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Showing posts from 2013

The Basic Rules of Editing

The Basic Rules:
Pace is very important - always make sure the footage flows togetherQuick cuts don't always create tension, sometimes the most tense scenes are just one shotIncreasing or decreasing the pace of the cuts can change the mood of the pieceSometimes you can over-complicate your edit - it is good to know when your edit is finishedUse the same process every time and make sure you organize and store the footage correctlyAlways 'cut with your gut' - does it feel right?When using music make sure you always cut to the beat The Process: Upload your footageWatch the footageRe-watch footage and make notesCreate a first edit - the basic structure2nd editConsult the directorMake alterations to the edit after getting feedback (at this point you can go back to point 3 or 4 and go from there)Walk away - sometimes you can over think things (it's good to take a break!)Create a final edit - fine tune the clips, make sure the audio levels are correct and that the piece flowsCon…

Gasman - the Importance of Trust between Characters

Gasman is a short film made in 1998 by Lynne Ramsay about a man who lives two lives. The film is shown mainly through the eyes of his daughter, in an innocent but hard-hitting way.
It's the Christmas season. With her mom's help, Lynne, a girl of perhaps eight, dresses up; her younger brother Steven plays with a toy car. The children leave with their dad, who's affectionate with them. They walk down a railroad track where an unkempt woman waits with two children, about the same age as Lynne and Steven. The children go with them. They're all headed to a holiday party at a pub. Lynne notices that the girl acts all too familiar with her dad. What's going on? Plot Summary - IMDB The film has an observant feel to it, like the camera itself is a 'third person' watching the plot unfold - sometimes from a distance and other times up close. The camera is mostly hand-held, free in a documentary style. It seems that the camera was left rolling as the ch…

The Death of Marilyn Monroe - Conspiracy Theory Edit

Everyone loves a good conspiracy; a bit of mystery, ambiguity, intrigue.There are thousands of conspiracy theories in the world, ranging from the smallest matters to the biggest cover ups in history: 911, Roswell, the Moon Landing, JFK, the Illuminati and the New World Order, the death of Paul McCartney - to name a few.

What is a conspiracy? An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act.A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design.A conspiracy theory therefore, is the belief that some covert but influential organisation is responsible for an unexplained event.

For one of the assignments at University, the class was given the opportunity to create a 3-5 minute video about a conspiracy theory, with an aim to convince the viewer that it is telling the truth. There were however several theories that were banned such as Roswell and JFK, because those have been 'done to death'. The idea was to create a unique, believable and persuasive video usi…

Shirley Holmes and Joan Watson - Title Spoof

I make a lot of spoofs. Fact.I love being able to take an idea, and then develop it and make it into something different; something unique. It is often true that there are no new ideas, that someone will have probably thought of it before you have, which is why it is important to be original - the idea may not be, but your approach to it can.

Sherlock is perhaps one of my most favourite TV series, and I love the opening titles. The editing and juxtaposition of the images is simply mind-blowing, the film accompanied by stop-motion animation and text.

You can watch it here:

I wanted to try and create my own version of the opening titles, with the idea that Sherlock becomes Shirley, and John becomes Joan (Shirley's cousin), even though the style is completely different. I didn't overlay images or use stop-motion in the film. In comparison, mine is relatively simple. I spent around 5 minutes figuring out what to film, and then went out and d…

30 second film

Robert Bresson was a french film director and screenwriter, best known for his ascetic and aesthetic style. His focus was to separate the languages of cinema and theatre and wrote down notes on the differences between the two. Bresson compiled these notes into a book called 'Bresson on Cinematography'.

