Screen Language Overview
Documentary filmmaking dates back to pre-1900’s with the Lumiére Brothers creating literal documentaries, e.g., a train entering a station, factory workers leaving a plant. These earliest documentaries were short newsreels and strictly speaking, nonfictional, ‘slice of life’ factual works of art, without any creative story-telling, narrative, or staging. Over the years, as films became more narrative-based, documentaries branched out and took many forms since their early beginnings – some of which have been termed propagandistic or non-objective.
The widespread use of digital media and editing equipment has made this form of filmmaking practice an accessible way for visual artists and filmmakers to experiment with ideas that might otherwise be deemed too challenging or untenable. Start with a ‘burning question’ – thoroughly research and tell both sides of the story. It doesn’t mean you abandon a three act structure or character development, you need to create drama. Remember, these films can sometimes comes to life in the edit and the shots dictate the story rather than the script.
Film Art: An Introduction – David Bordwell & Kristin Thompson
Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualising from Concept to Screen –
The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media – Bruce Block
Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting – Robert McKee
The Black Hole | Future Shortshttp://vimeo.com/channels/encounters/16912290
Monday 22nd January 2018
Screen Language Launch
Today we met in the AV room and Gillian ran us through the content on Canvas and showed us some examples of documentaries.
I then began to start thinking about the camera I would use to shoot footage for my documentary. I own an iPhone 5S which shoots some nice videos, especially in slow motion at 120 FPS, but I didn’t think this would be to of a professional standard for a documentary. I also own a Nikon Coolpix L330 which is a nice camera but it doesn’t allow me to independently manipulate the focus, exposure or FPS, and so I’d like to try a camera that will allow this because this is something that I would like to explore.
I have always been interested in using a DSLR but I’ve never had the money to buy one (#studentlife) and so for this project I wanted to try one. I went onto the GSA technical support website and saw they had a few cameras available for the 2-week period we have to complete this project. I narrowed it down between the Canon 650D and the Canon 700D and with the help of snapsort I booked out a DSLR Canon 700D for 1 week: between 25/01 and 01/02. This will give me enough time to explore a concept until I retrieve the camera this Thursday, and then a whole week to shoot footage.
I was a bit worried about not being able to use it so instead of wasting some of my week when I get the camera I thought I’d do some research before hand. I also looked at some camera tips in general:
“You should always aim to use the lowest ISO setting possible, because this will give you the best image quality. However, your first priority should be getting a fast enough shutter speed, because a blurry photo is a lot more distracting than one with a bit of digital noise.”
Photography Mad. WHAT IS ISO SPEED? [Online] Available at: http://www.photographymad.com/pages/view/what-is-iso-speed-setting
The narration in this video is annoying but informal as to how to manually control the shutter speed, aperture and ISO:
I’ve looked at information about aspects of photography so many times, I even attended a class, but I have never been able to make clear sense of the information. I found some helpful graphics to explain the aperture of the camera:
So, if photographers recommend a large aperture for a particular type of photography, they’re telling you to use something like f/1.4, f/2, or f/2.8. And if they suggest a small aperture for one of your photos, they’re recommending that you use something like f/8, f/11, or f/16.
Photography Life. 2018. Understanding Aperture for Beginners – Photography Basics [Online] Available at: https://photographylife.com/what-is-aperture-in-photography
A link to the official manual page on the Canon website in case I get stuck:
Canon. 2018. Product support: Canon EOS 700D [Online] Available at: https://www.canon.co.uk/support/consumer_products/products/cameras/digital_slr/eos_700d.aspx?type=manuals&language=
snapsort. 2013. Canon EOS 650D vs Canon EOS 700D [Online] Available at: http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon-EOS-650D-vs-Canon-EOS-700D
Wednesday 24th January 2018
What is a Documentary?
I thought I would gain a starting point by looking through Gillian’s examples of documentaries:
Expository – educational, historical, biography, propaganda; makes an argument for the audience. Luc Jacquet, March of the Penguins (2005).
