11/3/19 - Proposal process
I’m an aspiring director and that is the role I’ve taken on for each of my projects. This is what I love to do, this has been a skill I had before beginning any of projects because I was able to let my peers (if doing group work) know exactly how something should be done for it to be effective in the end. I became more confident in how to do so overtime. At the beginning of the year I think it is safe to say that I was not confident about how efficient I could do the given assignments because there had to be an immense amount of research and thought put into them, however, working through them all I gained skills and became more confident.
Skills such as: Observational – this is a competency I gained over the course of doing my other assignments; paying attention to the small details and noting down things on a day to day basis is really helpful because it results in the success of the final product.
Time Management – I have been able to improve on how to prioritise well therefore resulting in pre-production, production and post production running smoothly.
Creative – I am automatically filled with ideas of about my given work once I know what the format should be. This can be shown throughout my projects.
RSC – Macbeth trailer:
The NUN – Corin Hardy; the director of ‘The NUN’ was one of my influences simply because there were moments in the film where he really captured the horror. A particular scene which I like was when the NUN was standing behind the girl.
As shown below, I mimicked this idea in my trailer because I liked how scared the actors are knowing that there is something behind them and they do not know what it is.
The movie ‘The Forest’ (2016) was also another influence of mine because there was a major jump scare at the end that really frightened me when I first watched it.
1:26:52 – Michi looks into the forest and sees Sara’s spirit which rushes at him.
I used this idea in my trailer, however, I did not have the actor rush out at someone. She just popped up almost out of nowhere.
- A POV shot – the candle is being held by the protagonist.
- The witch jumps out of nowhere and blows out the candle. At this point I included the jump scare and it worked really well because it was unexpected.
- The candle is blown out.
The mood board and relevant influences reflected the theme and the genre and the shots in my trailer were recreated to show the depths, colours and composition of the pictures in the mood board.
e.g., the image of the queen being superior to the king was shown in my trailer.
The use of the candles as the only source of lighting is what made the trailer good. Though some of the shots were darker than other it still worked because I was trying to convey the codes and conventions of a horror.
The idea was being afraid to turn off the lights and going upstairs. I think it was well thought-out however the weak points were the lighting and camera work.
Storyboarding for my short film was important because I needed to fit all my shots into 90 seconds, when I first pitched my idea to my peers, there was a lot of content that needed to fit into 90 seconds and it seemed impossible. During the storyboarding process it was then that I realised I needed to cut a few things because I was not going to fit it all in 90 seconds, in doing so, it did not disrupt the outline of my idea – it showed me that the minor things that I thought needed to be in there did not need to be. Minor details being having a tracking shot throughout, it did not fit with the film and it took up a lot of time.
My influences were a majority of films and short films about the dark. It was fitting because that is what my short film is about. Though there aren’t any scary figures in my short film, it was more about the fear of what’s in the dark and the ‘scary figures’ are often what people think lurk in the shadows.
Director David Sandberg’s ‘Light’s Out’ was a major influence of mine during this production, though, I have never watched the movie because I do not like to watch horror films. I used it as an influence because it was ver similar to my idea – growing up I have always been afraid of the dark because of what I think lurk in the shadows and lights out plays on the same idea however the difference between them both is my short film is made to seem that it in all in your head and what you think isn’t actually there but with Light’s Out, you can actually see the scary thing in the dark.
SMART TARGETS for IMPROVEMENT:
(S) specific – My main role is being director for this production. I want to be able to ensure that every detail is looked into because in the film there will be flashbacks to the night of the incident and the audience will notice the mistake of not having a particular thing in shot when the character flashes back.
(M) measurable – Having the end result how my peer and I desires it to be is another target I need to improve upon. The solution for this is making sure that a lot of work goes into pre-production and researching.
(A) achievable – The point of a target i challenge and motivate yourself to complete set projects , tasks etc., setting a target too high is bound to cause unnecessary stress and lowering the chances of the target being met. The solution is ensure that the idea is achievable and not impossible to reach.
(R) realistic – As the director it is my job to make sure that the projects runs smoothly so having an idea that is way too ambitious and cannot be done would be setting myself up for failure. The solution for this is to make sure my idea and targets for the idea is achievable.
(T) Time-bound – I like sticking to deadlines because it motivates me to do my work and sticking to deadlines ensures that your work flows smoothly and without the stress of rushing. The solution is always to do the work now rather than procrastinating.
Narration – voice over by protagonist.
