This is my first conclusive post which is actually pretty cool. This past week, I worked on my first PLP project. Our task was to recreate a short horror movie called “Run” (click here to see the original) and to replicate it as closely as possible to the original. The project was split into 4 milestones and it had the driving question, “how can we learn filmmaking from recreating a short video?” The four milestones were:
- To create a self-introduction video using the app, Clips. I had to use multiple story devices like setting a mood and following the story mountain structure. I also had to include a creative way of introducing my name and to show one of my hobbies and interests.
- To plan for the project of recreating the movie, Run, including division of roles, storyboarding and finding a wardrobe and location good enough for Mrs. Willems to approve.
- To film, finish and edit the first draft of the film and to have it critiqued by classmates.
- To refine or remake a final gold standard video based on the feedback.
Let’s go through what I did for each milestone.
- Milestone one is not actually part of the Run remake and was more of a mini project and I had not started working with my group yet. I decided that I would introduce myself and one of my hobbies in a very campfire like atmosphere/mood. My objective was to make myself seem like an old man and to tell the viewer a story about myself. Obviously, this was still an introduction video so I had to infuse the video with information about me. In the end, I think I did pretty well on this Milestone and it was a good warm up to get into the whole film making semester.
- The second milestone was the actual beginning of the Run remake project. I was placed into a group of five (including me) and in this group, there were: Jakub, Annie, Randy and Nate (click on their names to check out their blogs) who I got to know better through this project. In this milestone, we planned out the project so that each of us got to work on separate tasks. We storyboarded the video by writing the length of time, angles of filming, details of every shot and adding a picture for reference when shooting. We planned and divided up the tasks like who would edit which sections and who would do what during the shooting. Finally, we decided on who would bring in the necessary costumes and the priority and deadline of each task.
- Milestone three started the actual creation of the Run video. We went out to Myrtle Park to film the necessary shots and finished editing the first draft of our Run remake. We then had our video played side by side to the original and we were critiqued by our class. Based on the feedback, we planned what we had to do to improve it next time like the details of costumes, the facial expression and the angles of shots. In the end, we decided it would be best if we reshot the whole video.
- The following day, we reshot and finished editing the final video and made the necessary changes based on the feedback of the class from milestone three. If you would like to take a look at the video, Annie posted it on Youtube so here it is:
How did I learn film making from remaking Run?
The project that my group and I completed was a small project but it helped widen my eyes on how a big project would have been run. In the end, we still divided up the work like who would do the audio, directing, costumes and much more like how every professional film crew would have done it. It also helped gave me a sense on how important each member of the crew is. This project also brought to light things that I would have never thought of if I just kept on watching movies and never tried film making myself. For example, everyone knows that filming on the right day is important but in our circumstance, we did not have enough time to just pick and choose the right day so one major problem in our video was how bright and sunny it was. However, it started raining midway while we were filming so you could the see the change in atmosphere. Another thing this project helped me learn was the importance of editing software. In this project, it was mandatory to use iMovie which is probably one of the worse editing softwares out there. There was a scene in the original film where the word “RUN” appears at the bottom left of the screen while the man is running. As he exits the shot, an exclamation mark appears and the end of the word “RUN” however since iMovie has many limitations including the fact that you could not change the time it took for the words to appear on the shot, you can see in our movie, that the word fades in, fades out then suddenly appear with an exclamation mark at the end which does not happen during the original.
Film making is like drawing. If you are a beginner at drawing, sometimes drawing your own picture won’t help you develop as fast as if you were copying well drawn pictures. This applies to film making. By copying this short, I learnt the most important lesson which is bring an umbrella just in case it rains while your filming 🙂 .