Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Digital Film Production: Shooting

On the day of shooting the first thing I did was visit the Swiss Cottage to pick up my props. I had set aside £50 for my prop budget and I planned to go right up to the mark, after some discussion with the owner I managed to get a saving of £16 on my props with a skull thrown in for free (image left). I also bought ducttape (£4) to help tape down wires. Since I would be filming in a class room as opposed to a studio I acquired some sheets to cover up windows so that we would have complete control of the lighting to help create the atmosphere we desired. We set up the props as shown in the photo and we even managed to find a black curtain to place in the background.

The camera we used was the XDcamera with a 35mm lense which allows us to have much more control over the depth of field, this gives it a much more cinematic feel. Due to the use of the 35mm lense it renders the zoom function on the camera usless as if you zoom out you'll see the edges of the lense. The visuals that we get from this lense were simply like none we had ever seen before as previously we had used the HDcameras which allows no control over stylistic focus or depth. For lighting we just used two regular redheads on the flood mode, this created a very regular looking lit room but through the camera with our custom settings to create a bluish tint it looked quite impressive.

The overall filming process for the Observer scenes was simple, Liyana was very co-operative and keen to help achive the shots we desired. We also had a shot of a video camera against a green screen to transpose into the video in the FX stages.

The trickier scenes to shoot were the prisoner ones such as getting lighting right and framing as there was much less space to move inside. The big scene in which the prisoner rebels was a difficult one in which we had to purchase Smash: Mashed Potato and kitchen twoels (around £4), as I had no experience of doing a slo-mo shot I just upped the frame rate hoping it would appear slower when player back at 25fps. Halfway through the day of shooting I purchased food for my crew (£6) and we finished shooting, all thats left is to edit the footage and add the effects.

Overall my budget so far has cost me £64, which isn't too bad for a student project in which I didn't have to pay for rental of any of the equipment.

I feel this will turn out to be one of my better pieces of work.

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