Filming Day 2

Successes

Technically I could count today’s filming as a success, given that the remaining three scenes were all shot, as were the introductory Christmas card shots. Once more, we were able to build up a dynamic which had to be even quicker and more efficient than the last given the shorter filming time we had. Even though it was a bit more muddled than last time, it generally went like this:

  • The actresses would change and do a run-through simultaneously, as I decorated the corner of the cafe
  • I had managed to use two cameras, meaning we could half the time it took to shoot the over-the-shoulder shots we took first of each scene
  • Any other necessary shots were shot after the over-the-shoulders
  • I did the Christmas card shots all together at the end, seeing as we were pushed for time

Although I am not proud of many of the shots I took today, I think there are some which are quite effective to an extent. Both these shots are from the 2008 scene, which we shot first and were probably most relaxed in.

One of the close-ups from the 2008 scene

The two things I like most about this shot are the character’s expression and the background. Ellen looks both nervous and excited to tell Louise and Miranda her news, exactly as I had imagined. The background is also effective, as it looks completely realistic and not false at all. Although the lighting is not ideal for a film, the audience clearly gets the impression of a dark, December evening. The lghitng also casts and effective shadow across Ellen’s face, acting as foreshadowing and re-setting the tone of the film.

The wide-shot from the 2008 scene

By far, the aspect of this shot I like the most is the characterisation it offers. All three character’s expressions and body language really emphasise the state of their relationship is at this stage. All hunched over the table, clearly they are all close, for example. Louise and Miranda look obviously concerned and advisory, whilst Ellen looks both interested in what they have to say, especially given that they are her friends, as well as slightly disagreeing with the advice and criticism they are offering her.

Failures

Although technically all scenes were shot, looking at these shots from a critical point of view, there are many many flaws. These are listed below:

  • We were placed at a different table than the one before. Although some may argue that this makes it more realistic, as it is extremely unlikely that one would be able to sit at the same table five years in a row. However, with the other table, I felt as though it had a more cosy atmosphere, and gave the impression that it was a regular event that the girls met up at this table, and it was the status quo that they always sat there, á la the coffee house sofa and table in Friends. I don’t think that the above table gives off the same impression, and looks more cramped and awkward.
  • It is very obvious that all these scenes were shot within a very short space of time. With my original schedule, each scene would have taken around half an hour, meaning that over around three hours, outside factors would change, such as lighting, vehicles and people in the street and even weather, giving an impression that they were all shot differently, it would like they each scene was on a different day to a greater extent. Obviously these shots do not have this.
  • My actresses were also unable to bring them an array of costumes, meaning the costumes look very much the same throughout the scenes.
  • The shots as a whole look very makeshift, rushed and amateur, and as far as I am concerned, I think I would only use them as an absolute last resort

Next Steps

I think a re-film is definitely in order. For now, I intend to work with this footage, and see if any of it can be salvaged so that very little should have to be re-filmed.

The most difficult task now is finding a suitable time where me and my actresses are all free. The original filming took place over a half-term , meaning time was not partiuclaly a problem. However, what with school during the week and part-time work over the weekend, finding a time slot is difficult, and is something I would have to think about. 

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