Final

I reshot a lot of the film. I got out a macro lens and made sure it was a macro lens, and I really feel like you can see the difference. I couldn’t get that close with the telephoto lens and there was much less in focus. I also feel like I got a lot more diversity in the shots when I filmed again, so I could have a wider range of content.

I really love the idea of the spectacle and I feel like that is definitely a part of my film, but it also has a deeper purpose and I’m really proud I managed to make something which is unconventionally beautiful, but also have a real meaning to it.

I addressed some of the other feedback I got, I refilmed the sound, and edited the poem. One of the best feedback I got (which I didn’t include in the other post) was from my friend Jayde, who said “your sound feels very distant, and you’ve got these close, intimate shots and your voice sort of contradicts that”. I felt that was really important remedy that, as I didn’t notice it until it was pointed out, but then I could really hear it. So I rerecorded it, with the camera a lot closer to me, so it sounded more intimate as well as looked it. It meant a lot to me that she had understood it was an intimate film as well as noticing things I could do to further push that idea.

Overall, I’m please with it. Using my own voice as the narrative was mostly a choice of what I had to work with at the time, and disliking the sound of my own voice does make me cringe when I show it to other people, but a reoccurring piece of feedback I’ve got is that it reminds people of themselves. Two of my friends commented that it sounded like them, even though they knew it was me, and said that because it was a kiwi accent, and not put on or over the top they related to it a lot more. So even though using myself makes it hard for me to be completely objective, it seems to have had created unexpected positives for the film.

Feedback

Loved it! There is some magic in the poem! I think there is to much blurriness and maybe stick with the theme of ambiguous skin rather then the eye shot (just my opinion). It needs to be crisper, some of the quite words are lovely; "now look at you" and "but why" so nice!
Something I wasn’t sure about was the final shot of the eye, I wanted the last shot to be very strong, but had already used up all the best footage. Using ambiguous skin makes sort of removes it from being any one person, while putting the eye in draws it back to the individual. I don’t know which is “right”. I am aware some of the shots are not as crisp as they could be. ITS gave me a telephoto lens instead of a macro lens, and while you can make them do similar things, they’re not the same which was incredible frustrating. The shots would have been much crisper and much easier to focus if I had been using a macro lens.
Loved the stretch marks and the comment about the skin not being able to hold you in. I personally don’t like the “first binge after your first heart break line” (just saying ..) I think its really beautiful
I feel like I do need to rerecord the poem, not just because of the reading of it, but also because I want to have another edit. I feel like some of the lines, like that one are a little awkward and could be refined more.
I’m not sold on the font, I think it’s cause it’s on such an aggressive slant. There is also one shot that never comes into focus
The font only comes in regular (no italic option) so I manually changed the slant on it to -5 degrees to make it not so aggressive. I also fixed the kerning because it was bothering me. I know handwriting isn’t supposed to be perfect, but I felt like it was distracting. The shot that never comes into focus is of me, and it’s the combination of the telephoto lens making it hard to focus and the fact I had to get my boyfriend to focus it when I was in front of it. If I can, I will reshoot it.
That’s so good! The macro makes you think that it’s just one person and only having one face in there helps that
The other side of the eye vs no eye question.
The fade of the type in and out could be a wee bit slower, for greater effect. The transitions between each patch of skin/markings is really good. The font (the sort of scriptive thing) works at the end of the video, but not necessarily throughout for the poem? It depends on the formality of the video/who it’s targeted at? A simple clean serif overlayed of the video, with the slow fade in/fade out could give it more literary feel. But I mean it’s just my subjective taste, so feel free to take that how you want, and the font works at the end quite well, for the ‘poem by louise hutt productions’ stuff
Yeah, this was something I really debated. Did I want it to be more like a poetry reading with images, or did I want it to be more of a film with a voice over. I think really, I want it to be a combination of both. I want to use the spectacle of imagery; something people consider ugly, yet shot in a very beautiful way to reinforce what the poem is trying to communicate, yet still be something very human and honest, not something detached or distant, which is why I chose the handwriting font over a serif.
I have watched it a couple of times, thought it was very good. I liked the poem. I read somewhere recently that an old face is “history written in flesh”, I remembered it because I thought, that is me. Your film is a younger, lovelier, artistic spin on that, that young people will identify with.
I think that this is definitely more about young people, just the way it happened with who I had to film but also our poem. I guess dealing with the fact we can see the lines forming, the freckles building up, is something you deal with when you’re our age and I think it is something that isn’t really talked about, but if you learn that it’s okay, maybe it makes it easier later on.

