All posts by jarrodpeck

Colour Grading

Original
Original Image

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 10.52.54 am

Version 1

For this version of the image I wanted to make a dark and ominous looking image so I brought the Shadows, Mid-tones and Highlights all down and put some blue into the shot to create this darker scarier looking image.

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 10.56.05 am

Version 2

For this version I decided to try and make it less ominous so I brought the Mid-tones up and Shadows up and also put some yellow into the shot to also brighten it up a little bit.

 

Original 2
Original

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 10.01.04 am
Version 1

In this version of the colour grade i wanted to remove the person standing in the back ground and stylise the two people in the foreground a little bit. I brought the shadows down which removed the man in the background I then put a little yellow into the mid tones and put a little blue into the shadows and highlights.

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 10.49.32 am
Version 2

For this final version i wanted to make the image all black and white but leave the blood on their forearms red. For this I used the Leave Colour effect. First I applied the effect then just adjusted the amount to decolour and the tolerance until it looked right. This image in particular was fairly easy to apply the leave colour effect as there were not too many reds that were similar to the blood in the image.

 

Original
Original

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 10.13.03 am
Version 1

For this version I simply wanted to try brightening up the image. To do this I turned the highlights and the mid tones up and put a little blue into the image.

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 10.20.26 am
Version 2

For this version I wanted to try to change the colour of the shirt. This was fairly simple using the Change Colour tool. When Change Colour is applied to the image you have the option to use the eye dropper tool to select the colour you want to change. After this is applied it is just a matter of adjusting the Hue Transform values to chose the colour you want to change it to and then going through the other controls to make sure nothing else in the shot is affected.

 

Original 3
Original

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 10.32.57 am
Version 1

For this version I only wanted to make small adjustments to the overall image. Firstly i made the shadow ‘pop’ out more than they did by darkening the shadows. I then wanted to take some of the yellow out of the walls so I added a little blue into the mid tones and highlights and then finally I decreased the saturation to take out some of the overall colour.

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 10.49.07 am
Version 2

For this version I wanted to see what look I would get by doing the opposite of what I did in the previous version. I did this by putting more yellow into the mid tones and highlights. I also increased the saturation slightly.

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INDUSTRIAL MEDIA, ANALYSIS AND REFLECTION 3, QUESTION 4 – An introduction to the craft of the director – Mackendrick

The article, Actor and the Director by Mackendrick (2004), was an interesting article to analyze. The relationship between the director and the actor is incredibly important in a film production. One of the most vital roles of a director is to get the best performance out of the actor. In the article there is a statement explain that “perhaps the most important [part of directing] is to appreciate that the actor is the director’s most valuable collaborator, to the point where I believe the director should go out of his way to ensure he has a rudimentary understanding of the craft of acting”. I agree with this point, I feel as if it is important for the director know the acting side of a production. However, I do feel as if the director, through experience of directing would learn to understand actors how actors perform best. However I also feel as if each actor is different so the directing style would change each time, the relationship between the director and the actor is more important than the director having a ‘rudimentary’ understanding of the acting craft. But the relationship between the actor and the director would come hand in hand with the director understanding acting.

One point a came across which the article makes is ‘a director contributes not by directing the actor but by inspiring him.’ While this is an interesting point the writer makes I somewhat disagree with this statement. Of course the actor needs to make the performance their own but it is also important to remember that it is the directors vision not the actors. If the director wants the actor to perform a certain emotion, for example but the actor disagrees and wants to play it another way, it comes down to what the director wants. The director is the person who has the final call for all the decisions. So it is important to understand that the actor needs to make the character their own but making sure it is within the directors vision for the production.

Reference
Mackendrick, A. On film-making: an introduction to the craft of the director, (p. 179-194). London: Faber and Faber, 2004

INDUSTRIAL MEDIA, ANALYSIS AND REFLECTION 3, QUESTION 4 – Script Formatting & Layout, Cook

The article, script formatting & layout, by Cook (2007) was an interesting read. I have written scripts before and I know the layout but it was still interesting to see what other people have to say about the layout of a script. Early in the article Cook mentions two distinct reasons for a script. The first Cook mentions is to allow ‘professional readers’ (producers, directors, funding bodies) to determine whether or not the story is of high enough quality and whether it is viable enough to enter in production. The other reason Cook mentions is that it tells these professionals whether you can deliver a story in you chosen medium. Along with this it gives some indication as to the details of the project, such as the length, how many interior and exterior scenes there are. It can also help in determining the rough cost of the production. As I was reading this it interested me how much the script is actually valued. I knew that the script is the basis for the production and I knew of its importance but it still interesting to read about the importance of it from an academic.