One stormy night the dad walks in drunk. The mother sends her daughter to her room and immediately makes her way upstairs to avoid any confrontation. The dad makes his way upstairs, dramatically stumbling across the hallway, wreaking havoc on anything in his path. He starts to yell at the mother from outside the bedroom door, frightened, the mother gets up and tries to leave the room. The increased tension between the couple is broken by the footsteps of their daughter. “Mom, are you ok?”, she asked. “Go to your room Althea!” she says as tears rolls down her bruised cheek. Slamming her head against the wall, the dad starts to choke the mother, wrapping his hands around her neck as sharp as glass. Horrified the little girl pushes the dad, causing him to fall down the stairs. The mom gasped and grabs her daughter and says “listen to me, DO NOT TELL ANYBODY WHAT HAPPENED HERE, DO YOU HEAR ME?! I need you to go to your room and lock the door, ok?” whimpering as she followed the commands. Leaving the mother isolated with the dead body, the decay of the household, the rotting of the marriage.
Blurred to the current state of matter, Althea is seen sat in front of a large, empty, white canvas as blank as her mind, picking up the paintbrush, she draws from the sorrows of her mind – talking to the painting as it talks back. She decides to go for a walk, she enjoys walking, and it calms her mind and puts her in a state of total serenity. She’s walking in a field and grazes the plants with her hand, suddenly, she falls back into yet another trance like state which opens the door to another revelation. Walking alone on the cold, wet pavement, her glassy eyes burdened with the stress of a typical teenager. Just as a car passes by she closes her eyes and feels her mind detach from reality and swung into her inner hidden emotions and secrets. Her dizziness carries her through these past memories like a cloud being swept by a storm. The wind in her ears slowly transforms into whispers. Whispers turn to voices. She’s there re living the dreadful night that she had buried. Sinking out from the tunnel of dark memories, voices faded by the loud noise of a screeching horn.
Artwork that relates to my idea:
The Scream, 1893 by Edvard Munch.
I think it’s a good thing when life imitate arts because it has powerful symbolisms, deeper meanings and forges a connection between the artist and the viewer. It is an unspoken bond.
Whenever I look at Munch’s art of ‘The Scream’ I see escapism. Everything around seems confined. Despite the fact that there are two people walking it still has the underlying of isolation and that is a common feeling for those who have or is experience domestic abuse/violence.
Bruised Face Broken Heart by Sarah Moore.
This painting is strictly about domestic abuse. The positioning of the woman shows her defeat and acceptance of what has now become her reality. She is sitting with her arms wrapped around her legs like a child who has just been punished. The dark, gloomy colours used could suggest how she sees the world. The bruise on her face and arms are more potent because they stand out. The deep, dark red shows that she has been exposed to an aggressive physical act of violence.
Music video that also relates to my idea:
Her Morning Elegance / Oren Lavie
When I first watched this music video I would have never thought it was about domestic violence which goes to show that domestic violence comes in many forms and it is not just about the physical abuse.
It is when I was told to read the lyrics and then watch the video it all started to make sense and I would start to piece things together. There was one particular shot that made me come to a realisation of the negative connotations in the video.
The shot where she seems to be floating away and he grabs her by her feet and pull her back down to him suggests the power he has over her to make her stay. The image example is below.
I intend to have a progression diary where I will make a note of all the things I did that day and comment on the strengths and weakness and how I could possibly improve for the next tasks ahead. I will be constant documenting each stage from pre-production to post production.
This is our final major project and we will have to work to the best of our abilities to have success within the final product. I will have critical analysis of myself and my team member because we need to be able to work efficiently and effectively on this to have a sustainable production.
Case studies – I intend to have several case studies about the topic which is about domestic abuse/violence. My lecturer along with my peer; who I’m working on this project with have both agreed to be apart of my case study. I will have an open discussion with them both as they have experience this first hand. I think this a good approach to the topic because it is a very sensitive issue and if I was to do this wrong it would cause massive offence to a lot of people. Hearing the stories from people have been through domestic abuse/violence will give me insights on what I should include in my short film and result in the authenticity of it all.
Interviews – I also wanted to have proper interview with someone outside of college because everyone’s story is different and it will give me more of an advantage on how to approach this properly, though, this might be risky because it can be triggering for that person to be asked to bring such uncomfortable and traumatic memories. If I am successful in getting an interview I will offer helplines and the proper support (I have researched the support) to that person and as I said, my peer has been through the same thing so he can empathise with that person as well.
Approaching a topic of such will require an immense amount of research. My idea also has elements of mental health. I will need to research more into mental health, the effect it has and how they cope. Mental health is not a something a lot of people openly speak about which they should because it is just as serious as a having a terminal illness.
I will have to consider the proper lighting for my short film because it is imperative when filming anything. The lighting must be in your favour. The solution for this is to location scout and when the location is secured I can do many test shots to see just how I want the actors to be positioned to have the best lighting.
A particular thing I would like to do test shots of is focus shifting.
