Our Final Video

This is our final opening sequence for our film, A Sight For Sore Eyes.

Friday, 23 June 2017

1. Did you enjoy the workshop shoot day? What role(s) did you take? What were your best bits and why?

A time lapse showing the whole shoot day. It shows the transformation of the studio during the day, including putting up the cyclorama, lights, and all the actors and camera.

Me (2 from left) getting my make-up done.

I really enjoyed the shoot day and I felt really excited to be immersed in such a new environment. I particularly enjoyed working with the industry standard equipment for the first time, as well as working with industry professionals. This gave me a better understanding of how media works on a wider scale, as I saw how all the different roles tie together, from director to runner. It also allowed me to realise how every role in a shoot is important. For example, the director is important as they give the creative input into the shoot, and the seemingly small role of the cable basher is important, as it allows the camera operator to take the best shots possible without the cable getting in the way.

Me cable bashing.

  • Really got my day off to a great start. 
  • The thing I found most interesting when taking charge of the clapperboard, which I had never considered before, is what Robin told me about marking the shot correctly. He said that the clapperboard should always enter the shot open, rather than to enter the shot and then open. This really intrigued me as I had never thought that there would be a correct way to mark a shot using a clapperboard. 
  • Another thing I learnt when using the clapperboard was when I asked Amy about industry standard clapperboards, and I found out that in most simple shoots, simple clapperboards like the one we had are used, but in feature film production, the use digital clapperboards that have a timer and are sometimes linked to the camera to make them start recording.

Cable Basher:

  • I did this when Robin was shooting the handheld shots of Laith. I really enjoyed this role, as it meant I virtually got to shadow Robin as camera op, which is the sort of career I would like to have when I am older. 
  • However, I did find it very difficult to keep the cable at the correct length constantly.

Me acting with the flag.

  • My final role was as an actor, playing the part of "cool kid 7". This allowed me to gain insight into a role I do not usually take, and it made me think about what to say/what techniques to use when trying to get an actor to do something.

My favourite parts of the shoot day were:
  • Watching Robin and Dom adjust the focus of the lens when setting up the shot. I found it interesting to see how a subtle difference in the lens can cause such a deep or shallow focus, and I could apply it to things I have watched/ read about outside of school.
  • Getting my make-up done. It was really exciting to enter a new world (sort of).
  • Watching everyone do their own jobs when I had a free moment to sit down. For example watching assistant camera operator (Tom) doing cable bashing with a very skilled technique which I was able to try myself (but was not very good). However, he was not there for the full shoot day, but instead just the practice sessions.

2. What have you learnt from participating in each of the prelim tasks 1, 2, 3, and 5?

Task 1: Complete an Audition Video

I auditioned for Cool Kid 7 or 8, and ended up getting the part of Cool Kid 7. I found this task particularly challenging, as it was very embarrassing and I'm not a very good singer, so it was very strange for me to record myself singing. I ended up making most of my video alone, with Jack helping so that I had more confidence, and the other parts with Sian, Meera, and Aysha. I think I could have made a much better video, but I had a lot of fun editing it, as it didn't need to look professional and I could just make it a bit silly. I think this task was the most helpful in teaching me how to be confident in front of camera, and it set me up well for the task of learning and practising my performance...

Task 2: Learn and Practise Your Performance
Me practising and performing.
We spent 2 weeks practising our performances with Jasmine during and after school. I found these really fun, but it was very difficult in some of the rehearsals to not be anxious and laugh in front of the camera. I have done acting in front of camera before in a workshop when I was younger, but this was the first time I had ever done it with industry standard equipment with light, a director, and lots of people watching me, so it was a very different experience. The most important thing I learnt during this process was how to work in front of a camera, and to just get past nerves in order to get a good performance.

