Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Short Film Critique

A. Rationale:
The film we made was a drama that incorporated realist techniques. We made this film to present our theme that love blinds people from the truth, and that it alone is not reason enough to dedicate your life to someone else. In this film we experimented with realism because we wanted to create a compelling, yet realistic film that actually affected our audience of young adults. This film was poignant, and very frank which we hope conveyed our message well.

Your areas of responsibility on the film.
I was one of the editors for this film. Additionally, I served as a confidant with the director who always sought after all of the crew’s advice. Likewise, I aided him in casting actors for our film, and I helped him visualize a scene to perfection. First, I recruited the actress in our film, and the director casted the actor. However, our initial actress became unavailable for us, and so I had to cast another one who was less ideal than our first choice. Because she was not as qualified as our first choice actor, our film crew had to guide her acting meticulously which became quite time consuming. As editor, I knew that I would have to cut for continuity. Also, I knew that we needed an ample amount of shots to add coverage for our scenes. Therefore, I implored and advised both our director and cinematographer to film while being aware of these factors. Thankfully, we are very open to each other’s thoughts so they heeded to my concerns and addressed them when filming.

Problems and Challenges that arose in your area of responsibility.
Because we intended our film to embody realism, we incorporated several sequence shots in our scenes. Unfortunately, we did not notice errors in continuity while we were on set. We could not refilm these because of a lack of time, so it became my and my partner’s duty to solve them through editing. In the opening sequence we filmed in a bart station. Several extras were in the scene, and since we had no control over them they entered our shots sporadically. Instead of simply cutting between shots we simply inserted our opening text between the shots that had continuity errors. This way we created the illusion that our intro was coherent, and we were able to present the audience with the opening credits as well. Another problem in our film was that we lacked eloquent scene transitions. My partner and I had trouble trying to move from one scene onto the next. After much thinking we concluded that having the following scene’s audio begin while the current scene ends would allow for a smooth transition. To help us, our sound editor gave us several sounds to add realism to the film. For example, with the park scene there were ambient sounds such as birds chirping that created the scene transition. In other scenes we used our actor’s dialogue to create the scene transition.

Problems that arose on the film as a whole
The most malignant problem that our group incurred was that our actress constantly flaked on us. At first we understood that she had other priorities, so we tried to form our filming schedule around her own schedule. However, whenever our filming date came she would ignore both my and the director’s phone calls. For at least an hour, our film crew remained in awe wondering what she was doing. Eventually, she told us that she was incapable of filming for very unbelievable reasons. Of course, this pushed the production of our film several days back. Additionally, my partner and my time to edit was minimized because we wasted certain editing days due to a lack of footage. As the deadline drew closer and closer I implored my director to advise our actress of our commitment to our project. Fortunately, my director was able to finally convince our actress to continue to film with us. Unfortunately, we had to work off of her time schedule again, and so our final filming dates occurred past our deadline. This caused my partner and I to edit after school to make up for lost time. Additionally, for some of the final scenes, such as the train scene, I and our cinematographer remained at school editing so that our other two crew members could film. This allowed us to film and edit during the same day. Aside from our actress, we had no real detrimental problems. All of our crew members contributed equally to the film.

Our final project came out well considering that we lost several days because of our unreliable actress. However, if we did not lose those days then our film definitely could have improved on its story telling and the acting within it. In pre-pro we had a difficult time trying to form a realistic story that could be well told. We believed that we addressed all of the plot holes in our final script, but as we began to film we realized that some points were a bit complicated. For example, it was difficult to convince our audience that our actress could have truly believed that John had been blind during their entire time together. In the script, I attempted to address by presenting our actress as a very ignorant person once she receives her eyes. Thus, her ignorance would cause her to accept that John had always been blind. Even though it was highly implausible. Unfortunately, our actress had trouble conveying the right emotions for our scenes. Typically, she said her lines with a happy tone which definitely strayed away from the meaning behind her words. Again, our lack of time with her caused us to cherish every moment we had with her. This caused us to sacrifice the quality of her acting in order to complete the film. Thus, in our final film her lines lacked much emotion, but they did not carry the same happy tone as before because our crew urged and forced her to show some sad emotion. That sad emotion was minimal, but its presence made our film better than her being happy while reading solemn lines. Because the emotion that our story needed was not fully there, the story itself lost some credibility because, again, her ignorance could not be conveyed through her emotion. In an attempt to add more drama to our movie we decided to include other previously discarded scenes. The first was the train scene in which our actress is forced to take care of our actor. This showed how bitter and reluctant she was becoming towards him because she was not used to having to take care of others. This scene definitely aided us in characterizing our actress as selfish. Also, we needed to show that the two were indeed in love. This love was the motive for our actor to donate his eyes, but our film’s script had no truly powerful instances that showed his love for her. To address this, I told my crew that we should add a park scene in which our actor is pushing our actress on the swings. This would show them having fun together even though the girlfriend was physically impaired. Still, our actor needed a powerful reason to sacrifice his eyes. This reason came in the form of marriage. Our actress told our actor that if she had eyes then they would get married. Marriage became our protagonist’s reason to sacrifice his eyes. This reason reoccurs when the girlfriend returns home to tell him that she was gonna leave his life. As she leaves the house, our protagonist tries to chase after her but falls and drops the wedding ring box that he bought for her. These critical scenes definitely made our film better. However, we should have planned them earlier in order to avoid a rush to film them. This shows that the biggest flaw in our film was our inability to plan it well. We should have realized our film’s storyline errors earlier so that we wouldn’t have to shoot them last minute which definitely stressed out our crew. Also, we should have casted our original actress earlier so that we could be aware that she was busy. If we planned earlier with her then perhaps we could have kept her as our actress which definitely would have given us a much more emotional female character. Also, she wouldn’t have flaked out on us like our final actress did. In the future, we will make sure to cast the most brilliant and dependable actresses and actors. Also, we will cast them early in our production in order to avoid any sudden issues such as unreliability and a realization that our actress had difficulty acting. Still, I believe that the effort that all of our crew members put into the production created an elegant film that had some problems, but overall was a compelling film that was highly original and interesting.

1 comment:

  1. A good start Luis. Next time embed evidence that supports your contributions to the project. Also, in your overall analysis, avoid referring to your own efforts and instead focus on the details in the film as you evaluate their strengths and challenges. This review is meant to be "objective." Thanks