Interviews are used throughout different types of filmmaking. they are useful to get an insight into the minds of individuals. interviews are used extensively in documentaries and news programmes. in these, interviews are used by the filmmaker to validate the information. people are more likely to believe the person who was involved with an event than someone who heard about it.
An interview is typically conducted in an interior location. the interviewer and subject typically sit opposite each other with a separate camera trained on their faces. the cameras are placed so as to not break the 180 degree line. this is so, in the edit, the two subjects take up a left and right side of the screen and it doesn’t show both looking the same direction. It also enables that the interviewer and interviewee don’t look down the lense of the camera. Instead, they look at each other which helps the audience concentrate on what the subject is saying and to not be put off by anyone looking directly at them. On top of this, by having the two subjects at a slight angle from the cameras it creates a typical Portrait shot which is much more attractive than a flat, 90 degree shot.
The subjects will tend to have 3 light sources upon them. a backlight illuminating their background, a face light shining on their face from one angle and a reflector which bounces the face light onto the other side of the subjects face. this is done to ensure that there isn’t a high amount of contrast in the shot.
subjects may have either a radio microphone which is hidden on their clothing near their mouth (often attached to their collar) or they may have a boom microphone which will be held above them by a boom operator.
The environment can have a drastic effect upon any interview. In a much more relaxed setting, such as a comfortable sofa in a warm room, you’re going to get a better response from your subject, than if you interviewed them in a bare white room with a straight back chair. Making your subject comfortable is what gets you the best results. However, there is a limit to this. Placing someone in an unrealistic, distracting or unrelated place will just detract from the interview are reduce both the subject’s and viewers concentration. A good example of this would be interviewing a judge at a nightclub.
in my behind-the-scenes footage of Boom Festival, which is a yearly music festival for young people held in Bath, i used interviews to get a personal view into the musical acts and that performers who were involved. Among those involved were artists, organisers, presenters, security staff, medical staff, venue staff and audience members. this gave me a wide spectrum of opinions and views of the event.
due to large parts of the event being outdoors, i was able to conduct all of my interviews in this setting. on the day there was a strong amount of natural light which enabled me to conduct my interviews without the aid of a face light or backlight, the latter of which is only really useful when there is a background to illuminate.sound is a slight problem as the event was a music festival and i had no designated sound operator to overcome this issue. i had a shotgun mic attached to the top of my camera and ensured that all interviews were conducted facing away from any sound amplifiers.
the camera i was using was a 5DMKii DSLR. it was small enough to be operated alone which gave me a lot of speed and flexibility with my filming. i also had a shoulder mount instead of a tripod. this meant that I could set up a shot much faster and that all interviews were conducted at eye level, which is important when following the rule of thirds.
in interviews seperating shots, known as ‘nodding heads’, are often inserted to break up a shot of someone talking. this increases the pacing of the film as well as allowing for hidden edits, which can be enacted during this time.
Due to the nature of my film i had no nodding head shots. instead, i used clips of the performances to break up shots of speech. sometimes these performances had their sound but at other times I used the interviews speech over the top of the performance. this combination of sound and no sound cutaways resulted in the film being better paced than it would have been if I had not used this technique.
the editing style i went for was inspired by the documentary ‘Teenage Rampage Tour’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhLsTmKOwS0 ). in it the film has instances where the visuals change every second but the sound stays constant. I used this technique twice in my film keeping the same audio but alternating the visuals every second. In the intro when I used this technique I slowed down the cuts which brought the viewer cleanly into the first interview and set the pacing for the rest of the film.
another technique influences by Teenage Rampage was the use of temporarily quieting the audio track during interviews. this keeps the mood of the film present and allows it to easily transition between shots. i used this technique during my films first interview. While Dani was talking I subtly brought the audio back up. this resulted in the interview closing off smoothly.
To prepare for my film’s edit I made sure to film lots of cutaways. these are short clips that either establish the setting or show something that can easily be inserted into the film. For example, a group of people or a close up of an instrument. in the edit i used these to either set the scene or act as a nodding head shot during an interview.
