This assignment had been a blast to work on! From the development of the plot to the execution, it has been a great learning experience.
The assignment requirements was to come up with a picture story showing someone whom you knew before, but have lost touch or changed through the years, and now, would be a stranger to you.
My initial idea for the plot was to feature a pregnant lady with her baby. During the span of her pregnancy, she came to love and grow more attached to the baby. However, the fetus met with a miscarriage which left the mother devastated.
I wanted to attempt the angle of not having a physical human being the one which had lost touch, but rather the idea of being attached to something which you have not met.
After pitching my plot to my team mates, I realised that it would only focus on one main character which would defeat the purpose of having multiple group mates.
Our next idea was a story which followed a male who had just left prison, hoping to rekindle his relationship with his ex girlfriend. As the story unfolds, you realise that the individual was actually abusive to his partner, inflicting physical harm onto her. This story would then show that not everyone is who they may seem to be on the surface. As there may be characteristics hidden deep beneath the facade. We can see the main character having flash backs to when he was together with is girlfriend and how, although he may seem successful after leaving prison, he is still ultimately the same as he partakes in drug trafficking.
Initially, we thought that we were only limited to 20 images. Which was why we were careful at planning our story board. (We found out later that we could use more) However, I am grateful for this restriction as it forced us to make full use of every image and what it would convey. We manage to get the most emotions out of every image which helped our story flow well to keep it engaging.
This is our initial story board of 20 images. However, once each of us split into the sound editing stage, we realised that with the images we had, we could tell a completely different story.
We wanted to capture how certain objects could throw us back into the past, which may bring back unpleasant memories.
Development and Process
We also paid close attention to detail as we wanted to frame-match the image to show continuity in the story.
For example, how adjusting the rear view mirror could cause a flashback to a scene whereby his girlfriend is visibly upset.
This shot shows that an action could also trigger these memories. As the main character reaches for the gear lever, he remembers how he forcefully grabbed this ex girlfriend’s arm, hurting her.
Some of these shots were tricky to get as we were shooting in a car. (Thank you Hannah for lending us your car!)
Especially this shot which includes the use of mirrors as we had to find an angle whereby the camera could not be seen in the image.
For the gear lever, we had to use a zoom lens instead of a prime lens as we could not get the camera to focus in such a tight area.
In this shot, we tried to show the main character lurking about Felicia’s (the ex girlfriend) facebook account, to try and show that he is actually yearning for her and thinking of her. It is unclear, however she had blocked him from this profile, which is why there is the ‘add friend’ icon.
The next challenging scene was that when we had to shoot the fighting scene. Making a still image have motion is challenging as we had to use a longer shutter for it, while not moving too much to make the image unclear.
The part which we had the most difficulty was getting the shot of the main character grabbing the arm of his girlfriend. We had to show that she was walking away from him and that there was visible tension between them. To achieve this, Felicia had to walk away and I had to pull her back. This was to get the motion in the dress as well as the tension of the muscles in my arm.
It was also difficult to get expressions we wanted as none of us have been in a situation where we are abused (a good thing), thus, we had to have many shots of the character’s faces and their expressions of fear or anger.
This is a photo of me looking visibly annoyed or angry (to the best of my ability because I am actually a very peace loving human being) As the couple was supposed to be fighting in this scene, it was crucial for me to capture the expression.
This is a photo of me being lost in thought. This scene would be used to reminisce the past, or think of the future. It is incredible how one image can be used to set the foundation for so many different paths which the story can take.
After we realised that we were not limited to 20 images, we set out to capture more pictures which could be used in a flashback to happier times as we wanted to build the characters up to show what kind of relationship they had before his true colours showed.
With the freedom to use more frames, I set out to try and capture an image of the main character leaving prison. It was difficult to find a place in school which conveyed the idea of a jail or prison which is why I had a shot of a silhouette.
I got the inspiration of a jail cell from Prison Break where the main character first enters jail.
Moving on to something more positive, La La Land is one of my favourite movies and I watched it in cinemas 3 times and many more after it was available online!!! I enjoyed the cinematics and how it referenced old classics such as Singing in the rain. Because of this, I wanted to capture the essence of classics in my video.
Their on screen chemistry was also resembled that of powerhouses such as Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Which I hope could be resembled though our shots.
This scene in La La Land was simply beautiful. The setting was in an observatory where they ascended into the stars as they danced in each other’s embrace.
The other scene which impacted me was when Mia left her date with another guy to search for Sebastian. I loved how the projector illuminated her face to show the look of longing and desire.
Which is why I wanted to shoot with a projector as I felt it showed intimacy and it focuses greatly on the details of the face as it illuminates facial features with different vibrant tones which can bring about emotions.
The photos are so cute right? We made use of the projector in the ongoing exhibition in ADM to show a very intimate scene where the couple shares a moment. The setting was perfect in capturing the essence of how pure the relationship was before.
Initially, during the video editing phase, I created a blank image and placed an audio over it for the audience to focus on what they were saying. It was a clip from Goodwill Hunting, one of my favourite movies.
The audio which I used starts at the 3 minute mark. I really felt that this fight scene was directly relatable to what the characters were facing, however, after I consulted my Ru Yi (prof, teacher) I realised that the American context could be off putting as we are visibly Asians and in Singapore.
In the end, we decided to record ourselves having an argument. It was awkward at first because we were unsure as to what we should argue about. However, as Fendi set the premise for the argument, it then became easier to formulate it. We recorded a total of 3 arguments which I managed to stitch together to form one which I was pleased with.
I also recorded sounds of me gripping various clothing to try and replicate tension as well as unease. I found that leather made the most distinctive sound as other articles of clothing would sound like rustling.