Thursday, 26 February 2015

15. Shooting Script


14. Soundtrack Mindmap

12. Set Design

This is the first part of the set that was used within our animation and was used in the final edit for a total of 6 seconds. This part of the set was the character Abedewalay house and his home town, which is a desert. This fits with the context of those who are actually suffering and those who the charity would like to help the most. The shot for this is a long-wide shot, this enables the audience to see more of the scenery and also allows us more time to show Abedewale walking. The transition from this scene to the next is a jump cut, to act like a montage of all of the locations Abedewale has to travel. This scene goes on for roungly six seconds before the next setting.

The second setting that we created was of the sea, in a stormy background. We focused mainly on the sea itself, needing it to look semi-realistic, it wasn't too difficult and it came out quite well in total. The sky was grey which fitted the setting of a storm, and we also made several clouds that were a different tone of grey, so they wouldn't get distorted with each other and not being able to see which one is which. We also added a few flashes of lightening, of which we used yellow card, as to look like lightening. This shot again is a long shot, to show all of the scenery on screen, it also lets us emphasise the distance he has to travel to some respect and as a whole really adds to the scene. This transition is also a jump cut and the scene itself is roughly 5 seconds long before it cuts to the next shot.

The third setting we made was the mountainous terrain that Abedewalay had to tackle. We decided to use dark grey card as the mountain face itself, as to represent rock, and for the sky we used a light grey, to show the stormy setting. There was no moving background within the shot so there was nothing really needed in that subject. The shot type of this setting is long again, for similar reasons to the previous ones, to emphasise the length of the journey and to allow the audience to see every detail of the locations he is going on. The transition of this shot to the next is a cross fade, this is to show how his journey has nearly come to an end and that he is almost at the well. The duration of this shot is 6 seconds.

This is the final location of the animation and we decided to make it a more green setting, as to show how the water is there and it is a more flourishing location. The floor is grass, so we decided to use green card to explain this, and the sky blue, which actually represented how all of his worries have been forgotten and everything is good. The shot of this scene is long-wide and shows the well, alongside Abedewale. The reasoning behind it being this shot is similar to the others, mainly to allow the audience to see all of the little details within the set design. The transition of this to the next shot is a fade to the "Save the Children" logo, marking the end of the advert.

Friday, 13 February 2015

31. Self Assessment of PowerPoint and Client Feedback

Self-Assessment of PowerPoint and Client Feedback

When looking at the notes from client and focus group notes it appeared that there was a recurring theme of making sure the camera is stable and not ‘wobbly’, to address this we applied a stabiliser function in the Final Cut editing software. It was also made apparent by the focus group and client feedback that we needed to implement some sort of soundtrack or voice over. This is because the Ident without a backing track feels fairly empty and boring. As a result of this we found a track on YouTube called, “Beating off in A Minor – (The key not the felony)”  We felt that this provided a contrasting theme towards the actual footage being displayed, and therefore responding to both Client Feedback and Focus Group Notes. They also wanted us to make more of a link to E4's Corporate Identity Theory, and E4's branding. So to address this situation we made sure the Logo was incorporated clearly and efficiently, so there would be no confusion with branding. The client and the focus group feedback indicated that the subject matter matched the corporate theory, offering a comical and yet meaningful ident.

28. PowerPoint Bibliography

Monday, 9 February 2015

9. Final Proposal

8. Story Ideas

1. The Making of 'The Hold Up' Short Film

I would be using the documentary genre Reflexive to portray this idea. The film maker would feature heavily in the documentary and he would be narrating what is happening as the film goes on. The storyline for this documentary is where we film the process of creating a short film, currently being filmed. We will be interviewing the Director, Writer, Actors and the Cameramen, asking them what kind of procedures they have taken when creating this short film. Also We will be asking what problems they have faced and how they got around them.

2. Eco Friendly Company

This would be in the Participatory documentary genre, where the film maker interacts with the surroundings and people that are involved, as if being educated by them. The idea itself is about the struggles that the world is facing with huge issues like Global Warming. We will be going to a company that is specific to being eco friendly, and because of the fact that it is a Participatory documentary we will be getting involved with the procedures they go through to do their part within the world.

3. A day in the life of a teacher

This would be an Observational documentary, where we as the film makers follow a teacher around to see their daily process. There will be very little amounts of interviews and it will really focus on real life scenarios, instead of set-ups that will take away from the realism. There will be shots of them teaching, marking work and seeing what they do in their free time (lunch and break). We will make them explain the processes of their work to the camera, but the majority of the time they will forget the camera is even there, offering a very realistic experience.

