Monday, 29 June 2015

Paper Edit

Annotated Screen Grabs

Visual Effects/Editing Guide


Online Screening

Pitch Feedback and Justification of Ideas

Consideration of Camera

In animation there are often a lot of different shots to show movement. To shoot our animation we placed the camera on a stand and tilted the camera so that it was at a birds eye view camera angle of the card that we were about to film, we had to consider a lot of possible problems that may have occurred. By placing the camera above what we were about to film gave us the opportunity to have the paper cut outs on a flat surface and make it easier to move them so that you don't have to stick them to the wall and risk them falling off. With them being on a flat surface there is less risk of the cut outs moving drastically and thus, creating a jumping effect. When putting the camera at this angle we had to consider the effect that the camera might give off.

The camera could be shadowed on to the page, this was something that we had to overcome and by doing this we got lights that would surround the camera and turned off the over the head lights. Instead we used three point lighting that would provide a 360 degree view of the lighting, therefore there were absolutely no shadows on the card, so it will look much more professional. Another issue we would have had to consider would be the solidarity of the stand we had put the camera in, we needed to make sure that it was firmly in place and there was no risk of it falling over and either braking the camera or ruining the animation. We also had to take into consideration the way the pictures would be taken and how we would move the animation as we didn't want to ruin the shots by having a hand in it or not moving the images properly.

In terms of the camera shots we knew that we didnt actually want any other form of shot other than long/wide, however we knew that if we needed a close up then all we would have had to have done is zoom in using the lense. This would have been difficult to do without knocking the stand over or moving it slightly so we decided to refrain from doing it at all costs. To be extra cautious of the camera staying in the same spot we thought it was neccessary to have someone holding the stand constantly, being sure not to get into shot. This would make the camera much more steady and reduce any un-needed shaking. 

Concept Pitch

Character and Prop Sketches/Design

Team Meeting Minutes

Team Meeting Minutes 

In our team meeting we discussed who would do which roles and how our Animation would be made. We started talking about who would be in charge of what roles and it was decided that Laurence would be put in charge of the design and drawing because we felt that by doing that we would be more of a productive team.

Laurence was instructed to start with the story boards and working out what we thought would work best. We decided that the best way to do our animation would be cardboard cut out animation because you can get the ideas across much more efficiently. We then discussed the best way to film the animation and how we would use the camera's to collect the images. We decided that we would use a clamp to hold the camera above the cut outs, this would help show the whole area of them. With the paper work I was doing, I made sure that I had used the templates provided so that I could develop the paper work so it relates with the Animation and helps us to get the best possible grade.

We had some trouble with keeping the positioning of the camera in the same place, and when we began editing we found that at one particular point the entire frame of the shot jumped, looking both ugly and unprofessional. As you can see the picture on the top shows the shot where everything is in frame correctly, and in the bottom photo you can see that the card has jumped, this was actually done by one of us accidentally knocking the paper and as it wasn't fixed in place it moved, instantly messing up our shot. To overcome this issue we decided to carry on shooting, and then in the post production editing process we would somehow try to fade it out so the jump is not as noticeable, when we put all of the photos together and played it we could see the jump quite significantly, so we tried to crossfade the two clips together, as to blur them together, so that it won't look as drastic. This didn't actually take any effect on the appearance of the animation so we decided to leave it as it was and just deal with the outcome, which is not as good as what we have hoped.

Risk Assessment

Production Schedule

Animation Crew Roles

Crew Roles

Director: Laurence Hisee

Definition: The person in charge of the entire production. This person has to ensure that everyone is in the right place at the right time.

Laurence will be good within this role because he is a very organised and uniform person, he always has things done at the right times and in the most efficient ways, so he would be the ideal person to be the main director for this production.

Producer: Ben Davis

Definition: the producer is second in charge during the filming as he as the producer has to make sure that everything is happening at the right time. Just like the director, he follows what he does but has less control over what everything that happens. his (the producer) main priorities is to make sure that the filming is happening correctly and everything is in place.     

As a producer Ben would need to be in charge of making sure things happen, so he will be good for this role due to his organisation skills and his goof time efficiency.

Director of Photography: Laurence Hisee

Definition: as the director of photography every shot is taken as a picture has to be taken while the camera is still, making sure that the same lighting is being used in every image so that with the final edit looks good and has consistent lighting. 

This would be suited for Laurence the most because he has got a great eye for cinematography so he will be the best for this role.

Editor: Ben Davis

Definition: as an editor you are in charge of the editing when editing the main thing you need to do is to cut and crop together bits of film to make a final piece that looks good and professional. 

Ben is the best option for this role because he has a keen eye for transitions and can easily complete any task he is given when editing.

Camera Operator: Laurence Hisee

The camera operator the camera operators are in charge of the grips of the cameras they make sure the camera does not shake when filming.   

Laurence will be the better person for this role because of his camera stability and control, he has demonstrated many aspects of great camerawork and takes instruction well.

