Prompt #6 – Reflection on ‘Doco in a Day!’

Reflecting on the last editing in this semester. In this blog, I will express my emotion, expose the process of editing and the mistakes I made which results in a sense of dissatisfy. (Well, I don’t know whether the expression is correct or not, I just spit it out.)

Pre – Production

I believe that every practice which we had done in the tutorial gave us an opportunity to know more about our group members. Since the first time we were decided to be in a same group, we have been sticking together in the following tasks till now. We have already been familiar with our basic situations and skills by each group member,  which allows us run a successful collaboration every time when we are facing difficulties. Every strategy that we decided to use, difficulties we overcame and conflicts that we had have become  unforgettable and pleasure memories which help me making progress.

The last task we have prepared for couple of weeks.  We had shot VOX BOX without a reasonable plan, and then problems have been found when we reviewed the records. We made a plan to address the problems that we found and try to avoid same mistakes in the next shooting.

  • framing (subject in the middle and face to right, camera over eyeline, necessary to consider the rule of thirds, head room)
  • unclear subject (did not focus on subject)
  • subjects look around
  • micro phone is in frame
  • bad quality of sound

Production

Next shooting: we did indoor interview in the morning and VOX BOX in the afternoon. 

Indoor interview: preparation and group light setting took us a very long time, especially the dido light. The color is too warm when we open the dido. The lights is hard to control due to the color temperature. We had made a shadow that cast on the black background but the color grading I used in the Post – Production has vanished the shadow.  I was dissatisfied with the interview but I tried to redeem it. (I will explain more about the shadow and how I redeem the footage in Post- Production)

Outdoor Vox Box: One problem is the camera storage. That is intolerable because we just shot 6 or 7 footage. And when we gonna to shot the last interview, a symbol in the camera screen flickered continually. I checked the storage and found that there was 48 footage in the camera! The problem is we don’t know how to delete the footage cause we can’t find the delete button on the camera. So we use iphone to shoot the last interview.

Post – Production

Same as the practices I did before, I categorized, renamed and duplicated the clips. This time, I had come up with a theme and chosen a background music before I edited. The questions we asked each interviewees are too much, so I have to choose some of them. I started to arrange the clips when I got a plan in my mind. I did not proud of that I had pressed the I & O button hundred times at all because I made a mistake. I forgot the color grading before I cut the footage result in time consuming on repeating color grade. However, the effect is superb. As I mentioned before, the shadow we made was vanished. I have to consider the color tone instead of the dramatic shadow.Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 8.16.41 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 8.54.53 PM

See the difference between the raw clip and after effected clip. We can see the shadow in the original clip. The reason why I changed the color tone is simply because the white noise is very clear. I added the Lumetri Looks (Compression 1) and the shadow was gone. I added Lumertri Looks (cold mix) in order to make it not too yellow.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 8.31.12 PM

Lumetri Looks (Compression 1) have been added into all the footage that we had shot indoor. A very clear white noise can be seen in the original clips(on the left), and the right clips are much better. I didn’t added the cold mix because it would be too blue if I added. In production, we set the light constantly when we switch interviewees. We probably used the dido when Aliee was interviewed. 

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I did a great effort to resize footage. As you can see the image below that I captured from a footage. The rest of the frame is black background. It is not to hard to resize it, just click the clip’s effect, but I had cut all the clips before I resized it!

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I think hardest part is audio editing. I have to follow the rhythm of the background music. I pinned a lot of keyframe by using a pencil tool, and lowered it.

I would like to point out the parts I dislike that I find after exported it. I dragged the footage directly instead of transitions and left some space in the middle. The duration of the black spaces are quite different. The first black space is much longer than second one. The question board is a little bit short. The intended gap I added is too short that can’t deliver a sense of humor. I don’t like some footage I inserted in very much. I think I will go to the studio again and reedit it.

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Prompt #5 – Reading

In Pawel Pawlikoski’s article, he talks about the value of documentaries which is not to show objective information but the producers’ critical points of view of reality. I totally agree with Pawel that documentary is to promote a point of view. On the contrary, feature films is aim to entertain the audience, to give the audience a relaxation.

Most feature films are fiction. Indeed, there are some feature films based on real people and stories. However, drama will be added into the feature films by screenwriters and directors. By contrast, documentary is all about the authenticity of the world. In other words, documentary is taking liberty with the facts of the events. Documentary can take on everything, such as social, profile a person, animals, war and so on. Most exciting thing is that documentary does not have scripts. The director does not know what happen in the next second when the camera is operating.

