Unit 27/ 28/ 31: Evaluation Of “Woodworks”

The project has been a very long but enjoyable process, it all started at the end of November. Byll Pulman and Stephen Budd, the two very fun characters who run the Genesis Woodworks project. They came to the college one afternoon to pitch their idea with a presentation, they needed a promotional film of the Woodworks to send off to companies and government agencies, to show what the charity do and how they work, to eventually hopefully receive support. 

The project works to supply placements to the long term unemployed, often people who have suffered mental, physical or life changing incidents. It gives them a chance to get back on their feet and in the mind of a work environment through working with woodwork and upholstery. Giving them responsibilities and reasons to get up in the morning. 

We soon got working together, pretty much instantly narrowing down the class to make the crew who would work on the film and whole production. Byll and Stephen gave us a brief and helpful information into what they were after and left us to it. It was in the style of a fly on the wall and observational technique.

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We soon worked out our roles, i took charge as Producer and eventually later, took full control as Director too, so i could focus my full attention on it, as i wanted it to be a success. I built up a working relationship with them both, communicating for emails and phone calls on numerous occasions each month, i was the first line of communication throughout. The amount of time i spent working on the project i decided to use it as my major for the course. 

I met with them both many times to discuss the clients, how the project worked in more detail and bouncing ideas to them.  We worked hard together to get an understanding of what was needed and how we would go about doing it.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gm6MxdyaRHWDwlA95kjsJ9QBEiuU_c82W5i77mi5uJI/edit

The two were very pleased with our quick progress, the idea was to interview the clients as well as Byll and Stephen to get some information across to the viewer, at the same time use cutaways to see what goes on in the workshop form day to day. From day one the objective and end goal was to use Ken Loach, who supports charities and lives locally, to introduce the piece.  

We got the ball rolling by starting the interviews with the first lot of clients. Byll and Stephen had organised a local support worker called Jan, who new a couple of the clients already. We decided to use a black background and light it through that. After watching it back, the whole set up was wrong, especially for the clients who get nervous and aren’t great with new people. We were all in the room, the lights blitzing the whole room, it seemed like an interrogation. Jan asked the wrong questions and the process didn’t seem to flow.

 With all those factors, the clients were all taken back, they didn’t want to share their information in these circumstances, and that was understandable. It was a massive learning process, none of us had ever done anything like this before, so we new we had to do it right next time. We sat down with both Byll and Stephen after and they completely agreed, we discussed what needed to change.

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We decided to get rid of Jan, we needed the interviews to flow more, so we can pick out parts that we needed, and also the answers would be a lot more genuine and natural.

By the next week we got the interviews going again, redoing a couple, but also doing some more. We agreed with Stephen to take charge of the interviews, and ask the questions, as he new the clients a lot better that Jan. As Byll worked in photography for a number of years, he put a few ideas into the mix, saying using a plant would add the right feel they wanted for the film. The background changed too, it now looked a lot friendlier and helped clients to get into the environment that they needed to keep calm. 

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This was a great success, we ended up using this set up for the rest of the interviews. They were both very happy with the look, we took more time to concentrate on the lights and lenses to improve it visually. The answers we gathered improved greatly, a lot more was said that we could use. The clients seemed to enjoy it too, they shared information that they wouldn’t and didn’t before.

The next month we concentrated on completing the client interviews and adding cut aways with the clients working in.

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We ended up filming Byll in the workshop, we all felt it mixed it up a bit, and with the workshop in the background it looked great. The light form the windows gave us enough to work with and could just take along the cameras without additional lighting. We used a multiple camera set up as we could then cut to and from in the edit. 

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Stephen was contacted by Ken Loach’s office, and we were given a date. After shooting the cutaways and Byll’s scene in the workshop, we new this was the setting of the piece to camera intro involving Ken Loach.

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Working with Ken Loach for that short time was a great experience, picking up a couple of tips on the way. We left the clients working in the background, to have some movement and sound in the background, and have it more natural. We didn’t have Ken Loach for very long but being able to direct ken Loach was fun experience. He seemed nervous on the other side of the camera but he pulled off his intro. 

We were all very excited about the whole day. Byll and Stephen were ecstatic from the whole thing. They seemed very impressed with what we had produced in such a short but drawn out process, they made very positive comments throughout. I was very proud to be a part of it, and take charge of it all. I think we all adapted very quickly to what was thrown at us, sometimes in very short spaces of time. The factual film was made with purpose of being sent off and to receive funds and resources, and i hope it does. Social, Action and Community films are the hardest to make and to get spread around for the public to watch, but it just shows, without the funds, as long as you have the right resources you can make anything a success. 

