Digital Video 1 was a subject which it was not a requirement to write a weekly journal. However, I found that this is a process that helped me throughout my work, so I kept completing them anyway. This was until a couple of weeks ago, when my workload shot through the roof and anything not marked as ‘required’ was pushed to one side. So this will be a bit of a wrap-up of the past few weeks.
I think I’ll start with the end. Here is the final product…
It actually came together surprisingly well, considering some of the problems we came up against. I think this was in part because of our experience with the first project. This time around, whilst there was a much greater workload (both because of the nature of this project and the other subjects we needed to present work for), each member of the group seemed to have a better idea of where their own role was. And aside from a couple of people falling away at the very end (most definitely due to commitments in other subjects), everyone put in a great effort.
Our script writer and director, Jordan did an excellent job in pre-production. This being her story, I think she obviously felt a connection with it and wanted to put together a great deal of the planning work (script treatment and storyboard) we did in Celtx. Our DOP, Daniel also prepared a shot list during planning, but on the day the shots used were more of a collaborative effort. As a bit of an aside, I think my time at Enmore helped out here. My strong attitude to not ‘crossing the line’ with shots did – I think – make for a stronger sequence. And my self-assigned role as 1st AD (head kicker on set) forced everyone to keep moving, so we wouldn’t run out of sunlight.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the equipment we wanted for the shoot. Nearing the end of semester, it was hot property and we could only manage a HC-9 camera and not even a shotgun microphone. Whilst the HC-9’s screen made focus quite difficult outdoors, it was the latter which was the biggest problem. Needing to resort to my own gear, we went with the ECM8000. Not a bad microphone, but being omnidirectional, it was totally inappropriate for getting dialogue on a film shoot.
This was made even more apparent in post. Editing was a bit of a nightmare, and I spent far too many hours processing what ended up being snippets of dialogue, to try and get each piece sitting well together, and losing as much background noise as possible. The Freesound Project came through with the goods once again for me – I grabbed some great atmospheres to layer here. In the end, the sound was passable, but not great. On the upside, editing at home allowed me to sneak in a Ryan Teague track for the majority of the film whilst no one was looking. I’m going to make it my personal mission to expose as many people as possible to post-classical whilst I’m at COFA.
The acting was pretty average, but being self-absorbed, whiny teenagers was exactly what the parts required, so I don’t think it was much of a stretch for them. The star of the show was definitely the location though. Again, Jordan came through with the goods there – some of the shots look fantastic. Unfortunately, we lost a bit of quality on a couple, which needed to be cropped due to a renegade microphone peeking in the side of frame and some poorly white balanced locations.
But really, I’m just nitpicking at the film. I think we did really well to pull it together as it stands. In the amount of time we were allowed, the outcome isn’t bad at all. Now, I think that’s enough group work for me for a while…