Assistant Director: Ben Davis

The assistant directors job is to complete any smaller jobs the director might want to do this is to make there job a bit more easy. 

Ben Davis is best for this role because he is very supportive, he can support the director and put across his ideas.

Art Director

It is the art directors job to create any things that need to be made for the video for example: props. 

Casting Director

The casting director is in charge of recruitment for the production they would look for potential people who will work on the project they have to determine if they are right for the job the casting director is vital for the making of the project.       

Location Scout

The location scout looks at potential sites for filming they have to determine if the site is good to film on and if it matches the theme of the production and if it also matches the description of the directors wishes.     

Production Manager (P.M.)

The production managers job is to manage all the production aspects of the project. 
this means that they are in charge of logistics and budget there job is very important as if they did a bad job it might bankrupt the project.   


The screenwriters job is to write the script for the project this means they are creating the story for the project. 
the screenwriters job is very important as they are creating the raw story for the project this means they have a say in the success of the project as people will judge the quality of the story and idea.

Editing Glossary

Editing Techniques Glossary 

Cut is the most popular type of video transition it takes you from one shot right to the next with no fading. I have used them in my animation by quickly going from shot to shot creating a quick moving image

Continuity Editing 

Continuity editing is the predominant style of film editing and video editing in the post production process of film making of narrative films and other TV programs. If you haven't used them, what was the reason? - We didn't use this as we used a different form of editing that was easiest for our animation.

Cross Cutting 

Cross Cutting is an editing technique most often used in films to establish action occurring at the same time in two different locations. In a cross cut the camera will cut away from one action to the next. We have used this for our animation as it is a lot of clips being put together so cutting from one to another is what we needed to do to make it effective.


In post production in editing the editors may use dissolve, this is where they transition one image into another, this is also known as fade in and fade out. This is used to show a gradual change from image to image. We used Dissolve once in the animation at the end. We cross dissolved into the still image logo at the end. We did not use dissolve too often because the film is rapid and it needs to be 30 seconds so we felt dissolve would lengthen the film.

Establishing Shot 

This is usually the first shot of a new scene, designed to show the audience where the action is taking place. It is usually a very wide shot or an extreme wide shot. We did not use this because we are doing an animation and you aren't setting the scene as much in an animation.

Eyeline Match 
Eyeline match is a editing technique associated with the continuity editing system. It is based on the premise that the audience will want to see what the character on-screen is seeing. If you haven't used them, what was the reason? - We did not use this as this is an animation and we felt that this would not exactly work for the animation.


This is where the shot will gradually form in to the next shot where the shot will darken and then lighten going into the next clip. We have only used these at the beginning and the end of our animation to show the beginning and end. We have not used them through out the animation though.

Final Cut 
The final cut is where the edited version of the film is approved by the director and producer. How have i used them? - We have done this with our animation to make sure that everyone in the group is happy with the end result.

Jump Cut 
 An abrupt transition from one scene to another with no transitions. We have used this because we are very rapidly in our animation jumping from clip to clip to make sure that we have everything we want in the 30 seconds.

Matched Cut 

This is editing between either two different object or two different spaces, in the shots the objects would geographically match. If you haven't used them, what was the reason? - We did not use this as there are no actual objects in this animation.


The technique of selecting, editing and piecing together separate sections of film to form a continuous whole. We did not use this because it is more of a story our animation and montages are more of memories than a story.

Rough Cut 
This is the first time you have edited but still have more editing to do. We did do this just so that we could receive some feedback and work out ways to improve it so that when we finish it would be to its best possible standard.

Shot Reverse Shot Cutting 

What does this mean? - Shot reverse shot is where one character is shown looking at another character and then the other character is shown looking back at the first character. We did not use this as we didn't have real characters and this would be hard to do with cut out characters.

This is a type of film transition where one shot replaces another by travelling from one side of the frame to another or with a special shape. We did not use this as we felt it wouldn't be needed in our animation.

Story Board

Final Interview

BBC Interview Research

Shot List

Friday, 26 June 2015

Interview Evaluation

This documentary, titled "Bridge The Gap" features two students from Ravens Wood School. In the past, the two academies (Rugby and Performing Arts) have been known to not get along and so we thought it would be a brilliant idea to swap students from their respective academies to live a day in the life of their opposite. 

The first interview can be seen at mark 0:32. This interview features the two subjects, Harry and Sami being questioned on their opinions before the academy swap day comes along. The question "Do you like the idea of swapping students so you change academies for the day?" can be heard as shots of Harry lifting weights are used to set the scene. The Mise En Scene is prominent due to this interview being set in the school gym. Harry is wearing his 'working out vest' and is mid way through an actual gym session when we approached him to film the interview. This adds to the realism of the documentary and also highlights the fact that nothing was prepared prior to filming. An issue with this interview is that we started to film and quickly realised that the camera was positioned to look down on Harry. This was quickly filmed again as looking down would of had an overpowering effect on Harry and make him look smaller, taking away the truth. This was also not the persona we wanted to convey with Harry. 

