Today I finally got around to using some of the production equipment as well as learning how to use others. This log does include all of what I learnt and have done for one production only. That is why this log covers two days. However, another log will appear for 03/11/2011 for a separate production that took place at the end of the day.
First of all I learnt how to set up a production before filming, there are certain stages to be completed before filming can actually take place. The first of which is the walk-through, which includes setting up all the camera and the blocking. The blocking will also include putting down the markers for the actors. The next thing to be done is to make sure that all the cast and crew have the correct documents. For example, the director needs the script and the shooting schedule, the camera operators need a shot log to record the times of each shot, the producer also needs the shooting schedule and all the actors need a script. Everyone, the cast and crew will also need a call sheet. After all of that has been completed then the camera can be set up. Today it was my job to set up the camera for each shot. I learnt how to set up a master/2 shot, a medium shot and a close up shot. Not only that but I also learnt how to do pull focus for the medium shots. Pull focus is zooming in on an object or actor and putting them in focus. Once in focus zooming out slowly will keep the object in focus but put the background out of focus. I learnt how to set up the tripod and the correct way to set up the zooms, focus and everything else before shooting. Once this has been done I learnt about the callings that are used to start off shooting. This is done by the director so I did not participate in this today. However, the callings start off with asking if the actors are ready and the if the camera is ready. Then it moves into shouting the scene number, then shot number, then take number and finally the word ‘action’. Action is used to tell the actors that they should begin.
The reason for learning/using these techniques and processes is because it is used in real life productions. The lecturer has taught me the correct way to set up and film so that if or when it comes to a real production, I can then use these skills in those future productions. Calling shots are particularly useful as these calling shots tell everyone to be ready for a take. This is especially useful as these callings are used throughout the industry.
As this is the first time I have done any of this I cannot compare it to anything similar. I also have not done much in the way of research to compare it against. The reason for this is because I think it will be more beneficial to compare each of my own productions rather than existing ones. Then I can see what problems there are and what I could improve. Overall I think I succeeded in the camera work, I say this because there where no problems with setting up or packing up and the director was very happy with the shots that were taken and how they were set up. I think a good strength I recognized during my work with the camera was how quickly I could set up a shot, this includes getting the correct amount of focus and the position of the camera. I consider this as a strength because the director was also very happy with this.
Below is a screenshot of the scene I done the camera work for…
Even though I have only done shooting a scene once, I cannot see anywhere I can improve in this area apart from different shooting techniques such as, panning and so on. Not only that but I would also like to know how to set up light and give it a go at directing.