Saturday, August 24, 2013

Reflections on tutor report from Assignment 1

Some positive and very useful feedback from Peter.

Key areas highlighted:

  • The value of using “what is reasonably to hand as part of the creative process” can lead to better and more relevant work. It is all about the micro-niche these days!  Problems and defects can also spark the creative process.
  • Use visual references to add more to the sequence.
  • A simple story can be very ambiguous.  Embrace this to leave the viewer space to come to their own conclusions.
  • Difficulties of directing – keep control.  “Input from others is often welcome and productive but if you are the director/auteur you want the mistakes to be all yours!”
  • Pre-planning and filming many alternatives is a very good idea.  But be aware of issues over continuity.

Developmental feedback

“There is an uncomfortable cut at around 1min when the poster is removed.  I know that you were trying to keep to the five scenes but if you are going to cut you either need to be absolutely certain of your continuity or, better, make the cut more obvious by changing the viewpoint of using a cross fade or something.”

“Back lit scenes (the indoors shot with the villain and ‘his’ cats) can be tricky.  On a film set they will often use a lighting rig to balance the front light with the light behind but we have to take a different approach as often as not.  The simplest thing is to expose for the shadows (over expose) and let the background burn out but often we can find a way of rigging up some sort of reflector, out of camera shot, that will reflect enough light back in too open up the shadows enough for us to either shoot straight or to over expose a bit but not burn the background out too much.  One of the difficulties with using lighting is that you have to balance the colour of the light as well as its strength.”


There were a few suggestions from other students that it would have worked better if Matt’s character had been revealed by peeling the poster off so the camera would have been in the same position. I think this is an excellent idea. This would also have avoided the awkward cut that Peter referred to.  Part of me wants to reshoot this and the cat-feeding scene to improve on that but I suspect my (very limited) time will be better spent on more research and practice rather than getting too obsessed about creating the perfect initial sequence.   I have learnt a lot from this assignment and am feeling confident and inspired to crack on with the rest of the course.


Deeper theory: the place of the moving image in visual culture and various critiques of cinema, video and so on. 

Laura Mulvey  - takes a predominantly feminist point of view and develops the theory of the gaze into the moving image.

To see how film, TV and video and new media are sited in visual culture - the final chapters in Visual Culture by Howells and Negreiros (Howells, R. & Negreiros, J., 2012. Visual Culture. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Polity.)

Leighton, T., ed., 2008. Art and The Moving Image. London: Tate. ("pretty dense and not dealing with box-office much")

Hint for next assignment: "use the ‘every day’ in a creative and incongruous way…."

New Wave/Neorealist films

Jean-Luc Goddard (French New Wave):

À Bout de Souffle (Breathless) (1960) this scene is perhaps relevant
Weekend (1967)

Vittorio De Sica (Italian Neo-realist):

Bicycle Thieves (1948)

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