Fall 2014 / Final Project Reflections

Please post your final project reflection to the blog here
include…
Digital Filmmaking: FINAL PROJECT REFLECTION

Your Name:

Project Title: Run Time:

Credits /your collaborators and their roles:

Link to your project on Vimeo:


Describe your own creative process, activities and tasks: (such as:
 research, location scouting, test shooting, etc)
What equipment did you use? What shot choices did you make? 
What challenges came up and how did you meet them?
Did you create any special effects or animation? 
How did you work with sound, music, voice-over?
Reflect upon your final edit of the short film project.
What aesthetic and technical choices did you make to create a work?
 What choices of shot types, rhythm, pacing, cuts and transitions did 
you make as an editor?
 How do you think these choices support the emotions or ideas you hope
to communicate to your audience?
How did you create solutions when technical problems came up? 
What works best about your edit of the final project?
 What might you do differently if you had more time and experience?

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14 thoughts on “Fall 2014 / Final Project Reflections

  1. This video was an experimental project. Through collaboration and developing a relationship with the program (Adobe Premier), I was able to compile a video using the tools I have developed over the semester. I drew inspiration from the American Horror Story television series openers. Through dark music and erratic footage, the feeling that comes across is dark and mysterious. I hoped to have portrayed similar tones throughout my piece. As I continue to grow my cinematography skills, plan to bring in more broad footage to compile with my close up shots. This is my first attempt at a music video, and I plan to mature my aesthetic.
    For this particular film, I asked a friend to create a dark witchy tune for me. I had a vague story board playing in my head of dreamy imagery and magical undertones. Since working with people creates a time boundary, it was something I learned to work around. I actually had not heard the song before I had my first video shoot. Tobin and I had discussed back and forth about our ideas for the final track though, so there was some continuity to go off of. It was neat being able to take the footage and manipulate it to fit the beats of the song just right in preproduction.
    I learned that by creating a video with many short clips, takes quite a bit of time and the audio can get quite old after awhile. Luckily the music was catchy and ambient enough to actually inspire me continuously. If I were to go back and do something differently, I would have broken up my editing to the song. Not the clips themselves but the time I took to edit them. By working in a similar way that the movie is being outputted, I feel would bring another element to the final product.

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  2. Daniel Badhwa

    Food Waste In America Run Time: 2:25

    Additional credit: Whole Foods Co-op

    Link: https://vimeo.com/114784069

    This project tested all of my abilities with photo, video, interviews, etc. I started out by simply doing research to get an understanding of how food waste has an impact on the world. Afterword, I got in contact with Whole Foods and began filming there, once I had a start with filming I wrote the rest of the script and filled in the gaps with images I thought would be appropriate. I did a few special effects in the video, there were areas that I sped up or slowed down the video, reversed the clip, and added text into a clip to interact with what I filmed.
    The most challenging part of the project was getting all of the shots I wanted, some were difficult to get. Filming in a grocery store typically is frowned upon unless you have permission and it took a while for Whole Foods to set up a time that I could come in and do that. Otherwise there were shots that I didn’t have access to, such as shots of landfills or areas that have extremely large amounts of wasted food such as grocery store compost bins.
    I did a voice-over with the snowball mic. That was probably one of the easiest parts of the entire project. The other sounds were just background noises that filled some of the gaps in the video. There isn’t background music, I added some to see what it would sound like and it was just distracting and didn’t add anything to the video.
    Most of the cuts are quick and there are a lot of short shots that quickly jump to the next image. I did this intentionally because I think it keeps the viewer on their toes and keeps them from getting bored from seeing one image or clip for too long. Otherwise, I typically like stable shots that capture what’s happening, but I did include a few shots with the camera moving.
    I tried to get a variety of length with the clips as well, I didn’t want a new clip exactly every three seconds, so I have clips that range from less than two seconds to 5-7 seconds. This kept a fast pace to the video and gives a lot of imagery for the viewer to look at; I wanted to keep the video visually interesting so that viewers don’t get bored.
    I didn’t have many technical issues when I was editing the video together; it went smoothly overall since I already knew how to use most of the tools I needed to create the video.
    My favorite part is that I got to include many images of work that I’m proud of in my work. If I had more time and experience I would probably try and get to a few more grocery store and try and get to film in landfills. I also noticed that my camera limited what I could do. I tried to alter the pace of some of the clips but the quality of the video my camera provided wasn’t good enough to give me the clips I wanted.

