#5 Color Grade

Before starting write this reflection, I have chosen three scenes to edited  color grading of lenny intensive, however, while I examined other’s blog that I realize I may misunderstand the original purpose of this prompt. Because it should be fixed three tone at same scene instead of what I did. But I would remain put my production here, using another way to examine my color grade.

At beginning, I typed “three color” to searched the function of three color corrector, I chose this scene cuz it was little be overexposure as left picture. So, I have adjusted highlights to reduce the bright and dragged the clip into each color to see the effect. Meanwhile, I also conditioned the clip of shadows and midtones to found suitable tone I want.


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At second scene, there are two people sat at bench with colorful painting wall and the key light is from up left. As we can see, I fixed  few steps on lighting tone which is similar as last scene I did, but this time I tried modified on “Input levels” & “Output levels”. It is clear that effect can be contrasted by dragged triangle into darker or whiter sections, from the second picture of this scene may seem significant that the color of jean has reduced its reflection, the streak of wall and character’s faces can be obvious than earlier scene. In addition, I also tried “Tonal Range Definition” that compared different tones individually.

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The third scene might look like drab due to the story is arranged the character going to mysterious place that I decided modified the atmosphere into gloomy tone so that mood can be see divergent by set amount of saturation. Moreover, while I review the whole scenes, I also click into section of dropper to selected appropriate color to match my genre.

Overall, in my opinion, the editor could depend on what tones he/she wants to present and thereby choose specific functions to adjust the video. For me, “input & output level” features are convenient and easier to compared my scenes, because the functions of
“shadows & midtones & highlights” may spend more time to matched the video, if there is a huge movement carelessly, the tones can be contrasted specifically and cause weird colors.

P.S  I have searched “before and after colour grade” on google, hence, I follow the style to edited my three scenes as below.

Color grading

#6 Reflection on the sound & image

In the beginning of the course, I have wrote my goals and desire  for this semester, “ I wish can get  practical techniques firstly, through various access like film editing, video shooting and getting into sound and light knowledge in this course“. Now it is time to review the learning.

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Basically, I have to admit that it is ambiguous when I aimed to learn practical techniques but without specific description which makes the procedure not easy to measure. However, I can still via each item to examine my progress. Firstly, “film editing”. Though I get fundamental skill to use film editing application (Premiere, Adobe Effect), there are still far enough reach to proficiency, such as editing speed, transfer the scene and color corrector, the more practice in application, the more familiar operation I can gain. So, just keep the faith and continually execute it. Not just saying!!!

Secondly, “video shooting”. During earlier period, I was wondering it might be learning video shooting first then film editing, but till now I think the sequence is acceptable. Because only know the concept of editing then can deconstruct what frame I want to shoot which is sufficient plan to enrich my film. In this task, I believe I have better understanding than editing, but sometimes remain with unfamiliar impression to operate camera which is a weakness especially during interview or hurry situations.

Furthermore, when I examine the knowledge of light, I could always recognize different angle of lighting effect quickly and adjust the appropriate position about subjects or light, which is good that I can enhance the ability of frame design.

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Finally, for me, the sense of sound is the most interesting and valuable acquisition that I gained from this course. Due to I have some careless experiences shooting video without sound or poor quality that I focus more on sound/ boom position to avoid it happen again. In addition, I assume the audio could be the soul of whole film to led audiences comprehend different scenes by strong or low tone. Thus, I quite like intently searching suitable music and sound effects to modify  my video which is also my most confident part during the process.

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Nevertheless, I remember that my wish is aim to learned practical skills in this semester. Overall, I did , gained “practical techniques” than just theories, but there are still huge spaces I could boost and urge myself.

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#3 The analysis of Forbidden Lies

In this task, we are required to analyze how the sound effect sourced of the film by using all understanding we learned which is quite interesting but challengeable. I even discussed with few classmates about the structures, effects and lessons from premiere to support each other’s knowledge and deal with this prompt. From my point of view, I might not proficient all techniques of editing but I could examine the sound information to deconstruct it.

In the opening, the effect of tweet has appeared three times with music until 0:12, it is significant that each time the tweet shows around 2 seconds and only inserted when actress looks at actor affectionately. I predict it may indicate her mood and the eye of the beholder. In addition, there are two brief bell rings appeared at 0:04 and 0:17 showing actress’ sight among their relationship. These two sound effects might source from audio library to stress lady’s happiness.

