Lecture 3 – Planning a Scene

Cup o Tea Film

Lecture three, our tasks were given to us with two weeks to be completed.  Our tasks where:

  • Plan a sequence of steps for making a cup of tea.
  • Film each step of the tea making process.
  • Transfer the moving image onto a Mac and edit the movie to create the final film.

Before beginning any of these tasks groups were decided upon, mine consisted of Rachel, Oli and myself.  Seeing as both me and Oli live outside of the campus we decided to film in Rachel’s student house.  We got there and made a list of all the steps required in making a cuppa. These are:

  • Initial shot/Scene setting
  • Pick up kettle
  • Move to tap
  • Put kettle under tap and turn tap on
  • Turn tap off
  • Replace kettle on base
  • Turn kettle on
  • Fetch a mug from the cupboard
  • Put a teabag in a mug
  • Get milk from fridge
  • Put boiling water in mug
  • Pour milk into mug
  • Stir tea

We worked out that these where the minimum steps required for making a film about a cup of tea, however there will be far more shots required than these listed.  We got right down to it as soon as we could and went to the media centre to grab ourselves a camera so that we could begin filming.  I was not the only one to be excited at being let loose in creating and especially editing our own film.

As Pik was to be the star of our Tea film (apart from a small cameo roles from my right arm), me and Oli decided to take it in turns filming, so that we would have multiple copies of the same shot, and then when it came to editing we could choose which looked better.  This took time as we both had fairly different ideas on how we wanted to shoot the shots, and setting up each shot took twice as long due to our alterations.  However we eventually got the filming done and made a new cup of tea in victory celebration, before returning to the Mac lab to transfer the film onto the computer.

Working as part of a group was interesting within this project as the two group members I was with were also friends, which was good for actually enjoying the project however it made creative differences more difficult, although thankfully there were few and easily sorted.  This was not my frist time working with a group of friends on a project and I was starting to see that it could become a problem for me.  I enjoy working with other people however I struggle if there isn’t assigned roles and someone set in charge (director) as especially with friends, creative differences don’t get solved because no body wants to annoy a mate, and therefore issues appear with the film.  Not only that but I take on a lot of work when I really get into a project and it’s not fair to expect the same amount of commitment from other people, and being put in charge would mean that I become someone unpleasant, demanding more than people are willing to give, which is unfair.

The post it note method of planning was interesting and fairly effective, as it forced me to think of the stages prior to everything else, and also allowed for them to be written down and rearranged in sequence if needed, which I found fantastic as I often add in other things as I go.  This also allowed the order of events to change according to preference, either while being shot or as far ahead as in editing.  This technique for planning was interesting and useful, although im not sure if I would use it in the future, not because I dislike it but simply because it’s a fair amount of effort to even find post it notes.

Sequence Analysis

During the editing stage of our Tea Total movie, I was influenced heavily by a scene from Shaun of the Dead.  The scene is about 5 minutes into the film and consists of a few very fast shots of everyday morning routine, such as getting milk from the fridge, spreading jam on toast and pouring hot water into a mug.  These shots are all only at most onscreen for a second and they all have very specific but noticable sound effects, even the pouring of the water, far louder than it would naturally be.  The fast moving camera and interesting sound effects keep the audience interested as well as creating a comedy feel to the scene.  This gave me the idea to create our tea film with the same punchy fast shots. 

After editing the footage into what I hoped was a similar technique to Shaun of the Dead I was fairly pleased with the result, allthough I think the effect works better on a shorter scene and with a smaller amount of shots, however I tried to counter this by splitting up the film into two halfs with a really long and slow single shot in the middle, hopefully creating the effect of boredom and time slowing.

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About opinionatedalex

Less opinionated than one might think.
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