For this project we looked at Shakespeare’s Macbeth as well as the events of the 1950s and the Cold War. With the end goal of answering the driving question of: How might we craft a compelling vision of “Macbeth” set in the 1950’s? We would try and achieve this through the medium of film.
List the major steps of the project: We began this project by studying Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth” as well as other film adaptations of it. Along with looking at the events of the 1950’s and the Cold War.
We then had to apply for what role we wanted to have in the production of the film, the roles would be decided by our teachers who would act as the “Executive Producers” of the film. I applied to be the Director of Photography because of my knowledge of lighting and cinematography. I would be able to execute the director’s vision and be able to achieve a high quality film with the equipment I have.
The Director of Photography, usually hired by the director is in charge of working with the director to execute their vision. As well as bring their own unique look to the film. I was also in charge of creating all the lighting setups for each location, camera operation, and anything technical to do with capturing the video.
Because everything in this project was compartmentalized to each department there was a lot of waiting for another department to finish something so we could do our part on it. For example, we needed the final script to create the screenplay and shortlist but unfortunately due to how time consuming it was we sometimes had to start one before the other which can lead to problems down the line when something before you in the pipeline changes.
The bulk of this project was during the filming which I had to be there for all of it being the director of photography and we were using my camera. We had to set up the sets for all the scenes that we could film at school. For any location that we had to do where it was not at the school I had to drive all of the equipment and props and set up there. In total we had three separate locations.
Then I handed all the footage and planning I had on how the film should look off to post production and let them do the very long a tedious work of putting everything we had made together into something presentable.
Pemier timeline photo
Through this project I learned the importance of good communication between all departments of a project and the importance of following the management hierarchy on a project. If the chain of command on project like this is followed properly it limits the confusion and the time it takes to make decisions because the less people you have in a room the easier it is to make a decision.
I wish we had been given more time to plan the film, for my department specifically we would have used this time to make a more complete story board and shot list. A story board helps us determine what each scene will look like and how the different shots and angles will contribute to the story. A finished shot list would have helped a lot on location and for post production in having a list of all the shots we needed and where they all fit in the
I think I did quite a good job of creating the look of this film within the constraints and time that I had. We had very little time to plan out everything for a film this long and little time on each location to set up and run through everything working with what gear and materials we had.
Still from the film
For me the most enjoyable thing about this project was getting to use all of the skills I have accumulated over the years of doing photography and using cameras and apply it to something I don’t do that often which is film making.