Upon Sami's answer being played, Shots of Sami performing lines, holding a script and using elaborate gestures are shown. This was in-fact a use of archive footage to establish the persona of Sami before we see him actually talk to the camera. The archive footage shows a black box studio space which further aids the Mise En Scene of the interview by giving the audience a sense of Sami in his natural environment. When we finally see Sami talking to the camera, he is set in a changing room with lockers behind him. This reinforces the fact that the entire documentary takes place in a school. 

In terms of watching an enjoyable answer, Sami's replies are more engaging to see as he is simply more confident than Harry. This is largely due to his performing arts background but could also be on account of his lively personality. 

Filmed Interview Practise & Evaluation

The interview above features myself, the current I.T. Technician for Ravens Wood School, Laurence interviewed me with the hopes of gaining knowledge on his transition from part time to full time work. The interview is shot all in one take and takes place in my office. In terms of Mise En Scene, the backdrop and setting of the interview could have been better prepared. Despite setting it in the actual workplace, none of this location can be seen in the shot, instead, a simple white wall backdrop is visible. To improve this aspect of the interview, I would suggest setting up the camera further back and not zooming in the shot. This would improve the overall framing and also set the scene better. 

In terms of Cinematography, some would argue that the interview is poorly shot due to the camera looking down on me, this creates a sense of over-powerment and also means that my focus is lost. Instead of looking relatively close to the camera, I looked directly forward which means that his eye line is lost. 

The final point that could have been improved is the choice of clothing I wore that day. Even though this interview was spontaneous and time for planning other clothing was not available, we should have adjusted the shot to not include the majority of my shirt. This was a problem for us due to the tight stripes on my shirt causes a grainy effect. 

In conclusion, the elements we need to better prepare for are Cinematography and Mise En Scene. In particular the shot could have been constructed in a much nicer and more aesthetically appealing way, as to be more entertaining as a whole for the audience. To do this we will think about using techniques along the lines of the rule of thirds, focusing on the positioning of the subject, sometimes having him off dead centre can look much nicer, due to the fact that it looks much more dynamic. In terms of the Mise en Scene we can focus on getting a more linked setting to the topic of the interview, so in this case we could make sure that the desk I was sitting at is visible, and have lots of paperwork on to reinforce the office vibe.

Interview Presentation/Pitch Evaluation

After showing my pitch to the clients I received some constructive criticism explaining how our interviews could be better and done to achieve greater effect. We got feedback in three different categories, following what I put on the pitch, these are Interviewees, Purpose and Content. There is a list of feedback I was given below and how I will adjust my interviews as a result of this.

- "These two are a good choice of subjects, with opposite behaviours it really shows a contrast and opens up another level of entertainment. Perhaps think about making sure that the two don't know exactly what they are going to be doing and what they are going to be asked before the interview starts, so there is a much more natural reaction." - Due to this feed back I will make sure that I will not tell them what they will be asked prior to filming, I will throw them the questions and film their initial answers and see their exact reactions.
-"Do you think that Harry (Rugby Student) might be too awkward? It might be a case where it is quite unbearable to watch and in some cases people may not even be able to hear him speak. Perhaps ensure that you are in a good enough location where it won't affect his speech if he is quiet?" - This was a very good piece of feedback and I will ensure that the location we film in will not affect his voice in a negative way, so his vocals will be easily recognised.

- "The purpose of your interview is good, and is fairly standard, as a documentary there should always be a focus on the informative side, making sure that enough information is getting through to the audience, so perhaps focus on making sure the correct level of information is given, but not too much" - With this feedback I will ensure that I don't go over the top when asking the questions in the interviews, I don't want to overload it and make the documentary boring.

- "A nice range of questions, good in terms of covering a relatively wide range of information, maybe think about asking about what they normally do, and comparing it to what they're going to be doing?" - This is a good idea and I will definitely think about incorporating a backing question to get some previous information but i don't want to over do it on that front.

Interview Presentation/Pitch

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Interview Question Draft

All of the questions will be asked to both students, but changed depending on their academy.

1.1 So do you like the idea of swapping students so you're in the RAPA/RUGBY academy for the day? - We will ask this question because it gets a general feeling from both of the students, it will tell the audience how they actually feel about doing the swap.

1.2 How do you think you will do? - We will ask this question to get a bit more information on the subject again, and to see how confident the two students are about the swap.

1.3 So what do you think you're going to be doing? - This will be asked to find out exactly what they think they will be doing, as they don't actually know what they will be taking part in until they are there, so it gives a bit of suspense/anticipation.

1.4 Do you think it will be easy? - We will ask this to see how confident the two are, this could actually create a comedic feel so that would help boost the entertainment we will get out of the interview.

After these are asked the documentary will continue and then another interview will take place, these questions will be:

2.1 So from the academy session what skills do you think you have learnt? - This question will be asked to find out how they feel they have done in general, and also to show that the activity has actually taught them something. It will make it have a much more personal approach.