Another technique that I noticed on ‘Teenage Rampage Tour’ was the use pre talking. This technique involves having the next person interviewed, talking before they appear on the screen. This technique improves a film’s pacing and helps to break up the pattern of “interview, clip, interview, clip” that can occur by when the interview clips are kept separate from the songs. Not only that, but the technique is also used to prevent the abrupt break that may occur when the previous scene’s audio is abruptly cut off. by overlaying the beginning of the next interview over the top of the previous clip, this is prevented and the film is often improved as a result.
For my title sequence, I decided to do an alternative version of the James Bond intro.
In The Original James Bond intro, bond it begins with a black screen. A white dot travels across the screen in time to the music before opening up and revealing a man. The man walks forwards half a dozen paces before turning towards the camera and firing a gun. animated blood then runs down the screen as the theme plays out and the film starts. This intro is considered legendary due to its quick conversion of portraying the film’s theme across to the audience. A mysterious man who is aware, lethal and willing to use force. This added with the music giving a mysterious tone to the clip. The entire sequence lasts about thirty seconds yet the lasting impact for the audience having ‘been shot’ is both dramatic and striking.
Robert BrownJohn was the creator of the James Bond intros. His most famous intro, Goldfinger, projected images onto the body of a girl painted gold, using the contours of her body to mold the images used throughout the sequence. This style of projecting clips onto a person’s body was revolutionary at the time and is still enjoyable to watch now. The clip features Shirley Bassey singing Goldfinger, a custom song for the intro, and heavily features the theme of gold, from the female model being coloured in gold to the projected footage being played through a gold tinted lens. This repeated enforcement of a central theme gives the footage a common focus point which allows the disjointed images to relate to each other. The footage also reinforces the film’s themes of espionage, action, coolness and suave using footage from James Bond in bed with a woman to him running from a helicopter. Every shot reinforces this theme and makes the clip more cohesive.
This projected style is much different to some of the later films in the series. Casino Royale’s intro features heavy use of animated graphics. The main themes of Casino Royale are gambling, violence and Tuxedos. This is heavily represented in the sequence with the cards symbols (clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades) acting like bullets, flying across casino-like patterns whilst Jacks and Queens appear in the background. Also the people depicted in the sequence are almost always of a red/black colour scheme, inspired from the red/black colour differential of a deck of cards. It is because of this that I have decided to create a simplistic colour scheme for my own intro.
In my version, I decided to feature cars instead of humans. I achieved this by collecting images of car online and tracing over them in photoshop. Once traced out I placed them on an empty background and filled them in black but making distinguishing features, such as the headlights and windows, white in order to make the car more recognisable. I also created a black cloud and a multi-coloured explosion. Because I planned to make my intro sequence black objects on a white background, I knew any splash of colour would really stand out. By making the explosion multi-coloured I give it a feeling of significance that would otherwise be lost by making it the same black as all the other objects.
After I had done this with five different cars I went into Motion and began animating. Using the circle tool, I constructed a white dot which I made move across the screen in time with the music (using the soundtrack from the Thunderball film.) Whilst doing this, I made Motion generate a white dot at intervals, corresponding to the intervals and timing with the film. Also inspired from the ‘Thunderball’ intro is the use of titles during this sequence (a feature that was ditched in later bond films.) I included this feature in my film but in an alternative way. In Thunderball, the dot actually stops moving so that the titles can come up. In my version, I instead had the titles appear in the empty top half of the screen instead. This allowed for the dot to continue on its motion path undisturbed.
Once the dot reached the far side of the image, a much larger dot with a car inside of it moves across the screen. This was fairly difficult for me to do with motion. Because motion only allows you to display the timeline of one object or behaviour at any one time, I had to manually make the circle and car not only appear at the same time, but begin their movement paths together and finish together, all the while maintaining a constant velocity across the screen. Whilst this is going on, I subtly change the music tracks with a fade. Going from Thunderball, to a more modern renditioning of the Bond Theme.
In a typical Bond intro, once bond reach the center of the screen (sometimes, the screen pans with him to keep him in the center while he’s walking) Bond turns and fires at the screen. In my adapted version I kept to my theme and instead had the car backfire out of its exhaust pipe with a black cloud following. I also interjected an audio clip of a gunshot which drew attention to the explosion.
typically a graphic of blood drips down the screen however, due to my limited motion skills I changed it to a series of overlapping white circles. once these filled the entire screen, I made the new background to be white to enable my black cars to be seen more clearly by the audience.
