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Power of a Trailer

I have shown the trailer I’ve edited to a few people I’m not really close to and asked for feedback. The average person (who isn’t a media student or wasn’t involved in the production) was very impressed with the visuals and the colour-grading. overall people loved it and said they can’t wait to actually watch the real thing. I followed up by asking them what would make the trailer even better then what it is, the general answer was “more drama” one person in particular that I had just met said “there needs to be some cheating, fighting and way more arguing”. Shows like Archer and Rick and Morty prove that drama and dark humour go and in hand because dysfunctional relationships are more entertaining to watch, which is the reason why people like watch shows like Love and Hip Hop and Bad Girls Club. Granted, those are some extreme examples, but they seen to grab more social attention at the end of their seasonal finally. Being that people were watching the trailer with headphones in, bad audio wasn’t something they realised straight away, so there weren’t and comments on that.

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Audio Samples

This is a quick blog to show the results of my audio editing. The first clip is the unedited audio I have when the production had finished.

 

The second clip is what have managed to do in post production in Adobe Audition.

 

I still have an issue with background noise, but I’ve managed to bring out the dialogue a bit more to make it clear. One thing to note for the future is that hiring a sound recorder is definitely mandatory. Audio isn’t something you have edit and make it good if it’s bad.

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End of Year Reshoot

With all the thinks that went wrong in our first major production, we have learnt what to do, and what to not do for the next production we’re going to have. Firstly, casting is going to start very early, a few months earlier to be specific. This will give us a chance to not only look for more people, but it will also give us time to audition them properly instead of hiring them straight away because we’re short on time. We will still be asking them to send us self tape of themselves, and we’re give them a draft script that we feature the character they’ll be auditioning for in a situation where they have to make a serious life choice. We’re be studying their mannerisms, pace of dialogue, tone and body-language to see if they are better suited for the role. The next thing will be making a draft script, this idea came about so that we stop sending our work/script to people that are not going to end up being casted for our production. Though our script is copy-written, we don’t want to take the chance of it being plagiarised. As I stated on a previous post, we also intent to give the actors a £30 allowance that will cover food, and travel expenses while they are working with us, this will work will for our budget cost and save us a bit of money. We also aim to start using crowdfunding, the module we had in the Foundation Degree will finally come in handy.

In the process of pre-production, we want to  develop all of our character, we have also entertained the idea of one of our feature character becoming a main character. Melody, who was a feature character, is now possibly going to be a main character, the reason for this is that there are many sides to women as a whole, one woman cannot embody every aspect of what being a woman is, there are glamour girls, there are tom-boys, there are woman who are feminists, there are those who don’t agree with feminism, thats just a short example. So making Melody a main character will help us reach more of our female audiences. Those who don’t relate to Tori, might relate to Melody and her free spirit.

 

I’ve thrown the idea of possibly hiring a researcher to help with out plot development and character development. We as a team will be doing our own research into being better writers, producers and directors! We aim to utilise our Masterclass subscription and take different online courses in writing so we can all come with a different outlook and angle into writing and building the show up. The main reason for us hiring a researcher would be for developing the psyche of each character. The research would be asked to look into different psychological approaches that people have in life, how people come to make life altering good/bad choices, what makes someone calm and collected, what makes someone promiscuous, two faced and so on. having these facts in detail will help us in how we approach and deal with what each character is going through on each episode.

 

We currently have no date for the reshoot, only the month we intend to shoot it on, which is October. At first I thought this would be a problem due to not being able to borrow university equipment, but after speaking to my tutor he found a way around that problem, and I’m more at ease.

 

In the aim of having better results, I will be pushing for us to hire a professional sound recorder, cinematographer and someone to keep track of time. We all have learnt how important time management is from this production, and we all intend to make sure we don’t have the same issue.

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Footage Issues

One of the major issues I’m having with footage is this particular scene we shot in day one. Nathan, the sound recorder, is very visible on the reflective microwave door…one every shot we have of that angle!

The video embedded above taught me how to mask blur something from a reflective surface. This was very helpful because it was my first time learning that you can mask blur something from a reflective surface in post production. At first I thought we had to throw the whole scene away because his face was in all 3 to 4 clips we have of this angle. The two images below show the before and after of the mask blur process.

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Messy Audio

All this time I have been playing around with the footage so much, that I forgot about the audio. I honestly thought the footage was bad and thats the main reason why we needed to reshoot…the audio is worse. Listening back to the audio gave me the worse feeling of disappointment. The worse thing is that I don’t know how to fix horrible audio, and I know its going to be even more time consuming. I’m familiar with Adobe Audition because I’ve editing some audio for my podcast, but I’ve never used it to repair dialogue audio. I can’t afford to be angry at anybody because thats just going to waste more time then I currently have right now. My best chance is to look at a few YouTube tutorials on fixing dialogue audio and do the best I can.