2.2 Did you find it harder than an average session that you normally would have done? - Again we want to ask a question like this to further the information given, to give the audience a good idea of the two students and how they got on.

2.3 Would you ever do it again? - We want to ask this because we feel it will open up the comedy that could be had, we imagine that they both will not want to do the activities again.

So we asked them the questions and here were there responses:

1.1 - 
Harry - Don't know, its interesting because its going to take me out of my comfort zone so i think I'm a bit sceptical.
Sami - Well it sounds like its going to be an experience to remember isn't it? Like i don't know what I'm going to be doing.

1.2 - 
Harry - Well its going to be difficult, because with my friends i get to have my banter, and i don't really know what to expect.
Sami - Well obviously I'm a beast so I'm gonna go in there and tear it all up.

1.3 -
Harry - Well a little birdie told me ill be doing street dance, I'm not really that confident, i can't dance.
Sami  - Well I asked about to see what I was doing and apparently were doing something called circuit training.

1.4 -
Harry - No, I can't dance.
Sami - Who Knows...

After the event...

2.1 -
Harry - I learnt that I'm a quality dancer.
Sami - Teamwork. Participating with the other lads I though id be isolated, but they brought me into the group, they helped me out a lot.

Harry - I found aspects of dance harder, like the flexibility, I'm not very flexible its not my strong point, my strong point is lifting weights and hurting people.
Sami - Yeah not gonna lie, it was intense, obviously there were harder parts of it that were hard like the laying down bit, i was in pain for at least three days after it.

2.3 - 
Harry - Hmmm, no probably not, its not really my thing but i did enjoy it,
Sami - Ahaha no, it was too hard, I give the other guys respect but nah thats not good for me, not got the fitness i don't think.

Interviews for Dummies

Interviews are a key part of any informative programme, weather it is a documentary or a news report, interviews will always be used to reinforce the information that is given. There are numerous ways in which interviews are made effectively and that all comes down to the theme and the subject of said interview. There are some general themes that are often made as interviews, these are mostly comedy and informative, obviously depending on the subject. In this guide I will be telling you the key things you will have to follow to ensure your interview is professional. These steps are, Camera Techniques, Mise-en-Scene and Framing

Camera Techniques
It all comes down to personal preference with your camera techniques, however there are definite ones that are going to make your interview look professional and generally good. So, the first one that you could use would be single camera technique. This is where the camera is set up on one person throughout the entire interview (obviously the interviewee) with the questions being asked by someone off screen. This will force the audience to focus mainly on the interviewee, rather than switching between him/her and the interviewer. This is a basic technique that you could use, and for what it does it is very successful and it should not be underestimated. Another technique that could be used is Multi Camera techniques, this is fairly similar to single camera, but with more than one. In an ideal situation you would have two cameras set up, on on the upper torso of the interviewer and the same on the interviewee. You would film the entire interview, not moving the camera once and in the editing process you would cut the clips so you can see the interviewer when he asks the questions and then see the interviewee when he answers them. This is good because it gives a bit of variation of who you are watching, rather than looking at just one person the entire time. This is a very professional technique and is probably used the most out of any other camera technique. Something you can do along side this technique is called "The Noddy" this is where you will cross cut either the interviewee or interviewer nodding, over their opposite talking, showing that they understand what is being said, or that they approve.

Mise-En-Scene (The setting or surrounding of an event)
The Mise-En-Scene within interviews is imperative when it comes to setting the scene of the interview and making the interview itself more entertaining and easy to watch. It is fairly simple to take advantage of this aspect, obviously it depends on your own topic/theme, but it will work with absolutely anything. For example, if my interview was with a professional sportsman, i would think about setting the interview in a gym, or in a sports themed location. It is fairly self explanatory from there, use the theme of your interview and try to set it in a location that is heavily linked with that. A real life example that has been used is the interview with Aaron Taylor-Johnson about the film Age of Ultron. This interview has the theme of films, and it is shot on set of the film, with Taylor-Johnson sitting on one of the cast chairs. Mise-en-scene also covers the smaller things like costume, it is not always apparent, but most of the time the interviewee is wearing something to do with their profession, so using the same example from above, Taylor-Johnson wears his actual costume from the film to give the audience a bit more to look forward to.

When making an interview it is always important to think about framing, this is because it will make your interview look much more professional and also look much nicer, and as result make it more entertaining. Framing can be used in several different ways to achieve different effects some of these being emotions. For example, if the interviewee is sad then the framing would often be much closer up, displaying how sad he/she is. However if they are happy they would often try to get more of the body in so you can see the gestures and body language that would portray this. A particular technique that would help get a nice frame is the rule of thirds, a basic technique used by every film maker, this is where there is a grid of nine boxes over the screen so you can see a more specific spacing of the images on camera, with this you can choose to focus more on something else by putting it nearer the middle.