I think we surpassed their expectations, working with an actual client with a very worthy cause, it was very professional but fun at the same time. Putting so much time into the project, i learnt a lot about the problems they are facing and the people they are dealing with. So being able to help and knowing you are making a difference for them as well as the clients was really important and producing this film i knew it was making the two of them very happy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MePaWG7g5FA

I found this documentary a few months ago. It’s very unusual due to cat that stays with this man and travels around with him. It doesn’t look special and is very basic, but it gets the story across. I had it in mind as i was making the Woodworks film. The interviews he gives was the same format i wanted to use with the clients, cutting the interviewee out and just having the answers. This factual film isn’t after anything is it just showing what they both get up to from day to day and how that unusual bond between them has been popular amongst the public.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_eJdX6y4hM

This powerful film gets the facts across about Global Warming. It shows the groups story of what they tried to do and what they weren’t granted decades ago. And the whole downfall of that decision and the consequences. The evidence is given and then examples prove the points, this was the concept i used in the Woodworks film. I also took note of having the voiceover while the clips and cutaways were shown. 

Both these films have had an influence on my planning for the documentary. They both have direction that i have based it on and i think they make the film stand out from the rest. 

Unit 16: Film and Editing Techniques

No Country for Old Men

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55aKHYiS9N8

This scene is the intro for the film. It immediately reflects the whole film as a whole, demonstrating the intensity and darkness throughout. The whole scene stands out, it’s not anything big and explosive like other films. It’s memorable for it’s differences, and is a very important scene, watching it back after seeing the whole film, it fills in a lot of gaps that aren’t answered at the end. 

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Straight away, the title of the film commences, basic and small font, not giving too much across at all. After turning black, it fades in to the establishing shot of the dark sunset, the notable voiceover begins, giving his story of a specific crime. This starts the pacing of the film with transitions, without the wild track and sounds in the background, there is very little to no soundtrack, except a drone through some scenes, keeping the attention of the audience focused on the dialogue and the scene itself. The darkness of the film is reflected with with the visual colouring, dark colours and night time scenes.

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The sound of the wind blowing keeps the natural feel of the film together. Then a montage of the Texas landscape makes up the picture, using close ups and wide shots to frame, while the voiceover continues. The sequence is made up of empty and remote shots of the location, reverse shots. The dry and dead grasslands and dessert set the whole film up, previous life is not around anymore, this communicates the story of the man who is out to kill, in the voice over, and will kill again if he is set free from prison. 

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The story from the Sheriff displays his experience, he has seen and been apart of may things, knowing every trick. His accent mirrors this too, and as the viewer you instantly know this is set in the Texas area, due to the strong accent. But his shaken voice, shows that he is getting old, he can’t keep up for too much longer, and he knows that something he can’t control will be coming sooner or later. As the character of Chigurh is then seen, immediately showing he could be this threat. 

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As the droning continues the car accelerates off into the open road, towards the town, with the imminent force inside. The intro finishes with the line, “Ok. I’ll be apart of this world”, showing how there are bad things in life, and you have to put up with them, and try to stop them.

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This scene has been put together with some simple shots of cutaways of the landscape, and then a shot of a bit of action, it dissolves in to a pan into the officer putting the man in the car and then speeding off into the distance. With the voiceover, it just shows that something very simple can be very effective and therefore memorable for the film.

Screen grabs of The Woodworks edit:

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Unit 21: Understanding Video Technology

Standard Definition:

The old format was shot in the format of PAL, with an image size of 720 by 576 pixels and an aspect ratio 4:3 which made it look very square.

High Definition:

Introduced just after the millenium with an aspect ratio of 16:9, still in the format of PAL. But is used in two types of image sizes: these being 1920 by 1080 and also with 1280 by 720 pixels. Although different, you are still able to use the standard format, this is visible when viewing as the picture is smaller, meaning black pillars surround the right and left of the picture, often known as “Pillarbox”.

File Types:

The basic shooting type is MPG/MPEG for compression. For both my Dartmoor film and Woodworks we shot in the format of H264 which we used in the Canon range. For Europass we shot with AVCHD, using GH2 Panasonic camera.

Editing types of Final Cut Pro, this is known as FCP and Adobe Premier Pro, known as PPJ. Adobe After Effects AEP. 

