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Research and Planning Essay

Explain how your research and planning skills have developed over time and how they have contributed towards your media production outcomes. Refer to a range of outcomes in your answer.

Plan:

Story boards – Didn’t do them accurately last year which mean that we were unsure of which shots to film. This year did them as if they were exact shots which made filming more clear. Also created animated story boards this year to get a sense of the pace of the film which mean that I had a clear image of what I wanted to portray before filming. Added music over top to see whether it all worked, saved me time in post production. In AS did music research whilst creating film.

Shooting schedule  – didn’t have much of an idea of what to film as didn’t fill full time- winged it? Made story boards in more detail and very clear shooting schedules so I knew what I was doing – researched shooting schedule from I Have Never (professional)

Location research. AS filmed in Megan’s house – we all struggled to imagine filming there as we hadn’t done the location scout. This year I went to the allotment myself and took photos from different angles to help plan – did the after storyboards so I had an idea of what to film

Filming techniques – last year researched the ‘through the wall shot’ – took a lot of work as no online tutorials for the equipment we had. Was a struggle and took lots of practice – used this skill developed in my film this year which meant I spent less time researching so could include other camera techniques. Hitting someone over head with shovel – used Film Riot, by using online tutorials could visually see how to make it work.

Research into makeup. Last year my group created bruises on a wrist- used the skills last year to create a dead looking finger. Meant that I could adapt the technique of bruises by using darker makeup for the finger.

Essay

Explain how your research and planning skills have developed over time and how they have contributed towards your media production outcomes. Refer to a range of outcomes in your answer.

My media production has hugely developed from my AS film to my A2 production, due to the refinement of my research and planning skills. When planning for out AS production, the storyboards my group created weren’t very accurate and didn’t exactly replicate the shot we’d hoped to to film. This led to us being unsure of what to film, as if we were creating from the storyboards we’d created, each shot would have been face on and therefore very boring. The inaccuracy of our story boards led to a lot of wasted time of the day of filming whilst we were planning what shots to film next. With this in mind, I was more conscious when planning and creating the storyboards for my A2 project, Green Fingers, so that this didn’t happen again. To improve my storyboards, I spent a lot more time on them so they looked exactly like the shot I wished to film. This saved me a lot of time on the day of filming as I knew exactly how to set up each shot, meaning I had more time to repeat each shot, leading to a far better short film. This year, I also planned the pace of my film by inserting my storyboard images into final cut and creating an animated storyboard. After last year, I felt this was essential as a lot of time was wasted in editing to try and make the shots flow smoothly. I found that by creating an animated storyboard on Final Cut Pro X before filming, I was able to see which parts of my film needed refining to ensure the pace and frequency of my film made it interesting to watch.

When researching locations, last year my group spent very little time at the location. Only one person went out to view the area we filmed in, so I personally didn’t really have any idea what the location looked like, besides the pictures that were taken of it. I felt like this was a big flaw and led to us being unsure of the area we were filming in, which slowed down the planning process as it was difficult to visualise how our film would look until the day. On the day of filming our AS production, Mummy’s Girl, a lot of the shots were improvised as we’d found an area in the location that we thought may look good in our film. This year, I made sure to spend a great deal of time at the allotment were I filmed to ensure that I was fully aware of the surroundings and how to utilise them to drive my plot. From my groups mistakes last year, both my research and skills had been improved as I was able to create a more immersive film with very few improvised shots which made my final media production look a lot more professional.

For Mummy’s Girl, my group and I planned to preform a shot where the camera moves through the wall. This took a lot of research and we struggled to find much in terms of online help, which meant that we needed to take a more practical approach. We recorded a practice shot in the class room which was successful, but when it came to filming in a different location, the layout of the room was different and therefore we couldn’t exactly recreate the shot we had researched and planned to do so. Due to this, when planning to film Green Fingers, I wanted to film a murder scene in which a woman is hit with a shovel. I didn’t initially know how to create this effect so I researched this on YouTube. I then practiced my findings multiple times to ensure I could re create it effectively. I feel my planning and research skills have been improved since last year, as I accounted for any possibilities where things could change or go wrong through practicing this shot using my two actors and the spade I planned to use in the film. This meant that very little had changed between the practice shot and the actual shot, meaning very little variables would effect my final production.

