24th May 2017
Today I shot the first part of my production, which was the hospital scene at the start of the film. The set was already hard to work with with I was making it, so I knew that I would have to plan a lot to make the process run as smooth as possible. To help me do this, I started with a schedule.
Below is a copy of my schedule that i made to help me make sure I had everything done throughout the morning, especially because I had a short space of time to do it in.
|8:45||Arrive at college|
|9:00||Book equipment out|
|9:30||Book a room|
|10:00||prepare all document|
|10:30||Set up location and quick crew meeting|
|11:50||Pack up & upload rushes|
Furthermore, I had made a risk assessment prior to the shoot so I would know what all the potential risks would be, and how I can make the set safe for everyone.
Whilst following this schedule, I checked my equipment list, and got out all the equipment I needed.
After that I went to go book the dark room. I chose to film in the dark room because its a large dark space, so my light wouldn’t reflect. Also, its sound proof, so the dialogue in the scene wouldn’t be interrupted by something and the sound recording wouldn’t have any background noise.
The first problem that occurred was to do with the set. When I went to go put my things in the dark room, I had the sudden realisation that the piece of board wouldn’t fit through the revolving door. This was instantly a problem because I wouldn’t be able to shoot in the space I wanted to, and I was on a schedule. I decided to go to my plan B shooting area, which was the second film room. It has black out blinds so the light wouldn’t be an issue. The only problem was the sound coming from the road outside the windows, but I decided that I would look at that problem after I set up the sound recording equimpment, which became the priority.
As I got my sound recordist, Chantelle, to set up the sound recording equimpment, I started to put up the set. I wanted to do this first, because the posissioing would determine where the rest of my equipment would go. Once I safely secured the set, Edan and Kayla had already started setting up the lights. I made sure that all the light wires were out of the way and on the floor and not hanging down to create trip hazards, as I outlined this in my risk assessment.
Once everything was set up, I began to start positioning my lights and cameras. This is a diagram of how I positioned them which I made during research.. I chose this positioning because it means that is well lit.
I think the shoot went really well overall because I got everything done that I wanted and the final rushes looks really good and how I wanted it. I think that I should of done more location preparing because of the dark room incident, but I knew exactly how to solve the problem. But I still think I should carefully go over the locations again, and see what problems could occur with them. I also think that for my next few shoots I should go over all the planning one again, and go over all the issues that could arise.
29th May 2017
Today was my second lot of shooting, which was the scene where we see teenage Brian and the scene where Brian and Maddie meet. I had organised a schedule to help me through the shoot.
BUT THE DISTASTER! A storm decided to hit Lancaster the day before, and it didn’t stop raining. I checked the weather and the rain was meant to stop at around one. I decided to change when I was filming and push everything an hour later. This was the right decision to make as it did stop raining, and it was just cloudy for filming.
When we met, we walked down to the location to start with the 1st part of the shoot, which was the shots of young Maddie and Brian. In both these shots, I needed people in the background, so I brought costumes for them to change into. For the girls, I brought coats to make them look more like a gang and look like they fit in with Maddie’s character.
I framed this shot in rules of thirds to make sure that it was well proportioned. I decided to light the cigarette to make it look more realistic, and give the shot more depth.
This shot went well, so I moved onto the next one which was the reverse of the shot but Brian and a dog fight in the background. The problem I had with this was that I could see between peoples legs, so it was obvious nothing was happening. I decided to make the cast sit down and go on there knees. I thought it wasn’t obvious enough what was happening, even if I add the dog noises in. I decided to hand out all my old receipts in my purse and make them wave them like it was money or betting tickets. Another preseason this looked better was because it gave the shot some movement.
I then moved onto the zoom in shot of Brian drug dealing. The first problem I encountered was that since I had been there, a fence had been put up on the side of the road the camera was. I decided to try film it through the fence, thinking it might add more humour to it. I tried it and it did work really well when I changed the focus when I zoomed in, as it was focused on the characters rather than the fence.
After this I packed up, loaded the car, and got a milkshake. I think overall the shoot went really well, even though the location changed slightly and how I had to change the time of the shoot, I think I dealt with all the obstacles well.
I think the shoot went really well, and like I said, I handled the problems well. I think being organised for this shoot really helped me, and I need to keep this in mind for my other shoots I have left and for my whole project. I think that I took a lot from how last years shoot went and remembered it for this year. One of the examples of this was how I dealt with things going wrong. Last year I didn’t really take into consideration the small details that could go wrong, so this year I planned for error.
I think for my next shoot tomorrow I need to be just as prepared, I think it also helps when I relax. When I’m under pressure I do tend to get things wrong, so I need to keep in mind that whatever the outcome I’ll be proud of this film and not everything runs smoothly.
30th May 2017
Day time shoot
Today I shot some more of my film, specifically the indoor shots and the final sequence. For this shoot, I had to be very prepared because I had a lot to do in a short space of time, specifically when I was shooting in the Gregson. I only had 2 hours to film all the bits I needed to. I started the shoot at 2, but I arrived at half one to set up.
The first thing I did was pin up the schedule, prop/set list and risk assessment. This was so everyone knew exactly where and what to do. It was important to put up the risk assessment more then ever, because I had children on set.
I started off by creating a props table, and an equipment table. This meant that everything was easily accessible to me and the rest of the crew. Whilst some crew members set this up, I decided to start setting up for the first scene on the schedule, which was the one with young Maddie crawling along the floor. For this shot, I had a chair, a blanket, a side table with props on. After I set this up, I got the camera and lights set up to start framing my shot. I used the natural lights for my advantage and used to other lights to help me light the shot.