Titles

Although I liked the original font, I did want to experiment with other ones before I decided on a final font. I thought the fact it was handwritten made the original font seem more honest, and real which is something I wanted to convey in the film as well.

1. Dakota, regular, 100pt
2. DaunPenh, regular, 100pt
3. Garamond, regular, 70pt
4. Helvetica Neue, ultralight, 100pt

Now that I’ve compared it to others, I can see that Dakota’s kerning is off, which I would want to fix. I think DaunPenh looks good, but in an old-fashioned, bookish way and I don’t know if I want that look. I want the film to be relate-able and honest more than stand-offish and distant. I feel like the imagery is so up-close and personal, I want the titles to reflect that.

Draft 2 - Black & White

I wanted to experiment with the cinematography, to see if it looked any different in black and white. I think it works for some of the shots, however it reduces the contrast in others which reduces the impact of the image.

Sound

I knew I wanted to overlay some poetry to the images, to give it more depth and meaning as a piece. I felt this would link the images without trying to put a narrative onto the piece, and also make it more compelling to watch. My boyfriend offered to write something and this was what he came up with.

When you first came into this world, you had skin like a polished stone. For the briefest of moments, there was not a mark on you, because you hadn’t done anything yet.

Four and a half billion years ago, the planet on which we stand was unrecognisable. It wasn’t until the first creature dragged itself up from the ocean, until the first bird threw itself into the air, until the first monkey stood on its hind legs that the earth became what it was always going to be.

It is the firsts that create the biggest changes.

Now look at you, so far from the tiny bag of wrinkles and smiles you once were, where the firsts of your life have laid themselves upon you. Now look at you, with your skin in shades of tan and red, from the first time you stood out in the sun. Now look at you, with the freckles and spots you tried to cover up since the first time you felt embarrassed.

But why?

What shame is there in having your skin be the canvas of your experiences? What shame is there in having your skin cut through with lines and creases?

Each popped pimple, each plugged pore that exploded like a volcano is just another first. A first date, or a first impression, but a first.

Each cluster of freckles, each collection of melanin within your skin that just sits there like a galaxy painted in flesh tones is just another first. A first school bully that pointed and laughed, or a first love who would trace the invisible lines between them, but a first.

Each stretchmark, each tiny tear that looks like a streak of silver paint but feels like a deep valley is just another first. A first binge after a first heartbreak, or just the first time your body found out it wasn’t big enough to hold the universe that lives inside you, but a first.

Each scratch, each cut, each scar that sits raised above the skin like a mountain range is just another first. A first fall off a first bike, or the first time you picked up a knife because you needed to feel something, anything at all, but a first.

Each burn, each bright blotch that stings and stabs and prickles with the memory of it is just another first. A first foray into cooking, or the first time you just flew too close to the sun, but a first.

It is the firsts that create the biggest changes.

A polished stone might be nice to look at, but try talking to one. See how much it really has to say.

I really liked this, but I knew it would be too long for a 1-2 minute film, so I edited and made some changes of my own. This was my final version of the poem

When you first came into this world, you had skin like a polished stone. For the briefest of moments, there was not a mark on you, as clear as a blank canvas.

Now look at you, so far from the tiny bag of wrinkles and smiles you once were, where the firsts of your life have laid themselves upon you. Now look at you, with the freckles and scars you tried to cover up since the first time you felt embarrassed.

But why?
What shame is there in having your skin be the canvas of your experiences?

Each cluster of freckles, each collection of melanin within your skin that just sits like a galaxy painted in flesh tones, is just another first. A first school bully that pointed and laughed, or a first love who would trace the invisible lines between them, but a first.

