Exercise Movie

Brief

“A woman walks up to a bench and sits beside a man. The woman is eating sandwiches and feeding pigeons. The man falls asleep beside her and leans over her handbag, trapping it. The woman blows up a paper bag and bangs it, waking the man up and freeing her bag. She takes her bag and runs off”

In-keeping with the tradition of this task, recreate this sequence as a small team using the equipment you have booked out.

Reflections

The process of discussing our ideas for this sequence, planning our shoot, setting up on location and getting all of our shots took less than 2 hours. This is quite a dramatic restriction for our first time through this process as a group, which is reflected somewhat in the results although I am largely pleased with them.

One of our early decisions was to focus on the action itself more than the characters portraying it. This is partly because we didn’t expect to pull off great acting between us and wanted to maintain a level of ambiguity that gave us each a range of scope in the editing process. In practice, shooting mostly out of focus was somewhat limiting, although with more camera practice we may have achieved the desired effect of having the subjects slightly out of focus with a clear background. At this level, it’s worth considering how much easier this would have been to achieve in post-production but I am curious about how to effectively use certain kinds of physical camera techniques.

The editing of the sequence was fairly straight-forward and soon thereafter we were asked to consider what sound we would add to the short film. I opted for some incidental music I was working on speculatively, making this something of a mood piece with selected Foley effects, mostly to highlight the narrative during close-up shots. Interestingly, I found that it was quite easy to use quite abstract sounds to convincingly portray the sounds I was looking for. The low level ambient sounds were recorded separately, the crisp packet rustling is actually a treatment of the sound of a stack of magazines being rifled through. It’s hard to know where to stop with sound creation and I think that line must always be a stylistic decision.

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