think about is how you’re going to section out the film, how much of it is going to be showing their boring current life, them deciding to run away and then them actually escaping
  • That sounds very strong izzy! Ambitious but if gone for in the right approach you will have something very decent!

    I think the feedback I got was very positive, but helped me think about what I need to do next. Like I did with the last idea, I want to break down the feedback to see where I need to go from here.

how are you going to establish that they’ve run away? I need to explore how my film will flow together, but I want to do a quick sequence showing the children running away. This will be a quick and simple way of showing the children running away.

I guess the thing to think about is how you’re going to section out the film, how much of it is going to be showing their boring current life, them deciding to run away and then them actually escaping? I would like to have an. even split between the both ideally. By doing this, it will give my film a clear layout and show enough of their lives before to make sure the audience understand why they’ve run away.


16th April 2017

Researching Running Away Stories and Films  (Secondary Research)

I think what my ideas is lacking is a strong start to finish story, to get inspiration I will research films that are relevant and can help me develop my own film. Last year my FMP research points were clear as it was a film based on truth. However, this year its completely fiction. To help me make a start I made a mind map to look at researching points.

‘Hunt For The Wilderpeople’ – Feature Film

‘Hunt For The Wilderpeople’ is a film I’ve recently discovered about a young boy starting a new life in the wilderness after leading a troubling life. This film will help me research as its similar to my idea, and I can look closely at how they present the story. Trailer below:

I want to look at the opening scene to the film to help me think about how I would present my film and open it. For this part of research I’m looking at the clip 0:35 – 2:03 from the film below.

The film starts very in a very dramatic way. It has a very long cinematic drone shot of the wilderness the film is set in. This is a very successful opening shot because it instantly gives the audience an impression of vast and scary the wild is. This is important to the film as the boy later ventures into the same woods. I think the director chose to use the shot of the woods to start with, instead of using it later in the film, because it sets the scene for the whole film and gives the audience that sense of loneliness and realism.

Which take us onto the next shot.  We then see another long shot of a police car driving through the forest. This is another successful shot as we gain more understanding of the film. As its a police car, the audience would presume that something has happened or is about to. This is because police cars in films are used to symbolise trouble thats been or about to happen, as thats what police cars are for.

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We then get to see the characters in a series of close shots. The first people shown are the two people sat in the front. The first is a policeman, shown obviously by there arm badge. Then we are shown the second person sat in the front which a lady who looks very serious and is dressed formally. From this the audience can presume that she isn’t a police officer but someone official. This is a very strong few shots as it doesn’t show us the characters properly, but the audience already have a feel for who they are. Also, the angle of the shot is very effective. The camera is positioned in the back of the car, which I think the directors done on purpose. The back of a police car is where the criminal or the persons who’s done wrong sits. By placing the camera in the back makes the audience feel like the two people in front are more powerful and important then themselves. Whereas, if the camera was positioned in front, we wouldn’t get that same effect.

We then get to see the next character. Again, the first thought is that we see this character in the back. Therefor it suggests that he is in the wrong/ a criminal, as he is in the back of a police car. We only get three shots of the boy, but we can get a general impression of him. We see from his clothing that its quite urban and he’s not from around where the film is set, but we can guess from a city.

I think this sequence of shots work really, but also show the importance of character design. I looked at character/costume design in my last FMP, and I think it really helped me make my story more in depth. Last year in my FMP, I didn’t explore closeups, which I think if I did it would’ve made my film a lot better. This year I want to try use some to make my film more in-depth and intimate.

‘Goodbye to the Normals’ – Jim Field Smith

This is a short film, similar to my time frame, on Vimeo about a young boy wanted to runaway from home.  I wanted to explore how they use the narrative and visuals to tell the story.

They show the characters and the story through the dialogue between the father and son. But if we look at the first shots of the conversation, that its self tells a story. The director decided to use a low angle for the father, and a high angle for the son. He’s chosen to this to show the power and authority of the father, by making the audience lower then him, making the audience in a ‘vulnerable’ position.

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Another technique I noticed, was how the camera panned up when the boy ran from the camera. This is a simple way of showing him running into an expanding and bigger world. They’ve chosen this to symbolise him leaving to see and adventure whats beyond his street. It works well for this film, as its mostly still framed, and this is one of the only shots that have the movement in to this point. I could use something like this in my film to help me visually show him leaving.

Furthermore, the overall colour of this film works really well. It has an orange/yellow colour to it, which is often used to symbolise childhood. In a NoFilmSchool article (http://nofilmschool.com/2016/06/watch-psychology-color-film) that includes a video on colours in films (https://vimeo.com/169046276). The article reads,

‘If you’re looking for a subtle way to make a scene resonate emotionally, there may be no better way than choosing a color associated with the emotion you are trying to evoke.’

Jon Fusco (June 2016)

I completely agree wth this statement, and the video back it up. In the short film, it shows how warm colours are linked to youthfulness. I think this comes from warm orange colours being associated with happiness and warmth, which a lot of people also link back to childhood.

From this I decided to split up the colour palette from this film to look further into how it was built up. I did this using photoshop. Below you can see the result of the primary colours used in the film. All the colours work well together because they are all on the dark scale of warm colours. This means they all run into each other, giving it a finished look. Using this colour palette in my. film could make mine better by giving it the styled look, but also provoking emotions through the colour by making the audience think of childhood.

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Real Stories

As well as looking at films for inspiration, I wanted to look at real stories too.

‘6 Badass Kids Who Ran Away From Home With a Vengeance’ – Cracked.com by Jason Harrington

(http://www.cracked.com/article_19530_6-badass-kids-who-ran-away-from-home-with-vengeance.html)

In this article, it talks about children that have runaway and there stories. One that sprang out to me was number four ‘The Boy With No Name Sets Up House in an Elevator Shaft’ The story reads,

‘His story appeared in The Milwaukee Journal and The Telegraph Herald in 1982. He ran away at the age of 13, and two years later, he decided he’d had enough of being on the road and wanted to go home to Mom.’

