Dear Assessors

Dear Assessors

Welcome to my blog for Level One – Digital Film Production 1: Creative Concepts. I have structured this blog so you can either use the menu or search mode to find what you are looking for, also for ease of access I have included links to the four assignments and respective tutor feedback.

Assignment One    –    Assignment One Tutor FeedbackFinal video

Assignment Two     –   Assignment Two Tutor FeedbackFinal Video

Assignment Three  –   Assignment Three Tutor FeedbackFinal Video

Assignment Four  –    Assignment Four Tutor FeedbackFinal Video

Thank you.

Equipment used

– Canon Leigra camcorder HR56

– Canon EOS 70D – 18-55m

Laptop – Mac Book Pro

Editing Software – iMovie – I will be upgrading to Premiere.

What’s next – Despite starting the new photography course I am not going to leave movie making behind, I will aim to incorporate it into the new course. And also create personal projects. As this is the final day for updating my blog I haven’t chance to create my new idea but I have written some notes on what I will be doing.

The other day my sister who is having a terrible relapse of a chronic illness, M.E, was using Siri to write on her phone as she was too exhausted to talk. Listening to her happy message it was such a contrast to the exhaustion I could see, she could barely keep her head up, her breathing hard. The message sounded so happy though and it made me think of how things can easily be viewed another way. Whoever got the text would think she was well and happy but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Two ways of seeing something.

I aim to film this showing the two sides, it will only be about a minute long but I hope it will be thought provoking and raise awareness.

 

The Gaze Theory

My tutor recommended looking into the critical theory of the Gaze. I wasn’t familiar with this theory and my tutor warned it was quite heavy.

Before beginning the article I thought of what the the verb ‘gaze’ conjured up. It can be to look intently at something. To be scrutinised severely. To lay your eyes upon something truly magnificent. To stare seems more powerful than to gaze  However, after an in depth study there are far more connotations of meaning relating to gaze. There generally aren’t pleasant connotations of the word stare. You would stare at someone you were suspicious of, something you were alarmed by.   To gaze however is something more powerful, relaxed or romantic, something that might take longer or be more general in a sweeping way. One would gaze at a sublime view, their true love, they may even gaze longingly at their meal in a elegant restaurant. From an art POV, I assumed we would be looking into the effect of gazing at the cinema screen or a painting. Such as the theory in The Power of Movies where Colin McGinn likens watching cinema to gazing into a new dimension.

I read the article here

It was very informative and interesting reading the article. I have ventured into the psychology of photography but philosophy is something I haven’t considered as such. I will research more into this in the next part of the course. The article showed how the word gaze is used in art forms. It explored the many synonyms of the word and investigated how it could be perceived. Each paragraph asked questions, focusing on a different subject each time.

In this painting, the spectator himself becomes the subject of the painting, captured by the gaze of the painter insofar as he remains a spectator gazing at the painting. As the spectator thus becomes part of the spectacle the “observer and the observed take part in a ceaseless exchange. No gaze is stable…subject and object, spectator and model reverse their roles into infinity.”2 The interplay (or communication) between the two gazes thus blurs the boundaries between the two roles until it becomes unclear who exactly is gazing at whom; the gaze becomes a mode of interaction between spectator and the work of art.

With this statement it is suggesting that the power of the gaze is so intense that the viewer abruptly becomes part of the painting. Almost as though the artist realised the full power of the painting would only be created on human contact. Though all art only comes alive with this contact. That said you could imagine a painting left in the attic, it’s eyes staring out of the painting, perhaps something worthy of a horror movie or to portray something nostalgic.

This suggests that the viewer is a removable part of the art.  Thinking about this, could one say that we are the one gazing or the one being gazed at. Just because one object may be in the real world and another in a two dimensional form is the power any more less powerful from that of the two dimensional being. Such as the intense stare of a subject in a painting.

I bring attention here to the quote in Doctor Who in which Amy Pond, one of the main protagonists, was trapped in a trailer with the deadly Weeping Angel. The weeping angel is a creature that you will never see move. Instead whenever you blink it moves violently fast so it is suddenly much closer. The only way in which to beat this creature was to keep eye contact and not blink. “The eyes are the window to the soul.” However later this is turned on it’s head as the Doctor realises, ‘The eyes are not the windows to the soul they are the doors,” and in this they have possessed her with this gaze. The intensity of the gaze between painting and viewer could be irrevocably linked as they become petrified. Indeed the article states “there is a perverse pleasure in looking and not being able to look away. Much like the gaze of Medusa turned the onlooker into stone, so too does the image hold the power to immobilize its viewer.” This makes the connection of a painting and viewer almost mystical, ethereal, of ascending to another dimension for the moment frozen in time.

