Friday, 13 November 2015

Editing Overview


This post illustrates some of the editing I have been doing.

Using Premiere Elements at school, this is the interface I have been working with.

This screenshot illustrates the timeline and project video box on the right hand side. It is a lot more comprehensive than other software I have tried at home.

The two preview screens are very useful, they have much better playback than other software. This means cutting on action and sound is much more precise.

One problem with using Elements has been the render time. This has not affected my project in any way, it has just made the time spent editing slightly longer.

Adding a black and white filter on all clips increased the render time even more but it has produced a very impressive looking sequence. The lighting now looks very nice and quite similar to Kassovitz's works. This lighting is also iconic of Film Noir so I am very proud of how it has turned out.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Influences 3 - Music Videos


My final research source has been through watching, analysing and drawing inspiration from various music videos.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

An Update on Editing Progress


This post includes information on updates to the film's editing process.

Since the last update on my project's development, a few decisions and challenges have been addressed.

Firstly, all footage has been reviewed and I have sorted shots into different categories that will make editing more efficient; I will now know where to look for files.

Secondly, I had considered possibilities of where to edit my film. I had thought about the opportunity to edit the sequence at school on computers with the more powerful software of Adobe Premiere Elements installed on them, but this would not allow as much time dedicated to completing the film as I would get at home on my laptop. Secondly, saving video files on D-drives at school would interfere with other students' media coursework. Thus, I will continue to work on the short film at home on Windows Live Movie Maker.

Lastly, I have pondered over whether or not I should/could include more of a music video element to my short film. This would involve dubbing much of the ambient sound in places with a song I chose. While this may make the film progress better, I have not filmed with that in mind so it may not exhibit all my potential strengths at filming music videos. I have decided to continue editing the short film as primarily a sequence of continuous events rather than a music video, but have allowed myself enough time to produce a separate file in which I may put together a music video.

Friday, 30 October 2015

A List of Proposed Project Deadlines


This post highlights some of the deadlines I will meet.

These deadlines have been set personally by myself. I have been provided with a document listing deadlines in general - for all students. These deadlines are rather broad and I believe that setting myself some more concise, challenging deadlines will not only benefit my project's progression, but also improve my grade in the management criteria.

Whilst I realise this post may emphasise some of the features of my gantt chart, I believe it is helpful regardless of this.

Finalise all research into externally influential sources - 01/11/15

Complete the editing process of my film - 11/11/15

Publish final piece after receiving approval from tutor or subject specialist - 13/11/15

Collate and present information from peers' feedback - 20/11/15

Complete project review - 22/11/15

Complete artefact essay/comentary - 09/12/15

Submit project - 14/12/15

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Gantt Chart (2)


This post concludes on my progress over the summer, illustrated by my gantt chart, which I have consistently updated.

As this updated screenshot of my gantt chart shows, I have completed the filming of my short. It took me a little less time than expected. The schedule for filming was a lot stricter than anticipated however, with my location for filming shutting the day after the final shoot.
My gantt chart illustrates that I have completed filming in a relatively short amount of time; in comparison to the time I have given myself for editing at least. I have already begun editing a little bit of the film, but I can only make significant progress now at school, as the software there is far superior to what I have access to at home.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Short Film Animatic


This video is an animatic of my final piece; a sequence of stills from my storyboard that aids me in visualising what the final cut should look like. It is edited so that cuts should last the amount of time I have illustrated on each box, with extra-diegetic soundtracks included.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Treatment Planning 3 - Storyboard


This post reflects upon my initial storyboard that I created during the last week of term, and how it has influenced my filming shoots. I also explain how the project has developed during the long break in post updates.

A long time has passed since my last update on my Extended Project Qualification. This has been down to a lot of time spent working, filming whenever possible, planning shoots and being without access to internet on holiday. However, in the final week and a half before school starts again, I have the opportunity to catch-up with the blog, as well as commencing editing.

