7. Looking back at your preliminary task (the continuity editing task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?
I learnt to use a variety of different shot types whilst filming, we were able to get a greater number of different shots for our opening as we had researched into different films which inspired us to use different shots, also at the time of filming we were able to think of interesting shots to use such as the stairs and CCTV camera shot, which Ryan was able to edit to make it look like an actual CCTV camera.
We used match on action in both tasks. We learnt a lot in our preliminary exercise as it took us a lot of lessons to film just 40 seconds of footage. But it helped us with match on action, as we had Ryan kick the door, connected to the door swinging open shot, we use match on action in our opening when Dan is on the telephone and then we get a close up of him putting the phone down.
I feel I have learnt that you must not break the 180 degree rule. In our preliminary task we were very careful not to break it, but during our real opening we managed to break it slightly when in Dan’s office. Ryan thought during the editing we would have enough shots to take out the broken clip but when we watched the final film we realized it was still their. We realized as a group this was a very big mistake and if we had noticed it earlier it may have been avoidable if we had organized our time with more time to film. However, this has made me realize you should take everything you learn from earlier tasks as it will help a lot when it comes to the real important tasks.
Here, Ryan has filmed over the wrong shoulder to match the rest of the shots where Mike is now on the right but previously he has been on the left. The room we filmed in was a small school office and Ryan said he there was no space for him to move to Mike’s right shoulder.
We used many different shots in our 2 minute opening; over the shoulder, two shot, close ups, low angle, high angle, ground level shots and a panning shot. This helped give variety into our opening so the audience would not get bored during it. We learnt about using different shots in our preliminary task, here we looked at two- shots, POV shots, over the shoulder shots and close ups, we were able to vary camera shots and angles even more during our opening as we had a whole 2 minutes to portray an interesting narrative. However in our preliminary task our opening was very simple and unaffective as it was just Ryan walking round the corner of a corridor, we know this was what our task was but we could have made it more interesting by adding titles and music that matched the genre. We also had to do many takes, during our Preliminary task as we would either laugh and have to stop or the framing of the shots weren’t how we wanted them to be, we even forgot lines at times, but by our real task we chose our actors wisely who were able to improvise their lines and we didn’t need to do as many takes as they were quite professional and never forgot their lines.
The cutting in our edit is very sharp; using a voiceover helped us link the words with what you see on screen. For example when Mike states, ‘Dan Johnson’ the camera cuts to a mid shot of Dan’s back whilst he’s on the phone, this helped to introduce the main characters to the audience in a simple but effective way. This also creates continuity for the audience which is important, so that the audience doesn’t get confused. As you can see from the images both characters have their back to the audience, joining similar shots together helps the smooth continuity of the shots fit together.
As I was mainly the director of the film I didn’t actually film or edit any of the film. However the directors always have the power over final decisions. We used the programme ‘after effects’ to create our titles and credits. We thought this was the best form of programme as it is professional and makes the film look more mature and appropriate for a modern audience and crime film. We let Ryan take over the editing as he was the most confident with the editing programme ‘premiere pro’. However, me and Sally still checked everything he did, sometimes we did not always agree and it was too late to go back and change things so we had to leave parts as they were but the overall presentation of the film is the best we could do in the way we had organized our time.
Generally, I have learnt a lot from the progression of the preliminary task to our final piece, but I still have a lot to learn. I now understand more media terminology such as shot types, verisimilitude, continuity, the 180 degree rule etc and this will become useful to me if I was to progress onto a new media project. However, I feel I have also learnt how to manage my time better, with better scheduling and getting scenes filmed quicker, due to illnesses and school trips we became off task and schedule because of theses unfortunate unforeseen circumstances but we had to just move on and deal with the problems at hand. For our preliminary exercise we never completed a storyboard and we adapted a lot of the storyboard that we had completed so it took us longer to decide what shots we wanted or could think of and in what order to put everything in, so for our final product I am glad we spent time planning a storyboard and creating it into an animatic, although during filming we still didn’t stick to it as much as we would have liked and we had to change ideas as they were not compatible with the set we had etc. we still had a structure that we could look to for help if we got lost or stuck so this helped us schedule our time better.
We used a range of techniques on different programmes, such as our titles on ‘After Effects’ to give the professional feel, creating a voice over being recorded from a microphone to be put over the top of our music track on the opening. Ryan also created one shot to make it look like a CCTV camera, he did this on ‘Premiere Pro’ getting it in black and white to create the seriousness and give variety to our shots, he also created the writing and Record button with the date to make it look as authentic as possible which was really effective in our opening.
I also feel it is important to keep to a schedule otherwise you have to rush important scenes just to get everything done. Also choosing the people you work with can influence your work a lot, during the preliminary tasks I worked with Ryan and another two boys and personally for me it was really fun but it took a long time to get focused and work, so the group you work with is key to work to your best ability.
If I were to do this all over again I would find it a lot easier as now I have many techniques that I could use in my next production. I would write a storyboard and try to stick to it, keep to a realistic time schedule and do very detailed planning which we did. Hopefully next time we would not have to work out other schedules because of illness but at least then we would know how to manage our time better. I would also look at music near the beginning of our planning stages so that we wouldn’t be stuck to find music as we are editing and not really knowing what kind of music we want to use and how it would fit in the film. So next time I would try to be more efficient and maybe even try my hand at the editing process. But I feel I have, on the whole, improved from the preliminary task to this final product as this is a film I am very proud of.