The Screening & Final Reflections

The screening, once again was an awesome night; and I was incredibly impressed by the standard of the documentaries presented. It was amazing to see the progress everyone had made since last semester, even just in terms of the cinematography!  It was a great experience to see my group’s own film on the big-screen for the first time and to get a gage of audience perception of the final product, which was nice as it seemed to be pretty well received. I really enjoyed all of the films of the night, everyone choosing such great and diverse topics! There were, however, in my opinion a few documentaries which stood out among the masses.


To Be A Poet 

Fabulous choice of participant! His story was so captivating, his speech so articulate I found it so hard to imagine that not long ago he had been illiterate. I loved the way it was framed around the poem, which was able to capture his story perfectly. It was short and sweet, and although it did leave me wanting to see more; I think keeping it short worked perfectly. The audio was perfect, and I actually can not fault anything!!

Long Story Short

One of my absolute favourites of the night, so touching! (a lot of tears in the cinema during this one) I think the choice of participants, two elderly people nearing death who had lived such different lives without regret was brilliant. Not only were the questions asked and the sections of footage perfect, but it was also impeccably shot. I loved the dolly shots towards the bright, bright light at the end of the nursing home hallway that suddenly changed direction as it neared the light and headed up to the doors labelled with the names of the individuals. Oh and the music was so fitting to. All in all just an amazing documentary!

Alternatives

That cinematography!! The one thing I couldn’t get over whilst watching this documentary was how amazingly it was shot, from the framing of the landscape to the amazingly bright yellow-green of the grass; it was fabulous. The participants were also very passionate about their sustainable lifestyle, so good choice there too!

The Things That Nana Remembers

A sensitive, moving and personal story of the events of the holocaust. I loved that they took the topic in a different direction, as well as the juxtaposition between the now and the recollection of memories. Oh and the end was brilliant.

At The End of The Day

A fabulous film about drag queens. Loved, loved, loved the central character! He was so perfect, love the contrast between his natural blokey, man’s man appearance in juxtaposition with him all made up in drag was amazing. The way he spoke about manliness and his analogies was hilarious. The choice of colour style from black and white to colour, and the song choices were also fabulous!! Watching the make-up process on the younger guy (assuming filmmaker) was also brilliant, as well as the Drag Bingo clip in the credits – all in all a great film.

Henry The Magpie

So creative. It was so amazing how the narration was able to shape and create humour out of what would not be considered humorous footage! To think of the time it would have taken to capture the perfect footage to tell the story also, is definitely impressive.  So different to all the other docos presented, job well done.

Just A Game

This was yet another very entertaining film. So fast paced and jam packed with information. Loved all the sketches they did, and think they did a fabulous jobs communicating their contention – one of the very few incredibly subjective documentaries presented.

Circus Stew

I thought they did a fabulous job in presenting and piecing that beautiful archive footage together, absolutely loved hearing the stories and memories from the guy who filmed the footage all those years ago; especially the one from which the film derives its name Circus Stew. Good choice of music, and great work in allowing the amazing archive footage speak for itself – it truly was visually spectacular. Am definitely interested in what Mark Holden will do with it in his  pieces. Only criticism, some of the audio cuts were a bit abrupt and cut off too early.

Jehova Who

This group did an amazing job in objectivity, allowing the subjects to speak for themselves without twisting it to fit a contention – which could oh so easily have happened!! Although, I’m sure all the audience came to their own conclusion about what they thought about the Jehova’s Witness community; all ethical boundaries were respected and no one was made fun of, rather presented as they are. I loved the church elder from the beginning of the film, so firm and aggressive in his belief system, and also the contrast between him and the family with the young child.


I honestly was so impressed by all the films, and enjoyed them all!  After a great deal of time spent editing, and a few minor disagreements about certain elements of the film, I think my group all came to agree on won thing in the end- that we were happy with the film we produced. Focussing solely on Jason, which was a completely different direction than we ever intended was a bit of a risk that paid off in the end. The collaborative effort of our group and advice from both the class, Paul and Robin; allowed us to utilise everyone in the groups individuals skills (Neha’s after effect geniousness, Simon’s ability to make music, Moses’s cinematography skills, and Michael and my own editing skills) to produce the dramatic, stylised piece which despite all the changes in subject we as a group been aiming to achieve from the outset. I am so proud of what not only my group but everyone else has achieved this semester, was definitely an enjoyable semester overall and everybody has amazing films to show for it too!

