Within this week we are focussing on Visuals. This week in particular will be creating a scene, and using the Pre-Production, Production and Post Production method of completing the task.
Within this part of the post, there are four questions that are going to be asked to do with Pre-Production and Visuals, with suitable answers to each from my own knowledge and from researching online.
How does Pre-Production apply to Visuals?
There are various different aspects when Pre-Production is applied to Visuals, for example:
- Storyboarding – This is so you have a visual idea of what you want created, and can easily show your image rather than your visuals turning out how you didn’t want them.
- Set Designing – This is important so that it is relevant to the specific scene.
- Scripting – If there is a script, you will have written dialogue, which could create a visual idea of what will be needed and what will be happening at all times, working out the best ways to shoot the scene.
- Genre – If the genre was Horror, you wouldn’t want a natural daylight scene, usually it would be low lighting, night, etc. it would be the crew that would be in charge of making sure that genre is fulfilled.
- Location – If the location isn’t good enough, isn’t safe enough, isn’t even correct for the scene that’s being filmed, there’s physically no point in being there – location is an important aspect towards any visuals, you wouldn’t expect a whole wrestling arena in a front room of a house (unless it was for some 3D/4D advert saying “You can feel it all from the comfort of your home”).
- Costume – You’d need to have a specific costume for the characters within the scene – if they’re going to sleep, you wouldn’t expect them in a full suit and tie unless they were planning on running off on a mission.
- Character Breakdown – Through the use of Storyboards and Costume Designs for characters, you can also try and show their various different emotions and how they show them through these different aspects.
- Casting – There’s a possibility you need a specific character within a scene, you wouldn’t want the wrong person not looking the part within the scene, so this is important for the visuals.
What are the elements that need to be considered?
The different elements that need to be considered whilst in the Pre-Production process include:
- Camera – Is the correct camera being used? Is it being positioned in the correct angles?
- Lighting – If the lighting is off, it won’t look that good during production, and you won’t be able to fix it easily in many programs.
- Location – Is the location safe to film in? If it’s not safe, you can’t imagine trying to film there.
- Equipment – Do you have the correct equipment to be able to create the visuals? You would probably need spare batteries for the camera, maybe an extra SD card or hard drive for the footage to go onto, this could be very crucial towards the scene.
- Shot List – You’d like to know the different shots that are within a specific scene – you can create a Shot List to be able to show which shots you want and why you want them – do you want to make someone look super powerful, or completely weak? A simple shot or angle can create the visual representation of being weak or strong with power.
- Budget – Everything that goes into the film itself, including any Pre-Production work will have a budget, you can estimate how much you would need for specific parts of the scene/film, and make sure it’s affordable.
Who are the key crew members?
The Key Crew Members within the Pre-Production process include:
- Director – Usually the visuals are the directors image, they are important for this purpose so that they know exactly what they want.
- Cinematographers – Without them, there wouldn’t be any production process!
- Set Designers – They are the ones creating what the directors image is, they are in charge of creating the dream.
- Lighting Crew – without any lighting crew, the scene could simply look horrible, or just wrong. The lighting crew need to be there so the lighting can be correct for the specific shot, and effective.
- Costume Designers – They are in charge of creating the costumes for the specific characters within the scene, making it relevant to the specific part of the scene.
- Producer – They want this film produced, without them they would have a harder time of producing the production.
- Finance Manager – They are in charge of distributing the money towards each district of the production, there’s going to be a budget towards this, and they need to distribute it in a specific way to be able to achieve the Directors dream.
- Make-Up Artists – There could be a specific look you need for certain characters, maybe they need to look mental or have some form of bruising, or skin being peeled off of their face (just an example), they will be needed to create the visual as well, as it would be a lot harder to edit in through After Effects for example.
How do they link with the other stages of the production process?
The different aspects that I’ve spoken about link to other stages of the production process by:
- They are the actual foundation of how the scene will turn out (shot-wise).
