Section 5: Film Reviews

5.1 

Please post a short film review of approximately 250 – 500 words in length. You are welcome to upload or make use of the framework provided in Rupert’s class. 

Laps Directed By Charlotte Wells, USA, (2017)

On a routine morning, a woman on a crowded New York City subway is sexually assaulted in plain sight. Genre is Drama

The short film is set on a crowded public transport in New York, the subway. The story starts when the main character enters the train after a swimming session. In the beginning of the film, the subway portrays the absence of conversation and antisocial behaviour of the passengers is emphasised by the only diegetic sound of the train moving.

The major conflict is set up when the close of the main character’s ear shows her earphone fall off. The dramatic effect is built here with the rising diegetic sound of the train tracks.

Underwater setting in a pool reveals the main character swimming through a close up of her head movement. It appears unclear and blurry as the protagonist causes waves upon the camera. Taking the audience straight to distorted visuals indirectly relates to the protagonist’s emotions after facing the conflict of the story later on.

The short film shows a series of close up and dirty shots of other passengers on the subway. The passengers glare into the camera lens which gives the protagonist’s point of view. This intrigues the audience as the audience see the witnesses of the sexual assault.

Throughout the film, diegetic voices of the scene become more apparent meaning the main character is trying to distract herself from her current situation by listening to others routinely, casual conversations.

The short film has a blue hue to the screen which adds a depressing atmosphere to the work.

Focus pulling is a camera technique noticeable throughout the film. It helps highlight the uncomfortable and disturbed facial expressions of the passengers.

 

5.2 

Please post a review of a feature film production of your choice (British or World cinema). Make sure to comment on the narrative structure, as well as sound, camera, lighting and editing choices.

I, Daniel Blake Directed By Ken Loach, UK (2016)

 

The Social Realist Drama Film brings the harsh reality of unprivileged working class citizens like Daniel Blake and the characters around him, facing Britain’s unfair job centre system.

The story is set in a working class environment in Newcastle. Cinematography wise, a blue tinted filter accentuates the bleakness and seriousness of the film. The film starts with a black screen with the protagonist Daniel speaking in a work capability assessment. Daniel’s cardiologist has not allowed him to work but the assessment confirms he is deemed fit for work and denied employment and support allowance.

A close up shot of Daniel holding his medication tells the audience that he is a sick man. The assessment scene has similarities to tropes of interrogation scenes. This subliminally tells the viewer that Daniel may not be behind bars by the end of the scene; however the rest of the story shall unfold the journey of him being trapped by the unjust system.

He is later accompanied by friends after he decides to help after seeing them struggling because of the same situation with the job centre rules. The character he befriends is a single mother of two who moved from London. Her hardship is told by the expenses she goes through to put a meal on the table for her kids such as shoplifting and escorting. The climax is built when Daniel discovers Katie’s job. It leads to her humiliation to the point she cuts him off completely until later on. Daniel’s home interior begins with a collection of furniture with a warm colour palette that gives a cosy feel to it. In contrast, the shot of the interior of his house represents the emptiness of it. The house can be seen as a physical embodiment of the true protagonist’s emotions and the psychological effect that the bureaucratic system caused.

The film is aimed at critics and middle class people as propaganda message of unsympathetic jobseekers bureaucracy humiliating claimants and negatively impacting generous people like Daniel Blake.

 

 

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Section 4: Technical Skills

4.1 

What are the resources required for your film production (think about equipment, props, actors, location etc) 

 During the pre-production of Spaghetti, we discussed a list of things that need to be compromised for the shoot to run effectively. Before the shoot, it was crucial to get information about the both actors’ food allergies especially because the script had scenes where the main character is eating the prop. The spaghetti was made gluten free to match the actor’s needs. Other props that were included during the production was a table, lights, a candle, a bowl, cutlery and snacks for the crew. The actors who played a male and female in a relationship acted in the kitchen of the LFA school.

 

The worst kind of people

In The worst kind of people, the equipment needed were a smoke machine, lighting, cameras, boom, sound mixer and all sorts of technicalities necessary for the film. For the props there was a table, cigarettes, ashtray, and an investigator hat. The actors who portrayed an investigator and suspect acted in the green room where the shoot was located.

 

4.2 

What is your key role and what are the skills and equipment required to fulfil it?

I assisted in the roles of production manager for The Worst Kind of People which was an opportunity that led to skills such as time management and leadership qualities. It was essential to be organised since I had the responsibilities of staying in touch with the actors and getting information about allergies or their needed requirements during the upcoming shoot. During the meeting, it was my job to draw the line for the director when it came to them visualising the scene outside our budget and remind them of the whole picture, realistically. I had a budget to spend on equipment, props and snacks for the crew and had to be calculative and organised to maintain the budget whilst providing the production and crew what they needed.

