Lenny – reflection on
Before we shot the short film, we had to prepare a shot list, shooting order and floor plan. These are the normal things to do first when producing a film. But to be honest, I really failed in planning the shot list, shooting order and floor plan. When we got the Lenny script, I had a look at it and it was all about the story. I was confused on what I had to do for the shot list, shooting order and floor plan. We needed to discuss about the different kinds of shot to be used and the feeling that each shot created, whether it was a wide shot or MS-medium shot and why we wanted to use it. When Andrea drew the floor plan on the whiteboard with the camera positions and shots labelled, I was totally confused. Personally, I feel that I am not very good at planning and lack the ability to think creatively but I believe that with more experience I will get better at it.
When preparing to shoot the Lenny story, we needed to set up the mixer, earphone, camera and some other gear. It was a lot of fun because we had to swap roles during production as Andrea wanted us to get familiar with the various roles in production. I thought I did very well as a boom swinger, which is basically just holding boom to record the actor’s or actress’s voices. This job is very simple, but it is physically very tiring. Another thing that was hard to do was when I tried to record the dialogue between the actors. It was easy to record one of the actor’s voice who faced the front towards the boom, however it was hard to record the other actor who faced the other side because I could not simply move the boom as it might get in frame.
Another thing is that we may sometimes have some problems with equipment, like when we first started to shoot Lenny there were some problems with the sound equipment. It was not because we set it up wrongly but because there were some problems with the cables. Therefore, we could only hear the sound from one earphone.
This part is not just about the cutting of the video, we also need to think about how the footage would be matched together. When cutting and matching the footage of Lenny walking down the stairs and of him walking in the lane, I was unable to make these two shots match up nicely. The video looked very rough and there was not much connection between the two shots, and the worse part is that I did not realize that it looked weird or wrong when I combined these two together.
When I finished the rough cut, I had just done the cutting of the video. So when the rough cut is played, we can hear that the audio levels change constantly between the shots. In some shots, the volume of the dialogue was very low that we could barely hear what is being said and in others the sound of the air conditioning was very high. I made some changes to the volume levels, making the dialogue higher and the air conditioning sound lower. I also added ambient sound to the whole video with the intention of getting a better balance across the shots. I cut the best part of the ambience audio, about a few seconds worth of ambient sound, and copy the short audio clip across the whole video. However, it sounded a bit weird when played as a whole because there were slight pauses in between each of the ambient sound clips.