Wednesday, 9 February 2011



Here are some thoughts on your prelim, which I think is very good. Very good but not perfect. Please read these notes carefully, there are some real strengths that you should try to repeat in your final film and also a couple of areas where you could make a few changes that would improve the film. PLease come and find me in the staffroom or mail me to arrange a time if you would like to discuss in more detail.

First off very nice opening. No running around, heads getting sawn off, just an intriguing shot that start sto set up location, character, good. Footstep sound effects are very well matched well done. However when Jessica walks into the building there is a jump cut. And not really a good one in my opinion, given the comment I have made above, being nice and steady and just setting things up, but stuck in the middle of which a very noticeable jump. 

So why does it jump, well three things, the angle is too similar, the shot size is virtually identical, the in point of the second clip is too early and this makes it look as if she has jumped backwards. ***having just watched this again, it is actually slightly across the 180 line as well. If you look closely you will notice that in the first and second shot Jessica is going right to left and then in the third very slightly left to right, it is only slight but actually this is what really throws this edit out and makes it jarring**

Dont worry about this, the prelim is there so that you can have a few slips  and learn from them so your final film will be better. What you need to do when you are out filming is get lots of shots, which you have done, but also gets lots of distinctively different shots, you need different angles and different shot sizes, distinctively different, close up, mid shot, wide shot, different camera angles, high, low, aerial, POV, different camera movements, pan, tilt, tracking etc etc. And try to stay on one side of the action withe the camera. If you get some cutaway shots (clock ticking, passerby reaction shot etc etc) that will help you cover up any continuity errors that you make, such as crossing the line.

I love the physical positioning and timing of the first title (producer, Amy), that is immaculate. You have the perfect dead space on the screen, and the perfect lull in important plot information to fit it in. The match cut on the door handle is great too a nice big close up, fill the screen, that is what we like!

I like the reverse of Sophie at the desk but I think it is cut a bit short. Linger on the wide shot for a bit more time, dont give the audience the close up they want so quickly, hold them back, suspend them!

When we go back to Jessica we have a big problem. All of a sudden she is standing still and then starts walking. Yes this is brief but still not good. It is because you have edited an in point too early, but the main problem is that when you were filming you did not film enough around the bits you wanted to use in the eidt. Before and after every sequence of action you film you should always shoot an extra five seconds of action (actors acting as well as cameras recording) at the beginning and the end.  This will give you an opportunity to pick your exact moment in the edit and get some really fluid match cuts where the action genuinely matches and does not fill stilted. THIS IS MY MOST IMPORTANT TIP FOR YOU.

When you have the shot reverse shot over that bong-y noise, I like that but again if you are going to do it go the whole hog, keep the audience in that uncomfortably close position for longer, it will help build suspense.

The conversation needs more angles and shot sizes and would cut together more effectively.

I like the match cut on the stairs that works very well due I think to the fact that you have carefully recreated the action from two different angles and have therefore made it to look like you were filming with two cameras.

A good start, work hard and pay attention to these comments and I am sure that you will make a very good film!


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