Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Video Process

I filmed my linear narrative of an adaptation I made from the short story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. I chose to shoot the video from the top of our campus's amphitheater. This was my master shot. It allowed me, really the camera, to focus on the stage at first not zoomed in on the people. This lets the viewer see all the people walking down the pathway one by one without the camera being only focused on the stage, with these characters simply appearing in the shot with no prologue. As the action rises, the camera begins to zoom in on the stage and denotes the urgency of situation caused by the paper that Cher has chose and holds within her hands. I like how my actors did in this shot. Zack grabs Cher's character to make sure she will not run away from her fate, they are framed in the camera in a medium close- up shot. I liked the struggle between Cher and Zack, how Cher's body wasn't completely seen as she moved around trying to escape. The issue was I think it would have been better to not zoom here and simply move the camera closer to the stage, therefor cutting to the action of struggle. The reason zoom did not work well here was when Katie enters and exits out of the frame, giving a rock to Zack, things start to look funny. I think the composition here was bad because of the angle of the camera being too high above the action I was filming and also because she was too much in the foreground, making even more close up on her than it had on Zack and Cher. I didn't think to change it until the week after we shot my video, and by then it was too late to reshoot the entire thing, which was the only way to fix it.
The ending of the narrative was just what I wanted. I like how the camera focuses on the stage but that the viewer can still see the pathway that Cher uses to escape behind the amphitheater. I like that Zack and Katie look back at the camera to see if anyone saw what has happened. Here there is the idea that the camera caught them, an inspiration from Blowup. My video obviously is more straight forward and denotes this from the beginning, lacking the slow disclosure I should have tried harder for. In blowup it is connoted through Michel's insisted obsession with every inch of the photo, and disclosed much slower, building a better thriller. I think it would have been interesting if I had done a tracking scene of Cher running away at the end, but that would have required too many camera moves. It is true that I did not use a cut; if I had used a cut it would have been because the ending would have been different. Katie and Zack would have chased after Cher and the scene would have cut to a rock flying through the air. I wish that in the beginning I had filmed a pile of rocks and then zoomed out from them, or cut from them to the camera watching the scene happening down on the stage, continuing from there.

I had never made a video before, and I was the first in my group to shoot. With this project I realized a lot of improvements I could have made after the fact, particularly in watching my group members shoot their videos. I think all I can say is, even if the video was not perfect, I learned a lot about how to improve it if I was to remake it, or ever shoot another video like this again.