Before anything else, I felt it would be essential to upload a number of images concerning my storyboard.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Treatment Planning 2 - Cinematography


This post includes information on the shots and other filming elements I hope to include in my film.

-Casting: Two characters, either a boy and a girl or two boys are the most likely casting choices.
-Location: Either in a hall, located at my previous primary school. Or, in and outside a Church. Both of these locations are readily accessible to me, I just need to decide which is most appropriate - a location recce of each could be carried out.
-Costume: I don't think the costume will matter too much, as long as it portrays the character of each individual somewhat.
-Lighting : With a strong link between my project and film noir already, I hope to film with lighting constantly in mind, as I will be overlaying the footage with a black and white filter in post production.
-Non-verbal language: This is vital for my film. There will be no - or at least very little - dialogue in the sequence. Thus, the story must be told through filming and the characters' actions.

-Shot distance: This will vary from long shots (LS), mid-long shots (MLS) and close-ups (CU). This will enable me to incorporate a good representation of the location, scenario and character actions.
-Shot types: There are limited shots I can actually make use of during the production of this film, for I do not have all the equipment a professional film would. But, I am able to produce POV shots, over-the-shoulder shots and hopefully tracking shots (dependant on availability of equipment).
-Camera angle: Camera angle is very important in connoting a sense of power differentiation between two characters. A character seen in a higher position in frame is often the most dominant individual in that scenario.
-Camera movement: Kassovitz makes sure very few of his shots lack movement; he does not often allow for static shots of characters. I would like to incorporate a bit of both in my film - fluid movement in shots but also static ones to enable the audience to view everything. Tracking shots, pans and tilts are the most simple forms of camera movements; these will be included. One of my favourite shots from 'Fierrot Le Pou' is the 180 degrees arc shot and so I would like to replicate this, if it is possible.

-SFX: Natural sounds will be included throughout the sequence. It may be necessary to include one or two audio clips that will have to be recorded especially. This can be helped by the use of including audio files found on in the post production process.
-Dialogue: There will be virtually no element of conversation in my short film.
-Soundtrack: I would like to include a soundtrack somewhere in my film. It is most likely that this would be towards the end of the short.

Editing/Post Production
-Cuts: I cannot say anything significant about the cuts I will use in my film. The cutting rate will most likely support one character more than the other; connoting that the audience is positioned with them as the main protagonist.
-Sequence type: The film will be a continuity sequence.
-Screen time: One character will be prioritised more than the other. I would say that one character will occupy about three quarters of screen time, whereas the other will only be seen in a quarter of the whole film's length.
-Post production: A black and white overlay is the most visibly noticeable part of post production I am hoping to carry out. Titles, credits and sound editing is also included in this heading. Cuts, transitions and trimming is also a part of what I hope to achieve in editing. I will be using either Adobe Premiere Elements or Windows Live Movie Maker. I am confident using both programmes, it just depends on practicality. I only have access to the more professional Elements at school.

Next, I will fill out a post that presents a storyboard of my film's treatment.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Treatment Planning 1 - First Plot Ideas


This post is the first in a series of short updates this week regarding the content of my film. There will be one post each for plot ideas, shots, storyboarding and casting/call sheets/schedule of sessions.

As my research into Film Noir, Mathieu Kassovitz, 'La Haine', 'Fierrot Le Pou' and different short films has come to an end, the last task I must carry out before setting out to film my piece over the summer is to actually develop a treatment.
After all of this, I have narrowed it down to two ideas for my film:

1) A comedy short of two individuals with contrasting talents at musical instruments.

2) A comedy short portraying a nervous, entertaining character attempting to talk to another.

These rough treatment ideas are most likely going to be subject to change over the coming week, but this is what I have thought up so far.

Next, I will discuss the cinematography I hope to incorporate into my film.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Gantt Chart (1)


This post summarises my plans for the future of this project in a gantt chart I have been developing throughout the planning stage so far. Another post showing my gantt chart will be uploaded in September.

