Wednesday, 15 May 2013

SS2 : Plan & Micro Projects + tests

I have decided to collaborate with Mohammed Awath because he wanted to focus on post production Visual effects which I am also interested it. His original idea was basically to film a person walking and incorporate some animation in the surroundings, but looking at the time schedule left, I dont think we can add in some 2D animation, it will take some time to complete it, because I have experience it in the previous final piece on "Only Time Can Tell Animation" though it might still work...We have decided to look for actors and actresses right away so, itll be easier to contact them early.

We have decided to do some experimenting in our own for some Visual and Special effects, like green screening and camera tricks. Since this is the first time Im doing a Visual effects, I have decided to try out some Video Copilot tutorials and try it out for my self, I have done the Iron man hud tutorial. I think it is very simple to make, it not as complicated as I imagined because I have used after effects quite alot. Though I havent used any tracking on it because it is hard to track my face without a marker, especially I have used a really bad camera phone to record a footage of me, it is very blurry. But I am still happy with the result

Micro Project 1

I have made another mirco project experimenting on live action comedy skit. this is an idea that came out of no where and I thought it was a very funny idea, I had to film it. I asked my friend Danny to help me act out the scene and he was brilliant. the footages came out as I had hoped because we worked quite well in it and we enjoyed our selves. I do think if I am to have random person to act out in my soon to be film with Awath, I need to be good friends with the actors or we wont get along and might mess up the project. This tutorial is very helpful when shooting with someone. Even though this tutorial is for interviews, I think it could also help when filming in live action short story.

After filming with Danny, I have began to edit the footages in premiere pro, I have timed every footages right, adjusting the speed of the video to match it together, but not too much that makes the movement irregular. I have then simply adjusted the opacity of the fore ground layer to make it appear like a real ghost. I hope I could use this technique when creating my 2nd final piece after we finalised with the story.

Micro Project 2

If I want to specialise on effects and post production, I needed a footage to work on, I have done some experiment on special effects on reverse shot test where I had someone walk backwards and played it in reverse on premiere pro togive the illusion of the person walking forward. This has been inspired from my research.

After few days completing my micro projects, Riz Khan, another animator from the course has contacted me to to collaborate on a work experience to help promote Cranford College from London by having 7 adverts done. Our transport and food are paid for. I am basically in charge of the camera and lighting and Riz is in charge of mainly the directing and scripting because he has better grammar than I do :D I have used the things I have learnt from the video on "shooting an Interview" from above to use. I have made good friends with everyone. At first when we met the actors, they were very nervous because we behaved very professional. they arent even experienced, infact they literally work in that same university. So just before we shoot Riz and I got them to relax by telling some jokes and having fun. By the time we are ready to shoot, they will have confidence to talk to the camera. It takes some time to get them say the right lines, so we had to break it down for them, we switch camera angles so they can have a break from saying their lines and review it. I have kept the camera in mid shot so it shows professionalism and a little seriousness. If I was to use a wide shot, they would look too relaxed and feels more like a drama interview, didnt do close ups because its too serious.

We have shot 8 Adverts in a day and took all our energy away but it was a great experience for Riz and myself. When working in that college, we felt like we where big shots because, we got to do everything we want, they gave us all the food we need which I enjoyed and we got to redecorate the whole office. We even got to the principal's home, btw he is a millionaire and his home is gorgeous :D. For Post production a little editing is needed, just adding the logos and tags and we are done with our 1 days work experience. Here are some of the adverts.

After Completing the Advert shoot, I came up with the story about a man dying with a twist, I met up with Awath and discussed on ways to improve the scene and make it sound unique and simple to create. it took us hours to agree on the story and finally finalised it. I have then went on and do a proper story board showing the exact scenes I wanted to portray, though in filming, shot angles can be changed quite alot, depends on how good it looks like from the angle. We would be taking alot of footage to experiment and see which fits better.

So far the story starts off with eye blinking, woke up in bed in a hospital and tries to escape the nurses, as he tries to get past them, he bumps to a busy nurse unexpectedly and continues to rush off the exit. The story is about a dying man so he goes out to the city and wants to explore and remember about good memories. At some point he had a jolt in his head remembering flashbacks about himself on the floor near a well and got helped by a pretty woman but he cant picture her face because his vision is going off. As he came to, he found himself near the well same as the flashback. He wishes to know who the woman was, so as he approached the well to wait, he lost all his energy drop to the floor. Camera pans to his wrist showing he is a patient. few seconds later his eyes r blinking slowly, and saw a woman trying to wake him up on the floor. The mans vision clears up a bit and remembered that the woman who help him in his flashback was the nurse he bumped to in the beginning and now is in front of him. He is satisfied that he saw her one last time and dies peacefully. After the credits, blinking scene is repeated same as the beginning waking up from the hospital. this shows that the events that are happening is on a loop but the guy doesnt know that, basically he has a short term amnesia.

We havent got any contacts of any actors to help us for our film but 3 actresses are willing to help. For now, I have volunteered to be the substitute actor doing some simple walks. Awath and I decided to test on camera angles, Awath is incharge of the camera because he is much more experienced in using one and he understands most of the settings. In this test shot, all I had to do is walk and act sad because it is also part of the story in the story board. I know I am a shit actor but I gave it my best. By the end of shooting, I have then composited the good shots and played around with some of the colour correction, I have even added in slow motion to give the effect of sadness which works well with the cinematic music. I have dulled the colour scheme and made it blue/ greenish which shows a bit of sadness because if I kept it too light, it would look too relaxing. we have also incorporated reverse motion in one scene where I started waving my arms around. I think it looked really good when it is played backwards. I added in a quick lens flare just to test the look of it, I didnt even animate its path but its alright for our first test

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