"Catch instants. Spontaneity. Freshness"."Cinematography, a military art. Prepare for film like a battle"."To create is not to deform or invent persons and things. It is to tie new relationships between persons and things that are, and as they are".I came up with many ideas for these quotes, but then one caught my eye that I really liked:
"The persons and objects in your film must walk at the same pace, as companions".
After reading this quote I drew what I could see in my head - a beginning to a storyboard. Personally I find it useful to write or draw what I imagine - even though the end result often doesn't end up anything like it. The …


There are several different interpretations of the word 'montage':
A single pictorial composition made by juxtaposing or superimposing many pictures or designs.A relatively rapid succession of different shots in a movie.The juxtaposition of such successive shots as a cinematic technique.The technique of selecting, editing, and piecing together separate sections of film to form a continuous whole.People have certain views on what a montage actually is. Some say that it must compress time, others that it must show a lot of information within a short period. Here a a few examples:
Team America - Montage: Team AmericaThis montage is used to show the passing of time, compressing the time period into a few minutes.Ghostbusters: montage speeds up the story line and only gives necessary information, which is told through newsreel clippings and headlines. The time period is also revealed through dates, and shots of intercutting characters at…

2nd Windsurfer Edit

A few weeks ago I created a short video using footage provided by Staffordshire University. There were several shots (wide, mid and close) on two different cameras. When I say mid-shot I mean it is a type of view. For example, a close up would be a shot where the camera is close to the subject. A mid-shot would generally be the mid to top section of a person.
The first is a wide shot of a windsurfer, with some mid shots.The second is footage from a Go-Pro: with several views from the board, the boom above and a mid-shot.Personally I feel a musical score should be relevant to the image, and contribute depth and meaning. If the music does not suit the mood of the sequence, it will inevitably cause the audience to become confused.

The music I chose for both videos was by Broke For Free. You can see the website here:

The first tune was 'Something Elated', and the second - 'Like Swimming'. Both last around 3 minutes  so I shortened the length by tak…

Lost in Translation - Film Review

A faded movie star and a neglected young wife form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.Lost in Translation is a 2003 American comedy-drama film. It was written and directed by Sophia Coppola and stars Bill Murray as the lonely Bob Harris, and Scarlett Johansson as Charlotte - a young woman trying to find her purpose in life.

The film in itself is a gem, defining the true meaning of humanity and perfectly depicting the feelings that one experiences when thrown out of one's comfort zone, and into the foreign spaces of the world. A romantic comedy from start to finish; the film delivers a story full of understated providence and simple reflection which everyone can tap into.

'A relationship picture with elegant connective tissue;
     it's brittle and real, focused on the nuances of body
     language and unspoken desire, while indulging in a cheeky
     bit of knowing absurdity when the mood strikes' - Rotten

The title of the film offers several mea…

The Great Debate - TV vs Film

As a film maker, it is vital that you acquire your own opinions, albeit someone else's. Whether you prefer TV or Film, it is important that you portray your ideas and views through the medium. TV and Film have very different values. For example:
TV prefers 'long storytelling' (the ability to transform characters/plots over a long period of time).Film on the other hand compresses the time period (allowing the plot to develop enough for the audience to create a bond whilst shortening the complexity of life into a 2-hour film).One of the biggest arguments is that money has nothing to do with the entertainment value. For example:
These are the top-budgeting TV series at the present moment:
 The Borgias - $45-50 million (3 series) The Pacific - $27 million per episode Game of Thrones - 6 million per episode Vikings - 4.5 million per episode Downton Abbey - 1 million per episode Sherlock - approx £800,000 per episode Doctor Who - approx £10 million per season Primeval - approx £6 million …

Film Review - Festen

'Festen', translated into English as The Celebration, is a Danish Film produced by Nimbus Film. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg, it was the first film to be made under Dogme 95, and was inspired by a hoax broadcast on a Danish Radio Station.
The film tells the story of a family gathering to celebrate their father's 60th birthday. At the dinner, the eldest son publicly accuses his father of sexually abusing both himself and his twin sister (who has recently committed suicide).Festen contains many different themes within the story line including racism, abuse, love, and the relationships within a family. The combination of comedy and tragedy is portrayed with a sense of ambiguity resulting in the audience being left unsure of the intended tone throughout.

As the film was made under Dogme 95 it meant that there were specific production and narrative limitations in several areas of the films production. Dogme 95 protests against expensive Hollywood-style film-making, therefore ban…

Emotional Realism - the Combination of Sound and Film