CDP – Pre-Production, Planning and Prep

This week and last week we began to plan out and organise our production, I also managed to visit another possible locations of filming earlier in the week and take location shots.

Location Shots:

On Monday the 9th of November, 3 out of 4 people in the group attended our production meeting, we have began the process of building up and developing our production as a whole by obtaining a clearer definition of what we wish to present to the audience but also how we intend on doing so. This week I focused on gathering a more coherent understanding of our piece by finalising our production proposal. I have began to put together a shot sequence in order to have a stronger idea of how to shoot our intended footage. We are still in the process of storyboarding our production however we need to carefully consider various aspects such as…

  • Shot Size / Framing, How big are the shots going to be and how are items and people being positioned in the frame.
  • Shot Direction and Positioning, what direction are the shots and people going to enter and exit the screen and how will this be positioned.
  • Shot / Editing Pace, We need to consider the speed in which the shots change and what pace of editing are we going to use.

Although, we have been able to develop our idea further as a whole,  initially, this proved difficult as we have not been able to meet up as a group together in a formal production meeting due to group absence. However we have still kept in contact and kept everyone up to date on this process through the utilisation of social networking sites.

Following this drawback last week, we have been able to explore our idea further by considering the above points to develop the production. As we are focusing on the topic of gender representations, we plan to shoot both daily routines (Male/Female) and present them in post-production through the use of split screens, Although we initially did not consider which gender would be presented on which section; we have now began to consider the effects of such positioning and began to discuss this. At this stage we particularly like the idea of presenting the routines by using a technique that would divide the screen into two sections; one on top and one on bottom (we will also consider side by side). However, we are now faced with issues that will change our initial shot positioning and sequences. Because we have decided to present this through a split screen we will now have to shoot scenes using wider shots meaning that it will now be difficult to include certain shots such as close ups.

(9th November 2015)  Today, we also shot some preliminary/trial shooting in order to try and obtain what will work and what will not… After considering the positioning and individual presence on screen, we tried to simulate what these shots might look like, We did this by covering the camera screen with paper so that we were able to see what the scenes would now look like in order to get an enhanced idea of shot perspective and framing. This was simulated by covering sections of the camera screen with paper.

We also need to further consider the effects of splitting the screen and to decide which gender would be positioned on the top and bottom segment of the screen, as well as the effects and connotations this would give off and whether this is what we wanted.

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Another key aspect we have considered is the pace of shots and editing and how this will portray each gender. Initially we decided to shoot the production in a standardised format in which shot sequence, timing and speed are all the same for each gender. Similarly we decided to do this initially because we wanted to show and equal representation between each gender although now we are leaning more towards embracing and portraying the social constructs and traditions whereby we addressing them directly by portraying this in our production to raise awareness of how prevalent it is in daily life. After considering shot/editing speed, now by looking back on routines and gender social constructions and preconceptions, we have now considered including faster paced shots and editing in the female account because in some cases it is sometimes considered that women complete more tasks and work at an increased pace. (For example, Women take longer to get ready, and are also responsible for maintaining health of offspring and the household.) Although we are hoping that this isn’t the case and that men and women complete the same tasks in the same time although, we wish to portray this through a differing in shot speed between genders.

In terms of considering shot sequences and types, we initially considering multiple close up shots and well as POV shots to portray the idea of intimacy (in documenting daily life) but also a possible sense of claustrophobia to emphasis the constricting nature of gender stereotypes. Although this could prove difficult because of the vertical split screen presentation which means that the scene scope is much wider than normal. However, by using the tape technique when filming to ensure we are aware of the scene dimensions.

Over the coming days we will finalise such details and begin the production phase. Although I have put together a quick story board  and shot sequence to document and outline each section…

Shot Sequence –

  • Alarm (iPhone) fades in sound first (Gradually gets louder)
  • Establishing shot of person waking up
  • POV shot looking at alarm, turning it off, gets up, walks out of the bedroom
  • Mid-shot walking out
  • Walks into toilet (longshot?)
  • Washes hands; close ups + POV (Possible mirror shot)
  • Walks downstairs various shots + POV -Shower, close up + POV
  • Gets out, dress; POV
  • Eats breakfast; leaves (door close)
  • Door opens (same shot) possible lighting change or fade
  • Walks in, put down bag / Keys -Eat/drink
  • ‘Leisure activity’
  • Go to bed, lights off ; fade out

(I have put optional shots in italics)

Here is the storyboard I have put together…

Because we have planned to construct and present our production using a split screen technique, we decided to do some brief and initial filming to see how it turns out and to determine what works well and what doesn’t….

Horizontal Split-Screen:

Vertical Split-Screen:

Demonstration of Direction:

References:

Wayne, Mike. (1997). Theorising Video Practice. In: Narrative. London: Lawrence and Wishart. pp149-155.

Simons, Jan . (2008). Complex narratives. New Review of Film and Television Studies. 6 (2), pp111-116.

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