Re-editing Qubul

Posted in 311MC - Week's 15 on May 5, 2010 by azizurahman

Will let you know of the progress soon…

Week 15 – Final Words

Posted in 311MC - Week's 15 on April 30, 2010 by azizurahman

Goodbye Coventry University!

I’ve said what I needed to say in previous posts.

Having finally seen the final edit on the submission day, I have to say I’ve got mixed thoughts about our film. In perspective, since I didn’t get a chance to edit or even look at the rushes, my first impressions are easier to point out than to those who have seen it over and over. The positives I found about this film was the expressions being sold brilliantly by our actors. It is these little filler shots that add to the professional touch. I have complimented the quality of the film so many times but it can not be overlooked. The detail is amazing and I’m proud to have been involved with such excellent equipment. But then my problems arose as the film went on; the scenes looked really tight on our actors, as if the camera was right in their face. This of course wasn’t the case when we filmed it and it didn’t seem like this on the LCD screen, but that’s how it looked on the projector. I understand from the interim critique when someone mentioned that it looked claustrophobic in a majority of the shots. The room we filmed in was small and had I been able to carry out my role as AD, I probably would have suggested an alternative. In addition to this, I feel Curtis should have noticed this as he sat down with the HD field monitor during the production. This was a mistake that couldn’t be fixed it seems. Another problem with the edit was the flowing of continuity scenes. For example, we would have a close up shot of Naveen on the dinner table looking to his left – the camera would be facing him from the right side of his face. It would then cut to a medium shot of him looking to his left (the shot where he looks at the hat) and again the camera is at the right side of his face. It just wasn’t a good flow as the camera was in the same position of the character. When the cut is made, it seems as it it was a jump cut. We should have had a variety of angles and shots for this type of scene. I was surprised that the whole of the script was used within the final edit and I thought that it dragged on. Some of the dialogue needed cutting down mainly due to the tedious over the shoulder shots that would go back and forth. Again, a variety of angles were needed. I am still negative on the music used and I didn’t feel any passion towards it. Credit to Luke for getting permission but I didn’t think it was appropriate for the film. It required a score without vocals in my opinion and therefore we wouldn’t be distracted from our actors’ dialogue. I am really unhappy about the exterior shots, mainly due to the rain and construction sounds. Along with our actors needing to leave early, we had to rush the last scenes and I think we didn’t get enough. The ending was no different to the rough cut I saw almost a month ago and it just shows that we need to plan a variety of shots. Luke didn’t film enough and I didn’t think he carried out his camera role appropriately as well as he did with the lighting.

Even though a lot of people were positive about the film, I still feel there was plenty of room for improvement. I am satisfied, but don’t feel like it’s my ‘baby project’ which is what I promised I’d treat it like. It’s been a wonderful lesson learnt, that you should really (REALLY) plan well in advance. And you should also delegate tasks responsibly and not take on too much yourself. I feel that towards the end of this project, I had nothing to do and that’s why it was easier for me to point out these errors. Had I have been involved with the editing, then I would’ve overlooked these. In the future I will improve by letting my voice heard. It’s really challenging to do this when the group disagrees but if you feel it will work then you should go for it. I believe this is my one weakness and I need to overcome this next time.

The other groups’ projects were really well done and it was a fun way to end our module. I really enjoyed Sam Calverly’s and Marcus Essbergers’ ‘Divided Kingdom’ – the cinematography and acting was spot on. I really felt like I was watching Green Steet meets This Is England and not made by two students!

Here’s to the future of our media lives.

Azizur Rahman.

