Misskatherine333's Blog

May 12, 2010, 3:17 pm
Filed under: 311mc Final Project, Uncategorized

When I initially started this project I set out to create a twenty minute thriller film called ‘Heil Mein Fuhrer’, throughout the process of making the film I have encountered many problems and had to change the way I was doing things in order for the project to work. In this evaluation I will take you through the problems I faced and the solutions I devised, what I enjoyed and the process of pre production, production and post production.

In the pre-production stage I started by finding my cast and crew – who are three ex students from Coventry University, they are; Nicholas Turgoose, Sam Hopkins, Mark Hopkins and Paul Watkins. Now I had people on board I could start to organise how this would run, to get the ball rolling I called a meeting to discuss ideas, roles and responsibilities. From the get go I was one step ahead and things were progressing quickly, I had an idea, the script was being written, I had the cast and I got in contact with a musician who was eager to create music for my film, all I had left to do was film and edit. However the cast and crew worked full time jobs and time started to become an issue, it was difficult to get everyone together at the same time as the hours varied. At this point I knew I needed more notice so I could hold everything together. Despite this the script was completed and edited, I had sealed a few locations and actors were at the ready, although everything was not one hundred percent ready in pre-production I made the decision to move into production as my provisional time table had been exceeded and time was running short, with this we went to our first location.

My first shoot was in Stratford-upon-Avon, here I filmed scene six which was ‘the magician’ on a boat, This shoot ran smoothly with no problems and started to make me feel more confident that I could get this in on time, However when I returned the equipment for renewing I was taken a back to hear I would be banned from the loan shop for a week. I had explained that I was ten minutes late and the traffic was bad on the way from Birmingham, but I was told ‘rules were rules’ and no matter the circumstance I would be banned for a week regardless. This was a major problem for me as I only had a week left to hand in my final major project. This caused me a lot of stress and upset and as a result I became ill from stress and had to apply for an extension, once this was approved I could then reschedule the reaming scenes that were left to shoot and get back on track with the production. The rest of the scenes were filmed relatively smoothly, the only problem I came across was capturing the sound as there were no headphones to connect to the Merantz. As a result of this the sound levels differed on a dramatic scale and would have to be recorded in post production. The scenes involving ‘the business man’ were taken at friend’s property; the house was very large and very plush which was perfect for the reflection of the business characters lifestyle. However at this location is where I had most problems with the sound. All the other shots of the business man were taken outdoors, they were filmed at pace and were of a good quality.

The filming of the magician was a long process as they were always at different locations and a lot were outdoor shoots. As there were so many outdoor shoots I had to be well prepared as not to make any mistakes with the light consistency. The filming of ‘the magician’ in Western was a good shoot, despite it being just Paul and myself, Paul did the acting and I set up the equipment and filmed whilst recording sound all by myself. This wasn’t ideal, but baring in mind the lack of time, and the unavailability of any help, it needed to be done.   The shoot ran smoothly and was done in a few hours. I was particularly pleased with this scene as the beach was deserted, and the weather was bright which is exactly what I wanted. Whilst we were in Weston I noticed a big wheel on the front, and thought it would be a really nice shot to have if we filmed coming down from the top of the wheel, I asked permission from the owner and she said it was fine to film, and she even let us go up “in kind”. Before I left Weston I checked all the footage and made sure that there were no problems, because it was a difficult location to return to.

When I was filing the jaguar scenes in Pershore, one of my actors, Nick Turgoose was moaning he was cold, and I felt it was affecting his performing, and I found it quite annoying. I then make a decision to drive to the nearest shop and buy him a fleece.  From this I learnt to make sure absolutely everything is planned properly before leaving to film on location. Looking after actors is essential to their performance and I should have made sure they were all wearing suitable clothing before we left.

 Unfortunately not all the other scenes were as smooth; I wanted to film scene 2 on a theatre stage with the character addressing an empty auditorium, however the location I had secured (Hall Green Little Theatre) phoned me and said that they could no longer accommodate my needs as they had rehearsals to catch up on. Another I rang another couple of theatres to try and secure a location, but they were also busy. This left me once again in a very awkward situation and I had to think fast, the solution I devised was to edit the scene and make it all backstage with the character addressing a single person as he is preparing to go on stage and do an act. To do this I have to re-write the scene completely, whilst still making it fit into the narrative.  Once I had filmed the scene I think worked well and if anything added depth to the film.

