Requirements of the Industry
After researching about the differences between mainstream and indie films. I have concluded that my short film will be an indie film. This is because my narrative plot is experimental and not something that is commonly approached. Unlike mainstream, my film is aimed towards making the audience question what is happening during times in the film. I want them to question the emotional state of the character and the kind of environment they’re in. The story isn’t revealed straight away and instead the story is slowly unravelled, increasing the viewer’s understanding while the story progresses.
In the ‘financial’ terms my film is also Independent as it isn’t being produced by major film companies and instead being produced by myself/small group of people.
Unlike the mainstream films, my film won’t be released in cinemas and instead will be published and distributed online via video hosting i.e YouTube, Vimeo and Daily Motion.
For my Extended Project I will be the producer as I will be responsible for the editing, script writing, filming and finding an Actor. I am going to find the location and hire the recording equipment from college.
In most certainty I will be the publisher for my film. I will be using online popular video hosting sites YouTube, Daily Motion or Vimeo to publish my film. This is because it’s a good way to upload smaller independent films.
Because my production is an independent film it would also be in good interest to submit my product into Film festivals. I have researched some popular film festivals.
British Film Institute Film Festival: The BFI film festival is one of the biggest film festivals nationally and attracts attention from Indie film makers across the nation. After reading the submissions’ regulations I saw the submission deadline was 12th of June although the films shown at this festival are split into 2 categories, feature length and short films. The short film must have a minimum running time of 40 minutes. A small fee is required to submit films into the BFI film festival.
The film festival hosted by Imperial War Museums is dedicated towards short films. The submissions are also split into two different categories; Creative response and documentary. This festival, the IWM offer rewards for the winning movies. This festival influences amateur film makers to submit their films to them to show at their festival.
The short film festival is a London based festival featuring short films. I think it would be a good place to distribute my work because of how it operates. Rewards are given to the producers who win the festival. It shows viewers submitted short films in the cinema and the cost is fairly cheap due to it being a relatively smaller film festival. They showcase at several of the major cinema venues throughout London over several weeks.
The audience of a film is something that should be determined by the film maker. My audience are going to be people who like to experience a different approaches in film. Viewers that like to get enticed in what they’re watching and a film with an interesting story. They would like an aspect of realism in film and how things would actually play out in reality and how it can be shown through film.
In their own respected ways, every film and TV show is educational. From soap operas to Horror films there is always something new to learn when watching media. The educational aspect of a film comes into play when looking at the research that was done by the producers, the progression that takes place in the movie or TV show and matters discussed in the film. Movies can be educational to the viewer in different ways by watching things about the movie that didn’t make the cut such as deleted scenes, Director’s cut and Behind the scenes. These educate the viewer on things that could’ve happened, how it was made and the feelings of the Director.
Documentaries are the richest in media when it comes to education as they provide the viewer with information about what the documentary’s subject matter is along with facts and how things have/happen.
My project is educational when the viewer considers our current position in history where nuclear warfare can start at anytime putting the entire planet in danger. This educates them on what it would be like if this did actually happen. I want to educate my audience and take them into the thoughts of the character and show them the toll that loneliness has on a an individual.
After researching about different purposes and reason as to why film makers made a film or TV show I learnt that they each had a goal before hand, something that they wanted to achieve or share when creating their productions. Some film makers make documentaries to raise awareness and educate people on matters they wouldn’t normally know or learn about, such as the poor or animal extinctions.
Directors; Christopher Nolan (Left) / Steven Spielberg (Right)
Other directors create movies to express their imagination, 2 examples of this include James Cameron and Steven Spielberg.
After reflecting on my project I’ve come to a conclusion on the purpose of why I’m making this. I am making this short film because I want to explore the themes of loneliness and isolation. I want to experiment with ‘What if?’ scenarios of realist events and things that could happen. I like to read news articles and ask my “What if this actually happened?”.
How might my work be used
My work could be used to show aspiring indie creators an idea of what kind of films they can produce.
Identify the relevant equipment needed for your project and provide details, explaining why it is needed.
The programmes I have and what would be ideal for my editing.
Avid Media Composer
The editing software that I will be using is Avid Media Composer. I will use this editing software because it is a top-of-the class editing software. Avid would be best for me because of the wider range of editing capability it has compared to most other editing programmes that I’ve used before. Being constantly updated with newer and improved additions makes Avid ideal for editing my movie with.
Avid is purchasable through the online website and being a student I am able to purchase it cheaper at $295 instead of the initial price of $1,299. Even buying it cheaper still works out to be too much money for me, although they do offer a month free trial which is enough time for me to be able to use it to complete my editing.