Observational – “fly-on-the-wall”, not as much intervention, leaving viewer to make own conclusions. More “intimate” and character driven. Grew out of the 1960’s technological, social, and cultural change – letting the camera capture its subjects uninterrupted. Direct Cinema and Cinema Verite. Albert and David Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin. Salesman (1967).
Participatory – where filmmaker is an active participant with subject usually as interviewer. Errol Morris. The Thin Blue Line (1976).
Reflexive – critique of documentary film form challenging the viewer to think about the ways documentaries construct their vision of reality. Ken Burns, http://kenburns.com
Performative – poetic, embracing avant-garde techniques that reflects the filmmaker’s engagement with the subject. Dziga Vertov, Man With a Movie Camera (1929).
Poetic – abstract, associative to engage an audience through tone, rhythm, or spatial juxtaposition. Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi (1982). Nichols, Bill. Introduction to Documentary. Indiana University Press, 2001.
I want my documentary to be expository and poetic.
I asked my flatmate Dimitri how he would describe a documentary for inspiration: “an audio, visual logging of a certain theme.”
I thought that to begin with I’d email filmmaker/documentary maker Dianne Barry as I thought that she would be able to give me an insight to her thought process before she even begins to film.
Subject/issue that intrigues me: Personal/current/controversial/universal/all
- Interaction design
- Online gaming
- Donald Trump
Observe and listen
Do some initial research:
- LGBT community
Visuals for locations / meaningful cut-in shots:
- Video LGBTQI+ community
- What questions do I ask them?
- Do I video them face on where they look into the camera
- Or in the style of an interview where they face me
- Nights out
WHAT IS THE STORY I’M TRYING TO TELL?
Don’t be cliché
Don’t do things that have been tackled before
Demonstrate my knowledge
Thursday 25th January 2018
LGBTQI+ community in Glasgow?
Gay and trans panic defence?
Gay conversion therapy / reparative therapy / gay cure therapy?
When a heterosexual man is charged with murdering a transgender woman with whom he has been sexually intimate, an increasingly common defense strategy is to assert what has been called the trans panic defense. The defendant claiming trans panic will say that his discovery that the victim was biologically male (when he thought the victim was biologically female) provoked him into a heat of passion and caused him to lose his self-control. If the jury finds that the defendant was actually and reasonably provoked, it can acquit him of murder and find him guilty of the lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter. Claims of trans panic are troubling because they appeal to stereotypes about transgender individuals as sexually deviant, abnormal people.
SSRN. 2014. The Trans Panic Defense: Heteronormativity, and the Murder of Transgender Women [Online] Available at: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2430390 (id2430390)
Illinois becomes second U.S. state to ban “gay and trans panic” defence. The ban was passed unopposed, and came into effect on January 1. The law was passed unopposed in May 2017 and signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner in August 2017. The ban is believed to be the first LGBTQ-related law to have passed into Illinois law unanimously.
Although the defence is rarely used, a new report found that anti-LGBTQ attacks are on the rise in America.
Brian Johnson, the CEO of Equality Illinois, praised the ban, saying: “It makes our identity sufficient reason for murder. We never wanted it [the defence] to be used going forward.”
It asks jurors to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity excuses the actions of a violent criminal. Our nation’s courtrooms cannot truly be places where law rules supreme while these defences are still allowed to persist.
The only other state to have the defence banned is California.
Gay Times. 6th January 2018. Illinois becomes second U.S. state to ban “gay and trans panic” defence [Online] Available at: http://www.gaytimes.co.uk/news/96144/illinois-becomes-second-u-s-state-ban-gay-trans-panic-defence/
Richard Meerdink and Jason Pearce jailed for killing Wayne Ruks in Maryborough churchyard after ‘homosexual advance’. A convicted killer could be freed in a little more than two years despite being jailed for the brutal bashing death of a man he claims made homosexual overtures towards him.
