Storyboarding is a crucial part of video production. It informs directors and the production team to plan ahead for each shot, ensuring that everything is ready on set for when it is needed. To get a better understanding of this process we used our storyboards from a previous week to create a sequence of footage. We would then edit this together to see how the sequence could be compared to our original plan. Storyboarding is even more important when more technical elements of video production are used such as special effects. Looking into the history of special effects has proved how a strong plan can be the difference between having a good or bad final piece of work. Another aspect of video production that we looked into was about remixing and how creators take others work, transforming and combining it create something completely new.
Chase sequence analysis
To find out if the storyboards were planned well, we recorded footage following the plan that we had made. Recording the footage would allow us to get a better idea of the overall workflow of video production and how each part of the process can be done. I found that creating the storyboard helped me get a better idea as to how it is important to think about the flow of a sequence and how using a variety of different shots can give the audience more information about what is happening in the scene. To record the footage we used a point and shoot camera to follow the plan. The quality of the footage wasn’t important since the main purpose of the task was to develop our skills and knowledge of video production.
Before we recorded any footage for the sequence, we looked over the storyboard that we had made to ensure that we were all happy with the plan and that it would work to how we wanted. This allowed us to check for any mistakes that we could have made in terms of screen direction and the 180 degree rule. By following the plan we were able to get ten different shots overall. We wanted to stick to the storyboard as close as possible to get a better idea of how effective it was and how we could improve in the future when planning and developing ideas for a scene.
Throughout the scene we used a variety of different shots and rules to get our final sequence. These included establishment shots, a variety of long, mid and close up shots, older the shoulder shots and panning. Whilst using these we also used the rule of thirds, 180 degree rule. 30 degree rule and screen direction principles. By taking advantage of what we had learnt I feel that the sequence definitely benefited since the overall flow in the video worked well and would give enough information to the audience for them to know what is happening, whilst not getting bored with shots that are too long or short.
Once I had the footage filmed, backed up and imported onto a computer I began editing the sequence. To do this I created a new project using Premiere Pro, making sure that the resolution and frame rate were the same as the footage that had been recorded. In this case we recorded at a 1280 x 720 resolution at 60 frames a second. We felt that this would be a suitable format for what we were doing. After creating the project I imported the footage and placed what I had into a bin, labeling it ‘footage’. Although that isn’t completely necessary for this task it is a good habit to have since it can help navigate between assets when a lot of footage and sound is in the project.
After importing the footage into the project I looked through each part to see what I had to work with and what pieces would work well and what wouldn’t. Out of the ten shots that we had recorded and the different takes we had for each shot, I chose nine pieces of footage that I felt were suitable for the sequence. I added these to the timeline and quickly realised that there were some flow problems in the sequence that could be fixed with some changes to the timing of the cuts from each shot. By using trial and error to work out what timing worked best, I used the ripple edit tool to change when the cuts were made.
When I was happy with the sequence and the timing and flow behind each shot, I rendered what I had done to an mp4 format at same resolution and frame rate that the footage was recorded at. This was because it would effect the quality of the footage and would make it more difficult to see the work done on the timing in each shot.
Overall I am happy with the video I was able to produce. We used a variety of different shots and rules to convey a chase sequence. The storyboard that we created helped me get a much better idea as to what the final sequence would look like and the tempo of the sequence. Without making a storyboard and thinking about what shots and rules we were going to use, the final sequence would not have worked nearly as well as what we have been able to produce. I think that the strongest part of the video was the flow, particularly where I have cut on action towards the end of the video. I feel that this works well since it gives the action more impact and makes the cut between the two shots much smoother.
Despite being mostly happy with the work produced, I feel that there are some areas for improvement. For example at the start of the video I included an establishment shot to try and give a sense of location. However looking at it now, I don’t think that this really adds
Everything is a remix analysis
According to Everything is a Remix, what is legal remixing?
Legal remixing is the process of creating something new that has been influenced by someone else’s work or ideas. The ideas used must be credited and only an incremental part of the final piece. Since the idea behind a project is actual property of the original owner, credit must still be given even if it is a physical piece of content that has been used. Ideas must always be credited when due since they cost money and time to develop, therefore the original owner of the idea must benefit if it is used elsewhere.
What are the three basic elements of remixing?
The three elements of remixing are copying, transforming and combining. If these steps are followed, the original and end products of the process will be very different. Copying an idea or piece of work is a great way to get a good foundation for what you are going to do. However just copying another piece of work is against the guidelines of copyright, furthermore you won’t improve on anything that has already been done which is in most cases the main intention of making something new. Transforming allows you to add something else to the work, that you think would help improve it. Combining is when the two elements are put together to create something new. Using this technique will always give a different perspective and can often give a much better outcome.
Are influences important for creators? If so, why?
Creation requires influence. In order to create something new and unique in the environment it is in, you have to be influenced by something and know how that can be improved or changed for the better.
How have creators used this process to create new works? Identify examples.
People from all fields of work have used this technique to improve their work. A famous example was when James Watt made a major improvement to the steam engine because he was assigned to repair a broken engine. He found flaws and improvements that could be made and then spent 12 years developing a new system.
