‘Whodunit’ – Evaluation (For Assessment)

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/38917297]

So this is our final edit of the film, ‘Whodunit?’

After last week’s crit, we made a few adjustments to the film which are definitely for the better. We took all the feedback on board and used that to decide where to focus our attention in the edit suite.

I think it’s important to talk about the project as a whole to begin with. Our problems early in this module have been well documented. We took on board what turned out to be a very problematic project. The original idea, ‘Assembly’ involved a strong talking point with the story being about a mother giving a bomb to her unsuspecting son who takes it into his school. As a group we decided to be a bit controversial and a bit different, too many student projects involve 3 things, sex, guns and comedy and we wanted to go beyond those limitations. It was getting increasingly hard to finalise a script for the film, and we didn’t have a solid ending which is vitally important to make the film make sense. We had numerous knock-backs with actors, especially children as lots of agents didn’t want their clients working in a terrorism plot-line and as we needed a school to film in, CRB checks would have been needed and it would take too long for them to be completed for us to make the film in time. After numerous production meetings, we decided to shelve the idea which turned out to be the right thing to do. I found that it’s important to have a 2nd option ready to go which we did not. We started from scratch with about 20 days to go and it was tough getting everything sorted. It was of testament to the group that we got all the logistics completed, and everybody knuckled down to work.

So with the new film in place, the filming process was very simple. I’ve never been on a shoot where something major has happened and led to problems for the rest of the shoot but this was different. We worked efficiently and when a problem did arise such as the lamp bulb running out, we had a couple of spares available just in case. The lighting on a few shots was a bit off too, but we used all our skills and knowledge to make the scenes match and look authentic.

I had reservations at the start of the project of working with my close friends. I thought that we would be too kind to each other through the process and wouldn’t speak our mind when needed. However, my reservations was completely unjust. Even when things looked bleak or members wasn’t pulling their weight, we all spoke our mind and just took it on the chin which was good. It stopped there from being a negative cloud hanging above our heads.

Here is my evaluation of my groups members;

  • Tori – Did a good job throughout the project. She made sure the actors were prepared for the shoot and kept in contact with all members at crucial stages of the production. She participated well in group discussions. She also gave good feedback on different aspects such as the script and actors.
  • Sean – As editor/dop, he worked tirelessly on both the rough edit and the final edit. He participated well in group discussions and also gave good feedback on different aspects such as the script and actors. He marked down all the footage to make his job at the end of the project easier to complete. He worked in conjunction with Gov (the other DOP) really well, and gave me some advice on the scenes. He also did a rough storyboard.
  • Gov – As chief DOP he completed a shooting schedule and storyboard to make his job easier. He participated well in group discussions and also gave good feedback on different aspects such as the script and actors. He filled in the group blog and was in contact with the rest of the group.
  • Tik – As camera op, he worked intuitively with the camera and the equipment which made the production day run smoothly. Didn’t make too much of a contribution to begin with, but when the new project was announced, he gave good feedback on the new idea.

So onto the film itself. Am I happy with it? Yeah, definitely. You can see a major difference in the films we shot in the first year. This a lot more refined, shot better and by using actors, it gives the film that professional feel. I love how the cast interacts with each other, then move around the set in unison which is nice and after going through the script 20 or so times on the day, for them to keep the timing of each section exactly the same, it was testament to their professionalism. I really love the last 10 seconds of the film, the reveal shot looks great and by cutting to a reaction shot, then back again, it gives the audience a sense of what is being felt by the police officers. It also gives them time to realise what has been said.

If I was to do this again, I would make a few changes. I think it looks a too bit dark, although that was we wanted the film to feel like. You can’t really see the supporting actor in the background. I would record the audio completely separately too, it took a long time for us to sort the audio out in the film and to get it in sync.

Overall, I personally feel I have worked really hard in this project. I love to make films and it’s what I want to do as a career. By taking this project on in the professional manor, it’s given me an insight into what life may be like when I graduate. My communication and management skills have improved tremendously and I have learnt that hard work does pay off.

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