Posted: January 26, 2011 in Media

Strangely I managed to get all of the filming required done in one day. The shots we got are of a better standard I feel than the previous ones and so all I have to do now is edit them into my trailer and hopefully get some more audience feedback.

Well I went over the shots again with the actress playing Alice ( as most of the shots that needed replacing included her character). I explained to her what was wrong about them and how I thought we could overcome them.

The first shot we discussed was the one where she looks through a cupboard and tries to find evidence that will point to Jack being the killer. The problem being that when the actress moved, she revealed she was obviously in a classroom and this, as well as giving off the wrong idea to the audience, looked very amateur. So, we searched the school site for a place which had a bookcase but would not hint to having a school-like atmosphere (so no workbooks or posters or pupils running in the shot etc). Finally we found a location for the scene that was even better than what I had previously used– a closet with shelves. This I think worked well as the actress improvised by turning off the light and shutting the closet door (with the camera on record) and then went in, turned on the light and searched for the ‘information’. Comparing stills from each shot (previous shots are on the left and then the new, developed shot is on right) I think it looks much better and overall more professional than the old shot did:


Next we moved onto the case of the syringe that is obviously a pen. Now in my shot it didn’t really occur to me really that the audience would really pick up that the ‘syringe’ was just  a pen that looked quite like one. And obviously that takes away from the whole feeling and atmosphere of the trailer a bit. I discussed this with the actress also and mentioned it would probably work just as well if I took out the ink and replaced it with a needle or safety-pin perhaps, thus making it look like an actual syringe. Luckily the actress just happened to have one on her and after securing it in the syringe-pen I re-shot the shot where ‘do it’ is written across the hand holding the syringe and then later also the scene where the syringe comes toward the camera (from a POV shot of Kitty). My initial thoughts is that both shots look far more realistic and therefore hopefully will give my trailer a much darker tone:

And last but certainly not least we sorted out the ‘shoulder’ shot. What’s meant to be a flashback into Jack’s childhood in the trailer (and film itself) my previous shot I felt was a little too rushed and therefore I did not take into account what the background would be and what it’d look like in the trailer. I’ve learnt from my mistakes and this time we were less rushed and discussed and tried out various places in classrooms and decided what would or wouldn’t work. After a little while of experimenting and thinking over where would be the best place we chose in front of a wooden door. This way it could not possibly insinuate for the location to be a school and looks pretty much like any ordinary door. I also think, now looking at the stills from the old and new replacement shots of this flashback scene that positioning near a window was a good idea as it helped to bring light onto the shot and therefore makes it look clearer and less amateur/ rushed (as you can see for yourself below):

What I’ve learnt

Usually I don’t include my thoughts on filming as a whole but today I think I have learnt a lot about directing and also working with actors. I think specifically I  have learnt a valuable lesson in re-shooting today: that going over old shots and re-shooting them is not always a pointless or irritating task. At first I was irritated that I would need to go over more shots because I wanted to focus on my editing work and did not want to have to go ‘backward’ to the filming process. But I’ve learnt that this task of re-shooting is actually moving ‘forward’ more than it is ‘backward’. It’s not just simply going ‘back’ because it shows you have noticed something is wrong with your shots and you have the motivation to go out and re-shoot them all- showing also your determination to make it look just right and achieve the right affect on your audience. I also found re-shooting these scenes very useful as when in a different frame of mind you can make them look a million times better. You can slow down, without feeling rushed and think ‘what didn’t I do right last time?‘ or ‘what will make the shot look better this time?’ etc. Because in the end, if someone comments on a shot saying it either looks bad/wrong it’s better to take the criticism and go out and re-shoot it, than it is to just ignore their ideas completely. Because the audience generally is being critical for your sake and not for the sake of merely being critical.

I’ve also learnt that most of the time actors and actresses can generally be very helpful when filming. They can give you good ideas about shots that even you didn’t think about (like the actress playing Alice did when she turned out the light and shut the door) and tend to bring more contribution to the film itself than merely their acting or presence in the film. I also think that it helps to make a bond with actors if you’re working on a film because this way you can have a right atmsophere while filming, it’ll build overall enthusiasm towards the film itself and they’ll therefore know how important it is for you to get the filming done and as well as possible.


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