The first issue came when I did my second shot, which was Young Maddie grabbing the cigarettes. I had a framed prop of Elizabeth the 2nd, which was reflecting a lot of the light. It was mainly coming from the window, so I had to reposition the lights and close the blind. This was an issue because I wanted the light to match the shot before in camera, rather then trying to fix it in post. I repositioned the lights to where the window was, and made sure it didn’t reflect on the picture. I think this worked, even thought I might have to do a bit of editing to the colour in post production.
I then moved onto the scene where we see Kevin for the first time. I recently changed it in the script to him doing his hair, to him doing a rub cube. This was because I thought it would show his intellegence more, instead of going for a shot where it could show vanity. To change up the shots, I filmed this one in front of the window. I normally avoid this because of the shadows and silhouette in can create. Howeever, I used the lights to light up his face, making it match the outside light. This worked well because we still got the detail of Kevin, without losing the background light. I also added props to the window behind Kevin. I did this to show more of his personality to the audience.
I then moved onto the string shot, which was simple to film as its just a normal close up. It’s not the most exciting shot in my film, but its effective and tells the story I want too.
Next was the suitcase and map shot. These were the shots I was most nervous for because of the angle of the camera. As its a Birdseye shot, it needed to be perfectly downwards. I have done this before in past films which went well, but not with a camera this size. I had done my risk assessment prior so I knew not to have Jake below the camera, I also knew to have several people on hand, which made it a lot easier. This ran smoother then I thought, and it helped having the wider lens.
The last shot to film was the shoe shot , which was one of the biggest health a safety points. To make sure that no one was hurt, we threw the shoe into a coat to catch it. Below is the video of how we did the shot (I have no idea what the sound is doing).
Overall I think the shoot went really well, I kept on schedule which meant everything ran smoothly. I also think because I handled the risks well, it meant that I had a much safer set. I took on board from yesterdays shoot on how I needed to handle everything, including myself as I didn’t let myself get overwhelmed. I have another shoot tonight to prepare for, so I have to make sure that runs just as smooth.
30th May 2017
This shoot was for the last sequence and scene for the film. In my opinion, this is one of the most important shots, as its what leaves the audience feeling a certain way. I wanted it to be uplifting and happy, without trying to make it cliché.
We set off at half 7, on schedule, to make sure we could get everything done before sunset. I knew I had to do things in a certain order so the light would be right, and also convenience.
I started out with the horizon shot. For this, I wanted the character to be higher then the camera because it gives it more depth and makes it look more adventurous. The location I chose looked ace with the light, as it lit the grass up to a really nice amber colour, which made Jake stand out more.
Then I did the tree shot. This was harder to light because it was in the woods, so the shot was darker. I changed the camera settings to match the darkness. I chose a tree right on the edge, to get as much light possible.
I then moved onto the tent shot. When we took the tent out, I realised i made a big mistake, as the poles and pegs weren’t in the bag. Instead of making the tent, I decided that the character Kevin could just be looking at it and finding the corners, which would work the same way, and that the tent wouldn’t be on my final shot. I think doing it this way worked, but not as well as I wanted.
We then moved onto the final shots. The first think I encountered that the place that I location scouted hid the sun. So we moved further across the field to find where the sun would hit the mountains. The next thing I realised was the light. As we were facing the sun, the camera was absorbing all the light making Jake, or the character Kevin, in shadow/silhouette. I knew I needed a reflector but I didn’t have one, so I had to think on my feet. I decided to try using the white side of the tent as a massive reflector, which actually worked surprisingly well.
I’ve filmed a lot outside before, not a lot of my films have been indoors so I knew how to handle the terrain and all the obstacle that come with an outside shoot. I think, like all my prior shoots for this project, went well because of my scheduling and my preparation. I think this shoot was the most important because they all needed to tie together well.
10th June 2017
Recording the Sound
For my film, there is a voiceover running through, so I needed to do sound recording. To record my sound, I used a zoom, shot gun microphone, deadbeat and XLR cable to record the sound. My voice actor, James Read, did a really good job and took direction well. I did each recording a few times in different ways.
One of my mistakes last year wasn’t listen back to it properly when I was still filming, so this time I took my laptop and get listening to them back properly, not just from the zoom. This meant I could rerecord the ones that didn’t sound as good. This gave me a lot cleaner sound in the end as I used trial and error.
I think overall I did really well. At the start of this project I wrote that one of my weak points was recording sound, so I made sure I worked on it throughout this project. From what I learnt in last years FMP and thought my second year of college, I learnt a lot more on how to record clean audio, especially voiceovers.
In the future if I record sound again, I would try and get a sound proof room or place to help me record cleaner audio as I had to film in house where the microphone could pick up background noise. Although I managed this well, it would be better to record sound in a better environment.
12th June 2017
I had to shoot my fire shot later then the rest as my nan was very ill when I was supposed to film it. It was my last piece of filming I needed to do and it was a difficult one.
In this shot I wanted there to be fire, and someone to tip a bucket over it. This came with many risks as the camera is close the fire, smoke and water. When setting up I made sure the camera was a good distance away as I didn’t want ash to get on the lens and ruin the shot, this worked because I had a zoom lens. We only had one try to do the water being thrown, so we practiced a lot without the water.
I think the final shot looks really good and what I wanted. However, The hands didn’t really get in, so we can’t tell it is Maddie. In post production I need to look at if it still fits that narrative and it makes sense. As this was my last shoot, it felt really good to finally get it all done. However, I think that in my next project, I will try to get most y filming done in one week. I know this has been an exsetption as my nan fell ill when I was supposed to film, but I learnt that it makes life easier when you film all at once.