07/11/2011 PT – Log:

Today I continued to direct my own groups production. We actually finished filming.

There was only a couple of things that I learnt in todays lesson. The previous lesson was where I started to direct my groups production, however, this did not go all that well and we picked it up today. The first thing I learnt was what it means to be a director. Firstly, a director must always make their actors feel happy and calm ready for filming. Also, if some of the actors are having trouble with lines, me as the director, should physically go to them and help. I also learnt how to set up the camera or an over the shoulder shot. I had worked with the camera operators to get the right shot. We decided to do an over the shoulder shot for both characters in the production.

Yet again, the skills I have learnt today can most deffinatly be used in other productions throughout my time on the course and in my career. It is appropriate to use these skills as they are industry standard. In other words, these skills are known throughout the industry and are supposed to be used for its intended purpose, directing. Many of the core skills I have learnt during my time directing can be used elsewhere. For example, director’s take a leadership role within a production and these leadership skills can also be used to lead a team or event. I can see these skills coming into good use when I do the multi-camera production.

I would consider my role of director to be a success. I say this because I think I manages to visualize the scene properly and even managed to help the actors with their lines. After watching the first production process, I realized that the director for that also did a good job. From that I decided to use some of the techniques such as calling shots and so on. The reason for me using the same techniques as the other director is because they were very effective. I think I have met this part of the client brief as I think me acting as director was very successful. The only thing that I consider to have went wrong was the fact that I did not hand out enough scripts and each crew member did not have the correct documentation. Due to the short amount of time to get the production done, I could not put a solution in place. Other groups also had the same problem.

When I take up this role in future projects I must make sure that all the documentation has been completed within the allotted time. If this is done correctly then all I will need to do is make sure that the correct people get the correct documents.

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10/11/2011 PT – Log:

Today I was given the role of the producer during the filming of another groups production.

Today I learnt about the role that a producer has throughout a production. First a producer is supposed to be given the shooting schedule which lets me know how long the team has to start and complete each shot and also the order in which shot is taken. I also learnt that I was the one to push the director if time was running out for each shot. It is important to stick to the schedule so that all the shots can be taken and so there is enough time to pack up all the equipment at the end. Not only did I learn to do all that but also I learnt that I was responsible for making sure all of the equipment was set up safely and that it was being used safely. I also got the opportunity to have my own input in the production, such as, line changes, set changes and camera angle changes. Even though I learnt a lot about being a producer today, I have the feeling that the job itself is quite small. Not much in the way of tasks can be done and seems pretty uneventful.

The skills I have learnt today can definatly be used in real life situations as well as other course productions. Not only that but I have also requested work experience in camera production to extend my skills and knowledge in this subject. What I have learnt today also supports the project I am currently doing as I have to have recorded evidence of being active in all the roles of a production.

In terms of success I think I did an average job as a producer. The reason I say this is because whenever I told the director that the production had to be done quicker, she didnt listen. Time was running out and I should have persisted and got the director to move things along.

As said above, the only real action I can take next time would be to be more firm with the director. Not only that but also more helping with dressing the set and ensuring the health and safety procedures are being met.

03/11/2011 PT – Log:

This is the second post for this day. Today I finished of the camera work for the first production. Then I went onto acting as a director in my own production.

Today I learnt what it is like to be a director of a production. The director is responsible for giving out all of the paperwork to the correct people. For example, a script needs to go to everyone, including cast and crew. Not only that but the camera operators need to be given a shot log which records the time for each shot and even whether they are good or bad. The producer must also have a copy of the shooting schedule for time keeping and how long it is supposed to take for each shot. The other thing I learnt today was making sure I get the callings right and in the right order. The order that I have remembered is, actors ready, camera ready, scene number, shot number, take number and then action.

As said in the previous post, all of the skills I have learnt in directing today will prove to be very useful in future productions, not just in college but in my career as well. The reason these skills being so beneficial to me is that these skills are used in the real world.

