Archive for the ‘ 260MC ’ Category

Skills workshop – DSLR

On Monday I went to a workshop about the Canon 600D DSLR camera. The aim of the workshop was to teach us how to use the camera to its full potential by learning how to operate all the functions for both photography and capturing video.

Fuctions:

First, we had to reset the Camera, you never know what the previous person has done with the settings. For this you have to turn the dial to manual, press menu and then clear all camera settings. You never want your image/film to be over exposed so by pressing menu & going to the first red tab you are able to change the exposure there. Using manual focus is key in capturing a fantastic image if the camera is in auto focus the photo/video might not be in focus in the place you want the focus to be. To change the camera from auto focus to manual focus there is a switch on the lens. Make sure you remember that if you are shooting a video for TV there are 25 frames per second and filming for film there are 24 frames per second. The shutter speed, should always be set to 50. I always get confused about aperture, no matter how many photography courses I’ve been on and how many times people have told me. The lower the f-stop the brighter the image and this gives the image a shallow depth of field. The higher the f-stop the darker the image and the larger the depth of field is. The ISO should not be divisible by 50 (100 being the exception). This means the ISO can be 100, 160, 320 or 640. Anything higher than 640 will make the camera more sensitive to the light making the image very grainy therefore loosing the detail.

Advantages:

– Picture quality, 18 megapixels
– Shoots in full HD
– Depth of field
– Extra functions than a video camera therefore making the image more vibrant.
– Smaller than a Z1/Z5 but still able to capture a great image.

Disadvantages:

– Sound is the biggest down fall of the camera. The built in mic is terrible and the only mic you can plug in is a small external mic but this is only really good enough if the subject is being filmed close up.
– It over heats & turns itself off.
– Rolling shutter

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Task 3 – Filming day

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We filmed in the Memorial Park on Friday. The Forrest Gump scene was filmed at a bus stop but we didn’t want members of the public walking into our shots or disturbing us while we were filming so that is why we decided against filming at a bus stop. Instead we filmed in the park on a bench. David Bird played the role of Forrest Gump and Tiffany was the woman that was sat on the bench.

What we needed on filming day:
– Camera equipment (Z1, tripod)
– DSLR
– Box of chocolates
– Checkered shirt and bow tie for David
– Old shoes for David
– An old suitcase
– A book
– A leaf

We stuck to the script and only didn’t use one part of it and this was because we didn’t think it would make the piece any better and would make the piece a bit too long in length. The filming went well, it was a shame that it was overcast that day but we just had to deal with it. I think we all agreed that this task has been the hardest out of the three that we’ve had so far.

Forrest Gump – Soviet Montage

Prezi

Task 3 – Soviet Montage

For task 3 we had to film a famous dialog scene in the style of Soviet Montage. The only example of soviet montage that we knew of was the one that was shown to us in the lecture, Odessa steps from “Battleship Potemkin“.

None of us had really heard of Soviet Montage before, we hadn’t learnt about it at school and had very really come across it so we knew we had to do a lot of research.

History: In 1918 Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik party had overthrown the Mensheviks & he was now the leader of Soviet Russia. In 1919 Lev Kuleshov joined the state film school run by Narkompros. Lenin was interested and very happy with Kuleshov’s work and felt that his films were brilliant forms of propaganda for Russia. Lenin was more interested in the films spreading propaganda than literature because only the very privileged could afford an education so therefore the films were targeted at the lower class. The soviet montage film movement was between 1924 – 1930, under 30 films were made in that time. Kuleshov was the founder of the movement and he realised how important editing is. He noticed that an audience will get there own meaning from a piece if it has been edited in a certain way. Kuleshov Effect

In this video different things are shown; soup, a dead girl and a woman. After each image an image of a man is shown. The image of the man is exactly the same, his facial expression does not change. Kuleshov noticed that the audience interpreted the man’s emotions completely differently after each image.
The image of the soup & then the man – the audience suggested that the man looked hungry, he wanted to eat the soup.
The image of the dead girl: the audience suggested that he looked upset.
The image of the woman: the audience suggested that the man looked aroused.
This experiment made Kuleshov realise that editing was a very important and if edited in a certain way, he would be able to manipulate the audience into thinking different things.