Each stretchmark, each tiny tear that looks like a streak of silver paint but feels like a deep valley is just another first. A first binge after a first heartbreak, or just the first time your body found out it wasn’t big enough to hold the universe that lives inside you, but a first.

Each burn, each cut, each scar that sits raised above the skin like a mountain range is just another first. A first foray into cooking, or the first time you just flew too close to the sun, but a first.

A polished stone might be nice to look at, but where has it been? What has it done? A blank canvas cannot be a masterpiece until it’s been painted on.

Draft 1

This was my first draft of imagery + sound + credits. I think the font works well with the imagery and the tone. I had the images arranged differently, but felt they needed to be cut to the sound, and also reference the sound when possible. I think it works, overall, but I think I could re-record the sound as I dislike the emphasis on a few of a the phrases and I took out a second reference to “a polished stone” which I might add back in.

I asked around on Facebook for people who had scars, birthmarks, freckles, anything that made their skin different. I really didn’t expect a response, because it is something that people don’t like to talk about, but I was really amazed by how many people put their hand up and offered to let me film them. One of my friends said to me “well I haven’t been able to help out with any of your other films, so I figured why not. I really hate my scar but if it helps you, then yeah” which I thought was really nice and also really brave. I didn’t really think about how much I’d need other people’s involvement and I was really thankful I got as many people to be a part of it as I did.

remediosthebeauty:

Impressions is a series by Scout Paré-Phillips

via It’s Nice That

I found this series of images which I really liked; I think the idea of examining things that are hidden, or not talked, that is something film can do extremely well. I thought about how I could make this my own, and I eventually came up with making it about a more permanent fixture, like scars or birthmarks. I really liked this idea because I felt that was something that can make people very uncomfortable when asked about and very ashamed of, more so than impressions.

Source: remediosthebeauty

louisehutt:

It’s Not Just You, Murray! (1964)
Martin Scorsese

  • Main character talks directly to audience and introduce himself to the audience
  • Feels like you’re having a conversation with the character
  • Action takes cues from the music
  • The narration is often in start contrast with the action (tense action, with calm narration), which gives the impression that the character is unaware of his surroundings

When beginning the third assignment, I thought back to other narratives from short films that I really liked. I wanted to do something involving just a singular character in a singular room, and I thought about how much I liked the overrunning narrative from It’s Not Just You, Murray!

Originally I had wanted to make a film about a person with agoraphobia, who had only lived in one room for their whole life. However, I was quickly running out of time and I felt that needed a lot of editing, reshooting and editing again in order to make it work. This left me at a blank canvas again.

Final Video

After draft four I cleaned up some of the edits and after playing around with draft five and the filters, I toned down the filter on the opening sequence and took the filter completely off the main film and credits.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the film although I’m certain there are still areas where I could improve it (editing, transitions, lighting, style; to name a few). Considering I had never performed the ukulele for anyone other than myself, let alone for a film, I’m also quite proud of how well the soundtrack worked out (I thought it was going to be really terrible). I’m not sure as to whether or not I will continue with this film for the third assignment, I have a few other ideas I would like to pursue before the end of the semester.

I ran out of time to explore different transitions but I feel the use of pacing and text are what makes this film worth watching. I was quite worried about doing narrative; not making it clear enough, not making it interesting enough, but ultimately I feel like if someone was to watch this, they wouldn’t feel like they’d  wasted two and a half minutes of their life - and is therefore something to be proud of in my opinion.

About

Assignment blog for Video Production 3 at the University of Waikato.

Assignment 1:
Create five transitions; two including multiple frames, one including a still image and one including an audio bridge
Find five excellent examples of non-standard transitions (no straight fades or jump cuts)
Create two title sequences for a film called 'Boundaries"

Assignment 2:
To create a four to five minute audio-visual work that has a strong investment in AfterEffects as a post production tool. It can be any genre; fiction or non-fiction.

Assignment 3:
To either continue developing the second assignment or to create a 1-2 minute film and burn both the films from assignment 2 and 3 to disk.

You can view each assignment separately using the menu bar, or simply scroll to view everything as I posed it.

Louise Hutt | 1160617