As the school term is almost over now - one week remaining - I thought it would be a good idea to make a record of my gantt chart on the blog. I have completed the preliminary part of it, and I am almost finished in the research element too.
The chart provides me with a categorised, grouped timetable of tasks I have completed and tasks I am yet to do, with a note of when I plan to do it and when I actually do it. This, I hope, will benefit my grade in the planning and organisation part of the EPQ marking system.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Film Content Development - Linking my Film to 'Fierrot Le Pou' (Kassovitz, 1990)


This post gathers all I have found from analysing 'Fierrot Le Pou' and explains how the short will serve the final production of my film.

This film is only six minutes long (excluding titles and credits), which is approximately the length I intend my video to last for. In this amount of time, Kassovitz does not waste a single shot. He tells the story with every single camera shot he uses, in developing the two characters especially. It is fascinating to review his films, and I believe that his is one of his best quality productions for the amount of filmic techniques he manages to fit into such a short amount of time.

The title for this film does not have a direct translation into English. Despite this, it is quite easy to understand the plot as there is no dialogue and Kassovitz's use of camera techniques immediately allows the audience to make sense of the genre and scenario. A rough treatment for the piece would be; a man in a gym who is not very talented at basketball attempts to impress a woman who is much better than him. During the time they are both practicing in the gym, the male protagonist psyches himself up before shooting and scoring. He appears proud before he messes up the next shot.

Kassovitz introduces the male protagonist (himself) in this shot. In this one frame alone, there are many cinematic devices present. There is rule of thirds in the composition of the windows and the hoop horizontally as well as the windows and Kassovitz vertically. Mise-en-scene in the form of non-verbal body language and costume portrays the protagonist as shy but confident in his ability as he is dressed in sportswear. I would certainly like to use rule of thirds in my film; I believe it is a simple yet effective element of cinematography in creating a professional-looking production.

This tracking shot introduces the second character in the film; a female basketball player. As I have mentioned before, Kassovitz does not waste a shot. Here, he introduces the new character - who is portrayed in a way that conforms to Todorov's theory of narrative equilibrium because she acts as an obstacle in the protagonist's line of action. She appears more prepared than Kassovitz is and therefore he must try harder to impress her. This is all connoted in a small number of CUs of her and her appearance.

The use of an interior location obviously serves a number of purposes. It is a lot easier to manage factors affecting filming, such as lighting and natural sound. But here, the setting is very simple and Kassovitz left himself the task of making this work effectively and entertaining too. The large area connotes the large gap between the two characters' ability at basketball. They are the only two individuals in a large open space which presents them as open to each other's judgement and competition.

I really admire this shot. The framing used enables Kassovitz to include two lines of action; himself in the background attempting and failing, along with just repetitive shots by the female constantly succeeding. This shot is simple to set-up, however it is Kassovitz's creativity that made it possible. It is not an obvious shot to create, yet he thought it would fit suitably to the narrative. Once again, I would like to recreate a shot similar to this. The composition of it is simple again, with rule of thirds present once more.

With this POV shot, we are introduced to something new by Kassovitz. His previous shots were all rather objectifying of the characters; the audience watched them from a distance. This shot represents the viewer as part of the narrative - from the protagonist's viewpoint. From a higher angle above the female character here, we are almost observing her actions and contemplating as Kassovitz's character would in the actual situation. It is simple yet powerful filming from the director once again.

Kassovitz does not often make use of close-ups in his films, he is somehow able to develop a character without the frequent use of CUs on characters' faces. However, this big close-up is very effective in portraying a number of feelings and developing the audience's attitudes towards the protagonist. His face fills the screen, with his non-verbal language connoting multiple feelings. It is a powerful shot and I would like to recreate it in the character development stage of my film.

This shot is great. A 180 degrees panning shot takes the audience all the way around Kassovitz, from him watching the female character to him eyeing-up the hoop. This camera movement allows the audience to look at the protagonist from every angle in one swift shot. It is a shot that builds up suspense in the audience as to what will happen next. I believe that it would be too difficult to reimagine for me.