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  3. Keegan Burckhard

    “One Chill Ride” Run Time: 3:40

    
Music by Sam Enochs

    
 Link: https://vimeo.com/114900150

    I began doing research by looking at Google maps to record distances and times from my house to campus using various routes. For location scouting I biked around path I take to school to get some ideas of camera angles. I ended up shooting all of the biking shots in one afternoon, and the rest of the bus and car shots in the same weekend.
    I clamped my original GoPro Hero under my bike seat facing behind me, which ended up looking pretty sweet with the back tire in the shot. I rented out a GoPro Hero 3 and 4 as well. The GoPro 3 was attached to the bike handlebars and could be switched back and fourth between the front of the bike to facing me. The camera footage was shaky and barely usable, but I used the warp stabilizer effect and only showed a short clip to avoid drawing attention to it. I used the GoPro Hero 4 to shoot a 3rd person point of view by setting up a frame and then biking through the shot. It was a lot of biking back and fourth to setup and retrieve the GoPro after completing the shot. I tried to somewhat animate the titles to mimic what was going on in a clip. For example the title called “Walking” wobbles off of the screen, and “Biking to School” is kicked up with the snow as I bike over it. The voice over and music were exciting to put in because it brought the whole video to life. I’m using my friend Sam’s original electronic music and I think it gives the video an intense video and makes it less boring. I choose to make this video look like anyone could make it, but with my own style. It was shot all on GoPros, so there were no real technical filming skills necessary. I used the resources available to me to make it my own. For example, I was doing homework in a study room in the library last week and I noticed this unique white board. I messed around with it and figured out it was a giant scanner. I thought it was really cool, so I found a way to incorporate it into my video in a way I have never seen anyone else do. I recorded a lot of footage for this very short video, so I condensed the length by speeding up clips and Making fast cuts. To use only the best clips I went though my rough edit video and made sure there wasn’t any footage in this video that isn’t necessary. I want to not only entertain the audience, but also inspire them to try new things. I think the music selections will put the audience in a zone where they are focused on the video and the message in contains.
    I lost a couple versions early on by not saving the project, so now I have the auto save feature turned on and when I am done editing for the day I will save the project file under a new name. For example if I am working on a project titled “Travel1” at the end of the day I will save it as “Travel2.” I think the voice over combined with the titles works best in my project because it gives it a sense of direction. The music is also a big help. It is up beat and pushes the video along so that it doesn’t drag on. If I had more time I would do more fine-tuning with color correction and rerecord the stop motion to make it more interesting. I would also work on the title animations to get them exactly how I want them. I also like putting Easter eggs or little things for my friends to look for in my videos, so I may write something on the blurred out license plate.

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  4. Megan Rekowski
    Project Title:Literature to Film: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot
    Run Time:3:49
    
Music by Chris Zabriskie
    Additional camera operator: Amanda Johnson
    Actors: Brandon Edlund and Stephanie Anderson
    
