Archive | September, 2013

Week 8: The Burning Kiss

23 Sep

This week in the lecture we were very lucky to have Director Dr Robbie Studsor and actor Liam Graham as our guest speakers to discuss the new film they have made, The Burning Kiss. I thought their presentation to be very informative and engaging. As I wish to peruse a career as a screen writer and director, what was revealed was very inspiring and relative to my own discipline. I hope to one day work a feature film to the standard that has been executed but Robbie, who is undoubtedly very dedicated to his profession. I would like to outline the key points that I took away from this presentation.

Studsor expressed that when you have created a script or story it is very hard to articulate or pitch your idea of your film to others. I have found this to be true in my own experiences when I have tried expressing my ideas to my peers. It is hard to give my creative visions or concepts justice with just words. Recently when planning for a photo shoot, after discussing my ideas with others I was met with the response of ‘that sounds interesting’ or ‘different’. It is obvious to me by their facial expressions that they didn’t mean those comments in a good way. After showing to my peers the artist I used and my influence (David Lachepelle) and the final result, they understood my vision and could give me nothing but praise. The words “I told you so” echoed in my conscious at this point.

Studsor overcame this issue by making what he calls ‘mood reels’. He collaged different photographs he used as influence or inspiration and paired them with correlating audio to make film piece that replicated his creative vision. Graham agreed that this was very helpful towards understanding the director’s vision and he used the mood reels to influence the portrayal of his character. In relation to this process Studsor very wisely stated that “communication is the essence with collaboration” (2013) and with this I cannot agree more.  I admire that even though this film was written and directed solely by Studsor, he still considers his work a collaboration, realising that everybody involved in the film create work together and create a team. I think that this is a great insight to have as a director.

Another point that I found to be very useful is that Studsor suggest that there are three integral components that need to be considered to make a film look professional and effective: lighting, location and production design. If these elements are not mastered, no matter how good the script is, how great the talent is, or how expensive the equipment used is, this film is undeniably going to look cheap and loose affect. This is a great tip to know and I will take great consideration with these elements when I start production on my short film in two weeks time.

A point that was raised by both Studsor and Graham is how beneficial the rehearsal process is. Although extra time needs to be put aside to conduct theses, it is a very important process and cannot afford to be skipped. Rehearsals help the talent get into character and create a good relationship or chemistry with their fellow actors and the crew. It is during rehearsals that issues can be raised and ultimately this will save time later down the track. The short film that I have written and will be directing has two main characters: Melissa (25) and Lucy (8). As working with children encumbers many issues in itself, I hope by conducting extensive rehearsals will help the child become more relaxed and comfortable with the crew and the other actors and aid in eliminate any other issues before we begin filming.

What was also discussed by Studsor was the obstacles that arise in making a film. He proclaimed this film in particular to be the most challenging, difficult endeavor of his whole life, putting it above obtaining his Doctorate. A director must be prepared for these and constantly use their problem solving skills to overcome these mishaps. Studsor also emphasizes that “decision making is pivotal when directing”(2013). Often decisions need to be made on the spot. Even when a director is unsure of the correct response they must make a quick and decisive decision. If it happens that the decision turns out to have been wrong or costly, the Director must wear that weight and use their problem solving skills to overcome the issue. This can be both the best and worst part of being a director.

I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be educated by Studsor and Graham, and very grateful for this new found knowledge. I can immediately apply what I have learnt in my own practice in making my short film and throughout my film making career.

Find more about the feature film The Burning Kiss here at www.facebook.com/theburningkissmovie

Reference

Studsor, R. Graham, L. (19/09/2013). [Lecture] Week 8: Visual texts. Edith Cowen University, Perth WA.

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Making some progress

15 Sep

After Listening to Jinja Safari’s song ‘Mombassa on the Line’ I am slowly getting an idea video clip I would like to create. The lyrics are quite cryptic and I don’t fully understand the song’s meaning, instead I am just going with the flow and the feel of the music and developing my ideas that way. Without thinking to hard I just started jotting down the first few visions that came to mind, my first idea was a young girl wondering lost around the city and I developed a narrative from that. So far I this is the sequence of shots I have come up with

  1. Girl, in her early 20’s is on a bus, looking dreamingly out the window
  2. She looks down at the map she has of the city
  3. She gets of the bus in the hub of the city, and steps in chewing gum, she looks a little disheartened
  4. As she is walking down the main strip guys are glaring at her, on seedy persona wholf whistles as he is passing
  5. A grubby homeless man is begging, the girl reaches into her backpack and hives him her sandwich, the homeless man looks bewildered and tosses it aside as soon as she passes.
  6. A busker is playing but nobody is paying him any attention and he hasn’t collected any money
  7. She pulls the map around and looks lost, she gives up and throws the map in the bin
  8. She walks off confidently, looks and starts appreciating the beauty of the buildings and scenery.
  9. Girl approaches the water feature in forest chase and smiles broadly as she watches the children play happily.
  10. She dumps her backpack, removes her sneakers and joins the children playing
  11. More children join the fun and they all dance around laughing gleefully
  12. The sun is setting the girl walks away from the water feature to her belongs
  13. She finds that her bag has been taken, she picks up her shoes, smiles and shakes her head and walks away from the scene.

I think that this narrative would work well with the song. One of the biggest obstacle’s is finding a great young talent to be my lead and also a bunch of children for the end scene. Working with children is difficult so working with a group of 10 or more will be extremely difficult! As soon as I get the green light to go ahead, I better start casting, asap

Change of plans..

14 Sep

During the planning process for my creative project I have been making considerations as to what direction when creating my ‘Staccato effect’ piece. For this to be effective I will need to picture some form of movement. I started to brain storming what kind of movement I would like to picture. After a lot of thought I hadn’t drawn many conclusions only that I would like to my piece to be a drama or narrative and be made to music but that was about as far as I got. Whilst driving in my car I began flicking through songs on my play list and considering what music piece would suit the rhythm off a time lapse photography piece and what kind of narrative I could form. A few songs inspired some creative thought but no strong visions have been made at this point. It was 2 nights ago that I was out for drinks and a friend of mine brought a competition to create a film clip for band Jinga Safari triple j are running to my attention. The next morning I found the details on the website. This is a great opportunity for me. I have decided that I will start planning on how I can make a creative film clip for their song ‘Mombassa on the Line’ for my project and submit the finished product for the competition. Now I will begin the process of brainstorming whilst listing to the song on repeat. Hopefully some good ideas will start to flow! Link to the competition can be found here at http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/comps/cut_to_the_beat.htm