CoDec (Compressor/ Decompressor):

This is how it is stored and played back. Due to the size of certain file types, these need to be compressed, to be used on specific devices. The problem with compressing a file, although you make the file smaller, you end up losing quality, making the image reduce important properties. There are a number of different CoDecs that contain different levels and focus on holding important specs. These mainly include either colour, motion or sound. The more space you have on your computer, the higher quality you have, meaning the the footage won’t lose and suffer so much, to if you didn’t. 

Unit 38: Soundtrack Production

Horror Competition Film Submission:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66trgvvk_vU

The film was a competition entry for a Halloween Competition around the world that we decided to take part in. Even though we didn’t win the contest, we thought we did a good job. Our location for the production, we decided to shoot at Royal Arthur Military Base in Corsham, this had been abandoned years a go and it has been left to just fall down. It is a very eerie place, and for sure you wouldn’t want to be left there overnight. There must be about fifty buildings there and all are just full of black space silence. After being there a few times before, we new this was a brilliant setting for the story. 

But when making a film, you can have all the right shots in the right locations, but the real selling point that gets your film across is the soundtrack. Sound is always unappreciated, and not when watching a film the sound is always the secondary aspect you’re watching it for. The soundtrack can define a film and its genre.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ckv_Dz-Sio

With this trailer of Mrs Doubtfire, apart from the colouring and visual effects in places, the soundtrack has been made to change the original uplifting film into a horror. With this particular example, i think with this sound it works. Although the clips of the film have been rejigged to a new order, the sound clearly has a major effect on how the viewer portrays a film and the whole experience. 

With the film that we made this is the case too. Although it is a horror visually already, the only other genre that you could make it into would be a comedy take on it. If the soundtrack had a fun twist to it you can change it completely. 

The soundtrack to our Horror Competition has a very intriguing edge about it. A mixture of strange high pitch sounds and gripping sound effects keep the pacing of the film together and therefore the audience will continue to be glued. The mood is consistently correlated between the two, with the story unfolding, added by the the constant drown in the background. This sets up the big ending and showdown with the silence and then drum beat. That is often used in horror films, the correlation between sound and picture is often the same with this genre, and that is why is it used, as it clearly works, and people seem to enjoy it.

Unit 23: MultiCamera Techniques

This technique is used with: game shows, studio productions, live events such as sport, music concerts and stage events.

Friends:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miXzrIW3CcU

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The whole set up of Friends that made it successful was its three wall set up, the audience was present behind the cameras during episodes. 

The whole scene is set up with individual conversations, each of the three cameras concentrating on each. Using medium shots and close ups we capture the expressions and conversation going on. These shots were cut followed by at least two of the cameras being on tracks, being able to follow the action establish the scene.

Each conversation builds up to the final joke of Monica standing up and announcing she’s drunk, captured with a wide to see the reactions of the whole room and all the actions from the characters. The music in the background gives it the natural feel of a party and the laughter of the live audience gives it an extra layer of comedy.

Comic Relief:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFdei-VgPzM

The show starts with the introduction and an insert to establish the programme. Terry Wogan then presents the show. With the audience making a lot of noise and movement, the crane follows the action and tracks right across the studio. The two cranes get the show going, then the two other cameras pan around to capture the reactions of the audience. It is shot very wide for the viewer so they understand how many are in the building. The music is very upbeat and show the night is going to be exciting. 

http://sitcomgeek.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/single-cam-vs-multi-cam.html

This article by James Cary who has a background of comedy writing, he has written about the single cam vs. multi cam debate. He seeing if each format is right for specific shows and scripts and if so which is better. Even though the end answer is very unconclusive it shows there are advantages and disadvantages for both. He mentions the fact about audiences laughing in the background, especially in Friends, and how critics hate how frequently it is used. This being the main focus point in the debate, the article gets many comments with argument and agreements.

These documents are part of the planning process of the whole Readathon for the Jane Austen event.

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Unit 30: Advertisement Production

Advertising is a major part in the media industry, used to promote services or a product to a target market, through visual methods. It encourages the public to go and use the specific tool/ service for the greater good. 

With adverts, it used to be solely through radio and television that you could market through. Each company did and still do, fight for the number one spot on the television show that is being watched by the majority of the population. The more people you advertise towards the better success rate you will have, making your profit increase.

Channels such as ITV and Channel 4 have a big stake of the population watching their programmes, and the way they get their money back is through adverts at the breaks. Shows such as the Xfactor have big viewer ratings of specific groups so company’s know this is the prime time to get there 30second adverts with their USP products/ services on the television. These spots are hard to get and they come at a big price, but if you get it, depending on the product and the right market research has been done, the risk will pay off and a big return will be made.

