What are the resources required for your film production (think about equipment, props, actors, location etc)
For our film production, we require 2 female actors. Also for the end when the doctor’s office is revealed to be a cafe, we need a couple of potential extras just to sell the idea. We need the set to be seen as a doctor’s office or cafe, which meant that we have to include two chairs and a table, along with a window on the wall. This needs to be simple enough to be seen as both locations. We also require a camera to film, and specific lighting to make the set look a lot more brighter, specifically with white lights. This will create the illusion that the location is a doctor’s office at the start and then the lights could change warmer to indicate the change in perception of location, or this could be done in post-production.
What is your key role and what are the skills and equipment required to fulfil it?
My key role was Director of Photography. The skills I needed for this role was technical understanding of the lighting of the shot. This meant that I needed to ensure that the lighting looked how it meant to, in conference with the director, for each shot. Therefore, this was the overall aesthetic of the visual side of the short film, as I needed to consider shadows, source of lighting, back light, whether it was soft or harsh lighting, and any other factors that would affect the lighting. The equipment that I needed were the lights themselves, for which I used tungsten lights, c-stands to put the lights at the desired location, diffusion material to create a softer light, clamps to hold the material, power supplies, cables, a large LED light bulb, and string to hold the light up from the ceiling.
What is your supporting role and what are the skills and equipment required to fulfil it?
My supporting role was the Clapper/Loader or Second Assistant Camera. The skills I needed for this role was to be alert of the camera department, so making sure that I am there when the SD card needed to be changed or a new battery was to be fitted. I also made sure that I was ready for a new take, and tracking the amount of slates and takes that we have used so far in the shoot. The equipment I needed were the clapper board itself, a whiteboard pen to change the slate or take number, and SD cards or batteries for the camera department.
How do you feel you performed your roles on set? What were your strengths and what were any challenges you faced?
I think I performed well as my roles of Director of Photography and Clapper/Loader. My particular strengths as DoP was creating the lighting specified in the script, as the director wanted to maintain that bright light setting. Therefore, I had to include using on-screen and off-screen lights to create that atmosphere, which I think worked well. My weakness on set is probably how overwhelmed I was with the variety of equipment and new information I had to take in without knowing beforehand. Therefore, this made me feel quite worried if we were going to finish on time in the schedule. However, as the day progressed I got more comfortable and we managed to finish on time. My strengths as the Clapper/Loader was probably knowing when to be on and off set, as I didn’t get in the way of the crew. I also did not make any mistakes while tracking the slates and takes used for filming, so the editing process was therefore easier. I would say my main weakness was that I could have been more proactive when helping the camera department, as although they didn’t ask for help, it would be beneficial if they had extra hands to work on set.
How do you think your skills and knowledge developed in this role? Give examples
My knowledge of every role of a film production has developed, specifically as Director of Photography, as I learned about the various lights used, different ways to create a certain effect of light, ways to set up lighting and enhancing shadows. I also thought about changing different aspects of the lighting, such as adding gels or adjusting the harshness for other projects, and I think this really helped my perspective on how important lighting was in a film. As a clapper/loader, my skills as a general helper around the set improved a lot over the course of filming, as I knew where most things were kept such as SD cards and batteries, and I developed a lot of communication skills within the team so I knew if they needed any help whatsoever.
Following completion of the Film Academy, please give examples of film production skills that you would like to develop. Did you have any particular strengths or weaknesses on the course?