‘Most of us had the dream, at some point in our childhoods: setting up camp in some kind of hideaway. Just decking the place out with all manner of cool tricked-out kid conveniences. This kid did that, except he was on the run for two years, and he converted a 5-foot pit at the bottom of a Connecticut apartment complex’s elevator shaft into his very own Runaway Kid Bat Cave.’

This story really stood out to me because I think the child in the story is really intelligent and actually really brave. Even though he was young, he still made sure that he had everything for himself to survive and to be happy. I want the boy in my film to have this same attitude to life.

Conclusion / what I’ve found

I think one of the main developments from this research is that I think I should only have one child instead of two. It will make the flow of my film better, and easier to understand as the audience only have to get to know one character. By having a young character, I can make his story more in-depth and relatable.

I have also discovered that one of the main reasons he should runaway is for freedom. I think this is the most harrowing reason that I have discovered in stories, which I think will provoke an audience feeling attached to the boy. I can also show this through distinctive colours and visuals, to give it a style and provoke audience emotion through colours.


19th April 2017 

Exploring Narrative

My film is based around a strong narrative that tells a story of a boy running away. In my last FMP and other films I’ve made, I don’t think the narrative was strong enough.  This is why I’ve decided to go through my  narrative over the next couple of days, and really work on it. My tutor pointed me towards a website with an article called ‘genre and narrative structure.‘(http://filmeducation.org/resources/primary/teaching_with_film/using_film_trailers/genre_and_narrative_structure/It talks about a typical narrative structure:

Typical narrative structure is often broken down in this way:

  1. Opening: establishes setting and introduces character
  2. Build up: Relationships established. Development of characters and their world
  3. Problem: a dilemma or series of complications.  Characters are faced with an obstacle to overcome a mystery to solve, or often more than one
  4. Events: a series of events/action as characters try to overcome obstacle, solve problem, discover truth and so on.  Further complications may arise in the process
  5. Resolution: the protagonists are victorious, problems are solved, truth revealed
  6. Ending: characters reflect on events, reinstate relationships and look forward.

I think this is a really good structure to stand by when making a film, especially a short film as you have a small time limit. I need to keep this in mind when writing my structure so I can make a more successful film.


20th April 2017

Opening the Film

One of the things that I’ve been struggling is, is how the film will start to introduce the characters. Theres lots of different ways to do this, but I don’t want the film to suddenly start. There’s different ways I can start the film, and to help explore those ideas I decided to make a mind map. This can help me come up with ideas and process them. It will also help me establish a flow for the rest of my film. Also, I really want my film to have a strong start. This is because a strong start to a film can capture and intrigue the audience, as well as giving it a postitve starting point.

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I think what I would like to do is introduce the parents and show little petty details about them, a bit like in ‘Amelie.’ I don’t think there should be a specific big reason why the child runs away, the little details are what children notice more.

Furthermore, I think introducing the parents and all the small things about their personality will make the story more in-depth and relatable. I think its also a unique and more effective style of opening a film as its better then just starting the film without context.


22nd April 2017

Exploring the Style of my film and researching how its effective

For this film, I want the start to have bright and exaggerated colours, like if it were in the eyes of a child until he runs away. I’ve researched similar things before, especially when I did my Wes Anderson project in year 1. I would like to revisit this work and develop it further. Furthermore, I touched on the idea of using warm colours within research when I was looking at runaway films, to symbolise childhood and freedom. Exploring that further and seeing if the films I look at correlate with this research can back up my evidence for using a warm colour palette.

Matilda

One of the first films that spring to mind is Matilda, a film based on the Roald Dahl. It is a film following a child, who beats everyones low expectations and also has magic powers. The films style is similar to what I imagine for mine. The characters and the set’s are over exaggerated, as if in a kids mind. This is what I want to do in my film as its from a child’s perspective.
film__3289-matilda--hi_res-0912e704 The characters in the film, focusing especially on Matilda mum and dad, are defiantly stereotypical ‘bad parents’. There costume and there overall character embody that. The mum is wearing leopard print clothing which is seen as provocative and inappropriate. The dad is wearing a suit, but even that is unfashionable and old.

The sets, as seen above, are also over exaggerated to fit a child’s mind. Miss Honeys cottage is meant to be a safe and loving environment. It fits this dissipation as it has flowers and looks pretty, but also it looks like it’s out of a fairy tale. This is idealistic for a child at that age and what most young girls would picture as a perfect house. On the other hand, Matilda’s actual house is the opposite. The colours are repelling and very in your face. The decor also matches this style.

The film uses a voiceover to make the film flow better, as it is originally a children’s book. This works well with this film as it makes it easier to understand.

‘Little Miss Sunshine’

When I think about styles of filmmaking I really love, I instantly think of the film ‘Little Miss Sunshine.’ This film has it own unique style and techniques, whilst telling a really successful story, this concept comes across just in the opening sequence.

The director chose to introduce all the characters individually, buy showing small parts of there personality. This is similar to the film I researched, ‘Hunt For The Wilderpeople,’ for storylines. It shows a verity of close ups and other shots, to help you understand the character by giving the audience an insight into there life.

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If we just concentrate on the young girl, as my film is based on a young child too, we understand a lot about her. The opening shot is of her eyes. We can understand a lot from someone just from there eyes, it’s an old expression that the eyes are the window to the soul, and I think that it is defiantly relevant to filmmaking. The girl looks directly into the audiences eyes, which sparks a connection with her. It a more intimate shot to start with as it can make some audeices feel uncomfortable as a lot of people don’t like looking into peoples eyes. We then notice the reflection of her glasses of an ‘attractive’ women. With the voice over, the audience can make the link that the women is a beauty queen. The reflection could symbolise that she wants to mirror the lady on the screen, and want to be like her. This type of shot is used a lot in films to tell a more visual story, as if someone is looking at a better or more idealistic version of themselves. We can get all of this just from the first shot. The audience can feel like they already know the girl before we even see her properly.

