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Monthly Archives: April 2013

What? : Stu’s Date Auditions

When? : 26th April 2013 // 1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Where? : RMIT Building 9, Level 2

Casting; what an experience! And I don’t mean a good one.

The five of us got to Uni early to secure a location (all the classrooms were booked, so we took a gamble and decided to scout for an empty classroom on casting day itself) and to set up. While Laura and Shierly looked around for available classrooms, Mar made a trip to the grocery to get bottled water for the actors, Lauren hired equipment from the techs, and I worked on the production design notes. A while later, Laura and Shierly came back bearing good news. One of the tutors had cancelled his class for the day and we now had place to hold our auditions! Needless to say, luck was on our side that day.

After moving all our stuff to our audition venue, we rearranged the tables and chairs, set up the camera, printed out extra copies of the script, and put up audition signs, all in time for the first candidate, who, by the way, was a no-show. We waited and waited, until finally someone walked through the door and put us out of our misery. Ryan Smith was the first person we auditioned. We thought he put on a good show but felt he didn’t quite fit the part well. And after Ryan made his exit, we went back to waiting again.

We short listed 6 guys and 7 girls in total, out of which only 4 people showed up to audition. The rest were either unreachable or no longer interested to be part of the short film. Also, we’ve been looking forward to this day for a while now; excited and eager to see the how the actors have interpreted their respective roles. Ergo, it was rather disappointing and demotivating when people started bailing out on us. And it is due to the poor attendance that we decided to call for a second round of auditions.

To sum it all up, below are some of the lessons I’ve gathered from the audition.

Lessons of the day:

  1. Do not be too picky when it comes to shortlisting
  2. Do not take too long before replying to applicants
  3. Do send out notices in advanced
  4. It’s optimistic to think that one round of auditions would do the trick

That’s all for now.

The location for the shoot has, at long last, been decided! And with that, we can finally cross location off our list.

We have scheduled a full day shoot somewhere in week 10. The scenes we’re shooting all require a night setting. Hence, sun light is an issue for us. To solve this problem, we would probably just block out the natural light using either cardboard boxes or newspaper or just anything we can lay our hands on. Also, we will definitely have to revamp the location, especially in the bedroom. But other than that, I think the unit layout is great and it fits the criteria spot on. Here are some pictures of our location.

Living Area

living

Kitchen

kitchen

Dining Area

dining

Bathroom

bathroom

Bedroom

bed 2

bed 1

The theme of my project is “random” and the way I’ve used text to connect the different sketch videos are heavily influenced by my fascination towards round objects and occasionally food. I’ve always went out of my way to try to incorporate circles or round objects into my weekly videos. Hence, there’s no surprised when I say the words “round” and “food” are the most used tags for my video sketches. As for the text captioned below each video, I basically just written down random but obvious titles. The thing is, my videos have similar elements that link them with one another, but at the same time, if I were to group them strictly, they can be poles apart in terms of their category. Take for instance, I have a video featuring an orange and a ball. While the orange and the ball are alike in terms of their configuration, when it comes to allocating them into objective categories, the orange would most likely go under the “food” category, whereas the ball under the “outside” category. However these videos, when put liberally, get too interconnected and lose their structure. In other words, they are widely ranged. So, the main idea is to tag the videos approximately without going over the limit of the predetermined categories – these categories are in sync with the criteria of all five constrained tasks.

With regard to the structure of my project, I envisioned it to be random yet structured, messy but organized; it’s paradoxical. To illustrate my point, say I have a total of five videos. The first video features an orange, the second video about a ball, the third a box, the fourth some shoes and the fifth a cup. If we were to look at them point-blank, they have absolutely nothing in common – this is the messy part. But if we take analyze them further, we might be able to find a correlation – this is the part that’s organized. Essentially, the plan, as mentioned above, is to label everything generally but do it so that it has, or does not lose its, direction. This is what forms the basis of my project structure.

On the subject of the successfulness of my work, generally I think I’ve done well, but because it didn’t work out exactly the way I hoped it would so I think I could have done better. I came across a few minor problems upon studying my published work. For starters, the video quality declined dramatically in terms of its resolution. Secondly, the thumbnails featured in the small preview screens often loads sluggishly. Most of the time they only pop up after the video on the main preview screen has been played. Thirdly, there seems to be a problem with the thumbnail sizes in the small preview screens. A handful of them appear smaller compared to the others. As mentioned above, these are all just minor issues that have been nitpicked on. Altogether, I think it kept to the main idea or structure of the project rather well and at the end of the day that’s the what matters the most.

I think I’ve learnt quite a few things over the past six weeks. To name a few, I’ve learnt to generate and publish media pieces online, I’ve learnt to critique more constructively, and I’ve learnt to think out of the box and be more abstract when it comes to composition. But the most important thing I think I’ve taken from this task is that you don’t need a narrative to produce quality media. Media, in itself, is the story.

Here’s the link to my k-film.

Happy watching!

This week we take on the “Lenny” exercises.

The first exercise required us to edit the Lenny footage according to a pre-written script. This, to me, was the easiest task of all mainly because I’ve done quite a number of editing work throughout the years so I’m no stranger to editing. Hence, it only took half and hour for me to finish it. While doing the editing work, I realized a couple of problems with the footage in terms of its lighting and framing.

Firstly, half the lighting was messed up and because of that, the colour tones varied between the shots. Simply said, there was no continuity between the shots. So to solve this problem, I standardized the shots using the 3-way colour corrector effect made available on Final Cut Pro. Secondly, I thought the camera framing wasn’t very well done. There were one or two times where the boom mic was caught in frame. This isn’t a big mistake and it isn’t particularly hard to fix. It can be easily fix by cropping the video using the key motion tool. The third issue regards direction and was made apparent to me when Paul brought it up in class. The characters are supposed to be coming from two completely different places. So they should be taking two separate routes and walking their separate ways. However, it was shot as if they were walking the same way. This would mean that they should have bumped into one another before reaching their destination. So in order to fix this, one of the shots of either character (Lenny or Sharon) would have to be flipped.

The second exercise involved us shooting the second half of the Lenny scenes, and editing it in camera, according to a predetermined script. We did this is groups of five.

For the second exercise, I was in charge of the filming. I’ve been itching to get behind the camera and actually go around filming something. So needless to say, I was very excited. We were given approximately half and hour to complete this task and in that time, we spent a little too much time planning the shots and had to relocate a couple of times due to the unpredictable weather. In the end, we only had 10 minutes to shoot the entire sequence. So we put our game faces on and finished the job as quickly as we could and at the end of the day, I think we did a pretty good job.