Friday, 30 December 2011

A note

Should probably make a post here explaining the current situation - the fact my group have yet to start filming is solely my fault right now; I've been ill over the entire holiday and have been unable to do much at all really. Apologies to the group for this, we're going to have to spend a lot of time catching up as I'm aware other groups have filmed a significant amount of material already.

On a more positive note, the talk at the HRC has given me a fair understanding of Final Cut and I have all the materials still saved so it shouldn't take too long to put the prelim together when we get access to the Macs.

(I also need to get hold of a half-decent hard drive, will hopefully have a chance to pick one up after work Wednesday if anywhere in the Cross happens to sell them...)

Friday, 16 December 2011

Prelim Update

... just been reviewing the film clips we filmed on Thursday for the preliminary task and am now in the process of converting the file formats for Monday. Few things I noticed:

- We have a fair few files - 50+ different shots to work with, some where we re-filmed things from different angles for easier cut editing.
- We might have cut a few things a bit short - should really have over filmed a bit so we have more to work with. Will have to be careful of this when filming final project.
- Slight continuity error involving a drink bottle on a ledge in the background. Will need to work around this one in post-production.

Shouldn't need too much doing, just some points I found.


Monday, 12 December 2011

Common Room Photos

These are photos from a small area of the sixth form common room - a potential area to film our prelim. Not 100% certain, but might be possible. Lighting may be a potential issue, other than that it has the right kind of atmosphere for an interview room.

EDIT: This is the room we have used.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Camera HD Quality Test

We'll need to get the chance to start filming for our preliminary task over the next couple of days, so I thought I'd have a tinker with the different settings on this Bloggie so that when we start filming for real we can use the highest quality that the camera will allow for.

As I have nothing interesting for me to film, I decided to just stick the camera on the tripod and record me playing with my uke... our coursework film will be much more interesting than this, promise!

(full HD only accessible through the YouTube page, not the embed...)

This is just the raw .mp4 - obviously this has been squashed a bit by YouTube's encoder and it will look a bit different depending on how we render our film but it does let us have a rough idea of what we can expect from the camera. When filming in 1080p (as with this video) the quality seems to be clear, however the camera only has 4GB of internal memory, so we'll need to buy/acquire a fair amount of resources to back work up on to (folks: do any of you have any good storage devices? I won't mind going out to buy one during the week, but if you already have a good USB stick or something it will be useful) so that our work can be organised. We'll also need to make backups to the school's network if possible, there's no way I'm letting us lose hours worth of filming...

Friday, 9 December 2011

Slumdog Millionaire - Case Analysis

Slumdog Millionaire is a 2008/2009 film directed by Danny Boyle that is set in India.

The director, producer (Christian Colson) and writer (Simon Beaufoy) are all British, meaning that the majority of the creative decisions made about the film are from a British source, however the film's story is based on the novel "Q & A" by Vikas Swarup, who is an Indian author. The majority of the cast are also Indian.

The film was distributed by Parté in the UK and Fox Searchlight Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures in the US.

The film was released in cinemas thorughout the UK on 9th January 2009, where it went to #2 in box office figures. It was later released on DVD and Blu-ray on 1st June 2009.

As well as the English release, the film was also dubbed into Hindi and Tamil, which allowed for a wider audience.

- I'll add some more information as well as hopefully some trailers and stuff to make this post shinier when I get some time at home, sadly YouTube and other sources are blocked in school. -

EDIT: 10/12/2011

I've been able to find some examples of marketing techniques used to promote the film. One of these is through the release of official trailers, including those shown below:

This trailer was released by Fox Searchlight (a subsidiary of Fox) in the US. As well as Fox being a US based company we can also see that this is targeted towards the US audience by the trailer featuring quotes from US reviewers (e.g. The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Sun-Times).

This is the trailer released in the UK. It's interesting to note that whereas the US trailer was led simply by text on screen, the UK one has a spoken voice-over narration.