A classic dolly zoom towards the hoop is used by Kassovitz here. It is nothing different to other dolly zooms from films elsewhere but it illustrates again how efficient Kassovitz is as a director; he does not waste a single shot. The shot keeps the hoop and backboard all in frame throughout which is quite tricky to do. Unfortunately, I do not think I will be able to create a dolly zoom in my film. They are certainly one of my favourite camera shots but I simply do not know how to use the camera and track this way yet.

This is a tracking shot tracks backwards, away from Kassovitz. It is very effective mainly because of the previous shot. The dolly zoom tracked towards the focal point whereas the very next shot tracks away from it. This movement maintains the fluid movements Kassovitz uses in his films.
Another BCU here, this time focusing on the female character's expression. As Kassovitz uses a reaction shot here, we are introduced to the nature of the second character for the first time really. It is unclear who Kassovitz wants the audience to sympathise with in the film, although the indicators do suggest it is him, the male protagonist. This is because he occupies the most screen time as well as motivating cuts.

This shot is really impressive. A combination of movement, post production, lighting and action here creates a very dramatic shot. As the enthused Kassovitz leaps to take his shot, the camera follows him - in slow motion - in the air and lighting coming from outside flashes behind the figure. It is a very different shot to what is previously used in the sequence. It is quite difficult to make sense of exactly how he filmed the shot; was it with track?

Upon landing, cheers can be heard. During Kassovitz's leap in the previous shot, extra-diegetic sfx were audible for the first time in the sequence. In this shoot - after he lands - applause is introduced as an extra-diegetic element. This is quite a surprise for the audience, who have become accustom to virtually silence in the previous five and a half minutes. I think sound could be quite an effective device if I managed to shoot a sequence and only introduce sound towards the end.

Kassovitz ends with him looking back gleefully at the female character. Despite him looking very close to the actual camera, the fourth wall is never broken in this short film. This shot portrays the success of the adventure his character undertook through this film. The shot is designed to encourage the audience to smile and admire his pride. Subtly, Kassovitz tells the moral story that if one strives hard enough, one will attain the reward they hoped for. Albeit not for very long in this case, as Kassovitz then misses his next shot and the credits roll.

This film was very enjoyable to watch, for me. The plot as much as anything is simple but ingenious. The cinematography that Mathieu Kassovitz employs in the space of just over six minutes is inspirational. Certainly, it has inspired me - I hope a lot of similarities between my film and Fierrot Le Pou can be identified in the final product.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Film Content Development - Linking my Film to 'La Haine' (Kassovitz, 1995)


This post gathers all I have found from researching 'La Haine' and explains how the film will serve the final production of my short film.

The group of three meet with another minor character.
As La Haine was a one-off film representing something that happened in real life, Kassovitz had to previsualise his techniques for filmmaking before shooting actually begun. Interestingly, despite the event in reality being surrounded by just one specific narrative - the riots as a result of police injustice - Kassovitz explored more than one story in the film. This is a very hard thing to maintain in a ninety-minute feature film. I believe that he achieved this through continuously changing the filming styles and techniques. There are some shots that are used more than once in La Haine, but the frequent alteration between MLS and tracking, between BCUs of the characters' faces and cutting on action - this contributes to the fantastic narrative of the film. I hope to incorporate this style of filmmaking. I believe that it will aid me in proving my filming talent as well as maintaining an enjoyable, professional narrative.

Mathieu Kassovitz claims he knew the ending to La Haine before he knew the rest of the story - "everything is about the end, the last few seconds" [Kassovitz, 1999]. I feel a lot more confident actually filming something rather than developing a narrative or treatment. Despite this, I hope to have previsualised the storyline of my short film before the summer holidays in order to maximise the amount of time I have for filming.

I admire Kassovitz's use of merging Vinz's fingers with the barrel of the gun here.  Not only is it hard to tell whether it is a use of CGI or just a custom-made prop, it is simple and potentially unnoticeable upon first viewing, but very effective in developing a hostile atmosphere.