Task 3: Help to Plan and Organise Your Costume

We had a class costume meeting during one of our lessons to discuss costumes and props with our teachers to make sure we would be ready for the shoot day. We decided that my costume would be a 'hippy top' and some denim shorts, with white trainers and white trainer socks.I bought some denim shorts from Primark, and other people brought in tops for me to try (I ended up wearing Emilio's mum's top). Also, I already own white trainers and white trainer socks, so I wore those to the shoot. I think the biggest thing I learnt during this task was how important costumes and props are in portraying a character/ style. I think this will be very useful in our music video project next term, as it will help me to think about the artist I create, and it will help me portray their personality and identity better.

Task 5: Complete the Remake Edit

I made my remake edit with Jack. I really enjoyed this part of the project, especially when grading the shots to look similar. My favourite part was seeing the before and after for all of my grading. I learnt a lot in this task, because I was able to learn new techniques on how to make the grading look better and more professional, as I could compare it with the actual product. However, in the film opening project, I found grading more difficult, as there was no finite end point, so I found it tricky to know what sort of style I wanted from a particular shot. Additionally, I learnt the importance of editing in the conventional beauty shots to show off the artist. For example, the close-ups of Sian singing are edited in a very pink light, to emphasise her femininity and beauty and sell her to the audience.

3. Are you pleased with the footage and your finished? Is it how you expected it to look? What works really well and what would you change?

My finished remake edit.

I am very pleased with our finished edit. I think that we got the cuts right, and that the grading was particularly subtle  but good.

Shot before grading (notice colour difference
with original shot in the bottom right hand corner).
Shot after grading (three-way colour
corrector is most noticably used tool here).

It pretty much looks the same as I was expecting, although some of the movements our actors do are different from the ones in the original video. Additionally, most of our shots had slightly different lighting to the ones in the actual video. For example, in our close ups of all the cool kids, our lighting is coming from the wrong side of the face, which created a very different type of shadow to the ones in the video. Additionally, a lot of our shots were much darker than the ones int he actual video, which made it difficult to grade sot hat it looked like the actual video. However, I am glad they were too bright rather than too dark, as grading dark shots to look lighter would have made them very grainy. I was really impressed with some of our shots, that ended up looking almost identical to the actual video.

Shot after grading (lower contrast used
in ProcAmp).
Shot before grading (too bright).

I think that Sian's lip syncing went very well, and we matched it up very well to the music. We did this by putting the full length unedited shots in separate tracks and then lip syncing those. We then made those tracks invisible so they wouldn't get in the way of the video, and then we used the razor tool to cut out the bits we needed and dragged them down onto the visible tracks. This meant we didn't have to keep spending ages syncing Sian's lip sync with the music in the video. I think that if I were to do this project again, I might have graded all of the singing shots before dragging them down into position, as it would have been much quicker, and it would have given me more time to be able to get the grading perfect. However, I think that could end up going wrong if the lighting in any shots changes during the video.

4. How do you think your prelim experiences will impact on your approach to next term's music video coursework?

  • It has helped me to think bout how a singer's identity is created through costume, props, lighting, framing, composition, etc. This will help me as it will mean I work more on trying to portray our singer's created identity through our music video when planning the music video. Doing the costume arrangement meeting in particular has given me the incentive to do the same for our project next year to be prepared.
  • I will probably think about visually representing the song lyrics for our music video next term, as this video has made me realise how much of an impact it makes on remembering the song and music video, and keeping it engaging for the audience. This means I will need to think more about the choreography of the performance and making sure the actors are doing all the right moves.

    A perfect example of this would be the lyric "ever bring them down", which she sings while pointing down and looking pained, illustrating that nothing could ever make them sad. Moments like this are very important in this music video to illustrate the juxtaposition between what she thinks of the cool kids (they are cool and care free) and who the cool kids really are (sad and troubled).

  • I have learnt that not only planning and performing are important in creating the singer's identity, but editing and grading is too. For example, in this shot, the lighting is very cold, the band members are acting very distant, and Sydney is looking at the camera and clicking. This creates an almost "too cool" persona for the band, while Sydney is represented as very cool, but till in touch and personal with the audience.