The image above shows exactly how the rule of thirds can make your image look much better. Although it isn't to do with interviews, it still works the same way.

Interview Research

Thursday, 18 June 2015

News vs Documentary

News journalism and Documentaries are relatively similar in their purpose, to inform the audience of current and past affairs, however, they portray this in very different ways. Generally News reports seem to be in a much more urgent and important fashion, whereas documentaries are often much slower in their presentation, taking a more relaxed view on what could be a pressing matter.

Key conventions that both of the mediums share are things like, Interviews, Real life footage and archive footage. All of these are used in a way that actually helps present information, and to present it efficiently. Things that differ within news reports and documentaries are generally the formality of which they present their information. News reports are generally much more formal in the way they speak, being clear in what they say and using language that is perceived to be formal. Also they always are seen wearing smart wear such as suits, like business attire. This is different to Documentaries because they generally are much more informal, trying to reach to a different range of audience and portray the information in a much more entertaining way. They will be more relaxed in their speech, and not focusing on using a script that is begin fed information to, they also tend to wear much more casual clothing, reflecting the calm nature of documentaries.

You can also argue that to an extent News reports are actually set up, rather than being true to life. Although the news the report on isn't set up, the manner of which they present it is, which is very different to documentaries in the way that it is a much more real to life theme, with the film makers often getting involved with the subject they are trying to give information on. News reporters are always looking at a script that is constantly given new information to report on, which actually means that there is a near 24 hour flow of news, which is not matched by documentaries which are no way near as frequent as news reports. Documentaries are brought out once a week at the most so the news flow is no way near as efficient as the news itself.

Another difference that documentaries and news have is the way in which some specific documentaries are portrayed in a sort of narrative theme (Touching the Void) which is completely different to news reports which are portrayed in a complete factual broadcasting way.

Conventions of a Documentary

There are numerous conventions of documentaries, obviously changing depending on the genre of the document itself. Here are a few that range across almost all of the genres.

Voice Over
Voice overs are generally used to give extra information that is not initially shown just through the footage. In most cases the voice overs are authoritative, giving the viewers a sense of them having an extended knowledge of the subject. Voice overs can be varied in terms of style, in some cases they can be more serious and other times they can be more comical, this always depends on the theme and genre of documentary but it can have several different effects that bring great success to the documentary. Example of documentary film makers that use voice overs within their documentaries are Louis Theroux and David Attenborough, these are both very different with their styles of documentaries but they both use voice overs to achieve the same effect. Within David Attenborough's documentary "Planet Earth" he uses voice overs to describe actions on the screen in a much wider detail, both informing and entertaining the audience. Louis Theroux doesn't seem to use voice overs to inform his audience as much, however he does use it to entertain, in some cases using comedy and sarcasm to do so.

We intend on using this convention within our documentary in a more humorous way, this is because the theme of our documentary comes across quite funny in general.

Real Footage of Events
Documentaries are generally non-fiction representations of the idea, and the reason for this is due to the fact that most of them use Real Footage of Events, this is basically the opposite of set ups and aims to achieve the most natural form of footage and as close to real life as possible. These are generally used in order to make things more believable, and to gain the viewers' trust and as a result entertain them much more. A specific example of a documentary that uses Real Footage of Events is Louis Theroux and the Nazis, throughout this there is footage of Louis speaking with some of the Nazi people and at some points being subliminally threatened to the point where it doesn't appear safe for him to be there. Due to Louis' reputation people knew that the footage being shown was actually real, and not set up in any way.

This will be a crucial part of our documentary as we want to make sure it is as believable as possible and that people are going to be able to relate to it fully.

Archive Footage
This is the use of footage that has previously been filmed, not specifically for the use of the documentary it is currently being used for, however it is still in the same subject and works well for the storyline. These pieces of footage have to be shot prior to the documentary shooting to actually be classed 'archive' this can actually be anything from a day to right back when cameras where first invented. The effect this has on the documentary is that it gives it a broader range of information and also some form of historical context. It helps the film maker get information that he may not have been able to get himself so it can make things much easier to a certain extent. An example of where archive footage is used is 'One Night in Turin' a documentary about football. The footage used is actual footage from the game, that was shot years ago, but is used again in this documentary to give a better idea of what happened and as a result have a much wider coverage.

We plan to use archive footage within our documentary to give a bit more information about the students, we will try and find Harry playing a rugby game and Sami performing a stage show. This will make sure the audience know their backgrounds.

Interviews are a core part of documentaries and are used in 95% of all of them that are produced. The interview normally consists of the documentary film maker asking the subject questions, and the response is then followed by another question. This can be done in several different ways, the Interviewer can sometimes be on screen, asking the questions in a much more personal manner, or off screen and the subject answers the questions to the person standing behind the camera. The purpose of an interview within a documentary is to add another layer of information about the topic, they are normally done with someone who is heavily linked with the idea of the documentary itself. For example, Louis Theroux 'Behind Bars' constantly has interviews with the Guards and Prisoners, who are both heavily linked with the theme of the documentary.

