Preliminary Task

October 7, 2009 at 12:52 pm (Uncategorized)

Our Preliminary Task was a Continuity Task with the same brief as our Induction Task:

Continuity Task involving filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. The task must demonstrate Match on Action, Shot/Reverse Shot and the 180-Degree Rule.

The Rulespen_paper_cartoon

There are several rules that we must follow during the pre-production, filming and post-production of our Preliminary Task…

  • The storyboard must contain no less than 20 shots
  • You are not to appear ion you’re own production
  • The cameras may be taken off the school grounds, but we are filming in a 100 minute slot, so there will be limitations on where you can go
  • The cameras cannot be taken away overnight or over the weekend
  • You must have permission from the people starring in your production and any permission needed to film in locations

Our Interpretation of the Brief

Becci and I decided to base our narrative around a person who has just received bad news, and another person who finds the former subject upset in a classroom. The latter subject walks through the door into the classroom, sits down opposite the person who is upset, asks them if they are alright and then gets a reply. This interpretation means we are following the given brief and that we can experiment with different camera shots while filming and cuts when editing. We can also experiment with composing an appropriate piece of music on Garage Band to portray the right atmosphere of the short narrative. 


Story Boarding and Animatic

Before we can begin filming our chosen narrative, we must complete a storyboard and animatic. Our storyboard had to have at least 20 shots, which ours matched exactly. We drew each frame on a quarter of A4, and each shot had to include the following details:

  • Shot Type
  • Camera Angle
  • Camera Movement
  • Editing – Transitions, Effects etc
  •  Duration of Shot
  • Sketch of Image that matches the Shot Type and Angle
  • Brief Description of Action
  • Any Diegetic/Non-Diegetic Sound
  • Shot Number

After our Storyboard was complete, we then went onto make the animatic. We took Close Up pictures of each shot on the Close Up setting of the Camera and then uploaded them onto iMovie. Once they images were on iMovie we could adjust the timing of the shots and add any zoom effects. Once we were satisfied with the timing etc, we went on Garage Band and composed some appropriate music to go with the animatic and imported it onto iMovies. 

This picture shows the programme iMovie, on which we made out animatic.

This picture shows the programme iMovie, on which we made out animatic.

I think the animatic follows the brief and depicts the narrative well because the description of action is detailed to shows what is happening in the narrative. I also think the music really portrays the atmosphere of the story. We chose the two shots involving a zoom effect to add more emotion and emphasis to that part of the narrative. We also chose several shots to show continuity. We showed match on action by changing shots when opening the letter and opening doors. We also showed shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule with the conversation at the end of the narrative. The music over the animatic adds to the atmosphere and mood of the overall narrative. It portrays the unhappy storyline and adds meaning. Unfortunately we ran out of time to record and import the speech to go with our animatic, but as there is only two short pieces of dialogue, we were not that worried about its absence. I think our animatic is overal very successful, as it includes all the information needed on the shots, each shot is edited and timed appropriately and the music added adds to the mood of the storyline well. Our finished animatic was upload onto YouTube and can be see below.

Previous Filming Experience

As I did GCSE Media Studies, I have quite a lot of previous filming experience. Over the past two years I have filmed a TV Advert with 3 other students, and a Music Video in a pair. From these filming experiences I have learnt valuable lessons which I’m sure will be refreshed while filming my Preliminary Task. I hope my previous experience and mistakes will come in useful when filming my Coursework piece.A52QXRVCA8EQKD0CAH1PY8JCAJLEXMBCAYKKCQMCAG1XIPACAX1ORFHCA35OYBYCAFMZSSACAW0CE36CAQ81GX5CAX0MZAFCATJBGM0CAZAURMSCAAM44SSCA1OZV11CAGZIPYSCA26MY54CA8S6S8HCAIQ6R0H

Reflection on Filming

We stuck to our animatic very closely, except for two parts that we changed. The first change we made was the opening few shots. We decided to change the opening shot so it did not show the subject opening the letter. We instead put this in the second shot and therefore added a shot to show match on action. The second change we made was during the introduction of the second character. Because of a change of location we had to adjust this part of the narrative slightly, but I think it still works really well. We didn’t encounter too many problems while filming, only getting the right angle for a couple of shots, which  was easily solved with a bit of practise, and also finding somewhere to film, but luckily we were allowed to use an empty classroom that the teacher working in there did not mind us using.  The main problem was when our confirmed actors pulled out due to have to do school work, and we nearly had to film later. Luckily there were a few of our friends having a free that were willing to fill in. We have learnt for next time to make sure we have somewhere to film before shooting and to make sure we have a few back up actors in case anyone pulls out at the last-minute.



Once all our filming was done, we captured the footage and imported it in Final Cut. We were now reading to edit our footage. I had previous editing experience from my GCSE Media Studies, and Year 11’s experience came in very useful, as this was when we started using Macs to edit. However, we learned new ways to edit on Final Cut and experimented with more effects. I used my previous editing experience to hopefully edit the footage we had to the best of my ability. Becci and I didn’t encounter too many problems while editing, and the ones we did were not serious. We had to differ slightly from our animatic on parts, because of the change of location I have already discussed, and also at the beginning where the female subject opens the letter, where we added a shot to add more tension and also show another example ofPicture 3 match-on-action. The main problem we had was keeping to the timing, as certain actions within the film took longer than we thought. However, this was not a huge problem, and really the only thing it affected was the music we had composed on Garage Band. We went back to Garage Band and changed parts of the music so it would still fit and would also emphasise points to increase meaning and emotion.

Final Edited Preliminary Task

This is the final version of our Preliminary Task, completely edited.


Overall, I am very  pleased with my Preliminary Task. We keep to the brief closely but still made the narrative our own, also portraying good continuity. There are several successful examples of match-on-action and shot/reverse shot, and we follow the 180-degree rule well. There are a few small continuity errors in the final version, mainly with Jess’ body stance differing from shot to shot. For example, in one shot she is sitting up straight, but the next she is suddenly has her head in her hands. Becci and I didn’t use any effects in the end, although we did experiment with slow motion for the end, something I had not looked at before. However, this did not add anything to the narrative and looked bad as the camera jolted slightly. All in all, I think our Preliminary Task is really successful, as it follows the brief and all the filming and editing has been done for a reason to enhance the narrative.  I think that my past experiences came in very useful during filming and editing especially.  


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