The Male Gaze

The article delves further into the gaze from both genders. Laura Mulvey a British feminist film theorist saw, “that the cinema is the medium for male subjects to further exert their mastery over female objects, identifying with the dominant gaze of the camera.

This opens all new pathways from the generic gaze to the Male Gaze which has been studied in great depth. It suggests that the ‘male gaze strips all identity and humanity from the woman on screen,  rendering them as an object for the male gaze to ravish. When you read the percentage of how around only 16% of characters in the movies are female does this suggest that the cinema is made purely for the enjoyment and sexual satisfaction of men. Mulvey argues that women serve for only two functions, of an erotic subject to be enjoyed in the narrative and also for the viewers. Nowadays with feminism and equal rights we see more feminine heroes in roles usually played by the opposite sex. Katnis in the Hunger Games, Tris Prior in Divergent and Rey in Star Wars, the Force Awakens. See my piece on Feminism in StarWars 

All are good examples of strong female characters, they become characters to look up to and transcend beyond the movie screen.

It is believed that watching movies is a Socophilia practise, love of watching. However the way it is described makes cinema feel like something distasteful, that people who go to the cinema are going for voyeuristic reasons. When in actual fact we all go to the cinema or watch a movie for escapism, to see a good story. I do feel that the issues with investigation of theories such as this is that some seek to over sexualise every situation. Why can’t going to the cinema be seen as something innocent?

There are even those that see the gaze as unseeing. Becoming more blind the more one forces themselves to see the painting.

In conclusion it is clear that the gaze is a very powerful force, drawing the viewer into participating in the painting or movie, albeit it often unintentionally. The gaze can be interpreted by each individual person in a different way however the power of the gaze will always latch onto the viewer. I will finish this off with a thought from the photographer Michael Freeman, who says that the human eye is always irrevocably drawn to another person in a photo, painting or video no matter how small or seemingly unapparent that person is. People are drawn to people thus we will always interact with another person in a painting and one of the most intense ways of this is to have the eyes meet. To gaze upon one another.

 

 

Symbolism – Death’s Head Hawk Moth and Assignment Three Thoughts

“Symbolism is the language of the Mysteries. By symbols men have ever sought to communicate to each other those thoughts which transcend the limitations of language.” – Manly Hall 

In a Skype conversation my tutor brought to my attention about the symbolism of the Death Hawks Head Moth. As a keen wildlife enthusiast, I had heard of this beautiful creature, however, I did not know of its great role it plays in symbolism. Featured in everything from the Pre Raphelite painting, The Hireling Shepherd by William Holman Hunt to the sickening and twisted movie, the Silence of the Lambs (which I have no wish to watch) Dracula, Un Chien Andalou it’s fluttered its way throughout history as a hidden symbol. The symbol it represents however always has dark connotations. It serves as a symbol of the death of the church in the Hireling Shepherd painting. A dead moth is found in Un Chien Andalou an equally dark movie.

william_holman_hunt_001

My tutor suggested including footage of a Deaths Head Hawk Moth in Assignment Three as he felt it would be stronger to have something suggested earlier on about the poison. I wasn’t sure where to find such footage. I have used occasional stock sounds such as the dawn chorus in Assignment Four but felt it would be cheating myself to use stock footage of a moth, plus I wasn’t sure it would be allowed. I considered several ideas of how to incorporate the moth into my assignment. Some of my ideas were.

  • A moth flying by as the man cuts the roses. Or flying generally. Peter said you could even just include it with no reference.
  • The moth featuring as a phone wallpaper. This would involve a new narration or plot though.
  • A moth tattoo on the mans neck which she sees as he walks off in slow motion.
  • The moth on the gift card with a butterfly symbolising resurrection on the other side.

I printed off an image of the moth planning the gift card but as I did so I noticed the sun slanting onto the wall. I held the moth up to the light and it had such a dramatic shadow. The wings of death.