4. Swapping two students in different academies. Rugby and Dance

This is our favourite idea. We would film it Expository style, commentating on the footage being shown on screen. We will be using both archive footage and our own that we will be capturing for the sole purpose of the documentary. The storyline for the idea consists of swapping two students, one from the Rugby Academy, and the other from the Performing Arts Academy. For one lesson they will be doing the opposite of what they would normally be doing. Things we will film are things like interviews asking questions such as "What do you think you will be doing in the session?". We will also be filming the sessions themselves, showing both strengths and weaknesses of each of the students. The footage will all be real and none set up for the benefit of the documentary, this is to ensure that the documentary feels realistic.

5. Differences between Costa in school and Out of school

We will be making this a Reflexive documentary, having the film maker narrating the story whilst being on camera. This idea will contain what differences there are between school Costa Coffees ones that are outside. We will be doing things like interviewing employees from both stores, seeing how different it is, weather its harder or easier.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Documentary Research

A documentary is a broad term to describe something non-fiction, that in some way documents reality. This is expanding constantly and the topics that people can create documentaries on in only limited by their imagination. There are hundreds of documentaries being created every year, both at a professional level and amateur, showing how easy it is to make one. The reasoning behind creating documentaries varies from film maker to film maker, sometimes they could feel a certain story is not being covered by the media effectively enough, so they decide to do it themselves to try and get the image across. This is seen in the documentary 'The Act of Killing' Alternatively, a film maker could want to create a documentary about a personal experience, an example of this is 'Touching the Void', a documentary about the events of someones life.

An example of a more well known documentary film maker is David Attenborough, his main works being:
  • Natural History
  • National Wildlife
  • The Genius of Britain
  • Natural World
He captures all of the small details about each of his subjects as he's passionate about what he does and thats creating documentaries for viewers that want to learn more about certain topics. It is clear that he focuses on mainly the nature side of the world, with a huge amount of documentaries on varied topics within nature.

This is an example David Attenborough filming in the Amazon Rainforest for one of his series'. 

Another example of documentary film maker is Louis Theroux, different from Attenborough in a way that he is more comedic, and offers a much more controversial look at it. Examples of topics he takes on are:
  • American Subcultures
  • British Celebrities Life
  • Criminal Gangs (Neo - Nazis in America and ultra-Zionists in Israel)

Here is an example of him in the process of filming L.A Stories documentary.

Michael Moore is one of the most controversial and popular documentary filmmaker today, he has numerous topics that he has discussed, his most successful one being fahrenheit 9/11, a documentary on the 9/11 terrorist strike, and its links with George W Bush. It has received numerous awards and is the top grossing documentary of all time. Some other of his works include:

  • Bowling for Columbine
  • Slacker Uprising
  • Sicko

This is Michael Moore in the process of filming his huge hit "Bowling for Columbine"

Documentaries always vary in terms of the effect they have on society, it always depends on the content of which is being broadcasted, in some cases it brings out conspiracies to do with huge organisations, which naturally would have a very negative impact on society. However things that are going to inform the audience, like David Attenborough's documentaries, then the outcome is in fact very positive, and actually makes people have an interest in that subject, rather than to dislike the subject. It always varies and depends on who is making the documentary, and what it is about in general.

When looking at this research it is clear that our documentary should be a true to life representation of what were trying to convey. From looking at numerous different styles and themes of documentaries it is clear that they all appear to be using real life footage, rather than set ups, although you can never tell what is truly real and what isn't. So within my documentary I will ensure that I won't be directing the two subjects as if it were a film, instead I will be telling them what they're doing and leave them to it. Lots of documentaries I have done research on are actually rather controversial, examples being almost all of Michael Moore's and Louis Theroux works, my idea doesn't have much of a controversial theme, so I will stay away from making comments that could possibly come across slanderous towards the two academies. When looking at David Attenborough's documentaries it is obvious that he relies heavily on voice overs to present his information to the audience, I feel that this will be a much better suited way of portraying the information we want to tell the audience, rather than having me on screen talking about what is happening.

1. Issues in a Documentary

Accuracy: The accuracy of our filming is almost always all live footage, we didn't use any archive footage within our documentary. We filmed every bit of it ourselves, therefore making it more accurate to our theme. We tried to make everything as real as possible, having nothing scripted (apart from the voice overs) or rehearsed. However, after producing the entire documentary we found that some of the voice overs did not fit the theme of our documentary, we thought they were too comedic rather than serious. So we re recorded them and found that a more serious approach was much more accurate to the theme.