I want to use the idea of a character looking into the camera. I think this would work for my film because the audience will feel more connected to them and will reflect all the ideas I wrote above about why the director chose this shot.

How Wes Anderson shows childhood stories through style

One of my favourite directors and my biggest inspiration for filmmaking is Wes Anderson. I stumbled across this article by ‘No Film School’ named ‘The Childhood Whimsy of Wes Anderson‘ (http://nofilmschool.com/2017/04/watch-childhood-whimsy-wes-anderson). It includes a video essay about how Wes Anderson is successful on showing childhood stories.

One of the main points that stood out to me is how strong and adult like the children are, and how the main authority is childlike. The children don’t react to problems that a normal child would, or share the same behaviour. For example, it talks about how most Wes Anderson’s girl characters are very firm and are described as ‘feeling the burden of an old mind and small stature.’ I really like this concept because it makes the child seem more important and relevant.

It also talks about the shots it uses, making the children eye level, rather then low down in the camera as if they’re being talked down to. I like this concept because it makes the audience look at the child like there a person that is relevant, then weaker or lower then other characters.

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The Royal Tenebaums is one of my all time favourite films, style and storyline wise. This is because it develops the characters through visual narratives, whilst keeping a constant aethsetic. Above is my favourite part of the film, the introduction of the children. I really like the way it tells the audience who they are before the film even starts properly.

The film starts with showing the Tenenbaum children, and how successful they are. It goes on to show them as adults, and they make it seem they are less mature. The idea of making the children like adults, and the adults like children runs throughout this film, and is something I would like to look at during my film.

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Another technique that Wes Anderson uses is centre lines for his films, which is shown a lot in this film. I really want to use this effect because I’ve used it before in films, and I think it gives it a visual element. I also think it’s an effective way of building up a set and shot. I want to do this again in my film because it will give my film the aesthetic I’m looking for.

Furthermore, like Matilda, the film uses a voice over, especially for the introduction, to carry the flow of the film. I think think the film defiantly needed to voice over because it meant we got to understand the characters better from a young age, without lots of unneeded scenes and character dialogue. Its told like it was a story book, and I like this because it gives the audience a better insight to the lives of the family. Another way that Wes Anderson help portrays the characters is through visual storytelling. He does this in 2 different ways, through labels on the screen and hidden features within the shot. Below is the examples of how he writes on the scene certain details to make them stand out and explain the children habits and likes. He does this to make it more obvious

Conclusion

From this research I’ve decided to make the characters and locations very over the top and exaggerated. I think this will work well in my film because its from a child perspective and point of view, therefor it’s like from a child’s mind. I think this would be really effective and make the film work better. However, I think the end sequence where he goes to the forest should be more realistic and natural colours. This can symbolise the child coming into reality and growing up. It will make the end of the film more up lifting.

Also, I would like to explore further using a voice over talking to create a better flow for the story and make it like someone is reading a book. I think it will make my film more childlike and better from a story telling aspect.

Furthermore, I want to use characters looking into camera. I want to do this in a way that isn’t breaking the fourth wall like in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’ but in a more similar form as if the character is looking at a reflection or something behind the camera. This will make audiences feel more connected to the characters, which is what I want because its a short film so there isn’t enough time to introduce the characters full.


23rd April 2016

The Flow of the Film

I’ve decided to have a voice over throughout my film to make it flow better. I think this will help the story because I think it might of been too blocky and the audience would lose track of the story, which was the problem with last years FMP. But other films I’ve made like ‘Sunset Bound,’ or ‘Rose’ both have successful voice overs.

From what I’ve found from research, it’s normally a man reading the voice over. This is because its a chilche. I think this would work for my film because I want it to be similar to kids films.


24th April 2017

The Ending

I’ve already decided the style of the ending and what’s going to happen, but I haven’t got a strong ending yet. I know I want it to be uplifting and make sure we see the character turn a corner and be more positive. I was thinking of the character saying a line or doing something that could symbolise this.

Looking back at the research I’ve done, I’ve decided that I am going to have a final shot that tells more of a visual story. I want the boy onto of this hill looking out to the sunset, even though it’s a cliché shot, I think it has a lot of meaning linked with freedom and happiness.

The Beginning

I’ve been stuck on how to open my film. I looked back on research to try help me. Whilst going leafleting (one of my jobs) I had a sudden realisation what I could do. One of the things I like about Wes Anderson films is the conventions he keeps is it opens his films every time on a book. He also uses a lot of birdseye shpts which is what I discovered in my research, especially in ‘The Royal Tenenabums’.

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For my film, the opening shot could be a Birdseye view of a table and opening a card that says ‘congratulations on the birth of your son’. I think this is a good introduction instead of doing a cliché shot of a baby being born. Its a simple but effective way of showing a birth and a new beginning, which works with the opening of my film.


27th April 2017

Layout of the whole film

To help me visualise my film, I have decided to make a layout of my film, so I can start filling in gaps of story and the visuals. I looked back on when I researched narratives to see how my film links together.

typical narrative structure is often broken down in this way:

  1. Opening: establishes setting and introduces character
  2. Build up: Relationships established. Development of characters and their world
  3. Problem: a dilemma or series of complications.  Characters are faced with an obstacle to overcome a mystery to solve, or often more than one
  4. Events: a series of events/action as characters try to overcome obstacle, solve problem, discover truth and so on.  Further complications may arise in the process
  5. Resolution: the protagonists are victorious, problems are solved, truth revealed
  6. Ending: characters reflect on events, reinstate relationships and look forward.

I decided to look into this layout and compare it to my own.

1. My opening introduces the parents and looks at who they are. It then goes on to talk about the son. This shows where he’s come from and how he was raised.

2. My film builds by looking into the characters and there relationships. We get a strong idea of who they are as people.