It is very interesting to see Kassovitz not use a single character to drive the narrative in the film. Instead, La Haine is a story of three characters. It is never clear whether one of the three protagonists is given priority. The film begins and ends with Said's eyes opening and closing; the narration at the end is provided by Hubert and Vinz is shown alone more than the others. I believe that this helps to make the film so powerful in representing all those affected by the riots - not one single person should have been portrayed as it was an event that influenced many. I think my film will focus on only two or three characters too. This is obviously an easier decision in creating a plot and providing an simpler task in logistics - casting fewer people means that it is a lot more straight forward in finding time to shoot with all characters.

My early decision to produce a film noir sequence was influenced by this film. As one of my favourite films, I have to explain what about it makes it one of my most memorable watches. The fact that the entire film was shot in colour but Kassovitz then decided to print the filmstock in black and white is very effective. He claimed that this fitted the story much better and I would agree with this statement.

Kassovitz clearly prioritised framing when designing specific shots.
In conclusion, I believe that La Haine will greatly influence the style of filming I undertake in creating my short film. His cinematography in the film inspires me to take his approach and make something new out of it. 'Fierrot Le Pou' will be heavily linked to the narrative/plot of my short film...

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Initial Planning and Proposal A


This post is designed to conclude upon what I hope to take out of the initial planning review session I have scheduled with my project supervisor in a week's time.

At the very least, I would definitely hope to have confirmed my project's title by the end of Thursday.

I would also like to have reviewed my research that has taken place since my trip to Sussex University's library.

I have begun the development of a gantt chart in the past few days. This spreadsheet is designed to record when I have planned to carry out a task and then when I have actually completed this. It will greatly help me in staying organised but will also aid me in visualising what must be done to reach a deadline. I would like to review this chart in the session in order to evaluate whether or not my time schedule is appropriate/achievable.

Finally, I hope to set-up a critical analysis chart. This will enable me to make use of secondary research sources with greater contextual knowledge. As every source I have used so far is recorded in my bibliography, it would be necessary to make an analysis chart to assess the credibility and importance of each, too.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Influences 1 - Research into 'La Haine' and 'Fierrot Le Pou'


After completing my Sussex University library trip write-up, I decided that the last research I should analyse two films created earlier on in Mathieu Kassovitz's career as a film director. These films - 'La Haine' and 'Fierrot Le Pou' have greatly influenced my planning in generating inspiration for camera shots and plot structure.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Review on Findings at Sussex University


This post details information gathered from books I analysed at Sussex University's library. It also explains how the information I gathered helps develop my project.

'The Film Handbook'
(de Valk, 2013)
-This book provided a lot of help in the technicalities of filmmaking in a broader sense; logistics, camerawork and distribution.
After reading the book, it was apparent that the contents were a little too basic and included a much greater variety of filmmaking aspects than I had hoped for. Essentially, the book merely covered aspects of film production that I already understand.

'Producing And Directing The Short Film And Video'
(Irving and Rea, 2015 - fifth edition)
-Scripting is a very basic part of any film and it is even more important in the short film because there is less time for characters to be developed or for the plot to become more complex.
-The logistics of short films are a lot different to feature length films and ultra high budget productions.
-Deciding on the location of a short film is important in visualising the plot.
-Casting is one of the main driving forces of the plot and storyline (this is relatable to my film study of La Haine).
-Camerawork is limited due to budget.
-Sound can be adapted with technology today - or youtube mp3 converter are just two examples of how the internet can provide answers to low-budget films' sound mix.