https://vimeo.com/114904596

    I started to explore the idea of creating a video based on some of the most influencial literature in my life when I was trying to figure out ways to incorporate my love of literature into my film making. I wanted to express my love for it without doing an exact acting out of it so I decided to create something that represents my feelings about the piece.
    I spent a lot of time watching other shorts online to find people who were getting interesting shots and playing with cinematography in their short films. I also knew I wanted to produce a sort of intimacy so I decided to use a couple for my focus of the piece and knew that I wanted to use an actual couple rather than two people acting as a couple.
    I used a Panasonic GH2 and a Nikon D3000 to shoot. My shot choices were to create an intimacy so I wanted to incorporate a lot of close ups and capture intimate moments between the couple that were genuinely them. I think I captured some good moments but it was difficult to direct them to do something genuine. I had to wait for moments to happen and just hope that I was rolling when they happened. I am a bit upset that I didn’t capture as many close-ups as I wanted but I think what I got worked well.
    The voice-over that I did was good but I would have rather had a man read it. I’m not disapointed with it overall but I think it would have tied it together a bit more and captured the feeling that I was trying to get across. The music was something that I was very happy with. I spent a lot of time trying to find something royalty free that would work with the mood I wanted to create and I was lucky to find Chris Zabriskie’s work. I will definitely be using his music again for future projects.
    I was happy with my edit. There were a few shots that seemed a bit out of place overall but I didn’t have much more footage to work with. I think if I had more time and experience I would go back and shoot again in order to get some of the shots we missed the first day. I don’t know if I like all the transitions throughout but I think in some places it gives it a smoother look. One thing I did try to do was choose some deliberate shots for some of the lines in the poem to match up to. I wish I would have had more time to go back and get some more shots that would line up well but overall I’m happy with the outcome and I hope to continue doing more of these literature pieces as a series.

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  5. April Robinson
    Title: Black Life’s Matter
    Run Time: 1:24
    Link: https://vimeo.com/114928776?email_id=Y2xpcF90cmFuc2NvZGVkfDYxMDUwMWJlNDhmNjhjNGQyNDExMTQ5MWQzYTYwYTc4MzM0fDM1NjA3MDk5fDE0MTg5NDkyMjl8NzcwMQ%3D%3D&utm_campaign=7701&utm_medium=clip-transcode_complete-finished-20120100&utm_source=email

    This project kind of just fell in my lap, as a member in MPIRG on the Duluth campus we hear a lot of social justice and environment based events. This caught my eye because of what is going on in the news right now with New York and Michael Brown. This is a very hard topic to cover, and I did not want it to come off strong and lead people away.

    This is why I do not focus on one person, and kept the speaker as a voice over. I crop out most peoples heads so it can be relatable, and just incase they didn’t want to be on this video. I keep the sound of the lake in there, and the beating of the drums is very soft. I really wanted the drums in this video because the men playing played the hole way and then some.

    With editing there isn’t too much that you can tell. I slowed down many clips and even reversed one. This is also the first time I used a fade, this helps with an ending, because it’s not a sharp aboded stop. I also incorporated photograph in the video, they are short to make them mix better with the film and do not stick out.

    For set up of this march I arrived 40 minutes early to take footage of the lake and park free of people. I did stay in one place pretty much the whole time. I do regret this, but I still got some grade shots. After the march started I went up to the memorial and waited. I shot the fire we had and got I hear some people speak their minds.

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  6. Cyrus Aluni
    Coak Doughnuts 3:22
    Josh Bibeau, Co-writer.
    https://vimeo.com/114938989

    I tried to keep the creative process as naturally flowing as possible. I didn’t want to force anything because that usually ends up in content feeling contrived. Despite my efforts I think this still happened towards the end of the movie. I used a regular digital camera and a GoPro. I wanted to use the go pro to give the effect of perceptual distortion in association with the main characters experience. There was a little big of a challenge in assuming that the shot you got was okay. I didn’t realize the GoPro lacked a display, so I had to go back and shoot some things more than once.
    I did not create any special effects or animation however I did add music. I wanted to cut the music in accordance to the rhythm of the clips. I am really happy about that bit, I think it turned out well. I was mostly content with the middle of the video during the music. I did not like the beginning or the end as much because I hate watching myself act, and there were a few continuity issues.
    As an aesthetic choice I chose the GoPro because I felt the distortion coupled with the music would be hilarious. I wanted to keep everything to the beat of the music. There were some issues with Premiere Pro although I went to Lynda and solved them. I think what works best in this project is the journey the main character makes from his apartment to his friends apartment. If I had more time I would re-work the beginning and end of the video in terms of dialogue. Also I would lengthen the middle part.

