Friday, 18 November 2011

Media Evaluation

As part of our AS media studies course we were given a preliminary task to help us when creating our real one. The brief stated that we must film a person walking through a door, sitting down and engaging in conversation with another character, and exchanging a few lines of dialogue. We were also to demonstrate match on action, the 180 degree rule and shot reverse shot.

To plan our preliminary task we used a story board, where we drew simple pictures and included to notes to represent the different scenes, angles and shots we wanted to use and to show how the story would progress. Overall we managed to work with our storyboard and the finished piece is very similar. Although we did notice that we had to cut down scene lengths as we didn’t realise how long a few seconds actually is. We also used a few more different shots that we had initially thought because we wanted to keep it interesting and less static.

We used a mixture of shots throughout the piece so that we managed to show everything we needed to or to emphasis a certain point. Our first shot used was a long shot as this helped to establish the scene and the character. We then used a mid-shot of just the character to show the audience that this is who they should be focusing on. Close ups were used during the conversation to show the expressions on the actors faces clearly and to highlight what they are thinking.  We also used an over the shoulder, quite close up shot, of the envelope to show the audience what the character was looking at.  This meant the audience was able to follow the action as they understood what the character was doing. Although we used a tripod for all our scenes there are certain shaky bits where someone may have accidently knocked the camera or when the tripod was unstable, when filming our real task we will make sure that this doesn’t happen as it can take away from the overall effect.

Our Mise-en-scene was relatively simple as we didn’t really have a specific location for where the action was taking place, we just needed any hallway and meeting room. However we did keep a lot of things within shots, such as chairs, art work, and a plant. We thought that this gave it a realistic element because it looked like somewhere that was actually in use and not just a set or something. We wanted to keep these little details in as they added a lot to the scene. The plant in the meeting room was especially kept there as in almost every generic office room there is some kind of potted plant and so we were keeping to what the audience would expect. We chose our costume based on the characters we were playing, as character one is dressed to look bold the audience are not surprised when she disobeys the rules whereas character two is dressed smart but less bold to represent that she would be the stern, important one.

We used ambient lighting such as fluorescent lights in the ceiling and light from a window so that everything looks more natural and realistic. We made sure, before filming that there was enough light to clearly show all the action and so that nothing was lost due to poor lighting. If there wasn’t enough light we would have to had considered moving locations.

 For our task we used only diegetic sounds, which although suits or piece means that we will have to learn how to import sound on final cut pro later when we make our real one. We were filming in quite a public and busy place which unfortunately means that we ended up with a lot of background sounds that we didn’t actually want there. Although we didn’t mind some as it again, makes the scene seem realistic, there were some that were taking away from the scene. To ramify this we managed to mute some sounds in the editing process. I feel like this was very useful to know as it improved our knowledge of how to use the software and may come in handy when next editing. Although we first found it difficult to only mute one part without muting the other, we managed quite successfully.

In general our match on action was okay, at first we had one character walking past the same object twice but we managed to spot this and get rid of it so that it was much more continuous. However there are some parts that are not great, such as when the door is first opened it is opened slowly but when filmed from the other side it is quick, this is something we probably would have had to refilm. Unlike our brief we did not have our character sit down as we did not feel like they would in the situation so when doing shot-reverse-shot we had to make sure that we had an eyeline match and we did this by making sure the camera was pointed in certain ways, I feel like this was quite successful as it still seems like the two people are having a conversation and looking at each other. We also made sure to abide by the 180 degree rule.

One thing that we noticed during editing was that we didn’t have any leeway with our filming as we started action as soon was the camera was rolling when we should have left it for a few second before hand and  doing that would have made it easier to edit, however it is a good lesson learnt for when we do our real thing.

I think that our task was actually quite good, apart from a few small errors, and that it was a valiant first attempt. Mistakes that we made in the piece helped us learn about what we’ll have to do next time and also helped us to find a way around problems when they first seemed unsolvable!

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