Welcome to the blog of Rasam Production's Asa Newmarch (The Cinematographer), charting the evolution of the opening to the new feature film "Test Drive", jointly produced with Sam Pollock (The Director) and Rob Shaw (The Producer). You'll be able to see the final cut on YouTube [will be linked on a future day] as well as various short videos and vod/podcasts right here on this blog! Enjoy, and please feel free to comment/add suggestions!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Evaluation Question 7: Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

After looking back at the work I did for my prelim, I have learnt many things in progression from it to the full product. These things include, better preparation for filming, in terms of script, storyboards, call sheets and time management, since when me and my group first filmed the prelim, we didn’t have much time to prepare for the prelim and we had to make do with a rushed script and storyboard, and due to that it lead to poor time management because we had to reshoot the prelim. In comparison with the progression of the coursework product, we had better time management, due to the multiple extensions of the deadlines and even without them, my group’s time management was still good, since we spent a huge amount of time researching by looking in books, using the internet, looking at film openings relating to our genre etc. We also made multiple storyboards and call sheets to increase the development of the media product, due to having to rewrite the entire plot and concept of the product after the first rough cut was shown to the rest of our media group. We learnt from this, that even though we had to change the idea of the product, we would be able to show more elements of development, via items such as storyboards and call sheets.

Another thing we learnt was camera techniques, since in the prelim, we had to film again, due to the lack of shot-reverse-shot and the shaky camera. We also used a few camera angles, such as, mid-shots and close-ups. However, when we came to filming the coursework product, we used many different angles in order to hide the mechanic’s identity, such as, low-angle and over-the-shoulder shots for when the mechanic is talking to the girl, point-of-view, Dutch angles etc. We also managed to overcome the shakiness of camera, seen in some parts of the prelim, since we lacked a good quality tripod. However, we managed to keep all of the shots in the product steady, by using a tripod most of the time, while for the point-of-view shots; we just used the steadiest hand in our group.

We also learnt how to use the power of mise-en-scene, since it was lacking in the prelim. For example, the clothing in the prelim just signified that despite of the modern day setting, the actors just came in their casual clothes, which was another element that made us look unprepared for the prelim. When the time came for the production of the coursework product, we used all the aspects of mise-en-scene. For example, the girl’s IPhone anchors the time period as being modern day, due to the how technological advanced it is. We used whatever we could in the coursework product, whether it be a knife sliced through bread in order to symbolise horror and an upcoming murder or a boiler suit being intertexual to the antagonist of the Halloween film franchise, Michael Myers and denoting the mechanic’s social class.

One more thing we have learnt is how helpful the use of research is, since there was no research before we began filming the prelim and during that time, we should have at least glanced at one or two rom-coms because the genre of our group’s prelim was rom-com. When we got round to doing the coursework, before we started filming the product itself, we did a huge amount of research in order to know what elements to use. For example, we looked at many different film openings in order to find out what techniques, we learned how to pull off these techniques correctly from the good, A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, Wes Craven) for example. We also looked at the not so good examples to know how not to pull off these techniques. E.g. Cry Wolf (2005, Jeff Wadlow) and the Halloween remake (2007, Rob Zombie). Besides from looking at film openings, we also looked at sources of information on the internet and books to see what people thought of these techniques and they pulled them off.

Here are both the prelim and the coursework products, so that you can see how me and my group progressed from them:



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