Planning:
A few of us in the group met up and started to bounce ideas around about which famous dialog scene we should make in the style of soviet montage. We soon realised that doing a famous dialog scene would be difficult because in soviet montage there is no talking and inter-text instead but we couldn’t deviate from the brief so we just had to be creative. We chose a scene from Forrest Gump – ‘Life is like a box of chocolates’. We thought that even people that haven’t seen Forrest Gump before, like me, will still recognise the scene. Forrest Gump Scene

Task 2 – Place & Space

Weeks 2. We’ve been asked to produce a 1 minute film that consists of six 10 second shots of a place that is significant to you.

The Brief

Places often create a sense of feeling and emotion, and this week it is your challenge to try and communicate the feeling you get from a particular place or space. It might be a place that has special significance to you, it might be somewhere where you feel a certain way, but wherever it is you must spend time there thinking about how you can communicate it through visual language. Your task is to create 6 shots that communicate the ‘feeling’ of this space.

After reading this brief I immediately only had 1 place in mind and that place is called Tarasivka. Its the Ukrainian Youth Centre camp site in Derby where I have spent all my summers ever since I was an egg. Its a special place for me because the majority of my friendships started there. Its the one place that, you could be away from it for an entire year, not speak or see your friends that often but when we all get together at Tarasivka we all have the best time.

This weeks Obstructions:

– You only have 6 shots at 10 seconds each
– You must try to evoke a particular emotion
– One of your shots should contain the use of one point perspective
– One of your shots must be influenced by a Photographer/Cinematographer
– It must not be within 500 metres of the university.
– You must think creatively about the title of your work
– You can use natural sounds only. No music.

This obstructions were a little more difficult than the previous week’s. For my last shot I took inspiration from the a Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevchenko. I took inspiration from his poem “Заповіт” which means “Testament”.

“Як умру, то поховайте Мене на могилі, Серед степу широкого, На Вкраїні милій”.
Translation: “When I die, then make my grave high on an ancient mound, In my own beloved Ukraine”.

Ukraine was a place of his childhood, he was a part of it as much as it was a part of him. This is the same way I feel about Tarasivka, it isn’t just a place I spent my summers, its like a home. My last shot of the Tryzub (Ukrainian national symbol) symbolizes Ukraine and the mound in the background symbolizes where Shevchenko wanted to be buried.

I planned to go to Derby on Sunday 14th October. I know, cutting it fine because the deadline was midnight but this was the only day that I could travel up there. I called ahead to the people living down the bottom of the site to make sure it was alright for me to go and film and also making sure they were at home so they could open the gate for me. My friend, Max, agreed to help me and take photos.

Problems: The biggest problem I had was equipment. I wasn’t able to take a Z1/Z5 with me so all I had was my small compact Canon. The shots came out fine but if I had the chance to do this task again I would definitely make sure I’m able to take proper equipment along with a few people that could help me operate the equipment.

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We walked down to the bottom of the site where the River Trent is. As soon as we got down there it started to hail. Thank god it was the last shot. In the end I didn’t use the clip.

Here’s the final outcome. I’m some what unhappy with this piece. It could have been so much better but hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to redo it. Even if I don’t, I know I can do better and I’ll try and remake it.

Task 2 – Memories

Long Portrait

Week 1 back at Uni and the task we’ve been given is to produce a long portrait of ourselves. Our brief was to create a One Minute ‘Long Portrait’ of yourself. You will need to think about how you can use the following as a way to add meaning and ‘story’ to your representation of yourself. We had 3 obstructions:

  • The whole minute should be a single shot
  • No sound or music, no text at all
  • Attention to detail- no unthoughtful work, no cliche
  • Seemed simple enough, or so I thought. The first 2 obstructions were straight forward but we were all a bit confused on the 3rd obstruction. No cliche? what on earth did that mean? In our seminar group we went and we were told to come up with a cliche that you constantly see in films, hopefully giving us a bit of an idea about what it meant by ‘no cliches’. The examples that we were shown in the lecture made me feel completely uncomfortable, not just because what was shown but it just made me feel weird and awkward.

