Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The start of the end of year Two part Two.

The title sounds a right mouth full and thats my intention! So roll back to the deadline day for our second year work, handed in final piece and finally a piece of free time to start my own ideas that had been building up in the back of my mind during the production of the second year project. PING i hear. Curiosity takes over.

An email from a PhD student asking for help producing a two minute ad for a marketing company. With the need to bump up the CV and not much work experience about what harm could it do? (None as it would turn out!) So after a few emails the group that responded met up and went through the narrative working out props, location and equipment and all important Mise En Scene. The client, Clarity Marketing, make clear the priority (after good Vis Coms) was to make it stand out from the rest of the site.

Aysha, the director of the project, was inspired by a scene from the film called 'Why Man Creates'. There is a scene where a man is fighting with props which is was the visual and narrative aim and we agreed that edging it more to the silent movie would edge it out. We literally had no budget except for a few minor expenses.

So we established what needed to be done, sourcing and producing props, hiring out the set with relevant staff and running the production. Although initially i was responsible for the production and post-production (taking a back seat from prop production) is was clear that the amount of work needed was going to require as much help as possible so i chipped in with that, using my apartment as HQ. I secured the equipment through the university as well as the set to film (Room 106B) and enlisted a good member of production team in Tobias Sample and a good camera man in Kieron Powis. This would mean i could focus on the running of the production with helping actors and setting up shots on the day.

Anyway, back to the production, we sourced an incredible amount of cardboard (44 Banana boxes and 6 or 7 big crisp boxes). The banana boxes were all wrapped in wall paper and then 42 were painted grey. The door was made out of two old portfolio folder boxes and roof tiles individually cut out of card and stuck to a cardboard roof and also painted. This process was considerably long to how long we presumed it would take - a week and 2 days at 12 hours a day between four people!

On the filming days (we had booked out 2) we wanted to get as much done as we could on the first day allowing the second and final day for any changes. However, building the physical structure took a few hours longer than we had anticipated. Thankfully the cast were patient and around 1pm we started filming. We carried right through until 7pm and surprisingly had a substantial amount of the filming complete. We tackled the most complex scenes 1st (where all the actors were involved for instance). This proved wise as the second day went very smooth and was over at 2pm. Leaving plenty of time to clear the room and get the footage set into folders ready for post production.

Post-production required a lot of patients in getting the flow of the advert right. We sped up most of the footage to give a silent era pacing and for the visuals we ramped up the levels which proved useful because it stretched the pixels and they became quite grainy and flickered from where the PC had interpreted the data change. Using the tritone i added some blue to the shadows which added a darker edge to the film and a vignette for extra impact.

My Favourite shot has to be the close up of the technician hammering the roof tiles. I think every aspect of above works and the lighting was spot on. In future in maybe useful to ad a gloss to surfaces in order to get that consistency in the light bounce. The client loved the final piece.

Below you will find the finished version:

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