Acherontia lachesis MHNT Female Nîlgîri (Tamil Nadu) Dorsal

Found on Google images

The problem was holding the moth so my hand didn’t show. I held it up with scissors. I dropped it from a height.

Some of the versions that didn’t work. As you can see the moth is washed out under the torch light and you can see my hand in the other picture.

screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-08-11-41screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-08-12-14

Eventually I used the ornamental flowers. As I set it up I happened to move the torch and the shadow extended upwards with the moth. This was the shot I needed.

screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-08-11-56

I removed the shot of the rose being cut and replaced with the moth. It’s very ominous as the thunder strikes. I sent it to my tutor who am I waiting to hear back from.

Here is the finished version –

Assignment Three – ChloeClik from ChloeClik on Vimeo.

Positives.

  • The moth does look quite lifelike
  • The reeds add extra interest.
  • The thunder clap is ominous.

Negatives

  • I wish the shot could be longer but with the time limit I would have to remove something else.
  • Perhaps it appears slightly random the sudden inclusion.

However on conferring with my tutor he said that whilst the idea was good he didn’t think it blended with the film which he felt was more documentary. As such he suggested that I leave it out though leave my analysis and reasons for doing so as above. With this in mind the final version does not include the moth.

Tutor Feedback Assignment Four and final video

tutor-report-assignment-4i-wanted-to-do-something-quite-different-for-assignment-four_annotated

I received my feedback in a different way. My tutor provided me with the annotated version of my written work and then he gave me the rest via Skype. This was the first time I had done Skype with Peter and it was great to see him and to ask questions.

I think to be able to Skype your tutor is something that’s very important and whilst perhaps nerve wracking before hand it’s something I would like to do with all my tutors, if they offer that option. It’s good to talk face to face and build a tutor student rapport.

Peter spoke to me about the painting The Hireling Shepherd   and when I asked what all the hidden meanings he was only too happy to tell me. It was fascinating   I felt more inspired to research symbolism in paintings. He also mentioned the Deah’sHead Hawkmoth which I will speak about more later.

As I am submitting for the November assessment, Peter returned my report very quickly so I could amend anything. I was really pleased that he enjoyed Assignment Five. And below is the annotated version.

After speaking he sent me a list of subjects we discussed. I was also really grateful as he suggested how to fix this particular part in Assignment Four. There is a moment where I want to use silence and negative space to convey the fact that the bee has been winded by the strimmer. I had tried many different shots to fix this but still felt it didn’t quite work. Peter suggested that the reason it doesn’t have this impact is mostly to due with the fact that a) the strimmer sounds too suddenly and b) the silence is much too long. I am going to be changing this and including it in the edited version of Assignment Four.

His main points were

  • Move on from iMovie – think about something like a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Pursue some tutorials on audio editing – for example Adobe TV (more about Photo and Video editing) or Jason Levine’s videos on Audition
  • Matters discussed
  • ‘Underwater’ look?- try different combinations of stabilizatio
  • Think about the sound of the trimmer-fading it in and shortening the silence after
  • Comment in your blog about any of the issues raised in the notes or our tutorial.
  • Practice smooth handheld tracking and panning and/or look into DIY dolly and steadycam ideas

We discussed the underwater look, this is due to the image stabilisation of iMovie. Instead of changing the shot he recommended mentioning what this was due to and I agreed I would use different software in the future.

Peter finished his report saying “In general you have engaged well with the unit well.” he  also said I had been on a journey and regarding Assignment Four said;

“I did like it. I think it works pretty well. Seeing as you’re using ordinary kit I think you’ve done very well. When you floated the idea, I thought well I bet you don’t do it in the end because it’s a good idea but I wasn’t sure that you’d make something that would satisfy you. But no I think you’ve done well.”

The final version. Uploaded at a very slighter resolution due to Vimeo upload limits.

Tiny Cities -ChloeClik – Assignment Four from ChloeClik on Vimeo.

Assignment Two – Tutor Feedback and final video

I have just seen my tutor feedback for assignment two failed to upload hence why I am posting it now.