Courier Mail. 13th May 2010. Richard Meerdink and Jason Pearce jailed for killing Wayne Ruks in Maryborough churchyard after ‘homosexual advance’ [Online] Available at: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/richard-meerdink-and-jason-pearce-get-up-to-10-years-jail-for-killing-wayne-ruks-in-maryborough-churchyard/news-story/86ffae9272366e69745558d981a9b5ff
LGBTQ acceptance in the US has dropped, according to new report. A new report by GLAAD has revealed that 49% of non-LGBTQ adults are “very” or “somewhat” comfortable with LGBTQ people in certain situations, down from 53% the previous year. The survey – conducted by The Harris Poll – was taken online from 16-20 November, 2017, with 2,160 adults taking part. 1,897 were non-LGBTQ.
Gay Times. 26th January 2018. LGBTQ acceptance in the US has dropped, according to new report [Online] Available at: http://www.gaytimes.co.uk/news/98056/lgbtq-acceptance-us-dropped-according-new-report/
Nevada becomes the eighth state in the US to ban conversion therapy. Governor Brian Sandoval signed a document which now makes it illegal for licensed therapists, physicians and counsellors to attempt to alter the sexual orientation of a minor. It also covers practices that attempt to change gender expression.
“Banning conversion therapy makes Nevada a safer place for children who are at a higher risk for anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and even suicide.”
Nevada joins Connecticut, California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico and the District of Columbia in outlawing the practice.
Gay Times. 18th May 2017. Nevada becomes the eighth state in the US to ban conversion therapy [Online] Available at: http://www.gaytimes.co.uk/news/73079/nevada-becomes-eighth-us-state-ban-conversion-therapy/
Connecticut passes ban on gay ‘conversion therapy’ for minors. House Bill 6695, signed into law by Governor Dannel P. Malloy on Wednesday 10 May, bans licensed healthcare providers from conducting the practice on those younger than 18 year old in the US state.
Conversion therapy methods range from counselling and hypnosis to more barbaric techniques such as electric shock aversion therapy, and the practice is widely discredited by the scientific community. Both Democrats and Republicans supported the bill, with Republican Senator Heather Somers arguing that conversion therapy is based on the “false assumption” that there’s something wrong with LGBT+ people.
“Medical professionals agree this extremely harmful and discredited practice not only doesn’t work, but can also have life-threatening consequences,” said HRC President Chad Grifin.
Gay Times. 12th May 2017. Connecticut passes ban on gay ‘conversion therapy’ for minors [Online] Available at: http://www.gaytimes.co.uk/news/72364/connecticut-passes-ban-gay-conversion-therapy-minors/
The Lies and Dangers of Efforts to Change Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
Such practices have been rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization for decades, but due to continuing discrimination and societal bias against LGBTQ people, some practitioners continue to conduct conversion therapy. Minors are especially vulnerable, and conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide.
California, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia have enacted laws or regulations to protect minors from being subjected to conversion therapy by state-licensed mental health providers. Additionally, a growing number of municipalities have enacted similar protections, including cities and counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, New York and Arizona.
Research on the Impacts of Reparative Therapy, Harms Caused by Societal Prejudice
In 2007, a task force of the American Psychological Association undertook a thorough review of the existing research on the efficacy of conversion therapy. Their report noted that there was very little methodologically sound research on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCEs) and that the “results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through SOCE.” In short, there is clear evidence that conversion therapy does not work, and some significant evidence that it is also harmful to LGBTQ people.
In contrast, there is ample evidence that societal prejudice causes significant medical, psychological and other harms to LGBTQ people. For example, research on the issue of family acceptance of LGBTQ youth conducted at San Francisco State University found that “compared with LGBTQ young people who were not rejected or were only a little rejected by their parents and caregivers because of their gay or transgender identity, highly rejected LGBTQ young people were:
Human Rights Campaign. The Lies and Dangers of Efforts to Change Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity [Online] Available at: http://www.hrc.org/resources/the-lies-and-dangers-of-reparative-therapy
UK Government condemns gay conversion therapy, but has no plans make it illegal.
The government has responded to the petition, condemning the practice of gay conversion therapy, but does not state that it will take steps to make it a crime in the UK. Instead, they state that they will continue to give relevant education and training to prevent conversion therapy over time.
LGBT+ charity Stonewall reports that a 2009 survey of over 1,300 accredited mental health professionals found that more than 200 had offered some form of conversion therapy.