The other point I gathered from this article was one that has been intriguing me since the first script I wrote. When writing a car scene I was never sure whether it was interior or exterior. Overall I feel either way it does not matter but I was still curious. In the article it Cook says that if it is inside a scene it should in fact be labeled as INT. I have seen some people say that it depends where the camera is, if the camera is outside the car then it is an interior scene and if the camera is outside the cart it is an exterior and to me that made sense. I have also heard, which is mentioned in the article, that you can also use INT./EXT. Overall I do not think it matters but it still interests me to see another screenwriters opinion on the topic. I do think that all of them are right and it just depends on the writers own preference.

Industrial Media, Analysis and Reflection 3, Question 3

For this task we were required to edit together an abstract piece using footage from another group. The editing process was relatively simple I chose the Haiku before the editing process to give me a basis to how I should edit and what to aim for. The Haiku I chose was ‘No one travels, along this way but I, this autumn evening’. With this as the basis for the edit I found that the footage I used could somewhat link up with this Haiku. I decided to try and go for a much more literal response to the haiku. Firstly I found the empty alleyway in the footage which I overlaid with the sound of footsteps from the audio and the footage of a persons footsteps. I then finished with the two clips of night representing the autumn evening of the Haiku.

The idea that ‘the sum of all parts is greater than the whole’ is interesting. For this piece it is true each part, each layer adds to the whole story. Individually each clip is meaningless but combining and layering the clips can form a meaning to it. My meaning, as previously mentioned was much more literal, or as literal as I could get, according to the Haiku I chose. Having done this it is indeed true, at least for this abstract piece, that ‘the sum of all parts is greater than the whole’.

Technically the combining of the clips was fairly simple. Lowering and key framing the opacity was really easy in layering the clips. The audio was also fairly easy. The audio was very different in each of the clips so merging the clips meant fading the sound in and out to cover up the changes in audio. I decided to keep the in camera audio as the main sound rather than just use music as I felt it made the piece more interesting and helped the idea of making an abstract piece. The music I did use was from a royalty free pack I purchased and I chose a track that I was able to layer in very subtly as background music in the piece. I did layer the footsteps in at the beginning of the video and layered the atmospheric sounds the camera recorede throughout the piece. The footage was all shot on a tripod or with the camera resting on the ground and therefore I decided to put in a small zoom in or zoom out for each of the clips except the one with the feet. This seemed to somewhat help the transitions between each clip. One of the clips the camera was going in and out of focus which I decided to use to help the transition as well. The camera going in and out of focus meant the lights became blurred and then back in focus. I faded it in when the lights became blurred and faded it out as the lights went back into focus.

Layering, I found, made it much easier to create transitions between different audio and different video clips. The sound being layered also necessary to create certain effects, such as the footsteps walking over the atmospheric sound of other clips. I can see how it can be used in other more interesting ways, especially in the case of foley. Overall it was an interesting experiment, especially when using another persons footage and making sense of it in some manner.

Industrial Media, Analysis and Reflection 2, Question 2

This film, Clown Train, used sound to establish the setting and to build tension. The sounds they use, especially in the use of the music is very subtle. This type of sound use helps build tension, which is one of the purposes of this short film. One of the most obvious sounds they use in the beginning of the film is the atmospheric sound of the train noises. These noises continue, quite loudly and obviously, until the first time where the lights flicker and those noises become much lower. The noise the light make to flicker is used to cover up the drop in the atmospheric sound and is used quite effectively. With the audience, to an extent, not even realizing the sound has changed it builds the tension in an interesting way.

Every film genre uses sound to elicit different emotional responses whether it is using sound for comedic timing or using sound to build drama etc. One film which uses sound to build tension is The Conjuring, directed by James Wan. James Wan is known to be an excellent filmmaker when it comes to building tension and The Conjuring is no different. Sound in The Conjuring, at times, actually more chilling than the visual and it is clear James Wan understands the importance of sound. The conjuring uses slow building music to help build this tension. Every noise has a purpose, whether it is the door creaking, which is unique in each shot or the footsteps on the floorboards to the loud sounds such as the photos falling off the wall. These sounds help to build the tension.

In analyzing the visual construction of this film the first thing I noticed was the first shot from outside the train. This sets the film up quite nicely as it shows the train is empty apart from the character, but it also sets up how run down and creepy the train is. Showing the run down train alludes to what the style of the film will be, that it is a creepy type of film. The filmmakers use low-key lighting and use soft shadows. This is type of lighting is sutible for this type of film and helps establish the atmosphere of the film and helps the tension somewhat.

Another point I noticed about the construction of this film is the framing of the shots. Firstly the clown is always on the right side of the frame while the other character is on the left side of the frame. This caused one small and somewhat unnoticeable continuity issue. At the start of the film the character is on the seat next to the wall but when the clown moves to the seat opposite him he has moved to the isle seat, this is used to maintain the clown staying on the right side of the frame. This continuity issue is relatively unimportant for the film as it is relatively unnoticeable but I thought it was important to show that the filmmakers have consciously made the decision to keep the clown on the right and the other character on the left side of the frame.