We can also observe that some transfer scenes come with fascinating effects like 0:12 and 0:30, the latter one even end of background music and emphasize the sound of typing and windy desert. I discover that most scenes have been layered two effects, background music and the audio of protagonist’s actions to demonstrate different presentations. From 0: 14 the sound of vehicle gradually entered showing they drive to forest; it is also obvious that when the song sings to “set her free”, the lady flings her scarf and of course an audio of throw has layered there.

I think 0:30 is a turning point that voice over has arranged here and pauses music to declare the previous part is just a elaboration for continuing story. As we can hear, the sound of elves appeared when the book shows in front of screen (0:36, 1:04, 1:25), it sounds like inserted to remind audiences the importance of subject. There is a woman read content of forbidden lies at 1:28 and the photograph sound stressed at 1:32 to present this scene like a picture has captured there.

It is clear that director arrange different women read the book and overlap their voice together to emphasize the sentence. When the map of middle east appears, there is a mysterious effect has launched to catch attention, the coolest thing is when the lands like puzzles move to other boundary, the audio sure presented like flying.

While Rana Husseini and Dr.Amal A. Sabbagh continually doubt their opinions about the book, the background music turns to vivid type at 2:27 as if the highlight is coming. Certainly, with Sabbagh’s explanation, the image has going to fast forward and guides audiences into scenes of book. Following Husseini’s direction, each questionable place has approached to be examined. There’s a tiny part can be noticed that when the actor stuns coin there, the editor seem to capture the evidence that adds photograph sound to satirize the classic scene. It is also noticeable that the editor cleverly put the author Norma Khouri’s reading with Husseini’s voice together which cause the audio sounds like they describe the book at same time. How ironically is!

Overall, the second half scene of whole video is under Khouri’s reading to match Husseini and Sabbagh ‘s objection that contrast their conflicts visibly. Furthermore, no matter is lighted up a cigarette, vanished the packet of cigarettes, destroyed the building or zoom in the container truck, all of these shoots have arranged with sound effects to point out  the evidence of contradictions. 

#4 The Reflection of Documentary in a Day

During the rest of courses this semester, we started learning the concepts of documentary and vox pop, not only in sound & image, but also practice personal screenplay in story genre and medium course ,which supplied us wider perspectives to plan my documentary.

pre-production 

It was warm and sunny in first intensive day, we were required to outdoor to randomly shoot passerby on the street about “home”, which was “vox pop” that I do not know the word until this exercise.

After checked all equipments down, we drafted few questions and allocated each position, Shu and I turned to be boom and sound, Luis was an interviewer and Christina operated camera. We chose a colorful painting wall as our interview background, which shapes good image in the frame but it didn’t support us confidence to aimed our first interviewee in the beginning. Fortunately, since the first interviewee directly said yes, we have had smoother procedure to finished the task. And I realized that vox pop not just started from shoot interviewees in front of camera, the process was formed during we communicated with passerby and explained the motivation to them, which means we have to had blueprint about the topic, extend questions, frame construction and captured nature light in order to complete material for later editing.

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At second intensive day, it’s grouped in bigger team work. Each group sketched similar questions related to “home”, settle down the frame background, interviewer position and key light which was a huge process that we changed and negotiated many times, even considered Paul’s suggestion to got it.

Production

Interviewed people on the street is an interesting but sometimes awkward experience. We shot six passerby, some of them like lecturers could talk a lot without silence, but few people may shy to expressed more or no opinion demonstrated, even there’s one interviewee cannot hear questions clearly that we had to repeated few times to turn to next one.

From my point of view, group and individual interviews is easier and more enjoyable than vox pop, because everyone were already prepared into situation and proficiently to adjusted each role. For example, Ricky moved dedo frequently and explained the lighting effect by his plenty of understanding; Anh, Cindy and I modified the angles of chair, monitor and camera to shape  different frames of footage; some of them being assistances to took away pizza as lunch saved time that everyone switched diverse positions to made shooting efficiently.

Once I as both interviewer and interviewee that I understood some questions may too abstract or not objective to affect interviewee’s mood and cause different quality of interview. Nevertheless, both of interviews are unforgettable exercises that we can review our footages immediately and fixed urgent problems by performed individual perspective duties.

