Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from i...

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Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? by Mind Map: Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

1. Preliminary task

1.1. Pre-Production

1.1.1. In terms of planning, we had very limited time for our preliminary task. We had to complete the task during 3-4 lessons which meant that we only had a few hours to do everything from pre to post production. Due to the limiting timing we weren't able to come up with a storyboard. As a result we have largely relied on improvisation because the task focused more on our filming and editing skills rather than our thoughts, although we did spend 5-10 minutes coming up with a brief plan in which we established a vague narrative, location as well as the main cast/crew.

1.2. Production

1.2.1. Filming - Whilst filming our preliminary task most of our group had some experience with the DSLR camera however we weren't confident with many aspects of manual setting such as white balance. As a result some of our shot weren't of the best quality for example when the sun was covering Shekarie's face. Due to the limited timing it also meant that we didn't have time to create a shot list therefore we had to improvise and experiment with the different shots and angles during filming. Some of our shots are also quite unfocused because we forgot to check camera settings carefully before filming. Another mistake we made was only filming the shot once, maximum twice as we didn't think we required excess raw footage. We also didn't realise that the ambient sound of wind and airplanes would affect our dialogue therefore we needed to edit as much as possible out.

1.2.2. I was generally quite confident with using a DSLR camera although I still lacked certain skills for example I didn't know how to change the white balance.

1.3. Post-Production

1.3.1. Editing - Since our group produced two different texts, our products greatly differed from each other despite using the same raw footage. By using two different soundtracks we were able to see how important the audio line and how effective it is in creating a particular atmosphere. The task expected us to demonstrate continuity editing as well as shot reverse shot and match on action therefore we have made sure to use this editing technique. I think that we have successfully used these techniques and our final product looked quite professional despite it being our first go at editing.On the whole I think we were successful in doing so despite the fact that for most of our group it was the first time using Final Cut Pro. However in terms of titles and credits, mine and Luke's product didn't contain either because we didn't have enough time to implement them but after watching other prelims from our class we realised how important it is to include the title as without it our task looked slightly less professional compared to other people's products. In this task we also started experiment with different filters and saturations as this would help to increase the verisimilitude if used appropriately. However since our lighting and raw footage was quite good in creating the atmosphere we wanted, we didn't need to focus too much on this.

1.3.2. I was less confident with using Final Cut Pro as this was one of my first times using the program. However I quickly gained confidence in using the program as I found it relatively easy to use although I still needed to learn how to add certain effects e.g. Ken Burns effect before editing the thriller opening.

2. Thriller Opening

2.1. Pre-Production

2.1.1. In contrast to our preliminary task, we have spent a few weeks carefully planning our thriller opening. Firstly we had to research the thriller genre as in order to make an appropriate script, it is important to be aware of what the audience expects from this genre and what the key features we would need to include are. Once we knew what the thriller convention is we then pitched our individual ideas and collected a range of audience research and feedback. This was important in order to know whether our thriller would appeal to an audience or not. Once we came up with a final script/idea we then created a detailed storyboard, shotlist, costume and makeup list, moodboard, health and safety etc. This greatly contrasted with our preliminary task as we now knew exactly what we need to do and therefore felt more confident about filming. I personally think that without extensive planning and research a film cannot be successful after looking at the difference between our prelim and the opening.

2.2. Production

2.2.1. Filming - Due to the extensive planning we carried out beforehand we exactly knew what we were doing on the day of filming. One of the main things I learnt was the importance of appropriate lighting. Unlike in the prelim task where we relied on ambient lighting, we have used three point lighting (key, fill and back) unless we aimed for a darker shot with more shadow i.e. some of the flashback scenes. This enabled us to conform to the thriller convention which we researched. We have also paid more attention to our audio and decided it would be best to use a microphone as this would help us get rid of any ambient/ background noise that we experienced in our preliminary task. The use of a microphone also ensured that the diegetic sounds like the tap were enhanced. In our thriller opening we also made sure that we filmed each shot at least three times and that we checked the camera settings so that shots from the same location contained the same lighting and that the shots were in focus as much as possible. By filming each shot three times we also made sure that we had plenty on raw footage to choose from. Another important aspect of filming was following the 180 rule as we realised how important it is after our preliminary task. By using the 180 rule in our preliminary task we were able to produce a successful video and wanted to implement this in our opening too in order to increase the verisimilitude. We have also used a greater range of shots and angles in our opening in order to create suspense whereas the prelim task contained quite basic shots.

2.2.2. During filming I was more confident that before as I now knew how to change the manual settings to match our opening i.e. the exposure, saturation and white balance. The use of three point lighting also helped to achieve the shots we wanted.

2.3. Post-Production

2.3.1. Editing - In contrast to the preliminary task our editing was much more heavily implemented and advanced. We were able to edit our opening using filters, changing saturation as well as using different effects such as the Ken Burns effect and slow motion. We were also able to design our own titles, credits and logos which was missing in my preliminary task. Another thing I learnt was how to apply the soundtrack appropriately i.e. how to apply the soundtrack so that it creates suspense. On the whole our thriller opening contained many more transitions and effects including sound effects which is something we didn't include in our preliminary task. One editing technique we used was a montage of the flashbacks, the shots were edited using fast cuts as this allowed us to keep the audience alert and on the edge of their seat. We also made sure that we conformed to match on action. From our preliminary task I have learned the importance of this techniques, match on action enhances the natural flow of the footage which means that the audience is more engaged as they will feel like they are watching real time events. Our thriller opening utilised continuity editing in order to make the audience feel like an invisible bystander who was witnessing the action, this therefore enhanced the verisimilitude of our thriller opening.

2.3.2. Whilst editing the thriller opening I learnt how to add a Ken Burns effect, add transitions, stabilise the image and how to make the soundtrack fade out and in of dialogue effectively which made the opening seem more professional.

3. Conclusions

3.1. Overall I think that our group made great progress since the preliminary task. The main thing I learnt during the progression from the preliminary task to the full product is how to check the white balance on the DSLR as well as a few key skills on Final Cut Pro. In contrast to the preliminary task, our thriller opening has been planned in greater detail and our end product matches our aims and expectations. I think that without conducting the preliminary task we wouldn't have been as successful as we would have underestimated the importance of planning and would've missed out on learning key skills which would have made our thriller opening less successful.