For this module we were expected to get into groups of 7 or 8 and produce a short film. Within this extract I will be looking into the process as a whole, from the Pre production plan, to my specific role and how the film turned out. The role that I applied for was the role that I was given. That role was Director of photography. I wanted to be this role because in previous tasks and projects I have worked on I have enjoyed working with and behind the camera.
When it came to the meetings majority of people were very good. We turned up on time and we were very enthusiastic about the project that we were given. We had two solid ideas for the story we wanted to use for our short film. Because they were both strong stories that everybody liked it was hard for us as a group to decide as a group which one to go for. Because of this it slowed down the group in the progress that we wanted to make. We turned up to pitches with two idea’s to show rather than one, which as a group we can all agree on if we could go back in time we would change this. We should have decided on what we wanted and gone with it for the sake of the group.
The one thing that I did really enjoy working with this group was the fact everything was planned very well and apart from choosing the story we were always ahead of time. We didn’t want things to pile of top of us, we set clear deadlines as a group, and individually. For example as D.O.P one task that I gave myself was to look into different director’s of photography and look into what the job role entailed. We set out group meetings with different departments at least once a week which both worked very well, but at times caused rifts in the group. In the sense that every department knew what they had to do and what they were going to do for that week it worked extremely well. But I feel that not knowing at different points were other departments were was sometimes confusing. I feel we should have had more whole group meetings to make sure everyone knew where they stood, and if one department was working ahead of schedule and one wasn’t, help could have been given.
When it came to filming out in Birmingham and in Prague I feel that was where I learnt the most. Personally I wanted to go into the shoots knowing exactly what I had to do as a director of Photography. Having weekly meetings with the cameraman and director really helped this. We was able to work well with each other, and know what we had to do on set. I think the only problem we had on set was the fact we wasn’t able to use both camera and lighting in the location that we were at before, so the lighting plan that was made for the shoot had to be altered on the day. There was only so much you could plan for the lighting because you wouldn’t know how it would look on camera until the day, thankfully we had given ourselves enough time to try out a few different things on the day, which ended up working very well for us.
Looking at our final edit I was pleased to see how our film had turned out. On screen it looks the exact way we wanted it to look. As a D.O.P to have a vision and see it turn out as excepted its great. I think the strongest thing about the edit is the acting from Francesca and Damian, they two characters played their roles very well. I also think the shoot that we shot in Birmingham, which was the dinner scene looked very nice, both because of the lighting and the location its self and how the scene was set. The only thing that I would change if we could go back would be the amount of takes we took. There were a few were I feel they wasn’t as good as they could have been for the actors and to spend a little more time on them could of made a huge difference, but as most films are we ran out of time to reshoot because we were very limited for time.
I myself have learnt a lot about the process of making a short film, and feel this has been the most beneficial module to myself in the two years I have spent here. From everything such as meeting with the actors for a table read, right to making sure our actors were treated in the best possible way, it really did feel like a professional film set. Learning the role from other people through the Internet, to meeting a director and working D.O.P. We all put a lot of work into the film both on and off the set, I can proudly say i was apart of this team. We worked well together and got what we wanted. The one thing as D.O.P I struggled on the most and was very nervous about was the lighting, after sitting down and talking about it I was able to set out a solid plan that worked very well with our film. I was very pleased with the cinematography of our film. I worked very closely with the director and cameraman and the bond that we had made it easier for us to get the shots that we wanted. At the start of the process I wouldn’t of known how to light a huge manor hall or an intense scene in a cramped hallway, or creating different lighting to show what time of day it is, but this process has taught me a lot about how to do this, and how having control over all aspects of lighting is a huge benefit to D.O.P. It’s this small things I have learnt over this process that makes me feel much more prepared and pleased with myself going into the future.