I am making a short film with the only dialogue allowed to be “Hello”. At first, I thought there was not much that I could do with just the word “hello” but after thinking for a bit, I realised that the word “hello” can mean completely different things when said in different ways and by different people in different contexts. I will use music to reflect what the characters are feeling at the time. Music is very powerful as it sets the tone for the film. The same clip can mean two different things if you change the background music. I will also be using Foley sounds to make it seem more realistic like birds or footsteps for example. This is my end result – see below for how it was made
Unit 1 – Communication Report
I have decided to make a short film to communicate in a visual and audible way. The reason I have chosen a short film is because it is the only way to incorporate video and audio together. This means I can communicate more information to the viewer as there are 2 communication methods in 1. Using just audio will work, but with the only dialogue being “hello” it makes it almost imposable to create a storyline using just audio. Using just video would be a bit easier as I would be able to tell a story, But the only problem is that you can’t incorporate the word “hello” into it. In order to get the story across I could use text. With text, I would be able to write the storyline and put in the “hello’s” as well. The only reason I didn’t choose text is because 65% of the world’s population are visual learners. This means that in order to communicate my message with as many people as possible so they understand it better is to do it is a visual way, like a video. And for the video to include the word “hello” I would also need audio in it.
After lots of planning and storyboarding and failed plots, I have come up with a few ideas of possible stories.
This starts with a girl sitting on a bench. A guy comes up to her and sits next to her. He then precedes to say “hello” to the girl. The girl ignores him. The next scene is of a college corridor and the guy see’s the girl and again says “hello”. And again the girl ignores him. We then see a scene of the guy looking at a “prom” poster with a sad expression. The next scene is of the girl sitting at a table on herself. The guy sits opposite her and tries one last time “hello?”. The girl looks at him and gets out a notepad and pen. She writes something on the notepad and passes it the guy. The notepad simply read “I’m deaf”. The next scene is the guy looking at the “prom” poster smiling. He then goes up to the girl and passes over his notepad. On it is written “prom?”. We then go to a scene of them walking down the corridor holding hands and smiling.
This starts with mysterious packages in a factory being produced. We then follow a delivery lorry/van from the factory. We then see the delivery man delivering these mystery packages to different people. We then see people greeting the delivery man as he delivers the packages. There will be a range of different people saying “Hello”. There will also be people saying “hello” in different languages.
This starts with a person in a home office answering the phone to different people and having a montage of different people saying “hello” in different ways/moods/accents/languages.
Unit 2 – Research Plan and Evaluating the Research
Idea 1 has a bench in it. I am using Dane John Gardens, Canterbury to film this scene. There is a bench in front of some trees which would serve as a good background for the scene. I went to Dane John Gardens and took a picture of the bench that I want to use. There’s also a bench near my house that would suit the purpose.
Dane John Gardens
Near my house, Chartham The Crescent
If the weather is not good enough I will go to the bus stop near my house to do it, as that has a roof so we won’t be wet and spoil the effect.
For the second scene, I will use the main corridor of Canterbury College to shoot.
To do the scene when they are facing each other on a table I will be using the college canteen. The tables and chairs will serve the purpose I need.
I will be filming the bench scene on Tuesday as BBC weather says that is predicted to be the best day of the week.
After some research, I found a video that has a similar storyline to this idea. It’s called “Too Quick To Judge” and it has the same idea of a guy going up to a girl and trying to speak to her to later realising that she is deaf.
For the first scene, as I don’t have a factory I have access to, I have found some footage from YouTube of a factory conveyor belt. I will message the owner of the YouTube channel to ask if I can use the footage.
My friend’s dad owns a van so I will ask him if he doesn’t mind helping me in the film.
I have found that in the UK postmen wear reflective orange Hi-Vis vests
I have found an orange Hi-Vis vest for sale.
I could make a home office setup at home with the things around my house. I will use a desk, a computer with 2 screens, a desk phone, a pen/pencil pot, documents, a filing system and an office chair.
Using editing I could have a scene of his phone ringing, after he answers it then cuts to the person on the other side of the phone answering him “hello”.
I have chosen to do the first idea as it is the most practical and won’t take more than a week to film. Idea 2 is too unpractical because I don’t know that many people who would like to be handed a package and getting filmed doing so. Idea 3 is not as interesting as the first one as it doesn’t really have a strong storyline.
I will be filming on my phone for this project as it is easily accessible, lightweight and portable. My phone has a 13-megapixel camera and can record in 1080p at 30fps so it will be able to do the job well without sacrificing much quality for the functionality of its portability. I also have a fisheye lens and a microlens that I can put on for different effects. Although the college has DSLRs My phone takes just as good video. DSLRs are mainly designed to be good at taking photos and are not the best at taking video. If this project was a series of photos then I would use a DSLR.
I will use a tripod to record the shots from my phone. Panning using my tripod will add interest to the short film as I can get moving shots not just static shots.
I will incorporate techniques that I have learned into the project, such as the rule of thirds, leading lines and natural framing.
