Week 8/9 reflection
So over the past couple of weeks I’ve been producing the video project that will be my culminating experience for this class. I’ve decided to produce a video blog in response to a ocntroversial video blog that was posted by a Youtube Celebrity, chastising the practice of the Women’s March and the longevity of its message.
I filmed my rough cut last week, and I wanted to try a new method where i filmed the “skeleton” of the video by just standing in front of a camera and reading off the script first. We read in “Writer/Designer”, in the section on how to produce videos that don’t suck, that when screenplays are written the first thing that actors do is to do a reading of the script. I wanted to do the same, but in front of a camera, because I’ve never filmed myself before.
I borrowed some equipment from Jones Media Center and booked the Innovation center for the filming. I set up a Canon Vixia camera on a tripod and attached a microphone onto it for audio clarity, and began filming right away. I had my laptop at eye level and it acted as a transponder.
The dry run/filming was immensely helpful, because I got to realize certain tics I have when I am talking which may be distracting for the viewer. The biggest lesson I learned was not to move my hands as much and to keep them firmly planted on my legs, because it gets difficult to edit certain bits out if my body is not in a stationery position. Another habit that I have is I keep touching my hair and not only is it distracting, but it makes it difficult to cut and edit because there would be clips where I’d speak, touch my hair immediately after, and the clip I was going to add on after is one where my hands are on the chair and not on my head. The disconnect there was not pleasing to the eye. I was also wearing a black shirt on a black background, which was not aesthetically pleasing either. I also realized that the laptop was in fact not at eye level and it was obvious that I was reading off of a screen on the slight left.
I’m planning to film my final project in a completely different way. I thought that the innovation center would provide a more professional look to my video, but it ended up looking more like a newscast than a casual video blog, which is the genre that I am producing my video in. For the final cut, I am going to be filming in my room most likely in natural light against a white background and have the script printed out in flash cards which I can then place right above the lens, and individually replace them for different parts of the video.
The readings were interesting because I had done them before, but not immediately before the shooting process. I read the part that talks about storyboarding and the importance of having every scene planned out, even if it is just in brief words, and took the advice by creating a cut-by-cut script that I followed exactly. I could clearly tell that the readings were immensely helpful because having each cut planned out and having each line written helped in the recording process. However, one thing that I would do different next time would be creating flash cards instead, so that I can know when exactly to cut the video. Having a long script in front of me made it difficult to know when to end recording, so I ended up just recording an extended 15-minute video where I kept on talking and cut later, instead of having snippets that I could piece together.
The topic of location and casting I did not pay much attention to, to my disadvantage. It was a dry run so it did not matter as much, but I was wearing a black shirt on a black background and the lighting was much too harsh. As stated above, amongst the changes I will make, the most important one will be on location and lighting.