All the shots have used a tripod and the only shot with any camera movement it the shot where the character jumps out of the train and even then it is only a very small movement which is still done on a tripod. This choice of camera movement is expected for this type of film. The characters, for the most part, until the end, are just sitting on the train seat, so any movement of the camera would be unnecessary and in my opinion would take some of the tension away.

As far as the colour of the film it seems that the filmmakers have chosen to go with a desaturated look. This is, once again, not a surprise for this type of filmmaking. A desaturated look helps build the ‘story world’ and the drama and the tension of the piece.

Industrial Media – Analysis and Reflection 2 – Q 1 Documentary analysis

The documentary reading I decided to focus on was the reading by Curran (2003), Documentary storytelling for film and video makers. This article was an interesting read. There were several points made throughout this article that I found interesting and/ or did not know about documentary filmmaking prior to this article.

The first point I found that was interesting and to some extent I already knew prior but not to the degree the article explains was the idea of ‘finding a story during production’. The article expresses the point whereby a focus of a documentary can change throughout the documentary process, in production and/ or in post-production. I found this interesting in comparison to other forms of filmmaking as, generally, they have a focus and it stays the same through to the end of post-production. The article gives an interesting example of documentary filmmakers only having days to decide whether to travel to Vietnam to follow a story. I never really considered documentary filmmaking to be like this. I knew stories may change their focus throughout the process but I did not consider how little time some filmmakers have to decide whether to follow a story and spend a lot of money on something that could be considered a ‘risk’.

One part of this article I found was really important in filmmaking, especially in documentary filmmaking, was evaluating story ideas. This article goes through several points as to whether the story should be followed or not. Some of the more important points I saw include:

Access and feasibility. This is one of the first points that can either make or break your story idea. Before anything a documentary filmmaker needs to assess whether they can actually gain access to certain things to make their film. This can include access to a person to conduct an interview, access to a building etc. Not everyone is willing to be in a documentary or allow access to places for the film so this is an important first step in determining whether the idea is feasible.

Affordability. Of course you cannot make a documentary without sufficient funds. You cannot travel around the world chasing a story with no money. The article makes a valid point when posing the question ‘have you set your sights too high?’ (Curran, p. 32).

Passion and Curiosity. Clearly making a documentary is no easy task and requires a lot of motivation. This is where passion and curiosity comes in. Without it the documentary, whenever it ‘hits a hurdle’ it becomes much harder to get back up and find a different way to continue.

Hook. A hook is essential in the selling of the documentary. There needs to be some interesting point that sells the documentary to an audience. Whether it is the same point that sold you on making the documentary or a different one it is an important factor to have.

Existing projects. This is an important step when determining what angle to pursue in the documentary. When looking at other work you can determine what worked or did not work in their film, what angle they took and if you can pursue a different angle, a different viewpoint. It is definitely not a problem if the documentary has been done before it just allows you to go for a different angle, a different perspective.

These points I felt were the most important points and important to remember when determining whether you should follow the story or not, how to sell your story and how to pursue the story.

Reference
Curran B 2003, Documentary storytelling for film and videomakers, p. 27-194, Burlington

Industrial Media – Analysis and Reflection 2 – Q 1 Drama analysis

The article from the drama folder I chose to read was the article by Malkiewicz (1986) ‘lighting the scene’. The reason I chose this was because of the importance lighting plays in film and it is also something I am still learning. I chose it in a hope to learn something about lighting from it.

The first point I took from the article was in the section ‘controlling hard light’. This is something I have recently had experience with and it was a difficult task to accomplish. The article makes an interesting point about shadows when it states that ‘in real life we are used to only having one shadow…multiple shadows on film are distracting’ (Malikiewicz, p. 106). Looking back on the short film I did using hard lights there are several scenes when, unfortunately, there were two shadows. Even though I realize this now, the scenes still would have been extremely difficult to achieve this with only the one shadow, as there were three lights lighting the scene. It is a difficult issue to overcome, the article even states ‘cinematographers take great care to minimize multiple shadows’. It is clearly an important part of using hard light.

Another interesting point I gathered from the article was the statement made by Vilmos Zsigmond (p. 102) who explains that he ‘never thinks of the sun being as high over head… if the scene calls for day it could be 10 A.M… or 3 P.M but it is never 12 noon.’ I found this statement really interesting. What Zsigmond means by it is that cinematographers feel ‘more uneasy about key light coming from high above and creating what is considered a ‘film look’ as opposed to the reality of light coming from the window’ (Malikiewicz, p. 100). The reason I found this interesting was that I have never considered it before. Light at 10 A.M and 3 P.M is somewhat different than light at 12 noon. 10 A.M and 3 P.M light would be coming in an angle whereas 12 noon light would come from above. I agree that the 10 and 3 light definitely creates a more realistic look and quite often a more interesting look due to the angles of light and shadows.

Reference
Malkiewicz, K 1986, Film lighting: talks with Hollywood’s cinematographers and gaffers, New York p. 99-135.