The Rolling Orange: Action Sequence Short Film Test Shoot 18.10.15

The rolling orange test shoot

The brief for this film is to create an action sequence of a ball rolling off a table. The aim for this is to use editing to make it exciting and interesting, so there isn’t really any need for a back-story, or story line in general, meaning that the film will be shorter and potentially more simple than previous ones. This allows us to create the entire film twice, once for a test shoot and once for the final film.

We used this opportunity to check that some of the shots we wanted to use would actually work. For example, we had a couple of tracking and panning shots, and we knew these would be difficult to do because for some we wouldn’t be able to have the tripod to stabalise it, and for others it would be hard to keep up with the orange as it rolls. When it came to the test shoot, we discovered that one tracking shot – a shot that circles the orange in the fruit bowl – wouldn’t work, because the footage was too shaky, so made the decision to swap it for a different one, the very first shot that you see in our screen test. On the other hand, the shot tracking the rolling orange from the side was more successful than we thought, so will be used in the final film. It’s a long shot, which will be useful because we can cut it up and put these clips in multiple times in the film, elongating and emphasizing the time it takes for the orange to roll across the table.

The other way we were going to stretch out the rolling time, was by getting lots of clips of the orange from different angles, and cutting quickly between them. However, the problem with the test shoot was that we didn’t get enough different clips of the orange as it rolls, and the angles we filmed from didn’t have enough variation, meaning that only a couple of seconds of the orange could be edited before it became repetitive and boring to watch. This showed us that we would need to experiment with different shots on the day of filming, and even if some don’t turn out well, we’ll still have a larger selection to choose from.

another, specific issue, was getting the orange to stop at the edge of the table. We had decided during planning to roll the orange backwards from the edge of the table, then reverse the clip, which is what we tried out for this test shoot. But, as you can see from the video, when you reverse it, the oranges movements are too abrupt. Realistically, at the speed it was going at, it wouldn’t have stopped at the end of the table, so when you watch it, you notice it immediately because it looks unnatural. For the final film, we could try this method again, but roll it in a more controlled manner. However, the orange will probably be too hard to control to do that so we will have to try other methods. We could roll the orange by pushing it along from the top and only film the bottom half of it so you can’t see the hand, or possibly, we might have to resort to just rolling the orange over and over and hoping it stops at the edge (not the most efficient method).

This test shoot was very useful, because it meant that I could see our idea as it was actually going to be, rather than trying to picture it in my head. I can use it as a reference when I’m looking for music because I can test out all the music on the film to see what fits. It also means that I can plan out where I’m going to put my sound effects, because I can watch it and see which bits would benefit from them and which wouldn’t. As I’ve said in previous posts, the exaggeration of the sound effects are an important effect that can be found in most action sequences.

This entry was posted in Film 3: Ball Rolling "The Rolling Orange". Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Rolling Orange: Action Sequence Short Film Test Shoot 18.10.15

  1. kendalcollegefilm says:

    Great stuff. You used your test shoot as an opportunity to experiment with the more challenging elements, and successfully then addressed these in your finished piece. Well done—this is exactly what the test shoots are for. Good reflective work here Kitty.


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