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Week 6 Video and Sound: Short Film Final Cut

For our film project, we chose to do a design fiction for a fictional dating service and wearable technology called Touch. The final film is above.

The Team:

  • Olivia Kung

  • Cara Neel

  • Elvin Ou

Some lessons we learned:

SHOOTING THE FILM

  • ACCOUNT FOR LIGHTING. We shot in an apartment in Long Island City with huge windows, during the day. We had four primary locations within the apartment: the exterior hallway, the hallway inside the apartment, the windows in the apartment, and the couch in the apartment. All of these locations had very different lighting, so our actors occasionally were in total shadow or the background was blown out (totally white.) We tried to adjust for this on set on the camera, but we ended up having to do a lot of color/light editing in post.

  • GET MORE B ROLL: We didn’t have one continuous shot following our lead actress as she moved throughout the apartment, and so we had to contend with cutting the different scenes together, which was tricky. We should have taken more b-roll so the cuts were smoother.

  • IT’S OKAY TO BE BOSSY WHEN YOU’RE A DIRECTOR: We shot each scene maybe five times and gave a ton of specific, often seemingly negligible feedback. This paid off, as we ended up with interactions and shots that we really wanted.

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EDITING THE FILM

  • Due to having shot somewhat asynchronously (e.g. not having the camera follow our actors continuously from scene to scene) we had to try to present the idea of fluid motion. Cutting together the shots, we realized that to make the cuts seem more natural, it helped to have the perspective remain the same (e.g., if someone is walking and turns a corner out of frame, in the next frame, try to have them be a similar distance from the camera.)

  • Listening on headphones on your laptop =/= give you the same experience as watching and listening to the film on a larger screen with real speakers. Watching the rough cut with the class, we noticed when timing of sound effects was off, when the slo-mo was way too visible, and when the music was too loud.

SOUNDFINDING IN POST-PRODUCTION

  • We had very, very few ambient sounds in the film— the phone chime, the doorbell, and the wine glasses clinking. Devoting more time to finding these sounds so we didn’t have to rush to find them would be a good practice moving forward.

Overall, I am really proud and happy with the way the film turned out. A HUGE thank you to our actors, Dayu and Marcel, and to my teammates Elvin and Olivia!

Caroline NeelComment