Our task was to simply recreate the following clip from Quentin Tarantino’s action and thriller from 1992, ‘Reservoir dogs’.
The planning process was somewhat of a rushed task but since we did not have to plan out any original content it was relatively easy and done over the span of a lesson and a half. In this we discussed who would play each character and who would film the process as well as thought about what props, make-up and costumes we would have to bring in ready for filming as well as find a location to film in.
The first step in the planning process was to identify characters and decide who would play who. The choices were the following : Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr. Pink(Steve Buscemi), “Nice Guy” Eddie (Chris Penn), Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney), Mr. Blue (Eddie Bunker) and Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino). We then came to the decision that I would play Harvey Keitel’s character of Mr. White, Owen would play as Mr. Orange, Katie play as Mr. Blonde, Sean play as “Nice Guy” Eddie, Kieran play as Mr. Pink, Millie S play as Joe Cabot, Grace playing Mr. Blue and Millie P to play as the final character of Mr. Brown. Emily was then left with the task of filming and directing us.
The costumes shown in the original clip proved to not be a hard task to replicate with 6th form boys blazers looking very similar to the ones shown and Millie P having plenty of 3D Glasses to go around to all the members that required them. Sean was the only one who had to acquire a unique costume of blue overalls and gold chain. Getting the gold chain was not a problem however we had to settle with just a blue jacket as the Overalls needed could not be found which would arrive on time ready for filming. The girls playing as boys used make-up in order to distinguish what character they were playing and tried to replicate the characters shown in the original clip. Toothpicks, Cigarettes and Cigars were all props that we sort out for during the planning process in order to make our film as convincing as possible
The next step after sorting out Costumes, Make-up and Props was to establish a location to film and check the availability of that area. We chose The school canteen as our first place to shoot the opening of the remake as it shares a similar geography to that of the original and it was available to shoot in at our desired time. The second location was the driveway that the busses use to enter the school and that was because it also had a similar geography to that of the original.
Filming did not go as smoothly as it should of done due to the pressure of having a time limit to keep to as well as not communicating well enough with each other. Some people were late to the set which inhibited any filming to take place and just added extra stress to an already stressful process.
We managed to get our first scene, in the canteen, done relatively quickly after everyone had arrived and the camera equipment was set up. Luckily only a Tripod was needed so setting up the camera was easy, the only time consuming part was getting it at the same height and angle as that of the original. It took roughly 3 takes to get right since we all found it mildly amusing and simple out of place grin or laugh would cause us to reshoot the scene. No audio was needed in this part which worked in our favour as the Canteen is very echoey and would of distorted the audio.
The main footage of the opening was shot outside in the driveway at school and this required the dolly needing to be set up which proved more difficult than expected. After the dolly was finally set up we could start filming the opening on which we are seen walking. We watched back footage of the original to get us all in the right order of walking and this was achieved but unlike in the original we walked way too far apart from each other but due to time running out, we had to make do with the footage we got even though it was not frame by frame perfect to the original like we had planned. The dolly was a piece of equipment we had not had any experience with so we also found it slightly difficult to get a smooth movement with the camera. For the close up shots the camera was put on top of a tripod instead of a dolly due to the trouble we had with the dolly on the previous scene and we thought it would be easier and more stable if we were to just zoom in on the faces. Due to the camera being in a fixed position on a tripod, we had to give the illusion that we were walking and although it isn’t perfect it is arguably mildly convincing. The last scene was of us walking away in which we yet again reviewed the original footage to make sure we were in the correct places and stayed as true to the original as possible.
The Editing Process was carried out individually but we all had the same footage to work with and all used FinalCut Pro. This was the most important process as I aimed to get each transition to match perfectly with that of the original.
First I had to upload the footage from the camera onto the computer and start a new project as well as find the original footage and also upload that to the programme to run side by side my footage and act as a reference. I then proceeded to cut the footage and match it up to the original and made note when each transition was made and I did this by zooming in on each clip and alining them together so that there was no delay between my footage and the original.
I found this process rather easy and only found one difficulty of having the end title of ‘Reservoir Dogs’ slide up the screen to then stop but once around this problem there were no other difficulties.
Here is the final product of our remake.