Project 3. Exercise: Shooting a short sequence

As you plan each shot you should think carefully about what information you wish to draw attention to and how you want each shot to feel. Concentrate on how this can be achieved by your choice of frame. Read the following scenario carefully. Try to imagine yourself in the action and visualise what you would see. Where are the borders of perception drawn in each shot? Try to visualise where your focus would be in the moment defined by the shot and then choose a frame size that best contains that part of the image.

You are an alcoholic alone in your home
• You look around your empty room
• Nothing interests you
• You notice a bottle
• You hold the bottle and unscrew the lid
• Something attracts your attention, you look round
• Nothing happens
• You look back at the bottle and pour yourself a drink.

Sketch out some basic storyboards to remind yourself of the images you visualised. Note what shot sizes you have chosen and what is in the frame.
What information do you need to convey?
Where do you want to focus the attention?
You will probably have about 8 – 10 shots.

Record these shots on your video camera. Try and replicate exactly what you have drawn. Edit them into a short sequence. Upload your sequence to your blog. Look back at your finished sequence (after leaving it a day or two ideally) and reflect on its success. Leave comments alongside your sequence. You can also compare it with examples from other students.

What works, what doesn’t work and why is this the case?
• How did the choice of frame affect the meaning and feel of each shot?
• How you could improve the piece?

Alcoholic Project 1

The directives of the exercise were not strictly adhered to, therefore changing slightly to fit the mood of the scene. For example, the character did not unscrew the lid ( the lid was already removed) and instead of nothing happening when he is distracted by his daughter, I felt it better that he attempts to run off with the bottle into the kitchen.

We start with an out-of-focus view of the back of the sofa as the character awakes lying on the floor. In the background are the beams of sunlight coming from underneath the doorframe. As he comes round, we focus-in on the carpet, followed by the character attempting to get to his feet.
The view is bare, I think the important information is the confusion of “coming round” after such a binge.
As he stands, we see the radiator and the wall. He turns around to view the room, graoning as he does so.
The information here is to show, that the character is at home in the living room, and that he is in a state of confusion ( or pain ).
The main scene of the “carnage of earlier”, after eating breakfast, the character must have had a few wines. He approaches the dining table and sits down. A bottle of wine hardly touched, indicates that other bottles must be about somewhere, given how he has found himself.
The character will be groaning in his hungover state, this will be accompanied by an audible “oh no”.
4 / 5.
The front door opens and his daughter comes in after her day at school, running up the stairs. Panic ensues as he tries to hide the wine from her and escape to the kitchen. As she runs up the stairs, she calls out “Hi Dad!” and he feebly replies to her.
A moment of panic as the unforeseen happens. By the fact she has come home, in her school uniform, the viewer can determine that it is late afternoon and that in her absence, he has been drinking during the day.
Realising she hasn’t noticed, the character affords himself an opportunity to guzzle some of the wine. Fade out, with the sound of his large gulps of wine.

Attempting to portray the images placed in the storyboard, the following is what was shot:


For this exercise, I wanted to convey the subjective POV as seemless as possible, therefore joining any edited frames with seemless transitions. As the character has awoken from a drunken sleep, it would be reasonable to believe that he would rub his eyes or head with his hands. Therefore I decided that using this idea I could shoot the frames seperately and blend them with a hand over the cuts.

As I had noticed that some other students had used GoPro technology, and that those who had not had blended shots with fade in/outs, I wanted to attempt the former with the use of the latter. In particular the technology lends itself perfectly to this particular scenario, but I don’t have a GoPro, and although I would loved to have filmed using one, I had to make do with what I had to hand. I think with further shooting and better precision I could have achieved more fluidly my idea of blending shots using a hand over the camera more effectively. This I may re-shoot in time, but I felt that the effect could work with better raw material. However it would be best to present this on my learning log showing the process of why on this occasion, it did not achieve what I was hoping, especially being plagued by painful “white-outs” as the light hit the camera after removing the hand.

Audio, namely the diegetic sound, was done using seperate equipment, in the form of a portable digital sound recorder and by synching the footage to the audio. I decided to watch the silent footage and record sounds as they appeared. I added a music score, by recording an electric guitar whilst variating the tuning of the low E string, to give the impression of a nauseating and wobbly mood. I think that was successful.

I enjoyed shooting this scene and although a few technical lessons were learned, I am confident if I was to re-shoot, I would focus on overcoming those issues rather than the decisions I had made in the content, of which I am happy.




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