Photographic the Face
This task was to create a “long portrait” or a “cinematograph” video. The goal was the video to be exactly 1 minute long, and absolutely no sound in it. My actor for the movie was my girlfriend. I had 2 ideas about it:
- The first one was to film her during she is taking shower, so I was about to show how she is washing her hair, and I wanted to put the camera, right below the shower, to make it more real. I did few shot of it, but something was missing, and also I though many people will do that so I gave up on this idea.
- The second one and the actual one is to show her how she is putting her make up on.
I’ve decided to use my second idea. The video has no special narrative or meaning, I wanted just to make it look enjoyable to watch, and I putted my effort on making it precise. Wanted to show that the make up is not something easy that you can just do like that, you must practice many times to get used to it. Researches shows that girls start to use make up between the age of 12-14 y/o and that goes lifetime. Important part of ladies life, for some makes them confident, for other is just to emphasize their faces etc.
For making it I used DSLR Canon 700D, LED small lightning (which can be attached to the camera) and a tripod. The video starts with showing a table with a lot of make up utilities and showing her hands taking the powder, and as long with the hand I was moving the camera to her face. It was a little bit hard, because I wanted her to watch straight to the lens and do her make up without using mirror. The frame is perfectly made right in the center.
Make up is something that every single woman on earth is using, they put a lot of effort and time making it look perfect. My idea was to make the audience feels like the camera is the mirror. I think that this will make the video more interesting. I pointed it at her face to make it one line with the eyes. The reason I do that is because I wanted to show how concentrate one person is when looking at the mirror, especially if its doing make up on it self. I had just one minute, so I just showed the most important part of this process.
I checked few tutorials “How to put make up correctly” and I saw many ladies showing it, again with the camera pointing at their faces, but for my opinion something was missing. If I want to do a make up on myself, I would definitely prefer the video to look like the tutor is doing it in front of a mirror. Clearly the idea of the project was “photographic the face”, that’s why I chose my girlfriends face and skill, because she loves to do makeups on herself.
I definitely accomplish what I wanted to do:
- Well structured the camera, the shot is on focus and in the center of the frame.
- Gave the audience the feeling that the camera is a “mirror”. (After the screening session’s feedback)
- Smooth and nice transaction to the face from the makeup accessories.
- Light is good.
I was struggling with the light at the beginning, because I couldn’t choose which highlights the face perfectly, but I think at the end I found the perfect one.
Next time I will try to give my video more narrative and story, so I can make it even more to understand. Storytelling is something really important for a filmmaker, what audience will think and feel is one of the main goals when you make video.
Making a relationship
This task was to show how we understood the techniques about the “blocking” in filmmaking. We should use exactly 6 different shots for the whole video, each one must be 10 seconds, and we can use them as any times as we want in the video. (It could be less than 60 seconds)
The lecture was really interesting and very full of useful information, which definitely helped me a lot for my vision as video producer. The teacher’s example was from the movie with one of my favorite actors of all time: Leonardo DiCaprio called “Catch me if you can”. The way I understand the blocking is :
- Change the action of the scene
- Put attention on a important part of the scene
- Express your skills by changing the camera angle at the right moment
Before this lecture, I’ve never did pay attention on the movement and pointing of the camera at some subject. There is a story for everything and explaining for everything when professionals create their movies, its not just “I used this shot, because it looks cool”. That was key moment of my understanding the work I want to do in future. I watch and analyze movies now in a different way.
My idea for this task was very simple and easy to understand. I wanted to show human emotions expressed by the love of watching football. I found few years ago a video of football match between “Leicester F.C.” and “Watford” semi-final match, which is considered as one of the most dramatic moments in football history of all time. You can feel the emotion from the voice of the commentary. Its 90 min +6th additional time and there is a penalty for the team of “Leicester” if they score they qualify, but they miss and with the very last attack of “Watford” they score and they qualify.
