Here is the first edit I made of my film.
The first part of this I focused on was the audio. I wanted to follow the style of Edgeland and time my cuts to the music, so I spent a while on Soundcloud trying to find music that stayed fairly consistent throughout with distinctive beats in it and wouldn’t be too distracting from the words but would still be able to convey the serious tone of the message of the film. I ended up using a track called ‘Solemn’ but decided that I needed sharper beats to make my edit stronger, so I added in a lot of the drum beats you can hear to give me some more cutting points for my edit.
I was advised by my tutor that the music maybe made the film a little too grand and bordered on cliche, which I agree with. I make some big statements in the monologue which on their own are okay, but the music tips it over the edge. I decided to keep the music the same however, because I liked the way it builds up to a crescendo and then drops off suddenly at the end. It fits nicely with the pace of the monologue.
As you can tell from the amount of title cards I had to use as fillers, I wildly underestimated the amount of shots I would need. Even with three locations, following the five shot rule and the 25: 25: 50 ratio I took from this blog, I still didn’t have enough variety to be able to fill the entire two minutes with shots. After watching it through with the shots I had managed to fit in, I realised how much green there was. The leaves and grass overwhelm the film and it runs the risk of each shot being too similar and boring to watch. This is why I added in all these extra shots, where the main focus is incredibly industrial. I desperately needed something to break up the nature shots a bit better, and although my original idea had been to introduce the man made objects and structures into the film gradually, I think the sudden cut to them from the beach shot will be much more effective at showing contrast. By cutting to three industrial shots one after the other, you are giving the humans a strong presence immediately in the film, showing how big of a threat they are to nature.
The shotlist I have drawn up is as follows:
- sunrise shots
- single tree in a carpark/ against brick wall
- shot by busy road watching the wheels of all the cars go across the screen
- shot of chimney with smoke
- wide shot of Kimberly Clark
- steam rising from Kimberly Clark chimney
- crack in wall/ pavement
- wide shot of Barrow as seen from the dunes at Roanhead
- sunset shot
A lot of these shots will include various shades of grey and brown, which will hopefully give the viewers eyes a break from the green. However, I don’t think cutting nature out completely is right. In my test shoot, even when I was filming the human objects I still made sure to get some part of nature in, whether it was in the foreground or the background. It may be a good idea to do this for these shots as well, for example, when I find a crack in a pavement I could try and find one that has grass or a flower growing out of it, and when I get a shot of a chimney with smoke I could have part of a tree in the corner of the frame. It can be very subtle, but if I do it for each shot it may make the line between the two less harsh, making it easier to cut between the original shots and these new shots.
Here is the second edit I made. All gaps in the sequence have been filled in with shots and a title and credits have been added. It’s not quite finished but getting there, and I believe the next edit will be the last. A couple of the new shots I added in work really well, like the first and last shot, however there are some that don’t quite fit.
I really like the cut from the grass waving at the beach to the grass waving behind the barbed wire. It feels a lot like a before and after shot, and encapsulates the meaning of the monologue. However the shot after, of the tree against the wall, takes away from this and dulls down the impact.
While the shot of barbed wire is clearly meant to be grey, rusted and unpleasant and representing the human world, the shot of the tree straight after confuses this message slightly. The way the sunlight falls on the tree is pretty and the building behind it is a beautiful red brick house with blue doors, which all adds up to an aesthetically pleasing shot. This contradicts not only the shot before it but also the words in the monologue. It then means that the shot of the factory straight after seems out of place, even though it should fit in.
I feel like even with these new shots in, the comparison of human and nature is still not obvious enough, which is why I’ve decided to add even more shots in and replace some of the current shots. I’ve drawn up another quick shotlist to focus my mind on the kind of shots I need:
- Closer shot of steam coming from Kimberly Clark chimney
- close shot of peeling paint
- close shot of rusting metal
- shot of the old deteriorating building by the scrapyard in ulverston
- (another close shot, as yet undecided)
If there’s one thing I definitely do like in my film, it’s the title. I did have a small dilemma with it, trying to decide if I should add a shadow behind the letters or not.
As you can see, the shadow is very subtle, and is only there to add slightly more dimension to the words so they stand out a bit more. I had matched the colour of the words to the colour of the mountains and worried they may get lost in the frame if there was no shadow. I like how this looks and the title is definitely clearer, however everything else in the frame is so flat and almost looks like a painting, meaning that that the title looks out of place.
I feel I’ve made the right decision with keeping it flat. If you look at the mountain range beneath the words, you can see that each mountain is very flat and solid in colour with clean lines. Without the shadow, the text mirrors that a lot better and fits in with the rest of the shot more. The colour compliments the shot well. If it was plain white or black like a lot of my titles have been in the past it would be too harsh, whereas this colour blends in nicely whilst still allowing the words to stand out from the colour of the sky.
The finished film along with a full and detailed evaluation of it shall be posted as part of my final major evaluation.