The process in making this film went smoothly. I find shorter films are easier to produce than longer run films because i can focus on each individual cut with precision and not worry about time, especially with the pre production planning, despite the amount of post production editing i had to persist with this film.
I had a lot of fun filming with actors who were very co-operative to direct. With the characters i created and the props i bought, i feel it really puts the audience into the the Freak Show theme and gave me a great reason to experiment especially with lighting (using two LCD’s) to create contrast in my characters faces which i have not really liked doing in the past, with lighting not being my strong suit.
To film i used my Canon 600D which i had a technical difficulty with the SD card, so i replaced the camera only to find the same problem. This put me back filming 30 minutes, so when it came to filming with the now fixed camera i couldn’t take my time, i had to rush a little, finishing with the studio i was using just in time.
In total i have seven characters throughout my film. Originally i wanted ten, however due to illness, some of my actors could not make the day of the shoot. This resulted in cutting some of the characters i had originally planned, however because these cuts were more humorous than the rest, it worked in my favour to help keep the film the same feel throughout the whole film.
I found the editing process straightforward and effortless in the sense of cutting the clips and creating the flow of the film due to a great deal of past experience with previous film i have formed. I had previously produced a storyboard to help me while filming and to give me the understanding of what shots and character movements i wanted on screen. I didn’t stick to the storyboard too much as there was a change in location last minute and seeing my actors in their costumes and make-up on set, i suddenly saw my film looking a different way.
For many shots i kept mostly to the tripod, wanting to keep to the original production process of filming with a 1900’s camera. I normally film in 25fps, however this time i filmed in 24fps and with a shutter speed of 1/48. To me i didn’t really see a difference while editing because i used so many effects such as speed and layers to achieve the ‘old look’.
After Effects was on my list to use while in Post Production. Using Premiere Pro for speed, colour correction and blur and AE for the gritty and jumpy effect. I researched mostly on Youtube for tutorials on how to use AF to make my film look more analogue. With hours of trying to duplicate what the editors were showing i didn’t see the same in my film as i saw in theres. I eventually resulted in doing the simpler option of buying a layer online which was 6 seconds of untouched, choppy and gritty film tape. I simply layered it over my film in Premier Pro and experimented with the saturation and hue, duplicating it until the end of my film.
Of course this is a silent film, so to get the audio effect of my audiences watching it on a 1900’s projector, i asked around friends and family if any Grandparents etc still had something similar. My search was successful as i had found a projector hidden away in an attic and to my wonder still worked. I was told it was built in the 1930’s and played 16mm film. A little bit later than i had wanted but a lot of projectors sounded near enough the same in that era. I simply used a zoom to record just under a minute of the running projector for background noise to my film. I think the projector sound truly makes the film more believable. Seeing it absolutely silent also worked well, and there was the temptation to put slow and uneasy music to set the scene, however that would have made the film feel too modern when it comes to the technicalities.
In the future, if i can get my hands on an analogue camera from the 1900’s i would like to re-shoot my film, not only to compare my editing skills to achieve the same look but i also presume i will benefit from learning to film with such an antique camera along with literally cutting a sticking film into place to create my film. An experiment i am willing to put a lot of time into.
I feel that George Méliès has had a big effect on the production of my film. With my research on the great cinematic magician i can see the comparisons in my work with the weird characters and camera movements. Specifically using ‘A Trip to the Moon’, I used Méliès’s films as a vague template, especially when it came to mood and characters to guide me in the right direction of an early 1900’s era feel. If I had a bigger budget i would have absolutely spent more time on a crazy set and more outrageous costumes and props. I want the audience to use their imagination when watching this film, a lot like Méliès’s films, with no narrative you have to watch carefully and make out of what you want when it comes to characters. When seeing my characters – the unnerving clown and the masked faces, i want the audience to use their imagination. Why are they wearing those masks? Do they have some form of disfigurement? There is no right answer.
In conclusion I am happy with the outcome of my film. I believe what i have learned during this project will be useful in the future, especially when i make my film for my Final Major Project in the new year. I will be keeping to the theme of side-show/ entertainment and it is a high possibility a scene will need editing in the way i have been experimenting with.
I have shown my final film to a couple of people and have had positive feedback so far. My end goal to was to put the audience into the past as if they are watching a film that was made in the early 1900’s and i feel i have done just that.