Section 5: Film Reviews

5.1 

Please post a short film review of approximately 250 – 500 words in length. You are welcome to upload or make use of the framework provided in Rupert’s class. 

Three Brothers (2014)

Aleem Khan’s social realist drama captures the fractured relationship between three brothers and their father. The repeated visual motif of three chickens represents the three brothers and the various stages of their emotional state and relationships with their father. Therefore, the film manages to provide insight into a predominantly male orientated family and the issues raised in several aspects of youths in working-class London. The themes of loss and grief are prevalent throughout the short film, and they are shown through a realistic perspective that allows the audience to connect with the characters and sympathise with them. The use of little sound throughout made the film dependant on visuals rather than audio elements, it ‘showed rather than told’ the story, which is a much more effective way in this scenario to tell the narrative. Since there was no soundtrack, the short film had a bleak yet realistic tone which ultimately enhanced the naturalistic nature by immersing the audience. Accompanied by handheld shooting, this allowed the film to be perceived almost as a documentary, which enables the audience to participate in the voyeurism of the lives of these characters. The run-down house where the three brothers reside allows the audience to understand about their surroundings and the issues it raises, providing sympathy to the characters in the events during the narrative. Being aimed at younger audiences in the same or different situations, I recommend this short film as it allows other people to understand about the hardships in an average working class family while also having undertones of darker themes such as grief. Therefore, it can be watched and understood by most audiences and doesn’t rely on age as a vital factor, as it has characters both young, the three brothers, and old, the father.

5.2 

Please post a review of a feature film production of your choice (British or World cinema). Make sure to comment on the narrative structure, as well as sound, camera, lighting and editing choices.

Lady Bird (2017)

Greta Gerwig’s feature directorial debut Lady Bird focuses on the life of a young woman living in Northern California and her relationship with her mother, both of which are strongly opinionated. With two powerful lead performances by Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, the film manages to captivate the audience through the phenomenal relationship presented on screen that delivers both humour and pathos in a way that doesn’t distract the audience or take them out of the film. The narrative structure of the film was an innovative way to show the passing of a year in a young adults life, shifting from school to college. Having distinct separate areas of time is effective since it shows the characters development physically and mentally as the surroundings around them change as well. This is important as one of the main themes of the film is growing up, therefore to present the environment changing, it compliments the characters change as well. This is supported by the use of cinematography, as this was crucial for the audience to know where there were changes in time, such as using warm lights and bokeh effects in the Autumn to highlight the natural atmosphere of leaves falling and primarily using oranges, reds and yellows to indicate a change in weather.  The soundtrack was very atmospheric and blended into the background , which allows the audience to easily immerse themselves into the scene, since the music captures the essence of the tone of the film perfectly and does not overdo its potential impact on the audience. The film flowed well for the most part, however in some cases I believed the film did not reach its full potential, as some scenes should have gone on for longer or shorter depending on the circumstances. Aiming at young adults and parents of similar ages, Lady Bird is a fantastic watch that will allow audiences of similar backgrounds and relationships to find personal identity and improve their relationships.

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Section 4: Technical Skills

4.1 

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.

4.2 

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.

4.3 

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.

4.5 

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? 

Section 3: Working Relationships

3.1 

Why is teamwork important when working on a film production?

 Teamwork is important because communication is vital in a film production. This means that all departments need to understand the time limitations of the project and therefore ensure that every department is on the same level and knows what they are doing. The director, who has creative control, needs to have good communication with the first AD especially, who will then communicate with other departments, as if a change were to occur or something needs to be done sooner rather than later, the crew will need to know of this and ensure that they are done on time.

How did you develop good working relationships with your crew members? Give examples

As Director of Photography, I spoke to other crew members about what they were doing and how they would achieve this, and then spoke about how we could collaborate ideas, especially with the director and other creative departments, to make the film better. I would always keep an open mind, so I would listen to everyone’s ideas while also talking about my own, and always consider any suggestions put forward by other crew members.

Were there any problems you needed to overcome? Give examples

On the shoot as my key role as Director of Photography, the main issue was the set, as we had to find a positioning of the set to achieve the desired look. We wanted the window to be in frame while also maintaining the two leads talking to each other. However, we couldn’t close off the set due to the health and safety regulations. We managed to overcome this by finding a smaller piece of wall for the set which managed to be small enough not to enclose the actors while also allowing us to film from most angles.

Another problem that occurred on set was the lighting aspect of the shoot. This is because the director wanted to follow the script as having a bright white bulb above the two actors, to create the illusion of a doctor’s office. However, we had to improvise with what he had as we couldn’t hold up a bulb without it looking cheap, so ultimately we changed the bulb and didn’t show it on screen in the end.

3.2 

What qualities are needed to work well with others on a film production?

To work well with others, the main quality needed is communication skills. This is because on a film set you need to communicate well with other crew members so you know important information about that department, such as if they need extra time, if they are unsure what to do, or if they are doing the wrong thing. This is because time management is extremely important in film production due to everything needing to be completed on time, therefore a schedule is necessary to ensure that everyone is on the right page. Another quality needed, especially for the director or other high ranking areas, is understanding and patience. This is because, everyone on set is creative and therefore they might have some contributions they might want to give to someone. Moreover, directors and other crew members need to be considerate of these ideas, applying them if they think they are good and not just reject every idea given.