- If there are any problems with dialogue recorded on-set, the editors who will create the final visual image can say that they would need new audio for a specific part which would be dubbed over the top of the visuals.
- They create the visuals for the Editors to be able to edit the Directors image into a fully-fledged scene.
- The Director is able to create a visual representation outside of storyboards.
There’s also an interesting video from YouTube about Pre-Production Checklists for Filmmakers – This could be useful for anyone starting off with film making and the Pre-Production process.
A Pre-Production Checklist for Filmmakers by Devin Reeve (Film Courage, 2015) The Cinematographer's Process (Part 1): Breaking Down the Script (Hardy, R, 15 October 2013) Pre-Production Checklist for Film | How to Make a Movie (Cima, M, No date)
Our task this week was to create a short video (only 30 seconds to 1 minute long) with a simple action towards it. For us, we decided to work on the idea of having someone walk and then receive a phone call.
Within the scene that we’re going to create:
- There must be a variety of shots, with at least an Establishing Shot, Close Up, Extreme Close Up, Medium Shot and a Cutaway.
- There should be a preserve continuity of direction.
- There should be an incorporate camera movement.
- There should be 6 shots
- It should run between 30 seconds and 1 minute.
- We will be creating the storyboard.
- The elements to consider should be what is needed to build the shot – for example, Framing and Composition, Lighting & Camera Movement.
The planning process:
- We need to use what we have learnt so far, as well as what we’ve learnt within the week
- This will feed into any of the following day, which is production.
- We will decide what approach is taken, for example the methods to gain the visuals, specific equipment, etc.
Finally, we will be editing all of this in Avid Media Composer.
Planning & Documentation
Planning and Documentation is important when it comes to the Film & TV Industry, without it, there wouldn’t even be a production! During Pre-Production, you would have to have at least these following forms of planning & documentation to have benefits to prevent any issues.
Meeting and Hiring Crew – This will allow you to know what you will actually need, and whether the person is best for the job.
Locations – Risk Assessments, you need to know what it looks like, the acoustics etc.
Health and Safety – Thinking about everyone’s safety, not just your own.
Budgets – Finding the costs of specific items/objects, usually on a daily rate (e.g searching online for the cheapest possible and only renting for certain days).
Contract and Details – Details for if someone is running late/hasn’t turned up, you’re able to contact them. Contracts for securing the deal between you and the company.
Time Planning – Make sure you’ve made some form of plan to be able to use the most of the time that you have at the time. This can link to the following which is…
Scheduling Shoot Days – You know exactly what you’ll want to be doing on which specific day
This week rather than our normal “crews” that we have, we’ve been grouped up with different people we don’t usually work with, so that we can see what it’s like working in the industry with new people, and also to be able to feel more comfortable working in different groups. This week rather than Myself, Lydia, Kyle & Marwan it’s Myself, Brandon, Jess & Nicole.
There’s a variety of different equipment that is required for us to be able to achieve our current production. This is all shown in the image shown below.
The Equipment that we will be using include the Camera, so that we can create our short clip through filming – we’re using the Cannon D300 for this. We will also be planning on using the Steadicam to be able to make some of our shots rather steady. If this is not available at the time, we will be using the shoulder cam, as it will act similarly and give us a little bit more control at the same time. We will also be planning on using the Slider to be able to create our first shot. If this is not available, we will simply keep it as a close-up on the feet and not move the camera. Of course we will also be using the Tripod if need be, to make it easier using the camera and make sure it’s not shaking that much. We also have one prop that we need to use within this, which is a phone – which is simple as everyone in our group has one.
Health and Safety
Of course Health and Safety is an important part whilst filming for projects, producing content. There can be various different risks that could occur throughout, and we’ve listed them as shown below.
We also took a Location Recce to be able to check if our location that we chose was safe enough to use, and the correct location to use for the task that we’ve been provided with. This can be seen from the images below.
We’ve also created a storyboard to be able to know what we want to do within this task and know the various different angles and shots that we need to be able to achieve the production that we’re working on.