The style of interview we plan to use is where the interviewer is off screen and the interviewee looks at him whilst answering the questions, we think this is the better idea for this type of documentary because it is all about the two students, so we want to focus to be solely on them.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Documentary Feedback (Part of Evaluation)

Overall our documentary has achieved one of the highest achievements, being a distinction in grading and having great feedback from the teachers and the class. We were told that the editing within the documentary was very good, it was stated that

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Location Recce

These three locations were used for our expositional shots at the beginning of the documentary. We felt that they really set the scene, with the Ravens Wood school reception being the very first shot of the documentary it shows the audience exactly where it is set, and then it is followed up by pan shots of the drama studio and sports field, further informing the audience as to what is going on. We felt that these all reflected the theme of the documentary well and worked brilliantly.

We feel that using the gym for the interview with the sports player before he swaps is a good location because he will come across much more naturally, whereas after he swaps we will interview him in the drama changing rooms, which is a much more alien environment, therefore making him less natural. This process will be the same for the drama student, only with the changing room being used first then after interviewing him in the gym.

These two locations make up the bulk of the documentary, the sports hall and the dance studio are where we are having the sessions take place. In the sports hall Sami will do circuit training, and in the Dance studio Harry will have a dance workshop. We feel that these two locations are ideal for the documentary and activities due to the fact that they are both used regularly for similar activities, therefore there will be no extra work needed to set up the rooms efficiently and it cuts out any further risks that may have taken place.

Legal & Ethical Issues in a Documentary

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

18. Production Log

Today we did a location recce to establish where we would like to film for our documentary. We decided to use the drama studio and sports hall for expositional shots, and for the actual content we knew we needed to use the gym and the dance studio. We felt that the drama studio and sports hall where suitable for the expositional shots because they both are linked heavily to the two students we are swapping, the hall being used by the drama student in the documentary and the studio being used by the rugby student. We feel that using the gym for the interview with the sports player before he swaps is a good location because he will come across much more naturally, whereas after he swaps we will interview him in the drama changing rooms, which is a much more alien environment, therefore making him less natural. This process will be the same for the drama student, only with the changing room being used first then after interviewing him in the gym. At the end of the day we uploaded all of the footage onto a Final Cut document and labeled all of the footage G or B for good and bad. Good being the shots that we will use and bad being the ones we don't.

We began the filming process today, working on in particular the expositional shots, these mainly consisted of slow moving panoramic shots and slow zooms, one we found that worked particularly well was the zoom onto the school PE logo. We also began filming the first interviews with Sami and Harry, pulling them out of lesson and asking them the questions we had previously decided on. We found that Sami was much keener to answer the questions in detail, giving very good responses, where as Harry lacked in depth and often came across quite intimidated, this is something we expected due to the different subject paths the students took. At the end of the day we uploaded all of the footage we had got and labelled it G or B.

Here we got the footage of the participants doing their activities, Laurence filmed Harry in the dance studio, and I filmed Sami in the gym. When filming the students it was important to get both the footage so it portrayed a balance of them succeeding, and failing, this will then make the video funnier in general. When filming Sami I got some brilliant footage, both comedic and showing that actually he can complete the very difficult Rugby circuit training task. I tried to get mainly close ups of Sami's face for the comedy side, and when i was trying to find him being successful i would often shoot at a long distance or medium. This was similar for Laurence when filming Harry, he found that there was an equal amount of Harry succeeding at dance, and him failing, so this gave us a clear range of footage to use when editing. At the end of the day we scanned all of the footage, again labelling them G or B, for ease of access when the editing process begins.

Today we filmed the final interviews for Harry and Sami, swapping their interview location so they were in the opposite room from their first interview, Harry was in the changing room and Sami was in the gym. It seemed Harry was much better in this interview and had come out of his shell about the subject of doing Dance, this was a success in what we had hoped to achieve. Sami was also very good in answering the questions and didn't seem to show any signs of not liking the session, however he did point out that he didn't want to do it again. The shots we used for this were the same as the other interview process, with a front on mid shot, capturing mainly their facial expressions and some hand gestures. This was all of the filming done, and with that we uploaded all of the footage and then again labeled it G or B.

Today we began the editing process, trying as hard as possible to work through it chronologically, we started editing the opening expositional shots, speeding them up to fit the time of the voice over we had previously recorded. This didn't take long, and in 15 minutes we had the opening 20 seconds for the video complete. We then began editing the interviews, we decided to have a question being asked, and then an answer from Harry, then an answer from Sami in the following clip. This was easy enough to do, just a case of cutting and putting the clips in the necessary places. After finishing this after 45 minutes we realised that we needed a song or sound effect to go underneath the video, so we found a brilliant Ukelele track that really fit the theme of the documentary. After putting this in the documentary really started to look good. With the first minute of the documentary complete we decided to work on starting to find the clips of the two completing their sessions and organising them into an order, to then cut and place tomorrow. This didn't take long and it left us in a strong position for the next day.

