Question 6: What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?
AS Media – Evaluation Questions & Answers
At the beginning of the course we mainly looked into different opening sequences like Natural Born Killers, Monsters and Iron Sky taking into consideration the different aspects within these films e.g. Mise en Scene, Genre, Characterisation, Ideology and the narrative. We researched these topics for these films and did short essays to get us thinking about what an opening sequence (ultimately a movie) would need to be successful, whether they are low budget companies like Monsters or Hollywood films like Avatar. This helped us to understand what we had to do to get the top grades for our own opening sequence. I was then told to go and research some of my own opening sequences from real movies to further develop my understanding of what movies and opening sequences need. When watching the movies I not only looked out for the topics listed above, I also looked at the edits, sound effects and the sound added. music, diegetic and non-diegetic sound
The Editing Software
I was very new to the editing software we had to use for the editing process Final Cut Pro, at first not only did I find it a challenge to use but I was also a slow learner as I had to get my head around the whole editing process. However, once I understood what it was and how to do it I was fine and I found it really enjoyable then I began to edit the footage relatively confidently, the worst part about it was that it took up so much time that it was hard to get everything perfect ready for the deadline. Using this software I have learnt many different skills that I never knew how to do, though I had never heard of the software before. I learnt how to import and edit footage by cutting it down, making it longer or completely deleting it from the footage. I also learnt how to effectively add music to my footage both from the internet and from the pre-recorded songs on Final Cut Pro, this helped my efficiently use all of the resources available in order to correctly find the right track for our sequence and one we believed fit it properly.
This was the biggest thing within our sequence was the editing that was done to the sequence to give it the correct feel and mood throughout. As our genre was an Action Thriller I believed that we needed a brighter more vibrant filter that would give the sequence life, instead of a darker more dingy filter that would commonly be used for horrors. The filters we used were more about the aesthetics than lighting and we didn’t use the filters to full effect as we colour corrected them so that they gave the sequence a better and more natural feel than one that had been changed too much. Furthermore, I kept the sequence transitions relatively simple and ensures that they fit in well with the whole sequence, title sequence and ultimately the aesthetics of the film. I had them cut fast to the next shot I only added a cross dissolve on one shot that I thought it was necessary to give it a better feel. The title sequence that we incorporated was also very simple, we did plan on adding motion tracking but was unable to do this due to time restraints.
I have added an image below showcasing our work with added soundtrack, sound effects, filters and titles and imported footage within the software called Final Cut Pro.
Below is an image that shows all of the footage and edits made to our final piece on the software Final Cut Pro and the image below that illustrates all of our imported footage, sound effects, soundtracks and images.
This research helped me and my group to choose the type of genre we wanted to create for our opening sequence as we knew what these genres would include which helped us to deliver these features properly. During the creation of my final piece I decided to review movies of the same or similar genres to see what it was we actually had to incorporate into our sequence, I also found directors commentary where he basically talks about the movie, its creation and what they wanted to create.
I took a number of different aspects into consideration before I began editing the sequence mainly the sound effects and soundtrack. As we were creating an Social Realism/ Action Thriller we wanted to ensure that we had a soundtrack that really fit well into the sequence and give the same feel to the sequence as we intended, so for me choosing the correct soundtrack was a priority over everything else. I also spent a lot of time looking for some pre-made sound effects that were going to be used within the sequence, like a gun cocking sound and gunshot. I used my experience and jolted my memory to get the right sound effects by watching some of my favourite Action Thriller movies again and writing down what I heard and what I thought that we could also use in our sequence. When I listened to our sequence without sound it really didn’t have the same feel, so I was stuck on adding the smallest sounds into the sequence to make it feel more real. This includes sound effects like footsteps and the opening and closing of doors and we did originally plan on recording these through foley. however, when we listened back through the sequence we believed that much of the sound could be heard without going to the extent of foley to make it sound better, so I just turned the sound up slightly.
In terms of the construction of our opening sequence there was a lot to consider and there was a lot that was to be done in order for us to achieve our initial aims and to meet the expectations from our teachers. The first thing we took into account was the camera and other equipment not only did I learn what all of the different pieces of equipment is but I also learnt how to use them effectively, especially the camera and editing software. When filming our opening sequence I effectively learnt what the different features of the Nikon DSLR and what they do to the footage being shot e.g. aperture, focusing, low depth of field and wide depth of field etc. We used a Nikon DSLR camera for the filming of our opening sequence.
At first I got confused with all of the options and the different features that were included but once I found out the first time… I never forgot. I recorded the footage confidently as I already knew a lot of the other aspects as I have used a DSLR before but only for taking photographs not filming, this meant I already knew about the aperture and focusing because I knew that if you zoom the camera in or out you would also have to alter the focus to match the zoom or the footage would come out blurry. I am happy with the footage that I produced during the filming of the opening sequence as it was crisp and clean and I would definitely love to do anymore filming in the future as I thought it was the most fun part whilst creating the whole opening sequence.