Project 4. Exercise: An objective POV

Look back at the sequence you produced in Project 3.
You will now record the same scenario but from an objective point of view.
Again you will need to think very carefully about what you wish to frame; you will then
also need to consider where this is seen from and what camera angle would best suit
your purpose. Also consider what other meanings and feelings will be implied by your
choice of frame and angle.
It will help you if you have an actor, but if not you can either set up the shots carefully
and then perform yourself, or find a substitute model or doll to stand in…
What to do:
•Sketch out some basic storyboards. Ensure that each new angle is justified.
•Record the shots.
•Edit them into a short sequence.
•Upload your sequence to your blog.
•Look back at your finished sequence and reflect on its success. You can also
compare it with other examples on the course discussion site.
What works, what doesn’t work and why this is the case?
Can you think how you could improve the piece?
Make notes in your learning blog.
Alcoholic Project 2
Frame 1.
Low Angle / Eye Level POV.
Camera placed on the floor shooting the awakening character. Upon viewing, the natural lighting, although suitably moody, allows a shadow from the camera itself. Future shoots will involve either a prop in the frame to cast a shadow over this, or place lighting appropriately to remove shadowing. Although the character is not above the camera, and it is in affect, still eye-level, the effect is still successful as this sets the viewpoint at ground level, at the lowest of the lowest, for example.
Frame 2.
High Angle.
View from the door looking down at the character, and also the house cat ( perhaps the POV of frame 1 ! ). This focuses on the character’s desperate situation, in that he passed-out on the floor, still in his dressing gown. He looks degraded and out of control, confused and pathetic.
Frame 3.
Eye Level.
Objective view from the opposite wall in the house, as the character walks into frame. Out of focus in the background, we see the curtains still drawn, during daylight and as he appears, how he is unsteady on his feet and suffering.
Frame 4.
Canted Angle / Low Angle.
The bottle, glass and plate in the foreground, as the character sits down. We clearly see the cause of the desperate status of the protagonist. Using a cross between a canted and a low angle, I hope to achieve a feeling of confusion, the scene of the “crime”.
Frame 5.
Eye Level
Cut to: Daughter outside arriving home, using a shaky hand held shot, giving a moment of uncertainty.
Frame 6.
High Angle.
Still following a shaky handheld, assuming the POV of the daughter, this shot provides the panic of the protagonist almost caught by his daughter in mid drink.
Frame 7.
Low Angle.
Even though the protagonist’s eyes are not in this scene, the camera is at belly height with the empty bottles from the time before this scene in the foreground. We now have proof that more than one drink was consumed recently.
Frame 8.
Eye Level.
Slightly out-of-focus shot of his eyes as he checks to see if the coast is clear ( we get to watch him “listening” with his eyes ) before he moves back into the frame focus and takes a swig from the bottle. Fade out to the sound of swallowing.
The sequence:
With this exercise, I tried to keep focused on what was in the subjective sequence, even using the same soundtrack, to maintain continuity. Not that this was a criteria, I just felt that this would be an interesting idea to base it upon. I had to play the protagonist also, as finding an actor at short notice was not possible. Therefore, filming the shots were made particularly tricky, but certainly not impossible. In fact by being both cameraman and actor I was able to focus completely on the project and not have to worry about third parties. Thankfully I am used to performance.
As with the previous exercise, I wanted to maintain the atmosphere of confusion and the sneaky desperation  that rides with alcoholism. The sequence of trying to hide the bottle from the daughter, particularly important to the piece.
To improve the scene, I think I would play particular attention to the scenery and what is in the background and make sure the set looks more relevant. It is difficult to judge what looks out of place and what doesn’t when you are subjectively looking at your own work. Only others are afforded that luxury. Hence why I find feedback most important.



2 thoughts on “Project 4. Exercise: An objective POV

  1. Hi Peter.
    Am I allowed to say that you would make a good alcoholic 🙂 ? Seriously though, it’s an interesting sequence that held my attention throughout. I’m really impressed that you could frame your own shots and then act in them – I would imagine it took a lot of backwards and forwards testing.
    It was clear that you used low angles for many of the shots and I particularly liked the low angle/dash for the kitchen shot – it’s uncomfortable, which is I believe what you intended.
    I’m not very good at music but it seemed to me that your music enhanced the scene and gave it a more edgy feeling.
    Overall, it felt genuine – there was nothing to smile about in the scene – just the discomfort of watching someone who has a problem.
    Here are a few feedback comments:
    In shot 2, it is very effective that your hand appears first and then your head, but I felt that the background curtains and vase were distractions – it would have been visually more precise if your hand came around the wall ‘clean’.
    In shot 3, when you sit down, the corner of the picture frame is sticking onto the side of your head (I had a similar problem in my alco video) and it slightly unbalances the composition. It may have helped to remove the picture to simplify the background.
    Shot 4 of the girl running to the door – I really liked this shot, the way you followed her and then pushed in on the scene as she got to the door – it gave the sense of forward momentum.
    The two close-up low angle shots – as said before – very effective.

    And finally a question – in the first shot, there is a cat – is it real? It didn’t move!

    Hope the assignment is going well this weekend.


    • Yes, I do believe I can allow the comment that I would make a good alcoholic! I’ll see that as a compliment, hehehe.
      Many many thanks for your feedback and I am pleased with the kind words you have said. I am glad that you had the feeling that there wasn’t much to smile about in the scene. I had interpreted the exercise to be that way. Its not a happy subject matter and I wanted to portray it as such.
      I totally accept the comments on background interferences, ie the flowers and the picture frame, and upon viewing I noticed them too, however even more so, that you have spotted it, makes me realise its possible distractions. In future shots I will attempt to eradicate interferences like this beforehand. With the next exercise being about mise-en-scene, I think this will hopefully be common practice for me.

      Apologies for the late reply to your post, as you know I have been working on my assignment for the last few days.

      I’m looking forward now to catching up with everybody’s blogs and see what work has been done. I’m starting to really get into it now and looking forward to the next chapter.

      Yes the cat IS real, its my girlfriend’s cat Spell. She is actually 20 years old ( 97 in cat years ) so she doesn’t move that much these days anyway. She wanted to be part of the action, and I figured she’d be a talking point…. I was right.


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