Tuesday, 14 February 2012

72 Hour Film Challenge-2012

At the weekend I took part in the 'Stoke Your Fires' '72 Hour Film Challenge' with 2 colleagues from work. A number of people have asked why give up a weekend?...so I am writing this post to explain and reflect on the experience.

I enjoy learning new things but prefer to use a real project to do so. I find if you have something 'real' to work on with deadlines I experience leaning in a way more similar to students and often accomplish something. We have had a Canon 550d SLR in college for a while (which shoots video as well as stills) and the A Level Photography course I teach on includes a range of lens based media, students have been experimenting more with moving image as well as stills. This project seemed to be the perfect opportunity to get to grips with this camera.

We met up on Saturday morning to plan ideas for shooting our film. We thought about how we could use old cinematic techniques alongside learning new skills:
  • One section to be a washed out 'real' view which would contrast against the saturated 'dream'. 
  • A silent film using music to build tension and narrate the scenes.
  • To incorporate childish elements into the dream sequence almost like a child had scribbled on the film.
The filming itself was relatively straight forward; a number of in house shots were identified and we filmed what was going on around us before we wrapped up warm and headed to Longton Park. When filming in the park we wanted to try and capture a 2 year olds view of the world so everything was filmed from a low angle.

Once back in the warm we identified what we wanted to add to sections of our filming.

To achieve this painted look the frames of the video were imported into Photoshop as layers then these were individually painted in ways relevant to the scene.

The rest of the film editing was done on Final Cut and the music was composed using Garage Band on an ipad and a Mac over the next 48 hours.

This is the final film which we submitted to the competition

The idea behind the film was to try and comment on the world outside that people are missing by staying indoors on snow days and that a journey into a childs mind contrasts against the adult  world.

The things I learned taking part in this project:
  • My team (Kim Finn and Nikki Simpkins) have a wide range of skills that I had no idea about.
  • Working with children and animals is really not that bad.
  • How to film with a 550d though when using photography lenses and tripods that the zooming and panning has a 'steam powered' look.
  • How to rotoscope video with CS5 (and how long of a process it is).
  • I really am quite scared of ducks especially when surrounded.
This also made me think about how we could use this style project within the college:
  • To deliver elements of the BTEC Creative Media Production course.
  • Could we set a 'Challenge' brief that allows students freedom to interpret ideas in a far more personal way.
  • As a liaison activity to involve local schools/teachers.
  • Team building activity to use with other groups of teachers-CPD.
  • Could it be used by other subject areas to produce revision materials or produce an assignment.

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