Section 2: Professional Development

2.1 

Please upload or summarise the crew test you did with Rupert

Director: Communicates and dictates the construction of a film narrative by using several motion picture techniques.

Producer: Executive supervisor, along with the director, and often secures money, purchases the script and hires the director and primary artists.

Writer: Creates the characters, plot, scenario and any other narrative elements of the story, which is known as the creative blueprint.

Director of Photography: Responsible for the technical aspects of the camera, lighting, colour, camera movement and placement, framing and lens choice.

Camera Operator: Operates the camera in accordance with the instructions from the director of photography and the director.

Production Manager: Responsible for the notes, errands, and clipboard holding for the producers.

Focus Puller: Checks the equipment, follows focus, and may operate the second camera on some shots.

Assistant Director: Supervises crews, finds locations, schedules, conducts rehearsals or action shots, and handles any details from the director.

2.2

 Describe the structure and interrelationships of the production department. You can use a diagram or similar if you wish 

The director of the film crew has the main vision of the film. They communicate with most heads of departments in pre-production, as well as producers and writers. They will direct actors during production, and ensure that all heads of departments know what they are doing. The First Assistant Director will ensure that everything is running on time and make sure that everyone knows what they are doing and where they are in the schedule of production. The Second Assistant Director helps the First AD, as they ensure that the actors are on time, and have everything they need to film the production. The clapper/loader holds the slate at the beginning of the take in order to help the sound department sync audio and also help the editors in post-production. The production manager are in charge of the business, financial, and employment aspects. Therefore, they make sure that the props buyer has the money to buy the props and the set dresser has everything needed to dress the set.

2.3 

Describe at least 2 potentional progression routes into the film industry (e.g. university, apprenticeships, entry level work, film festivals etc)

 One progression route into the film industry is film school or university. You would have to apply to various universities through UCAS that would have realistic entry requirements. These can be, for example, predicted A-Levels or UCAS Tariff Points. Then, building up knowledge, using industry grade equipment to create material for your portfolio and networking with other people who are potentially in the industry or going into the industry will be greatly beneficial to propel your career forward. After the undergraduate course, you can either continue studying in a masters course or go straight into work.

Another progression route into the film industry is through entry level work. This would include being hired by a company or doing freelance work for little pay. The entry level job for working in production companies would be a runner, which would include helping out wherever they are needed to. This could potentially lead to higher up jobs such as Directing, as many directors look out for efficient runners that would be better in more suitable jobs such as Assistant Director.

What do you plan to do when the academy is finished?

 

 

Briefly describe the job of one of your tutors, and what they have done in their career

 

 

 

2.4 

What is the wider creative media sector? (think about music, costume, advertising, animation, theatre, games etc)

 

 

Explain how film production connects to the wider creative media sector

 

***you might find the following link helpful for completing this section:

http://creativeskillset.org/creative_industries 

Section 1: Film Industry

This is the post excerpt.

 

1.1

What is it like working in the film industry?

The film industry is a very competitive industry, as there are many people who have the same job as you and are applying for films that you may have applied to. Therefore, it is absolutely vital that you have a portfolio or CV that stands out with your body of work in your specific field, such as directing, acting, cinematography, writing or producing. In the film industry, work is more important that qualifications. This means that if you have a lot of degrees in your specific field and no work to show, you will not be hired. Therefore, having a portfolio of some form or another will help you be noticed into the industry to moreover get better jobs. Another important aspect of the industry is networking, as knowing people in the industry and communicating with others is the only way you will be able to show your portfolio to others. For example, this could be at networking events held specifically for filmmakers or certain film festivals that allow you to talk to other applicants or nominees within that festival.

Give 10 examples of qualities you need to work in the film industry

Creativity: You need to have creativity in order to create elements in all elements of production, including stories, sets and backgrounds, lighting, camera angles and many more.

Communication: You need to have good communication skills so you can clearly distinguish what goals you need to set and how you will achieve these goals together as a film crew.

Problem Solving: You need to have good problem solving skills, as in a film production it is almost certain that something will go wrong. Therefore, identifying the problem and addressing it is very important as it will affect the entire crew and potentially cause a delay.

Punctuality: You need to be punctual, mainly because you need to turn up on time, earlier is preferable, to anything related to the film-making process, as the unexpected may happen and the extra time will be crucial for your production to not be hindered.

Authority: You need to have authority while on film sets, especially because you need to be capable to lead a crew and reach a set goal in a certain period of time. Therefore, having authority is important due to the

Decisiveness: You will need to make decisions quickly as a filmmaker, as things may go wrong or something may be impossible to do, therefore choosing the best option because of a hindrance is important for the production to continue.

Vision: As a filmmaker, vision is important because of how important it is to have a set vision that you will work your way towards. This can apply to all sectors of film-making, and is a very similar trait to goal-setting, which compliments time management skills.