As it is a quiet environment and everything’s happening close to the camera I have decided not to use an external microphone. I will use the microphone’s on my phone to record the dialogue as they are good quality and you can adjust the polar pattern that they pick up. Other sounds like background noises and footsteps will be done in post production using Foley.
Evaluating the Research
After completing the video I have realised that my research wasn’t as good as it could have been. I should have researched into the weather a bit more because although it was sunny it was very cold. I originally won. I should have also done some research into the actors as I planned to film on Monday – Sunday but because I didn’t know anyone who was free for the week I had to film on the weekend giving me less time. The actors also got very cold so I didn’t get as many scenes as I hoped. Although the locations were all in the same estate I didn’t organise any transport so we had to walk between each location making it even colder. I didn’t film in all in the planned locations for this reason as the actors were getting really cold.
The rule of thirds
I tryied to incoperate the rule of thirds into as many shots as possable. These are screenshots from the “hello” project with the 3×3 grid over the top to show the where the rule of thirds is used.
This is one of the first shots and in terms of composition I think it is one of the best shots in the short film.
Unit 3 – Production Diary
I will be filming from Saturday and Sunday as that is the only time I can film as everyone who would be willing to act can only act on the weekend as they are at school during the week. I will make sure that I am prepared on for the weekend so I can fit as much filming as possible into a short space of time.
I tried to incorporate as many techniques as possible like: the rule of thirds, leading lines, natural framing, the 180 degree rule, the colour temperature, Foley sound and semiology.
Peer Review – Brandon Virtue
“That’s really good its probably the best I’ve seen so far”
Step 1: The actors arrived at my house
Step 2: I informed the actors of the storyboard and asked if they were happy with it or would like to make and changes
Step 3: I got my tripod and phone and we made our way to the closest location to the house.
Step 4: Consulting the storyboard we made our way through each shot.
Step 6: The actors were getting cold so we went beck to the house to film the inside scenes.
Step 7: After we warmed up doing the inside scenes we headed outside
I have filmed most of it today and I have still got some scenes to do tomorrow. The main problem was the temperature. The actors got extremely cold when filming. Using the filming techniques that I have learned like the rule of thirds and leading lines. I also used
Setting up the tripod to just above the characters eye levelGetting an establishing shot with a wide angle (fish eye) lensFilming an OTS shot (Over the Shoulder Shot) of the phone screenI didn’t have any proper lighting available, so I used some desk lamps and they did the job fine. I attached some Parchment Paper (Baking Paper) over the lights as they work as a good diffuser. I researched into it before hand to find the heat required in order to melt/burn the paper. I found out that it would take 215°C (420°F) before the paper started smoking. By putting a thermometer in front of the lights I was using, after they had been on for a while, I determined that the highest temperature the paper would be exposed to was 41°C (106°F) which is nowhere near the smoking point.
I wanted to get a (very) low angle shot and because I didn’t have a tripod small enough to get this shot I propped my phone up on one of the tripod legs. This proved to be quite effective as it gave me a low angle shot and I could view the phone screen by lying under the tripod.Lying down so I could see the phone screenReviewing the footage
I finished up some scenes but we had to finish early as an actor got really cold and didn’t want to carry on.
Me deciding where on the bench the actors would sit without blocking the camera’s view of the other one.Consulting the storyboardClose upSetting up for the panning shotShowing the actors which direction I wanted them to enter from
Unit 4 – Critical Perspective Report and Contextuality Report
This is my final storyboard for the project.
I am going to be focusing on semiology as there is not much that can be done with just “hello”, semiology has to be a big part in order to tell the audience more info about the characters. So things like lighting and music are going to me key. I think the genre would come under romance.
I defiantly had a lack of time due to actors getting cold. I also had a lack of money as although I used a tripod for the panning scenes. If I had a better tripod it would be smooth and not jerky. A camera that can handle a high contrast in brightness would have been useful. What I ended up with is some parts of the shot just being white and other parts of the shot becoming so dark. All cameras struggle with this problem but more expensive cameras handle it better. Despite this problem, I managed to improve the look of my shot in post production. I changed the brightness, contrast and the white/black point. If I had a bigger budget I would have got a gimbal so I could do moving shots without any shaking. I would have also used a drone to get some establishing shots. If I had more time I would have got an establishing shot of the girl sitting on the bench and a close up of her reaction when the guy asks her to prom. I would have also had some more scenes of them enjoying each other’s company (for example passing a piece of paper between them and laughing) after he found out she was deaf. I would of also put a “love montage” at the end. An idea I had was to use a powerful light in a dark room to cast shadows on the wall. Using this trick I could get it so they both stand opposite each other but the smallest stands closest to the light and the tallest closest to the wall then they both kiss the air at the same time and it will give the illusion that they are kissing each other. I also had an idea to have a montage of them getting older but I don’t have enough actors to play them or enough makeup to disguise them as being older. I was thinking of a montage similar to the one found in “Up”.
In the end, we used different locations than previously researched, as the researched ones are far away from each other. These are the new locations we used.