My six shots were:
- Shot of both of them showing their expression about the penalty ( guy on left is the fan of Leicester”
- Shot of the fan of Leicester after the penalty was not scored
- Flips back to the Watford fan to show his happy reaction (switching between this and the one above few times)
- Shot of the back of them, now we see the screen so we can watch what is going on. We see the goal and the reaction of the Watford fan
- Immediately changes the angle so we can still see the reaction of the happy fan, but also we see the loosing guy pissed of
- Lastly we show the happy reaction after Watford qualified
Again as the last time I used the DSLR Canon 700D, but unfortunately this time I decided to use digestive light, which was big mistake, but I will fix it one day if I have time. I wasn’t using tripod, decided to dedicated everything on my hands, and it worked pretty well actually. It turned out that I have stable hands. Used a video from “Youtube.com” put it on the TV using HDMI cable. That’s probably the worst video I’ve done so far.
The editing part was really hard for me, because one of the actors didn’t have time at all so we rushed it and I literally have 2 takes for each scene, which is not enough. His acting wasn’t really good as well so I had to play with the Premiere a long time until I make the video watchable.
I wanted to do this, because I’m a big fan of football and I thought that If I show the people, reactions from this match would be cool. Football is the most watched sport ever and my audience should be big and interested of watching my video. Also to remind the real fans of Watford this feeling again, and to make them experience it again. And it was a good experiment for myself to try the new stuff I learned about the blocking.
I did researched, when was the match, what was it for etc. I looked at the fans website to see reactions and videos happened exactly at this day. Watford wins the cup on the Final later on.
“A heartbroken Knockaert was in tears at the final whistle, while joyous Hornets fans invaded the pitch after their side booked their place in the Championship play-off final at Wembley on Monday, 27 May.”
Not very happy with the picture and with the rushing scenes I had to do, but this is happening in life and that’s it. Next time I will be more prepared and I will achieve my goals for sure. I learned what is blocking and how to use it, and I think if you look my video at this side, the blocking works really well.
BBC (2013) Watford 3-1 Leicester (agg 3-2). Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/22417772
I decided to remake my soundscape, because the first idea for just reading a resume for the movie “Catch me if you can” wasn’t the best idea at all. So now I had the chance to recreate something else. This time I did something I’ve never done in my life: I uploaded myself singing, singing the national anthem of Bulgaria. My idea was a little bit strange I had to wake up early for work, and I wanted to record it when my voice is still sleepy, because it sounds really cool I think. Well I’m probably one of the worst singers ever, but for a long time I wanted to try this and finally I did it. I added a wind sound made by me with my mouth.
I recorded myself singing the national anthem of Bulgaria. Also used wind effects made by me. A tribute for my country, and a self goal to accomplish.
So I woke up at 5 am, brushed my teeth and before I do everything else I wanted to record the singing of the anthem. I recorded myself on my phone, because I didn’t have any other recording gadget in me and it was Saturday, so the media loan shop wasn’t working. I wanted to add a sound of wind to make it more “dramatic” let’s say. I had to record this on my phone as well, and I think it was pretty original. Then I edited it a little bit.
I wanted to record myself singing for a long time, and now I had the opportunity and the inspiration to do it. As a foreign student I really started to love more and more my country. I miss a lot of stuff there, all my friends, my family etc. We are small country with just 7 million population, and we are very proud nation, we want to show the world who we are. I’ve never showed the love to my country, so I thought this was the best moment to do it. Also we have very good singers as well , and this inspired me as well to do this brave step in my life. And I wanted to prove to myself that I’m not shy to show that I cant sing, but singing something that means a lot to my country and represent my country with this “tribute”.
I want to remind the world that in Bulgaria there is a big history behind it, we have memorable people who were involved worldwide with their art and not only.
Mila Rodino (translated “Dear Motherland”) the current national anthem of Bulgaria. It is based on the music and text of the song “Gorda Stara Planina” by Tsvetan Radoslavov, written and composed as he left to fight in the Serbo-Bulgarian War in 1885.
This is the English translation of it :
“Proud Balkan Mountains,
next to it the Danube sparkles,
the sun shines over Thrace,
and blazes over Pirin.
you are heaven on earth,
your beauty, your loveliness,
ah, they are boundless.
