Preliminary Exercise: Evaluation

Although I am happy with the end product from our task, there are various things that I would do differently if doing the task again.

Filming 

We were given one lesson to film our short video. This is a 50 minute slot and so we had to be efficient with our filming. Firstly, Emelia and I collected the equipment whilst Adam went to find our actors. We then met in our room for the video, the irrational room. Although it is a small room, it was bright and large enough for our idea.

The first problem that we came across was to do with setting up the equipment. With this being the first time any of us had used this equipment this was bound to happen. Our first problem was the camera as we could not get it to film. To resolve this we had to speak to one of our teachers, Mr Grant. It turned out that we were on the wrong setting. Our next problem was to do with the sound recorder and the boom pole as we could not hear the noise through our headphones. At first, we believed this was because the headphones that we were using were broken but when we used a different pair we came across the same problem. When checking over the various settings, I spotted that we had our wires in the wrong input and outputs. Our microphone was plugged into the headphone jack and vice versa. Once we swapped these over the recording was working as expected.

Our next major problem that we came across was to do with our script. Due to the fact that our script only consisted of a couple of lines we decided to be creative and write it in Spanish. However, our time to film conflicted with the Spanish lesson and our actors were not up for speaking Spanish and so we had to cut that part out and do it in English. Although this took away our original idea, we could still stick to the actual content of our script.

Once we had overcome our various problems, there was not a lot of time left to film and so we had to be as efficient as possible. In order to succeed in our task we decided to film the most important scenes first such as the speaking scenes and left the shots such as the different angles of opening the door and reaching for the handle to last as these were not critical for succeeding the given task. This proved to be a success as once we had filmed all of the pivotal scenes we could focus on using different angles and movements in order to make our video much more varied and interesting. Although we did not manage to film as much as we had originally hoped, we were happy with the result considering the problems we faced.

Editing

To edit our video we used an app called Final Cut Pro X. This is the same software that we used for our coursework at GCSE when we made music videos. Although this is good because I had an idea of how to use it, it had been a long time since. Also, this task was very different as I had to match up video footage with the correct recording and at the specific time. I had never done this before. Originally we were given one lesson, 50 minutes, to edit our videos. However, not many people finished in this time slot and so we had one more lesson to complete it.

Firstly we had to download all of our footage and recordings onto the Macs. Once this was done, I created a folder that contained everything that I would need for editing the video. Firstly I downloaded it all into Final Cut Pro X and began to view the footage. Then I began to edit my footage. I decided to cut and fit together the video footage first. This was not too difficult as I remembered various similar features from using the same software in GCSE. I found that I was cutting down various clips into much shorter clips so that the video would display different angles and shots. This caused more problems when matching the sound but I felt was a necessity. Once I had put together all of the trimmed clips it was time to match the sound recording. This proved to be the most difficult part of the process. When filming we used a clapperboard in attempt to make this easier and more accurate, however, we did not think to say which take the clip was on each one and so it proved to be difficult matching the correct recording with the correct footage. Arguably, this was one of the main reasons as to why editing took much longer than expected. However, by the second lesson I had finished my editing.

Conclusion

Once I had finished editing my video, I showed it to my classmates. We watched one another’s videos and gave critical feedback. I got various points of feedback that I could work on if I were to complete the task again…

  • Be careful when matching up footage so that the action does not appear to occur more than once. For example when putting together the various shots for the opening of the door, make sure that each shot flows correctly.
  • To always film from eye level unless using a bird’s eye view on purpose.
  • To say out loud which shot we are filming when using the clapperboard so that when matching up footage and recordings we know which is which.
  • To focus the camera properly before filming the scene.

If I were to carry out this task again, I would consider each of these pieces of feedback. Although I will not be carrying out this task again, all of the feedback and practice of using the equipment and software will help me with my final production. The problems that I have faced, I now know the solutions and so can apply this new knowledge in the future on important projects.

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