'Writing Short Films'
(Cowgill, 2010 - first edition)
['The Short Screenplay: Your Short Film From Concept To Production' was not available at the time I was there so I decided to read this book instead]
-The book starts with the very basics of writing a plot - which was what I was least confident about coming into the day. The book opens with a basic description of what a plot should entail, being: 'a hero who wants something, takes action but meets conflict which leads to a climax and finally a resolution'.
-Ideas for films stem from concepts someone wants to visualise. Short films should aim to be focused on one thing rather than multiple ideas.
-One should create a fresh plot, an effective or meaningful backdrop and a few surprises along the way to maintain a degree of uncertainty as to what will happen next.
-Good treatments should be able to be told in one or two sentences.
-A conflict-based plot between a few people provides solid ground.
-A combination of genres is usually quite beneficial [crime/gangster & comedy?]
-Using filmic qualities (mise-en-scene, camerawork etc.) is essential in making a short film visually pleasing for the audience.
-A clear theme structured by character, environment, incident, situations and informational area has got to be identified.
-Some of the questions I could ask myself when designing the storyline stemming from this chapter in the book included: 'what is the driving action of the story?' and 'who or what opposes the protagonist?'
-In terms of the actual structure of content in a film, one can split it into three steps:
The setup   -   The rising action   -   The resolution
-According to the Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms, story is defined as the 'sequence of events' whereas plot is defined as the 'arrangement of events'. This definition is very similar to theorists Bordwell and Thompson's view - that there is a clear difference between the plot and storyline of a film.

'Screening Strangers: Migration And Diaspora In Contemporary European Cinema'
(Loshitzky, 2010)
-'La Haine' was released in 1995 and depicted the story of three young Frenchmen troubled by the riots and civil conflict in the banlieues of France.
-The film won the Cannes Film Festival of the year it was released, as well as the Cesars (the French equivalent of the Oscars) the following year.
-It has been recognised internationally as the definitive film of its genre. It was not the first, but Kassovitz's La Haine is widely known as the best of its kind.
This book mainly concentrates on the representation of each group represented in the film rather than the filming of La Haine. Thus, it is not as useful as it could have been for me but it still provided me with the basis for further research into this film and Mathieu  Kassovitz's - the director.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Sussex University Trip Review

The university's library is due to be expanded and a new building constructed on campus.
This post reflects on what I achieved yesterday at Sussex University's library and whether or not I felt the trip was useful and worthwhile.

The recent lack of posts has merely been down to the fact that there have been no considerable developments in the film's concepts, up until returning from the university trip that took place yesterday.

Upon arriving at the library, myself and the group of students doing EPQ received a brief tour and talk about searching for books efficiently, where books would be located and categorised in the library of over 600,000 books, and finally how to study from prints effectively.
After this, I proceeded to gather a few books which would aid me in my research and planning. As shown in the previous post, I had created a list of five books and their locations in the building that I believe would help my project reach the next level. Unfortunately, I was not able to actually locate all of these books, as one had been taken out for use by another student already. However, I overcame this obstacle by finding another book to use that was very similar to my original. I found researching in the study area where quiet discussion was permitted to be enjoyable and effective.
Overall, I feel that the trip was definitely valuable in expanding my knowledge of what a university library is like and how to use it. In relation to helping my project, I would also say that it helped me understand filming techniques and practices as well as greatly influencing my concepts into the plot of my short. I did not achieve as much as I'd hoped to in researching film noir and La Haine, but the day was successful overall.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Plan for Sussex University Trip


This entry acts as a plan of things I hope to take away from the Sussex University library school trip.

The trip is designed to allow me to find useful resources in the library there - excerpts, key ideas and inspiration from books - to aid my research section of the project. I am only going to find books to extract information from, as websites are available to me anywhere and using the small amount of time there must be effective. That is to say that I must utilise the resources specifically found there.

My two ultimate goals will be to gather information on:

1) Film production techniques

2) Film genre contextual knowledge

Upon searching through the university's extensive library database online, I have found five books that I hope to locate and study whilst there on the day:

'The Film Handbook' - Library Main PN 1995.9.P7 DEV
This could definitely be very useful for my research into how to improve my filming techniques.

'Producing And Directing The Short Film And Video' - Library Main PN 1995.9.P7 REA
'The Short Screenplay: Your Short Film From Concept To Production' - Library Core Collection PN 1996 GUR
Both of the above books are similar to the first but they will aid me in understanding what it takes to produce a high quality short film specifically.

