Welcome to my first film. This is the final entree in our quest to become film making masters. Our job was to create a short documentary about a topic of our choosing. Our driving question was “How can I engage and entertain an audience using my video and storytelling skills?” With the only requirements for the film being as follows
I decided to do mine on board games and game design, as it was something I was pretty interested in. So without further ado, here is the final video
This project ended up being one of the toughest projects to complete, largely because of the super tight time restraint. The entire documentary went up in around 3 weeks, which considering the scope of the project is not a lot of time. However there were other things that made completing the project quite difficult, the main one being the message.
The main requirement for the documentary, was having a good clear message. The thing was that I didn’t really have a clear direction for the film to go. I knew it would be about game design, but I couldn’t find a good clear message for each one. Should it be about game design in education or game design and the design of everyday things, I didn’t know where my film would go. Since I was so unsure of where my documentary was heading, I decided to start at the end then work back from there. Eventually I decided to keep it simple, and focus on the simple reason why games are important. This is where I wrote the conclusion voice over that you hear in the film and is what every other shot in the film branched out from. Overall this decision to start from the end pretty much saved the film, as without it I would have been quite lost.
Since I lost a lot of time struggling to find a message, as well as set up an interview, the story board got pushed off to the side and was never really completed. Since most of the images and flow of the film would be based on the interview, I couldn’t plan anything before that was filmed. This meant that actually having a story board wouldn’t really help with the filming process. Even the short portion of the story board that did get made changed quite a lot when it came to the final film. In the future when I get better at planning and have more time to plan, having a storyboards would be more helpful, but for this film just writing down scenes in order and assembling them in editing proved more effective.
The other main part of the project was incorporating an interview into the film. We started practicing interviews near the end of our previous filming project. We learned about having interesting backgrounds, asking good questions, and the different styles of editing. After that it was time to find someone to interview. I decided to try and find some sort of “expert” on my topic, so I reached out to a bunch of random game shops around Vancouver. Luckily Andrea Robertson of Rain City games responded to my call and I finally had an interview.
(Huge thanks to Andrea for taking time out of her day to film this interview. The film would have looked a lot different without your help)
The interview was the part of the film I’m most proud of. Mainly because the thought of setting up an interview with a random person would have scared me to bits a few years ago.
Overall it went pretty well, it would have been more ideal to have a better back ground but that’s not something I really had control over. My camera angle was also really bad, but I actually managed to (sort of) fix it in post using apples editing tools.
The final aspect to finish off the film was to add music. For this we used Garageband’s Live Loops feature. It was my first time using garage band in a project, and it was surprisingly easy to create my own music, although it did feel a bit like cheating. Nonetheless, it’s still a cool new skill that I can harness to amp up my projects in the future.
So how did I do with engaging and entertaining an audience using my video and storytelling skills. Overall for what it is, I think my documentary turned out pretty well. The story was pretty rushed, but it has an overall message that is compelling and that I was passionate about. If I were to do it again I would try to focus more on some of the filming techniques we learned in the last project. Unfortunately I didn’t utilize them very well in this film because of how I was filming a lot of the scenes out and about and didn’t have much control of the setting. However I still think I could have payed more attention to how I was positioning my camera to make the overall documentary more cinematic and interesting looking.
That’s all I have for this project. The past two maker projects have been very interesting as film making is something I’m pretty interested in learning and improving on. In the end my planning, filming, and editing of videos and films have improved a lot over the past couple months and I’m excited to keep diving down the rabbit hole in the following years to come.
See you next time,