Throughout this module, I’ve documented the production on my blog. In the next two blog posts, I will talk about the 4-week production schedule, identifying the strengths and weaknesses whilst exploring the cinematographer’s responsibilities in the development of a major project. In this first blog post, I will look at week 1 and 2 of the production and showing evidence of progress through screenshots and behind the scenes images of Fair Trade.
Coming up to the first week of production, I finalised the shot list and storyboards for the director and the rest of the crew. I sent them copies via email to get feedback and once everyone was happy, I printed them off so the actors could get a better idea of the cinematographer’s and directors vision. When it came to the first week, we wanted to make the actors feel comfortable, considering the few couple of shoots were going to be long and late into the night. The first location was the last scene of the film and was shot at Kelham Island museum. Our producer got a fantastic opportunity for the rest of the crew to get a great location and it really did fit into the film quite nicely. The industrial part of the museum works with the mise-en-scene of the film and its portrayed throughout the visual storytelling.
The first week of the production was the most successful out of the whole film. a lot of throughout and meticulous planning when into each shot and I discuss it in the production commentary. Although it was the most successful part of the film, we had minor altercations when it came to filming. The knife sequence took some thought and we had to steer away from the storyboards so it could work within the scene.
Whilst exploring the relevant forms, conventions, languages and, techniques in cinematography over the past semester, has contributed towards my learnings and understanding within this creative practices and this is portrayed through the final major project. I’ve generated a better understanding of cinematography techniques, lighting and compositions and camera movements and I wanted to portray this in this film. I experimented with the way the camera moved and various transitions so the visual storytelling could be improved. In the production commentary, I go into more detail about this scene, talking about the complexities and diverse camera compositions.
The final stages of the first week of production was a success because we were on track with the filming schedule and got all the shots and scenes that we wanted to cover in this period of time. Towards the end of this week, we reviewed the footage in the edit suite and started to plan any reshoots if necessary. We then began to source additional props and resources for the coffee shop and started to setup the location for the second week of filming.
This week was the second week of production and we wanted to shoot all the coffee shop scenes in this period. Conversely, we had early starts and late nights in the coffee shop with the whole production crew, cast and additional extras that were needed there for these specific scenes. The scenes in the coffee shop were the most complex because of the space and the environment we created. The diverse scenes contained various camera compositions and incorporated camera movement into the scene to enhance the storytelling. This was difficult at times because of the space in the coffee shop and was cramped at times because of the amount of actors and extras that were needed for the scene. In the production commentary, discuss the diverse camera compositions and camera movement that I wanted to incorporate into this scene.
As a cinematographer, I wanted to portray my creative ability and talents within this production and this can be seen in various techniques. I wanted to transition from scene to scene in unique ways involving camera movement. The second week of production was the main bulk of the film and involved meticulous thought and planning of the narrative. Conversely, due to the complex narrative of our dystopian film and other issues, we were a week behind schedule but this didn’t hinder our final film. Being a week behind the production schedule led to our group working collectively and we managed to complete all the scenes in the coffee shop.