Assignment 2_

annotatedtutor report assignment 2

Having read through Peter’s feedback several times I am feeling motivated to investigate different aspects of film making and also to try things outside the box and beyond what is expected. I’ve ordered the British Documentary movement boxset which I’m sure will keep me busy with 40 movies! I found it on Amazon secondhand for only twenty pounds as opposed to eighty pounds for brand new.

Some points I found especially useful –

  • To take it to the next level, perhaps beyond what you were asked to do, I think you need to ask yourself if the movie itself in total tells us something we don’t already know, or at least think we know. It may be that you need to exaggerate or repress certain elements to achieve this, even to totally inventing something to do it. Perhaps looking at some of the early British documentary films (see below) will give you some idea of what I am trying to say.
  • Think about the relationship of rehearsal to impromptu to unscripted/improvised ways of working impact on the outcome and how you may best utilise these different methodologies to best express your particular ideas in the different projects you are engaged on.
  • As a video making the ‘mundane’; perhaps the everyday is a better description; interesting I think it works pretty well. However, I wonder if it really says anything much about your chosen topic, Mindfullness. It is more a narrative than an exploration of a state of being and I take Mindfulness to be the latter; that it touches on Mindfullness I have no doubt and there is no reason why a narrative should not explore a philosophical or psychological way of being but it is important to privilege the one over the other and for me it is the narrative of wish making that is foremost here. Only you can say if that really matters in the end.

His comment regarding the theme of the assignment is a good one. Perhaps it would have been more suited to choose the atmosphere of calmness, relaxation or purely peace. It did seem to encompass mindfulness with all the elements though. I will have to think what to do for assessment.

I’m pleased Peter thinks my blog is progressing and that I could be successful in final assessment. It feels like the end of the course is creeping up fast and I’m going to miss it when I finish it. So I want to learn as much as I possibly can and research a wide and diverse range of subjects. What appealed to me especially of his comments were ‘to think about more relevant or less relevant subjects (sometimes the ‘less’ ones are the most revealing and useful in the long run!)

I’ve been thinking about assignment three and have decided to go for the poisoned drink scenario. I don’t usually start with the assignment plan in mind but I feel for Part three it will be interesting to take part in the exercises and determine how it will work with the assignment.

Finished Video (Note due to Vimeo upload limits I had to submit at a slightly lower resolution)

Assignment Two – Updated ChloeClik from ChloeClik on Vimeo.

I took on board the points Peter had made and changed the following.

  • The atmosphere. As mentioned above Peter felt that the title didn’t quite match the video. Could mindfulness be an atmosphere. Personally I feel it can, it’s a feeling of being aware of your surroundings, using all your senses but I decided to follow his advice and change the atmosphere to ‘tranquility’ I do feel this works well now, the video doesn’t change and nor so does the mood but the title now works fluidly with the video.
  • Sound levels of the crows. Blending them a little. Fixed any sound issues that had escaped me such as the sudden decrease of volume of the crows.
  • Trimmed the shot when I walked around my actor. Due to shaky camera.
  • Added clink as pebbles touch. Replicated with stones in garden.
  • Evened out sound level.

Can one song convey more than one meaning?

During this course I made friends with a fellow course mate, Ashley. It feels like we have crossed the finished line together.

It was Ashley who introduced me to the the fantastic data base of music, Incompetech. There are thousands of songs on there, each one individual and unique and without knowing we both used the same song, Ashley in her assignment and myself in a personal project video.

It was an interesting discovery, to see how the same song can be used to convey completely different emotions.

My Video

 

Ashley’s video

Things they had in common were

  • Both used to convey a melancholy mood. The main melody (harpsichord) highlights a specific part.
  • In my video the main melody sounds when the life ring and ‘danger’ sign are shown. Conveying that something terrible happened at this point. In Ashley’s it begins when the mug of tea is knocked over.

Things that were different.

  • In my video the song is the main focus, there is no diegetic sound or narration. The song essentially tells the story.
  • Ashley’s featured at the end to illustrate the moment when Ahad tells his father he has failed his exams, to convey the pain and create a contrast of the party atmosphere and the darkness inside that he is feeling.

Whilst they both focused on sadness and loss they were each used in a different way to convey a different story. With that in mind I decided to find other videos the song had been used in and research the emotions it provokes.

Here the song has been used to highlight it’s medieval melody. It is the background to the world of Skyrim which we are shown around. Interesting to see where the harpsichord melody is used, after a slow pause showing a Skyrim character, the melody begins again and we are on a journey through an underground canal.


