UAL Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media (Unit 8) Evaluation
Number of words: approx. 750
|Student name: Joseph Devlin
Critically evaluate a media project against the agreed requirements and parameters.
In my proposal, I said that I would make a paranormal/ horror film. I was going to use a product that Amazon made called Alexa which is an AI that you can speak to, or tell it to do something, for example, turn on the lights etc. I wanted this product to be the thing that would become possessed and terrorize the teenager. From this I wanted to see whether I could scare an audience. However, this is not what I ended up with. I finally ended up with a trailer instead of a whole film because, during editing, I just couldn’t seem to get a clear story across and I thought it was quite long and boring. By making a trailer I managed to make a clear story and made it more interesting to watch.
My proposal was quite ambitious as I had to create a story which people could understand and follow, but also keep it short and interesting to watch. I shortened my proposal as it was too complicated and long to read, so I simplified it.
I explored a lot of primary research in order to find out what people’s reactions were like when they watched a scary film. This was helpful, l as I knew what they were likely to get scared about. loud noises such as a door slamming would make them jump, atmospheric sounds that build up tension would make them tense, because they knew that something would happen.
Secondary research consisted of finding movies that had the same theme as mine, creating a story of something being possessed. Doing this research gave me a better understanding of what I needed to include in the video and also how to create an understandable story. I went on YouTube to research and learn on how to use a camera stabilizer, as this would help stop the shakiness in the filming process.
I used websites that had pictures and instructions in them so I could see what they were talking about and could reference them in my work.
I had a good understanding of what I needed to do to make my film and I think my research was thorough and I had done enough to help me through the project.
One are that I could have improved on was the use of lighting and II should have researched on this more. Whilst filming I had trouble trying to see what was in shot and I couldn’t see if it was in focus or not. By researching lighting, it would have benefited me, as it would have made shots a lot clearer and aesthetically pleasing.
|3 Development of ideas:
My biggest development was when I decided to turn my film into a trailer. By doing this it allowed me to develop the story I wanted to get across and it also allowed me to experiment with different sounds and music, to make it more dramatic and interesting. I also changed the story from what it was originally. I did this because it didn’t have much structure and didn’t really connect the film together. Whilst writing the script the original story evolved and gave it more structure and made it clearer to follow.
I thought my ideas on making a horror film were quite well thought out and planned, however when it came to filming, I had very little time to film in the day as my parents were in the house where I was filming. I was trying not to disturb them. My actor had to be home for a certain time so there was some pressure around time. I needed her when it was dark but with still some light. That time never came until 9:00pm, so trying to film with limited light was very hard and therefore when it came to editing the shots that I got, it just didn’t seem to fit together. My actor was anxious to go home.
I kept my timetable fairly closely for the research and planning as I still had the same story in mind. Regarding my filming there was a lot that I changed. I didn’t really stick to the storyboard as some of the shots were quite hard to create, or they just didn’t seem that good enough.
I planned out my time very well but I didn’t stick to it, as there were some problems for example, days that my actor couldn’t make it, days when the house wasn’t free to use and equipment not turning up on time.
My action plan wasn’t very successful as the filming, and all the planning that went with it, couldn’t help the fact that my actor couldn’t do some of the days.
YouTube was the most useful link as it had videos on how to use a camera stabilizer. I also found that the website “free sounds” allowed me to pick what sounds and music I wanted in my trailer.
When I decided to tell people that I was making a trailer instead, they thought it was a good idea. They agreed that watching a film that didn’t have a clear story to it would confuse them and it wouldn’t make the film interesting enough. I also got a similar answer from my teacher and they had watched a rough cut of the film. They thought that it was quite confusing and boring.
I didn’t add any new links or references to my original proposal, as there wasn’t anything new that I needed to learn to help me. I knew exactly what to do with my trailer. I knew what sounds I wanted and how I wanted it to look.
It is important to look at other film makers work because they can give you ideas for your own work and they can help you adapt your own project. The things I would be looking at are the types of shots they used and other techniques which could help me improve the quality of my work
Filming and editing were the biggest problems that I faced when making my film. I decided to film everything that was in one location all at once, as this saved time and valuable light. During editing I decided to make a trailer, so this shortened the time of my video, which meant I could re-shoot stuff or shoot some new stuff if necessary.
I also found out that trying to film on a certain day is very unpredictable as actors may not be able to make it, or equipment is ready for use. The camera stabilizer that I purchased didn’t arrive on time.
I have learnt to make sure to set up the equipment properly first and select the right settings for the conditions, otherwise it could mess up a shot and that means re-shooting and wasting time. These issues affected me as filming took longer than it should have so editing was a bit of a rush to complete.
|6 Development of skills:
It was my first time using a camera stabilizer so I have learnt how to use it correctly and what shots look good when using it. I have also learnt about the struggles of filming in the dark and how to overcome this by using certain lighting.
When I decided to make a horror film, I thought it would be easy, as people say they are easy to create. However, it takes a lot more than just creating a scary atmosphere; there must be a clear story which the audience can follow. I have found that doing plenty of research helps in creating ideas and learning new skills which I can then develop through the production of a project.
I would say my outcome of my trailer went well as I have created a clear story in which the audience can follow and understand. I think the sound design for the trailer was quite good as it builds up suspense.
If I was to do it again I would ask people to read the script first and see if they understand it. I would plan my time schedule better when it comes to filming and follow the storyboard as this will guide me on what to shoot and what camera movements I should do.
I think the original storyline was good however it took too long to fully understand, hence why I made the trailer. If I did it again I would change the storyline so that it’s short and easy to follow.
I think my biggest strength was planning and research because at the time I knew exactly what I was doing and when I was doing it. I am most happy about the Fake News scene where I used the green screen, it looked like a actual real news report. I feel the audio was quite successful and the colour grading. I got good feedback from other students about my trailer. The most significant weakness was when it came to filming, I didn’t follow the storyboard and I didn’t stick to the time.
My trailer communicates my concept and theme clearly and it is what I wanted from the beginning, although I would have liked to have made a whole film. However, I am pleased with the final outcome as a trailer is a good way to keep an audience engaged.
In future, my projects would be a lot better than this one as I will have a solid script to work from. I will also improve on the skills that I’ve learnt from this project and incorporate them in my work. Filming would be more considered. I would follow the storyboard and I would take more time on filming and more time on editing so that the final video would look professional.
I have learnt to take more time in both production and post production as these are the most important when creating a film. I also have the realisation that things don’t always go the way I want and that I have to be adaptable and make the best of what happens. It is good to have a backup plan.
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