But now as the digital market has risen considerably, this can now be done through Youtube. This now allows a whole new aspect of marketing, video advertising with in a YouTube video. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXFa3JibYfs

With each product/ service, it is important that the technique and structure you use towards your target market is the right one. For a toy for a young child, the message needs to be in there advert so it is memorable for the child, this can be done through a character or humour and special effects to make make that toy look as awesome as it can be, even though when you buy it, on most occasions it’s not, but the power of advertising, you can make anything how ever bad look brilliant. The important thing is that it seems unique and is a completely different product from the rest, making it look like your life will be better off with this toy. 

Audience regulations and classifications in adverts are very important and vital for each product/ tool. Boards such as ASA (Ofcom), are in place to monitor advertisements that are going out on TV. The religious and ethics aspect will be checked, as well as other social factors to make sure no group will be disrespected, and therefore get into trouble with. The timing of adverts is crucial, as trailers for example that are certificate 15 can not be aired out before the water shed, as it will be unsuitable for young children. 

If the advert has been given the okay, and it is watched by someone who is offended by what they have seen, then through BARB and ASA you can contact to them to say the problems with the advertisement. In some cases the advert will be taken down and reedited to take the particular line/ word out. Or in other cases depending how bad it is and the number of complaints, it can be taken down completely. 

Unit 28: Corporate and Promotional

A Corporate or Promotional film is used to send a message to the target market or specific group or age range. It is used to promote a part of the business for the better, that has either had work on and been updated or is the start of a whole new business.

Corporate and Promotional and Social Action films are similar as they are both used to educate and inform the specific group they are targeting. But Corporates and Promos in films have the advantage as they have a big budget and resources to make their business get the big target market they already have, even bigger and branch out. 

There are different types of Corporate and Promotional films. Mostly they are advertisements or video material trying to sell a product. Another sort might be shown at company events for training or conferences, industry events. The other is documentary style, for brand identity, used for political group and charities to market the business.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLiHvxbBvok

With this film, it is a typical Corporate video. Throughout it shows how brilliant they are and ho different they are from other companies so that makes them better and stand out. They say exactly what you want to hear, making you believe they are the best. With this they and all the other Corporate films can manipulate you into believing anything. 

With these sorts of films also, the digital marketing with the internet has risen so considerably, it is  easy to get your message out there. With the rise of the internet and social networking the message can get spread very quickly to the right people. Using Facebook and company websites you can advertise on other pages to bring that market to you and in turn do it back to raise awareness for both. Youtube especially the rise of networking has worked so much in corporates favours, it’s hard to miss videos you didn’t want to actually see, due to trending videos. 

With the rise of Smart Phones and Tablets in recent years, now almost anyone however young or old can view heavily marketed advertisements. Meaning as long as you’re on the internet there is no end to what you can see, especially when it’s being so heavily advertised to make you see it everywhere.

Unit 31: Social Action and Community

The use of Social Action and Community in media is used to inform and spread awareness around communities, countries or even the world. It is used mainly in film to spread a message of issues that need addressing that are barely known about to enforce change. The amount it has been used to educate the public has risen considerably in the last few years, so much so there is now an international Social Action film Competition.

This tool of spreading a message through media has been used through propaganda with the Russians and Nazi Germany around the WWII and it clearly worked in manipulating the people into believing it. Ever since then it has been used the right ways to help issues in countries and to enforce change. A big example of this is Live Aid informing the completely oblivious world about the starvation and problems in Ethiopia. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZG3ZLQ4MO8

The concert was set up to get as many countries in the world watching and learning of the poverty, but doing this by using the biggest music artists in the business sing a concert, making the public raise as much money as they could. Since then formats such as Comic Relief and Red Nose Day have been established to raise money for charities using the best entertainment as a means for people to watch. 

http://www.peta.org/tv/videos/Featured/69724478001.aspx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz0s4XK4GuA

These films for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) shows the disturbing day to day actions of animal cruelty in China. Many animals suffer, especially in China but the footage in this film not only is emotional, but it leaves you full of anger, to how these people can get away with such a gross act. The fur of animals can be sold off for quite a profit around the world for fashion. The means it is done in is not enforced enough so the suffering of animals is huge. Animals are kept in cages that they can only just fit into, are then chucked around like there is nothing inside. These animals are then either killed slowly and painfully with inefficient methods that don’t do the job, then skinned alive and are chucked in a pile and are left to die, where they will only do so until they die from the pain. 