 

What is your supporting role and what are the skills and equipment required to fulfil it?

 My supporting role was Second AD and Second cut editor for the short film Spaghetti. The role of second AD required me to develop communication skills and professionalism as I had to assist the actors during their arrival to the academy by making them feel comfortable and at ease. I had thirty minutes with the actors before taking them down to the set and during that time I recommended them to go over their lines which built on their chemistry as the characters prior to showing it on camera. As second cut editor I was responsible with how the film gets seen by the viewer. I had to be technologically savvy with Adobe Premire Pro. Being a good listener was beneficial as I developed skills such as the basis of editing like cutting the shots, looking for the right sound and bgm to build atmosphere and then experimenting with saturation, lighting and hues of the screen for the last touch up.

4.3 

How do you feel you performed your roles on set? What were your strengths and what were any challenges you faced? 

I had to overcome challenges by using problem solving skills since the original actor for the suspect cancelled on his role. In order to overcome that challenge, I made sure that we had an actor who could replace his role for the day instead which turned out successful. My strength during my roles were that I maintained working under pressure regardless of any circumstances.

How do you think your skills and knowledge developed in this role? Give examples 

 time management, flexibility, communication, team work, working under pressure

In my role as production manager I developed time management which was achieved by checking the time in order to keep on track with the shots during the shoot. Team work was visible due to the shoot finishing earlier than predicted. I also enhanced my knowledge on technical aspects of film throughout post-production as I edited the films’ content.

I am glad to say that my experience partaking these roles have helped me gain flexibility adapting to contrasting skills which includes communicative and technical aspects.

4.5 

Following completion of the Film Academy, please give examples of film production skills that you would like to develop. Did you have any particular strengths or weaknesses on the course? 

After the completion of this course, I would like to develop technical skills further by learning how to use other Adobe Software that could be beneficial for future film-making. I will also like to contribute in sound as my roles didn’t correlate with that aspect of production.

I believe that my strength throughout the course that was present was organisational skills as well as communication skills, however, I wish to develop it further in the future in collaborative environments such as the ones that the film course had provided.

Section 3: Working Relationships

3.1 

Why is teamwork important when working on a film production?

A film set is particularly a collaborative environment and there is always errors that are bound to occur that will corrupt the plan. However, compromising is the best solution to fix those errors during shoot which is possible through communication within the crew.

How did you develop good working relationships with your crew members? Give examples

 Prior to shoot we had the chance to work in groups in activities such as producing a film on a phone and constructing a story. This generated opportunities to get to know the other participants on the course. 

During shoot, I developed relationships with the other participants easily as the atmosphere of the shoot was so collaborative. I kept it professional on set by starting conversations surrounding film as it’s apparent that we were all in the same place for the same reason, we all have an interest in film. Work relationships are like threading, once you identify what kind of fabric it is that you are threading, it becomes easy to generate a pattern with your thread which are your communication skills.

 

Were there any problems you needed to overcome? Give examples

It is inevitable that there will be a crew member you do not get along with. To overcome dissimilar or challenging personalities, it is important to be patient and professional as it is completely normal to come across different types of people.

3.2 

What qualities are needed to work well with others on a film production?

Team work is key but in order to achieve team work within a film crew, it is crucial to have communication skills, time management and drive. Without these key skills, it can lead to miscommunication, lateness to the set and laziness which will disrupt the efficiency of the team.

Section 2: Professional Development

2.1 

Please upload or summarise the crew test you did with Rupert

2.2

 Describe the structure and interrelationships of the production department. You can use a diagram or similar if you wish 

2.3 

Describe at least 2 potentional progression routes into the film industry (e.g. university, apprenticeships, entry level work, film festivals etc)

 Apprenticeships for film/tv institutions such as the BFI, BBC, Warner Brothers are ways to get recruited in a job in the film industry. They tend to recruit people they know.

There are schemes you can apply to which can lead to connections to industry professionals who can consider offering you a place in the industry if the effort is put in.

Try to get filming and your name out there as much as possible whether it is an online film competition, film festival or on social media. People’s familiarity of your work or name represents your status.

What do you plan to do when the academy is finished?

I aim to apply to other film courses which the academy introduced to the participants like the BFI Film Academy at NFTS and attend film festivals and events.

Briefly describe the job of one of your tutors, and what they have done in their career

 One of my tutors is a cinematographer who started off as a runner in the film industry. His BA degree in Textiles in the prestigious University for creative arts, Central Saint Martins led to his current career which shows that the film industry appreciates different specialties outside film.

2.4 

What is the wider creative media sector? (think about music, costume, advertising, animation, theatre, games etc)

Video game is a growing industry globally which offers a chance for consumers to experience a hyper-reality.

