In this evaluation I will be analysing our depict 90 seconds pre-production, for what went well, what went not so well and what could have been improved about it. I will take an insight into the camera work and why we used the shots we did, also the mise-un-scene all about our production and what the idea was and how we came to the outcome of the production. I will also be looking at how we used editing and sound to make the production come to life and be a successful 90 seconds video.
The Idea (mise-en-scene)
Firstly the idea and how we came to choose this idea, after our group of 3 came together we all had different ideas and we had to figure out how we could put all of these together and make 90 second production that would reflect all of our ideas into one. Reuben’s idea was of this character being physically chased by props and the haunting of these props, my idea was of a character being trapped in the college and not being able to find a way out as if they were stuck in a labyrinth and Charlie’s idea was of a man burying his wife and the camera pans back and his wife is actually standing behind him. After discussing all of our ideas we knew that we wanted to make a dark and horrified 90 seconds video with an element of comedy to some extent. This is where we came with the idea of ‘prop horror’ taking a piece from Reuben’s idea that the props would be haunting this character was a starting point and we deliberated over should the props physically follow him or should they be static. Then taking a piece of my idea as this character is looking for a way out but they are stuck in this college additionally being chased by these props finally taking a piece of Charlie’s idea with the element of surprise and that we would use several pans within this production. The conclusion we came to was the character looking into a variety of different class rooms looking for a way out however each room the character steps into the props are positioned in exactly the same place with a lamp light spotted on them and the room in full darkness. This creates the darkness and horrified part additionally with the comedy being that this character is being haunted and followed by props it comical because this is something that would never happen in reality, this is how we came about the idea of ‘prop horror’ and we believed this name was appropriate for the production because includes a clue about the props and that it is a horror with a comical element. The image below shows a shot of the props and shows this is how we portrayed the 'haunting' of the props by a static placement and a zoom shot to build tension.
After we had done the planning with story boards and organising what shots and camera work we were going to use and also what was happening in the scene. We also had to do location releases to get permission to use and book out certain rooms around the college we were going to be using, this came with the recce sheets once we had permission we had to go to the rooms and asses how effective it would be to the production and count how many plug sockets there were. With the recce sheets came the risk assessments of each room where we were filming and what risks were potentially a threat to us and our production. After this was finished we had the production schedule to complete as we knew what days we had booked certain rooms and what days we were filming which made the plan easier to write up. The character we decided to have was a male and it was our own Reuben who was acting for us, this meant that we had to give him a personal permission form for his parent/guardian to sign to allow him to be in the production and Once we had finished all of the paper work we were able to go out and film. We finished all the paperwork by the deadline however our added task was to take pictures of it and place it into a picture gallery to insert on our blogs, which we were unable to do as there was trouble with the online software with flip-snack and several other groups endured this problem. As Ellie had our solid paperwork she was still able to take it in time of the deadline.
We had a week to film and 8 lessons in total to complete our footage, taking our storyboards and production schedule with us we set out to film, while we were filming we kept a pre-production diary to update what we achieved each day and what went well and what went not so well. This was helpful because we could remind ourselves of what we done the day before and be prepared for the nest lesson knowing that we were keeping track of what footage we had filmed so far into the production. A majority of our production included footage of Reuben walking and approaching different doors the camera work we planned and used was over the shoulder shots to show his movement and what direction he was going, also used a worms eye view and an extreme close up of his feet to add suspense and show that he is walking around keeping that idea of not being able to escape. Each room we filmed in went into a repetitive sequence the camera work would be a pan and then a shot of the props in vision and a zoom into the props to create suspense and terror giving the audience a fear of these props, we came across a few troubles with the pans as the tripods we used each day was different some were stiffer than others which made it difficult to move it swiftly this means some of the footage pans were done free hand. Additionally we had to film some footage incredibly slow in order to when we come to edit we can increase the speed to add effect to the panic of the character and feel the situation they are in. During film week the team work was varied at times we worked very well Charlie was helping with setting the props up while Reuben was playing his part and helping me set up the camera, however at times people would get distracted and start to mess around with the props but we got passed that and were able to complete filming on time. When we were filming we added some extra scenes that we did not include on our production schedule however because we finished our schedule early we thought we would take some extra shots just in case they were needed at any point in the editing.