    My Idea:

    At first I thought of drawing a face on my IPad and having the camera looking down on me. I tried this several times but the lighting was terrible &a all you could see was the IPad. Not the look I was going for.
    I had to rethink my idea. After trying different lighting techniques I finally decided to draw a face on a piece of paper and film it that way. I wanted everything around me to be in darkness and only myself to be visible. This was the final outcome.

    Long Portrait

    If you look at this your first thought would be that it is about lack of confidence but in actual fact it is about how I do not let people around me see my emotions. If I am sad or upset I do not let people around me know this. I guess its about trust issues as well.

    Summer Task

    For our summer task we had to think of a media project that you have always wanted to make. This could be a drama based short, a documentary, a radio play, a TV show or an idea you have had during your first year on the degree.

    Documentary:

    I’ve been researching documentary films, not specific directors but about specific events in history such as the Holocaust and Holodomor.

    For those that remember my poetic eyes from last year, I did mine on Holodomor (a famine that happened in Ukraine during 1932-33). Thinking back to that project, my video could’ve gone on for about 4hours. There was so much I could’ve said & I could’ve gone into a lot more depth than I did. This is why I have decided my summer work will be to research, produce a pitch & a treatment on Holodomor. Some people might think there’s no point, it happened 80 years ago & still hasn’t been publicly acknowledged. The closest thing that I can sort of relate it to is the Hillsborough tragedy that happened 23years ago. The police covered their tracks and put out false statements, a lot like Stalin denied the famine & got actors to play happy Ukrainian peasants so the Western world wouldn’t find out.

    Research:

    I learnt about Holodomor at Ukrainian school & the Ukrainian Youth Association (СУМ) so I already have a good background knowledge about it. I have also been reading several books that have also helped me with my research. I’ve been watching various documentaries on YouTube about Holodmor, one in particular called “Holodmor. Ukraine, XX century”, but none of them have really ‘hit the mark’ for me. Partly because they were produced a few years after Ukraine finally got its independence so they’re old & the way they’re produced isn’t great. Also…in the documentary i’ve mentioned, I can’t stand the American voice over because he can’t say Ukrainian words.

    YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnnUHdlTkto&feature=channel&list=UL (this documentary is in several parts).
    Books: “The Stalin Famine” by F. Pigido-Pravoberezhny
    “Holodomor” edited by Lubomyr Y. Luciuk
    “The Holodomor – An act of genocide against the Ukrainian people” by Vladyslav Verstiuk, Volodymyr Tylishchak & Ihor Yukhnovsky.

    Audience: The majority of the target audience would be Ukrainians all over the globe but because of some of the images I would say that it would not be suitable for people under the age of 14. This documentary would also interest history students. I feel that more people my own age (mostly members of CYM) would rather watch something made by one of their own peers rather than having a lesson about Holodomor which they’d fall asleep to.

    Logistics of productions: Reading this you would probably think that this was an impossible task to do without actually going to Ukraine…and you’re partly right. It would make more of an impact if it was filmed in Ukraine but sadly we will not have the time or money to travel to Ukraine within the first few weeks of university. I would suggest that, by using archive footage, photos & by talking to survivors that might have moved over to the UK after the second World War, it’ll still have an impact on the audience…but not the same impact as if was filmed in Ukraine.

    Importance: As I said before, some people might think that this isn’t important or relevant. It is to me. I was told when I was in GCSE, when I spoke out and told my teacher and the rest of my class about Holodomor, that it wasn’t true. I did a presentation on it and I was still told that I was wrong. I showed my teacher a book called “The Foreign Office and the famine” which is a book of official British documents on Ukraine and the Famine of 1932-1933, which clearly shows that Britain knew about the famine…and then my teacher decided I was being rude and told me to get out of the class. So it may not be important to anyone else but its very important to me.