Explain how film production connects to the wider creative media sector

It has similar elements to film like story-telling, constructing characters and developing visual images. A game is begins with an idea, the same as it does to film.

***you might find the following link helpful for completing this section:

http://creativeskillset.org/creative_industries 

Section 1: Film Industry

This is the post excerpt.

1.1

What is it like working in the film industry?

 

Give 10 examples of qualities you need to work in the film industry

***The links below may help if you need more info after your masterclass with Rupert:

Useful for job roles and progression as well as information about the industry
http://creativeskillset.org/creative_industries/film/about_the_industry

Good introduction to working in the industry
https://www.reed.co.uk/career-advice/how-to-get-a-job-in-the-film-industry/

Further articles:
10 commandments of film making
Seven arts of working in film
Essential personal traits of filmmakers
Top 10 qualities of a great filmmaker

Creativity is the fuel for quality content.

Organisation is a skill needed. A film set requires so many roles and it is important to keep on track with your schedule otherwise otherwise your mistake can disrupt your team.

Be technologically savvy as it is important in this generation where connections can be made and kept via social media.

Be professional and set personal problems aside. It is guaranteed that some personalities will clash in a collaborative environment but it should not interrupt a task.

Have vision. You should have hopes as to what to expect by the end of your project.

Communication is key. Every role in the film industry is essential to the whole process of making things run properly. It’s everyone’s job to communicate work related topics to people who are allocated to know.

Pay attention to detail because every object and subject matters in all frames.

Good listening is essential.

Have time management. People are too busy focusing on their own roles to consider the reasons why your lateness caused disruption to the crew.

Be ambitious. The film industry is highly competitive and has limited places. There will be rejection at most times but ambition will be visible in your work.

1.2 

Why is time management important in the film industry? 

Give at least 4 examples of good time management skills

***please upload the call sheets for your two shoots, and any other production documentation (schedules etc)

Always check your schedule in case of any recent changes or updates made by your crew.

It is better to make at least half an hour to 15 minutes early arrival to the shooting day than being late.

Keeping track of the time for breaks

Prior to shooting, I made sure to email the actors as soon as I got hold of their contact details to question their food allergies. This quick act allowed the actors to have time for response before the shooting. I was prepared with the information that one of the actors were vegetarian and added vegetarian snacks to my shopping list. Having said that, I had learnt that it is key to consider providing various options of snacks and drinks for all sorts of diets.

BFI Academy CALLSHEET Worst Kind Oct 28 (1)BFI Academy CALLSHEET Spaghetti 29 Oct

1.3 

Describe the key aspects of health and safety when working on film productions 

Hazards such as lights, electrical wires and health restrictions are key when working on films. These problems have to be addressed during pre-production in order to avoid them. For example, if one of the actors have a health issue such a food allergy, the prop can be replaced with another which meets the actor’s requirements. Another example is, if the electrical wires are all over the floor, they can cause people getting their feet caught and falling so tying the wires altogether with velcro material can deter future hazards.

Describe at least 3 health and safety considerations for your own film

 

Electricity and cables away from water.

Workplace fire prevention

Work at height

***please upload the risk assessment for your primary shoot

BFI Academy Risk Assessment SPAGHETTI

1.4 & 1.5 

***please summarise or upload the copyright information you learned in your first editing class with Tom

Why does copyright law exist?

The Founding Fathers understood that the copyright law intends to understand different sides. First and foremost, they realised that the public took advantage from individuals’ creative content, whereas, they also took note that future creators needed an intent or motivation to create. In conclusion, an incentive was included in the Constitution: granting Congress with the power to bestow creators the exclusive right to be in charge of their creation for a limited period of time.

What kind of work is covered by copyright?

There are multifarious forms that are covered by copyright and the examples are; literary works, musical works, including any accompanying words, dramatic works, including any accompanying music, pantomimes and choreographic works, pictorial, graphic and sculptural works, motion pictures and other audiovisual works, sound recordings, architectural plans, drawings and actual buildings

What might happen if you were to use copyrighted material in your film?

 They may get charged guilty of copyright infringement and if in some case they commercially benefited from the copyrighted material, monetary damages have to be paid to the creator.

How can you make sure not to infringe copyright law in your film?

 Check all materials that the copyright law protects and examine if they are copyright protected or ask for the creator’s consent to credit their creation in your film.

How has copyright law affected your film production?

When editing Spaghetti, I had to use non-copyright protected websites to download sounds and search for creators who don’t copyright their content. This limited materials I could use for sound and also restricts me from using content that an audience could be familiar with such as music, making the film have no intertextuality in terms of its soundtrack.

***You might also find the following links useful to complete this section:

http://copyrightuser.org/filmmaker/ 

https://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/p01_uk_copyright_law