What’s more, further research found that one in 10 health and social care staff have witnessed colleagues express the belief that sexual orientation can be ‘cured’.
That statistic rises to 1 in 5 among health and care staff in London.
Gay Times. 16th March 2017. UK Government condemns gay conversion therapy, but has no plans make it illegal [Online] Available at: http://www.gaytimes.co.uk/news/65678/uk-gay-conversion-therapy-no-plans-to-make-it-illegal/
Friday 26th January 2018
Adobe Premier Pro Tutorial
Although I’ve used Premier many times before I thought I would attend Gillian’s tutorial to cover the basics but also learn some things that I maybe never knew, and I did in fact learn some things.
I will be using Adobe Premier Pro to edit my audio and video footage together.
How to Make a Documentary
- Have to identify what type of documentary to make
- Need to be aware of the narrative as this is where most amateur documentary filmmakers go wrong
- Write a <300 word treatment stating the summary and purpose of the film
- Identify priority scenes and draw a story board
- Create a schedule
I think if I use data in my documentary that will help tell the story.
Without question, the past few decades have yielded remarkable progress for the LGBTQ community in the United States, with historic advancements achieved for both legal equality and cultural acceptance. Today, more Americans than ever before support and accept their LGBTQ family members, coworkers, and neighbors – a fact Accelerating Acceptance, now in its third iteration, reflects.
GLAAD. 2017. Accelerating Acceptance 2017 [Online] Available at: https://www.glaad.org/publications/accelerating-acceptance-2017
While the past several decades have yielded remarkable progress for the LGBTQ community in the United States, acceptance of LGBTQ people is slipping, and discrimination is increasing, in the face of attacks, bias, and erasure by the Trump administration. This is the first time the Accelerating Acceptance report has shown a drop in acceptance for LGBTQ people. 2017 has demonstrated that the path to full equality and acceptance is not guaranteed, but in the face of this erosion GLAAD will work to ensure 100% acceptance of LGBTQ people everywhere.
“Progress for marginalized communities is a pendulum that swings in both directions, but ultimately lands on freedom.
Closing the gap to full acceptance of LGBTQ people will not come from legislation on or judicial decisions alone, but from a deeper understanding and empathy for LGBTQ people. Acceptance is more than laws and policy; it is the freedom for LGBTQ people to live their lives free of discrimination, violence, and limitations.”
– Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO, GLAAD
Consistent with this reported erosion in comfort and acceptance among non-LGBTQ Americans, there was a significant increase year-over-year in the percent of LGBTQ community members who reported having experienced discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation; it jumped to 55% reporting discrimination, which is eleven percentage points higher than last year.
GLAAD. 2018. Accelerating Acceptance 2018 [Online] Available at: https://www.glaad.org/publications/accelerating-acceptance-2018
I think the quote above is a really good point for my documentary. I could mention the laws that need tackling but that fundamentally it has to come from the people themselves. I could follow an individual that identifies as part of the LGBTQI+ group in an attempt to demonstrate that they’re just like anyone else. I don’t even need to state their label, because the point is that it shouldn’t matter. They shouldn’t be discriminated against, abused, bullied, rejected, or used as an excuse out of a jail sentence.
Maybe say “we need to shine a spotlight on this subject” and then show this video:
Although it would be interesting to follow the story of someone who had experience with either the gay/trans panic defence or conversion therapy I won’t be able to carry it out in the space of a two week project.
I need to relate it to the UK
Attacks on LGBT people surge almost 80% in UK over last four years. More than one in five LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation or gender identity in the last 12 months, compared with 16 per cent in 2013.
Alarmingly, amid the soaring scale of hate crime, there has been widespread underreporting, with the study showing that four in five LGBT people who experienced a hate crime or incident in the past 12 months did not report it to the police. *Own comment: that’s because they’re told to believe it’s their fault.*
Unnamed woman in London: “So for heterosexual people to tell me ‘things are different now’ is highly ignorant and silences what’s really happening in LGBT people’s daily lives.”