Using motion again I made a series of clips using motion paths to enable the cars and some of the credit text to come onto the screen from different sides. once i imported these into FCP I realised that they were too short. I solved this problem by copying frames I wanted elongated.
After I had a test screening of the film I realised some of the cars remained on the screen for too long. this ruined the film’s pacing.
To fix this issue I cut down each car’s screen time to 4 seconds, elongating it throughout the film. I also had the text disappear about a second before the car vanishes. this increased the film’s perceived pacing and garnered much more favourable results at test screenings.
Animation is made up of a series of images put together to create the illusion of movement. it can be made with hand-drawn images or created on software such as Flash.
Animation is useful in documentaries because it can connect an audience to the topic by giving certain information a visual property. It can also help to display information that would be difficult to convey verbally or with filmed footage. For example, in Supersize Me, animation is used to visually display the global amount of McDonald’s restaurants. Giving plain statistics with no visuals would be quite dull and unengaging for the viewer, and could also be difficult to connect the audience with things that are difficult to relate to, such as large numbers.
On Saturday 9th I went to the Boom Stage music event in Bath to go film For my music video and Interview films. I was able to achieve this by getting in contact with Suited and Booted Studios, whom I know have good contacts with the events planning crew. As a result I was able to get a crew pass to the event. This allowed me to film anywhere: in the crowd, backstage, even on stage with the musicians! (An event I enjoyed thoroughly.) With this freedom, I was able to get lots of great shots and interview a large range of people, including Dj’s, presenters, musicians and even (with permission from the head of security) One of the security personnel.
For my FMP I am doing a documentary on oil. A what, how and why about the energy we use everyday. The list of things I wish to include in this documentary are:
- What is oil? - What is crude oil made out of? What are those things made out of? - How did we discover crude oil and its uses? - How is it found and collected? - What needs to occur to turn crude oil into fuel? - What other things can be gathered from crude oil? - What happens to these things? How are they used? - How much oil does the world use? - What happens after they are used? - What will happen if they are continued to be used? - What happens when we run out? - How do we prevent this?
After some changes I have decided to instead create a ‘how to’ film with a comedic/factual slant about the logictical nightmare of becoming an oil Tycoon. I am doing it with a cartoonist drawn image style for my images however I’m going to use photographs for images that I: have no time to draw/would be too difficult to draw.
For my editors mark, I have been editing The Gman Project separate of Alex’s version. Having sat down with Alex during the edit and organizing the sequencing of events for the physical film, all that I wished to create was a montaged intro, and an ending. To do this, I log and transferred the clips we’d shot on Dartmoor on the thursday, after all the actors had left. Once I did that, I set about naming them.
Once this was in place, I set about doing a rough cut of the film’s intro.
Once this was done, I set up an audio sync with the audio we recorded on a separate track with an external microphone. I did this to get the best possible recording of the actors dialogue.
With this new dialogue synced up, I input this new dialogue into the main film.
When Alex came back with his edit (A version with sound and visual effects) we merged the versions together, retaining my intro, ending and improved dialogue with his visual and sound FX.
I have spent a total of 16 hours with a sound editor going through the sfx, background music, and re-recording one of the actors lines. We had to do this due to the previous time I recorded the actor, I recorded him in the photography studio (due to him being absent when we filmed the scene.) This caused his sound to be too clean compared to the rest of the film’s dialogue.
After an emergency recording session we inputted his dialogue and managed to (sort of) disguise the fact that its filmed in a studio as much as possible.
Another thing I did at this time was to go into the photography studio with a suit, camera, lighting and Toby and take pictures of myself in the suit (which will later be changed into Slender-man.)
I do personal attacks only on people who specialize in personal attacks. - Al Franken
Well, long time no see, but frankly not long enough…
Much has happened since my last post in October, I got up on a stage in front of a few thousand people and talked about something that I have no first hand experience with.