In the final day of our schedule we didn't have an overwhelming amount of editing to do, just to cut and place the session clips and then edit in the final interviews. We began by editing in the clips that we needed and putting them in the right order and position, this went smoothly and we had completed it in about an hour. We then needed to edit the final interviews, we did this in the same way as the interviews from yesterday, having the question being asked, then one answering it, and after them the other answering it, this didn't take too long and when we finished this we had the majority of the documentary edited, with a good 6 minute piece we decided to clean up and fine tune the editing to make sure it ran well with the music. We added numerous cross dissolves, mainly when there was a significant change in location, and at the beginning we faded it in, and at the end, faded it to black. Then we exported it, using Quicktime Conversion, ensuring that it was in the highest definition possible (1920x1080). After 2 hours of it exporting, the documentary was complete, and we gave it a final watch to make sure everything was ok.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Narrative Theory

Narrative theory within films is the way in which films meanings are conveyed and how stories are constructed. There are numorous theories with different ways films are structured to tell a story, these are Levi Strauss' Binary Oppositions, Vladimir Propp's Seven Spheres of Action and Tzvetan Todorov's 5 Stages of action. All of these are different but all are used in the process of creating a film with a solid narrative behind it.

Levi Strauss - Binary Oppositions.

The theory of Binary Oppositions is all to do with story lines being built up around opposites. For example, Romeo & Juliet, the opposite here being love and hate, the love between Romeo and Juliet and the hate between the Montagues and Capulets. He argues that all films are based around the conflict between binary opposites, some more examples of these opposites are:

  • Good Vs Evil
  • Human Vs Nature
  • Black Vs White
  • Protagonist Vs Antagonist
  • Man Vs Woman
  • Peace Vs War

Vladimir Propp - Seven Spheres of Action

Vladimir Propp states that there are seven spheres of action to every film, these are types of stock characters that are present in all films. These characters are, the Hero, the Villain, the Donor, the Helper, the Princess, the Dispatcher and the False Hero. Each of these have their conventions that are met within films. These are as follows:

  • Villain - Fighting, Action, Creates narrative complication
  • Donor - Gives magical agent or helper which helps in resolution of the narrative.
  • Helper - Aids the Hero, makes good a lackm rescues from pursuit, solves difficult tasks, transforms the hero.
  • Princess - Threatened by villain, needs to be saved, assigns difficult tasks, give princess away at the end.
  • Dispatcher - sends the hero on his task.
  • Hero - Aims to resolve complication, departs on search, reacts to the donor, attempts difficult tasks, restores equilibrium, 'marries the princess'.
  • False Hero - Unfounded claims to hero's sphere of action, appears to be good, turns out bad.

Tzvetan Todorov - 5 Stages of Action

Here is an image showing a brief description of Tzvetan Todorov's 5 Stages of Action.

His narrative theory suggests that there are 5 different stages of conventional narrative, these are, State of equilibrium, disruption of equilibrium, recognition of equilibrium, attempt to repair disruption and new equilibrium. Essentially it is a more complex version of the beginning, middle and end theory for film. An example of this is Avengers: Age of Ultron, the state of equilibrium being where Ultron hasn't been announced, the disruption of this equilibrium is when he enters the film, the recognition is where the avengers first meet Ultron, the repairing of the disruption is the avengers fighting Ultron and his army and the new equilibrium is when they beat him.

Music Video Styles

Music videos can support and portray the message of a song, or can be completely abstract and subject to each viewer. They can have an independent narrative unrelated to the music, or can even be animated typography of the lyrics, there is no correct method or rules for producing music videos, however every different style and genre of music has its own style and genre of video with it. That is why videos that are the same genre tend to have similar music videos.

A few distinctive styles of music videos are:

Studio Performances

A music video that is shot entirely or mostly in a controlled environment with lots of props, costumes, maybe green screens and artificial lighting. Usually these types of music video don't gave a true narrative, but rather just add a visual experience to the music without much meaning. They are mainly simple, fun and easy to make. An example of this is Rhianna's 'You Da One'


These music videos are very abstract and almost always make absolutely no sense and may or may not have a relation to the music itself. These videos are very artistic and creative and normally contain a mixture of live footage and animation to add surreal effects or distortion. They appear to be influenced by visions or dreams. An example of this is Pendulum's 'Salt in the Wounds'

Interpretative/ Impressionist

Interpretative music videos are where the lyrics for the song tells you exactly what is going on in the music video, For example, the Lonely Island 'Im on a Boat'. This music video is all about them being on the boat and the lyrics for this song describe what is going on in almost every shot of the video. All these kinds of music videos are interpretations of the music, that is why they're called Interpretative music videos.


