Monday, December 5, 2011

Short Film Critique: Blinded

Rationale: The film the my group members and I made was titled Blinded. This is a dramatic film that is about a man who sacrifices his eyes for his blind girlfriend who seems to be oppressed by the world she lives in. When she admits that she will marry her boyfriend once she gets her eyes, the boyfriend donates his eyes to her, without her knowing. After she finds out that the man is blind, she tries to cope with it, but realizes that its to much to handle and leaves him and doesn't find out to the very end.

My main area of responsibility for the film was cinematographer. It was my duty to get all of the shots as best as possible and I made sure that I applied my knowledge of film techniques that would ever more enhance the shots of the film. For example, sticking to the rule of thirds was very helpful as many of the shots throughout the film were excellent because of this and they didn't look amateur. Also another technique that I applied was the 180 line where the camera was placed on one side facing the actors in a certain direction. The camera would only shoot footage that the actors were positioned in the same area facing the same direction or else it would have looked confusing if i switched back and forth between against the 180 line because then the actors would look as if they keep changing directions. Besides taking on cinematography, I also provided feedback for the final edit of the film as the editors were working on which is the best way to go abut things in the edit.

Problems that arose in my area of responsibility was shooting in the bright day time and then transitioning from the bright day to the inside of a house with little lighting. What made shooting when it is really sunny outside a challenge is that I can barely see the screen of the camera because the screen wasn't bright enough to compete with the power of the sun. Some shots I felt could have been improved like the scenes that took place outside of bart when the actors are leaving the bart station. But because I couldn't see the screen, I didn't know what the shot looked liked and how should I adjust the ISO in order to determine how much light I should let in for the camera. There is this one low shot where it looks as if the camera was on the ground and the actress falls right in front of it. During this shot, I wasn't able to see the screen and I did this shot blindly and the shot is not as compelling as it would have been if I came in tighter on the shot. Another problem was shooting in areas that had really low light, like in the bart station while the actors are walking up the stairs and also in the house where the most important scenes take place. In the bart station, even though I could have made the camera capture more light, I didn't want the footage to turn out grainy, so I only did it to where I possibly can to not have that effect. In one of the shots, When they are walking up the stairs, I didn't realize that the boom pole was in the shot because it was dark and the boom blended in with the surrounding environment. It was also difficult when shooting inside the house because there was really low lighting and my limits to where the amount of light the camera lets in without making the footage grainy was reached and it still remained too dark.

How I solved the problems that arose in my area of responsibility was with the lighting kit. Since we knew that filming in the house was going to be dark, especially after school where it gets darker faster because of daylight savings time. The lighting kit really helped when I was filming in the house because it was much easier to see the characters. However, I thought the lights were too bright, even with the diffuser on them, because they created shadows in the house, which I thought looked unrealistic and unprofessional. Though it can be argued that this scene takes place during the day and it can be the sun shining through the window, it still seems un-plausible because the shadows are projecting up against the wall and in reality, the sun would be shining downwards making the actors shadows on the floor. Still, the shots were much better than before. But we didn't reshoot the scene that takes place at bart because it would be too much work for just a little shots and no one had the time to actually go film there again.

Problems that occurred in the film as a whole was the overall factor of time management. Though nearly all of the members were free to shoot any day, our main actress wasn't which hindered the film from being any better because we were missing a lot of shots that would have help the audience better understand our film. This also effected the final edit because when all team members are reviewing the footage, we noticed that we needed to extend some shots, include shots, capture a shot differently, and fix the continuity errors that also arose. Without time to reshoot because our actress was unavailable on numerous days that we planned to shoot, getting these shoots was impossible as there was no time left to get them. An example is when the scene where she leaves her boyfriend ends and it cuts to her waving while saying "bye guys" seemed confusing. It seemed confusing because we didn't have a shot to show that she has other friends and was having a good time with them. But since we didn't have this, the message was not conveyed as clear as it should have been. Because of the actresses schedule, meeting the deadline for our film was really difficult because we stilled needed more scenes to film and had to shoo them by a certain time. The scene in the park and the scene where she finds out that the boyfriend is blind were really rushed. That scene was shot in a matter of five-seven minutes because we really had no time to shoot. The shots came out not too good because I didn't have time to set up the camera and position it to where the scene looks the best so the quality of shots may have gone down in this scene.

How our teamed solved these problems of missing shots, was in the edit. The editors had to cut each scene so that the story made more sense and even had to cut out some dialogue and place some shots out of order. Like the park scene, this scene was supposed to go after the scene where the audience is first introduced in the house as the characters were supposed to come directly from bart to the house as they are wearing the same clothing. But since we had no other scenes as supporting context for the park scene, we had the put that scene in between the bart and the house. Though it can be argued that the park scene could have taken place before the bart scene and that it was shown to give insight on the audience and his motives to give his eyes up. As for the time management problems, they were typically impossible to fix.

I thought the final film, as a whole, was generally good. I thought there should have been some scenes that could have been conveyed more and needed other scenes to help tell the story better and promote character development. The cinematography was really well  done and it helped show the story by creating meaning in shots such as close ups. The acting was not as compelling as it should have been because the dialogue seemed really simple and scripted and the actress didn't seem to grasp the concept of 'acting', which made the film's effect on the audience not as much intense as was intended. The edit was very good considering that many of the shots were missing, but the story still made sense and the effects such as the echoing voices in the beginning made the feeling of the film more dramatic, which was really good. However, what I didn't like about the film was the music. I realized when our film was screened to the class, that the music was copy righted. I thought this was really difficult to cope with because it was added without the consent of all team members and it also isn't allowed in the film. Though overall, the film needed more shots to convey the narrative and story even better, as well as the acting, but overall it was good (could have been better).

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