This is where I will collate all of the information I’ve gathered so far to get a solid idea of what my final film is going to be. Up until now I’ve been struggling to picture my film in my head so it’s important for me to write everything down that I’ve said on previous blog posts and that’s been in my head so I can get a better idea of the layout.
Basic film outline
I’ve written a monologue expressing my anger at how we humans treat the world. The narrator is male and middle-aged, chosen because he has a voice that carries well and has good pronunciation that is easy to understand. The monologue is there to tie all the different shots together and make it an actual ‘film’ instead of just a sequence of stand-along clips, so clarity is important.
The shots that go with it will be a variety of wide sweeping shots and close intricate shots of nature. In-among these shots will be ones of man-made objects, interrupting the fresh colours and peaceful aura of nature and providing contrast. In my research for Sober, I talked about how the change in tone of the film was reflected in the visuals, because the contrasting shots of the guy before his lifestyle change and after it were slowly mixed together as the film progressed, blurring the line between them. The contrast between urban and nature in my film will be shown in a similar way, with the human shots beginning to be introduced as the tone of the monologue changes ( the line starting, “And yet…” marks the change) .
My focus for this film has been the visual side of it, as I am trying to better my camera knowledge and become more confident at setting up interesting shots. The majority of my inspiration for this has come from the film ‘Edgeland’.
As you can see, the composition of all of these shots is very good and I’ve been exploring how to put together a visually appealing shot. The basics are to make sure that there is something interesting in all parts of the frame. Large areas of blank space are a waste of frame space, and can mean the focus point of the shot is not clear. A simple way to make a shot more appealing is to avoid having something in the centre of frame, but to instead lie anything you want to be the main focus on the lines of the grid on your camera screen. A good example is the picture in the middle above. Even though the cairn is to one side, your attention is still immediately drawn to it. Because I want to try my hand at composition, I’m avoiding telling any kind of story with my shots, instead having my film be a sequence of stand alone shots that compliment the monologue.
Locations and shots
Here are images of the three locations I have chosen to go to film. Unlike all of my previous films, I have not drawn up a shot list or storyboard for my film. The thing about nature is it’s always changing and there’s always something new to look at. One landscape can present an entirely different scene depending on the weather, the time of day you go, and the time of year. When I did my forest test shoot, I hadn’t gone in with much of a plan, and some of my favourite shots were the more unexpected ones, like the shot of the bug on the tub. There would be no way to plan that, it all relies on spontaneous filming. Therefore I don’t want to constrict myself by planning out my shots, and instead I’m following advice taken from the blog entry by Mu Lin “Sequence and Variety Shooting in Video Storytelling” . In it, she mentions two things that are of interest. The first is the idea of shooting in the ratio 25:25:50, meaning the shots you get in one shooting session at one location should consist of 25% wide shots, 25% mid shots and 50% close shots. This is the best way to ensure that you get a good variety of shots so that when you edit you’re not forced to put three wide shots in a row. The second interesting part is the five shot rule. This rule is meant to be used for when you’re interviewing someone,
A closeup on the hands of a subject – showing WHAT is happening
A closeup on the face – WHO is doing it
A wide shot – WHERE it’s happening
An over the shoulder shot (OTS) – linking together the previous three concepts
An unusual, or side/low shot – providing story-specific context
However it can still be useful and adaptive for any sequences you are shooting. At every location I will get at least five shots: three close shots, one wide shot and one unusual and slightly abstract shot. I can also get varieties of each of these shots, so for one shot I could get a still one, a panning one, and I could also alter the setting slightly to get different lighting. This just ensures that I have a wide variety of shots to pick from so, once again, I’m not constricted and forced to use a shot simply because there weren’t enough.
Although there is no shot list, there are two shots that I have already decided on. The first is at location three, the beach, and I mentioned it in a previous post. It is of the large round buoy that sits on the shoreline. I think the fact that it is shaped like the Earth but is made of man-made rubber perfectly sums up the point of my video and is a great symbol to have in there.
The second shot is at location one, the fell and once again I’ve talked about it previously. I want to film the sun setting behind the mountain and speed it up during editing so you can actually watch the light slowly disappear. In Sober, the man’s positive change in attitude is represented by the rising sun, so I want to do the opposite in my film and have the setting sun be a foreshadowing of what is to come if we carry on ruining the planet. The shot would go at the very end before it cuts to black to really emphasize this point.
This is everything that I can plan. Specific shots won’t be known until shooting day, music will be found on Soundcloud as soon as shooting is done, and a title will be made during editing.