Today I finished post-production for the short film we had been working on. Each person from our team was given the footage we had shot a few days ago and had to edit the film together as we thought it should be, so we ended up with four versions of the same film.
We had planned our shots very carefully which meant that we knew exactly what we needed to shoot when we got the camera. This made it easy to edit because I knew the order they needed to go in and could pick out the clips really quickly. The only problem was, I felt we over-planned and it meant that there wasn’t much extra footage to play around and experiment with. Because of the shortage of clips, I had to use the same type of shot over and over, which eventually gets really repetitive when you watch the short film.
To avoid this problem during our next project, I should make sure that we get lots of different angles of the same shot so that we can mix them up during editing to make it more interesting for the viewers. We should also get shots of other things so there are more points of interest, for example, in this shootout short film, we could have added a tracking shot following their feet while they walked. This would’ve broken up the close shots of their faces a bit to make it less repetitive. During feedback I was told that we could have added more quirks to the character to make them more distinguishable-for example a cowboy hat or a different way of walking.
I thought our actual shots were very good though. We decided to stick very close to the classic westerns, with The Good, the Bad and the Ugly being our main inspiration, and as you can tell, we managed to get in many parallels (pictures below).
We did this because almost everybody knows how a shootout goes, and they associate specific things like the close up shots of the eyes and the close up of the hand twitching with a shootout, so by including these in our short film, viewers immediately make the connection and know that this is a shootout over a £5 note.
In general, I found editing the video quite difficult, because I was new to Premiere Pro and had to learn as I went along. Once I had got to grips with all the shortcuts, editing became a lot faster and easier, but I spent a lot of time searching through the software figuring out the layout and where everything was. It does mean that next time I edit a video I understand it better and can spend time adding in more effects like fading out, different transitions between scenes and colour corrections. This will hopefully make it flow better and look higher in quality, which will make it easier to watch and make my editing and music less noticeable.
Something i thought was effective was the way i edited the clips to slowly build up a feeling of tension. I began with wide shots, moving on to mid shots, then close shots and then super close shots of the actors, all the while cutting between them faster and faster. The reason i did this was to mimic the way your heartbeat changes when you are nervous, to try and evoke that same feeling in the viewers, making them expect the release more.
I was also told during feedback that the contrast between light and shadow was good. Harry was standing in direct sunlight while Brad was standing in the shade, and by switching between the shots of them, you get a contrast in light that suggests a contrast in character.
The main problem that both I and the others picked up on was the music. Quite obviously, the music begins and ends too abruptly. The music in a film should blend in and become part of the film so you don’t actively listen to the music separate to what’s going on on the screen. The blunt beginning and end make it stand out and it doesn’t fit in. I should’ve allowed a few beats at the beginning to introduce the characters before going into the western music, and I should’ve faded it out at the end so that you barely hear the music disappearing. This would make it more seamless.
I shouldn’t feel limited to one piece of music, and in future films I should try and use multiple pieces of music to represent different moods,and shouldn’t be afraid to mix up music. In this film, the music I used was very cliche and I tried to fit the film to the music instead of fitting the music to the film, I could have spent more time searching for music and got an array of music types and tried out each one, because it’s always better to have options.