Filming: Is complete!….

Posted: January 9, 2011 in Media

Thankfully after a hectic couple of days, I have successfully managed to complete all of my filming for my trailer.

Here is a summary and kind ‘journal’ of the days work in which I was able to film all of the shots and dialogue needed for the trailer

Week 1

Day 1

Well, to start filming again I realised that I needed to devise a new storyboard. This was mainly down to an actress I was having trouble with (that I mentioned earlier) as well as not being able to find any male actors willing to help me. So I quickly thought that because she does not have as much free time as I had originally thought, instead of re-casting her or cutting the character out of the trailer completely (which would have been a bad move as her character is quite vital to the story and film itself) I would develop my storyboard and thus create it into another.

So, focusing on the problems I had, I thought of replacing a couple of Alice’s shots with Kitty instead (as this actress had more free time for filming). Rather than focusing the trailer on Alice and Jack I am now focusing the trailer on Kitty and Alice’s relationship and how this is affected by Jack’s arrival and what he does to them both in the film. This new storyboard is meant to suggest someone is seeking revenge on Kitty (though they don’t know why) as well as making the audience do the following:

Feel sorry for Kitty, in the long-run misleading the audience to her character type/role (as she appears as though someone is torturing her but no one believes her, so she goes to Alice for help). When in reality, well, in the film, she is actually revealed to be a nasty and quite villainous character.

Wonder who the killer is (much influenced by the trailer for the film ‘Se7en’ I thought in this new storyboard I would cut out Jack’s dialogue but keep in the shots of him as they do not reveal his identity to the audience (this way they’ll still be guessing, even if they went to go see the film, as to who the killer is)

Wonder whether Alice will stop him (I feel this new storyboard shows Alice more as a heroic figure rather than a victim as she expresses determination to stop the killer which I don’t think she did in previous storyboards. This will make the audience wonder if she’ll be successful in the end)

Wonder what the killer’s motives are (This part hasn’t changed as much, as the audience are still given flashbacks into Jack’s past, but they will not necessarily realise this and therefore will be unsure as to why this person is targeting Kitty so specifically and being so extreme in their ways to hurt her)

Day 2

After figuring that I wanted Alice to appear extremely paranoid and scared due to the mind games Jack appears to be playing on her, I thought I would do some trial and error shots of doors being locked in a quick and frightened manner.

To get a wider and more diverse array of shots to choose the best from I filmed in two very different locations. At first I filmed in my own house, but I thought the lock was too modern and therefore didn’t look well…that good (some of the stills from these shots you can see above), it didn’t give the effect I had hoped for anyway. I even tried having the actress run in through the door and then frantically lock it but it still didn’t look right. And it was far too dark anyway.

Day 3

So the next day I took the camera to another location and had the actress use a different door and lock. This was a more old-fashioned sliding lock which I felt was a lot more affective. I tried out a lot of different angles for this shot, including:

Point of View (but this looked a little amateur and didn’t have a very good effect. Anyway, I already have a few POV shots within the trailer without putting any more in)

Bird’s eye view (well sort of…I just placed the camera directly above the lock. And although this looked different it just didn’t work for me)

The (very) Extreme close up just seemed the best. And I tilted it at an angle to try to mirror the fear and confusion that the character and audience, is going through (as the audience will be confused about whether Kitty is insane or really is being mentally tortured by someone),

I also tried out a few shots of some keys being turned in a door to get these feelings of entrapment and paranoia too. But I didn’t really feel any of these worked that well and were a little too alike the shots I had already done, so I didn’t want my trailer to seem repetitive and thus have chosen to leave them out of the trailer.

Day 4

This day I worked mainly on sound effects I may need or could help my trailer’s overall effect.

This was relatively simple, as I recorded the sound of footsteps or knocking doors, which would heighten tension and fear in the audience if used in the trailer, in the comfort of my own house whilst it was empty to get a clear sound.

Day 5

This day was particularly cold (you’ll realise what I mean in a minute) and I decided I wanted some shots of Kitty being intimidated whilst in her own home.

The idea is that Kitty would see signs and messages left by Jack that would scare her. They would disappear soon afterwards though so as to make her and other characters, question the truth in what she claims she saw and furthermore, her sanity.

So as it had previously snowed, I used a parked car outside that was covered in the stuff to write an incriminating message to the character. It stated ‘I’m watching you’ in big clear letters on the window screen so as to be clearly noticed by the audience. But to make it even scarier, after getting a few shots of the car being covered in this writing at different angles I then rubbed it off and took shots of that, so in the trailer it’ll look like the message on the car was all in the character’s head and make us question whether it is all really in her mind. It also allows the audience to connect to the character of Kitty as they see what she sees and therefore sympathizes with her when others don’t believe her. This would make the audience even more shocked when they learn the character they connect and sympathize with is really not one they should do this with at all (when her true character is revealed).

Getting in the ‘intimidating’ mood I carried on with this theme by writing ‘Do it for me?’ with a black pen on a mirror. I thought this seemed quite creepy and could make the audience question the meaning behind this message and how the character will react to it. I then got a few shots of the character attempting to rub this off the mirror in a hurry, as if scared or ashamed of what it said. But they only manage to smudge and it will not come off (showing that what she did to Jack cannot merely be wiped clean and done with). And then I washed the writing off (which was strangely very difficult!) and took a few different shots from the character’s POV realising that the writing had gone. So was it there or was it all in the character’s head?? If the audience really want to know they’d have to go see the film…if the film existed that is.

Day 6

Carrying on with the theme of mind games and intimidation, I brought back the syringe (which I had already filmed to show how Jack supposedly ‘dr*gged’ Kitty to make her hallucinate and eventually get addicted to it) to add to more of the mind games Jack plays on Kitty. I thought I could have the actress playing her to pretend to sleep and then wake up to reveal the syringe had been placed in her hand along with the words ‘Do it’ beneath a dotted line across her wrist. This is thought would add to the tension of the viewer as well as indicate to the theme of su*cide (which is what makes Jack’s revenge so unique– that he pushes most of his victim’s to take their own lives instead of him doing it– he just lets guilt do all the work). It also again, leads the viewer to question what is really going on in Kitty’s mind and whether she or someone else is behind all this.

Day 7

After talking through her new shots with actress who plays Kitty I got the new dialogue and shots of her completed successfully. I found this was very easy to do, and was glad I had picked to play such a vital role in my trailer as she understood completely what I had wanted from her and therefore got the shots and dialogue done exactly how I had previously planned them to look.

I also got the shot I needed of Ray (who in the film is actually Jack’s innocence) which may be a little too short because the camera was running out of battery and it was getting dark extremely fast ( which it seems to be doing a lot of lately) so if I find it is too short to put in the trailer I can easily go out and re-shoot it (because fortunately the location is outside my own house and the person playing Ray happens to live with me).

Week 2

Day 1

After having a chat to the actress who plays Alice I managed to finally complete my filming on this day. We used two locations (within the school, where I tried my best to make it not look like a school!) to make sure there was a bit of variety and looked as though the shots happens in more than one place and at different times (as real films usually do!). I carefully explained the purpose of each shot and although it took a little longer than I had expected, we did get them done.

I found it helpful to explain to the actress who her character was, what she was doing in the shot and why she was doing it rather than showing her the picture on my storyboard and simply saying ‘do that’. I think it helped the actress get into her role a lot easier and therefore probably helped the quality of my trailer overall.

So now, all that’s left is to edit it…which will probably take a while but I will keep posting as I go through this process.


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