Stuck in a Rut

We have reached that point in our film where although we can say that we have two thirds of the interviews we intended to get, we by no means can say our film is two thirds of the way done. We are really struggling to piece the interviews we have thus far together, and can all agree on one thing it is definitely lacking in a common thread. We do have one more interview to come however, this one with a very interesting man named Jason who started out as a mentalist/ magician and has now transitioned into being a psychic entertainer. We are really hoping he will be the missing piece to our puzzle, yet at the same time can not put all our eggs in one uncertain basket as we do not specifically what we will get, or if we will get anything useful at all.

To assist with getting ourselves out we have decided narration will be a perfect way to initialise the story and the thread, virtually setting everything up in an expository type manner. Using almost every history channel cliche` ever and making the whole thing a bit over the top we came up with this:

“Beyond the world of the five senses, lie subtler realms known only to the initiated. For, time is not what it seems, with one event following the next like an endless row of dominoes because according to the ancient scriptures – all events, past, present and future – unfold simultaneously through infinite parallel universes. It is the role of the fortune teller and psychic, to pierce the veil of the present and illuminate a path for those who seek to know. “

We are hoping to get it said by our final participant Jason, filming it on a green-screen to make the opening really strange – think him floating space, all seeing eyes opening and closing behind him, light illuminating from his hands – the works!! Stylistically we know what we want, and it won’t be your standard doco that’s for sure!!

Now we just have to hope our final interview goes well and get editing like crazy.

The Screening

Film and Tv1 has come to an end, the film screening marking the end of an amazing semester!!

After many days and nights spent down in the depths of the editing suites, awake only at the aid of many a can of  V; I was extremely excited and nervous to not only see our film on the big screen but to see every one else’s films as well. I was super impressed with the amazing quality of the films everyone had produced, and was incredibly nervous watching 21 awesome films before ours was finally screened as the second last film of the night. I really enjoyed seeing the film we had worked so hard on come to life on the big screen, the laughs and ooo’s and general reception so fulfilling!!


There were a great number of films that really stood out during the screening for me, these included:

The Job Interview :

This film was a great one to kick off the night!! An excellent script, edited together beautifully; loved the insanity of the office smashing scene, along with all the assumption based jokes.

Isaac:

Isaac was edited together really well, the colour grading made the shots look great on the screen. I particularly loved one shot where Isaac was walking down a path trees on either side of him, the symmetry and framing rather great. I also though the music throughout was perfect, and really brought the film together.

About a Dog:

The  cinematography was fantastic, all shots within this film were both framed and lit beautifully. I thought the concept itself was quite simple and clever whilst still amusing and entertaining., and the actors did a wonderful job, in particular the one playing the awkward home owner.

Hilarious Transplant:

This film had me in fits of laughter from the very outset, the concept and characters just so ridiculously hilarious! I thought the performances, and the japanese graphics (which would have taken forever to make!!) were fantastic and really made the film.

At The Vanishing Point:

I think the non-linear editing of this film was courageous and worked really well. The casting was also really, really well done; both actors fitting their roles perfectly. The cinematography, however, is what won me over with this film; the use of lighting superb my favourite shots a dark outside shot lit with a huge spotlight on the wall, as well a shot within the back of the van which just looked great.

Rent Day:

Hilarious well-written script. Superb editing. Great mis-en-scene. Fantastic acting. Rent Day was another hilarious film, it could not been cast nor edited better. My favourite scene was definitely the slow motion, dream sequence as the bank clerk  beaming, blew kisses and flicked her hair. Oh and and and the contrast from the dream sequence to the unimpressed expression of the clerk in reality, and the crash zoom on the huge sparkling engagement ring, and all the jewish jokes and, ok just all of it was great!

Confessions:

Yet another film I really enjoyed. The cinematography and sound design within this film were incredibly fab! The location was incredibly perfect for the script as well. Also I was really impressed by how professional the end credits looked, overall a great, well-made solid film.