Here is an example I found on Youtube:
I have never done a focus shift because so doing it on something that is moving would be difficult for a beginner. I would have the actors or an object to be still to focus the background then the foreground then back on the background.
I will do statical research into domestic abuse/violence and mental health and see just how man people are affected by it as it is a very serious matter. I will include graphs, charts and numbers with descriptions under each.
I will also do both primary and secondary research about domestic abuse/violence.
Cast and Crew – I have already started to look for potential cast who would be best suited for the role. So far I have gotten 2 out of the 4 people I need. I think this really good considering production starts on 1.4.19. The crew is already sorted because it is just my peer and I and we have discussed each we are undertaking since the very beginning of this project. I will be the director and assistant cinematographer and she will be the the non-executive director, producer and cinematographer. We both have firm roles, however, we will still help each other out if necessary.
Location – We have four potential locations which is really good at this point in the project because location scouting can be very tedious. My peer and I will have a look at each location and come to an agreement of which one we think is best then do a risk assessment for it.
Release forms – These are very vital in a production because there needs to be viable proof that the actors consented to being filmed or else they could potential sue. The actors need to have all the information such as: where the video or images are going to be displayed.
Test shots – These are important because they show you mistakes that you made that you can fix for the actual filming. I am planning to do a few test shots over the next week before I begin to film.
13/3/19 - Gibb's Reflective Cycle
Description - What happened?
I had a 10 minute 1 to 1 session with one of my lecturers about the idea I have for my short film and he gave me valuable insights about how I should go about approaching it and what I need to include to make my proposal more effective. I took what he said on board and did more work on my proposal.
He read my review and agreed that what I listed as my strengths were accurate because he had seen my progress over the months and how I have developed and became more confident in each that I listed. Where I said I gained observational skills over the course of doing my other assignments, he went on to give me an example which was my Macbeth trailer for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He said “ It was very detailed and I really captured the horror”. Also, where I listed that I was creative he agreed because the ideas I have are really good and try my very best to execute them well, with that being said, there is always more room for improvement which is time management. I have gotten better at adhering to the deadlines of the production scheduling, though, it could be even better and by this, I mean, not having pre-production work run over into production.
I did a list for my ‘SMART’ target for improvements and where I said staying within deadlines keeps me motivated because it allows me to get the work done, he agreed that I was very motivated to do work because I know what grades I want to get out of it once this all finishes.
I included influences into my review from previous assignments and he said that they were very vague because they were just a list of films I had gotten ideas from without any explaining behind them. He told me to be more specific as to why I was influenced by that director and why those films in particular because that way it becomes more purposeful. He then went on to say that I storyboard well, especially for the 90 second short film because I did manage to keep at 90 seconds.
He started to go through the project concept and before he really started to read it, he asked if me or my peer has ever been exposed to domestic violence/abuse. The reason he asked is because this is a very serious, touching and sensitive issue and if it not researched properly it can cause offence and look bad on us. He suggested that we speak to charities and organisation that deal with the matter because that way we can be more educated on the subject and approach it well for our short film. He agreed to be a case study because he has experienced this first hand and I think it is really good because I want to be able to understand what is like for someone to go through that, how they coped and how they are coping now.
Feelings - What were you thinking or feeling ?
When my lecturer was going through my proposal I was thinking how well I will need to be able to do this. I was really happy with what he had to say because he gave me really good insights. He has experienced this so he told me change a few things around to make it a authentic as possible. My job now is to work out how I would capture that into a film and work out how I would capture that dread, horror and panic. I would have to approach this very well with thorough research.
Evaluation - What was good/bad about the situation ?
The good thing was that I learned a lot more about the topic I chose to do. I was given influences to research and organisations that I could possibly reach out to, to speak on the matter.
Also, that my lecturer has agreed to be a case study and personally speak on his own experience of the matter.
The only bad thing was that I did not fully complete my proposal so I was not given any feedback on my on evaluation methods and research proposal.
Analysis – What sense can you make of the situation ?
I understood what he said I should include in my review however I thought it of more importance to make note of the project concept because that it is the idea and it was a good thing that I did because it was really helpful and insightful what he had to say to me.
Conclusion - What could you have done ?
To conclude if I could have done is to finish the task because I would have gotten more feedback on what to include in my proposal. I wanted to use someone outside of college to do a formal interview with them about their experience with domestic violence/abuse because everyone’s story is different and I would like to have as much information on the matter to be able approach it well. I could have also asked questions about how I could possibly reach to other people without sounding insensitive or trigger them as it is an uncomfortable topic that most people do not want ever open up about.
Action plan – if the situation arose again, what would you do?
- Complete task by the given deadline – more feedback is given when more is written.
- Ask necessary questions that could possibly result in the success of the final product.
- Ask about cinematography – which shot types would be effective when a particular scene came on.