Countless fighters died,
for our beloved people,
mother, give us manly strength
to continue their path.”
Also I want to mention one very important Bulgarian singer called Valya Balkanska, she is famous with that, her song “Izlel e Delyo haydutin” is the first song that flies away in the space : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnxUYsf6GuU
We have really rich culture and people that are know well around the world.
I’m happy with what I did this time, everything went well and they I want it. I posted for a very first and maybe last time something that I sing. I finally did something to show where I’m from and I did it with the most important song of Bulgaria, the national anthem. Task is accomplished, the brief is completed , so I think this is one successful work.
Mila Rodino (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mila_Rodino
Valya Balkanska (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valya_Balkanska
Lightning from a Photograph
This task was to represent the light from a given photo. It was a group task, so we had to work in a group of 2 or 3 people. I chose people who I know and I’ve worked with last year: Husain Gholoom and Vlad Feraru. The photo that we had was from the movie “No country for old man” by the brothers Ethan and Joel Coen. We gathered after the lecture and discussed what we are going to exactly. The brief was not to use any music, just diegetic sounds, the camera always have to be on a tripod. The idea was not to use the exact scene from the movie, but just to use as much as possible the same lightning.
On the next day we had a workshop, which helped me a lot and improved my knowledge of using the light. Every light that is available on the media loan shop, was deeply explained to us how it works. Lightning is one of the most important things to know if you want to be a filmmaker.
Before this project I have never used any light except the LED one that u attach to the camera.
Our idea was to try to represent the photo as much as we can, so we created a good storyboard and a good plan what we were going to do. I was the main actor, playing the “bad” guy in the video, and Husain was the death body in my flat. We wanted to create a character who is psycho and he is a murderer, who takes photos of his dead victims. The scene that we show, was just one of his normal days. The dead body is staying in his apartment, and when he comes back after buying a cigarettes from the shop, he doesn’t even pay attention on it, this is just another person he killed.
The shots we filmed were:
- Shot of the bad guy coming from a big street
- Shot of him entering the building and waling on the stairs to enter his flat
- The entering of the flat
- Entering the room
- Villain is looking for a lighter from the dead body (we see the body for a first time)
- Lighting a cigarette
- Showing a camera (which reveals that he is psycho and is taking photos of his victims)
- Showing the dead body in a wide shot
- Making the photos
- Relaxing at the sofa and showing both characters.
This time we used 2 cameras; Canon 70D and Canon 50D. Also we used a dolly, 2 LED light, 1 Blond light, and other light from Husain’s apartment. It took us a very long time until we prepare the set. In the photo there was a fallen lamp, which we thought that it’s a important part from the photo and only, it is a important the light that the lamp produces. We had one in the flat so we made that. We didn’t use a lightning for the outside shooting. We used the blond light when I enter the apartment, and we did put It on my back, to make me look “creepy”. Then the light in the living room was the hardest part, but we did it well and we used a lot of lightning. The dolly was used in there as well , for the final scene where we actually represented the photo, by showing the both character in the frame. It was used for ending the scene.
We created it this way, because in the original photo, you can see the dead body and this immediately puts in your head the thoughts for a murderer. Making the villain look like psycho, was other way to represent or own version of the story, that’s why we made the story with the photographic the dead body part. That was a lightning task, that’s why we putted our attention on the light almost the whole time.
We researched the movie, and the whole story of it. The task was to show only the light, but we wanted to know what actually happened this scene. So we found that part and we watched. We did recreate it a little bit, but as I said before we showed it in our own way. We also looked at behind the scenes footage of this movie, which helped us a lot.
I think we did a very good job, because most of the people we showed to, they liked it pretty much. Even when the next task was given, a lot of people wanted to join our group, so I think this means a lot. We accomplished what we aimed, and we did our best to make it perfect.