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  7. Digital Filmmaking: FINAL PROJ REFLECTION
    Jamie Leverty
    “The Talk”
    Starring Jake Spartz.
    Screen play based off “The Talk” written by Megan Rekowski
    https://vimeo.com/115020335

    I was very grateful to Megan for letting me use part of her screenplay that she had written. I had one day to shoot the entire film, in a four-hour time frame. The original script called for two people (a male and a female), but with such tight time constraints only Jake could be there. It was just my actor and I so getting lights to be at the right angle was a little difficult while I held the camera as well (at one point I held a lamp up with my foot while I was almost under a table, trying to get a low shot). I adapted the screenplay to be more psychological in nature, which I ended up really liking in the end, so I am glad all of my misfortune played out for me. The only things I really experimented at all with were shots/ angles (I made a shot list/ rough story board) and a bit of lighting. I used a cannon DSLR camera. I ended up playing around with a bunch of angles, color choices, and lighting to manipulate the mood. I downloaded some background effects and music from a royalty free site online to create an unsettling environment and also just worked with the background sounds.
    Editing was probably the most challenging part. It was a lot like putting together a very vague puzzle that could work a million different ways, but there is just one way that is going to be the best. I really just edited in a way that felt right until my perfectionist/ OCD side was satisfied. I tried to make it a little unsettling with some scenes, with slow motion and longer or shorter edits (hopefully building suspense in some way). I used a couple odd angles to signify something being a little twisted or off, and used high/ low angles to show power in the character’s relationships. With editing, I ran into some technical difficulties along the way, but thanks to a lot of help and perseverance I figured it out.
    What I believe worked out best for my project was just how everything kind of magically came together. If I could do this project differently I would take a lot more time to shoot, get the lighting right, have more people involved, and take more time to edit. I feel like having time for this project was really hard to find, I would have loved to have had more time in class to work on it.

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  8. Sarah Trowbridge
    Seasons
    https://vimeo.com/115003302
    1:34
    Collaborators: Will Feyder (actor)

    My creative process always tends to change with the seasons, whatever is going on my life in that current moment is what I want to make my art about. So, fall is a time of year when I am so excited to do the thing I love most, which is to get out on the hill and ski. There is something about the preparation process that, I think, is intriguing, as well as a lot that goes on that non-skiers/snowboarders don’t know about. I want to share those important and interesting times with people who can relate to it, as well as the people who it may be new to.
    Much of my inspiration for this film came from full length features, such as Art of Flight, and All I can. One is a snowboard movie and the other a skiing movie. They do something differently than any other video I have seen, and that is shooting the sport in an artful and constructive way. These people don’t need people who throw down amazing stunts to make their films breathtaking, and that is what I aspire to do with my own films.
    For my film I used my Canon 5d Mark iii and a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens, a 50mm f/1.4 prime lens, and a 17-135 lens. I used a couple mounts such as a basic tripod and a slider mount for some of the waxing scenes. One of my challenges was working in low light indoors and figuring out how to use the natural window backlight to my advantage and making it fit with the rest of my shots. I used raw sound from the footage and I plan on adding some light acoustic guitar sound. I did not use any sort of special effects or animations, I have tried that in my films before and I always find that raw live action is my strongest skill and I wanted to stick with it. I used a variety of wide, medium, and close shots. I wanted to create a harmonious variety with the size of the shots. The film ends just showing a glimpse at the hill. I used a few different shots of skiing and cross-dissolved video and some noise to transition into the skiing part.

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  9. Baylee Reinert
    “If I Forget” Music Video
    https://vimeo.com/115026822
    Run Time: 4:39