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Post-production

During the process of editing, I hesitated may insert some footage of voxpop abstract but determined without use them. Due to most of our images without sound and frame shaking, at that moment though we checked the equipment before we shot, it still happened while we shot on the street and could not fix the trouble. Moreover, we may make wrong decision that shot in Chinatown was little be far from university which caused we were lazy to use tripod during movement. Therefore, the quality can be expected is not very well and I learned watching others examine my equipment is far enough as a preparation, only have to checked every setting by myself can as a sufficient plan.

I took around 2.5 hours to edited my mini documentary. Generally to say, I might rely on my team members to uploaded the footage frequently that caused I couldn’t accurately found footage material and affected how I organized them. Thus, I just edited short video, discarded most individual and abstract footage to achieve specific theme “home”.

For me, the most insufficiency is still need practice to organize and label footage, and then should improve my speed and unskillful technique. However, I quite enjoy to searched background music that listened differ genre provide me energy to shape my video mode. Hence, the sound editing might as most confident part in the whole film.

Nevertheless, the more practical experiences is the only way to establish professional, when I get more material to edit, I know I earn extra chance to enrich my proficiency.

#2 No Direction Home

Actually, I have searched this documentary of ‘No Direction Home’ online to watched the original film before I start deconstruct the scene. Honestly to say that I prefer the official film more than the type of Thelma Schoonmaker. By contrast, as we can see, the opening scene from official movie is starts with the title, Bob Dylan expresses his experiences about lost direction then switches his image of live show, but type of Schoonmaker is opening in live show perform that appears suddenly then zoom in CU on his face showing he is playing a song. There is no stand answer to judges which one is correct presentation in the documentary, just I think that as a narrative movie  could demonstrate clear actions chronologically or quotes a sentence relates to topic that audiences can understand what it is watching now.

Nevertheless, it is just my personal opinion, now we back to our topic. As I mentioned earlier, the 2 mins scene starts with a live concert, but when it plays to 0:30, the scene just pause there with forest image around 8 seconds, then inserts someone’s voice (should be Bob Dylan) ‘Time you can do a lot of things that…’ that implies the story is going to next scene and sure enough, music rising with an old building tells audiences our protagonist is flashing back to his childhood, describes how he falls in love with music. I quite like that the scene from 0:59 only Bob Dylan’s sound articulates his story and few old pictures of childhood then pan to the vinyl records. It is audacious arrangement that until 1:31, there is no any character appears on the screen, only antique photos with narrations, audiences may impatient focus on the story, on the other hand, they might attract by the curiosity and continually explore more.

Here is our star Bob Dylan, the footage turns on him, frowning and expressing his long memory. It is also significant that Schoonmaker edits tons of previous images with black and white, only when it turns on Bob Dylan the footage illustrates colorful mood. I predict that Schoonmaker via contrast showing past and present to outline the protagonist like read an autobiography.

Watching into 1:44, the image appears mine land within Dylan describes his environment of hometown, the background music also changes to reminiscent genre, immerse audiences fall in the antique atmosphere once again. Obviously, every movements and actions look like slow down in those old films as if faraway from Dylan but still clear in his mind. It is interesting that from the middle of film 2:00, Dylan’s image turns into extremely close up without any background, just like we sit closer to him, pay more attention on him.

Overall, this 2 minutes opening scene contains much element of color contrast, it guides audiences from alive scene of concert to serious scene of character, all of shots still surrounded on Bob Dylan which reveals the guy is unpredictable, just like his multiple music, no matter is folk or rock, he determines whatever he wants.

#1 Introduction to Documentary

When people talk about the types of documentary, Bill Nichols’ articulation is the classic identification  that divides six modes to express each style. Although there are some arguments between his points and other academics, it does not affect audiences understand their theories, even adds more explanation on them.

While I read the summary of Bill Nichols’s seminal book, I prefer “the participatory mode” as my planning type in my documentary. It encourages filmmakers and protagonist or other subjects engage the film, in other words, the record could be affected by different participators but also present unexpected diversity.