What problems does the video identify with the concept of remixing?
Remixing is a great way of developing new ideas and work. It creates a variety of opportunity within all fields of work however it has caused problems since it has become a more popular technique in the creative field. Copying, transforming and combining are all very loose terms and can be interpreted in different ways. Since there is no way to know what is transforming and what is making small changes to copy a product there have been many problems due to people not understanding how much needs to be changed to properly transform an original idea.
How have lawmakers addressed these problems?
Since there is no way of determining what is enough transformation to have a new product, lawmakers have developed guidelines so that people who copy others work and don’t credit the rightful owner can be prosecuted. This is a law that covers all people who have an original idea and intend to develop something new. As well this, people can be prosecuted even if they don’t intend to copy that person’s work. Therefore people who work on new projects must insure that what they are doing has not been done before in that way to stay safe from any legal problems.
Is there a difference between being influenced by the creations of others and copying? If so, what is the difference?
Copying and being influenced are two different things. If you copy another person’s work, you take what they have done and don’t change it at all, claiming it as your own. However if you are influenced, you analyse the work, the decisions made and how it could be improved. This will in turn make a better end product and insure that you don’t come into any legal trouble.
Considering what you have seen and heard, do you think there any such thing as originality? Why?
In today’s world everything that has been man made is not original since our decisions and actions resemble our influences and what we have seen other people do. However us, as humans are original since we have dna that is unique in every person. As well as this we have all had different experiences and opinions that cause differentiate ourselves from others.
With this in mind, how many of your ideas have been influenced, or are based on, the work of others?
All of the ideas that I have had are not original, they have been influenced by what my experiences and what I have found through research or other sources of information. As well as this they are developed accordingly as to how I think they could improve on what is already available within other people’s work. Therefore nothing I produce can be original.
Terminator Shot Analysis
In the first establishing shot a low angle is used to show someone walking out of an office, through a waiting room and then to leave the building. By using a pan the audience is able to see someone leave the building, passing the main character (who is entering) on the way out. As the main character walks towards the reception area, the camera pans back to its original position.
The following shot is also from a low angle, to show a sense of power and or dominance in the scene. This time it is an over the shoulder shot used to show the conversation between the police officer and the main character. As the main character is talking, the police officer shows a lack or respect by not looking back and carrying on with his work.
A similar low angle is used in the next shot. This shows the police officer and his poor attitude to the terminator. I think that a low angle is used again to keep the viewer on the same eye level as the officer, giving the audience an idea of how dominant the terminator is.
After this a mid shot is used to show both characters having a conversation, again from the low angle perspective. The continuity is also good the sequence since the police officer is still talking whilst not looking at the main character. The terminator begins to look around the room towards the end of the shot. This suggests that he is planning something, especially given the context of what is happening in the scene.
The next shot is from a much tighter angle, being an extreme close up. It keeps within the format of the sequence since the camera is placed low and pointing up towards the terminator who is leaning up towards the window. ‘I’ll be back’ also suggests that something is going to happen, giving suspense and tension within the scene. As the terminator leaves the room, another panning shot is used. I feel that this also adds to the suspension of the scene.
Once the terminator is out of the panning shot, another low angle is used to show the police officer. He is still looking down at his work and not paying attention to what is about to happen. After this two extreme close up shots are used to show the officer writing on a piece of paper. I feel that these were used to also show a sense of tension and suspense.
Suddenly the same low angle shot is used from before but this time the officer has looked up and has been surprised by the light of the car that is driving towards him. Then a series of mid shots from different angles are used to show the car plowing through the door of the room and into the desk that the officer is sitting behind. Overall there are six different shots that show the car driving into the room. I feel that this was a great technique used by the director to show the scale of the damage caused by the car.
Special Effects History
Above are two examples of how special effects have been innovated as technology has improved. The first video is a scene from the original Wizard Of The Oz and the second is a scene from Mad Max: Fury Road. Although they are two very different films, the scenes that I have chosen show a storm and similar themes. I found it interesting to see how the storms made differed between analogue and digital technology.
The Wizard Of The Oz film was made in 1939 and directed by Victor Fleming, Mervyn LeRoy, King Vidor, Norman Taurog and George Cukor. Since it was made before digital effects were even available, the film relies entirely on analogue techniques to create the special effects. For example, at the 0:32 in the video, there is a tornado in the background. This would have been made using practical effects, most likely with modelling or the use of frame by frame painting. In 1939 these techniques would have been very expensive and time consuming so they are only used in short shots throughout the scene. Despite the limitations I feel like the directors made the scene flow very well. I think that having the large majority of the shot showing characters react to the tornado etc, allows the audience to get a good idea of the kind atmosphere within the scene.
The Mad Max scene is very different in terms of visuals and what kind of processes would have been used to develop each shot. The film was made in 2015, therefore the technology available for the film was hugely advanced compared to what was used for the Wizard Of The Oz film. In the video linked above I think that the main techniques used were green screening and 3D compositing. These would have allowed the editors to composite 3D elements such as the tornado and lighting into the footage that was recorded on location.
Android Animation Principle Practice