Audience Feedback

January 28, 2010 at 10:01 am (Uncategorized)

I have now nearly finished my editing. However, I wanted to get some Audience Feedback before totally completing my Opening Sequence. Audience Feedback is very important, as it gives you an idea of what the people who are actually going to watch the film think. Whole endings of films have been changed after being shown to an audience.

I asked several people from my Target Population to watch my Opening Sequence so far, and to feedback on what they thought was really good, and things that perhaps didn’t work so well. From the feedback I got, I decided to change a few things:-

I originally had freeze frames to end the individual sections of the characters. However, someone said that the final freeze frame, where the two male subjects high five each other, would look good if after the freeze frame the action carried on and they finished the high five. After thinking about this I looked at the other freeze frames to see if I could to the same. I decided that it would look better if I did carry on each of the freeze frames, but to make the abuse scenes freeze frame as effective as it could be I thought that the freeze frame should be in the middle instead of the end. This was partly to add tension in the scene, and also because I didn’t have any footage that would fit at the end of a freeze frame at the end of the section.

  • I myself was unhappy with the end title. I wanted it to do something, as with it just still on the screen I thought it looked boring. I tried it with a slow zoom in, but I thought something was still missing, and my Audience agreed. I therefore changed it to zoom in much faster so it has a bigger impact, and then zoom out again slowly.
  • The music at the end of my Opening Sequence also came under scrutiny. My audience liked it, but thought that it could be made more effective if the bass line at the end went over the 5 quick shots of the individual characters. I had thought about making the quick shots at the end a second long rather than half a second, but after experimenting with this, I decided it was more effective when it was half a second long, and have the bass fit over it. This meant some of the timings of previous shots would need to be lengthened, so I made the freeze frames last an extra 2 seconds each. I now think the end is much more effective.
  • After changing the end, the title now appeared as the music faded, and there were concerns from my audience that it looked too much like a trailer. Therefore, I recorded some ambience sound to fade in at the end as the music fades out. This created the expectation of another scene following the title, and made sure it was clear that it was not a trailer but an Opening Sequence.
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Extra Market Research

January 14, 2010 at 10:29 am (Uncategorized)

Once I had nearly finished editing, I realised that I still had to decide on a title for my film. I had had no ideas when whilst I was still planning my Opening Sequence, so thought I’d leave it until the end. However, I was approaching y last shot, which was the title shot. I spent some time thinking of possible titles for my Opening Sequence, and then asked people from my target audience what they thought would be the best title for a film about the lives of 5 university students. I wanted there to be a connection with the fact that the characters are at University, and therefore make a connection between education and the fact they earn life lessons over the course of the film. There was a choice of three titles

  • Student Life
  • Education
  • Learning Life

Education turned out to be the most popular choice, with 12 people choosing it as their favourite. Student Life was the next most popular with 5 votes, and Learning Life was the least popular with only 3 votes. My Social Realism film is therefore now called Education!

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Editing

January 10, 2010 at 10:28 am (Uncategorized)

Editing in Final Cut Express

Editing in Final Cut Express

After uploading my rushes onto iMovie and then importing it into Final Cut Express, I was ready to start editing. Once the rushes were uploaded, I created a folder to keep them all organised. I then had everything I had filmed in the same place. I systematically went through all the different shots, putting the unsuccessful shots into on one side and the successful ones that I would use in my finished production. By double clinking on the shot, it appears in a window where I can watch through it and use the arrows keys to select exactly where I want the shot to start and end. I can mark the beginning and end by pressing ‘i’ and ‘o’, and then drag it into ‘overwrite’. It is now on the timeline of what will be my finished Opening Sequence. Here, I can cut the shot down further if needed and add any effects wanted. 

I chose which shots to use by watching them all through, and picking the most successful. From previous exprerience I know it is important to film the same shot more than once. I therefore watched all the possible shots to judge which was the best in terms of Lighting, Camera Movement, Timing and Acting.

Lighting

Some of the interior shots proved to be a challenge lighting adequately

There are a few shots that I am not completely happy about in relation to lighting, mainly the shots filmed within the house. We had some lighting issues on location, but we thought we’d managed to sort it all out using lights and opening curtains for natural lighting. However, there are still a couple of shots where the actor blocks out some of the lighting. This is only a problem on 1 or 2 shots though, and the lighting isn’t so bad you can’t see anything. Overall I am happy with lighting.

Camera Movement

Nearly all the shots were fine with camera movement, as the majority of the shots just use still camera. However, one shot involves the camera breaking the 180-degree rule by moving from one side of the couple, behind the male subject and to a close up on the other side. This is the shot where the abusive male subject pushes the female subject against the wall. I filmed this shot quite a few times, as I was aware that the camera movement had to be right or the shot would be unsuccessful. I watched through all the shots I filmed of it, and picked the most successful for smooth camera movement and also for the acting of the female subject and lighting. 

Timing

Because my music was already composed, I had to make sure that at least it section on my Opening Sequence took the same amount of time as on my animatic. Also, because the cuts are made on the beat, every shot except the last 6 and first 2 had to be and 2, 4 or occassionally 6 seconds long. This created some problems, mainly in the first section where the male subject is walking through the house. I was 2 seconds over the limit, but managed to cut down one shot from 4 seconds to 2 seconds. The timing of each individual shot does not always match the animatic, but I’ve kept each section correct to the timings on the animatic.

Acting

A shot where I had concerns about the quality of acting

The quality of the acting in my production is mostly really good, because the people I asked to act all go to or have gone to LMA Stage School with me, and act on a regular basis. I was familiar with their acting skills, and knew they would be professional. The only place where the acting is questionable is in the scene where the male subject is threatening the female subject. This was understandably a slightly awkward situation, as although the two people acting are fine with each other, they were recently in a relationship together. The subject matter is also very serious, so there were a few laughs during the first 2 or 3 takes. I think I managed to capture the best parts of their acting though, although there is the hint of a grin on the female subjects face, even though she is about to be hit by her boyfriend.

Live Type

Titles

My first 2 shots and several throughout the Opening Sequence include titles and names. For this I used the programme Live Type. Here I can create titles and change the font, colour, size, position and add effects. After saving the titles I then imported them into Final Cut and added them over my footage.

 

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