Pawel mentioned that TV is the only way for documentaries’ survival whilst TV is killing the documentary. Thanks to top stars, directors and other elements, feature films are very popular among people, and easily survive. I do not think documentary will be killed in the future.  For example, A Bite of China is a successful documentary that introducing a numerous chinese traditional food for  travellers or the people who loves food. The director combined the different style and considered the present situation of china. The documentary has profound meaning and purpose, to some extent, it boosted tourism in China and preserved the recipes of a nearly extinct food. As if we have a chance to use the accessible equipments to record the dinosaur in 201 million years ago.

(314 words)

Prompt #4 – Colour Grade

One of my biggest challenges is color correction cause I have never used it before. I even believed that a film has a beautiful color which is created by expensive camera. However, my mind was changed after I had done the color grading in the post production section. The results of color grading can be easily found in our favorite films, and color grading is widely used everywhere from feature films, to web videos, especially commercials .

Wikipedia defines Color Grading as ‘the process of altering and enhancing the color of a motion picture, video image, or still image either electronically, photo-chemically or digitally.’

 I believe that color grading is same as the scene that director should have a careful thought because color can change the meaning of video and helps to express the situation or environment. For example, color grading can be used to make different feelings to audiences, a scene feel warm or cold, or eerie or pleasant. I normally used the three way color corrector effect to tint the clips.There are three color wheels  in the effect controls, shadows, midtones and highlights. I used cool greens and blues to make the picture looks colder, which can trick audiences’ mind into thinking the weather is cold, while warms oranges, browns and yellows can make audiences think the story happened in the middle of summer. 

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In order to counteract the blue color which was the basic tint of the original clip, I controlled  the color wheel, and dragged towards orange. I tinted the whole image towards orange. Thereafter, a middle of 20th century film looked scene appeared.  The image popped after I have turned the saturation to 40%.

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The saturation was also playing a significant role on changing the skin tone of Lenny’s face. I moved the wheel in the direction of the color which I wanted to be the color tone of his face, for it can be dialed in to create an unaffected tone.

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During the production section, a catalog of problematic footage would be explored, coupled with this color correction needs to be done. However, I found myself incapable of fixing them sometimes. When bad footage is unavoidably  needed then color grading can help to rescue it.

(370 words)

Prompt #2 – Keyboard shortcuts

According to Jonny ‘The beauty of being able to fully customize the keyboard shortcuts in Premiere Pro CC is that each editor can piece together a set of shortcuts that fit them like a glove’ (Jonny, 2014). Basically, keyboard shortcuts are the elementary skills for editors which are regarded as the quickest, most precise way to cut down footage, especially when it comes to trimming and removing large portions of clips at one time. In other words utilization of keyboard shortcuts is a good way to speed up editing instead of finding out the tools in the Premiere toolbar.

In the post-production part of practice, I found it is very time consuming to click the mouse forwards or backwards on selecting clips in the timeline panel and changing a particular parameter in effects panel when I was require to color grade and add some effects to the Lenny clips. Fortunately, Premiere Pro CC does have a keyboard shortcut for choosing the next and previous clip in the timeline (cmd+down arrow and cmd+up arrow), which helped me color grading all the clips in minutes. It is better to render the sequences after adding some effects which may guarantee the smooth playback of the footage.

In my opinion, every single person has the capability to operate Premiere, and finishes rough sound mixing  in their own ways. The key frames and the pen tool is widely used by people. However I do not like that way very much simply because that is hard to make big changes within a short time. The way I figured out is to working on the audio clips by cutting out the section of sound, altering the hierarchies of the audio and adding audio transitions to gain fade up as well as fade down. Moreover,  if there was a need of affecting the duration of the fade, I trimmed the audio or transitions. Indeed, this is very easy to reset too.

Reference 

Jonny, E 2014, Premium Beat. 08 October 2014. Jonny Elwyn: Blog. Available from: <http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/three-premiere-pro-cc-shortcuts-you-shouldnt-edit-without/&gt;.

(335 words)

Prompt #1 – Lenny reflection on

2 days video shooting provided us a good chance to learn the process of film making. We had met difficulties when we were shooting, which resulted to the harsh editing following by. It is hard for us to make a beautiful stuff in the first time. However, it is just a practice of learning new things, not of accomplishing a project.

Pre – Production (we are planning)

The first stage was all about discussion and sharing ideas among the members of my group before we started shooting. We started by assigning different jobs but based on everyone’s skills. I believe that is very important to arrange ourselves into the correct position, so as to enable us to do what we are good at and in which aspects we can make a great contribution to our group. For example, Francis is good at camera, so he was decided to be the cameraman, and he can teach us a lot about camera during the period of time when we were shooting. Afterwards, we looked at our script personally, I (1st AD) had freehand drawn the storyboard drafts with different scene, which can help me to express to Arron (Director) the pictures of script in myIMG_0932IMG_0931 mind clearly before we outlined and scheduled the script. After that we confirmed the script with the actress and the actor that they were to have a clear understanding of some particular actions, emotions as well as the relationship between Lenny and Sharron. Finally, we locked on the location where shooting would take place.