3. The problem my character faces only small things that aren’t obviously stated. When it shows the parents, it will show all there flaws, making it clear to the audience why the child is miserable.

4. I am going to create a tiny petty event to make the child want to run away, which will start the sequence of him leaving.

5. The resolution to the event to him is running away and finding freedom.

6. The ending will show the boy at peace and show him in the wild. I think this is a strong ending, even though we don’t know what will happen to the boy because it gives the audience a uplifting a positive feeling by showing the character happy.

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The layout I’ve picked will work well with my film because it means the audience can learn about the character and gain an attachment, which is important in my film because I want it to be relatable and uplifting. When I write the script I will review this again, as I think I would like to shorten the parents introduction.

 

Feedback

Part of the brief for this project is to get feedback, and I thought this is an important stage of my film, so I thought I could get some feedback from peers to try improve my idea. This is what I got:

  • I think that the story should be mainly about the child so the introduction to the parents should be shorter.  
  • Add more detail to who he is
  • Same amount of detail for mum and dad
  • I would develop the script and start trying to piece together a strong narrative.

I think all this feedback is very understandable and important. I think that I need to keep my idea around the child rather then the parents and not get lost in the back story. I also need to remember the time limit so I can keep focused. Furthermore, I think my next step is to write a brief idea of what the voice over should be like, so I can then develop my narrative further.


28th April 2017

Initial Idea of Script

For this film, I am basing it round a voice over like it was someone reading a book or telling a story. I want to start looking at what can be said so I can get an idea of shots and characters. I want to write a brief over view of the voice over, this way I can start filling in the gaps afterwards. I have a general idea of what I would like to do from research and looking at narrative.

This is my first draft of the voice over: Script FMP-2

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I really wanted to emphasise the little details of the characters by showing small parts of there personality, just like in Amelie. The discriptions are very personal to the character, and I think this works well. I was to keep drafting this however, as there are things I want to change. For example, I would like some more description of the boy so the audience can relate to him more.

From writing this script, I can visualise my film better, and start to add shots in. I also need to look at what audiences would enjoy and if my narrative would work.


30th April 2017

Primary Research

For projects, it’s really important to collect primary research. Primary research is research you collect yourself. All the secondary research I’ve done has been secondary research so far, meaning work and research by other people.

For my survey, I wanted to look into what colours and styles people liked within films, and what they relate to the most. I’m looking a lot into production design, so making sure the colours are positive is important. I also want to look at the little reasons why children might want to run away to make my film more relatable. I made a survey on survey monkey to distribute the survey better as its online, and I can share it to get more responses.

After sharing it and collecting the answers, I got 28 responses. This means I got a wide verierty and lots of feedback to help me with my film. Here are the responses:

Question 1:

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For this question I asked ‘What colours do you most relate to childhood?’ I wanted to ask this question because I wanted to see what colour would work best to show that the story surrounds someones childhood. The most common answer was yellow, which is what I predicted would be the answer.

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Question 2:

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For this question I asked ‘Within films, what colour palettes do you like most?’ I asked this question because I want the aethstetic of my film to appeal to my audience. I used images to show examples. The most common answer was autumn colours, which is my favourite colour palette.

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Question 3:

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 12.20.49For my next question, I asked what peoples favourite coming of age films were. Even though i’ve done most   of my research, I wanted to see if there were any other films that people liked with the same themes. The most common answer was ‘matilda’ which is one of my main inspirations for the film. Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 12.20.59

Question 4:

For this question I asked ‘was there any little details that made you want to run away when you were young?’ I put in a comment box for this question because I wanted to see peoples honest answers.

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Quite a few of the answers are based around finding adventure. I think this is very true when it comes to children, because when you are little the world is very small and you want to see what is out there.

Question 5:

The next question I asked was ‘If you ever wanted to run away when you were young, how did you plan to do it?’ I wanted to ask this because one of the parts in my film that isn’t clear, if how the character is going to run away, and exactly where he wants to go.

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A lot of people surprisingly, said they wanted to go to the forrest which is where my character wants to run away to. Even though I had already decided this, the feedback is positive anyway because it reassures me that the storyline is relatable to a wide audience.

A lot of people said they were either going to walk or run. This helps me because I do want my story to be believable and relatable. I think I need to look at the part of the story where the character travels, and make sure that it links back to my primary research.

Conclusion

This part of research has been really helpful for me. It means I can start looking at the colours and style of my film. Furthermore, its help me develop my story by looking at the things that annoyed audiences as a kid and how they planned to runaway. I want to research


30th April 2017

The Script – Draft 2

Today I wrote my second draft of the script: Second Draft. I added in the shots to go with the voice over. I added a detailed description to help me develop it further, and help me imagine what I want to do. I’m going to get feedback on the idea.

Tutor Feedback:

Dom

  • Sort wording out for ‘advice for the new happy parents’ to ‘advice for new parents’.
  • Do people really say ‘who gives a crap’
  • Re word top of page 2

Simon

  • Get rid of shot types
  • Tone down character description and how they speak
  • After shot two, possibly cut straight to books scene? This removes flashbacks
  • Issue with pacing

From this feedback, I want to keep drafting the script, and shorten it down like Simon mentioned.  However, I would like to keep at least one line of character description in for the parents. I also need to look at how I’m going to do the traveling and running away sequence.


3rd May 2017

Script draft 3

From the feedback, I wrote the third draft of my script: Draft 3.

I added in the last scene of Kevin running away. I’ve been undecided on what I was going to do for this scene, but from the primary research survey, I decided on a few key factors that lead me to the decision of having quick shots with tips from the book over the top. Like in the my main inspiration ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, when introducing the children.

These will link together and create a strong flow and storyline of him escaping. I’m going to put this with upbeat music, then it will suddenly go quiet for the last shot as he stands on the mountain.

I really like this draft of the script because I think it’s strong and gives off the themes and storyline I wanted to portray.

Draft 3 – Feedback

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The main feedback I have had now are small corrections. I think the flow of the film is there and it works well. I now need to create a storyboard to help me visualise my film better.


