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Practical production – Evaluation

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During this practical production my roles in our group were to help create the storyboard, to monitor the sound during filming, to edit the film along with Eleanor Waterhouse and to basically act as a runner throughout the time spent on the project. However the storyboard was unsuccessful due to a school trip falling half way through its creation, and the availability of the school digital camera for the pictures that we needed to be taken.

The representations in our film are mainly of Laura our main character, throughout the film she is represented as a loner, a freak and eventually as an insane person who talks to herself and believes she’s something she’s not. These representations are created in a number of ways, by the way she dresses, by the shots used, and finally by the narrative of the film itself.

Our film was actually scripted to sound like it hadn’t been scripted, In a documentary the person on camera would speak as if they were speaking to another person. There for we scripted it so that our character Laura would speak like a normal teenage girl using the language of a modern teenager, with the occasional thoughtful pause, or stumble on words.

The ideologies of our film are that there is always one loner type in a school. That there is a ‘Laura’ for every school, some one who believes in themselves, but no one else does and that one person is there to be pitied or laughed at. Our film could also be seen to show how someone who is constantly fooling themselves could slowly go insane and talk to themselves because they think they’re something that they are not.

I feel that the original target audience of 16 – 20 year old, working to lower middle class white females, we were after could be reached by our final product. I think this because our main character would fall into these categories, and the audience would consist of people that could relate to the main character in some form and that this is the audience that would fully understand the humour involved in our film.

At the start of the project we were given two choices: Film trailer or short film. We were shown a number of film trailers and short films to help us make our final decision. After making the choice to create a short film, we were shown short films made for the ‘Orange FilmFour competition’ to give us an idea of what we were aiming to produce.

This helped us realise that the narrative of the film must develop early on in the film, as five minutes isn’t long enough to create a massive build up.

Once we’d finished the filming, we were given a VHS version of all our footage with the time codes on. We had almost an hour’s worth of footage, which had to be cut down to the five minutes we were aiming for. This is where we hit our first major problem, there was no sound on our video tape we were given, which meant that the paper edit we were supposed to do didn’t happen. We needed the sound to know where exactly the shots we wanted ended.

The final editing went smoothly. There were a few changes to the original plan that had to be made due the quality of some of the shots we’d got. What would have been our final shot, which was filmed in the study rooms, had to be removed because the sound quality was very poor. This was because due to poor organisation we’d not finished filming on the day we were given, and had to continue on another day but we didn’t have the same equipment, which obviously effected the final outcome of that one shot we needed. We did however successfully work our way around this problem by using two other shots to create the same effect.

The whole experience has demonstrated to me a number of skills involved in film making. You need to be prepared to work fast to get everything you need done within the time limit given. Which means you need to be very organised, for our production we should have checked when the rooms we needed were being used before the day we were set to film, so we could have worked around it instead of wasting time on the day. Because we didn’t do this, our original plan to use the school hall as our main location had to be re-thought due to lessons taking place there.

We also had this problem with the music prep rooms, our original plan was to film Laura playing one of the schools electric guitars in the prep room behind the stage but again due to lessons, we had to re-think this. A member of our group has to bring in an acoustic guitar from home and we had to film the scene in the study room another day.

As a whole, I think that our practical production was a complete success, the film itself looks more or less how we planned it to and most importantly even with the changes we made, it still creates the same feeling of loneliness and isolation that we wanted.

If we had the chance to do this production again, I would definitely start it all of by being more organised. And put a lot more effort into the pre-production planning because if we’d done that in the first place, I think that our film would have been exactly how we wanted to start off with. Also I think if we were to do this again, we’d have to take the time to book equipment such as the digital camera, and rooms such as the hall.

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