SFC5 | Reflective Report

This module has been one that brings me a great mix of feelings. Although I am pleased with the final outcome, I still wish I did a few things differently along the way to ensure my original vision was realised, and ultimately would have enjoyed my final film a lot more if I had taken certain variables into consideration. Despite this, I am still extremely happy with how my final film has turned out, and feel motivated to try and improve upon the areas in which I feel it falters a little.

I’ll make it clear that I am very proud of my final works and see it as a great achievement that will count as a strong piece to add to my portfolio and fully intend to enter it into film festivals, but one specific thing I would like to address here is that the dream sequences in my film, although effective at showing the main characters desires, aren’t as much the grand and breathtaking scenes I set out to make them. This is something that I plan on changing in a re-edit of this film, and I will attempt to create a more splendid and striking effect within these dream sequences. I will see how changing the colour grade, exposures and even adding additional elements such as lense flares and particles can change the impact of these images. My hope is that a re-worked edit which includes these tweaks will bolster the impact of these key moments and enhance the experience of the film.

An aspect of this module that I found both a challenge and a benefit was how open it was. There were very few limitations or boundaries to get in the way of my ideas which was a great help when it came to thinking up different potential stories and films to create, but also a very daunting burden to know that I could pick more or less anything to make a film about. I got through this initial discomfort by asking myself what genre I was most interested in, and once I had realised it was comedy, my ideas began to solidify into something I could start working on. Then came the next obstacle, figuring out this complex genre.

Comedy is something I’ve always been drawn to in movies, and I especially love the works of Edgar Wright, who is one of my favourite directors working in this genre today. His work with visual comedy is what largely influenced my approach to this film, and how I went about designing my jokes for the screen. I knew from the start of this project I wanted to explore comedy through the visual field as much as possible, rather than in its audible form, (although both forms when done correctly are effective ways of delivering humour) as this is something Edgar Wright does so well. When planning how I was to deliver comical moments in my film I needed a method which could communicate visually how the joke was going to work, so I decided to use storyboards.

I relied a lot on storyboards for a few aspects of the film, including story development. As I have found myself to work better using visual forms of communication, I decided that I would use storyboards to develop the story. I enjoyed using this method as it allowed me to see more clearly how the story was going to play out on camera and in the edit before even starting production, and having this insight into my own films direction made it very easy to progress. However, this decision to rely on storyboards in this way proved to be problematic at times as the lack of a written script led me to becoming unsure of how long the story would last or the pace of each scene. This led me to look at the anatomy of, ‘Real Gone’ another short film of a similar theme and the same genre. This was incredibly helpful for figuring out the pace of my film and how long it would turn out to be as well as offering a great example of how a film like this delivers its jokes with minimal dialogue and maximum visual impact.

Originally I hoped to have no dialogue in the film at all as I wanted to rely entirely on the visual field to convey my story. As my narrative developed I realised that the context that dialogue brings is extremely necessary for some cases, such as when two characters meet. It seemed very odd that a bond of any kind could be formed between two characters who do not speak to each other, so I added some dialogue to their encounter scene. I believe this fixed most of the problems I had with no dialogue, as it offered some context as to what had happened and why they were talking, as well as producing a greater interaction between them. This was a pivotal point in the plot as it sets up the main characters motivation for the rest of the film, so I am very glad to have created a scene which brings together the right elements to bring us forward in the story.

Creating a film to a set running time was one of the biggest challenges I faced during this module, and I found myself becoming increasingly more frustrated over not being able to figure out a sure way of achieving the corrects length. This soon became a boundary that seemed to dictate how I made my creative choices and slowed down my progression through the module. In order to overcome this obstacle I learned to worry less about this small aspect of my film, and focus on what I could nail down. The story, the characters, the locations, the look and all the more tangible aspects became the main focus for my work flow, and I realised at this point that I work a lot better when going through the process in an organic way that lets me see what I am creating. This realisation is perhaps the most valuable outcome from this module as it has helped me learn about myself and my own style of working. I am confident that I can make great use of this insight in future projects, and produce work to an even higher standard and with a much deeper understanding of why I am doing it and what purpose is serves.

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