1st May 2017

First Draft of Storyboard

Now I’ve done the first full draft of my script and decided on colours and styles, I decided to do a rough storyboard. This means I can start visualising my film better, and look for locations.

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This is a very rough stroyboard, but it means I can start to picture what my film will look like. However, I have missed a few shots out, so I would like to look further more into them, and decide how to do them.

I took a lot of inspiration from some of the research I did. For example, the first shot from Wes Anderson with birds eye shots.

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4th May 2016

Character Design – Costume

For this film, I really want to look at the character design. It will help develop the characters further. Also, because it is a short film I want the characters personality to come across quicker and simpler. A good way to do this is through costume. I’ve explored this concept before, and I think it worked really well, but I want to go further with it. I also need to keep in mind the colours I’m working with for my film to make sure that it keeps a constant style. In the book ‘The Wes Anderson Collection – The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ by Matt Zoller Seitz, there is a section dedicated to sometimes. It reads,

“We glean so much from what a person wears on-screen. The clothes serve many aethstetic masters: character, narrative progression, period accuracy, and spectacle.”

‘The Wes Anderson Collection – The Grand Budapest Hotel’, Christopher Laverty, Page 74.

I completely agree on this concept, and I want to keep this in mind when designing costumes.

From my research, I decided that I really liked the idea of using the same costumes for the old and young version for the characters, not just because it makes it easier for me but because it keeps a consistency through the film and makes it easier for the audience to know who is who. I got this idea from Wes Anderson film ‘The Royal Tenenbaums.’ In this film, which I looked at in research, shows the young characters then them as adult. They mainly keep the costumes to show the similarities.

Kevin

As the protaganist, I want Kevin’s costume to spring out, whilst keeping to the time and the colour scheme. His personality is playful and strong, but also adventurous. I explored these ideas in a Pinterest board.

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A lot of my inspiration is taken out of the 90s style. I love all the denim and over sized jumpers that people used to wear, and I think it would look good on my character. However, I do want to keep the autumn colour scheme, so I want to look at maybe a brown/yellow/orange shirt and jumper. I also thought that I could possibly use brown or red braces with a shirt for the film. This would work well because it shows the comparison with his dad, and also an outdates style. For trousers, it will be more difficult. I think I should try find some light coloured trousers to go with the colour scheme.

Also, I really like the idea of Kevin wearing a red coat. My colour palette for the early part of the film is autumn colours, but then it goes it greens as he’s in the forest. However, if he wears a read coat it will match the autumn colours, and then contrast later in the forest, and make him stand out. I got this idea from my research, from the film goodbye to the normals.

Colour pallete

I found several things for the costume when I looked into charity shops. The first items I found were the trousers and braces. These worked perfectly with the colours and the idea I was going for with Kevin’s costume. I sowed them together, and the final effect looked really good.

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I also found the red coat, which was defiantly harder to find. This is exactly like the one in the film I used as inspiration for Kevin, so Im very happy with it.

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Maddie

The personality of the character Maddie, Kevin’s mum, is very within herself and secretive. I want her to come off as self obsessed and tacky.  I explored this idea through costumes and already existing characters for inspiration. I did this by making a Pinterest board. (https://uk.pinterest.com/izzypye/fmp-mum-costume/)

One thing that I really liked the idea of the character wearing is the big sunglasses and hat. This is because I think this gives of the private and secretive personality I wanted to portray as the audience can’t see her face properly, they don’t get to really know who she is. I also liked the idea of the fur coat. A fur coat is something that was popular in the 90s, which is when the film is set, usually worn by high class women. However, in early 2000s it was seen as tacky and out of fashion as they were ripped off a lot. By Maddie wearing the fur coat, it gives the impression that she wants to be classy, but at the same time comes across as tacky.

With these ideas and the colour scheme in mind, I took all the images and started to design the costume.

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I borrowed this fur coat and I think it’s perfect for my film. Its colour matches the colour scheme perfectly, and is large and looks quite old, which is what I was going for.

The pictures below are the other parts of the costume. The large hat and the large glasses. These are good because it will hide her face, which is what I wanted because I want her to be ‘mysterious.’

Final Pictures:

I think the final costumes worked really well. It linked the three Maddie together to show the similarities and ages of the character.

Brian

I want the character to be similar to Maddie’s aethstetic, a classy look but presented in a scruffy way.

Below are the pictures I found the accessories for the costumes. I found the vintage style glasses and the red braces. These will work well with the overall costume as it adds details and more colour. Also, it brings more of a connection between old and young Brian.

Final Pictures:

These costumes worked well again for the same reason, it draws the connection between the two actors by making them look similar.

 


4th May 2017

Location Scout

For this project, I need quite a few different locations. However, I think a few of them will be hard to find on short notice so I might have to build some sets, which I love doing.

I decided to start with a list of all the scenes I need:

  • A table (can be anywhere)
  • Blue hospital like room
  • Garden
  • Large brick building
  • Abandoned area
  • Young boys bedroom
  • Bookcase
  • Table, again
  • Garden with fire
  • Living room
  • A bed
  • Bedroom again
  • Table again
  • Field
  • A wide scenic landscape

I need quite a few locations, but I can double up on a few by changing the set and angles. The ones I need to find locations for are:

  • Blue hospital like room, but can build a set
  • A garden
  • Large brick building
  • abandoned area
  • Young boys bedroom
  • A living room
  • Wide scenic landscape

I need to look into these locations and find them as soon as possible.

Blue hospital room

I’ve decided to make this a studio shot/location. This means I can explore the colours and make it exactly how I want. I’m going to do this in Kendal, as there’s plenty of dark rooms I can film it in. However, this means I will have to find people from Kendal to act in the film, but I can work with this by doing casting.

A garden

For this, I need to be able to build a fire in the garden. So, it needs to be wide and a large empty space.

