In this mini-documentary project, I gain some knowledge about the production of nonfiction films. Unlike the production of the project Lenny, the mini-documentary contains more uncertainties. I will reflect the three stages of production.
At this stage, our team only discuss the shooting site and questionnaire. We didn’t spend a lot of time, it was very different from Lenny’s pre-production that needs to discuss a lot of details such as the script, action, lines and shooting angle.
In the Vox Pop project, we selected two shooting sites (Actually, I think it is casual and not good), at the same time, we adjusted the camera height, frame, exposure and white balance. My task was an interviewer, I chose 5-6 questions to ask them. The first place was quiet, and the voice of the interviewees was a bit faint but clear (it was a good start). After interviewed four people, we changed the location. Then I was responsible for recording the sound. There are many students in that place, so the environment is very noisy. And I realised that the voices of the participants are not controlled because their voices changed quickly with their mood (This is the same as shooting Lenny). In addition, the interview was one-time, so we didn’t have extra chance to get the perfect voice of the respondents, and we couldn’t control the noisy environment.
In the Interviews project, I would like to talk about my shooting process for the last group. I made a mistake that didn’t shoot the listener for a long time. This is what I need to pay attention in the future interview.
This is the most important stage, and I found some problems. First I want to analyse the Vox Pop. The environmental noise was a very serious problem, sometimes I couldn’t hear what the interviewer said, whether it was recorded by camera microphone or boom microphone. Especially the sound of two different shooting places, so when I edited the different footage, the sound was very difficult to unity. As a lesson, I will pay attention to the choice of shooting environment in the next shot. Fortunately, our camera settings were no problem, whatever framing, focus, exposure and white balance, because I saw the other groups’ footage, they had a lot of mistakes including over zooming and panning, even camera shake and boom mic into the frame. For the performance of the participants, one part of the reason depends on the participants themselves, the other part is the content of the problem. We need to improve is based on the contents of the respondents to continue to ask questions, I think Jason did great this time, he could give the respondent feedback and improve their enthusiasm. In addition, when managing the footage I spent a lot of time and I thought this way could be convenient for me to pick the clips I need (This is a good idea when there are a lot of clips that need to be edited). In the editing process, I used the fast method with the rhythm of the music, so I didn’t use gaps, silence and time to ponder.
For the project of Interviews, it’s not hard for me to manually merge sounds and videos. The difficulty is how to edit so many clips reasonably, because of those interesting content, everyone takes up a long time in the interview. I tried to edit the footage of the third group cause it is my shot. However, I realised a mistake that I did not shoot the listener and put the teller and the listener into the same frame (At that time I thought it was a good idea, but I was wrong). This way limited the usability of the clips, so I gave up this footage and chose the second group. Honestly speaking, the first group of footage shot is the most comprehensive. Although the camera shake has happened, the camera recorded many wonderful performances such as gestures, thinking and listening. These seemingly simple moments were important details in the documentary, they could express a person’s emotions or the audience’s thinking process. By reflection, I realised that the main content of the film is not necessary to record the teller, and sometimes the audience’s feedback and expression are more attractive in the documentary. By the way, in the Taxi Driver’s scene, Betty’s performance and gestures were recorded when Travis was talking with the short pondering. This is different from the documentary, but I think its purpose is similar. In depth, by adding these moments, such as gaps, silence and pondering, the interview process can be made more authentic. It means to give the audience a thought process caused when a person said a thing the audience needs time to deal with the information (To be honest, I didn’t consider the importance of this aspect when I was editing). It is important to a point I need to record in the next time.
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