'The Dark Side Of The Screen: Film Noir' - Library Short PN 1995.9.G3 Hir
This book will serve the purpose of introducing me to and develop my understanding of the film noir style.

'Screening Strangers: Migration And Diaspora In Contemporary European Cinema' - Library Main PN 1993.5.E8 LOS
This book contains information on the French film 'La Haine'. I saw this film in a recent French lesson and immediately observed aspects of the way it was filmed that could help this project. The book ocuses on other films too which will allow me to broaden my horizons. I will also hopefully find inspiration in other films included and complete studies on more productions for my research section of the project.

I will later post an entry recording my findings from the day, which will hopefully bring me very close to producing a treatment of the plot. Research into directors and the genre will continue.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Title Ideas


This post provides examples of different title concepts I have considered.

After reading the EPQ handout published by Manchester University, I have become more clear on what the project title should consist of. I have especially learnt about what vocabulary should be used in the title of my artefact project.
My ideas thus far include:

‘Demonstrate the successful production of a short dramatic film sequence’

‘Demonstrate an understanding of the successful production of a low-budget short film’

‘Illustrate the importance of filming techniques in constructing a professional short film'

‘Illustrate the successful production of a short film in the style of Kassovitz'

I am setting myself the task of completing my title after the workshop morning next Monday periods one and two. As well as this, I am hoping to make an initial document on research into the gangster/crime genre and Film Noir.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Concept Development


This post includes information on how I have developed my ideas on the style of my short film.

Initially, I came up with the idea of a production of Film Noir. This rather old film genre has always appealed to me; I find it a very attractive style of filmmaking. As gangster/crime genre films were born in the use of Film Noir, thus, I considered the possibility of this genre. Following on from this train of thoughts, I further realised that in relation to practicality, this genre does not require an elaborate location like action films nor does it need extensive levels of post production like sci-fi films.

This picture is used as the background of this blog.
It influenced my decision in creating a Film Noir production and I would like to recreate it. 

The picture above depicts the silhouetting of two characters in Joseph H. Lewis's 'The Big Combo'. Produced in 1955, it was one of the first of crime genre films to be shot from an arthouse perspective in mind. This is to say that, as a Film Noir production, famous cinematographer John Alton invested time in making the appearance of the film the most important feature. In relation to Lewis's other notable films - including 'Gun Crazy', produced six years earlier - many critics argue that the script and plot of this particular production was a lot weaker than others.
I believe that this may reflect the nature of my short film. By this I mean to say that I believe I will shoot the film predominantly to illustrate my film production skills rather than to show my creativity and script-writing ability.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Initial Planning Stage and Inception of the Blog


This entry, written three days after the Extended Project Qualification set-up day, introduces the blog for this short film and details the basic concepts and ideas I have explored thus far.

Firstly, before any other developments in my project, I concluded that I would approach the qualification through the construction of an artefact accompanied by a 1000 word essay. This is because making films has been a passion of mine for a long time, as I find great pleasure in creative thinking and film production. Making a short film (3-5 minutes in duration) would allow for me to illustrate my skill and enthusiasm in film production.

Plot concepts I have contemplated include a music video, a documentary or a gangster/crime dramatic short. Upon reflection of the practicality and where my confidence lies on each option, the latter appealed most to me. Through making a short film, I hope to illustrate my knowledge of the film industry - through research into the genre and directors' influences - as well as my skill in film production - through the use of a range of camerawork and editing.

Why include a blog page for this project? Through recording developments in planning and production on a blogger page (similar to the process of coursework in the Media Studies AS Foundation Portfolio which I achieved an A for), I will hopefully be able to provide evidence for every advance in this project. Regular blog posts recording my concept developments, production stages and editing processes will hopefully allow for me to demonstrate a good understanding of the requirements of the manage section of the EPQ marking scheme.

More to follow on my development of 'That Short Film'.