The Rough (Fine) Cut Screening

The rough cut screening and more specifically the feedback from this was quite simply invaluable!! Having stared at the same footage and sequences for hours on end it gets hard to observe and critique your own work objectively; and as a group we haven’t exactly been agreeing on things 100% so it was great not only to see how everyone else was progressing with their films, but also to find out what a fresh set of eyes thought of our progress thus far.  Knowing that feedback would be provided I really pushed to include the Spider Lady footage we had, purely to pose the question should we bother using it? – The answer being a definite no.

The class seemed to really enjoy the introduction and found Jason to be really engaging. The main issue being the juxtaposition from the opening straight to spider lady created a false sense of a build up, the opening so fast paced and engaging in comparison to the tarot reader. The other thing every-body seemed to agree on was the use of re-verb being up way to high making Jason’s introduction way to hard to understand, also that some of the effects such as the flames that shot out of his hand and engulfed him were too much and a bit lame. (will definitely admit to getting a bit carried away there!) Other than that they seemed to really enjoy Jason as a participant and the narrative structure of the piece and the demonstrations with Jason – being the rough cut, we still do have the more impressive demos to still add for the final cut, have to keep some element of surprise! Robin and Paul also discussed condensing what Jason says quite a great deal as he often is very drawn out and takes a while to get to the point.

So now we have to decide where to go from here! One thing for sure is that we will definitely be taking on all the advice we have been given. So looks like our doco is now going in a completely new direction than we ever imagined, focussing solely on Jason. Now its all about deciding which are the best elements of his story – which in dot-point form would be a) how he got into being a mentalist b) the story where he put on a show for a bunch of psychics who informed him he was not just using trickery, sparking the transition c) the isolation he experienced from the magician society with the transition. Another key factor we have to figure out/ agree on, are cutaways and hunting down some archival footage to use for it.  SO alot of work still to be done.

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Interview 3- Jason

This Sunday night we headed out filled with both anticipation and excitement to do our third and what we were all really, really hoping will be our last interview. It went pretty well! Jason our participant a once skeptical mentalist who now claims to be a psychic entertainer, was both incredibly fascinating, excited and friendly. We honestly could not have hoped for a better participant, he was so well spoken and the interview portion of the night (despite some incredibly annoying camera technical difficulties) just flowed, his stories compelling. The demonstration portion was equally compelling, as the interviewer I became the test subject for his hypnosis and psychic exercises. I was put under hypnosis, and unable to control simple movements which was definitely the most weird and surreal feeling I have ever experienced. We lit these scenes really dramatically, pretty much shooting in pitch black with a spot-light effect; so hopefully it will make for some good footage. The introduction went really well too, we set up the green-screens pretty quickly (even though the putting it away process was no where near as smooth), and Jason had actually already memorised the script, which was perfect! We got a couple of different takes and a bit of a framing variety between these takes, so I’m excited to have a play around with it in after effects and get our introduction together!

I am really excited to view the footage, and If the footage and audio ( which we were unable to monitor aurally due to a missing head-phone jack) turns out as good as we are hoping this interview definitely holds the potential to change the whole direction of our film!