|Left to right: Me, Arif and Sama brainstorming different ideas|
To make the final movie we researched different genres, and even tried shooting in different styles. We started this project by researching spoofs and were pretty fixed on this genre for our film, we got as far as the storyboard and then we realized that this was not such a good idea after all as we needed a lot of resources and a lot more work for this kind of project. Therefore we started our research again and this time thought about suspense, drama and comedy genres.
|Left to Right: Me, Arif, Sama and Fatmah listening to our|
After shooting the preliminary exercise, we became familiar with the process of filmmaking; making treatments and scripts for a short film. So this exercise sounded easy but we felt that the research was unnecessary. However it turns out that we were badly mistaken and actually making treatments and storyboards made us more organized and prepared for our shoot. We realized this because we tried shooting a few scenes with just a script but no storyboard and this quickly became problematic as we had no idea what shot and angle will suit a particular scene and therefore we ended wasting time arguing about shots which made the work even more time consuming. Therefore to make a short preliminary video of the crazy lab assistant, we searched over the internet to figure out how females who belong to the working class dress for work. Therefore to make it more realistic we made the lab assistant cover her head as it is done by most Pakistani females. Also we learned through the mistakes we made in our preliminary video. Therefore for the final project we tried to be more thorough with our research. Our first idea was to do a spoof which sounded quite challenging but the idea did not work as after the rsearch we realized that we do not have sufficient time and resources and by the time we came up with a script, it stimulated a negative response from our class fellows. Therefore we dropped the idea of a spoof and then began to research drama and comedy as possible genres we could work in. We also planned on doing a suspense film as that would be relatively easy (we thought) however we dropped this idea. Finally we chose to make a drama/comedy. During the planning phase we first searched for different drama films and and looked at what and how they tell stories. After analyzing several drama films, we got a broad sense of what drama usually is like and how the characters are portrayed. On researching about the institutions which distribute drama films, we also got a clear perspective of different categories of drama films and what are their codes and conventions. After choosing the institution and analyzing movies made by that particular institution gave us a broader spectrum of what we want to represent in our movie.
Therefore to make a short preliminary video of the crazy lab assistant, we search over the internet on how females who belong to the working class dress up for such kind of work. Therefore to make it more realistic we made the lab assistant cover her head as it is done by most of the Pakistani females. Also we learned through many mistakes made in preliminary video. Therefore for the final project we did a thorough research on 2 different genres. Our first idea was of a spoof which sounded quite challenging but also at the same time more grasping as it was a new idea used for a preliminary exercise and the positive response from our teacher and class fellows made us even more enthusiastic to make an opening title of a poarody. However the research was tedious and during the course of research we realized that we do not have sufficient time and resources and by the time we came up with a script, it stimulated a negative response from our class fellows.
Therefore we dropped the idea of a spoof and then search about drama and comedy. We also planned on doing suspense as that would be relatively easy however this idea was already taken and well all were determined to work on a very different genre. Therefore we chose drama/comedy as the next genre. During the planning we first searched about different drama films and what and how they represent the text. On analyzing several drama films, we got a broader perspective of what drama usually is and how the characters are portrayed. On researching on the institutions that distribute drama films, we also got a clear perspective of different categories of drama films and what are their codes and conventions. After choosing the institution and analyzing movies made by that particular institution gave us a broader spectrum of what we want to represent in our movie.
In our preliminary exercise we learnt about match on action, reverse shot, 180 degree rule and with the mistakes made and shots redone we learnt about mid shots and how to keep characters in the frame according to the mise en scene.
|I am at the pyramid studio practicing on 'Adobe after effects'.|
Using storyboards was especially useful as it helped us to visualize what kind of movie we want and that idea made the shooting go more smoothly. Rom??? our preliminary exercise, we learnt that by using fewer dialogues we can control the background noise which our inexpensive audio equipment produced and since many drama movies have few dialogues in the opening sequence and only use a single track to define the scene therefore it made it possible for to us to avoid bad sound quality. The use of editing software such as premiere for the preliminary task made us even more confident in using that software for the final editing. During the research stage we also learnt about more software we could use such as Sony Vegas, Adobe After Effects, and Audacity which helped us further in our final movie.
|Me and Afia trying different effects on Adobe After effects.|
For the preliminary task we finished the shooting in three days shooting in short spurts and therefore this affected the light and the white balance in the shots which was bad for continuity. So for the final task we learnt how to improve the lighting and the practise we got from the preliminary task allowed us to improve the quality of our final project further as we knew we would need to add filters.
|Raw still of the crazy assistant footage before editing|
|Still of the crazy assistant after editing|
Our final video with and without the sound added was also shown to groups of test audiences comprising of our friends who admitted that the sound certainly made the movie more approachable. During the premier or our film in school we were able to evaluate the reaction of audiences of different age groups as we had teachers and students in the audience. The students had mixed views about our film where some people wanted to see the rest of the movie while some thought they had seen enough. However we got a positive response from the teachers and our Principal liked the opening sequence too.
Shooting and editing also taught us about different formats of videos as well. In the preliminary task we were familiar with mp4 and flv formats only but reconverting and rendering into different formats gave us an idea about how to maintain the best quality for viewing and uploading. Note the difference in quality of the stills below.
|Raw shot. The video is in MOI format.|
|Video in FLV format|
|Video in AVI format|
|Video in MPEG 2 format|
|Video in MOV format.|
Our mid shot has certainly improved and we have also learnt about placing characters on the side instead of in the middle so that the mise en scene was visible . We learned this was from our preliminary video where we placed the assistant in the corner of the shot so that the lab is in view. Such shots were also used for our final project where the main character is looking in a mirror and you will notice that he is not in the middle of the screen. Also we were more confident in using hand held shots for our final film.