What I have
Sony Vegas Pro
I use the editing software Sony Vegas Pro. Vegas offers a decent range of transitions and effects and imports/exports relatively quickly. Being easy to use once the foundation is learnt editing with Sony Vegas Pro proves effective. Although, Sony Vegas Pro isn’t the ideal software I could use for editing my film with, it is not as good as Avid Media Composer and produces a lower quality rate in some areas such as video quality after exportation and at handling UHD footage.
Ideal cameras that would produce a good quality when recording my short film.
Canon EOS 70D
The Canon EOS 70D is s budget camera which is good for amateur film makers looking to produce good quality footage. The camera itself is good at picking up movement at reasonably faster speeds while keeping them visible in the frame. The camera is able to recording in 1080p with a steady rate of fps.
The Lumix GH4 is another quality camera for indie film makers although it cost upwards of around £1173. The Lumix would be ideal for my movie because it is able to record at 1080p at a stunning 96fps. Since it’s release in 2014 the price of the camera has continued to drop and is much cheaper than it’s initial retail price and can now be purchased at £600.
What I can use
Canon College camera
This Camera is the camera supplied to student by the college’s media department. The camera is good and does a good job at recording in 1080p. I actually have most experience with this camera than I do with others and already know how to operate it along with its Tripod. Although the only concern I have is filming in a darker environment as this is something that I have yet to attempt with this camera.
For my film instead of using the camera to pick up my sound I will use a microphone and record the sound separately.
This is the ideal microphone to record my film’s sound with and I also have accessibility to use this microphone through the college. The Rode shotgun is ideal for my film because I am recording dialogue and shotgun microphones are best at doing this due to their tight Polar Pattern meaning that only the sound from its pointed direction will be recorded. The shotgun mic picks up sound accurately and with clarity.
For the editing I am going to need a reliable PC/Laptop that will be able to execute tasks effectively and be able to handle the editing aspects. I have to consider different things; RAM, processing speeds and Storage.
The ideal Computer for my situation would have to be a PC that is able to handle what is required of the desired programmes I will be using for my film’s production.
Looking at the system requirements for Avid Media Composer I learnt about the minimum/recommended system requirements were to operate the programme on both Windows and Mac.
After learning these I went to see what my ideal PC build would be to get the most out of Avid Media Composer.
This is a good computer that I found when browsing online.
Hewlett-Packard Z1 G2
This HP computer would be good for my purpose because it is a Windows operated system. The PC itself has a fast processing speeds reaching up to 3.6GHz. The Z1’s performance isn’t brought out by its components but more on the intergration between them pushing to peak performances allowing for effortless editing performance when using more demanding programmes such as Avid Media Composer.
The iMac is a great PC crafted towards editing. iMac is a good choice for editing especially when using the Apple editing programme Final Cut Pro X. The iMac also comes with, in default both Garage Band and iMovie which are both considerably helpful when editing.
What I have
My personal computer is a HP, It is fast enough to run different editing software from Sony Vegas, Cyberlink Power Director to Avid Media Composer. My PC is 8GB Ram, 2.8GHz Dual processors and a 500 GB HDD. My computer can edit with 1080p but it won’t be able to work with 4K/UHD material. Although, I will be editing on the computer’s at college. I don’t know the specifications of these computers but from my experience they are able to edit on without any problems.
Lighting will play an important role in this production. I think that the ideal lighting for me would have to be a flood light.
I will need an internet service to be able to download anything I may need and I will also need an internet connection to publish my film online.
Demographics & Psychometric
A Demographic is a study method in film to determine what kind of audience their film will attract. It looks at the characteristics of groups of people categorising in age, income and interests.
The study of people who are then categorised depending on their views, beliefs, lifestyle and other factors.
My Production will be of interest to a variety of people. The viewing audience all depends on smaller factors; Age, interests, beliefs etc. Here I have produced two profiles for what my target audience would look like.
Profession: History Lecturer
Todd is lecturer at a Primary school, he teaches history. In his spare time Todd enjoys film festivals, especially watching unique indie films. Todd is Atheist and this is why he decided to teach History. He believes that education is an important thing to have and that everyone should be informed of their history and knowledgeable of where they come from.
Profession: Student/Assistant at Sainsbury’s supermarket
Haley Cooper is a photography student studying at University. In her spare time Haley enjoys reading fiction books. She is also a fan of horror films and enjoys them with friends. She has a high interest in politics and believes in truth. She has values time spent with friends and doing things they enjoy together.
