Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Location / Green Screen Shoots

A major part of this project was to film the footage we needed for our shorts. As we were all given the same first 4 shots, we filmed this outside college as a group under the guidance of Annabeth and Mat. Some people took specific roles whilst others were extras within the film, for myself I undertook the role of Assistant Director. It was my job to get everyone into position before each shot and tell the camera assistants when to start rolling. When the camera was up to speed, by calling out 'mark it' this is when the clapper board comes in to detail what shot it is and what take.

There were a few things we had to take into consideration when filming out in public, the main one was trying to deter people from walking across the area we were filming. We used barriers and tried to film when it was the most quiet, i.e before everyone went on lunch. Because we used extras in our shoot it wasn't the end of the world if a member of the public walk on shot as they would hopefully just blend into the background.

There was only one major shot where we had to use a green screen for, and this was for the abduction scene. We first filmed the actor in front of the green screen and then with the camera in exactly the same position, filmed a back plate shot. The camera needed to be in the same position as otherwise the green screen footage would not marry up to the back plate.

The second shoot involved filming indoors as this was mainly green screen. This time we had to pay attention to the lighting, we wanted to have as little shadow as possible casting onto the green screen, this would make keying out easier. Also the more you can do on film the better, so by setting up the lights to how we would have them in Maya was important. It's all about the continuity and the seamless integration.

It was also important to have our storyboards completed when it came to filming as this not only helped communicate our ideas better with our actress, Jeff but also sped up the process. As Jeff had a fair few people to film with we didn't want her to act anymore than she really had to. Knowing what you want was key and it also keeps you on track, if you don't stick to your storyboard you could run out of time in the end and have too many different options to work with. A big part of this module is about organising time as there is a lot to achieve in a short amount of time.

I thought the filming was quite successful, even though in the first shoot I felt we didn't get enough variety in the shots so my beginning sequence of footage isn't as interesting as I would have liked. Everyone pitched in and help set up and we got to each be the director of our own footage so it was a new experience for most of us.

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