I decided to use my garden, because it meant I could make a controlled fire. Its a health and safety hazard so I will have to look further into this for my risk assessment.

Abandoned area

This is for the dog fight scene. I want the area to look scruffy and abandoned, so it gives a dodgy feel to it.

The first location I looked at was in Lancaster near town. Theres an old construction sight that I could use for this part of my shoot. However, there were major problems with it. The ground is very uneven, this would make it hard to film the symmetrical shot. I think this would take away from the cinematic look I wanted to give. Further more, theres a lot of greenery, which would take away from my colour palette. I needed something with more autumn colours overpowering the other colours.

Last year for my FMP, I used a location similar to this for when the family ran away. It was a really successful location because it looked perfect for the scene. I think this would work as the location again for this scene. This is because I really want to make it look like  it is abandoned and out of the way of normal civilisation, even if it is a quick shot.

This years pictures:

I thought I could use these 2 angles for my film, as the are both different visually but similar enough to make the connection.

 

Large Brick Building

I can use the same location as above because it has a large brick building, and I’m using the actors in this scene. However, I still looked into other locations I could use that could be better.

Below is pictures of an area I thought about using. This is because I thought it fit in with my colours and it did look more scruffy and ababndonded. However, the problem with this location is that is next to a main road. Therefor cars and other traffic can get into the shot, so it Ould take a lot of attempts.

From this, I decided it would be best to use the first choice, which is the abandoned building by the other location, as it is easier and looks better in my film.

Young boys bedroom and A living room

For this scene, I want it to match the autumn colour schemes, so preferably lots of wood and the right colours. I was struggling with this until I remembered that last year I filmed a film that had a similar colour scheme in my film ‘Sunset Bound.’ In this film, the girl in that was mainly in her bedroom for the shots. (see below)

This was a really good location, not just because of the colours, but because it was to light and make it look like there way I wanted.

I called the Gregson Centre up, and booked the room for 2-4 on the 30th of May, which is when I’m scheduled to film. I can use this for both the scenes, but I will have to design the locations to make them look different.

 

Mountains and Landscape

This location is very important because its the final scene of the film, therefor I want it to stand out. I needed a large landscape for my final shot where I could see sunset. I decided to go on an adventure, and go up the mountains.

The first place I looked at was the one below. I really liked how scenic it was, but it was facing away from sunset, which is what I really wanted. Furthermore, I think it being in on a road took the wildness out of the story.

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I decided on the place below. It was a cloudy day, but you could see the whole of Lancaster and Morecambe, all across to the Lake District. This was exactly what I wanted as it gives the shot a lot of depth and beauty.

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5th May 2017

Set/ Location Design

For my film, I want the sets and production design to stand out. Therefor I need to look into how I can create the style and make them bold.

Hospital room:

For the hospital room, I had the idea to make it like a cloudy sky. This is because cloudy skies painted onto walls reminds me of the hospital all my nephews were born in. There was a large painted wall that was painted full of clouds. It also reminds me of new life as its a clear sky. Furthermore, it works well with my film because the last shot is Kevin looking out to sunset and he’s born wanting adventure.

I decided to look at some designs that I could use to help me plan out my shot and what the wall will look like.

This is my final design:

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I am really happy with this design as I think it gives the hospital look I was going for. The only issues I have will be trying to create it.

 

 

 

 

 


 

6th May 2017

Second draft of Storyboard

From my test shoot, and further research I’ve decided to another storyboard so I can start to look at y shot types and final shot list.

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I’ve missed out 1 shot out as I don’t know what I should do, so I defiantly need to look back at research for inspiration. Next I’ve decided to make a draft shot list bellow.

Draft Shot List

I’ve made my first draft shot list, so I can start planning how to create the shots and test them more.

  1. Overhead shot – The hands of Maddie open up the card that reads ‘Congratulations on the birth of you baby boy!’
  2. Mid Wide – Maddie and Brian sit in a blue room with white clouds on, when Maddie gets out cigerette.
  3. Extreme close – We see Maddie lips, her hands come up and light a cigarette.
  4. Wide to Close – Young Brian is leaning against a wall at a distance, it zooms in when he pulls out a small bag and gives it to another man who is walking past.
  5. Mid close – Young Maddie stands with a cigarette, a group of girls in the background.
  6. Mid close – Young Brian stands, a group of boy in the background are stood in a circle.
  7. Close – A house number seven
  8. Mid close – as if looking in a mirror, Kevin looks and combs his hair
  9. Mid / Pan up – A book case, that looks very empty
  10. Overhead shot – The adventure book
  11. Close – we see Kevin hands tying a knot, and looking careful at it.
  12. Wide – Kevin stands next to a large fire
  13. Mid – Kevin with his head down is reading his book, and a shoe flies over his head. He quickly turns his head to the side.
  14. Close – The shoe is stuck into the wall
  15. Mid – back to shot 13, Kevin turns his head to look at camera
  16. Overhead shot – Packing a suitcase
  17. Close – A photo of Maddie and Brian that has been grafittied
  18. Overhead shot – a map fills the screen, we see Kevin’s hand draw a red line on.
  19. Wide – Kevin walks over the horizon
  20. NEED TO WORK OUT
  21. Close – Kevin making a fire
  22. Mid Wide – We see Kevin putting up a tent
  23. Wide – Kevin is stood far away from the camera, facing the sunset and mountains
  24. Mid Close – Side profile of Kevin, he smiles into the sunset
  25. Mid wide – The camera is behind Kevin again and he sticks his arms in the air and makes a happy ‘woo’

9th May 2017

Casting

For this film, I need to cast characters that are well suited. I want actors who are professional, rather then using people that are just available or friends. This is because you can make a really good film, but it can be let down by actors.

I started by writing a list of characters, and certain details they need to have.