T4 Relevant Job Roles
These are the job roles relevant to my production process for this project.
To become a Director there aren’t any necessary qualifications. Although there are some qualifications available the only way Director’s become mastered in their profession is through practical experience. Many Directors’ start off by making short films or home movies before going into a film education.
To become a successful Director the individual must have a passion for film making. They must be able to decide upon hard decisions for the benefit of the film including working longer hours than average. Have a strong sense of leadership and be able to motivate their team. Good Director’s are able to give orders and maintain a strict and justifiable rule when instructing their team.
Directors must build upon their experience thoroughly. They will start off making short indie films. The more experience the better, they learn from their mistakes and overtime build a solid skill set in the art of Directing films.
Director’s must have knowledge of the various production teams that they’re working with, for example Sound, Camera and script writing. The Director must also have knowledge on the subject they’re making a movie on for example if it’s on a comic book hero they must have background knowledge of the series narrative and characters. The Director must also have an in-depth understanding of genre. This is so they know what kind of material to produce for the film they’re directing i.e a horror movie is expected to have creepy music and scary characters/scenes.
- Strong presence: The Director is one of the most important members of the Production team. They make the wheel spin, A Director must have some form of involvement with everything that is happening while they’re on set.
- Working smart: Hard work is necessary for every career to be a success but as a film Director working hard can sometimes means you’re spending too much time on things that aren’t important. Being able to work smart is working on what you know you want to achieve and not too much on what has to be done.
- Self esteem: Aspiring Directors’ must find their ‘why’ their reasons to keep going and trying even after multiple failures or when people say no. Being a Director is hard and being able to get back from failure is a necessary attribute to have.
- Open minded: The best Directors are open open to learning new things. ‘Information changes situations‘ Learning new techniques, genres and views give Directors new ways to make their films, they experiment with what they know to make better quality movies.
- Effective communication: To be able to communicate efficiently between each department on set, contingencies and talking with the cast are all important and rely on effective communication.
There are degrees and training available to help on the journey to becoming an editor, although they aren’t necessary needed. The key thing to have is experience. The more experience gained increases the skill and overall knowledge on the profession.
- Good concentration: Editors must make sure that the edit is always smooth this means that every detail counts, especially when editing professionally so they must make sure that there’s near to no mistakes in the cut.
- Creativity: Editors with a dull imagination won’t be able to bring scenes to live the way the Director wants and will reuse techniques and transition without putting much creative thought into their work.
- Patience: Editing can be hard and doing it professionally means staying long hours and continue failures until that perfect cut completed.
- Commitment & dedication: Going back to patience, it is important for an editor to be committed to the material they’re working on and that this commitment is strong so they’re determined to finish. Without it, the editor will get tired of waiting it out and will start to slack on their quality of care which will drastically decrease the quality of the edit.
- Time management & ability to work under pressure: Time management is important for an editor to meet their deadline(s) and give themselves enough time to plan and edit.
The more experience an editor has the better they will become overtime. Someone who has been editing for years will have developing greater skill through their experience than someone who has only been editing for one. For aspiring editors’ work experience is a good option to do. Work experience will give them a taste of what they should expect when entering the profession.
Successful editors have knowledge of how to use multiple editing programmes. The major ones are the best to have knowledge on because they’re the ones they will be working with professionally. Being knowledgeable on a programme will allow the editor to do what is requested by the Director without difficulty or having to look at tutorials which will take up valuable time. It also makes for better editing to be done by using techniques that are harder to do but they know how.
- Organisation: Organisation is an important quality to have for an editor so they know where everything is while editing, avoiding things from getting lost
- Good imagination: As I said before, creativity is necessary to be a good editor as it allows for experimentation and formulating new ideas.
Here are some examples of successful editors and some of their works.
With the nickname ‘Queen of the cut‘ Thelma Schoonmaker is an editor with years of experience and awards under her mantle. Thelma is renowned for working with Director and close friend, Michael Scorsese.
Some of her works:
Shutter Island (2010, Yes Movies) Goodfellas (1990, Short List)
- Shutter Island
- The Departed
- After Hours
Her upcoming productions:
- The Irishman
Editor Curtiss Clayton started his career in editing in 1984. He has done multiple successes when collaborating with fellow editor Gus Van Sant. He has won 2 awards and was nominated for a third.
To Die For (1995. Amazon UK) My Own Private Idaho (1991)
- My Own Private Idaho
- To Die For
- Drugstore Cowboy
Screen writing is a developed skill which functionally doesn’t require any qualifications. Although some may find it helpful in doing courses/degrees around Screenwriting.