The first shot within this scene is a sliding or panning shot of the actor walking. It will be a close-up and taken from the side. We will then have an establishing shot to be able to show the location of the scene, whilst the actor is still walking. This will then move onto a neutral line shot from the front of the actors feet, walking towards the camera in case we want to change the angle.
This will then move onto a close-up on the actors pocket and will follow the phone towards the persons face, zooming out so that there is a medium shot. This will then move onto an extreme close up of the facial expression from the actor. Finally, it will be a tilt shot in slow motion panning the body, and the actor continuing to walk.
As we’ve now got these steps ready, we’re ready for the Production to start tomorrow (Tuesday the 28th of February, 2017) and we’re confident that we can proceed with what we have got to successfully create our idea into a video.
The 28th of February – the day for actually producing what we have planned for within our Pre-Production stage.
The Production throughout the visual elements is actually producing the content that will be using in Post-Production (editing). This includes creating anything with the camera to try and match up to our previous planning, trying to stick to the schedule that we created, as well as follow everything possible. It is very similar to last week’s task on Audio Production, however this time it’s considering Visual elements.
We started at 9:50am and filmed for just about an hour. This consisted of getting all the required shots that we needed to create our idea, and setting up any equipment needed.
Problems we encountered and their Solutions
Whilst we were filming at the location, our original problem was that it was quite busy as it was a different time of day. This started to clear off as the day went on, but it could cause continuity errors due to the fact people would’ve moved at parts. We tried to keep people out of the shots as minimal as possible to try and prevent this, and you can only see people every now and then, for example, walking in the background. Otherwise, if people are clearly shown then suddenly not shown, I’ll take advantage of the “Resize” feature in Avid to be able to cut the people out, and if need be, keyframe to be able to change the X and Y values so they’re always out of the shot.
Another problem that we encountered was that there was sachet on the floor that was for some reason put there by somebody else who was previously sitting there, we didn’t see it at first and ended up standing on it whilst filming, which caused us to lose some footage that was quite well done – due to this we had to re-record, and also get someone to come and clean up. This could be considered a health and safety hazard (that obviously came out of nowhere and couldn’t be predicted) so we got it sorted by getting health and safety on the case to sort it out.
Sometimes we had to try and film the same part of the scene a few times to be able to get the right one, mainly because of the people that kept appearing at different moments. We could’ve changed our location afterwards, however, we decided to stay there as we could get the required shots whilst we were there, and it would’ve taken a lot more time to try and find a backup location that wouldn’t be very busy.
These were the main problems that we encountered throughout the production process.
To start with on the Post-Production process, we have to actually watch the footage to be able to check if there’s any re-shooting that needs to be completed, and if we’ve got all the required shots that we need for the edit. Post-Production in simple terms is finalising and polishing the footage that we’ve got into a fully-fledged edit.
The editing part of this I really enjoyed, however there were problems whilst editing. To try and keep the continuity, we had to use certain effects to be able to try and hide some of the people around from some of the shots we filmed. To overcome this, I used the “Resize” effect, which allows me to change the X & Y Co-ordinates as well as panning and cropping out the pieces within the original shot that we don’t want. For this, I had to keyframe different parts of the shot as the shot had to move due to the fact that people were simply in the shot, and as the camera moved at the time as well, to try and keep the continuity, I tried to use the resize tool to my advantage of moving the shot within the edit.
These screenshots show the movement from the keyframing.
Colour Correction was an important part throughout the project. As the lighting was different in different areas, to try and keep the same lighting throughout, I had to use the colour correction tool that’s built into Avid to try and keep the same lighting and mood throughout the entirety of the video, as shown in the screenshot below.
For Transitions, I’m not a massive fan of the ones that are built into Avid, so I prefer to use the Head/Tail Fade on a separate layer to create a dissolving fade effect rather than a wipe for example. If I don’t use this, I usually keyframe and fade it in instead. I find this is usually more effective as it can easily change the mood and change how the scene is going at the specific time.
