Lecture 2 – Equipment Introduction

Camera + Drink = Bad Film

For our second lecture in DVP the group was divided up into several smaller groups of four or four, and given a camera with which we were tasked to create a short film.  The restrictions on the film where that there was to be no editing and the film had to be shot without any breaks.

The group I was assigned to was a four man team including Alex, Katherine and Gareth. We decided that as we where students tasked with making a student film, the best place to film would be in the student union, so we took our camera and went filming!

To begin with we had no real plan other than to experiment with the equipment, but soon after getting to the union a vague idea had taken form, and that idea was to buy a drink!  “How?” we all thought, “could a student film be made in a pub without us having a drink as well?”  and from that we formed the idea of Alex disappearing into his drink.

We quickly set up roles within the group, myself on camera, Katherine on sound and Gareth and Alex as the actors.  As the union is an incredibly noisy place, even at the time of day we where shooting, we decided that a music track over the top of the video would work better than the assorted garble of pub chatter.  The jukebox was in full swing so we decided that we could hang a microphone next to one of the speakers and cut out all other sound.  One of the main issues with this technique is that as soon as we paused the camera for the first time, the sound would then jump on the tape to the point where we started recording again, and seeing as we where not allowed to edit the film at all, we had to record the sound so that it was diegetic, instead of adding it after like I would have prefered.

The camera work was very basic also, as we had only the natural lighting in the union to work with, and as there are a lot of light and dark areas contrasting against each other we had to place the camera in a dark area and record the acting in a light area, which gave an odd feeling to the film.  Another issue was that the filming was very static, using only a small amount of zoom, pan and tilt, which made the film feel amateur and visually uninteresting.  A third issue was my amateur camera work, which caused sharp jerky movements when I tried to pan and tilt as well as general small amounts of camera shake.

After all these issues were dealt with or at least put up with, we managed to get some decent filming done, and created a successful if rather rushed piece of film.  If I was to do this exercise again I would have to plan it far better as filming impromptu as we did meant that the film was uninteresting.  I did however enjoy working with my group, we seemed to assign roles quickly and with no resentment or conflict, and our group worked well together, all adding ideas into the pot and listening to other people too.  If only all group work could be as smooth as this.

On the Banks of the Union

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About opinionatedalex

Less opinionated than one might think.
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