[Ind Media] Q5 Lenny Shots


Reflection on Lenny shots

This is a reflection written about the Lenny shots our group made.

The location is RMIT building 80.

The actors are Eeshan Shridharprasad Bhave as Lenny, and Ankit Nigam as Vi.

I was the boom operator in filming their shots.

Post production period

The first mistake we made is we did not understand Paul’s requirement throughly. In fact our group filmed four different pair of actors in order to make everyone have the opportunity to perform as well as operate equipments. However, we did not know that our time was really limited, which leaded to the result:  only shots with Eeshan and Ankit are suitable for editing as we have shots from two different angles for them, while all the other pairs only have shots from one angle. Make sure the crew is following instructions is very important.

The Shoot period

The second mistake we made is we did not produce enough material. I believe this is also a very important point that I should mention in the reflection: make sure you filmed enough materials for production and put this first, leave everything else later. Having more materials always means having better choices and more opportunities. In fact, I can only use 2 video clips as materials in editing this. This definitely limited the possibility of creativity.

The third mistake made in producing this video is mainly my fault. There is a small difference of sound between 2 shots, it is not obvious but when two shots are mixed together, it becomes recognizable. I think it is mainly due to I failed to keep same distance between mic and actors during recording of the two shots. i will keep that in mind and make sure similar things won’t happen again.

The forth mistake made in producing this video is that the camera man did not give Lenny enough head room.

屏幕快照 2014-08-22 下午10.23.56

Part of his head is cut off and this does not look very nice. Characters should be provided with enough space to make them look comfortable to the audiences.

The fifth mistake made is the white balance. I think the camera operator did not adjust white balance when we moved from natural light to under sunlight lamp, and everything looks very yellow. I would spent 1 minute to adjust white balance every time after the environmental lighting changes.

Post-production period

This final video clip is 24 seconds long. I switched 6 times between 2 shots. Switching shots too fast can make audiences tired, not to say it’s just switching between 2 shots.



[Ind Media]Nostalgia For The Light Review: All the beauty of contrast

Nostalgia for the light is indeed one of the most impressive documentary I ever watched.

From the selected short video clip I witnessed a unique beauty. To be more specific, it is a beauty of contrast.

The first contrast is movement within stillness. The camera barely moves in all the shots, and for most of the time it is focusing on still objects like telescope or furniture. But movement exists in every scene. For example,  when camera is recording a kitchen, nothing in the kitchen moves, but those tree leaves and their shadow outside the window are swaying in the wind. Also, nothing moves inside the observatory, but those dust floating in the background add a vivid color to the scene.

From what I have seen in the video clip, stillness is a major theme. Stillness as a theme echoes perfectly with the narrator’s voice, who is talking about memories.

The second contrast is silence within sound. There is not much sound in this video clip, but all of them worked perfectly. The music used at beginning (when showing picture about moon) created a good atmosphere about space, those the music here is by no means low volume, listeners actually would feel the silence in the universe, while in other scenes, sound of leaves in the wind serves as a great foil to the silence in the rooms.

[Ind Media ] Q 3 Sound makes a good doco better

This reading material discussed many examples about how sounds are used in different documentaries. i have found the following two points interesting to me.

1. Jeffrey Ruoff pointed out that ambient sounds which compete with dialogue is  “unacceptable”. I have to agree with him base on my personal experience. I am doing a documentary project recently and the location I choose is a modern dance studio which teaches street dance. As everyone can imagine music is played at almost highest volume there. After I came back from my first visit and watched the video footage on computer, I found it was a disaster. As I collected the sound wih the cameras’ built-in mic, background music totally overlapped my interview, and yelling from other dancers are extremely distracting.

The next time I went to the studio I carried a shotgun mic just like Ruoff suggested, and it indeed collected the interviewee’s voice clearly. Moreover, less background sounds are collected this time. Also, this time all the background music and dancer yelling helped to create a very real and live atomesphere.

In my personal opinion, location sounds are annoying yet important factor in a documentary. They can make the documentary more vivid and real if used wisely, yet without proper measures they are just destructive.

2. Music copy rights issue in documentary is an essential topic to me! Ruoff mentioned that some filmmakers would use music segment as social document to avoid copyright fees. This indeed can help documentary makers, who usually do not have enough budget for money on music, including myself. I wound not hesitate to pay the copyright owners if I have enough money for using those popular songs in my documentary about dance, but currently “use music segment as social document”, e.g. use the music I recorded in the dance studio seems like the best way. Documentary makers who do this have to be careful, after all playing with law might hurt yourself in the end. What’s more, documentary makers create intellectual properties as well, and they should understand other copyright owner’s concerns.

[Ind Media Q 2]Think wisely to write reflectively

Marsick and Watkins (1990, pp. 36-7) raised several points in their “Strategies for enhancing learning from everyday experience” which are new and interesting to me. I will discuss two of them in the following section.

1. Marsick and Watkins claimed that people have to make rapid assumptions about other people and situations, so as they can manage their busy everyday lives. While in my personal opinion, I would always avoid make judgement about people and situations. I used  to work as a journalist, and witnessed many things turned out totally against what they were supposed to be. For example, a loyal, “perfect” husband turned out to be a liar and cheated on his wife; a well respected professor trumped up a charge against his colleague because his colleague is an academic rival.

Being a media practitioner myself, i understand that if we make wrong assumption or judgement, it is not only ourselves but also our audiences might be influenced, and the result can be disastrous. So i always avoid make quick assumptions or judgements about people. I believe observation and time are necessary for making any conclusion.

2. Marsick and Watkins pointed out that people should question and challenge familiar situation by problematize them. This is a new angle of viewing things to me. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I merely make assumptions or judgements in order to avoid falling into traps of stereotype, thus I can always ask new questions when things developing. Marsick and Watkins’ method seems like a good way of reviewing things, but not everyone have the time to “leaving it again for a day or two” for “naive new questions.”

[Ind Media ] Question 1

Previously i worked as a newspaper reporter and with print media market shrinking I realized I have to obtain multimedia techniques in order to survive in this industry.

I want to acquire essential knowledge about broadcasting from this course, including sound recording, video filming and editing. 

To be more specific, I want to master all important filming and recording techniques, including the use of camera, sound recorder and all necessary facilities that would be used in media content  production.  I also want to get familiar with different roles of a production team, find out which position suits me, and learn to work in a broadcasting team.  

Being a Chinese, I also want to understand the aesthetic value of western audiences and their thinking pattern, as well as how western media industry produces content to meet their need.

It is my hope that after finishing this course I will be capable of produce simple but qualified broadcasting media material.