Independent. 6th September 2017. Attacks on LGBT people surge almost 80% in UK over last four years [Online] Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/gay-lgbt-hate-crimes-stats-rise-four-year-physical-verbal-homophobic-abuse-community-a7933126.html
One fifth of LGBT people have experienced hate crime in the past year. The amount of gay, lesbian and bisexual people in Britain experiencing hate crime has increased to 16%, up 78% from 9% in 2013. Alongside this two in five (41%) Trans people have experienced similar treatment in the same time period.
A user called Peter Simmons commented on this article only 4 months ago:
Well for a start, homosexuality has been in existance forever, there are homosexual individuals in most mammal species, and we are no different. We have mostly grown out of anti-gay bogotry since those of us around in the soxties changed the paradigm on many issues such as this and racism.
But the gender activists, never willing to stop and disband and find another social group to spend time with, have gone into lalaland with their embrace of the entirely imaginary ‘transgender’ concept which is anti-science and closer to the more idiotic religious fantasies than mo0dern scientific fact. It is not possible for a female to be born in a male body, the male body and brain makes the male personality, just as female body and brain makes females. Theses can vary widely just as every other facet of an individual, but they are still either male or female, and there is no biological explanation for the existance of transgenders. (It is a phychiatric condition called autogynephilia – the condition of getting aroused by imagtining oneself as a female being admired by men, which explains why all so-called trans try to look like the glamorous beauty queen model rather than the normal women, coping with home, kids and job, often wearing no makeup, throwing on jeans and a top without a thought of how glamorous they look because they have so much to do in their busy life. How many trans can multitalk like a real woman, either straight or gay?
They are all merely transvestites who have grabbed hold of a deranged idea and go around bullying people into accepting it, just like aggressive males do!
When you hear a sekf-styled ‘trans’ male threaten another man that if they continue [putting the alternate viewpoint that trans isn’t real] they will be leaving the TV studio in an ambulance. That is an aggressive male, not a woman. I see paedophiles are jumping on the bandwagon now and including a P in the ever expanding LGBTQQ2SPP.
This is the kind of attitude that we need to tackle and educate.
YouGov UK. 27th September 2017. One fifth of LGBT people have experienced hate crime in the past year [Online] Available at: https://yougov.co.uk/news/2017/09/27/one-fifth-lgbt-people-have-experienced-hate-crime-/
COME OUT FOR LGBT
The fight for equality is far from over.
WHATEVER YOU DO AND HOWEVER YOU DO IT, IT’S TIME TO COME OUT IN SUPPORT OF LGBT.
Stonewall. 2017. COME OUT FOR LGBT [Online] Available at: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/our-work/campaigns/come-out-lgbt
- Final statement/conclusion
Inspiration for structure of narration and footage:
This documentary has the narrator and the subject being the same person which I think creates a nice effect – it’s as if you’re in the head of the glass blower, thinking her thoughts as she creates her art. I feel like this is a good approach to take for my documentary as it will hopefully let the audience into the mindset of my subject.
Make the narrative simple – don’t complicate it or people will get lost in miss the point.
Sunday 28th January 2018
- GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) stated that “in the United States, acceptance of LGBTQ people is slipping, and discrimination is increasing, in the face of attacks, bias, and erasure by the Trump administration. This is the first time [their] Accelerating Acceptance report has shown a drop in acceptance for LGBTQ people.” This theme is also continued in the UK as the Independent stated that attacks on LGBT people have surged almost 80% over last four years.
- There shouldn’t be any discomfort to those who identify as part of the LGBTQI+ community
- This should be able to change, as is has been over the past few years in a positive way, but according to GLAAD it’s reversing
- I want to document that the LGBTQI+ community are just like everyone else and so there should be no reason to act differently towards them
- Gender expression and sexual preferences should not influence your opinion over someone
- Yes, awareness of this subject has been raised a lot over the past few years but I want to raise awareness of this new information – how we’re going backwards
- Resolution: continue to raise awareness and promote acceptance
- Closing the gap to full acceptance of LGBTQ people will not come from legislation on or judicial decisions alone, but from a deeper understanding and empathy for LGBTQ people
- Re-boost the fight for LGBT equality
- People are arguing that the LGBTQI+ community has progressed enough and that “life is immeasurably easier for gays and lesbians now” (Peter Simmons again) as if they should settle for the result they have now. Acceptance is more than laws and policy; it is the freedom for LGBTQ people to live their lives free of discrimination, violence, and limitations
I know it’s a heavy subject to explore within a two minute documentary and so I thought I’d briefly touch upon it through an interview. Hopefully I’ll be able to communicate my narrative successfully within such a short time-frame.