On top of the US trailer, Fox Spotlight also released a series of interview clips featuring the director Danny Boyle about the film, including -
Danny Boyle on India
Danny Boyle on Child Actors

These videos are notable as not only do they directly promote the film, but they also help the marketing by letting the director come across as a likeable public figure, which will encourage the public to go and see his work.


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Importance of Continuity

I've been assigned the role of Continuity Director for our group's coursework film project, so it makes sense for me to do a write-up on the subject. I like the title Continuity Director - it has "director" in it, so it makes me feel smart.

Continuity generally refers to ensuring there is consistency from one shot to the next in a film. Often due to the complexity of getting each shot right it is necessary to film parts of the same scene over more than one session. Because of this, it is necessary to ensure that the area and subjects in the film are in the same state when continuing filming as they were when the previous shots were taken. This is for the sake of avoiding continuity errors.

Here's a great example of some continuity errors which have been overlooked: the music video for Bon Jovi's "No Apologies" -

The clips used in the video were filmed during two different concerts, and it appears that care has been taken to avoid showing the changing crowd, which is necessary for the sake of avoiding errors. What obvious things have they slipped up with then?

Jon's jacket and Richie's hat (and guitar).

This wouldn't be much of a problem if the video was designed to be a montage of the band's career or something, but the video is edited in a way to make it look as though they are playing the song through in a single concert - which makes the clothing changes seem unnatural. (I'm would let them off having Richie's guitar change part-way through; it's not uncommon for a guitarist to change instrument during a song so it would be fairly believable, if it wasn't jumping backwards and forwards between the two). Not going to lie though, a hat that randomly disappears and reappears would be pretty cool and I would probably buy one.

As well as having to be careful with costume as we've seen above, there are many other factors we will need to be careful of -

- Weather: As it stands we are likely to be filming most of our clip inside, however it is necessary to ensure that either: all of our filming sessions take place during similar weather conditions, or the weather is hidden (windows are hidden from the shot etc.)

- Clocks: These things are just a nightmare and are probably out to get us. If there is a clock in the room, it has to be hidden, no exceptions. It's much easier than having to keep setting it to the same time during every filming session.

- Set design: The last thing we want is to have a sofa/TV/table etc. move around randomly throughout the clip.  Unless it's a ghost film of course - that'd be pretty epic. This point is especially relevant right now as we will be filming before and around Christmas time so we will need to be cautious of Christmas decorations in the home. This gives me yet another reason to dislike Christmas!

- Equipment: We need to use the same camera, with the same settings, for every shot in each scene. This keeps everything at the same resolution as opposed to having the clip randomly go blurry/pixellated/tinted in some shots.

- Outside activities: Another reason to hide the window in the shot... if someone's parked their car outside the window as we film at 10 o'clock, there's a good chance it'll have gone by the time we go back to filming at 3.

- Lighting: This one's really important; even just changing a light bulb in a room to a different kind part-way through filming will make some shots look completely out of place after editing them together.

- Cast members' appearances: As well as the costume point mentioned above, members of the cast can't change their physical appearance e.g. having hair cut etc.. I saw a clip a while back where a temporary tattoo changed from the actor's left arm to their right arm part way into the scene... this needs to be avoided.

- TV: Has to be turned off. For obvious reasons.

So yeah, I think these are most of the main ones, however we will also need to be on the lookout for any other factors which could lead to continuity errors during filming.


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Mr. Bean's Holiday - First Study

Mr.Bean's Holiday is a 2007 comedy film starring Rowan Atkinson. The film is the second film based on the television series "Mr. Bean".

Whilst the lead actor, director and story writer are all British, the film is set in France and some members of the cast are French.

The film's marketing is unique in that it was the official film for Comic Relief in 2007, and that some of the proceeds from the film went towards the Comic Relief charity.

The initial official reveal was through a teaser trailer in November 2006 (released by Universal Pictures) and soon after an official website was set up -

The physical release of the film saw it being made available on both DVD and the now-defunct HD-DVD on 27th November 2007.

- I'll continue this as I find more information -