Week 15 – Interim Crit II

Posted in 311MC - Week's 15 on April 28, 2010 by azizurahman

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the interim crit due to external matters and I was really looking forward to seeing everyone’s work. Instead, I emailed some friends from the third year and asked them what they thought. The feedback was generally positive, most of them agreeing that we had set ourselves professional standards and the choice of actors to portray the script alive was an excellent addition. Because of the personal email, they didn’t really give much detail on the negatives or improvements to be made. As a result, I checked Alam’s blog and it seemed that the negatives were the timing of the cuts and sound levels. Of course, the timing of the cuts are a mild factor and can be easily fixed. It is always unclear to whoever is editing it as they have been ‘living’ with the material and know all the scenes inside out. When someone else watches it for the first time, it’s easier for them to pick out the basic mistakes. However, I expected there to be some sound problems – as I haven’t actually been updated on the process of the edit, I assume that the sound problems were due to the rain and construction sounds from the exterior shots as well as not recording the atmos and wildtrack. I’m not sure if this was recorded but I did remind the group on the second day of the shoot. It is one of those tasks that seem meaningless but it actually becomes a big thing. Having watched the rough cut from last month, I anticipated this problem and only an atmos sound can fix this for a flow/continuity. Also on Alam’s blog was that people were questioning the ending where our male actor smiles and walks away; this takes place after the wife finds out that he’s been seeing someone. At first when the group came up with this ending, I thought it was a good choice as it shows that the stronger character is the female, which is the opposite when referencing Asian arranged marriages (the idea is that men are in charge and take care of their women). Naveen’s character is weak and fearful despite having a good life and freedom in contrast to Lalita’s closed door life. But she ends up being the stronger person as she has ambitions but is willing to sacrfice them in the name of her family and tradition. Since she’s already got to know her man and that he’s already admitted such a mistake (or affair), she’s quick to forgive him and is willing to start fresh. After all they just got married and JUST got to know each other. This is how I saw it but I can that I put too much thinking into it and that most people watching this for the first time will be confused. When I showed my family, they instantly thought that Naveen’s smile showed that he could still do anything he wanted, that is to have an affair and enjoy his new wife. This was totally the wrong idea and I hope the rest of the third year didn’t think the same. It’s important for the future that the group literally go through each scene in detail and come up with questions that audiences might ask. Unlike the sound and cut errors, this ending is unfixable so it will have to stay like this.

I am looking forward to the final day this week, submitting the group work and hopefully ending on a high note. I’m more excited to see other people’s films as I enjoy reviewing them with a fair perspective in mind. Good luck to us and everyone else!

Week 14 – Importance of Grading/Colour Correction

Posted in 311MC - Week's 14 on April 24, 2010 by azizurahman

As an editor, I feel that I’m always rushing to complete whatever project I am doing. The majority of my videos are rushed but are given a ‘pass’ as watchable. Having done some reading on Paul Hardy’s ‘Filming on a Microbudget’ and following the process of this project, I’ve realised I’ve missed a huge tool that is in my advantage. Of course, I am talking about grading or colour correcting your video. This is another department where I have advanced my skills in after this module. Having worked with professional equipment and using the JVC cameras, you set yourself high standards for everything else that follows. So even when I make a short video for youtube, I colour grade it. I do this now but find it an amazing tool and therefore have fun with it. The alterations made does make it look ‘filmic’ and it’s an excellent viewing pleasure from a media student’s perspective. The only downside to this is the rendering factor and this can take a lot of time. Now that I’m recording my projects in HD, this becomes more of a lengthy journey, but the outcome is worth the wait.

Here is a screen grab of a Wolverhampton project I’ve recently worked on. Just looking at the original compared to the after effects and it amazes me how so many of my old videos are just ordinary shots!

Week 14 – Editing Process

Posted in 311MC - Week's 14 on April 23, 2010 by azizurahman

As far as I’m aware, Luke and Curtis are the main ones doing the final editing and grading. Of course, because of the failure of the University machines, they had to edit on their own and that would take a lengthy process due to rendering. I’m a bit disappointed that I haven’t been notified of the edit, as I haven’t seen anything since the production day and am gathering information from the groups blog. Hopefully I’ll get my chance on the interim critique presentations and give my observations of the film.

