A few weeks back we were given a task in class. A task to shoot our first drama – Lenny. It was exciting, confusing, fun and wierdly awkward. The scripts themselves were handed out by our teacher and we were put in fairly large groups for a scene so small. We had to divide everything we did into three categories – Pre-production, production and post-production.
Pre-Production – Planning and Storyboarding
This was the easy part. We all fell into our seperate roles with no problems as they came straight from what we enjoy and the skills we have, if not our personalities. There was absolutely no chaos as I sat with Scott and we decided out angles, shots and camera positions. I wrote down the kind of shots we would want, most of it came from my knowledge of stuff I’ve already seen in similar scenes in movies and it was really easy for me to imagine how I would shoot everything. Scott did the drawing of camera positions. We explained it all to the other two members we were working with. Vivi wanted to do storyboarding and Dey wanted a call on locations. It was fun, yes. But I feel that we all missed the point somewhere as what we did that day just lay forgotten in the next stages.
Production – Ready, Speed, Rolling and Action
This is probably when everything shot to hell. We did the actual shooting two days in a row. None of us carried our plans with us. We just went out and shot. The first day we ended not recording a lot of the shots that we had thought we did because quiet a few of us were not sure on how to use the camera. All the record buttons don’t record. How wierd is that. The two actors didn’t do anything but act. Everyone wanted to play camera man. No one really paid attention to the sound. When I was at it, I could here everything so clearly, including a couple whispering away to each other in the distance, so I’m guessing the volume was turned up way too much. When we heard what we had recorded, we could hardly even make out the dialogues!
The director did no directing, he just called out action and cut. Not everyone got a chance to play with everything. We were confused and after a point everyone took the excersise lightly enough to just get it over with. We kept missing team members and there seemed hardly a need for so many anyway as a lot just stood around and watched it all go down. I wish we had more guidance and structure to this task even though it wasn’t for earning points. Our first shoot and we missed the enjoyment in it!
Another thing we absolutely missed at was our log sheet. We just wrote different shot numbers and scene numbers as we weren’t sure how they were going down due to lack of our planning sheet with us. We were all writing in it, which probably added to it, so I can safely say, it turned out useless in the end.
We did manage to get all the scenes, just not the way we wanted. No one was really happy. Maybe lack of communication was a big reason as well, as we were all busy trying to make each other happy.
Post-production – Premier
Finally going through what we had and what we recorded was dissapointing to say the least. But using Premier and seeing how films are put together was actually a very fun task for me. Paul told me that this was probably as boring as it gets because that’s what drama is really. But I was happt to play with it, try to give it filler scenes, a different music to cut the voice altogether and play with the colour to make it look cooler. I felt like I could do so much even though I knew we were barely even scratching the surface with what we had learnt. I decided I was going to make the most of what we had and play with it, do a french number, ha. Different camera angles, longer than usual scenes, less cuts, absolute scenario scenes in between to cut from the intensity but giving it more intensity in the end. I enjoyed it, even though the sound sucked, some shots were missing and I could kept thing of all the things I wanted to shoot now that I was actually looking at it.
In the end, it was fun, confusing and definitely lacked structure and on our part a lot of knowledge I wish we had before we went out to do something like this. I have gotten to play more with the audio recorder as well as the camera in my future classes and I feel like I do have more knowledge on both. I would love to give it another go.