This week we have been learning about movement and storyboards. We were set a task to create a short sequence of clips that demonstrate different camera techniques. We had to do it about something simple such as someone sitting down. This is because we were focusing on the camera rather than the story line. We used a camera slider and a tripod to film.
We also used a Steadicam and learned how to use it.
During filming we had a few problems but in the end we managed to resolve them. One of these problems was the camera strap. It kept on getting caught on the camera slider as we done the sliding panning shot. We fixed this by removing the camera strap. Another problem we ran into was the slider was loose and didn’t want to be tightened. This meant that when we were sliding the camera there was a great deal of shaking and you may as well of held the camera and done it that way. In the end we had someone to operate the camera and slide it and we had someone ducking down under the slider holding it still so it wouldn’t shake. We also had a problem with the last scene of walking downstairs because although the Steadicam removed most of the shaking there was still the rising and falling of the camera as the camera operator followed the subject down the stairs. In order to improve this I used Avid media composers stabilize effect. This effects tracked the the background and the person walking downstairs and it separated them. It then used the background movement data to figure out how the camera was shaking. Avid then realized that it was shaking vertically and compensated for this. Avid’s way to compensate for this was by zooming into the video and panning up and down on the video to counter the camera bobbing. Although this way sacrifices the camera quality and removes some of the shot because it is zoomed in, it was worth it to make the camera have that smooth effect that we wanted. There was also a few problems that we only realized after we had filmed it for example the blurriness of the first shot. I think that the aperture had been set too large and I think we focused on the clapper board at the begging making the only area in focus being where the clapper board was. Next time I will solve this problem by putting the clapperboard right in front of the actor/subject so when the camera focuses on the clapper board it is not putting the actor/subject out of focus. If the shot requires a large depth of field like someone walking towards/away from the camera then I will make sure their is a small aperture. The last problem was the people in the corridor. We went from a corridor with people in it to a corridor without anyone in it to a shot of the corridor with two people standing in it. We did try to make sure the corridor was empty but it was difficult as we had a deadline to film it so we couldn’t waste that much time just waiting for the corridor to be empty. Next time I would bear in mind the time we have to film and plan accordingly for example if I had a short time to do it then I would pick a location I knew wouldn’t be used by other people.
We learnt that if you want to disguise a cut then the best time to do it is when movement is going on. This is because the viewer is focusing on the movement of the character and therefore don’t notice the cut. We also learnt different types of shots such as a POV (Point of View) shot. We also learnt about Graphical Imbalance and how if you are doing a cut when there is movement, the character that is moving should be roughly the same size on both the shots. We learned about cutaways and jump cuts. Cutaways are when the viewer is presented something different to what they were already experiencing and then take them back. An example is if there was someone talking and then it goes to a shot of a clock ticking then goes back to the person talking. A jump cut gives the illusion that time has passed. A jump cut can be used in one of two ways. The first way is to make the viewer think time has gone by. The second way is to decrease the length of a clip with the audience still knowing what is going on. We also learnt that you can’t cut from the middle of a pan shot to a static shot unless you want to confuse the viewer. We analysed a scene from “Amelie” and found we analysed the use of camera movement. From cutaways to POV shots and the use of Steadicam’s this clip includes all the camera movements we have learned about.
Natural direction is when the camera is on the line of action and the character is heading straight for of away from the camera. We also touched on story boarding and how to illustrate one and that you don’t have to be a story board artist in order to create a storyboard. As long as your story board can be understood that’s all which matters. Using movement visually stimulates the viewer and makes it more interesting. There is ways of creating movement when the characters are static by getting a moving background. A way this can be achieved is with the weather. There could be a window in the background and it could be snowing/raining which also creates movement. You need to be careful not to use this too much as too much background movement can distract the viewers from what’s going on in the foreground. Camera movement background movement and character movement all visually stimulate the viewer and make the shot look more dynamic. The video below explains how anyone can create a story board and that you don’t have to be the next Vincent van Gogh in order to make a successful storyboard.
GOANIMATE RESOURCES BLOG. 2015. What Is A Storyboard And Why Do You Need One?. [ONLINE] Available at: https://resources.goanimate.com/what-is-a-storyboard-and-why-do-you-need-one/. [Accessed 12 January 2017].
JOHNATHAN PAUL. 2015. 8 Essential Cuts Every Editor Should Know. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/8-essential-cuts-every-editor-should-know/. [Accessed 12 January 2017].
V Renée. 2016. Left or Right? Why a Character’s Lateral Movement On-Screen Matters in Film. [ONLINE] Available at: http://nofilmschool.com/2016/02/left-or-right-why-characters-lateral-movement-screen-matters-film. [Accessed 12 January 2017].
flyfilms.in. no date. PROAIM ZEAL 3ft camera slider. [ONLINE] Available at: https://flyfilms.in/proaim-zeal-3ft-camera-slider.html. [Accessed 12 January 2017].
wikipedia.org. 2016. Steadicam. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steadicam. [Accessed 12 January 2017].