Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
Prelim Task from Roam Hamilton on Vimeo.
When I first went out with a camera to film my prelim task I didn't real no anything about film making. We didn't really do any research or preparation.
Our prelim task was basically just showing different key camera shots such as; shot reverse shot, match on action and the 180 degree rule. Compare this to our far superior 2 minute film opening. The key differences are that our film is constructed to a genre, in my case this was the sub-genre Slasher out of the wide Horror genre.
Our production has taken months to construct and their haven been numerous variables to consider when producing this. My prelim on the other hand took about 2 hours! Without research and planning we would genuinely not know the key codes and convention that are in the slasher genre. I personally did loads of research and planning all for the purpose of knowing as much as I could about my chosen genre. This is not trivial. Every single thing included in our film has been a carefully considered choice. It's not random, we are trying to signify many things to our audience, within this we have our preferred reading. We couldn't go out and film until we have done suitable research and planning. This is not just looking at our chosen genre. We had to most importantly plan our FILM IDEA! Research and Planning is surprisingly a lot more time consuming than the actual production and just as important, because if you have good research and planning then you are more likely to show that within your production. Without this you would be going out completely blind into the genre.
Time management is so important while constructing your film. This links into working in a group. Managing your own time is one aspect however when it comes to filming then I have had to organise my group and when you need to get things done and you have to rely on other people it can get incredibly hard. Looking back on the prelim it is amazing how simple it looks but that the time it felt stressful this signifies how much my skills as well as my time management skills have progressed as this is one huge project and it's very easy for some aspects to slip through the cracks.
For our film openings we had to pitch ideas to the rest of the class, we did this so that we could compare each others ideas before appropriately choosing who to work with. I already had an idea of who I was going to do this film with however it was helpful to see what other peoples idea's were which allowed us to create an overall story line from our ideas.
Obviously to make a film you have to have a cast. As a student filmmaker I was limited to casting my friends. It isn't as simple as just asking people though you have to consider representation. We looked at gender and age to make sure they would fit in within our narrative. We wanted to include a 'Scream Queen' within our film which means we had to try and work to the convention that she is an attractive busty blonde sexually active female. We successfully did this. In our prelim casting was not considered because we just acted ourselves.
Mise-en-scene was not a thought during our prelim task however in our film opening it is essential. Mise-en-scene includes; props, costume, locations, set-dressing, lighting etc. every single one of these was carefully considered. The main location was ambitious as it was quite far away in a rural area. Despite the negatives we chose this location because we felt it radiated our genre. Costume is another thing that is very important. You have to consider it carefully as you have to keep this consistent throughout the entire film to avoid continuity errors. We must use mise-en-scene to signify our genre and perhaps provide intertexuality to our audience. Mise-en-scene can connote many different things.
Rough cuts have been vital when producing this opening as they have allowed us gain audience feedback. This is so important to get because if the audience doesn't understand or like the film then it's no good, rough cuts allow the audience to see our film and suggest improvements we then take this feedback and make changes to our film based upon this feedback. We have used Facebook to gather a lot of this feedback. This is a great way to do it as the majority of our friends on Facebook are within our core target audience which means the feedback that is being received we really have to listen to. In our prelim we didn't make any rough cuts we just filmed and then edited.
Creating an original soundtrack for our production was really easy as one of my family friends is a composer. This allowed me to go up and create a superb copywrite free original soundtrack with him. In our prelim we didn't have a soundtrack over our footage. The reason for this is because it was a short task and we didn't feel we needed it. For our opening the importance of a soundtrack is huge as especially in the Slasher genre sound is what creates fear and tension within the audience.
Also we created company idents. This is part of the criteria for our film opening. Once again we didn't do this for our prelim task as we had not thought this through and didn't know how to use the software at this stage.
We all had important roles in our film opening I feel I heavily contributed to every single aspect of the filming project. However I probably produced the film more than anything else. This is why on our film opening one of the titles it says "A Roam Hamilton Production" on the prelim we don't have these titles as once again we didn't have much knowledge of this aspect at this point, plus it was also very mediocre production and had no narrative or genre etc.
Finally working in a group was challenging. I felt my contribution was extremely high compared to other members of the group which can be frustrating because you do have to rely on your group members. This links into time management. Sometimes when we need to film and can't because of some members or cast being busy it can be frustrating. It also includes collaborating with your group and sharing ideas. This can be challenging as you all have different ideas but I think we worked well and I felt I took charge which we needed as at the beginning we weren't communicating which caused confusion. In our prelim task because it was so short a sense of working as a group wasn't really there however I do feel it helped me when coming to work in a serious group to produce this film opening.
This is my final cut.