Production (just do it)

The first day, we set all the things but failed to notice that the camera does not working because of some unpredictable problems. Obviously, this is my mistake because this is part of 1st AD’s job which is double checking whether the equipment functions well or not. We wasted approximately 50 minutes on resetting the camera. The first day was wasted, whereas this lead us a successful shooting next day. We cherished and made full use of time to shoot. Due to the absenteeism of some people, Arron was changed to be the actor whilst I got the important role (Director) in the group. That was the first time I operated a veritable filming and experienced the whole process, which was impressive.

Post – Production (make it alive!)

I could not conceal my inner excitement when I had stepped into the awesome studio downstairs. We had been divided into 2 people groups before we started working. After that ,each of us was required to put the group videos that we shoot together last time  into a folder named Lenny in a computer then we could use the files, and create a new project into Adobe Premiere. We referred to the file, ‘Starting Off – Premiere’ , which is published in Paul’s blog and needs us to follow the steps about how we import the footage into Premiere. Everything went well in the beginning. However I got mad when playing with each of the clips because one third of them were duds. The second problem was that our clapper loader did not operate the clapperboard properly in the beginning of each take, which slowed down my process of renaming the clips.  (i. The clapperboard is not in the frame. ii. The wrong scene, shot and take order. iii. Repetition of scene, shot and take.) From this point, I realize organizing and renaming all of the clips is time-saving for the following edits. I have tried to montage the clips, which was aiming to make it a real video. I did 3 projects of Lenny shooting, but concern that they are almost the same with slight differences.

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Prompt – Crew Roles

I still remember the first time I watched the cast and the crew list at the end of the movie carefully. It was long and boring, but I had nothing to do except keep my eyes on the screen and enjoy the background music. Only a few of the crews will be known by audiences, including the directors, the actors and actresses, but there are still hundreds, even thousands of people working on just one production for years to present the fantastic two hours in cinemas.Then I realized what the huge production a movie is as the crew roles in that paper sheet.

And of course, I want to be one of them. There are so many different departments in a film making crew, and each department also has different key roles. For example, I am the 1st AD in our practice group. When I heard this word from Jeremy, I was confused because there are so many directors, the director, the 1st AD and the 2nd AD. What’s that? What’s the difference? The duty of different roles excited my curiosity. Jeremy explain the jobs of 1st AD and 2nd AD to me. It is very important to arrange yourself into the correct position so that you can do what you are good at and make a great contribution to your group. If you want to be a director, you shall know that a good director is broadly knowledgeable and possessed of a lively, inquiring mind and so on. “Developing a Crew” shows us the requirements of every role in film making, such as script supervisor, producer, director of photography and sound recorder.

For now, as we’re all students, we cannot make our crew so skillful and professional. That’s fine because a low-budget film crew is also small, perhaps 6 to 10 persons take our practice group for example. However in our shooting practice, we failed to notice that the camera does not work. This is my mistake because this is one part of my job. We wasted approximately 50 minutes on resetting the camera again and again. Maybe we are lack of practice and experience, but we’re not lack of the love of our work. Problems always allow us to analysis failure and avoid the same mistake next time.

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Prompt – Goals and Desires

I have been thinking this question many times since I was first attracted to the digital media before I had started my bachelor degree. Like other filmmakers, I would like to do some films that the audience like to watch. I was willing to be more academic, therefore that becomes the reason that I came to Australia to develop my skills and fulfill my dream. I have to exploit every opportunity to learn new things that especially connected to my major. In this semester, I have set a lot of tasks which aims to push myself on learning new skills, such as Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere. The rule of thirds as well as the basic skills of equipment setting have also been practiced meanwhile.

Contemporary Media  Work Practice guides us to share our works via the Internet. Especially the skill that allow us to share personal files on our own web page. For this course, I am looking forward to share the inspirations which I have obtained from exercises that I had done during the first few weeks of the semester as well as the stories we were required to read.

The tutor of Sound and Image has given heaps of constructive recommendations on film shooting. We tried to collect sound, and to reset the camera many times so as to improve the proficiency in using the equipment. The professor showed us how wIMG_2894e can deconstruct the images as well as explore the rules of thirds. The methodology that he has presented is considered as a basic approach to the basis of aesthetics. I am eager to master the essential skills that we are required to use in our future careers. The tutor has given and offered ways that will help me accomplishing more and more achievements  in my future study.

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