Thursday, 28 February 2013

Crime drama and Reccie

We have an idea! After discussing things on Facebook we decided to use Connor's idea of a basic crime drama with a few little twists, here's the synopsis:

The film is about a crime scene, the body of a local drug lord has been found.
The first on the scene and only ‘witness’ being 24 year old Brad who has a long line of drug
related crime spread across his record. An interrogation takes place and between Brad and
Police detective Steve White. Brad retells his story and takes the viewer with him. Did he do
it or is there a much more than meets the eye to this interrogation.

I think its a really nice idea and it gives us space to play with colour, long shots, POV and lighting changes. We are still talking it through a little and will be storyboarding and shot listing it soon. Today however we went to Grindleford for our reccie for the crime scene. Here are some of the images and a short analysis of them.

This first set of images are from the first part of the trek around Grindlford, fortunately George knows the area and had a good place in mind so I just got a few snaps for contrast on the way.

As you can see the majority of the land is muddy and littered with autumn leaves, in some areas it looks beautiful and in some it looks like a swamp, overall it isn't quite the right image. It could work, I could see our characters in this area however the trees are a little densely packed and the branches a little wild. One way this location may still end up in our film is through Brads run before he finds the body, this section could be used to exploit the different areas in the forest. The other location we found was much better, here is what it looks like:

Its a much nicer area for shooting in and we think we can get some really iconic images from it. We had the idea of silhouette so I played around a little with the brightness of the shot by altering the aperture, here are the reasults:

Storyboarding has to be done before we really define any shots but its looking good, the location is great and the story really lets us play around within it. Storyboarding should be fun and creative and we already have some great ideas such as using static framing to only show parts of the action, silhouettes and time lapses!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Colour and Long takes

We looked at a few different properties of colour and how to define, describe or create them. Firstly it is worth noting that daylight bulbs are 5200K and Tungsten is 3200, keeping these values correctly white balanced means your colour will be consistent from shot to shot and its extremely important. We looked briefly at the connotations of colours, red love and power, green nature ect. one thing I had not considered as I only make films for myself or similar audiences is that in different cultures colours have different meanings, this adds something to watching foreign films and is something to consider if ever making a film for another culture.

We also looked at the formation of colours, whilst I understood primary and secondary colour wheels I learned that Additive colour mixes are RGB and that Subtractive colour mixes are Magenta, Yellow and Cyan. Finally as far as colour is concerned we looked at the specific meanings and relationships between Value, Hue and Chroma.

Long Takes
We watched 4 films during the lesson and each one specifically showed off the four options when filming specifically long takes;
1.Stationary actor filmed by a stationary camera. (Hunger 2008 McQueen)
2.Stationary actor filmed by a moving camera. (La Haine 1995 Kassovitz)
3.Moving actor filmed by a stationary camera. (What time is it over there? 2001 Tsai)
4.Moving actor filmed by a moving camera. (Elephant 2003 Gus Van Sant)

Hunger is a single conversation that lasts 22 minutes with the first shot lasting over 17 minutes, brilliantly composed, beautifully acted the stationary shot is a tuning point in the film. It offers a contrast to the rest of the film and is one way to film a ling take. As long as the performance and composition are sttrong it shouldn't get boring but the length of the scene adds a realism and emotion because of the sudden break in pace. It is an interesting use of the creative device, perhaps the easiest to physically produce but the hardest to write as an emotional and poignant scene.

La Haine has stunning camera work, the camera dances around the subjects as they stand stationary looking daringly at each other. Whilst the emotional connection between characters is displayed more explicitly the dancing camera work could be distracting.

What time is it over there? lets characters wonder in and out of long stationary shots. The characters actions and the things you do see take on more importance because you dont see everything, the things that you dont see also add a mystery and intrigue to the shots.

Elephant uses a tracking camera that follows characters constantly. This adds a POV and character to identify with in each shot, the identification gained isnt exactly a POV shot but the over shoulder or MCU and tracking show nicely the characters relationships. On the downside the focus and exposure are hard to alter in order to keep the shot high quality.

Im not exactly sure what our ideas are for cinematography yet but we will keep all of these possibilities in mind for our project.

Hunger (2008), McQueen S., UK, Ireland, Film4
La Haine (1995), Kassovitz M., France, Canal+
What Time is it Over There? (2001) Tsai M., Tiawan, France, Arena Films , Homegreen Films
Elephant (2003) Sant.G.V., USA., HBO Films , Fine Line Features , Meno Films

Friday, 8 February 2013

Cinematography has begun!

We started our Cinematography classes this week, a little late but the lesson was great. We looked a lot about the warmth of different types of light and how they effect you white balance. In general the majority of the lesson was that kind of interesting and useful info about the various light we use. Before that however we discussed descriptions of light. Here are some of the best : chiaroscuro, High key, Low key, Warm, Cool (colour), Natural, Artificial, Diffused, kick, fill, Quality (hard, soft, sharp), Fluorescent, Direct, Reflected, Shallow, Deep, Shadowed, Even, Flat, Strength (Bright, Dim, Dull), Hight, Ambient, Spread and Duration! Thats a lot of description, it is worth noting the immediate connection of some of the words, warm and bright for example conveys happy emotions.

Onto kit and terminology:

Kelvin: Measure of the temperature of the light also the unit used in the white balances.
ND Filters (like on the camera but for lights)

Diffusion Filters (filters that make it dimmer or tint it slightly.I found this helpful list of ranges of diffusion(1))
129 - Heavy Frost
216 - White Diffusion
220 - White Frost
216 - White Diffusion
250 - 1/2 White Diffusion
251 - 1/4 White Diffusion
252 - 1/8 White Diffusion
253 - Hampton Frost
228 - Brushed Silk
F1 - Opal Frost
F2 - Light Frost
F3 - Rolux

Lamps (lights)
Arri 300w (similar to a dedolight)
Diva light (Kino flo diva, a mini Kino flo)
Chinoflo (Cheap Kinoflo)

Bubbles: (bulbs) (Never touch a bubble)
Inky Dinky - 100W
Mizar - 300W/500W
Redhead - 850W
Pup - 1Kw

Lighting Grip (stands and equipment)
C Stand (Century stand, heavy duty light rig)

Finally we talked a little about using dimmers. On Mizar's with dimmers the change in the amount of light also effects the colour temp. As the lamp gets dimmer it gets warmer. With bigger flurescent lights like the Kino flo the dimmer brings out magenta colour spikes. 

So a good technical filled lesson teaching a lot of little things about lighting, incredibly useful for being on sets in the future.

1. Date Visited: 08/02/12