161MC Creative Critical Process

Having received the role of Director straight away I wanted to get going and give our group a head start into the production of our programme. After our role allocation we had a workshop and I thought we should all get together and mind map some ideas onto a big piece of paper to get everybody’s input into the show. We decided to book an extra studio session on the thursday after our pitch as I thought it would be a very good idea to do some short shows with everybody in the roles that they got. This meant that it would be good practise for everybody and will give everybody an opportunity to get to grips with the equipment they will be using sooner rather than later.

After our studio session I got a small group of us (Director, Producer, Script researcher/write, Presenter and 2 other members who had some ideas they wished to share) to talk about the actual idea and each aspect of our show. In this discussion I came up with the idea of doing it on whether UFO’s are real or not. Personally I thought this would be great as the audience would be involved considerably as we could have the presenters questioning on whether various sightings were real or fake and we could have a vote on whether the audience thought there was life away from earth. I also felt that this idea would be great for other areas of our show such as our VT’s, our internet VT’s, Set design could look great for a very low cost and also it is a very interesting topic that is still very relevant in the world today. After some discussion we decided to go with my idea and outlined each item of the show roughly so we can expand on it over easter and start on the script. I also came up with the idea of having one of the 3 presenters be in both of the self-made VT’s so that it would not be too crowded in the studio.

This was the brief outline for each item on the show that I came up with.

NET TV – Do you believe?
Are UFO’s real?

The Show will discuss intriguing and “Real” topics each week. This week it will be on whether UFO’s are real or not.

2 Internet VT’s – Sighting of UFO’s
• Jerusalem Sightings (Could be real) – For the self-made VT’s show the interviewee’s the sightings
• Other Sightings (Fake)

2 Self-made VT’s –
• Interviewing people in the street on whether they think UFO’s are real or not (A presenter – Rey).
• Interview with a person who witnessed a UFO landing in his/her property (A presenter – Rey).

In show Interviewee – Expert on UFO’s/Seen a UFO and Rey will come back into the studio for this discussion.

Performance – Music/Dance/Chemical experiment – STILL UNDECIDED.

Evidence of audience participation – Tweeting, Texting etc. – Debate/Vote

Facebook

Since deciding on our idea I created a Facebook and Twitter page
for our show for audience participation and to spread the word. I also decided on the tone of the lighting especially for the performance and Created graphics that we used in the live show for the coming up sequence. I believe I have played an integral part, as a director should do, in the process of creating the show.

Reflection 4 – P2P Completion

After importing all the footage into premier pro we found ourselves with around 45 minutes worth of sound and 30-35 minutes worth of footage. As a rule of thumb 10 minutes worth of footage is usually around 1 minutes worth on screen so this fit in well with the 3 minute cap of the documentary. We decided to meet up and have a look at the footage together to see what we felt would be more interesting to the viewer and what parts of the interview we could scrap. We came to a conclusion that various parts of it went on for too long and did not have the entertaining factor needed to keep the viewer watching. I came across a few hick-ups during editing, one being some of the sound did not get recorded for some reason so I had to mess about with the levels and take the treble down a little to fit in with the sound from the sound recorder. We also decided to use archived footage of some of the adverts Paul had made so that it can keep the viewer entertained and so they can relate to what Paul was talking about. Overall I think the edit went quite smoothly and I am happy with the outcome.

Reflection 3 – P2P Production

I did not attend the shooting of the production as I was going to be editing. This meant that on the day of filming only Sarah and Lucy ended up going to Sarah’s uncles to shoot the documentary, as Freya could not attend due to personal circumstances. With Sarah and Lucy having to direct, shoot and do the sound recording I feel they did an excellent job. After talking to them about the day they said that Sarah’s cousin, Paul Rizzello, was very happy to help and even gave some good ideas and tips on what shots to do. Overall it took 43 Minutes for them to complete the shooting side of the documentary meaning we had around 30-35 minutes worth of footage that we could look through and pick from when editing. They asked him all kinds of questions, from how he broke into the industry to what kind of work he has done for different clients. They also asked him to tell the positives and negative sides of the industry, which at the time we felt could be very interesting and beneficial to the audience. Overall I am very happy with the shoot and looking forward to editing.

Reflection 2 – P2P Research

The “People to People” project has been quite a hard project to do, as we had to overcome various different problems. One of the problems we had to overcome was that initially we were going to do it on other people but then decided not to do it on them as it was too complex and the research we did into them meant we couldn’t. In the end we decided to do it on Sarah’s cousin who is a Creative Director in a marketing company. We felt that this could be quite visually pleasing to the eye, especially if we could shoot it in the workplace. However, we came across a problem that we could not get permission to shoot in his workplace, as they did not want cameras in there. After getting together and going through our options Sarah thought it would be a good idea to shoot it in a newly converted attic room at her uncles, which looked fairly modern and could be used as an office. In the end we decided we would do the documentary on him because marketing can be quite a hard business. Having a documentary on someone who has made it in that business could be both informative and interesting to the audience.