I always enjoy the editing stages as it offers a variety of options for your films outcome – it may even change what you originally planned for a certain scene, for example. A film editor must creatively work with the layers of images, story, dialogue, music, pacing, as well as the actors’ performances to effectively “redirect” and even rewrite the film to a whole. It usually plays a dynamic role in the making of a film. Without getting ahead of myself, I always find that student films lack pacing and continuity within their editing; fortunately, we have a good group with a good eye for things and so this isn’t an issue. Audiences won’t pick up on it (which is the magic of editing) as it is a normal viewing for them, but as media professionals we need to apply the simple conventions of film editing.

My interest in editing started at college in 2005, where I taught myself how to use Final Cut Pro and was heavily influenced by this video. (Simple video, idea and it’s an instant success!)

These techniques for filming and editing are vital for all media professionals in my opinion. Our group certainly have this knowledge and I’m happy to say we will avoid those common editing problems. Just to leave you with an example of my video with good pacing and editing, watch this;

Week 14 – What I want to achieve from the Final Project?

Posted in 311MC - Week's 14 on April 20, 2010 by azizurahman

I have asked myself this question from the beginning of the the third year and I never would have believed that I’d end up completing a final project and answering it. I want to gain a high 1:1 grade and leave the University on a high note. That is my only real aim – I do want to create a professional looking film but when you compare it to other short films that have entered the film festivals, it’s not a competition. It’s not an insult to myself, the group and the project, as I feel we’ve done the best we can. We don’t have a large enough group or enough money to raise our film. That’s where I see the problem as well as the stress of having to get rights, distribution and producing the correct formats among others. However, I would like to use this film as a starting point, to show people what we can do with 5-6 people within the group. We managed to use a beautiful location, hire two experienced actors and film with high quality equipment in a two day shoot. This will certainly be good for my media portfolio as well as the PPP module. It’s better than the second year fiction module, which I honestly didn’t like for the cheesy music and acting, and so I’m happy we’re pushing ourselves.

To explain further on what needs to be done to make a good film, I’m going to reference Noel Clarke’s ‘Kidulthood’. Even an accomplished actor like Noel Clarke was struggling to support this movie, to the point that he used his mortgage money to finance the film. Fortunately, the movie was received well but it didn’t do much for Clarke except a few awards and a lesser known sequel ‘Adulthood’. There has to be greater risk put in for these types of films and I don’t think I’m ready for that kind of level. We are not going to be overnight success with this short film and therefore I don’t see the point in putting so much effort. At the moment, I am not feeling secure about the course and my career, as it’s evident that I’m not going to get a job from making a short film. I’ve now decided that filming is a side hobby and that my bigger career aspiration is to become a media technician or teacher. As an AD and producer for many films, I really enjoy being big brother to the cast and crew; it is a nice feeling for people looking up to you and listening to you for inspiration (that is, if you know what you’re talking about). I like having the final say or second opinion on things and appreciate it more when others listen to my perspective. I’ve always thought of things differently and took that risk to use that method – the result was always good. For example, in my music video at college, I spent two months of the summer holidays filming with my friends. We planned and improvised everything throughout and it was an enjoyable process. The film was ready for editing the day I started my last year at college – that meant that I had a whole term for editing. I planned and filmed ahead of everyone, despite concerns that I was doing things way too quickly or not understanding the brief. I understood everything that needed to be understood and I got a great result out of it. My iniative is strong and I can utilise that in teaching. Hopefully I can continue making short films still, but at the moment I don’t feel secure about pushing it as a career. The best that I can get out of this experience is become a freelance videographer, which itself is highly competitive. So I think I’ve achieved everything I needed to so far in this final year; I’ve made a professional short film, negotiated with experienced actors, learn new skills with the JVC and SQN mixer and hopefully get a positive reaction to the film from my peers.

Week 14 – Expenses sheet

Posted in 311MC - Week's 14 on April 20, 2010 by azizurahman

This is our final recorded budget sheet – it includes all things from pre-production to end of production.