The Ninth Floor by Jessica Dimmock
This trailer made me very uncomfortable. The music that played at 0:25 was something with a very high pitch. It made me uneasy. Not just that, the scene showed light shining through curtains. The use of audio actually heightened the tension. Without the audio, the light could be considered as welcoming. For instance, the morning sun waking someone up. It could have been something optimistic. However, with the eerie, high pitched music in the background, the ray of light seemed sharp and unwelcoming. It became something I would avoid if I had a choice. It’s as if it’s too bright. So bright that it hurts. Next was a series of photos of drug addicts. Despite the photos being still, there seemed to be a story in each frame. The way the characters were presented added tension as well.
At 0:57, the voice over gave me chills. The drug addict’s voice was slurry, but it adds to the topic of the film. (which was about drug addicts) The sudden connection with the character heightened the tension (at least for me).
The use of audio brought the characters in the image to life. The melancholic music adds the last touches and forces the audience to respond emotionally.
La Jetee by Chris Marker
This film was shown to us in class. It left quite an impression on me. The clever use of sequence, as well as audio, helps to tell a story clearly. Personally I don’t really appreciate black and white films, however, this one was particularly interesting. The way the voice over was used, as well as sound effects, make the story powerful. The storyline is quite a science fiction to me, maybe a bit of fantasy also. The time traveling part is very intriguing.
For both cases, the clever use of voice over played a large role in story telling. I made a mental note to make use of voice over in my own work later on.
002 Task 1 Process:
My group came up with several different storylines and in the end, we settled with this:
A talented actress who could not be in the performance as she was unpretty.
I knew someone who went for plastic surgery. She was someone from my international school. When I ran into her Instagram I could not recognize her instantly at the moment. However many of her followers were my previous classmates. When I realized that she was really someone I knew I dropped my phone from shock. She looked entirely different, to the point that she looks like a doll.
The story is kind of based on her, but we added and made changes. Then it ended up as a fantasy(?).
To be honest, most of the inspiration for this story came from Chris Marker’s La Jetee. In La Jetee the character could travel back in time. I found that extremely interesting. Perhaps due to my liking for unrealistic things, our story ended up under the genre of fantasy.
The story starts by showing students preparing for a school play. The main character could only watch as the main actress stood on stage during the rehearsal. However, right before the play starts the main actress falls sick and was unable to perform. The main character then uses a spell to gain beauty, afterward, she took over the main actress’ place and performed instead. She ended the play in success but due to the time limit, her real appearance was exposed in front of the audience.
We tried to stick to the brief which limited us to 21 images. As a result, our storyboard is 20+ frames.
Later on, we found out it was okay to exceed but it was too late, the photos were already taken and we did not have much time left. (sadly)
These are the photos that I chose to use in my final.
We had several photoshoots, and at different locations.
For our first photoshoot, we went to Bala’s house to take it. For the main character’s flashback, we took it at The Reading Room cafe. We needed somewhere with books and shelf to create the right mood and atmosphere.
I was responsible for making the props used in the photoshoot.
I use A3 cartridge paper to cut out the size I needed. (the inner pages of the magic book)
Then I used coffee, watercolor paint to make the paper look old. Afterwards I used red ink and yellow gold ink for the details in the page. I had a lot of fun using my dip pen to scribble on the paper.
As for the beetle, it was a fridge magnet initially, so I used it.
Initially we wanted to use a mouse, since the setting was supposed to be in the attic. However after I reconsidered some stuff, I realized that a beetle may be better.
Beetles represent change, they are thought to be spiritual animals. For instance in Egypt, beetles are used often in their art works as well as decorations. Beetles are also thought to symbolize one’s ability survive, adapt and change. Therefore, we decided to use a beetle instead of a mouse.
Behind the Scenes:
003 Task 2 Process
To me, Task 2 was really fun because I get to think and try to make use of whatever I have.
Behind the Scenes:
I borrowed this from a friend to record the sounds.
All sounds i used, expect the sad classical music was made from scratch.
In the end, I tried using my laptop sleeve for the beetle sound.
But honestly speaking do beetles make noise at all…?
The sound of pen knife reminded me of ticking clocks but when I compared it to the mouse clicking, the pen knife was too sharp so it was not as suitable.
For the crying audio I actually asked a friend to help but she does not want her face to be shown here so I did not include it here.
Some of my photos went missing, so not everything is here but almost every sound in my video is made from scratch.
I played around with photoshop and lightroom when I was editing the photos. I pulled down the saturation for all the photos. For certain scenes I added either a cold tint or neutral tint. For instance, the scene where Karen (main actress) fell sick, I used a blue tint to highlight the fact that she was ill. In addition, to create tension and sense of uneasiness. For the flashback scene, I changed them to black and white to make it clear to the audience as well.
In short, I tried to make sure the scenes with the same location and setting has the same colouration.
Problems i had to deal with:
Pacing and Transition.
It took me quite a while to deal with the issue of obtaining a smooth transition. After i placed my images in sequence, I started playing around with the audio. How long each track lasted or which tracks I should overlap.
I must say I suffered during this assignment. I have never tried editing videos before and I was very lost. Not just the editing part, our group’s coordination could have been better. I think I should work on my time managment as well. Half of the time I was cringing while editing the photos and video probably because I, myself was in the photos.