  • I have been able to see the impact of fast paced editing in a music video, so for ours I will probably use that technique in order to keep the audience's eyes moving. Similarly, I will think about using lots of colours and fun visuals (for example, Echosmith's feathers/snow) to appeal to the audience's visual expectations of music video conventions.

    Here is a gif of a moment in the clip that uses fast paced editing to go through a shots of each of the cool kids.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Question 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Our film is called A Sight For Sore Eyes, a mockumentary about a boy suffering with invisibility in his first year at university. It both follows and breaks conventions of the form and genre.

Here is a mind map abount typical genre conventions.


Our chosen genre was fantasy mockumentary, and we used many genre conventions (as noted in the above mind map) to convey the mockumentary style we wanted to achieve.

Trollhunter (2010).
What We Do In The Shadows (2014).

A common convention in mockumentaries is to use interview set ups with a character interview talking to an interviewer or just the camera. Trollhunter has interview set ups where the characters tell the audience information, while it still seems like an average shot (there are no inter titles/graphics, etc). However, What We Do In The Shadows has a more obvious interview set up, where the characters are sitting in one side of the frame, directly talking to the camera, mimicking interviews in real documentaries. We have gone with the obvious interview set up for our film, as we decided to fulfil the expectations of the genre in an almost tongue-in-cheek style.

Interview set up in A Sight For Sore Eyes (2017).
Waiting For Guffman (1996).
What We Do In The Shadows (2014).

The lighting and grading used in both Waiting For Guffman and What We Do In The Shadows is naturalistic to portray the documentary style. In What We Do In The Shadows, the lighting is dark, with very matte tones, as it works well with their vampire theme. However, Waiting For Guffman uses more everyday lighting with minimal grading, as it represents 'normal' life settings to relate more to the audience, whilst copying the documentary style. A Sight For Sore Eyes also uses natural lighting that you would find in an average home, as it better represents the characters and settings, and also portrays the genre.

A Sight For Sore Eyes (2017).

Another convention is the use of jump cuts. This puts emphasis on the unplanned documentary style of the film and  is also really convenient. We have used it because we did a lot of our takes with character improvisation to give it the naturalistic feel, so we had to make some jump cuts, as well as to follow the conventional documentary-style of our chosen genre.

What We Do In The Shadows (2014)

A Sight For Sore Eyes (2017)

Here is a presentation about the theories we looked at.

Question 2: How does your media product represent particular social groups?

We have represented a middle-class white British family with a stereotypical single mother figure and two teenage sons.
Kenny Lerone, played by Tom Brown.
He is Toby's identical twin brother.

Joyce Lerone, played by Finella Craig.
She is Toby's mum.

Toby Lerone, played by Ray Baker. He is the invisible protagonist.


The Outnumbered family - a middle-class white British family.

We have chosen to stereotypically represent a non-nuclear middle-class white family. We have done this by using a classic mum character (see mind map below), and using two teenage boys. Also, we filmed in a Victorian house, typical of middle-class families in suburban London, which would be a typical place for the Lerone family to live.


Here is a mind map of the typical representations of edgy mums.


JP and his friends from Fresh Meat. (Be aware that there is bad language in this clip).

JP is an example of a character that influenced us for Kenny's character. The clip is set in JP's old house that he grew up in, and shows the posh lifestyle he lives. There are many extravagant props they are using for everyday activities, such as using a sword to put jam on bread. JP's language is very posh, for example calling his mum "mummy", which is stereotypical of stuck up/posh teens in film and TV. We have sort of tried to replicate this character archetype with Kenny, as he calls his mum "mama", and generally acts quite narcissistic and stuck up.

 Viago's love story from What We Do In The Shadows.

We used Viago as an example of the soppy boy character trope, where he hopes for love and can never get it because of something outrageous. In this case, Viago is in love with a woman but cannot get it because his servant made a mistake. In our case, Toby wants love, but cannot get it because girls can't see him, and also he is a really wimpy character.

In our opening sequence we have represented two very different stereotypical male character types, one being posh, and one being pathetic.