For Mummy’s Girl, we wanted to create bruises on the daughters finger to make it appear as if she had been tied up. We did research into bruised makeup using Pintrest and YouTube, but didn’t practice how to apply the makeup until the day of filming. This was due to poor planning and meant that it was rushed. This year, I wanted to create a dead looking hand which required a great deal of makeup to make it appear realistic. My planning skills have developed since Mummy’s Girl, as I practiced applying this makeup several times before the day of filming, meaning that I was confident with how to do it on the day and that I wouldn’t be rushing it, as I could plan for the amount of time it took to create.

Ultimately, my planning and research skills have been hugely developed since preparing for my AS coursework, as I have learnt from my mistakes and been able to account for any problems that may arise.

2nd Draft:

My media production has hugely developed from my AS film to my A2 production, due to the refinement of my research and planning skills. When planning for out AS production, the storyboards my group created weren’t very accurate and didn’t exactly replicate the shot we’d hoped to film. This led to us being unsure of what to film, as if we were creating from the storyboards we’d created, each shot would have been face on and therefore very boring. The inaccuracy of our story boards led to a lot of wasted time of the day of filming whilst we were planning what shots to film next. With this in mind, I was more conscious when planning and creating the storyboards for my A2 project, Green Fingers, so that this didn’t happen again. To improve my storyboards, I spent a lot more time on them so they looked exactly like the shot I wished to film. This saved me a lot of time on the day of filming as I knew exactly how to set up each shot, meaning I had more time to repeat each shot, leading to a far better short film. This year, I also planned the pace of my film by inserting my storyboard images into final cut and creating an animated storyboard. After last year, I felt this was essential as a lot of time was wasted in editing to try and make the shots flow smoothly. I found that by creating an animated storyboard on Final Cut Pro X before filming, I was able to see which parts of my film needed refining to ensure the pace and frequency of my film made it interesting to watch.

When researching locations, last year my group spent very little time at the location. Only one person went out to view the area we filmed in, so I personally didn’t really have any idea what the location looked like, besides the pictures that were taken of it. I felt like this was a big flaw and led to us being unsure of the area we were filming in, which slowed down the planning process as it was difficult to visualise how our film would look until the day. On the day of filming our AS production, Mummy’s Girl, a lot of the shots were improvised as we’d found an area in the location that we thought may look good in our film. This year, I made sure to spend a great deal of time at the allotment were I filmed to ensure that I was fully aware of the surroundings and how to utilise them to drive my plot. From my groups mistakes last year, both my research and skills had been improved as I was able to create a more immersive film with very few improvised shots which made my final media production look a lot more professional.

For Mummy’s Girl, my group and I planned to preform a shot where the camera moves through the wall. This took a lot of research and we struggled to find much in terms of online help, which meant that we needed to take a more practical approach. We recorded a practice shot in the class room which was successful. We filmed the camera moving behind a ridge in the wall, and then it coming out of the ridge facing in another direction to make it appear as it had gone behind the wall. When it came to filming in a different location, the layout of the room was different and there weren’t any ridges we could use; therefore we couldn’t exactly recreate the shot we had researched and planned to do so. Instead, we just passed the camera through an open archway and adding a blank screen in between. Due to this, when planning to film Green Fingers, I wanted to film a murder scene in which a woman is hit with a shovel. I didn’t initially know how to create this effect so I researched this on YouTube. I then practiced my findings multiple times to ensure I could re create it effectively. To film this shot, I recorded a shot of the spade against the persons head, then swinging it backwards quickly. Then, in post production, I reversed the shot to make it look as if the spade was being swung towards her head. I feel my planning and research skills have been improved since last year, as I accounted for any possibilities where things could change or go wrong through practicing this shot using my two actors and the spade I planned to use in the film. This meant that very little had changed between the practice shot and the actual shot, meaning very little variables would effect my final production.

For Mummy’s Girl, we wanted to create bruises on the daughters finger to make it appear as if she had been tied up. We did research into bruised makeup using Pintrest and YouTube, but didn’t practice how to apply the makeup until the day of filming. This was due to poor planning and meant that it was rushed. This year, I wanted to create a dead looking hand which required a great deal of makeup to make it appear realistic. I achieved this by applying pale makeup to the skin, and making the nail look rotted by using liquid latex and dark purple coloured face paint. My planning skills have developed since Mummy’s Girl, as I practiced applying this makeup several times before the day of filming, meaning that I was confident with how to do it on the day and that I wouldn’t be rushing it, as I could plan for the amount of time it took to create.

Ultimately, my planning and research skills have been hugely developed since preparing for my AS coursework, as I have learnt from my mistakes and been able to account for any problems that may arise.