- Knowledge/understanding: To screen write successfully it requires the writing being able to understand the narrative of the story how it progresses as forgetting this can lead the story astray. It’s important for the writer to remember the stories progression and where it is.
- Creativity: The best scripts are interesting with intriguing characters and thought-through stories. Creative writers know how to cater to their target audience and apply it with caution when producing their Screenplay
- Experience: Screenwriting requires a decent amount of experience to become a profession. Experience is gained every time a new screen play is written.
- Writing visually: This is a skill when writing screen plays the writer can bring their characters to life on paper by involving dialogue and sound which will support characters’ action.
As mentioned prior, Screen writers should be knowledgeable on the subject/genre they’re writing for. This knowledge helps make sure no mistakes or plot holes are made. When writing a Screenplay for a book its a must for the screen play writer to have read the book and have a depth understanding of it.
- Outgoing: Being a Screen writer can be hard meaning that they have to be outgoing in looking for work, this can be from looking for work, selling their screen plays or being hired.
- Dedication: Dedicated writers are dedicated to what they’re writing a script for. Dedication produces quality results in characters, narrative and plots. They may also be dedicated to pleasing their consumers and will try harder in developing a greater screen play.
- Communicative skills: An important attribute, communicative skill is a good attribute to have as a screenplay writer because they work with the Director and other departments in the production and will be communicating with each. Being able to communicate effectively is key to the screen writer for them to be able to meet deadlines and produce what is asked of them.
- Cooperation: Some screenplays are written by multiple writers and if they are unable to get along then the work won’t be completed or up to quality standard. Being able to cooperate with the other writers ensures that what each of them are working on in the screen play won’t mess up what another may be doing by doing something like killing off characters another writer may have been using.
What is Copyright? / It’s history
Copyright is an exclusive legal right, when someone Copyrights their material it means that their original work is protected. This includes dramatic, literal, artistic and video/sound work. If copyrighted material is breached without permission the owners are able to sue to these people.
The initial introduction on Copyright was stated to happen back in England, 1710 when the ‘Statute of Anne’ was passed which introduced the concept of authors being able to legally own the Copyright of their work instead their work being government owned.
Since then, America had passed an almost identical law like the Statute of Anne several years later in 1790.
How Copyright is relevant to my project
Having awareness and knowledge of Copyright in my project is relevant to me because I am going to be using some materials that don’t belong to me. My planned soundtrack for my project is on the website YouTube. Before using their material I will ask them for permission to do so, documented permission in case I need it as proof later on. To do this I can chose one of various ways to contact the owner of the soundtrack and formally request permission to use it in my non-profitable film.
The uses of Trademarks
Trademarks are signs often found on logos, slogans and mission statements to show the consumer who owns it and so that they can distinguish it from others alike.
The uses of music
Music is used in film. It can be used as a soundtrack for a TV/film series as well as theme tunes for either. This helps the product rememberable as the song will be recognised when heard.
I won’t be using music in my Extended Project and instead focusing on ambient sound to create realism in my film.
Intellectual property is the ownership of an idea by the owner. Intellectual property is a part of property law.
Health and Safety
Health and Safety is important for making sure the production can progress without injury. It is a legal requirement for risk assessments to be held in Pre-Production. These allow for the analysis of environments for possible dangers which are documented for awareness solutions. Acting as contingency, risk assessments are needed to know what to do if someone does have an accident during filming then this document will be used.
Key Skills and techniques for my project
To assure that my Final Major project is a success I will need to use and develop various key skills to make sure I can finish my production successfully.
Camera: Operating & Framing
I will be filming my scenes for my Extended Project so its important for me to be able to use the camera correctly. I will be using my developed skill in camera operating and applying the knowledge I have learnt on framing to create the effect and scenes I desire.
Sound: Microphones type, recording & levels
Due to my Final Major Project being primarily dialogue focused I will be recording all of my dialogue. To do this correctly I will need to use my what I have learnt on the different types of microphone to use for recording different sound. I will be using the shotgun microphone to record my dialogue as its the best fitting for it. I will need to use the skill of sound recording, making sure the levels are right before beginning. I will do this by testing the sound level from various distances to find the best one.
The desired setting of my project is a dark room with minimal light. To be able to do this I will have to further develop my skill in lighting as it’s not one of my honed skills. This can be done various ways including practical experience and by practising creating the effect I want in the studio.
Editing is a skill that I will have to further develop. I will need to develop on my understanding of Avid Media Composer which I can do my emersing my self in the programme and by watching tutorials to greater my understanding.
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