It sets the tone for this video by Dragonfly Productions as we soar over a landscape where the story takes place. It seems it always used for dark powerful moments. I wonder how it could be interpreted with a different theme that isn’t melancholy.

Jordan Turner Vegas shoot from Travis H. Lane on Vimeo.

It would appear that using an especially somber song out of context doesn’t always work.  In this video it is used in a video of a  modelling shoot. While the photography is successful I don’t feel the two match well. The music is dark and haunting whereas the shoot is light and doesn’t feature anything dark or upsetting at all. They clash throughout, like two opposite poles of a magnet.

So therefore it would appear that whilst there are many stories that can be told with the same song in a variety of genres, sometimes a song is so specifically made for a certain genre that is clashes when used for any other purpose. Even if you were to make an optimistic video of say a girl blowing out birthday candles, to play this music over it would give a very different feeling to the happy birthday. Perhaps the girl is mourning her childhood, maybe it is the film makers way of warning the viewer that all is not as it seems.

Through the analysis of these songs and the way in which they have been chosen and used, I have come to the conclusion that this song in particular is powerful in that it conveys variations of a dark mood, that one mood can have connotations of sadness, fear, death, worry, but it generally is on the dark side of things. This shows how important it is to choose the right song. If you choose the wrong song it may end up conveying the opposite meaning, the story and music will not work harmoniously, it could ruin a sequence yet choosing wisely it could make that sequence.  It’s essential to spend a little time working through the selection of songs. The music is like a main actor and just as a bad actor can spoil a movie so too can the choice of music. Overall it highlights what an essential part the music plays.

I decided to experiment with something conducive to the course, similar to the Mosjukhin experiment, using one clip what emotion could be conveyed with the music.I created a new file in iMovie and grabbed some of my video clips. It was clear which worked and which didn’t. I realised that the song could be used not just for darkness but it also worked very well with landscape shots and animals, such as the red kite flying over the landscape. It captures  a primeval, raw connection with the earth.

Below is the video I made. Please comment what you feel from it. I had to change the file size hence the lower quality. 


I felt of all the clips the strongest was the snow leopard in the Zoo. I can really feel her sadness. It wasn’t the best enclosure I had seen and this reflects it. It will be interesting to see what anyone else sees.

 

Assignment Four

Constructing a narrative 

For this assignment you’ll gather documentary footage and use it to create a short documentary sequence representing a portrait of a place. You should try and capture the spirit and feel of the place as well as representing what happens there.

Choose a location

Recce your location at different times and think about:

  • What happens? What are the important events that occur daily in your place? Are there
    any unusual events that might be interesting to follow?
  • What or who is there? What and who do you need to show to represent the various elements of the place and paint a full picture of it?
  • What is the character of the place? Can you apply any of the ideas of characterisation to the place? What elements typify its mood and atmosphere? What kind of pace and rhythm does the place have?
  • What is the timescale of the place? Can you represent its essential elements over a minute, an hour, a day, a week?
  • Plan a narrative
  • Draw a chart of your narrative structure. Identify the climax. What is the story you are telling?
  • Create a shot list
    Note the essential shots that you will need to represent your place and construct your narrative
  • Record your footage
  • Review your footage carefully  – You may start to see something different from your original narrative emerging…
  • Capture and edit
  • Throw together something like your original plan. Don’t be afraid to make radical changes. Put your original pre-conceptions aside. Look at what you have and think how to use this to create an impression of the place you know. If in doubt say less. Pick one or two key elements to focus on.

Evaluation 

Write an evaluation of your finished sequence (500 words).

Submit your sequence online to your tutor with the pre-production notes and evaluation.

Assignment Four

Finished video


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/180633502″>Tiny Cities -ChloeClik</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user26938305″>ChloeClik</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

I wanted to do something quite different for assignment four. As the final assignment it was important that everything I learned during this course was incorporated. Initially I began a shot of the local seafront and did some research. However it felt static and not what I was looking for.

I thought about what my friend said, taking the brief then honing it down to something specific. With that in mind I took the idea of a place and thought how could the garden be minimised. A comment about life from a bees point of view inspired me. The assignment was born. The garden as seen from the inhabitants viewpoint. Not completely subjective though with a few of those shots included. Shot from low angles to immerse the viewer in the world. I also read an article on the OCA website on how best to structure written work. It said that examiners don’t want to wade through loads of flowery language, instead to have the main points. With that in mind I have written the assignment in this manner.