  • Kevin – young boy, strong actor
  • Maddie (old) – Same hair as young Maddie, adult looking, preferably a smoker
  • Maddie (young) – Same hair as old Maddie, teenager
  • Brian (old) – Similar looking to young Brianadult looking,  scruffier
  • Brian (young) – Similar looking to old Brian, teenager
  • Voice over – older male, strong reading voice, well spoken

Final Casting

I have worked and know quite a lot of actors, so a few are easy to cast. I think the easiest to cast will be the 2 Maddie characters because her face is covered up, she doesn’t have to be too much older.

Kevin

I have decided to cast my nephew Jake Pye, not because he’s my nephew, but he’s a very good actor. He worked really well in my film last year and took direction really well. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GOdItg0Ii8) He’s also really good at capturing an audience through facial expression and being emotive with his body language, which he showed last year.

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Maddie (Young)

For young Maddie I have decided to cast my best friend, and most common actor in my films, Izzy Coward. She works professionally acting and is attending one of the best acting courses in the UK next year. She takes direction well, and more then that, she understands when to switch on and off through acting and not. Even though young Maddie is only one shot, I know its worth casting someone as good as her.

Maddie (old)

For the old Maddie, I’ve cast Chloe Butterworth, who I’ve acted with in the past and seen perform regally. She will work well in my film and play the part well. The head shot below is old, but she has blonde hair that matches young Maddie’s hair. They have similar face shapes so will defiantly look like an older version once wearing the hat and glasses.

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Brian (young)

For young Brian, I have decided on casting Jonny Vernon. I haven’t used him before in my films, but I’ve seen him in performances with Izzy Coward, and he’s defiantly a good actor. I was also involved with filming one of his performances and rehearsals. From observing, I noticed he takes direction well, and understands his place as an actor.

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Brian (old)

Casting an older Brian was very hard to cast, as I’ve decided to film the scene with him in Kendal. But after discussing it Simon Sylvester said he would. He has acted for me before, and he was really good in our Worldskills first round film. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZUKmSi26BE). I also think that the 2 Brian’s work really well together and there is a resemblance.

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Voice over

Casting the person to read the voice over was one of the hardest parts of the casting. I wanted a male voice to read it as this was a cliché and common denominator in the films I researched. I wanted someone with a older voice, who was well spoken and mannered. After asking around, I finally cast James Read as the voice over. He has a history or acting, including Shakespeare and other theatre performances, and sounds perfect for the role.


11th May 2017

Props list – First Draft

As I’m focusing a lot on production design, it’s important for me to look at props. I decided to cross reference my draft storyboard to help me decide the necessities to put in the shot. I’m going to start tracking these down and add to it over the next week.

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15th May 2017

Changing a scene – Production Development

When looking at my script, the narrative and the flow of my film, I have discovered that one of my shots is bland and boring. The shot where Maddie lights a cigarette I think is too generic and not bright enough for my film. I wanted to change it, but I was worried about losing another close up.

My feedback last year was that all my shots were too similar and I didn’t have any close ups. They were mainly wides and mids, so my film became quite repetitive and boring. So this year, to make my film more interesting, I wanted to mix up the shots more to make it more in depth.  The problem with getting rid of the smoking shot, would get rid of the close up, giving my film another wide.

I wanted a way around this, so I had a quick meeting with my tutor Dom. We discussed how I could do this shot without making the rest of my film the same and bland. We came to the idea of having the shot of young Maddie crawling on the floor, then cutting to a shot of the table and her hand reaching up to grab the cigarette package. This will then keep the close shot and add a more interesting shot. I need to add this into my script and storyboard. I will also need to cast a young Maddie.

Casting:

As I don’t know any young female actors, I decided to put out a casting call.

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Not long after this, I got a message on my professional Facebook.

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I talked to the mum of Lani, and I decided she would be perfect in my film. I gave her the script and the schedule, and I got myself an actor!


16th May 2017

Final Storyboard

After drafting and finalising the script, I finished my final storyboard and shot list. I added colour so I could visually see the colour palette, and get a glimpse what the end film will look like.

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Production Design – part 2

As I’ve added a scene in, I want to look out how I can make it more in depth and concentrate on the design side of it.

My idea is that young Maddie is in the house of her mother or grandmother, stealing ciggerettes. I want this to come across strong, so I don’t just want a random house.

My design:

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The idea I have is to have someone sat on the chair with the blanket and then a side table next to it, with things on that makes it look more like an old persons house. I decided to put an old picture of the queen, that looks like it’s been cut out of a newspaper or magazine. I liked this idea because a picture like this is stereotypically found in older peoples houses.

 


19th May 2017

Scheduling My Shoot

Scheduling is very important for filming because it means that you can work co-operatively with actors and crew, and make sure that you get all your shots done. My film last year was really well scheduled and everything ran really smooth. I want to do this again, so I can make sure that everything runs as smooth in the short space of time I have.

To start, I made a list of the locations I’m using and what scenes I will be filming there. I wanted to do this because it meant that I could work out what oder to film in, so my actors aren’t coming backwards and forwards.

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I then made a rough schedule to see what times I have with my actors. This will help me because I can then start making definite times and places to give to all the actors.

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When making the final schedule I had to keep in mind certain factors like weather and sunset set/sun rise.For example, on the Tuesday evening shoot Im counting on a sunset, so I made sure I had the times right.

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I made a schedule for each shoot so I could keep organised.

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I think this schedule works well for me, as I can keep track of everything I need and who I need. Last year it was a lot more in-depth, but I wanted it to be more simple this year as  I don’t have as many locations.


20th May 2017

Risk Assessment

For my filming, I need to make a risk assessment. A risk assessment is important because it outlines all the risks and hazards that occur during a shoot. On FilmSourcing.com there is a Film Production Risk Assessment page. From this, I looked into why I need to create one. It reads:

A Risk Assessment is an examination of what could cause harm on a particular shoot or at a specific location, so that the production company / producer can decide whether adequate control measures are in place to prevent harm.

