The Rolling Orange: Short Film Evaluation 22.10.15

Short Film – The Rolling Orange

Filming

I’d say our filming day went very well, and there was only one real problem. We’d already filmed our entire storyboard for our test shoot the week before, on that day, all our shots seemed to go as planned and we got every one in one or two takes. It meant that when we filmed it the second time, we were constantly comparing it to the test shoot. We couldn’t get the orange to roll in the same way, we had to use a different fruit bowl which we didn’t like as much. This threw us off a bit and we took longer to get the shots we wanted,because we were never as happy with the shots we got, so the day didn’t run as smoothly. The reason we managed to get through it anyway was because of our storyboard.

storyboard p1storyboard p2

I’d learnt from the last film I did that a storyboard can be very important for filming, and that was definitely true for this one. Our board was very clearly laid out thanks to the pre-printed boxes, and each box had the corresponding shot from our shot list written underneath so you knew exactly what each picture was. Because of this, it meant that even though our filming felt a little disjointed, we never got lost or forgot any shots, because we always had it to refer back to. Also, anyone from our group could pick up the storyboard and shoot one of the clips, because each shot was clear and easy to see. I’m definitely going to use a storyboard for future films.

The other thing that helped us get through the filming day was the fact that our group worked well together. Nobody was afraid to speak up an it meant that lots of ideas were shared all the way through pre-production and filming. Our film benefited from this because new ideas came up that made it into the final film, such as the pan shots of the orange as it balances on the end. These shots were a good idea because in the test film, it was difficult to tell that the orange was at the end of the table and very little time was spent on that, so it almost became irrelevant. In the final film, the pans create the suspenseful pause that we wanted, and highlighted this moment in the film, showcasing the precarious situation. This ability to share ideas also helped solve the problem we had had in the test shoot. We had failed to get a wide enough range of shots to edit together of the orange rolling during the test. For the final film, we all put ideas forward for possible extra shots, and this meant that we ended up with more than enough shots to edit with.

One issue we struggled to fix, was the orange stopping on the edge of the table. As we discovered in the test shoot, reversing a clip of it rolling away from the table doesn’t work, so instead we had to try other methods.

orange @ edge of table

We stuck a lollipop stick into the back of the orange and attempted to use that to roll it across the table. While it did give us control, the stick was visible in every take we did, although had we had more time and patience we may have eventually got it to work. We instead opted for the trial and error method of rolling it over and over until we eventually got it to stop on the edge. This was very time consuming but ended up being the easiest way.

Editing

I started out strongly with the editing, so I am personally pleased with how the film begins. I feel that the way the music and image fit together works well, especially the moment when the orange falls out of the fruit bowl. I decided to fade the action music in, which I think works well because the crescendo in the music fits in time with the orange falling, which creates suspense that leads into the beginning of the action. I feel the same way about the pause as the orange balances on the edge of the table. The shots change in time with the beats in the music, which emphasises this moment in the film. As you feel the tension rise with each beat, you’re expectant of something to happen, and this was the effect I was trying to create, because I had seen it during my research in films like The Untouchables and really liked the effect it had.

I am proud of the way the film turned out, although there are moments that stand out to me every time I watch it. When the orange is rolling, the cuts are very quick, which does give the rushed feeling that I was trying to create, but I struggled to line the shots up properly. I found it difficult to make it look like the orange was rolling in a continuous straight line, so when you watch it, it feels a bit like it jumps back and forth, which is disorientating and hard to follow. I think to fix this problem I could have mixed up long and short shots, to stretch out the time, without needing to edit as many clips together.

An unexpected problem that I ran in to were sound effects. Throughout this process I have always stressed the importance of the sound effects being exaggerated, and I planned to incorporate this into my own film. I wanted the orange rolling to sound like a boulder rolling, as I liked that in this scene from Indiana Jones, the rumbling sound of the boulder mixes with the music, adding another layer and intensifying the sound to increase the sense of panic. It turns out that finding a sound effect of a boulder (or any heavy ball-shaped object) rolling is actually very difficult, and I ended up running out of time to add any sound effect to the orange rolling. Looking back, I could have possibly used the sound of rolling thunder instead, for example this. Another sound that I found surprisingly hard to find, was a thud for the orange hitting the floor. Any bouncing ball sound effect was too high pitched and fast, and because the clip was in slow motion, I wanted the bounce to sound really heavy and deep. Again, looking back, I could possibly have used the sound of a bass drum beat instead. What I learnt from this is that sometimes when looking for a specific sound, you have to use sound effects that might not seem to have any link to the clip to get the sound you want.

Final Thoughts

Despite the few hiccups that I faced with this film, I am quite happy with the finished result, and it has taught me many lessons about filming. For example, the benefit of lots of planning, and how a simple storyboard can make life so much easier. Also that it is important to do some preparation after you have filmed to make editing easier. If I’d have given myself time to think about the sound effects, I would have realised in time that some effects are impossible to find and I could’ve looked for replacements instead.

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One Response to The Rolling Orange: Short Film Evaluation 22.10.15

  1. kendalcollegefilm says:

    Outstanding as always, Kitty—well done. I think the only thing you’ve missed is in the edit—for me, the shots of you walking to kick the table are a little too short and mistimed. I appreciate you’ve cut them to the music, which is a strong strategy, but I think if you’d given them a little more space, you might have ratcheted the drama up a notch—as we already know the orange is on the edge—but the table kick is the new information, and could do with a little more time. Otherwise—excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

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