Thursday, 7 April 2011


In this post, I will be looking back to my preliminary task, and find how my skills improved over the time. Also, I might compare some good  scenes from my final movie, with preliminary's poor recording/editing/soundtrack. I will demonstrate how did I get these skills and what changed since preliminary task. 

This is my preliminary task. I have created it with group 35. "The death".

This is my final movie - "Run to the past" created by myself.


The first thing I spotted is the opening. It's awful. Or, even more specific - there is no opening. Each movie needs to be open - needs a good start to have good finish. This is not what we can find in my preliminary task, because the movie starts with girl opening the door (match cut), and I wouldn't be surprised if audience says "What the hell? when did I miss the opening?".
From my experience gained while creating the movie, I realised that the best type of shot for opening is the long one or establishing. Of course, It is very difficult to do the establishing without helicopter or standing on the building's roof. All what I did is standing still on my sofa:) However, calm and peaceful start of the movie is very effective, especially for action ones, because there is a huge change of tempo and speed which looks incredible.


For first 25 seconds there is absolute no soundtrack. Normally people do not realise that, but music is extremely important to keep audience... awake. Surely, if people would actually watch this movie, they would get bored after 20 seconds of silence. 

In my opening, you can see clearly hear the non-diagetic acoustic guitar music in the background, which makes the audience feel "welcome" in house where my actress stays at, but also might suggest peace and calmness. Also, I think that music played from acoustic instruments are the best soundtracks for openings. And it's difficult to say why... I just feel this way. Maybe, the reason why is that I have watched so many films with similar openings (e.g. Shining, Catch me if you can, Dexter), that now it feels like natural (normal?). 


There is quite a significant difference between speed, action and movement when comparing my preliminary film with the final one. The prelim also has the running, however the editing is very poor and the number of shots is low. While making the prelim, I had no idea how to create the sense of action. Of course, I knew that changing speed is extremely important. 
Now, I know that important factor is the huge number of shots from different angles, as well as good soundtrack and editing. Before creating my movie while half term, I watched few favorite movies e.g. "Matrix" and "Lords of the ring" to get the idea how to create action and suspense. Why these movies? I found the editing very powerful in both of them, and I was concentrated on successful speed changing and match cuts. 


I also gained the skill of planning my editing. Before I've actually started to record my movie, I knew how it's going to look like after editing. Of course, not everything went as I hoped, but most of my tasks were successfully completed on a good standard. When I've started the AS media course, or  even while doing the preliminary task, I had absolutely no sense/imagination and vision. I really think that it is the most important  skill I've learned, because this "imagination" is something that every good director/editor/camera men needs to have on a highest standard.

I am pretty sure that this can be obtained by doing more research about how to create the movie, but also listening to words of fantastics directors, like Hitchcock. In addition, watching great movies but paying more attention to editing/soundtrack instead of storyline is very important. Before doing AS media, I was watching the movies with more passion and being more interested in what's going on, instead of "how was it created?", "why was it created?". You've ruined my life! :))


While doing prelim with group 35, I wasn't really paying attention to music and sounds. I thought that keeping the original ones is fine, and didn't see the point of muting the sound and pasting the ones obtained from Soundtrack pro. Now, I know that I couldn't be more wrong! As you can see in prelim, the sounds were pasted very poorly, some of them do not match, and some of them are out of place. Me and my group ruined the film because of that, but well... at least I've learned something from it. 
Now, I know that muting the film is very important because we can get rid of any background noises, especially the ones we do not want (like camera operator's sneezing... :)). Also, by pasting the new ones, we gain more quality sound and we also can increase/decrease the volume if needed for special editing. While watching my movie, you can also spot few mistakes, but I the idea is that I was able to increase the volume of e.g. car passing by or footsteps, and decrease the soundtrack.

I did realise that while editing the "007 James Bond" clips. I was shocked how it is possible that the sound while Bond was fighting was fully pasted from programs like Soundtrack Pro. There was so many of them... Astonishing! And even that I am not the kind of person who is interested in sound editing, I payed much more attention. Now, I know that sound editor needs to have extremely good skills, good imagination and lots of patience while listening to millions of sound clips... 

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