Monday, 21 March 2011

Evaluation Q7 - Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Since making the prelim, we have learnt a lot and progressed up to the point of finishing the full product. There are many different ways in which we have progressed and learnt about things along the way. A few notable examples are included in these following points.

We have learnt to study many ways in which to make our film better; the best example of this includes research into a chosen genre (psychological thriller) through aspects like conventions, deconstructions, camera shots, mis-en-scene and more. Throughout this blog, there are many different deconstructions where we systematically picked apart every aspect we could find about certain points of our chosen films, such as this blog deconstructing the introduction of American Psycho (Mary Harron, 2000), or this one deconstructing Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001) and explaining important points about it.

Studying and researching these films provided a very helpful way of learning about media-related aspects like camera shots, editing, mis-en-scene etc, and it the research helped us progress to our final product, from the prelim stage where we didn't have as much of when we did the prelims.

An example of conducting research into our genre

We also did a lot more planning for our final product than we did for the preliminary task. We did this so we could ensure that we knew exactly what we wanted and how we'd go about doing it, rather than just mentally brainstorm it and not being totally able to organise everything properly, therefore not being totally able to shoot what we wanted. So to make sure we knew what we wanted to record, we created callsheets, storyboards and a treatment. We did this to make sure we knew what we wanted to record shot by shot, and we made it pretty detailed and included text, pictures and more. Also, we mutually agreed on dates and similar aspects on which we were all able to record together.

A storyboard from one of our rough cuts.
A draft of our treatment.

There were also lots of other factors that we improved and progressed on in the time between our prelim and our final product. Instances of this included props, location scouting, pitching, casting and more; these are all significant to take into account because they are all examples of factors that we have developed and progressed since making our preliminary task. Location scouting and casting were particularly new for us; we'd shot our prelim at school at a previously designated spot, and we just worked with whoever we were assigned with. This contrasts to how we did this with the film itself, as we went out in the local area and brainstormed as a group good points and areas and which to film in. In addition, we also chose the roles of both the actors and the filming carefully, with our producer being the best actor, and since our film only had one or two characters, we chose him as the main role, whereas our prelim had everyone acting in it, regardless of talent or expertise about the role. 

Another important way in which we progressed from the preliminary task to the final product; was that of teamwork and working in a group together. We all assigned to each other and to ourselves roles such as cinematographer, director and producer, and we also designated as a group who would do what within the film itself, and indeed out of the film. We all worked together when it came to filming, editing and recording podcasts/vodcasts, and this was a large stage of progression from the prelim, where we split off and did our own thing, somewhat more independently. This changed and progressed as we started work on our film within our chosen groups, and we all shared the taskload and interacted with others a lot more.

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