It is debatable that how define the authenticity of documentary is, or we can say there is no only principle to describe the documentary, some producers believe the filmmakers have to be objective shooting their characters and avoid become a part of film. However,  from my point  of view, the subjects definitely knew the camera(s) there recording their action (except hidden the camera shows), so the perform already influenced by camera(s) and crews exist; which means the filmmakers already involved the process just may or may not in the screen.

Therefore, why not just naturally shooting the procedure between subjects and filmmakers? Based on different targets of documentary, we can understand alternative modes from other documentary, but my documentary will try to catch audience’s attention by watching “the participatory mode”. In my opinion, led audiences comprehend not only particular subjects can be recorded, the ordinary people as crews can also be shot is important element to promote the film. Because audiences might find resonance connected to their daily life from the interactions among participatory mode, the more connection they see, the more interesting they want to focus on it.

Nevertheless, no matter which mode of documentary exhibited to audiences, there are always appear both weakness and strengths individually. If I towards participatory mode sketch my video, I will search these types film to observe how the directors balance the footage  between subjects and filmmakers, make sure the latter does not occupy much shoot than main character(s), otherwise it would digress to other topics becomes someone’s documentary.

#5 The reflection of Lenny

For this moment to rethink that all day shooting on our Lenny work, it is still impressed me the feeling. Although I have some experiences about nonfiction shooting during as a journalist, the complete fiction drama shooting with script is my first time.

Pre-production
After group our team members, we were look around RMIT campus to found great location for our scene before the day we shoot. We chose a triangle grass ground with few benches there, the wall behind the bench even with colorful painting and found a long yellow stairs behind building 8, it was a good preparation for the plot’s position.

However, neither of us took notes in our script for the deconstruction of footage, I just read the story and checked unknown vocabulary as well. It is shame we realized that how it terrible is that insufficient studying on script caused more busy work when we shoot. At intensive day, we roughly drew the sketch, analyzed what kind shot we want and hastily took equipment to started it.
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Production

At round one, my job is 2nd AD, I was no idea what’s the duty of position in the beginning, so I read the article ‘Crew Role’ again and started my work. The shooting was going well, Kim as our director, we got two talented actors, so I just helped the team stopped passersby a while and observed surroundings to reduced noise, watched out our property and took photo as a production still photographer.
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My second job is boom, I was enjoyed play this position as a tough job holding the boom long time, but I think I should be more careful on details because I made boom into frame few times that I find it after we upload film in suit. Fortunately, the quality is no bad, still can be used for another team’s production.

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Moving to the third position, this time I am the DOP. As I mentioned before, I didn’t prepare a lot on script just thought it would be ok, so I got punishment that I don’t know what do I need for my screen, where was the right location between characters, which angle that camera should set up, I communicated with my director Leila quite long, then we actually got 30 minutes to shoot three scenes. Nevertheless, from the second scene I directed getting better and smooth under team member’s assistance. Although I think I should took few more footages for some particular part due to it is not enough material when I review them in premiere. I still get lots work to improve in this position, director is not kidding job!
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Until final work, I am an actress to played Lenny. It was interesting that I quite enjoyed immersed the role, acted required action with drama tension to matched plot. The most funniest thing is I had to gradually died with disappointed on a bench in last shot, but it wasn’t easy, like my dead gesture, some part of body moved, we repeated few times to demonstrate the correct approach that director wanted. Under everyone’s attention, I felt little by shy to play it, but it’s pleased to made pleasure for everyone.

Post-Production

During this process, I still consider how to edit my footage to match the script. In my opinion, transfer the description of words into images of film is a subjective and challengeable task. Therefore, I follow Paul’s instruction to organize my footage into named bin as first step, separate different scene and sequence in premiere, the more details I created in previous work, the more easy to find each material when I doing rough cut. It is good habit that every time I should establish like this. mmexport1462528781732
In final part, I compress and upload two rough cut of scene, it is obvious that I still need insert more element for the tiny film, the urgent part should be settle down color grading for differ scene and put appropriate soundtrack and sound effect or keep nature sound to supply film’ basic soul.

https://drive.google.com/a/student.rmit.edu.au/file/d/0B3vPwG8v6SdgUUhMbXhtQWpIM1U/preview“>The scene 1
https://drive.google.com/a/student.rmit.edu.au/file/d/0B3vPwG8v6SdgSm1MWVdBQlV2M2c/preview“>The scene 2