For the sake of simplicity and chronology, I decided to edit the 2007 scene first. I had intended to carry out the same plan of action for editing with the 2007 scene as I had for the previous scenes, in which I roughly order the footage, check its quality, cut down the shot lengths, play around with sound effects and then check continuity. However, I was not far through the grand plan, when I realised I would have to tackle the 2007 scene in a slightly different way. Read on…

Roughly ordering the footage

I did not notice anything particularly wrong with the footage at this point, but this was probably because I was not really looking or listening to the quality of the footage. Because this scene consists of only four shots just like the 2011 scene, it was relatively easy to order the shots roughly. At this point, the scene came to 1:43 minutes long, which is quite long compared to other scenes. I am not terribly worried about this yet though, as 2007 was designed to be a slightly longer scene, so that as much introduction as possible could be given to the audience.

Similarly to the 2011 scene, this scene consists of three major shots and the Christmas card shot

Checking the quality of the footage

It was at this point that problem after problem begun to arise. Firstly, the sound quality of nearly all the shots is quite terrible. Because I did not use a microphone when filming, the background noise of other customers talking is generally louder than my actresses. This especially rings true of the wide shot of the table, where the camera was placed farther away from the actresses and the table ,meaning the conversations of others became clearer.

However, it was not just the sound that was causing a lot of problems. The visuals also are causing a lot of problems. For example, the script problem is unfortunately very noticeable on the bigger screen. Furthermore, the continuity of the scene does not really match up at all between the shots. With the other scenes, my actresses had performed them roughly the same. However, they move around a lot more during these scenes, meaning it is difficult to match up their movements between shots, making continuity insanely difficult to upkeep.

A prime continuity problem example. In this shot, Ellen has her hands on her lap and is looking at Louise...

... yet in what is supposed to be the next shot, she has her arms crossed and is looking at Miranda

Solutions

I decided to abandon my master plan for editing that I had used on all the other scenes with this 2007 scene, as obviously it was not going to work; there are simply too many problems. After thinking it over carefully, I believe the following are my only real options with this scene:

  • Conduct a re-film
  • Record a voiceover with my actresses and lay it over the scene
  • Present the shots in a way which is unexpected.

This last idea is particularly intriguing. For example, rather than conforming to the usual conventions of films, and pretty much always having the speaker present of screen, I could do the opposite, and always show the reaction to what is being said. For example, if Miranda or Louise says something, show Ellen’s reaction, and vice versa. Not only might this count as postmodernism, but it also solves both the sound and continuity issues. It solves continuity because in this situation, a character would rarely be present in two shots together, meaning continuity does not become so much of a problem. Also, the sound is not as bad on the over-the-shoulder shots, because obviously the camera’s internal microphone was relatively close to the actresses. This is especially true with the opposite over-the-shoulder shots. For example, Louise’s lines are clear on an over-the shoulder shot of Ellen because the camera was literally right next to her face.

The only problems with this idea are:

  • Audiences may not understand the technique, and the introductory aspect of this scene could be undermined
  • My actresses tended to read from their scripts when the camera’ was not on them’ as such. For example, whenever Christy read a line, Hayley would look at her script, as she thought that this part of the footage would not be used.

However, these problems are relatively minor when compared to the huge sound and continuity problems that the scene has as it stands.

Next Steps

I will have to gather the opinions of my audience and fellow media students alike in order to judge whether the postmodernism idea has anything to it. They will also be able to judge if any of my other solutions are plausible. Again, I intend to return to this scene at a later date, to see if I can come up with any other alternative solutions in the meantime.

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