Research. 

Documentaries were the first place to start. Yellowstone, Life on Earth, Anima Mundi, Scottish Highlands I watched them making notes about what makes a documentary. Whilst often differing it came down to a rough structure.

The documentary introduces the landscape or subject as a whole. Focuses on specific animals and their story. Usually life and death drama. Classical music illustrates scene. Personifies animals (not all documentaries do though) Narration can be serious, humorous, educational. Carries a message. In Yellowstone, how the wolves dominate the landscape and all animals fight to survive. The Highlands, the same story again exploring how individual animals use the land.

My plan was – 

  • To show garden from wildlife’s point of view
  • Focus on three main creatures. Bee. Woodlice. Originally it was to be a butterfly but on discovering the Centipede I couldn’t leave it out. Contrast of different levels. Bees – Flying. Woodlice – Land. Centipede – Under ground.
  • Events of the day. Bees collecting nectar. Woodlice family reunion. Rain. Evening.
  • Chronological over the day. Impact of humans and people. Humans only seen as distant blur or machinery.
  • Message of the impact of human contact (this came later as I worked on it).

Locating wildlife

The most important essence for a movie is the actors and they threw up big obstacles. The lavender bush was flooded with bees and I camped out in the garden filming them. From this

  • I charted their process, their patterns until I could almost predict the next flowers they’d go to.
  • Experimented with various auto focus modes. Occasionally manual focus.
  • 18-55mm lens ensured closeness. 50mm just wasn’t fast enough.
  • Looked into expensive kit but was pleased with footage from lens.

Woodlice.

The woodlice weren’t too bad to find. Several lived under the ornamental tortoise. I ensured I caused minimal disturbance to them. Replaced stones as they were.

  • Favourite shot. Woodlouse uncurling. Found it curled up. Waited. Held my breath as it uncurled. It was magical moment.
  • A whole conglomeration lived under the empty water butt.
  • Gardener discovered many while cleaning leaf litter.
  • Shot of woodlice with slug worked well with sequence.

Centipede. 

This was unexpected. There was an old fuchsia bush removed from the pot. Discovered centipede by chance.  Needed manual focus to track them fast enough. Created contrast, the underworld.

Equipment

  • Canon EOS 70D
  • 18-55mm
  • 80mm lens
  • Voice over – used iMovie recording function.

Music

Whilst it is good not to always include music, the music was important as I’d noted from my research, needed to convey mood, illustrate the story. Incompetech provided me with the perfect tracks which I edited and cut from occasionally to achieve the effect best for the video. It took longer than expected to adjust the sound levels to the voice over wasn’t overwhelmed or the music volume to differ greatly.

  • Upbeat dance music mimicked intensity of bees pollen collecting.
  • Magical created the atmosphere of the woodlice world.
  • Tribal beat for the ‘drone’ shot of the woodlouse running.
  • Gentle and classical like rain drops for rain storm. Brought sequence to a gentle close.

For the diegetic sounds I mostly used my own footage, the bees humming were achieved by getting very close to the bees (with my iPhone)  I used the bird song from copies of my own music. Some were from free sound, the rain and water droplets were from iMovie.

Narration

Minimal, a gentle narration allowing footage to tell the story. Anthropomorphism of animals.

Story

Giving animals human characteristics showed relationship between people and animals and reinforced message at end.

Final shot. Sums up the movie I feel with the tiny cities hidden in the undergrowth.

Reviewing 

Reviewing it on the TV changed things. Earlier in this unit I had researched the different types of documentary. Initially I wondered whether to do a poetic documentary, letting the music and footage tell the story but when it came to it I realised it would be more suited to a narrative so I chose to go for a mix, an expository narrative but poetic as well especially with the music sequences.

Then it was a matter of editing. I cut the film down to just over six minutes.

Narrative Structure

IMG_4947 (1)

Evaluation 

I experimented with a variety of beginnings. At first I panned down the tree but felt it was important to show the small space where the tiny cities were. I panned around but it felt static. Then I included the sky, this had more impact and I could pan down from the sky, the plants and even capturing a spider web. Finally ending on a lavender bush which motivated the next shot. Documentaries often show a collection of footage to introduce the film.