Creating The Deceiver

Alfred Hitchcock (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980)

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Secondary research is key, which is why I took this into consideration when making my short film. After evaluating the various editing styles, I decided that the more suitable one for me is Hitchcock. As mentioned previously there are many different editing techniques, with their own style. Hitchcock is one of the greatest filmmakers and a master of suspense.

He once said “Dialogue should simply be a sound among other sounds, just something that comes out of the mouths of people whose eyes tell the story in visual terms.” This links in with one of many of Hitchcock’s techniques called “frame for emotion”. In other terms, the first thing he thinks about before placing a camera is what emotion he wants the audience to experience at that specific moment in time. The main area that emotion comes from is a characters eyes, meaning the closer the camera is to a characters eyes, the more emotion will be displayed. The further away you put the camera, the calmer the audience will be. There are many different films that are considered “Hitchcockian”. Films such as “Panic Room (2002, David Fincher)” and even “From Russia with Love (1963, Terrence Young)” are considered Hitchcockian as they use various characteristics of those of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies.

Another of Hitchcock’s techniques would be to surprise the audience with a twist. A prime example would be the climax scene in his film “Saboteur (1942, Alfred Hitchcock)” when Cummings startles Lloyd and causes him to fall over the edge. Hitchcock is also known for having two things happening at once in his films. Thus meaning he has contrasting situations where the characters can be in one situation and be interrupted by another, which tends to be more important than the first. This makes the audience follow one situation and then be surprised by the next.

I decided to choose the editing style of Hitchcock because personally I enjoy the films he makes. I like the way he is a master of suspense and I enjoy the cinematic feel of all of his films. I also like the way he can put the camera in the audiences’ shoes to make the audience feel like they are inside the film. In my short film there is also a bit of indie horror as it is shot in the same way as films such as “Saw (2004, James Wan)” and “Panic Button (2009, Chris Crow), so it is a fusion between the both. Both Hitchcock and Indie horror editing styles seemed to fit in well with the footage. It appeared to display emotion like Hitchcock likes to do and also tried to put the audience where the camera is, to make them feel as if they are there in person rather than watching a screen. Hitchcock also uses “the wrong man” or “mistaken identity” in his films which fit in perfectly with The Deceiver.

There are some positive things about the film. I really like the use of close up’s to display emotion and also like the different camera angles to show each characters different point of views. I feel that the framing of each shot was done well and added a “cinematic” feel to the film. To go with the framing I decided to add “black bars” at the top of the bottom of the screen. I set them both to cover 14% of the screen to give it a widescreen look, which is a technique that is commonly used in the Hitchcock editing style. I also think the tracking shots at the start of the film work well and give it a realistic, smooth flow at the start before taking the audience by surprise.

In this short film I wanted to have straight cuts throughout the film rather than any fades. I think that having straight cuts helps the flow of the film and keeps the pace going. Whereas, fades usually interrupt the flow and stop the suspense from being provoked. I personally think that the pace of the film is good; I believe it speeds up when it needs too, especially when there is drama or an event but also slows down to display emotion accordingly.

I decided to change the look of the film quite considerably. Originally, the color of the film looked somewhat like it was lit in a theatre whereas I wanted a more “dingy” feel and look to the film. From being a big fan of horror movies I have noticed that in most horror movies, a green or blue tint is usually used. Blue is usually used for anything to do with the supernatural world and green usually for the gory side of horror. This led me to add a green tint to the film and I think it improved the feel of the film and made it cinematic and eerie.

Sound plays a big part in this short film as it is needed to create suspense and to make the audience get a sense of fear. The film also has a lot of dialogue in it so I needed to make the levels all equal so that the sound doesn’t jump. The sound on one of the cameras was also better than the other so I had to use the sound from one camera on the other camera’s shot and lip sync them both together. Various parts of the film I needed something a little extra to add to the tension so I added horror sound effects and impacts to catch the audience by surprise.

If I were to create The Deceiver again there are a few things that I would do differently and change. I feel that I could have improved the sound and created a proper score to go with the short film. This would have added to the tension in the film and given it a different dimension. I also think that the script could be improved and given a bit more depth. This is because there is not much of a background and it seems to be a bit unrealistic and cheesy. I think I would also add some different shots showing where the actual characters are. This would be better as it would put the audience in the characters shoes and show to what extent the situation is that the character is in.

Alfred Hitchcock. Available: http://www.biography.com/imported/images/Biography/Images/Profiles/H/Alfred-Hitchcock-9340006-1-402.jpg. Last accessed 28th Feb 13