Animation based music videos are simply partially or entirely animated music videos. This style of music video is usually cheaper to produce since it is entirely digital, and props, venues, cameras and other equipment aren't needed.  This style of music video can also compliment a song as it may suit its mood, or can attract their target age group. An example of this is Gorillaz 'Feel Good' as a band their music videos are always animated so they are a prime example of animation music video artists.


Narrative music videos are where the artist tries to convey the meaning of their song through the video itself. This can be shown through a literal representation of the lyrics or a metaphorical one. In some cases it can even be a story line like video, but have no link to the lyrics, just the meaning behind the song. An example of this is Rhianna's 'Unfaithful'


Parodies are almost always fan made comedies ridiculing a song, changing the lyrics to mock the artist that sings it. These can come in any style of music video (Narrative, Animation ect) they are often similar to the original music video. An example of someone who makes parodies is Bart Baker, a YouTube artist, he brings out multiple videos a month, all parodies of new songs that have been released.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Artists Style & Image

For my final music video I have decided to recreate Muse's Panic Station. With this I am going to explain their style and how it effects their public image.

Muse are an English rock band, originating from Devon formed in 1994. The band consists of Matthew Bellamy, Christopher Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard. They are known mainly from their over the top and exaggerated live performances.

Currently Muse have six albums, and a seventh one releasing this year. They have released 4 live albums and are consistently creating soundtrack for film. One of their most recent film soundtracks was for World War Z with the song Panic Station.

As a band their style constantly changes, after 6 albums they have covered music genres ranging from rock, electronica, dub step, funk, film scores and space rock. They are very flexible with their music style and as a result have gained a huge fan base, ranging from older men and women and younger generations.

In terms of Muses look, they don't really fit their alternative rock genre, they normally are seen wearing smart/casual attire which shows they don't really think they need to dress differently depending on their music. This is probably due to the fact that they are confident that their music is enough to sell their image to the right audience, rather than having to put on a false facade to attract more publicity.

In particular, their music video Panic Station is extremely random and entertaining. The costumes and colours that are present in this video show how they are not orientated by their music image and they really are secure when it comes to their style. It also reflects their attitude towards their music, this album specifically.

Thursday, 7 May 2015


Cinematography - Cinematography is the art of capturing images during the creation of films. A cinematographer would be in charge of all lighting and camera aspects, organising settings of the lighting and the angles of the shots. A cinematographer needs a keen eye for shots that are visually appealing and hold further meaning rather than just for looks, although appearance is slightly more important. The different shot types that they would use would often tell its own story, for instance, a dolly shot is usually to set the scene or follow an actor, as seen in almost any film imaginable, a
specific example:

Within this scene it is clear that the dolly shot is used to show some sort of transition, or it could be the marking of someone else walking through the door. Another shot type is a tilt shot, this is where the cameraman experiments with panning vertically rather than horizontally, as seen in the image below.

Rule of Thirds -

Rule of Thirds is where there is a 3 x 3 grid over an image. This has 9 equal squares which help to place the certain aspects of the image. For example, in a scene where two characters are speaking, they don't necessarily have to be in the same take as each other. What the film maker would do is film the characters at different times, but have on on the far side of the left grid, and the other on the far side of the right grid. On the right is a landscape shot of a tree. The grid shows how the camera has taken the image and made the tree and the other main parts of the image fit into the 9 squares. The significance of using the Rule of Thirds is really shown when it comes to close ups of someones face. When taking a close up shot of a face, people use the rule of thirds to make sure that the face is proportionate to the shot, and that certain facial features are in the right part of the grid. For example, someones nose would normally be within the centre of the grid, and if that is the case then the shot is most likely centre.

180 degree rule -

The 180 Degree Rule is a basic filmmaker guideline on the on-screen positioning of the characters in the scene. There is an imaginary line, called the axis, this is where the actors would stand. By doing this, no matter where the camera is on that arc, the first character will always be frame right of the second character. This is important for the film maker because they can then portray different sides of a story in the same scene. An example of this is Peter Jacksons Lord of the Rings films, where Gollum has a conversation with himself. The use of the 180 degree rule in this scene helps the director show Gollums different characteristics, so when he is playing the good Gollum he faces left, and when he is the bad gollum he faces right.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Filming Permission

Apple Lane, Westerham
Br8 9WE

Ravens Wood School
Oakley Road

To whom this may concern,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Laurence&Ben Production team to request your permission to shoot footage on your grounds.

We are in the pre production process of the music video project, assigned to us by the band Muse. We have taken much consideration in location, and we would be extremely grateful if you would allow us to film in your school grounds. We have looked at several different locations and under a unanimous decision, found that your school fits our desires the most. I am writing to you in the hopes that you will see the potential success in this possible partnership, such as free advertisement and countrywide publicity. We require 2 weeks filming time and understand that this may be best done in one of the school holidays, as to not disrupt the education for the students at your school.
Below I have produced the dates that we wish to commence filming;

29th March - 14th April

You may notice that this is within the easter half term and we hope that you will be able to accept our request.

Yours Sincerely, Ben Davis

Paper Edit

Crew Roles