Channel Project Update 6th – 8th February

My plan on the 6th was to film more footage for the ‘History of Alpha Centauri’ scene. However, due to bad weather I was not able to. I made use of the day by booking out the equipment for the 7th (luckily the weather was nice on that day) and picking out possible clips, which could be used in the final footage. This was useful because there was a lot of footage and as I didn’t know if certain shots were going to be usable I shot the same scene 3 to 4 times. I was able to pick out the best version of each shot and pick out the shots I felt were the best.

On the Friday the 7th I filmed the final footage. The weather was much better and this meant that I was able to go outside and get some nice shots of locations close to the university campus. I stayed close to Talbot Campus because I had a lot of equipment and found it hard to go far as I didn’t have any crew to help with equipment.

On the Friday night we continued editing and this is when the videos really started to come together. We worked on the Earth scene first (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8oJ5L-_vfM). We tried a series of different techniques to see what looked best. We changed the clips so the sped up clock wasn’t over the other clips though decided that this didn’t work as well as the previous version.

This is a section of the clock footage, I reduced the opacity of the clock and put it over other footage. This also shows the eye clip which I felt was very effective.

Clock

This is a scene of a lock which we decided to put in the scene, To me the lock represents being trapped on Earth, Alpha Centauri is the escape to freedom, looking in from the rubbish is like looking at Earth from Alpha Centauri.

Lock

In the earth scene we decided to keep sections of the scene black and just have a voiceover, I found this quite effective as it gave this scene an eeriness. This is what the intention was when compared to the example I found in pre production of what I wanted the scene to look like you can see some comparisons. I wanted Earth to seem like it had been abandoned or was in the process of being abandoned, and although not all of the footage particularly represented the theme of abandonment or isolation, we made the best of the locations which we had found.

Scene of Nara Dreamland an abandoned theme park in Japan which inspired me when researching abandoned places.

For the Alpha Centauri scene (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWH9OY0d-NU) we felt that because the two suns were a main feature of the planet we had to find a way to show this in the video, (You wouldn’t leave the Eiffel Tower out of a video promoting people to visit Paris). For this we used the same clip but reversed it so it gave the illusion that it was still panning across the horizon and showing two suns. It was difficult to get the fade right so that the clips couldn’t be seen over one another. The only problem with this clip was that it was hard to get a shot of the sun because of it’s brightness, I had taken this into account beforehand although I didn’t think it would be too much of a problem. When the viewer was scaled to its default size whilst editing the footage the brightness wasn’t as noticeable, however I realised during the presentation that because the video, whilst being projected onto a large screen, was too bright. Although I made sure that the amount of light that was being taken in by the camera was at it’s minimum whilst shooting I could have also turned down the brightness whilst editing. Though as I said the shot didn’t look too bad when the viewer was a relatively standard size.

I particularly liked the shot of the eye in the underpass. I felt that the eye looked sad, and to me this represented mother Earth being let down by the human race who had destroyed the planet. I personally think we could have had more found footage of natural disasters and pollution etc, as this would have cemented the point that Earth had been destroyed. Preferably it would have been better to have filmed that footage but good disaster/pollution footage is usually accidental andit is hard to plan, especially in the time restraints. Also, we wouldn’t have been able to film those scenes anyway due to risks. So using found footage was the only option we had, although we didn’t like the idea of using found footage and tried to minimise it as much as we possibly could, which we did well, it also would have made the point that Earth had been/is being destroyed more clear.

The ‘I’m a Centaurian’ scene (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml3pMf2g6WI) was a lot of fun to film, though it also had its problems. Firstly, there was a fan that could not be switched off at the location where we filmed. This got in the way and it made it hard to edit the audio. We could have done ADR but unfortunately most of the people who had acted were not available afterwards. There was also a mic in one of the shots, which we only noticed after editing, (a problem which I have encountered in the past). The other problem was a continuity error in that we had used make-up in the scene to define people as ‘Centaurians’ but had filmed candid shots of people walking down the beach with no make-up. This was something that hadn’t been thought out when coming up with the idea in the pre production process. I personally don’t think that this broke continuity too much as there could be a number of reasons why some people wear make up and others don’t i.e. fashion. I also like the idea of having unanswered questions because it allows the audience to use their imagination. Although this wasn’t the original intention.

The 4th scene (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49-V8CVWsl0) was the hardest to get footage for as the script was written about space and about ‘venturing to the stars’, this meant that it was harder to film our own footage for the scene as we couldn’t film space. We worked around this by firstly using shots of designs that we had made such as the newspaper design and the time magazine design. Which brought a sense of reality into the narrative.

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