After filming we have been given a week to edit including the 8 lessons we have, we weren't able to film anymore because that deadline had past however we believe we had all the footage we needed to. When we started editing we realised that this was Reuben’s strength while me and Charlie were slightly hesitant towards it because it was new to us and not something we are familiar with, Reuben helped us get the ropes of it and soon enough we were storming through editing. Within the first day we had uploaded all our footage onto Adobe Premium and ordered it to how our story board was, we each took turns every 20 minutes to make sure we all played a part in the editing. When we had uploaded all our footage we did realise that some parts of the footage were too shaky and unbalanced an example was when there was a worms eye view/ close up of Reuben’s feet walking, it was very shaky and also Reuben tried to walk slower so we could speed it up for editing but it didn't fit or look right when we placed it together at fault we had to remove these pieces. Luckily they were not the key frames we desperately needed they were corridor shots and we still had a couple of those that we were able to use in the deleted ones place. There was a large amount of editing to be done because we had been filming in small pieces being prepared for the editing and to add it all together, the editing featured a large amount of cuts and a couple of fade outs to effectively place it all together. We edited the colour of the footage with the colour balance and move the saturation to -80.0 this caused it to be a washed out, very close to black and white with a hint of colour seeping through. We made it like this because we were trying to hold on to the idea of suspense and uncertainty and make the audience connect to the feel of this video not only through the audio but through the colour of the footage as well.
With the audio we came across several difficulties, at first Reuben had a soundtrack in mind called ‘Requiem of a dream’ we placed it together with our footage and it fit really well. However we spoke to josh about it and he requested to us that because it is overused we look for something else, after researching for creepy music to use we came across the ‘dead silence theme song’ this also fit really well and hit the right places. However we realised that is was copy righted and because we upload our productions to YouTube we were unable to use it. After having some difficulties we came to a decision to look on royalty free music and found a piece that was better than the ones we had before it wasn’t overly dramatic it fit right and created the suspense and tension we needed for this footage to be successful. We had to cut parts out to be able to leave space for sound effects and we needed Reuben’s voice for the sound effects of ‘hmm’ this is when Reuben got the voice recorder and stepped out the room to record himself and brought it back in and we uploaded the files to the mac and began to put it in place. We also downloaded sound effects of footsteps that we edited with cuts and separation tools to make it fit with how Reuben walked. We used a cross fade as well because it was in our storyboard in the edit section and we did need to use it for when it fades and you see Reuben covered by props giving it that extra dramatic feeling to the scene. Once we had finished we let our teachers have a look and then we exported it and gave it to josh on a SD card for him to upload onto YouTube.
Overall I think our pre-production was a success as we met the deadlines set out, created a 90 seconds production and got through as a team. The paperwork I found the most difficult by how much of it there was and how little time we had which meant we had to work as a team and there was occasions when a person in our group kept getting distracted and not being so focused, however we had a chat with him and sorted it but this is what caused us to rush the paperwork because of that setback. When we moved onto filming it was very enjoyable because we had the rooms booked for filming which made it feel as if it was a professional production we were taking part in. effectively we worked very well as a team because everyone knew their roles and what they had to do to complete their roles. Editing had to be my favorite part because it was new to me and learning how to use it was exciting even though at sometimes we would come across difficulties, we always sorted out another way we could do something, for example with the audio we saw an issue and went to research for another type of audio and found one. Lastly the production diaries we have been keeping on our blogs was an incredible help when we needed to remind ourselves of what we had done the next day and if we needed to re-film anything, also keeping our teacher up to date with how our pre-production was coming along. We all sat down as a class and viewed each others productions and gave positive and improvement feedback, we received positive comments about the camera work and how the angles were effective to building the tension and telling the story, Additionally about the soundtrack we used fitted well with building the tension and creating a humorous atmosphere.