It’s interesting for me to look back on all my previous projects and think about how I’ve changed. In the beginning I was so unaware of how complex the world of film was, how many different individual roles there are and how they all interlock to form the finished product. When I started, I could see no further than the technology. I was more worried about figuring out the editing software and holding the camera steady, too busy trying to tell a story that I never thought about whether I was telling it well or not.
From what little experience I’ve had filming, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned the importance of teamwork and the benefits of making your voice heard in your team, because in the beginning I was fine with letting others make decisions, but after finding my voice I noticed that I became happier with the content I was putting out because I could see my input in them. I’ve also learned to always ask “why”. No camera angles or edits should be done for the sake of it, I must be able to justify my actions and say why I did something.
The more research I’ve done, the more films I’ve watched and the deeper I’ve analysed them, the more I’ve started to realise the importance of cinematography to me. Looking closely at films to see how lighting, props, people and landscape are used to aid the story has been inspiring for me and is what has led me to researching director David Lynch for this project, who is well respected in the industry for his striking visual storytelling and quirky individual style.
During this project I will be researching in detail the work of David Lynch, and using this information to create a film inspired in some way by my research. I was drawn to Lynch because his imagery is very strong, and the way he sets up his shots appeals to me. He is able to mix the surreal with the ordinary seamlessly, and I’ve also noticed that the shots themselves are rich with colour, which is something that I would like to express in the film I’m planning on creating based on this project. Because I’m focusing more on image and mis en scene, my final piece is not likely to have any kind of storyline, no obvious beginning, middle, or end. It will be more of an exploration of the visual aspect of film, like a moving painting. I want to try and create an “experience” which is clearly Lynchian whilst still standing on it’s own.
I feel I will be mostly using his films ‘Mulholland Dr.’ and ‘Blue Velvet’ during my research because their colouring is complex and interesting, and I will be able to take lots of stills from the films to analyse the way he set up, lit, and colour corrected the scenes to affect the mood and tell the story. I may also take some inspiration from one of his earliest films ‘Eraserhead’, because despite it being in black and white, it is known as being one of his most unique and interesting films, so I’m sure in there will be some striking scenes in there that properly show Lynch’s own style. Getting to know the director as a person, the way he thinks, acts and sees the world may also help me understand his films better, so I will make sure to watch interviews of him to actually listen to him talk about his work. Finally, it will be useful for me to find some secondary research to help me, such as video essays and documentaries that people have made about him. Getting another person’s in-depth point of view will allow me to discover the way others see him and look at his work in a way that I may not have otherwise.
Research, planning, test shots and actual shooting will all need to be evaluated separately as I go along. I will write up any changes I make in posts on my blog. By writing about everything I do I am making myself question all my decisions and prove that what I am doing is relevant to the project, and showing my workflow will mean I can explain how I got inspiration to make my final film. At the end of the project I will sum up all my work in one big evaluation, to collect all the information into one place and make links between it all.
Project Action Plan and Timetable
Week one – reasearch
- analyse lighting techniques in Lynch’s film ‘Blue Velvet’
- read online articles & watch interviews relating to Blue Velvet
- storyboard a scene from Blue Velvet to use as a test shoot (do over weekend, after analysing film)
Week two – research/test shoots
- analyse lighting in Lynch’s film ‘Mulholland Drive’
- location scout and cast the scene recreation test shoot (Monday morning)
- film the test shoot (Monday afternoon or Wednesday morning)
- edit and evaluate test shoot (Thursday)
Week three – planning
- review research and pull key details to use in final film
- come up with multiple ideas for potential films – bullet point, create moodboards and draw potential shots (Monday – Wednesday)
- finalise idea and storyboard (Thursday)
- location scout (Thursday and Friday)
- crewing and casting (Thursday)
- Health and Safety if needed
Week four – shooting/ editing
- shoot film (Monday – Wednesday)
- begin editing film (Thursday)
Week five – editing/ evaluating
- finsish editing clips together
- colour correct
- evaluate the past five weeks