I cannot compare what I have done today with what I have done on Monday because they are both very different jobs. However, I think, after a while, I managed to get the hang or being a director. I got a little confused with some of the calling shots but in the end I think I did a good job. And I was happy with the order of the lights and the position of the camera. The only area I would really need to develop is making sure the correct people get the correct paperwork.

I can improve on the above problems by making sure I allow myself enough time to complete the pre-production documentation before I start filming the production.

31/10/2011 – 03/11/2011 PT – Log:

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.

06/10/2011 PT – Log:

Today I attended two quite large lectures. One was about sound and the other was about cinematography. I also was informed about what exactly is to be included in the proposal next week.

The first thing I learnt today was all about sound in productions. There was a lot of note taking during this lecture and therefore, I will be summarizing the main points in bullet points.

  • Recording: Recording is quite obviously sounds that can be recored. For example, on set recording all the sounds during a scene makes for a realistic film. A Foley artist is someone who creates the sounds in a studio rather than on set. Voices are also dubbed during editing to get the best quality.
  • Off Screen: This includes creating sounds of screen that the audience cannot see. Dialog can also be off screen for example, a commentary like Shawshank Redemption.
  • Two Types: Diegetic sound is sound within the film that characters can hear such as talking. Non-diegetic sound is sound that cannot be herd by the characters.
  • Character: This means that some characters have theme songs or tunes when in a production. For example, the villan could come walking into a scene and a specific tune will play. This also includes sounds that are specific to characters such as Darth Vader.
  • Genre: This includes sounds that are specific to genre, such as creepy music for scary film or music that builds suspense for thriller genre. Genre sound can be both diegetic and non.
  • Setting: Sound is used to set the setting of a place. Such as different type of music for different countries and spooky sort of sounds for castles and so on.
  • Narrative: This includes something called a sound bridge. A sound bridge is music or sound carried over from one scene into another for smooth transmission between scenes.

The second lecture I attended was all about cinematography. Just like before I learnt a lot and took a large amount of notes that I will now put into bullet points.

  • Colour: Artificial ways, expressive purpose, colourful performance, naturalistic such as using natural lights only using reflectors. Bright lighting = pleasure, tints can add warmth or coldness to a production. Red = passion. colours are used to make a production stand out. However, some colours mean different things in different cultures.
  • Black and White: Examples of black and white films are Shindler’s List, Casino Royale, Blood Diamond. Black and white is also very good for identifying when light is being directed.
  • Lighting High key = bright lighting, low key is used in film noir. Hard = intense beam gives sharp edges to object, soft does the opposite.
  • Possible Sources: Different positions for lighting are front, back, sides, overhead and below. I also learnt a lot about 3 point lighting and single camera 180 degree rule.

The point to learning all this today was again to increase my knowledge of all the different production techniques. All these different techniques will help me a hell of a lot during the course of the year and any productions I create in the process. I have even started to put together ideas in my head ready for my first production.

I have not done any tasks today as I have been busy with the two lectures, therefore I cannot comment on any success.

The same goes for solutions.

03/10/2011 PT – Log:

Today I attended a lecture about mise-en-scene. I also got started on the production tech assignment tasks after finding out our group has lost a member. Just a little note, these tasks where completed two days later on 05/10/2011. This log covers both because I started the tasks on the date that appears as the title of this post.

Today I learnt a lot about what mise-en-scene means and includes. I am going to write out my list of notes which reflect what I learnt in todays lesson. I would like to say first that mise-en-scene means put into scene.