 Another problem came with the caste; Nicholas Turgoose was on the brink of dropping out after we had started filming as his commitments to work were out weighting the importance of this project. This also delayed time however I gave him some money upfront which persuaded him to stay on board and became fully engaged after we had talked about when would be the best times for him to film, so not to clash with his work commitments.

As these two characters are a figment of another mans imagination I wanted to show a real contrast between the characters visually but have similarities in there personalities, for example the business man was dressed in a suit and loved his job but never had any fun, portraying an essence of self loathing. The magician was dressed in light casual clothing and his job entailed having fun, but similar to the business man he wanted something different to occur in his life. This was showing us that two people from the opposite ends of the spectrum could still share a common similarity – greed. To show this further each character had lines which would portray this on a deeper level, for instance the Magician in the beech scene showed us that he was not happy by introducing the scene as a ‘facade’ and the business man expresses to us in scene one that he really wants to be an entertainer and not work in an office environment.

Once I started to gather a lot of footage I became concerned that some scenes would be drawn out and become boring for the audience, however once Thomas Marick (the musician) had finished the music and sent it over I was confident that the scenes would be intriguing and drive the story forward as I intended them to. I asked for five tracks all representing different emotions like, sad, happy, aggressive, sinister and dramatic. I had to make no adjustments to the tracks as they were exactly what I asked for and I knew they would work well once I had edited.

With all the filming completed I could now move onto post production. Originally Sam Hopkins was going to do my editing for me, however he found himself too busy with other commitments, although he gave me a Avid training day, until I felt happy and confident to do the editing myself.  He always was on stand-by though to answer any questions I had throughout the edit. Whilst I have been editing I have realised due to the problems I encountered the story had altered and some of the scenes that were wrote on the script were not able to be filmed, however with the solutions I came up with I still feel I have Portrayed the story and visually the changes have not had a negative impact on the film. The issues I had earlier with the recording of the sound have been rectified by re-recording the sound and dubbing it. Another issue was the consistency of light in the scenes involving the business man, but I have managed to adjust the light so it is smoother between transitions. I am using Avid software to edit and I have learned more about this program through the editing process. One thing I have enjoyed most about editing is the amount of footage there was to play around with; this enabled me to be more creative with the edit. It has taught me aswell that more footage even if it seems pointless at the time, is always better than less. In the edit I have often used footage that I thought was useless when recording. During the edit aswell I realised that I could not make my film 20minutes in length which I had aimed for initially, without the film being very slow paced and boring, and it got cut down to 12minutes.

Looking back to my original proposal I can see I have had to make a few changes. I initially wanted the film to be 10minutes long, before deciding that was enough and changing it to 2o, before editing it realistically back down to twelve. Heil Mein Führer still exists as my title, because it is a sarong unusual title that i think will instantly make people interested in my film. The main plot idea got developed alot in the script writing process, after I have several discussions with my script writer Mark Hopkins. I did my filming in less than 9days which I am pleased about however i went well over my original budget.  This i think is because initially I didn’t think of all the little things that cost money aswell.

In conclusion if I could change anything about this project, it would be to have started filming at an earlier date. I feel I have been let down by others and that I could have tried harder, as a result of this I have had an extension and feel like I did not reach my full potential when creating this film. In some ways I feel guilty of sitting back and waiting for problems to solve themselves rather than taking action, and relying to much on other people.  In addition to this I have learned so much about being on set and how things work i.e. Time, Light, sound etc. This experience has made me wiser and more capable for any future projects. With this film I plan to develop it further and use it to enter different competitions and film festivals so I can start to build a reputation as a film maker. The crew I worked with were very helpful and put forward some really interesting ideas, having a crew that is fully engaged and committed was very beneficial for me as it inspired me to produce a good quality film despite all the setbacks. Overall I have learned from this experience and captured some high quality shots which without the help of a team would have not been possible. I have now realised that I am capable despite doubting myself at the beginning of making a film. I have learnt need skills such as how to use Avid, which I had never used before this project, aswell as using the Sony PD150 camera. I will look forward to developing this film in the future.


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