The Other Half:

One of the very few thriller/ drama films, which really stood out! It was edited superbly, I especially loved the fast paced editing as Lionel came closer and closer to breaking point, the addition of many sounds and the experimentation with panning truly paying off!! I also thought the superimposition of Lionel holding himself up against the wall, proving he was the ‘therapist’ character all along was great. The kind of film that keeps you on the edge of your seat and gets your brain thinking!

Loot:

This film concluded the night, and on an extremely high note!! Was such a hilarious script and loved the combination of the stereotype of the looter and the juice sales person. It was also superbly cast, the actors fitting and able to pull off their parts amazingly. The set-up and use of a graphic design in the creation of all the props and the layout of the store, amazing; and the title was a great pun itself! Loved it, I  laughed non-stop throughout  and would definitely want to watch it again!


Overall, I am extremely proud of what every- single group produced; including my own! I have really enjoyed this semester and feel really lucky to have gotten the chance to work with some amazing people. The screening was a great and enjoyable way to end the semester!!

“It Will Never Happen To Us” – A Lesson in Naivety

‘Locations fall through all the time’.. they warned,

‘Be prepared for everything’ … they warned.

‘It will never happen to us’ .. I thought in response ever so naively.

Sunday night we received the text stating it may not be possible for our filming to go ahead at the location we’d selected this Friday the day we’d scheduled our shoot. Activate complete stress mode… We were all lost so confused! What did we do? Merely days away from the shoot date, do we sacrifice the amazing location so perfect for our script and use a back-up location ( which we had organised )? Would we even be able to use the back-up locations on such short notice? How much work would be involved in re-blocking a new location? Do we reschedule the shoot? Would our actors be able to make the shoot date if we did? And what about our professionalism in front of the actors, would that all be lost?

So many questions, and so few answers. Each of us lost in a daze, unsure of what to do, never truly fathoming that this could actually be happening, and silently hoping that it could just all go ahead…

Thank-fully, It all worked out and we were able to keep our location.

Crisis Averted!

So now surely we could relax, location problems, casting problems; surely we had now dealt with our fair share of problems!

Naivety or optimism, I am not too sure, but I was well and truly convinced that from here on in it would be relatively smooth sailing and stress free ( well not completely free…) We had everything under control, everything was organised.

Once again we were wrong, way wrong….

Problem #1 : Our main actor could only remain at the shoot till 5pm, meaning come shoot day we were going to be rather pressed for time. Not overly problematic, we would just make the shoot begin a tad earlier in order to utilise the maximum amount of time possible. Problem solved. But yet again, this was not the last problem to arise….

Problem #2: The make-up artist was going to require an hour for make-up as opposed to the half an hour we scheduled, and we could not find an extra make-up artist on such short notice. Approximately a thousand calls later, we came to the conclusion that the shoot would have to commence even earlier again, and we’d have to be ultra efficient in all preparatory activities in order to ensure we had max shooting time and everything would remain on track. Problem solved. Time to over-come the stress and relax a little before shoot day…. Or so I once again, so wrongly though!

Problem #3: Then today 1 day before the shoot, our leading lady rang regarding potentially beginning at 11 am due to other commitments, something that was not possible with make-up occurring so early in the day, and also due to the fact we required the morning sun for the shots she would be in, the shots that thus far had been scheduled to be first. After much to and fro, we developed a solution- compromise, schedule all her shots first during the day allowing her to leave early.

A stress filled build up it has been thus far, but fingers-crossed for a good shot tomorrow!! We have persevered and persevered, avoided tears and makor break-downs but its reached the point where I’m not sure how much more stress and wrong-goings we can handle! Can’t things just work out?

It has been an interesting experience though, and a true eye-opener to how things must be in the industry. Its tough work, things go wrong, phone calls need to happen, compromises need to be made and things need to be fixed – its just the way it is. I honestly don’t think I have never made so many phone calls in such few days in my whole life! The content of these phone calls, teaching me valuable lessons in dealing with people; how do you be stern and direct with someone who you still want to have a good rapport with come shoot day? That was a tough one for me! I didn’t want to sound rude or unprofessional, but had to acknowledge that as a hired actress she had made a commitment and things could only be arranged to a certain extent, apologising for any inconveniences. Something even harder when these people are donating there time for free, and we really are so thankful to them for that!

Anyway, all our pre-shoot problems have been sorted and we are all organised and ready for shoot day!

Now to get some rest, It’s going to be one long, intense day tomorrow that is for suree!!