I Traveled to London’s financial district to be asked for examples of how I ‘worked well in a team’. The interview only lasted 20 minutes. I left Bath at 10 and got back at 11. At least I brought a good book.
I became interested in, and began teaching myself Esperanto. Al ĉiuj povas legi ĉi tiu, bone farite, vi povas uzi Interreton. Its fun to learn because all the spelling is phonetic (the C’s with the ^ accent above them are pronounced ch).
Also alot of filming went down. ALOT
I’ve been hired to Direct a 20 minute short that a pair of actors wrote - the longest film I’ve ever done. It should be interesting. We filming for 5 hours yesterday, so I’m now suck in front of a computer editing the footage today… FUN!
Just thought I’d upload the script I wrote for Black Box Season 2 Episode 1
Black Box Season 2 Episode: 1
AIRCRAFT INT. CABIN 1 - SCENE 1
Scene starts with the cabin filling up with passengers, being shown to their seats by a Air stewardess. Among the various people are two backpackers who clomp next to each other. The hostess leaves and the two guys stare appreciatively at her.
Whoa, did you see that?
I’m telling you mate, backpacking is the best! My mate Jason did it six months ago. He got with a different girl every night.
It’s all in the backpack you see. Girls see it, and they know we’re rough and ready for it! I mean, did you see that Stewardess givin’ me the eye? She’s probably gagging for it right now!
Course I bet if I went back there right now, I’d find her wet and wanting!
Go on then.
Go on! Why are you talking to me when you could be getting with her? Go!
JOHN pushes JACK into the isle.
Err- yea. Yea, I’d better make it a quick one though, I- err wouldn’t want to disappoint all the other girls on the aircraft by letting them know what they’re missing.
JACK walks off towards the cabin divider, JOHN looking on appreciatively. JACK turns around and JOHN gives him a big thumb’s up before JACK walks through the cabin divider.
AIRCRAFT INT. CABIN 2 - SCENE 2
JACK walks into the next cabin
Here you are, you sexy beast…
JACK stares in horror to find, instead of the Stewardess from earlier, TWO MALE STEWARDS in excessively gay’d up versions of they’re uniforms.
Why hello there! Going my way?
Roger, you know the rules; No flirting with the passengers. Especially not after what happened last time.
(Gives STEWARD 1 a suggestive touch on the shoulder)
Besides I called dibs on the cute ones.
JACK looks in shock at the two of them as STEWARD 1 who gives JACK an open mouth wink. JACK leaves horror stricken, returning to his previous cabin.
AIRCRAFT INT. CABIN 1 - SCENE 3
JACK walks shakily back to his seat, encountering JOHN currently lying on top of, and passionately kissing, the STEWARDESS from before.
"It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes." - Douglas Adams
We managed to film Black Box yesterday, after extreme problems. For some reason, someone decided to call our actors, and tell them that the film was canceled (we still don’t know who it but when I found out who did…)
With none of our Yr2 actors available to film, and half a hour to film, I ran into the acting dept. to grab anyone who was willing to film for a few hours. Grabbing some actors I thrust the scripts into their faces and told them that they had 20 minutes to learn the lines. For the amount of preparation the actors had, they did extremely well, only slipping up once or twice during the shoot and all performed their roles very well and allowing us to finish with ten minutes to spare.
"As actors, the thing we have to fight, more than even the business part of making movies, is boredom." - Linda Fiorentino
The day started off well enough. I finished up pre-production with Black Box and managed to confirm all the actors of their roles and costumes - white shirts & black trousers/skirt for the air stewards, casual backpacking gear for the two speaking roles.
The afternoon was another matter though. Having been roped into Jazz & Alex’s film, they took us out to an abandoned warehouse (filled to the brim with packaged sex toys!) and set up for their shoot. They had me in as a spare hand/extra and I had to dress for the part - getting geared up in a white boiler suit and a gas mask. I then had the all important job… of lying down on the ground.
Found out later the news about Steve Jobs. That’s going to upset Alex to no end… wonder if I should tease him about it…
The path of my life is strewn with cowpats from the devil’s own satanic herd. - Blackadder
Well this has been an interesting week so far.