Within this edit, I used a few sound effects and music tracks to be able to create a meaning towards the visuals within the production. For this one in specific, I used a track that is licensed by a YouTube MCN that one of my YouTube channels is in, and it is fully paid for and I’m allowed to use it for that reasoning. The song that is used at the start of the video is “The Ripples (Instrumental Version)” from EpidemicSound. The song then fades out as a “phone call” occurs within the scene.
As well as this, I’ve taken two different sound effects from Freesound.org – these ones in particular are a Phone ringing which is from trip2000 under the Creative Commons License and a Microwave Beep (for the answering of the phone) by tiredoldwhiteman under the Creative Commons License. These were used within the edit of course for the phone ringing, as well as actually answering the phone. For the Microwave Beep, the reason I chose to use that is because it sounded most like a phone being answered, as well as all of the other sounds I was finding sounded more like a more mutanic or alien sound effect, which wouldn’t have worked at all.
After this part, I decided to try and make it so that a certain song was coming through the phone, and as you know when someone has a phone call, it doesn’t sound at all like what it does in person (at least, not in films). For this I had to open Audacity and do some editing to the sound to try and make it sound more like a radio/phone call sound effect. The song that I used for this part of the scene was Wonderwall by Oasis which is under the Fair Use license for this project.
To start with, I dragged the file into Audacity so that I could start work on the edit. Once it was in there, I selected Effects, and then Equalization. This is to be able to change the frequency at certain parts.
Once you’ve got to this point in the audio edit, you need to select “Graphic EQ” at the bottom of the page. This will allow you to change the frequencies. For this part in specific, everything except for the frequencies between 500Hz and 2000Hz need to be dragged right down to the bottom, and the frequencies between 500Hz and 2000Hz need to be dragged up ever so slightly, as shown in the screenshot below.
After selecting “OK”, then it will change the track to as shown below:
After this, you want to go back up to “Effects”, then into “Amplify” and hit “OK” to whatever the default option is within the Amplify setting.
This will then produce the phone sounding effect, which is what I used for the first part of the scene. I then faded it out once the phone was put down within the scene, and changed it to the actual music, and how it originally sounded before any effects were added on.
The final part to the Audio within this is that I tried to sync up two different parts of the song, to make it flow into the chorus rather than having a gap of instrumental in between, which I feel worked quite well.
The Final Edit
The final edit of this production I feel quite proud of, I feel even though some of the clips didn’t work too well, this made them work just about. Below is a screenshot of the timeline for the sequence.
Finally, as shown below is the final production in video form.
I feel that the video produced actually worked quite well, and it fit to the task, as it was just a simple gesture, and for us, the gesture was answering a phone, and it fulfilled the criteria that we needed to meet.
Social Media Report
Within the session on Wednesday the 1st of March, we started looking into our Social Media platforms a bit more to try and gain an increase in followers, as well as also looking at the feedback we have received to this date – if it was good, not so good and our favourite one with an analysis of each.
At the start of the session, I was on 55 followers on the Twitter account (@KaiFilmTV). As of writing this part of the post I’m now on 74 followers, which shows an increase of 19 followers within roughly an hour. This was through the use of following other people interested in Films, as well as some of my favourite film makers accounts, which allowed me to show up in the recommended section for other people a lot easier. As well as this, I also changed my Twitter Bio to: “Editor for Short Films and Skits using Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017, Adobe After Effects CC 2017 & Avid Media Composer | Cinematographer | Tim Burton Enthusiast“. I feel this was quite effective as now it seems more professional, and shows what I’m interested in.
One of the best pieces of feedback that I received was: “Really love this! I think one thing you could improve on is the direction of the character as sometimes it feels a bit jumpy”. I feel this piece of feedback was quite nice and helpful as at one point the screen motion wasn’t fulfilled, and it gave me an idea on how to improve next time.