Keeping this in mind, I made a full risk assessment which I can then pull apart for each scene: Risk Assement full

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22nd May 2017

Final Script

After all the feedback, development and all the drafts, I finalised my script. I am really happy with the final script and the way it flows. I think that it is easy to understand and has a really strong narrative. I can easily imagine how it will look and flow.

Final Script

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20th May 2017

Final Props List and Making Props

For my film, I have a lot of props. I decided to go through each scene and get each prop I need and write it down.

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The Book

For this film, it includes quite a lot of production design and props. One of the main props is the book Kevin reads that inspires him to runaway. I want this book to look realistic and fit with the story and aethstetic. I looked at a few existing books to help inspire me.

These book covers stood out to me because they have that old feel to them, and they are are very classic. I really like the fonts they use because they are generic and cliché to the age. I also really liked how the pictures are painted. This also makes them look old and rustic. I want to bring these aspects together.

My book cover:

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New born baby poster

My poster:

For the second scene of my film, I need to create a poster that shows that they are on a hospital wing.

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Baby Card

The baby card is used in the first scene of my film. Its to symbolise Kevin being born, instead of filming him ACTUALLY being born. I wanted the card to look homemade and tacky, also of its time. I started off by researching new born baby cards and designed one.

Cigarette Box

I needed a cigarette box in the scene with young Maddie. The problem with buying a packet of cigarettes now is that the boxes of large pictures on of gross things that can happen if you smoke, e.g. a picture of lungs. I didn’t really want a picture of lungs in my film, for obvious reasons, so my next idea was to make one.

I started off by looking up cigerette boxes from the 60s/70s to see what they would’ve looked like, from this I got a general idea. I then went on to find a template. I found the one below, which matched my colour palette and the era.

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I printed it off in black and white to see what it would look like.

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I was really impressed with the way it looked, so I decided to print it in colour on card.  The only difference was, I edited off the Russian writing as it didn’t match the rest of my film.

Below is the finished product, which I think looked really good within my film.

‘Illegal Substance’ Package

In the scene with Brian as a teenager, it shows him giving over a packet of drugs to someone. I had to think carefully how I would do this for a few different reasons. I didn’t want to have to make something that looked like drugs, because I didn’t want to be arrested. From that I decided to make it look like a package.

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To do this, all I did was wrap up a box with brown paper and tied it. I think it gave it a really good final effect without obviously showing it was drugs.

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22nd May 2017

Lighting The Studio Scene

For my second shot I am filming in a studio, therefor the lighting needs to be different for this scene then to every other one, as there is no natural light. I decided to look into how I can light it well, without making it look obviously lit.

To make sure I use that the lights I were using fitted into the scene. When I think of hospitals, I think of bright white lights, coming from a height. In the book ‘Filmmaking for Dummies’, by Brian Micheal Stroller, there is a section on what Kelvin Ratings each light has.

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  1. Brian Micheal Stroller, ‘Filmmaking for Dummies’, Page 170, ‘Chapter 11: Let there be Lighting.’

From this, it says that tungsten lights, e.g. bulbs, are usually 3,100 kelvin. So when I film my studio shoot, I should get lights that match this setting. The best one for this is LEDs. They are usually around this many kelvins.

18818319_1351716594914809_439626198_oI decided to draw a simple diagram to decide where to put my lights to help me when I’m on set. I decided to use a simple three point lighting set up, with a reflector.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


23rd May 2017

Making a set – hospital room

This year I’ve had the opportunity to make a design and create a set. Today, from my designs and research, I am painting the board to look like a hospital room. I did research on it in my production design research:

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I wanted to use the symbolism of new life and beginnings which are attached with a blue sky. I designed what it would look like and I went ahead with getting it ready.

Firstly I got a board that I could use for the shot, at first it was too small, but I managed to get a larger one. This can be found in the testing section of my work.

I then went to buy paint. It took me ages to find the right shade of blue because I wanted it to look like a sky. I ended up getting wall paint called ‘surf.’ I decided to go with wall paint because it is thicker and I wouldn’t need as many coats. Furthermore, it takes a shorter time to dry.

Once I got my board, I drew out the outlines of the clouds after marking the middle 18720811_1356870871033381_477101483_opoint. I didn’t want them to all look the same but I wanted it to look symmetrical on the lines. I then painted the clouds. I did this as I could then use the blue to go over the lines and then do the blue again.

I then started on the blue. I used a roller to do the majority, and a smaller brush to go over the details. This means that I could get the paint evenly distributed.

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After going over the details of the clouds and the blue lines again, I let it dry.

 

 

 

The final result:

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I think that it looks exactly how I wanted it and designed it. Its not perfectly painted, but thats how I wanted it because its meant to be a hospital.

 

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2 Responses to Idea / Pre Production Development – FMP

  1. Dom Bush says:

    Some excellent work coming through here Izzy, and i’m glad you are putting great importance on the development of the narrative. I am going to introduce the paper cut timeline to everyone this week which I hope will help you with the structure and narrative.
    A good think to research at this stage would be narrative structures for film. So move away from researching other people’s work, and look at the broader topic of how people structure fiction films. Many films follow the same story structure, and they do that because the structure works. Take a look at this –
    http://filmeducation.org/resources/primary/teaching_with_film/using_film_trailers/genre_and_narrative_structure/

    Like

  2. Dom Bush says:

    Production Meeting Notes – 10/05/17

    Script is in final development stage and is ready to be locked in.
    Huge amount of work in the development stage exploring all aspects of the film production with critical and reflective writing.
    Locations is an area that still needs to be worked on. Plans to go scouting this weekend and take photos to assess suitability of proposed locations.
    Feels there needs to be more research on the blog so will work on that next.
    Has taken shots from main inspirations (Royal Tenenbaums and Amelie) to help build a storyboard and shot list.

    Main stumbling block at the moment is the blue wall for the maternity ward scene. A location needs to be locked in for this and I have suggested using a 8×4 sheet of plasterboard and bring it in.

    Most of the shoots aren’t weather dependant so shouldn’t be any major delays in filming schedule.

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