TEN – Post Shoot Whitby

In today’s entry I’m going to quickly talk about the shoot in Whitby. So with out further ado, lets get started.

I think the first thing that comes to mind about the shoot is how cold it was! It was the type of icy windy cold blasts that leave your face and hands both numb and stiff instantly. It was also foggy, the sea was choppy and the clouds were low and utterly miserable. Perfect then, for capturing some scenes of winter.

Taken by Jack Watling

Taken by Jack WatlingMy first port of call was to go down to the harbour. There, we (I was assisted by my Girlfriend Katie for the day) set up the camera and captured some footage of the cliffs, sea and a few rock pools near the harbours edge. My objective for the harbour/sea shots was to capture movement as well as footage that fitted the theme of winter. The tide was out which was good as I could see rock pools that are usually hidden by several feet of water, it was a pity in some ways though as it meant I was not able to get footage of waves crashing against the harbour wall which would of been nice. I also got some nice shots of the cliffs further down the coast, which due to the fog and low cloud, looked very effective and gave me some ideas of how I could implement this footage into the film.

Taken by Katie

 

 

These two pictures were taken by Katie, the left one is of one of the rock pools that can only be seen when the tide is out. The right one is of me, the cloud behind shows just how grey and grim the weather was.

 

 

While shooting, I noticed on the other side of the harbour were two rock formations out to sea. Being now virtually frozen, we decided to get dinner (the obligatory fish and chips) which gave us a excuse to sit down and warm up before heading to the other side of the harbour.

Fish and Chips devoured, we headed to the other side of the Harbor to get the last few shots before heading onto the moors. By this point the weather was a little warmer which meant less numb hands and dripping noses. On this side of the harbour the sea was a little bit more choppy too, this would give me some good opposing images to the slightly calmer sea footage on the other side of the harbour. The way the sea, rock formations and cliffs worked with each other was also brilliant for the type of shot composition I was after. After about an hour filming, we headed back through Whitby to get to go to the moors.

Taken by jack WatlingUnfortunately, by the time we got to the moors heavy fog had set in and severe weather warnings were mentioned on the local radio station. Not wanting to get caught in a bad situation I decided to forgo shooting on the moors. Besides, as I could only see about 4 feet in front of me it felt it would be a pretty redundant task anyway.

Overall the shoot went well. Due to high wind speeds I have a little bit of shaky footage to sort out in post and the audio is no good but I got some good solid shots. I may reschedule a shoot to go up on the moors but hopefully I can find somewhere a little closer to home to save on travel expenses and time etc.

That’s it for this post.

Until Next Time.

SIX – Updates, Updates, Updates

Today’s post is all about the updates. First main update is to the site itself. I’ve tweaked it to make it a more complete website instead of just a blog. This is more of a personal choice as eventually, I want to do some product reviews and have a place to show off my CV. These site updates have allowed me to lay the ground work for this.

Second (and more importantly for this Blog), a lot has happened since my last post.  I’ve also realised, some vital aspects have been overlooked. I’ve not gone over what it is I’m actually doing.

My idea is to essentially make a film that documents seasonal change and visually shows the feeling that goes with each season (Summer = Happy, Winter = Sad etc.). I want to do this, using my dads old lens as mentioned in the prior post.  To make it a bit more interesting, I decided to use decorated masks that would act as a sort of avatar for each season.

Early concept for the Face of Autumn, made by myself.

Overall the film would be an experimental/art film that partly plays homage to ideas put forward by American Filmmaker Stan Brakhage.

Ignoring the music this test video glimpses at what I’m wanting to do. I want to explore this idea of seeing. Not just briefly glancing at a tree and saying “its a tree” but looking and observing. Noticing details like how leaves move in the wind. How the light changes as the sunsets. The little critters that live in moss.

So I pitched this idea. It wasn’t the best pitch. I received comments along the lines of “its stating the obvious” and it’s not clear what why it’s called Dad’s Old Glass etc. I explained a few things, such it’s called Dad’s Old Glass because its shot with my dad’s old lens which is slang for lens. This helped a little as I then explained on a personal level it was my dad that introduced me to a nature as we used to go walking a lot and he’d explain what things were etc. etc.

Not a lot has changed since then except I’ve been gathering various bits of footage that maybe useful for the project and been playing with ideas suggested by one of my tutors around the opening.

Although I have creative freedom to basically do what I want, and sometimes I’d love ignore everything any of my tutors say to me about it (after all its my idea and something that is personal to me), I can’t. On a course such as this, I have to treat a tutor like an Executive Producer. At the end of the day they mark the work and give me a grade which I want to be high.

With all this in mind, I have began to formulate a plan that reaches a compromise between my objectives and the tutors scepticism . But that’s for another post later on.

Until Next Time.

 

THREE – REWRITE!

I’m going to open this one by firstly saying what I originally intended to write about, which was the struggles I had around coming up with a more original and less used title than “Warrior”. It would have said how titles aren’t particularly my forte and usually I’d leave them to the third or fourth draft. However, due to a series of recent reality checks I am forced to write an article of a different nature.

Unfortunately, I have been forced to not only rewrite my entire script. I am very much inclined to completely scrap the idea and start again. This down to two key reasons. The first, money.

For the film I had intended to have a budget of around £500. This would go towards casts and crew travel expenses and a few props I did not already own. The locations for the most part would be covered by using my own house, it being a relatively large house it is quite versatile in being multiple locations in one.  As I began the costing process I found that the original budget would be tight to work with at best. Using a simple formula based on a cast and crew of ten people at £10 per person and a shoot lasting 5-7 days, I would need £500-£700 in expenses alone. Plus around £100 for props and set materials and around £50-£100 to cover my own expenses (fuel, food etc.). I have always found it ill-advised and borderline irresponsible to NOT having a “when that thing goes wrong pot” too. This would be another £50-£100. Altogether, this comes to between £700 – £1000 minimum budget. Twice what I had planned for. Ever the optimist I was still ready to go ahead with the film idea until another realisation dawned on me.

What about all the other things I needed to pay for outside the film such as Car Tax and MOT, phone bills, internet bills and all the other costs involved with being an adult. Hope wavering at this point, the final blow came in the form of those dreaded “unexpected bills”. With a costly near £100 vet bill for the now deceased menace we lovingly called Stan Oleg Rasputin Hamster (Rest in Piece) I finally caved and accepted that the film in its current conceptualised form, would simply not be feasible. So I begrudgingly began to mercilessly chop parts out, play with the structure, remove none essential characters and have less ambitious props and costumes until it was closer to something I could afford. Then came the next nail of a reason.  Controllable factors.

Fictional Films rely on a lot to be good. I am relying on this project in order to pass my degree with a good grade. In my experience, fictional films just have too many variables that can go wrong. This is a project on a near iron clad deadline, deadlines that don’t really accommodate for worse case. Simply put, if any parts of it fail (an actor drops out at the last moment, locations fall through, the weather stops the show, crew members don’t show up)I run the risk of failing.

On reflection fictional film has been my weakest area over the last 3 years at university too. Mainly for the previously mentioned last-minute issues explained above. This in mind I have put together two separate ideas that focus on my stronger areas which were Factual Production, Client Based Brief and Experimental Film.

For my next post I intend to go over these ideas in more detail.

Until next time.