Remake of Lucky You

Upon being disappointed with our Reservoir Dogs remake we decided to yet again carry out the task but do a Remake of the film ‘Lucky You’. The process was mostly the same as Reservoir Dogs although it was even more rushed as we had even fewer time to plan. We were also split in half instead of working in a big group like before. I was in a group with Millie S, Sean, Owen and Katie.

Filming

This process was a whole lot more difficult than it should have been and it certainly didn’t help that almost every single battery we tried using was flat and had to make constant changes. It wasn’t till we finally found a battery which would of been able to last us the 50 minute, and now 30 minute time slot that we had been allocated. Due to the rushed conditions we didn’t manage to get all the shots how we wanted and just focussed on getting a substantial amount of footage. Due to poor story boarding we did find this process difficult.

Editing 

We edited our footage in pairs and I was teamed up with Millie S to carry out the task. We both did an even split of editing and did our best with the footage we had. We did realise holes in which we hadn’t filmed the right amount of clips but managed to fill them in and get the timing up to a decent standard.

Artefact

Evaluation

Really not impressed by this second attempt and feel like our first attempt doing Reservoir dogs was more of a success than this. This poor finished product would be mainly due to the technical problems we had with not only the camera batteries but also the microphone as a whole, hence why the audio used was taken just straight off of the camera instead of mic. The whole process could of gone smoother if better planned and storyboards were clearer and more detailed. However i will learn from my mistakes and hopefully use the experience gained to create a better film in the upcoming projects and tasks.

Remake of Reservoir Dogs

Our task was to simply recreate the following clip from Quentin Tarantino’s action and thriller from 1992, ‘Reservoir dogs’.

Planning

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

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.

Editing

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.

Artefact

Here is the final product of our remake.

Preliminary Task: Getting It Right

The purpose of this task was to improve on our previous project and use and take into account the 180 degree rule, Match on action and shot reverse shot.

Planning 

The plan consisted of a very brief script with only a few lines of dialogue and a basic story board, which we didn’t stick to whatsoever since casting proved difficult and we ended up with two boys going on a date instead of the conventional boy and girl. We did manage to book a quiet room for filming but other than that, not much else went to plan.

Filming 

Filming was rushed and we forgot about the specification and missed out key elements of what we needed to film. We forgot to show the two characters walking across the room and when it came to the dialogue, although there did not need to be many lines of dialogue, there was too few which led to the audience being well and truly confused as to what they had just watched. Match on action was executed reasonably well but at times did not add any depth or continuity to the film and yet again, gave it an amateur look and seemed to be there for the sake of being there. The 180 degree rule had been taken into account and was mostly used aside from one questionable shot in which the ‘wine’ was being poured. Shot reverse shot was also focused on but used in excessive amounts with not much diversity which gave the film less continuity and made the film boring and dull.

Editing 

The same software of Final Cut Pro X was used to edit our films that we made, just like our previous task. Upon editing the film we found out that the camera was not always balanced but using the tools provided we did manage to fix this error and adjust the clips to give it a straight horizon and more professional look. The actors used did find being filmed humorous so an extreme amount of editing was used to cut out laughter and this unfortunately came at the expense of having material to edit and work with.

Artefact 

Here is the final product..

Conclusion

To say I’m disappointed and appalled is an understatement.. Upon reviewing and watching our second attempt at this task we have decided to film another version of the same task in order to get it right and incorporate all the rules we have learned and make a film that the audience can understand and hopefully enjoy. We will focus on meeting the task specification as we failed to do so on our second attempt. This film will be planned, shot and edited in our own time over a course of one week.

Artefact 2 

Here is the final project of our third and final attempt..

Shot reverse shot

Shot reverse shot is a film technique where one character is shown looking at another character (often off-screen), and then the other character is shown looking back at the first character. Since the characters are shown facing in opposite directions, the viewer assumes that they are looking at each other. Shot reverse shot often ties in with the 180° rule to retain continuity by not distorting the audience’s sense of location of the characters in the shots.

Here is an example of it being used in the hunger games..

Match on action

Match on action is an editing technique in which one shot cuts to another shot portraying the action of the subject in the first shot to greater detail. This creates the impression of a sense of continuity and creates a “visual bridge” which draws the viewer’s attention away from slight cutting or continuity issues.

Here is a great video displaying how match on action is used..

180 degree rule

The 180 degree rule is a cinematography guideline that states that two characters in a scene maintain the same left to right relationship to one another and if the camera crosses over the invisible axis of the two characters its called crossing the line and the shot becomes a reverse angle shot. It is arguably one of the most essential rules in filming and this is because if the rule is not followed it disorientates the audience

2000px-180_degree_rule-svg-1.png

In the diagram shown, if the camera crosses over into the red zone, it reverses the view of the two people; which means that it looks like the actors have switched sides compared to the green zone and this can confuse the audience.

Here is a video explaining the 180 degree rule in depth and shows examples of it and how it works…

Preliminary Task: Evaluation

I feel like the finished product is very mediocre and something that i’m not massively impressed with to be brutally honest. For a first attempt ever at filming and editing, it wasn’t too tragic but there is a lot that i’d want to change given more than 50 minutes to film and only 100 to edit.

The focus was out on some shots and I often forgot to turn off the auto focus, once in focus, which led the camera trying to focus mid-way through filming and made it look very amateur. Some of the shots also distorted the visuals of the room and were taken from different angles which confuse the audience of where the characters are in the room. The audio was not the best as a constant muffle could be heard and it didn’t seem to be very crisp due to some audio that ending up on the final product, was recorded by the camera instead of the microphone. The 180 degree rule was not followed leading to the room looking distorted and didn’t let the audience see the whereabout’s of the character in the room.

Although the dialogue could be described as poor, it did do a good job of following the specification of; one character opening a door, moving across a room and then conversing with another character. Match on action was used well in opening up the door to the room as well as showing the transition of the character across the room. Editing was jumpy at the best of times, however for a first attempt it was not that bad.

For the next task I will keep in mind all of the positives that i can gather from this first task and try to incorporate them into my next as well as learn from the negatives and improve upon them