  • Decor: This means how the character will be dressed? How the sets will be decorated based on the genre of the production and the atmosphere of the production; for example, day, night, afternoon, raining, sunny and so on. Not only that but decor also includes how each room is going to be decorated and any props or vehicles used in the production.
  • Body Language and Movement: The main point to this section of mise-en-scene is how the character reacts to situations and other characters. Some actors actually have signature movements that they use often in their movies and so on. For example, Johny Depp acts very similar in terms of body movements. A good example of one of his films is Pirates of the Caribbean. He uses his signature moves in all of those films.
  • Blocking: Blocking means the character/s get the sense of being trapped of vulnerable. A good example of this is seen through the Lord of the Rings films.
  • Performance: This includes a number of things. The first of which is that the actor has to build up a suspension of belief by portraying their character correctly and making them convincing. This can be done by delivering lines correctly for example. This in turn makes the audience forget in which context the film is bing shot, making the production convincing sort of like reality.
  • Physical Transformation: This section includes how the actor changes into the character. For example, the clothes the actor will wear, hair style, makeup and movement. The actor will also need to adopt elements of the character such as, voice, facial movements, how much room the character needs on set and certain body movements like running or walking.
  • Elements Produce Meaning: This section includes the response characters/actors have to each over. Such as emotional responses including anger, frustration, happiness, empathy, delirious, revoltion and so on.
  • Viewer Expects: Viewers expect to be taken into a whole new world and the production team need to keep a promise of this.
  • Summary: Performance of the actors and so on has a massive effect on the whole production and the relationship between the production and the audience. Following these sections of mise-en-scene will ensure that the performance can be at its best where it relates to the target audience.
  • The point to learning all this today was to make sure I know exactly what goes into a scene, not just a scene but all the scenes of a production. This will help me greatly during my first production and especially in future productions.

    That tasks I have done so far for this project include the contingency plan, target/audience needs and target audience. These tasks do relate to what i have written in this log in some aspects. All of the tasks I have completed are fine. However, I have needed to research certain points such as target audience. I think I have not found enough evidence to back up such things as target audience and genre.

    As I said above, the research was a bit of an issue for me. To do this part better in the future I will need to search wider areas and not just the Internet. The Internet was the only resource I had to help me with these tasks and I do not think it was enough.

19/09/2011 PT – Log:

Like the PDP lesson, I did not do much in the way of work here either. Most of the lesson consisted of note-taking. However, I did get to witness two other students reading out a small script. Not only that but I also got to play around with a few peice of software that I will use throughout my time on the course.

Even though the work load was small, I did learn a lot in this lesson. The first thing I learnt was about the Production Process, which had five major sections. The first is the investigation phase, which allows me to gather unpinned knowledge, through researching and so on. The second phase is called pre-production, which allows for planning, experimenting and the developing of a production. The third phase is production, which is the actual development stage of a production and also applying the techniques I have learnt into the production. The fourth phase of the production process is post-production. This phase is really important because its where I would do my first evaluation of the production, so deciding if it is fit for its intended purpose and if there was a spec, did the production meet it? The fifth and final phase of the production process is the evaluation process. This process is simply reflecting on the whole process to see if all the requirements have been met and what I would do differently if I were to do the production again. The other thing I learnt was the typical way in which a script is laid out and read aloud. Not only that but I also got a bit of information on the different colours of scripts after it has been revised, such as white, pink, blue. I have also learnt some of the technical names for some of the characters in a production, for example, the protagonist is the main character and the main conflict is the antagonist. I learnt how to use a number of different programs as well. I did not get taught how to to use these programs, only to play around with them for a bit.

The point to learning the things I have mentioned above is to get me ready for my first and future productions. Knowing the process of production is key and will prove to be very useful in my own projects, both personal and coursework. Not only that but knowing how to read out a script and prove to useful. I say this because when I get to write my own script I have to think how an actor is going to say it and how the actor is going to use the right tone of voice and so on. So when I am writing a script I will need to think about how the actor is going to react. It was good to play around with a few of the programs because it gives me an insight into what I might be doing in future project. It also gave me the chance to get an idea of the program environment, such as location of tools and so on.

As I have not done any work for this subject yet, I cannot log how well I have done certain tasks or any feedback for tasks.

I cannot comment on the solution of today either, due to the fact that no tasks were given.