Preliminary Task Evaluation

Before I can completely move on from my Preliminary task, I will evaluate it fully. 

We had to create a short clip that fits the following requirements:

"Continuity task involving filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. This task should demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule."

Overall I found that this task was a real learning curve. I have filmed small things in the past, but never with dialogue, or with detailed knowledge of all three rules. Therefore I found that it can be hard to position the camera correctly so that the dialogue does not jump around, and you really have to go into detailed specifics of each shot to get it perfect. 

Before this task I had never used a proper video camera before nor a professional tripod. I found these fairly easy to use, I just needed to make sure that the camera was recording the moment I said 'action' because otherwise you can loose vital beginning seconds (for example I did not catch the very first moments of my subject opening the door). The tripod was harder to pan than I thought, and you really need to concentrate and move your whole body to ensure that the pan goes smoothly and not slow then fast, but after a few tries I managed this. Lastly, editing. I am not completely new to iMovie, however I am new to continuity editing. For example in the shot reverse shot I had to cut it exactly to match the dialogue, and the match on action also took some careful and precise cutting to ensure continuity, which took a few tries. At first, my match on action did not 'look right' because I cut it too early, but then after fiddling around I managed to get it as perfect as I could. 

When filming my Preliminary task, I did refer to my storyboard as much as I could. I found it very helpful to have the storyboard with me as it helped me visualise the shots and ensure that they agreed with the 180 rule, even when I was in a state of confusion! Overall I managed to stick to my storyboard pretty much exactly, apart from perhaps the positioning of the table and the seats, but the overall gist was the same.

The main challenges that I faced during this task were picked up afterwards. For example I didn't want to get my actors to do the same thing over and over because I don't like to take to much of someone's time. However when I watched Axel do it, he made them 'shift to the left' and 'shift to the right' and 'sit down' and say their dialogue, at least 5 times before he got it perfect. I feel that doing this, and taking more care and precision over where the actors were placed and making sure I had enough takes to edit with, would have definitely improved my task. The editing stage, as previously mentioned, was also a challenge as getting each shot perfectly precise was sometimes difficult and I didn't give myself enough footage to really 'play with'.

If I were to do it again, I would definitely film more footage, and take my time over each shot. I would also improve upon the various aspects of it that Axel pointed out. For example the abundance of dead space within my shots, how when my character sits down she cuts the other from view, and being more creative with the tripod and following the character as she sat down. I also could have used the 'Hollywood Cut' and used various close-up shots and wide shots of the dialogue. Find out about other critiques Axel made here.

Overall I feel that my task went okay for a first try of continuity camera and editing techniques. I think that there is definitely lots to improve upon, but I am very glad that I made those mistakes so that in my main task I can overcome them.

Until next time! 

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