For the final task we have got a image to represent again, but this time it’s a painting, its not something from a movie. We are in groups of 5-6 now, it’s a serious production now, because we have 4 weeks to produce it. Like I said before, there was a lot of people who wanted to join our group with Husain and Vlad, but the final group list is: Me, Husain, Vlad, Meida, Josh and Din. (Carina was firstly in our group, but she left our group because of issues with the university, so we took Din)
The painting we got is “Man Ray – Observatory Time, The Lovers, 1936”. I’ll talk about him later on. It is a painting and photograph in one, at the top there are lips painted, and at the bottom there is a lady reaching her hand towards the lips.
The task is to research about this piece of art, and to create a story of our vision, with all the skills we learned from the previous tasks.
The story we came up with is about a girl, who is going to jail, because she killed a pedestrian with her car while she was busy to watch her phone. So we wanted to represent the lips from the painting as voices in her head, blaming her for what she did and making her confess her guiltiness.
We start the movie with a scene how she and her brother are entering the house after the court, and when everything was decided that she is going in jail. They are sitting in the living room on a table, trying to eat, but she doesn’t have appetite, because she is really stressed about what is going to happen. Her brother is trying to calm her down, but with no result. Then she hears the voices for a first time in her head. She is starting to act strange and to ask her brother if he is hearing something, but then he leaves and leaves her on her own, to rethink the whole situation. His point of view is that she is in too much pressure and doesn’t think straight. Mad and sad at the same the lady decides to leave her house and to go to a place where she can be alone and she chooses a forest near the city. With the time the voices in her head are increasing. There the voices are in her head all the time without stopping. This makes her freak out and scream like mad person. And at the end she is getting really upset and she confesses that she is guilty and all of a sudden the voices in her head stops. CUT.
This time I finally used the Blackmagic Ursa-mini for the movie. Husain as a producer booked a lot of equipment, mics, recorders, lightning, tripods and lenses. I requested a 50mm and 35mm lenses for the camera and the original one as well. Me as a camera operator I used everything I learned about blocking and storytelling with the frame and the specific shots.
The first scenes I shot was at Vlad’s house this time, because he has a very nice table for a diner, with good view and nice opportunities to film. The footage looks sick because of this camera. I was using FPS 23.976 and ISO 400.
In the woods was the interesting part, because we have so many nice shots , close ups, wide shots , following shots etc… I did few experimental shots at the woods, spinning and showing the sky from a tree perspective.
We decided this story, because when we looked at the painting, you see a lips and a woman. The lips we used to represent them as voices in the head of the lady. We had many ideas at the beginning, we thought about getting the main character into mental break down, and to kill herself, but we decided that it would be better if its not that brutal. So all of us, developed this narrative and we produced the storyline together. We had a script, but we didn’t put attention on it, the footage and the presentation of the idea was more important.
Man Ray was an American visual artist who spent most of his career in France. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known for his photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. Man Ray is also noted for his work with photograms, which he called “rayographs” in reference to himself.
The lips in the painting are representing man, that’s why we used the voices as something powerful.
“Observatory Time – The Lovers, or as it has become more familiarly known, The Lips, has been described as the quintessential Surrealist painting, a supreme example of isomorphism, the use of organic forms oddly and obliquely referring to man, in a kind of fastidious, realistic illusionism – the unifying theme in mainstream Surrealist art in the heyday of the 1930s.”
I was the cameraman of the production, and I think I did a great job. The whole project worked well and because we worked as a team we accomplish the task. Our actress was skilled and did what we wanted from her. The only problem we had was the time again, the actress had only 2 free days to film, so we had few shots that I really wanted to do but the time didn’t allow me, but even without them looks well. I was paying attention on all of the shots I did and I was strictly trying to make them look nice. I’m satisfied with this Short Film we came up with.
Man Ray (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_Ray
www, P. (2011) Observatory time: The lovers, 1936 by man ray. Available at: http://www.manray.net/observatory-time-the-lovers.jsp
Pleasurephoto, © (2014) © Pleasurephoto room. Available at: https://pleasurephotoroom.wordpress.com/tag/man-ray/