What Do I Want to Capture?
Dianne advice was to “find a subject/person who intrigues you – strong characters engage audiences” and so I have contacted my friend Sam Temple. I felt that he would be a strong individual to film as he is well integrated within the LGBTQI+ community and he has an eccentric personality and so I thought that he would be an effective spokesperson for the idea I’m trying to communicate.
I would like to ask him some questions about the LGBTQI+ community in general and then maybe his responses to GLAAD’s data about the acceptance of LGBTQI+ people slipping, and discrimination increasing.
- Establishing shot – Glasgow in general / outside Sam’s flat / Glasgow Green
- Medium close-up interview with Sam (still undecided if to look at camera or not)
- Cut-in shots of Sam getting ready in slow motion
- Possibly mid-shots or medium close-ups of happy individuals/couples who identify as part of the LGBTQI+ community
- Wide shots of people in the street to demonstrate that there’s no difference
Media College. Shot Types [Online] Available at: http://www.mediacollege.com/video/shots/
I want the film to be aesthetically pleasing to promote a positive attitude throughout the video to the audience. I want this video to have a positive outcome.
I’m planning on doing the cut-in shots of Sam getting ready in slow motion. I can record this with my Canon 700D at 60FPS or on my iPhone 5S at 120 FPS and slow it down in Premier Pro.
I am not going to use special effects in this documentary as it’s not necessary.
Schedule for the Week Ahead
This is how I’m hoping to break down my week so I can comply with the project deadline. My filming hopefully won’t take that long and I always underestimate the editing process. I can already see myself pulling an all-nighter on Thursday night.
Monday: Present idea to group and implement feedback. Storyboard
Tuesday: Filming & tutorial with Gillian
Wednesday: Filming & begin editing
Thursday: Editing video – only needs to be a rough cut
Friday: Export & present video to class
Monday 29th January 2018
Do I do Noddy shots? It might take away from the effect and my reactions don’t really have anything to do with the subject.
I’m going to need to plan my audio recorder/DSLR operation workflow. In post I’m going to need to transfer the sound files into my computer and sync them with the picture.
B&H. 2013. Tips for Using the Zoom H4n in a DSLR Video Shoot [Online] Available at: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/content/tips-using-zoom-h4n-dslr-video-shoot
Could use audio off the camera, although that can just be a backup as it won’t sound very good.
GSA’s online store has a Sennheiser ME66/K6 that I can rent out. It is a shotgun microphone so it’ll be really good for the interview. I’m just not sure how to connect it to my DSLR so I’m going to ask them tomorrow.
I think in order to plug in microphones directly into the DSLR I’ll need a 3.5mm to 3.5mm / attenuation cable and I don’t have those. I may just need to record the audio separately and then sync it up post production.
The Interaction Design studio have a Zoom H4n and I have had experience with using one of these before and so I’m going to collect this tomorrow ready for filming Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday.
Idea Presentation Feedback
- Morph cut on Premier Pro
- Short and punchy
- Depends on what Sam says
- Him looking into the camera will make it more impactful
- Don’t want the cut-in shots to take away from the message
- If not using a tripod, tense the straps for stabilisation
Tuesday 30th January 2018
I went and spoke to someone at the digital media studio, as I said I would do yesterday, and asked if they had any audio equipment that would allow me to plug my microphone into my DSLR so I could record audio and video simultaneously. His simple answer was that they didn’t, but students who usually came up to him asking for this usually just went and recorded the two separately and synced them up in post production. In order to get them to sync perfectly, he said, you need to start recording on both the camera and the microphone and then clap to create a spike in volume levels on both devices, and so then in post production you can simply line both of these recorded spikes up.
