Preliminary Task

Above is our preliminary task. Before shooting, we devised an accurate story board which helpfully structured our sequence as we were filming. This enabled us to know exactly what we were filming and when, minimising error. We shot our preliminary task in the ICT department as it provided the ideal setting for a ‘professional meeting’, which is what our short sequence portrays. We shot three clips using a hand held camera, consisting firstly of a scene in which the main actor is walking towards the camera in a close-up shot.

Story Board for Preliminary Task

Story Board for Preliminary Task

Story Board for Preliminary Task
We decided to compose this first shot (00.00 – 00.04) in which just the actors feet were walking towards the camera (at the same level to the actor) to get a sense of direction, this was shot in the corridor outside of the ICT room. The second shot (00.05 – 00.07) which was shot contains only a mid shot of the actor’s torso, opening the door and walking into a room. The use of mise en scene in this shot conceals the actor’s identity, therefore creating mystery to the viewer. The shot is filmed from outside the room so the audience can get an idea of the setting. The final shot (00.08 – 00.20) of the three is also the longest. The audience sees the actor in full through a wide shot in which the subject takes up the whole frame, revealing his identity. The camera pans to follow the actor until he takes a seat to accompany the second actor (whom is already seated), from there the 180 degree  rule takes place whilst there is a short exchange of dialogue, ending with an over the shoulder shot from behind the second actor.  Here we express the 180 degree rule effectively, as we have filmed it fully from one side, and never from the other side.
How we used the '180 degree rule' from preliminary video
How we used the ‘180 degree rule’ from preliminary video

Throughout our filming, we took into deliberation the 180 degree rule, which is a basic parameter that states that the two characters in the scene should always have the same left/right association to each other. This is important for the audience to understand the direction of the sequence. We have expressed the 180 degree rule by placing the two actors opposite from one another, across a table. The camera doesn’t cross the 180 degree line, as they are always viewed from the same side to portray consistency.

Example of 'Match on action' from preliminary task video
Example of ‘Match on action’ from preliminary task video

We have expressed the match on action by making sure our scenes link to each other. We filmed all the shots using the same setting – we used the same door (opened at the same angle) for the last two clips to make sure they linked which creates verisimilitude. As you can see in the two screenshots above, we used the same setting for the two scenes in which there is a cut.  This match on action lets the audience feel as though what they are seeing is more realistic, and therefore they are more likely to keep interest.

After filming, me and my group editing our sequence using ‘Windows Movie Maker’ due to an inaccuracy with the ‘Sony Vegas’ software that we were given to use. This stunted our professionalism in the editing department and therefore we were unable to produce the piece to our greatest standard, however we made the most of learning from this software and I think it turned out well.  During editing, we carefully placed all the clips from the camera in appropriate and fluent order which made the sequence look consistent and accurate.

Overall, I think that the preliminary task was a helpful experience due to the fact it taught us about the possible problems we could encounter, and how to move on from them. This has fully prepared us for the main coursework task. We did encounter some problems along the way, which are as follows:  we noticed the hand held ‘Flip’ camera was not up to a professional standard. We could improve by using a better HD camera and also by using a tripod which would ensure that the filming would be completely still, of better quality and therefore have fewer distractions.

In the third shot, we noticed that we had filmed in the direction of a direct light source and the actor was in the foreground. This was a bad distraction because we, as an audience, couldn’t focus on the main content within the scene (the actor). Improvement in this area could be made by avoiding any form of direct light source when filming.

The final area of improvement would be in the editing process. We used Windows Movie Maker to edit our preliminary task, which limits us to only a few editing techniques and therefore, for a more professional film, we will use a better editing software such as Adobe or ‘Vegas Movie Studio Platinum’.

Group Photo (Whilst Filming)
Group Photo (Whilst filming for Preliminary Task)

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