In making the short two minute film, a lot of pre-planning had to be done. This consisted of my group first considering the genre we wanted the film to be. Once we had decide on this genre, we worked on creating a shot list, outline script, an equipment list and to outline all the health and safety risks and how to deal with these if we encounter them. Overall, i think the planning stage was one of our weakest points as we had trouble deciding on a final idea as we had a variety of good ideas that we wanted to follow on but all we’re quite different from each other, which made the planning of our production hard to work on with no final idea. After a debate on which we liked, our final idea was based around a man who has a strong fear of the dark and shadows for all of his life and finally encounters the fear in the shadows is his darker self. Aside from the struggle of choice we had and a lack of detail on our shot list, most of the planning went smoothly after this struggle.
Once we had began the main production stage of the project, we expanded upon the detail of our shot list as we moved along the project. Once we began filming on the project, we discovered a small number of difficulties. One of these difficulties was that we had trouble securing a room that fitted our needs for the shoot, but after looking for a suitable room, we were able to find one that satisfied our needs, although it was rather small. This in turn, lead to some difficulty with lighting for a shot that we had planned to have behind the camera lighting all of what was in front of the camera to create the shadows effect on the wall. However, due to the small amount of space behind the camera, a light was not able to fit, which we worked on and were able to use the space underneath the camera and the tripod holding it up. We were able to adjust the stand on the light to be a smaller but suitable size to fit in the gap and get the lighting in the position we wished it to be, making the shot the way we wanted it to be. Another small hiccup we didn’t notice until we reached the post-production stage, where two shots looked more similar to each other than anticipated which made the cut between them look wrong. Apart from that, I believe the overall filming stage went well.
After the footage was recorded, we moved on to producing the audio we needed for the project. We decided to do this separately to the main footage filming as we didn’t like the background sounds that we had in the original footage we recorded. During this stage of production, we first recorded the voice over narration, this was done by the main actor in four stages, these four stages would then be added in at different points of the film. This narration was written by me so I thought a lot on how the narration would fit in with the overall film and if it would tell the story that the film is showing. No general problems occurred when recording but they had to be recorded in a few takes as the actor did mess up some lines, which wasn’t a big problem for us. We also recorded some of the sound effects and foley for the film. We only used a select few sound effects in the final film but we recorded a general range so that we could decide on what we needed when it came to editing. The general murmur of people that can be heard at the begging of the film was recorded in the main area of the college building so that it would pick up the noise of a general people talking to make the shot more authentic. We also recorded the sound of a door closing, a chair sliding and the typing on a keyboard to enhance the sounds of the film. All other assets were prepared by me. The music was simply made on a music editing app called MusicMatch and some of the sounds were also mixed on this app. Other sounds such as the heartbeat and a track of music was found on Youtube and included links to a website to download them for free use.
The final part of the project was the post-production stage. This section was mainly overlooked by one person, but input and feedback from the other two in the group was used throughout. The section began by importing all footage and audio assets into PremierPro. Once this had been done, the footage was added into the timeline and cut down to show only what was needed. For the majority of the footage, this was a simple process that required little effort to complete, Although some of the shots required more effort to edit than others. One of these is two shots which were similar to each other and as it cut between them, the cut didn’t look as clean as it should. There was no time that could be used to re-shoot this shot, there was little that could be done reduce the roughness of the shots, especially with the little knowledge that we currently have of the software. This lead to a series of fades being used to hide the shot as much as possible, which didn’t leave the film the way we had originally planned it to be. The only other shots that required a large amount of editing to work were the shots were the main actor had to be duplicated to meet each other. Some input was made for the shots to make sure the shot ran smoothly. This shot was recorded twice with the actor coming in from both sides of the camera, without adjusting the cameras position at all. When it came to editing this footage, it was difficult to achieve this effect as the trouble mainly came from attempting to place the mask in a way that didn’t disrupt both shots and we were forced to remove the shadow of the actor on the wall. There was also another effect that had to be used on that shot and this was to correct the colours to make the shots blend as much as possible. This didn’t go as smoothly as we would have hoped but there wasn’t much more we could do with the little time and knowledge of software we had. When thinking about it after producing the project, this effect would have been better made if we had filmed only one perspective in the room and using a green screen to shoot the other perspective and using colour correction to merge the two shots together to create one.
The audio was then added and this was a simple stage to do and only needed the decision of where the assets wanted to be placed as well as cutting them down to the size that we needed them to be. The effort that was needed most for this section was when we decided to blend some of the sound effects together to make the duration of the sound last longer than they were originally. This was to stretch the audio across the whole clip that it was needed to be on. From this point on, little more had to be done regarding the audio as we had it to the standards we wanted it to be. However, there is a section that can be noticed to have no audio other than the sounds of a keyboard being typed on. This means that it feels as though the shot lacks another sound to accompany the one we had that really should have been there. We were not able to find a suitable sound before the deadline to fill this shot so it is left as it had been created.
After the deadline, we were given an extra three hours to make improvements to the short film we had created. We decided as a group to focus our improvements on the audio and a selection of the cuts we didn’t think we good enough for the final piece upon another inspection. The improvements to the audio started by with recording the ‘Shadow’s’ sounds and then finding some more audio assets suitable for the background. We split the group to work on different parts and I took on the roll of looking for the new audio assets. After an hour, I found audio clips I thought were suitable quiet easily and were free for all uses, to which I downloaded and sent to the main editing computer to be added to the final project.
Before adding in the audio, we worked on the cuts, transitions and the length of some clips to make the shots flow more smoothly and work together better. This editing resulted in the film being cut down to a final time of 2:14. This meant that we couldn’t fulfill the final requirements of a film time of at least three minutes, there was nothing that could be done about this.
When we finally implemented the new audio it was a simple procedure that only created one difficulty for us, which was to fit the tracks in without them overlapping and cutting parts of other audio tracks whilst doing this. This problem was easily dealt with despite taking a large amount of time.
In conclusion, I think the project ran smoothly and we were able to create an effective end product that meet most of the requirements that were set. I worked on my part of the production as effectively as I could and I think I worked well at the standard I did and the role I was taking on, as I completed all the tasks at hand quickly and efficiently. As far as improvements are, I think we could have maybe made some small improvements to the overall filming and editing, but for a first go at creating a film and using the required equipment and software with little knowledge, this is nothing that can be majorly improved with the amount of knowledge we had at the time. In terms of working as a team, we all had our roles to play and at some times, we all had points where we lacked in our role our at just generally helping but we made up for this later. This said, we did have more arguments and disagreements than positive things but I think this was down to our team and how I don’t think we work well as a production team, as some want what they want rather than discussing with the team first. As a result of this, I will try not to work in this team again on the next project and work with someone that I think I will work better with.