Working Under Pressure: You will need to work under pressure as a filmmaker, mainly because of how your job is an aspect of the entire production and contributes to it, so without that aspect the film will lose some of its creativity, effort and idea.

Ambition: You will need to have ambition, as creating a film no matter how realistic it will be to make it, you will need vision at the start during pre-production in order to have a set idea of what the film is about and how you will go about creating it.

Open-Minded: You will need to be open-minded as a filmmaker, as you will have to accept and consider other people’s inputs into the creation of the film. This is because a film crew consists of many creative individuals, therefore allowing them to contribute could potentially benefit the film itself or the efficiency of production.

***The links below may help if you need more info after your masterclass with Rupert:

Useful for job roles and progression as well as information about the industry
http://creativeskillset.org/creative_industries/film/about_the_industry

Good introduction to working in the industry
https://www.reed.co.uk/career-advice/how-to-get-a-job-in-the-film-industry/

Further articles:
10 commandments of film making
Seven arts of working in film
Essential personal traits of filmmakers
Top 10 qualities of a great filmmaker

 

1.2 

Why is time management important in the film industry? 

 Time management is important in the film industry, as for each section of the production of a film will require there to be a strict schedule in order to release the film on time without going over budget. Various aspects in pre-production, production, and post-production will need this, such as the different departments like marketing, casting, and editing. While shooting the film, everyone working on set will need to follow the schedule and ensure that they do not go over the time sections specified, otherwise this will hinder the entire production and ultimately cause delays,

Give at least 4 examples of good time management skills

A good time management skill would be focusing on priority. This is because while filming, especially for the Director and Director of Photography, they need to decide what shots to film first that have high priority, so if they don’t manage to film all of the shots, they will have the most important ones filmed first.

Another good time management skill is planning, which is vital in pre-production. This is very important as the better your plan for making the film, the more efficient production is and less pressure and stress is put upon the crew. Therefore, this would include but is not limited to, a schedule for all members of the cast and crew, preparing for the unexpected, and timings to film shots or for setting up equipment.

Communication skills is also important for time management, as being good at communicating with other members of the cast and crew will allow the process to run by smoothly without many errors. This is also important due to how communication will affect the relationship between different crew or cast members, which could potentially make or break the production.

Another important skill for time management is decision making, especially for people with more authority in film crews, such as Directors or Producers. This is crucial due to how sometimes for instance the Director, will have to choose what vision of a shot or scene they will have to do if certain parameters do not work int he set. Therefore, choosing one over the other will affect the entire schedule and the film, and will have to be carefully considered by the Director.

BFI Academy CALLSHEET The End 26 Oct

BFI Academy CALLSHEET Spaghetti 29 Oct

 

***please upload the call sheets for your two shoots, and any other production documentation (schedules etc)

 

1.3 

Describe the key aspects of health and safety when working on film productions 

 Health and safety is a very important aspect to film-making, as lawsuits and legal action can be taken if the film crew do not recognise a potential safety hazard to members of the crew or cast. One aspect of health and safety is identifying the potential hazard. This requires members of the crew to find anything that may cause a hazard on location or on set, even if the chances are very slim. This is because it is better to be prepared for the worse so the production can go underway efficiently.  Another aspect is notifying everyone in the cast and crew about these hazards. This is equally as important, as if people don’t know about these hazards then you will be to blame and it will drastically affect your production, especially if a key role person decides to quit.

Describe at least 3 health and safety considerations for your own film

One of the health and safety considerations we had to acknowledge was the various cables on the ground. This is because there were several different electrical equipment around the set that required different cables into different plug sockets or power generators, which meant these cables were across the room. Therefore, we had to ensure that all members of cast and crew knew about these cables so nobody tripped and fell over causing any sort of damage.

Another health and safety consideration was small set we needed to use to film our production. This is because of how we needed to add another wall to the set so we could film from all angles, which meant that the actors were enclosed into this set. Therefore, this meant that in the case of a fire, they would need to know how to manoeuvre to get around the set and through the door to outside the set.

Another health and safety consideration was the lighting used for the production. This is because we used some tungsten lights that heated up quite quickly and, if held, are a safety hazard. Therefore, we ensured that all members of the cast and crew knew about these lights, where they were on set, and which way they are facing so people can avoid the heat being produced from the light.

***please upload the risk assessment for your primary shoot

BFI Academy Risk Assessment THE END 26 Oct

1.4 & 1.5 

 

***please summarise or upload the copyright information you learned in your first editing class with Tom

 

Why does copyright law exist?

Copyright law exists to prevent the plagiarism of another persons work, and to allow them to be credited where need be. This is because it is unfair if somebody steals your work without credit, especially in the film industry as it takes a long time to produce a film.

What kind of work is covered by copyright?

 

What might happen if you were to use copyrighted material in your film?

 

How can you make sure not to infringe copyright law in your film?

 

How has copyright law affected your film production?

 

***You might also find the following links useful to complete this section:

http://copyrightuser.org/filmmaker/ 

https://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/p01_uk_copyright_law