Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Film opening - Finished product.

Film Opening - 7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?

My preliminary exercise was one of the first pieces of film i had ever produced, and as such, a lot of mistakes were made. I used these mistakes as a stepping stone to make sure i didn't fall into the same traps as before. One of our biggest problems in the preliminary exercise was the lack of structure to our storyboard: Everybody seemed to have a different idea of what we were doing. This time, my group and i worked as a team to make sure that everything that needed to be done got done, and that we wee all on the same page in terms of where we thought the film was going.
Our storyboarding and idea brainstorming was definitely an improvement, which paid off in both the production and post production process. With my preliminary task, this lack of an extensive pre production process had caused problems when trying to film and edit.
Another key point was the distribution of roles amongst our group. This time round we each focuses on a certain aspect, whilst maintaining support and providing ideas to the people in different roles. This made sure that everyone was kept busy with a job to do, and eliminated people arguing over how a role should be performed. 
      As an example:
  • Preliminary exercise: The role of camera operator was shared between a few different people, with the person doing the actual filming changing each time.
  • Opening scene: We had one person in the role of camera operator, meaning he maintained the feel of the film and kept it looking natural. This is not to say that the other members did not get a say in how the camera was operated, as ideas were discussed between us.
We also managed to include a wider variety of shot types, and more overall footage. This meant the film could be kept interesting by means of the post production editing. Other editing techniques such as music, a voice over and sound effect were also present. Editing is perhaps our most progressed skill since the preliminary exercise.
More advanced title sequences also played a role. Before the names of those involved were put in at the end as more of an afterthought than part of the film. Our opening scene allowed us to play with and develop the idea of more immersive titles, that can be used as a part of the film not just a formality
To conclude, i would say that every aspect of my media knowledge and experience has increased, as well as my confidence in using different, more imaginative techniques, editing and shot types.

Film Opening - 6. What did we learn about technology from the process of constructing our product?

In the process of using a wide variety of both new and old technologies in our media production, we have learnt a great deal. It has given us insight into how we would do things differently if we were asked to produce a similar product again.
We encountered many problems with technology, that we solved in different ways to ensure a good end result.
Use of Macs and PCs
One of our biggest problems was that we started off using both Macs and PCs. The way different editing programs saved files differed between the two devices, meaning that when we tried to transfer different sections from one to the other, the files would not open. We overcame this problem by transferring different shots and editing from the macs onto the PC. This took a lot of time, but helped, as we finally had all our production happening on the same style computers. If asked to do again in the future, i would definitely make sure we only used PCs as it simplifies post production an enormous amount considering we had three people working on the same thing.

The programs we used for our post production where:
  • Adobe Flash - For animation of the title sequences and animation of text withing the title sequence.
  • Adobe Photoshop - To produce the logo, and moving images in the title sequences
  • Adobe Premier Pro - For our editing
  • Final cut express - We tried using this for editing, but stopped due to its incompatibility with PCs
  • iMovie - To convert files and view raw footage

The compatibility of Adobe programs with each other really helped in our production, as we could transfer  different parts of our production from one platform to another (this may have used the program Adobe Bridge)
How we used new and old Internet technologies

Internet resources we used were:
  • YouTube - To research music and similar films
  • Slideshare - To produce animatic and storyboard.
  • A Microsoft Silverlight slide show - Another animatic and storyboard program.
    YouTube was such a valuable tool for our production, saving an enormous amount of time in finding music for the film as all the music was readily available and searchable. If asked to produce a media product again, i would definitely use YouTube again, as it's the best resource for internet video research in my opinion.

    Filming technologies
    Our choice of camera was essential, as our film involved a wide variety of shots used in different ways.We chose a light, small handicam that shot in reasonably high definition. The camera was especially useful in the tracking shot, resulting in a product that looked authentic. We did have a problem with one of the tripods, resulting in slightly choppy panning shots, but this was replaced for different shots in order to keep them stable.

    In conclusion, technology played a massive role in our film opening production, and we learnt a a great deal about it. There are definitely things we would do differently if asked to produce a similar film, but we are happy with the result achieved.