As simple as it may be, I feel that a piece of bad feedback that I received was from a couple of people, and it was just simply “Nice”. It shows that they might have enjoyed it, however it doesn’t give me any constructive criticism to improve in the future, therefor I feel it’s not very helpful to me personally.
My Favourite Feedback:
My favourite feedback within the whole of the Social Media platform so far was from Nescafé in regards to my advert that I made for them (The Screen Motion task). Their feedback towards me was “Really cool ad Kai! Thanks for Sharing! :D” – As simple as it might seem it was actually seen by a brand (being Nescafé) and it was shared which showed more traffic going towards the video itself, making it more possible to be somewhat noticed, possibly by other film makers.
My Instagram hasn’t been as good as my Twitter account in all honestly, but I have ideas on how to improve it in the future, whether this is through hashtagging, or possibly switching over to Facebook to try it out instead. At this current moment in time I have 12 followers on that account, however I haven’t been as active on that as I have on my Twitter account for Film & TV.
The Best Comment:
The best comment on the Instagram account was “Very good sound and use of effects, really well recorded as well. Well done!” – as simple as it may be, it shows that they enjoyed it, and makes me feel that it could have meant the task was somewhat fulfilled.
The Worst Comment:
The worst comment that I received on the Instagram account was “#loveit”. Really simple, someone is commenting that they love it, however, there’s not any constructive criticism towards it. Hashtagging in the comments does post it into those sections as well, however I’m pretty sure not many people will search “#loveit”. They might love it themselves, however it could easily be seen as spam, but that’s most likely not the case, as spam would be more “you should look at my account!” after the comment.
At this moment in time, there are only two comments that have actually been received on the Facebook page, as this is the case, I haven’t actually got a favourite, as I physically can’t, unless it’s the best comment being my favourite.
alfa-img.com (No date), Film Editing Studio Lights. Available at: http://alfa-img.com/show/film-editing-studio-lights.html (Accessed: 27 February 2017)
Cima, M (No date), Pre-Production Checklist for Film | How to Make a Movie. Available at: http://www.storyboardthat.com/articles/f/preproduction-checklist-for-film (Accessed: 27 February 2017)
DigitalTVSignup Blog (7 October, 2014), The Importance Of Makeup Artistry In Film And TV. Available at: http://www.digitaltvsignup.co.uk/blog/the-importance-of-makeup-artistry-in-film-and-tv/ (Accessed: 27 February 2017)
Film Courage (2015), A Pre-Production Checklist for Filmmakers by Devin Reeve. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq3PwikKlw4 (Accessed: 27 February 2017)
Hardy, R (15 October 2013), The Cinematographer’s Process (Part 1): Breaking Down the Script. Available at: http://nofilmschool.com/2013/10/cinematographers-process-part-1-breaking-down-the-script (Accessed: 27 February 2017)
heyuguys.com (No date), Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes on Set of Skyfall. Available at: http://www.heyuguys.com/new-images-set-photos-from-skyfall-2/daniel-craig-and-sam-mendes-on-set-of-skyfall/ (Accessed: 27 February 2017)
Hughes, J (27 January 2016), Storyboarding tutorial. Available at: http://www.trainingforgold.eu/2016/01/storyboarding-tutorial/ (Accessed: 27 February 2017)
Luzi, E (No date), Where’s the Best Place for Camera Operators to Make Money and Find Jobs?. Available at: http://www.theblackandblue.com/2014/02/03/camera-operator-jobs-money/ (Accessed: 27 February 2017)
TechSandvich (13 March 2016), Epidemic Sound logo font. Available at: http://www.dafont.com/forum/read/260958/epidemic-sound-logo-font?highlight=588862 (Accessed: 1 March 2017)
•S: Wonderwall by Oasis | License: Fair Use
•S: The Ripples from EpidemicSound | License: Paid for by YouTube MCN
•S: Microwave Beep.mp3 by tiredoldwhiteman | License: Creative Commons 0
•S: phone ringing.aif by trip2000 | License: Creative Commons 0