First off I started feeling light-headed and sniffy on Friday evening, though I ignored it so that I could go out that night (it was pretty dam awesome!) Unfortunately it changed my little sniffle into full blow flu, putting me down for four days! This was most annoying to me as I was looking forward to the 48 hour film challenge with the university students. (Kelly and Jess went though, and they said it was crap - some things never change.)
What was annoying though, was on the Monday, we had auditions scheduled for 1.00pm but due to my sudden flu attack, I was unable to attend :(. In an attempt to let the others know, I told Kelly (who was going in to do the 48 hour film challenge) to tell Larry that I wont be there.
They told him… at 2.00 FML!
So now I’ve got to go and attempt to rectify the situation, whilst getting another audition. A process made all the harder by the head of performing arts not being in on a Wednesday, and wont do shite today because “I don’t work on a Wednesday.”
In order to reinforce what I earned about using a camera on manual settings, I’m constructing this ‘mini guide’ as a way to help out my fellow man in the mysteries of digital camerawork.
- Shutter speed
The cameras shutter speed, is how quickly the camera shutter flashes open, burning the image onto the cameras’ film. This cam be very quick (1/1000 of a second) for high speed action: sports, nature documentary’s… however this uses LOTS of film; so come prepared. A slow shutter speed does the opposite. It burns more of an image onto the film, which creates a sort of ‘blur’ effect when played back.
- Aperture (Iris)
The cameras’ Aperture is the camera’s ‘eye’. When a human eye is subjected to bright light, it closes, opening in darkness to allow the eye’s user to see. The same is true for a camera - more the Iris is open, the brighter the image.
- Video Gain
Gain is the visual representation of electrons on the screen. When seen by the human eye (either on a screen or in low light) it appears as a scattered ‘fuzz’ that dances around. The more gain on the cameras settings, the more this ‘fuzz’ appears. This tends to be unwanted by directors, so it is recommended that the gain is manual set to zero, unless a specific effect is required.
- White Balance
White balance is the cameras perception of the colour white, from which it can get an accurate depiction of all the other colours. Like a ‘Meter stick’. To do this, typically a white object (like a sheet of blank paper) will be held up in front of the camera. The camera will then zoom in and adjust its setting to best fit the paper.
Today I worked on my Main film after completing 90% of the paperwork for the Black Box episode. I decided, after a few minutes of thinking, to do a documentary based upon Freeganism the anti-waste, anti-capitalist lifestyle movement that became fairly big news a couple of years back. For my research, after much internet scouring, I went to a local ‘hippie’ food store and inquired with some of the workers. They directed me to the manager who talked about it with me in hushed tones, despite there being almost no-one else there. I think I’m onto something.
She asked me to leave some contact details, so I gave her my name, number, and job description (filmmaker.) I’ll leave it a few weeks before popping back in - conveniently ‘forgetting’ to get her contact number. (If she doesn’t call/text me before then).
As I left, I asked her weather or not it was legal - my research had come up with a grey area; its illegal to steal (taking things from bins) but its legal to take thing not owned/discarded (taking things from bins.) Thankfully, she was able to clear the air with me. “Absolutely not”… Good.
Next week for Monday and Tuesday I’m going to be partaking in the 48 Hour Film Challenge for he uni students. I’ve got an audition with the actors at 1.00PM however I should be able to swing this with whoever takes the groups lead. (Unless its me - wont that be sight, a bunch of university students lead by a inner city college kid!)
"The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own." - Susan Sontag
On this date, we had a lesson that taught us about how to use the Sony Z1E camera (basic stuff like how to change the gain, or how to change it from high-definition to standard definition and back again.)
In the afternoon I got more done on the Black Box episode, getting Max to begin Story boarding and going through the audition tapes to choose our actors. We made our decision for the female flight attendant, and the two gay male attendants. I discovered their contact information and called two of them, getting them to both agree to the roles (I used my authoritative voice.) The third guy I was unable to contact by phone, so I asked some of the actors where he was. According to them, there is no-one on the second year course called ‘Lucas Evans’, so I don’t know if I’ve got the wrong information, or if he was in fact a first year. I’ll use tomorrow to find this out.