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Production: Day 2 Overview

The second day of production went better then the first day. I don’t know if it’s the fact that we had more sleep or we were more organised, but we used the time we had better than we did yesterday. The bar we wanted to use for our interior scene gave up permeation to shoot there, granted we gave them a rundown of what we planned on doing and how many people we were going to have in the location. the scenes themselves came out better then yesterdays scenes. I even got a chance to be cameraman for a few seconds for a tracking shot. The only inconvenience we had is that Nathan, one of my classmates who was helping us with sound had to leave in the afternoon to start his own project. As time passed, the restaurant was starting to get noisier. The sun was out and people were leaving work and coming into the bar, and that started becoming problematic for the audio. By this point we had gotten Brian to be both Director and Sound-man. I was still looking out for the minor details from my live WiFi monitor on my Macbook. Time stared becoming a factor when we didn’t pay attention to it. The sun was setting before we knew it and we had to get 3 other afternoon and dusk scenes out the way. We managed to get the evening scenes out the way, but due to the trains we booked for the actors, we didn’t get the dusk scene we wanted. Everyone hadn’t ate since breakfast, so by 6:30pm I brought to of the actors back to my accommodation to get them food, while the rest of the crew went back to the gym location we were filming in yesterday to reshoot a few more angles from the first scene. Below are a few pictures from the production set we were using. Overall, the major thing we had a problem with again was time.

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Production: Day 1 Overview

Late arrival

The day started at 6am in the morning when we had to prepare the equipment. We would told that we had the gym studio we were shooting the first scene in from 6am till 9am.

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This was the rough outline of our call time and scheduling looked like before we started production (before we spoke to Xercise4less about using their gym studio). The schedule gave us a realistic time frame to work with, while also giving us a realistic call-time to have the actors in for. Problem 1; The actors arrived to the first  location late. Leah (Melody) was the only exception due to the previews actress who was casted for the role of Melody didn’t respond to the last confirmation email. Leah, who now holds the role of Melody has little acting experience but was willing to help out, and agreed to help out the night before production. The late arrival set up back 45 minutes, but we that was the least of our problems today to be honest. This meant that we couldn’t give the actors a final rundown on what we’re looking for from them as they try to embody the character that they have been chosen for.  Problem 2; The missing Audio Cable. while setting  up the camera and lighting, we couldn’t find the cable that we should have been given for the audio kit. This cable connected the audio recording device to the boom mic we were using, and after looking for 5 to 10 minutes, we couldn’t find it anywhere. it was roughly about 8:20am, the NTU Art Store opened at 9:30am and we couldn’t afford to wait for them to open to go grab the cable we needed. I suggested we go and see if Maplin was open and see if they sold what we were looking for.I quickly checked online, and confirmed that they do sell what we want, and drove up to the store…just to find out that it was closed and opens at 9:00am. We had to sit and do nothing as the actors went over their lines. The camera man was talking to the director about the shots they were going to have to cover in the short amount of time we now had. While we were waiting for the time to pass by…Problem 3; The gym manager walks in asking for the person in charge of the production. We had a few words, and I explained to him that I spoke to his colleague who gave us permeation to use the studio until 9:30am. He was understanding and just told me to run it by him in the future if we want to use anything in the gym for video purposes. Moving forward, we had no time to waste, when the clock hit 9:50am I was already in my car driving to Maplin, I quickly bought the cable and drove back so we can start shooting as soon as possible. Though the time we has was short, we had a few practice runs with the actors just so we can change a few things they were doing that wasn’t befitting the characters they were playing. This left us with a very limited time window to get our scenes done by, but we made it work for the time we had.

What I could have changed about this part in particular is that I would have double checked the equipment we were given, so if something was missing, I would have simply gone back to the Art Store and asked them to give me a audio cable or anything else that was missing. I would have made the actors call-time 6:45am, this is for just in case they come late, it doesn’t effect our overall timing for everything else. And I would have spoke to the manager of the gym first and gotten the okay to use the gym from him.

When we wrapped up the first scene, our main focus was what are we going to be doing with Stephen and Mark, the characters that we had no actor for. Our only last resort was to ask Ben Smith, one of my classmates, where was coming to help out with lighting, to play the role of Stephen. We waited for about 2 and a half hours doing nothing. When Ben agreed to play the role, we quickly go ready for the next location, because without him agreeing to it, the rest of the day would have been pointless to be honest.

Location 2

I was told the net location was in Derby, but it was actually in Mansfield, which was a bit of a drive , keeping in mind that Ben had his own things to do, we tried not to waste a second when we go into the AirBnb. We left the actors to rehearse while we were talking about the scene and the shots we need.

 

We got some good shots, me watching the takes from a online WiFi monitor was very useful because I could see things that the cameraman and director weren’t seeing. There were a few shadows we had to get rid of on the wall in the house, and we just had to tweak the pacing of the dialogue.

 

 

My overall opinion is that we had bad time management. Yes at times it may have been due to things we had no control over, but I’m already considering a reshoot so that this can be done properly. I will have to talk this over with my team and see what they think when we’re done tomorrow.