Balance: Having balance in a Documentary is imperative, if it is a serious piece, then the humour needs to be much less. Which is what ours was like, we decided to make our documentary serious, so to balance this we reduced the amount of humour we would have normally used, and increased the level of seriousness. Although this is the case some parts of the documentary actually came across funny, this was because of certain aspects such as, Sami and Harry's reactions to their given tasks, and them whilst completing it. Despite the fact that these came across funny the overall feel behind it brought it down on a more serious level. 

Impartiality/ Bias: This is where something is going in favour of what the producer thinks, wants, or believes by claiming they're not biased when they really are. The bias within a documentary could be to do with views that are portrayed by the film maker. If the documentary is based on a subject that could have controversial views then it is important that the film maker is fair and balanced with his ideas. In our documentary we made sure that none of our personal views were implemented, meaning that it is bias free.

Objectivity: The objectivity of our documentary is finding out how two people react to a situation they may not be comfortable with. Sami being asked to join in with the Rugby Academy circuit training session and Harry joining in with a RAPA (Ravens Wood Academy of Performing Arts) dance session. Both very different in content, and challenging for each of the subjects.

Subjectivity: Both of the film makers for this documentary are in RAPA, so it would be unfair if they were to sway towards that in favour. Within the interview we made sure we didn't take favour to the member who's is in RAPA, instead we spoke to both of the subjects as if not knowing them, even know we did. Also as the film makers we knew the subjects quite well, and in real life we are good friends, but we couldn't let this effect the content, so again we distanced ourselves on a professional level to cut this out.

Representation: We were trying to represent both academies, Rugby and Performing arts, and how they are not that different and they can in fact mix what they do. Unfortunately this could not be properly represented because Sami was unable to complete the circuit training with ease, thus making him seem weaker than those in the Rugby Academy. However, Harry exceeded quite well within the dance side of it. So it was a balanced result.

4. Genres of Documentry

1) Poetic - Poetic Documentaries are predominantly based around visual and artistic elements.  In a poetic documentary you would expect to see lots of images and film clips, more so than speech and interviews. In terms of sound, they generally have music that would reflect the situation you see on screen, therefor making the audience feel more connected to the documentary. An example of a poetic documentary is Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia (1938), following all the conventions of what you would expect to see within a poetic documentary.

2) Expository - Expository Documentaries are documentaries that expose a person or a topic. They are well known for having a commentator while showing video clips or images explaining the story. The conventions of an expository documentary include, a commentator, factual data, opinions, rhetorical questions and persuasive techniques. To appeal to the audience the commentator will talk directly to the audience. There would often be archive footage or stills to back up the topic. An example of an expository documentary is "Backstairs Billy: The Queens Mum's Butler" This documentary uses lots of footage from that topic and commentates accordingly.

3) Observational - An observational documentary is where the filmmaker follows the subjects of the documentary around without talking to the person they are filming. Normally there are little to no interviews involved in this type of documentary, and the camera used is normally just a hand held camera. This makes the documentary look like it has been made by an amateur filmmaker or so that the audience feel as though its from their perspective. A specific example is the television programme Big Brother, this is a typical Observational documentary in the way that it is constantly following the lives of numerous people.

4) Participatory - This is where the interviewer is in the documentary itself. He interacts with the subjects as if he is being educated in whatever topic the documentary is on. He will ask the subject questions, so we can know more about them. They are directly involved in the film and are a part of the documentary. This type of documentary is the complete opposite of observational documentaries, being very intrusive as opposed to observational being the opposite. An example of this is "The life of Michael Jackson" by Martin Bashir. In this documentary Martin Bashir follows Michael Jackson around, whilst on camera, proving to be a perfect example of Participatory documentary.

5) Reflexive - In a reflexive documentary the film maker acknowledges their presence in front of the camera and provides a narrative to the documentary. The reflexive style of documentary is usually associated with experimental documentaries, where the viewer is just as interested about how the film is constructed as they are the actual content. An example of a film maker who makes reflexive documentaries is Louis Theroux, he is known for his controversial methods of reflexive film making, as he is always in front of the camera, being a physical part of his documentary, often taking part in the activities he is creating a documentary about.

6) Performative - Performative mode of documentary raises questions about what knowledge is. It sets out to demonstrate how the specialties of personal experience provide entry into an understanding of the more general processes at work in society. This is done by stressing the emotional complexity of experience from the perspective of the filmmaker. This form of documentary focus more on the tone and mood of the subject, rather than the arguments and evidence. An example of this is Tongues United.