Wednesday, 2 December 2015

HDip Creative Multimedia. Movie: 'Blame It on the Weatherman'

This project involves taking a predefined script (attached) and constructing the Visual Narrative of the piece. Particular emphasis will be on communicating one character’s POV (THINKER).

Multimedia Digital Video
Movie Title: Blame It on the Weatherman
Time: 2 Minutes (max)
Director: Avril Maher
Production Manager: Lorna O' Donnell
Director of Photography: Richard Young
Sound: Fiona Kiely
Date of Submission: 02/11/2015

Tuesday November 10th
Movie assignment was given and all of the team members: Lorna O’Donnell, Richard Young, Avril Mahar and I went to discuss the movie script and potential persons for the roles. We discussed possible actors for the shoot and contacted persons accordingly. Many of the people I approached that week refused me on the basis that they were working or lived too far away from Limerick Institute of Technology. Originally we were going to shoot the movie on Tuesday October 17th but Avril Maher had difficulty obtaining a free camera from the help desk.   
Wednesday November 11th
We met again to see about getting actors and setting a date for filming.

Thursday November 12th
As a group we met again to discuss the camera and actor situation. I volunteered and agreed for the role of the old lady and Richard suggested using his two sons for the remaining roles. We also discussed locations how long the shoot would take. Our only issue was getting a camera. It problem persisted for the next week. Avril, the director and Richard, the director of photography spent a lot of time on administrative tasks with the IT help desk.

Thursday November 26th
I was discussing the camera situation with our class tutor, Lorraine Callanan and she had one signed one out in her name and then signed it over to us. We had to get an extension on the film due to no camera being available for required course work.
Frieday November 29th
As a team we argred to meet the next day, Saturday to shoot.
Saturday November 28th
We met in Limerick Institiute of Technology (Moylish Campuss) at 11am. We checked all equipment and I checked the small microphone that attaches to the Panasonic hand movie recorders. The red light was on and I thought it was all in order. We started fiming as soon as we could. We had Richard’s two teenagers there and he promised not to keep them here all day.

As a team we chose the bus stop close to the roundabout near the Moylish campus. We thought that filming on a Saturday morning would be less noisy but it was not so! We had a lot of issues. It was freezing and worse, very windy and this made it seem more cold. A lot of car users also annoyed us by honking as they passed by. Avril and Richard set up the shots and we decided after a few takes that it was too bitter. I was starting to feel feverish. After it started raining Richard made a good decision to move the shoot to the back of the campus to the smoking area where there would be less noise from traffic and less wind. The smoking shelter was ideal – it looked exactly like a bus stop. There was less wind. After we shot the movie we downloaded it in the lab to view and hear our footage. We were surprised but not shocked that all we recorded was wind. The visual footage was really good, especially Richard’s sons. I got help from Lorna, Avril and Richard with the microphone. It turned on for a moment and then there was no red light turning on. We looked in the bag for extra batteries but there were none.
We decided to reshoot the entire sequence and talk directly into the microphone. Filming a second time proved to be easier and it was cold so we wanted to get it finished. After we imported the second batch of raw footage to the lab the sound was disappointingly all wind again! I was laughing and crying! I half expected this after the lecture on sound in class and the warning signs lecture on sound, microphones and secondary sounds and sounds being so easily picked up by microphones.

I was recording the thinker’s part anyway it just ment I had to get all three speaking parts and monologues recorded. I used the open source software audacity to import the audio files. I saved them as .wavs. I tried to save in MP3 format first, to make it easier for the editing phase in Premier Pro but it wouldn’t let me. The .wav was fine I tested it in premier pro to see if we could get the voices in with the movie straight after I obtained the speaking parts. I recorded all the voice parts. I discussed this with the team, we agreed it was a good solution to our problem. 
I played all the .wav files back on Saturday whilst the actors were still here. I got the approval from Avril we tested one out in Premier Pro as a group – we did not want to take any chances. I saved the files on three machines: my own, Lorna’s and Avrils.

We decide to leave the final edit for Monday. It was already after 2pm and unfair to Richard to keep him here anylonger.

Monday December 28th
As a team we sat together to complete  the editing proces. I imported the .wavs anf  turned down the wind noises and the imported .wav files on another track, we then had to sync up the footage and the sound. It was a bit fiddly to synch them all up I did this whole process with Lorna as she is very astute with Premier Pro and it helped to have the team there to ask questions.
In hind sight I should have tested some footage with speaking from the outside first before we shot everything. Honestly, we would have more time so we did what we could with time constraints, limited use of equipment and outside actors. We had fun too I have to say filming, Richards’s sons were amazing throughout the process. They were both extremely professional – they learned their lines and acted their parts perfectly. It was also a way to break from other course work and focus on a project with a social aspect.

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