With this information I decided to carry on with my original equipment and met Callum to collect the studios own Zoom H4n microphone.
Tutorial With Gillian
I had a long chat with Gillian about some thoughts of my project:
- Copyright of music and news reports of Trump
- Camera angles
- Whether Sam should be facing the camera or facing me behind the camera like you would see in a traditional interview
- The definition of video/documentary
- How to communicate a narrative and whether I want it to come across or to be interpreted
- How I’m going to record my audio – either using a tripod, holding it
The past few days I have been listening to different music that I could use as a background track for my video. I’ve been looking for something emotive yet energetic. A piece of music that you’d head in those motivational type videos. I didn’t want any vocals because I thought that would take away from Sam speaking. I like to edit my videos to the movement of a soundtrack to create a sense of a journey, and I feel this will combat short attention spans and get people to watch on. I have found this piece of music ‘Ether’ by We Are All Astronauts which I feel has the emotion and energy that I desire.
Something I have to consider, as discussed with Gillian, is the copyright aspect of the audio. This music would be fine for a small presentation as an assessment for my project but if this audio were to be uploaded to public platforms then there’s a chance it could be challenged or taken down.
As you can see it is a 7 minute piece of music and so I have been listening to it on repeat to see what parts I think would work well with my documentary. Obviously this is difficult because I have yet to film anything and so I can only imagine my proposed outcome.
I’m thinking of using footage from the news that shows the backwards thinking that is causing the drop in acceptance towards the LGBTQI+ community. Here are some that I found on YouTube that I will try and use depending on the editing process of my documentary.
2:12 – “I think it was a common sense move honestly … the fact that you’re either a boy or a girl and that’s just how it is.”
0:33 – “Trump decided to get rid of Obama’s effort which now leaves the decision up to individual states whether or not to allow transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that make them feel the most comfortable. In other words, there will be some trans students who will not share the same rights as other trans students in other parts of the country if there particular state doesn’t rule in their favour.”
Wednesday 31st January 2018
I headed to Sam’s flat, set up and got to work. I simply went through my blog with him and asked him questions in regards to information I’d found and if he hadn’t heard of these certain articles I’d tell him about it and I filmed his genuine replies and feedback.
Unfortunately the Zoom H4n microphone was not working, and apparently it was working perfectly fine with the person who had it before hand. I tried it over and over and was still left with this loading screen again and again.
Luckily Sam had an external microphone that simply plugs into the camera that he uses when he films so all was not lost.
The filming process went really well although lighting was difficult. Sam had really good professional lights and they worked well, and these were also complimented by the natural light outside but this also acted as a problem. By the time we got round to actually filming after switching rooms numerous times to get the best lighting, it was late afternoon and so the sun was gradually beginning to set. You can clearly see the effect of the setting sun on Sam’s face. I’m hoping no-one will notice this in the end result because I’ll be using B-roll to break up the main interview and so hopefully no one will notice the transition.
Thursday 1st February 2018
I went back a second day and filmed Sam getting ready in a very high frame rate so I could make it slow motion. I plan to use this for my B-roll by filling in the cuts I make in the main interview. I did this because I knew that Sam sometimes puts on make-up and, I believe, that someone who doesn’t identify as female putting on make-up is a statement in itself and I wanted to capture this for this documentary. I wanted to film it in slow motion because it makes it look very cinematic but also because it draws a lot of attention to the action that Sam is performing, whether it be applying lipstick or shaving his moustache. I felt that this was very important for this documentary. I also filmed these clips quite close-up as feel that it adds a personal touch that is required for such a personal subject.
How to do credits:
Friday 2nd February 2018
After hours of editing last night we have the final ‘rough cut’:
- Have Sam stare into the camera at the end
I really enjoyed this project, I think the most out of all of them this year. I got to explore the methodology, the equipment and the subject and I think my keen interest in all of these kept me motivated to produce work. I really like to edit videos as I like to make them very ‘neat’ and edit them carefully to music and so I think this is why Dianne thought I had a very “polished rough cut” aha. I think at some point I’d like to re-edit it to some different music that isn’t copyright, and also do some colour grading to make it look nicer.