This particular film hasn’t been in the limelight yet or been a focus point, meaning since the film was made, not a lot of action has been made. There has been some movement in the subject on Youtube. The problem with these sorts of films is that they only stay in the public eye for a certain amount of time, before something else comes along and replaces it. It’s very hard to keep the issue in focus, and when this goes away making a difference for the issue disappears. 

The films in this format will often be shot and edited as a documentary, this is the most natural and effective way of getting a point across and believable in the publics eye. The more powerful the film is, the more money will be received to go towards the cause. A great way of doing this is first hand experience and being there at a scene of the issue, getting genuine reactions. 

The problem with this format of documentary is time, the major issues are happening around the world in other countries, so travelling to these locations gives you a certain amount of time before you travel back, therefore you might miss certain conversations/ scenes that you could of captured if you were there. The other issue is money, everything costs money for these productions, crews and travelling, and when you aren’t getting a return on the film, as it’s for charity, then your budget for the film will decrease considerably, and hold back the film. This means how successful the film is and how long the issue stays big, will be reduced, meaning the film will become more and more pointless. It depends which age bracket you are aiming for, as YouTube and the internet will be great to get things viral and for the young ages. And for the older bracket will be through films on television. The best way to get your point across effectively and keep it at the top of publics eye is through government funding or raising loads of money. 

Unit 22: Single Camera

With pre-recorded Television shows, specifically Comedy programmes, there are two main ways they are shot, these are either with a Single Camera or with Multi Cameras.  

Single Camera shows are a lot more hard work, but in the end, technically the final result is more likely to be higher. The shot list will be a lot more detailed and longer, as each characters lines will be shot and then the next characters will. Making the whole process much more time consuming, meaning the cameras and all the equipment has to be moved and mistakes in continuity are more likely to occur. Instead of having the freedom of shooting a whole scene with Multi Cameras, where everything stays in the same position. The positive to this though, is each shot can be dressed and the lighting can be assessed and moved to suit each shot, making it look a lot more visually brilliant. 

I’m Alan Partridge

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isHZcy0RKEE

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With this particular scene four cameras are used. This captures the conversation and argument that as usual ends in a laugh. Each of these shots will of been shot individually, and with that there don’t seem to be any continuity errors that are a major problem with the format.

Multi Camera productions are as a whole very cheap to make and a lot more quicker to shoot. This format is normally used to shoot concerts etc, things that are a one off, but then there are the shows that have the budget to do it. The actual shoot doesn’t take as long, as each scene can be shot in one go, rather than each persons lines. So renting of a space is very cost effective, meaning you can save money to use as a budget for other things. The time is spent on the other hand with the edit, as each independent camera has it’s own footage. So if a specific shot list or shots list hasn’t been created for each camera, then the editor will have to spend lots of time going through each camera’s footage to find the best bits.

If the show is shot live though multi cameras, with a Vision Mixer controlling the shots, with the director by their side. Then the whole show can be completed and broadcast on that same day, without any work needed for post production. The risk and nerves will be a lot higher on the day, as their is a high chance mistakes can be made, with no second chances, but that is what the pre production is for, to cover and nail these mistakes, lowering the risk. 

Friends:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miXzrIW3CcU

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With Friends, the apartment is the most common location in the show. With the audience being behind the cameras, and the tight space that is used, it is a great way of planning to not cross the 180 degree rule, because if you did the chances of seeing the audience would rise. Each camera seems to be on a track so with the quick action and with loads going on at once, it makes it easier to keep up with it all. 

Unit 22: Horror Competition Pre-production

On Tuesday 9th, after searching around we found an opportunity in America for a Horror Film competition. So we decided to take it on as a team. Today, we sat down as a group and started brainstorming ideas for it. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZqrG1bdGtg 

Naturally, we all got chatting about previous films/ videos we had seen to use for inspiration, this link above being one of them. It is a trailer for an Xbox/PS3 game in which zombies take over. We specifically focused on and noticed the unusual order in the sequence and took a liking to the way this plot was in reverse and cut back and forth every so often to the earlier scene and finally ended up joining in the middle. We also talked about specific scenes in tv shows, like Breaking Bad and Luther, concentrating on the way it was shot, the order of the sequence and the also the way in which you are manipulated to think something is going to happen to one character because the attention is on them for so long, but it turns out something happens to another character, this way you aren’t expecting it and is a lot more exciting.

Here are a couple of documents that we used for the production. Including: ideas and brainstorming, a written shotlist and design for the mask we used for the main antagonist.

Ideas/ Brainstorming:

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Written Shotlist/ Plan

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Mask Template/ Design

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