"A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it to be God." - Sidney Sheldon
Today was… satisfying. Early in the morning, I volunteered to work on the first episode of Black Box, full in the knowledge that I will have a huge degree of creative freedom and first pick of the actors in the Drama department (If they’re teachers are doing their jobs in telling the kids about it.)
I watched all the episodes from the previous season, which featured a plethora of different ideas and styles; from a idea of a man sneaking a bomb on board, to all the passengers having a great big sing-along for absolutely no reason.
I decided to write a comedy. (Boring Mr. Average that I am!)
During the scripts conception, I had originally thought of that one scene from Love Actually, when (that guy who now does the BT adverts) talks to his friend about backpacking around Europe, and how his bag is full of nothing else but condoms. This sort of evolved into a Jay & Neil type relationship between the two main characters as I had the second guy revere the first and agree with him on all issues.
During its creation though, I started taking inspiration and adding references to a huge number of films/shows. From the gay Air Stewards (Reno 911! & IT Crowd) to even the final line of the film (a reference to Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.)
After watching the previous episodes, I’ve noticed that many of the episodes are extremely unfocused, featuring either twenty or so people on screen at once or trying to tell multiple stories within the 4 - 5 minutes that the episode goes for. The best episodes were the ones that focused on a small amount of characters, using others as they’re needed. After perceiving this, I decided that focus was the magic word for my script, and so tried to not use any more characters than absolutely needed.
I suppose I should mention the elephant in the room - literally, the room itself. Last year we were shoved on a blue carpeted hallway. We had about four (Count them; FOUR) Classrooms before you hit the staffroom (which always had more paper on the tables than the tables themselves!) Keep going on, and you hit the rental room, in which we had a mini-mountain of gear and equipment for all things filmy.
Now, they’ve decided to give the corridor to another department and we’ve moved to a place known as ‘The Hive’. (Its always other people who think of the best names!) Here they laid out the tables and Mac’s out to a more ‘office space’ layout, with basic dividers tactically placed in a attempt to combat the combined noise levels of three different classes occurring simultaneously. Once again, in stylish deep blue - the same as the blue carpet and the deep blue swivel seats.
I think the designer had a hard on for deep Blue.
Our first day back went without too much butt hurt. Tim (his Surname is Hammond - ‘Snigger Snigger’) started the day off with a fairly interesting lecture on Regulation and Restriction. I had done a year on the thing, but it was cool to see the difference in teaching style between a A Level on the subject to a Media Diploma. (A fancy term to BTEC) I surprised myself by learning that I preferred Tim’s version of the lesson to Helena’s; my A Level teacher. We even managed to get a small debate going on weather ‘Harry Potter’ should be counted as a British film or not. I used the answer that I got taught last year:
"A British film is any film which the Writer, Director, Acting talent and Producer were British."
This means that the film is British in everything but financially, given that the vast majority of people who worked the big jobs on it were British (Director(s), Actors and the Writer - of which you could argue was J.K. are all British. The loop hole is that the film was Financed and Produced by Warner Bros, an American Company.) I was able to close this loophole, however by referring to a Guardian article that says the new definition of a British film is a film that fulfills two criteria: “70% of the film’s budget must be spent in Britain” and “70% of the money allocated to labor must go to either European or Commonwealth citizens.”
The second half of the day was spent trouncing around Bath with Tom Grey (our one year old techie, before he got scouted. Now as a attempt to hold onto him, Tim gave him a semi-teaching job as well.) Tom did a mock Recce with us. I’d done Recce’s before, but not in a official sence. It was fairly fun in that the probability of me developing a RSI I’m sure has gone down a bit, so I suppose I should be thankful for that.
I always thought my first ever post to be ingrained into the indefinite space of the internet might be a bit more glamorous. At least be cheery and upbeat like so many other infinite blogs and posts made by people whom seem to be permanently ecstatic at every detail that occurs within their lives.
If you’re reading this expecting me to be the same, please leave now.
This blog, instead, will in fact follow me throughout my second year of the Media Diploma I am currently undertaking at the City of Bath College. It will be complete with all my ups and downs and the difficulties, dates and deadlines that will undoubtedly accompany me over the course of the next year.