Early Morning Time was represented by the early morning dew, I would have liked to capture a sunrise but it was just too early with my health.

Introduces Bees. Decided to use jolly music to show the frenetic activity of bees. Edited so they represented musical notes. Jumping from the leaves on the beat. The hornet shakes about. Adds a circus like feel with the trapeze and high wire act. Sets a false scent of security. Bee flies away as music ends.

Strimmer.  Dark music.  Creates a contrast of dark and light. Uses connecting shots. Strimmer goes with music. Bees all fly off. Butterfly in holly (filmed at different moment) shows the creatures there. Time lapse. It was pure serendipity that the woodlouse appeared during filming and the leaf speared down. Edited to go with music which I felt worked well. The leaf also represents danger.

Bee hit. This caused a lot of problems. I thought about the Mosjukhin Experiment that we had studied and how the story came from the viewers perception. As with Assignment Three, implying meaning, I wanted to imply the bee being caught by the up draught and not show it. At first it showed the bee flying then the strimmer then the bee but the effect wasn’t strong enough. I decided to add shock. The bee is shown on a flower then in the next frame the strimmer goes down.. Empty space of flowers creates feeling of fear. Cathedral sound effect on strimmer and blurred focus of people add to the disorientation.

Woodlouse – Works well with the magical music as it is unfurls. Depicts mother on her journey searching for her scattered children. Shows garden and other inhabitants.

Drone shot. As I craned the camera up a woodlouse came running. Almost like the drone shots in nature documentaries.

Centipede. Woodlouse motivated shot into underworld. Dark. Pans down twisted roots to reinforce going down. Creepy music. Tartarus in Greek mythology being the equivalent of Hell.

Rain storm. The rain storm was a chance to show more of the garden, the flowers, the insects and to give it a bit of contrast, a gentle moment often used in documentaries to bring things to a close. It served the perfect function of guiding into the closing sequence.

Conclusion

I am happy with this documentary. It means quite a lot to me as I really immersed myself in the wildlife’s world. Realised our garden was not really our garden. But a shared space. It taught me a lot and I was fascinated by the amount of nature on our doorstep. I managed not to be stung by bees despite staying in a close proximity to them, something which I regard as an accomplishment. It was almost like they knew I was there as an observer and not a threat. I even rescued several sugar starved bees in the process.

I felt I got unique footage such as the woodlouse uncurling and explored every dimension of the place. I am pleased I went for this and not my original idea of the seafront as I learnt so much from this and produced footage which I am pleased with. This assignment means more to me than all of the others put together. They let me share their world and now I can portray it and show it in the best way I can.

I ran it by several people I know and didn’t know and while there were those who felt a bit squeamish watching it some said they would keep an eye out for the tiny cities, others liked the touch of humour in the narration that didn’t overshadow the themes and message and some even said whilst before they wouldn’t have been able to watch woodlice on TV they now regarding them as cute.

And so ends digital film production.   My life will feel almost empty without the enjoyable exercises, fun research and community of the film students.  I would like to thank my tutor for his support in my ideas, feedback and invaluable advice. It has been a long and fantastic journey through this course, I have learnt so much, challenged myself and I look back at the first assignments and noticed errors I hadn’t before such as the introduction of diegetic sound in one scene only to be cut out in the next. Things I wouldn’t have noticed at the beginning now feel second nature, this course has been wonderful.

Techniques. 

I went through every page of the course writing everything learned from exercises and incorporated it all.

  • Storyboard
  • Low Angle
  • High Angle
  • Canted Frame
  • POV – Subjective
  • Objective
  • Mise-en-scène
  • Depth
  • Lighting
  • Texture
  • Atmosphere
  • Diegetic sound
  • Non diegetic
  • Sound – smell, colour, emotion, physical
  • New soundtrack
  • Screen space
  • Connecting shots
  • Pan
  • Tilt
  • Crane/jib
  • Tracking
  • Zoom
  • Narration
  • Motivation
  • Speed up
  • Transitions
  • Jump cutting
  • Cutaway
  • Empty drama
  • Slow motion
  • Overlapping or repeating action
  • Intercutting
  • Time
  • Documentary