    For my final project for Digital Filmmaking: Visual Narratives I knew that I wanted to do a music video and it just so happened that I had a friend, Luke, who made a song and asked me if I could make a music video for him. How we first approached this project was by deciding what sort of look we wanted for the video. The song is about growing up and overcoming the things that bring you down in the world. Since we wanted the video to take place outside, we filmed all of the footage way back in October so we could have the beautiful scenery of the changing colors of the leaves. We didn’t do too much preparation prior to the video shooting but we did have a rough idea in mind of what we wanted. We knew that we were going to have 3 bullies attacking Luke and picking on him as he is trying to go for a jog through the woods. The bullies represent the struggles that bring you down in life and Luke going for a job represents the journey through life. At the end of the video Luke beats up the bullies representing him overcoming life’s obstacles.
    Once we got to the scene everything came together better than I expected and we just had fun with it. The hard part came when it was time to edit the video clips and put it all together. Since this is my first time making a music video and the video editing was completely up to me, I didn’t exactly know where to start. So, I just started putting video clips next to each other and eventually I got the hang of it and put the video together the way that I wanted to.
    The inspiration that I had for this project was more of a look. The day of the video shoot I was watching some music videos on YouTube and I came across “Down By The River” by Milky Chance and I really enjoyed the look of the video. It was slow motion and had a small depth of field so that what wasn’t in focus was blurred. Another inspiration that came up while I was filming was Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s music video for “Otherside ft. Fences.” There were certain parts of the music video where objects would quickly go in and out of focus. I’ve always thought that was an awesome look and I decided to try it for this video.
    Overall I am happy with how my final music video turned out. I learned a lot during the making of this project. I learned about some technical details to keep in mind when filming a music video. But more importantly, I learned that I loved this whole process and it made me realize that I want to pursue my interest and see what else I can create.

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  10. Digital Filmmaking:
    FINAL PROJECT REFLECTION
    
Your Name: Kyra Harty
    Project Title: Run Time: 3:25
    
Credits /your collaborators and their roles: Filmed by Kyra, Music by Chase Down Blues
    
Link to your project on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user24471871
    
Describe your own creative process, activities and tasks: I really enjoy looking at the videos and photos i had taken this past summer & thought I could make something out of them. The colors and my style of capturing things grabbed my attention and forced me to think about where i am right now, who i’ve surrounded myself by, the house i am in, the culture of Duluth, and the things i choose to do. so my first task was to make sure i had a camera with me just about everywhere i went. From there i had plans and ideas, but this project really adapted with me as i adjusted to the changes around me.
    What equipment did you use? DSLR Camera, iPhone, iPad, GoPro & disposable cameras.
    What shot choices did you make? 
I had tons to choose from, the real choice i had to make was where to put them so they all made sense and appealed to the eye naturally.
    What challenges came up and how did you meet them? When making it i really thought i was going to have interviews and have a natural narrative while the story played out perfectly with what was happening. BUT i started having roommate conflicts that made it harder and harder to put effort into creating a film about them. Parties stopped happening at our house where i assumed id get the best interviews. There were a lot of serious, series of events that impacted us all. So knowing I wasn’t going to get exactly what i wanted. i borrowed your mic to record a journal entry I wrote about the shit going on. When i wrote this, this is when I started focusing on the difference of home and the feeling of being AT home. The shit storm influenced my writings and it was almost like i had to tell the house something, but when i read it out loud and put it behind my video it seemed sad compared to the things I had captured. After that I asked my friend sam to put down a little drum beat for me and when I went to go visit him he just so happened to be with his band and they offered to play a song they thought would go well and veola! The song ended up being a lot longer than what I wanted but it fits nicely!
    Did you create any special effects or animation? 
How did you work with sound, music, voice-over? See above for more about my struggles with sound. But I did a lot of layering with video that had awesome colors to create a trippy effect.
    Reflect upon your final edit of the short film project.
    What aesthetic and technical choices did you make to create a work?
 What choices of shot types, rhythm, pacing, cuts and transitions did 
you make as an editor?
 How do you think these choices support the emotions or ideas you hope
to communicate to your audience?
How did you create solutions when technical problems came up? 
What works best about your edit of the final project?
 What might you do differently if you had more time and experience?
    I had a lot of fun! (filming mostly) and I think my video really speaks to fun. A bunch of crazy kids in a big house having fun. I worked through my struggles with home and being at home by the layering. I had the layers of water color, flowers and landscapes to represent the affect and influence people experience. I struggled a lot this semester with roommates that drove me from my physical home, but I only grew stronger and felt more at home as we worked through the long semester together. I really loved the disposable photos I got from parties at our house and outings and they really inspired me to do the project in the first place. I think it has a nice rhythm. Some shots may be a little long, but it has intent behind the cuts because of the length of the song. I think that would be my first touch up to the film would be to ask Sam to re record the song and take out a few lulling moments. The second thing I would change would be to have the end, rock out part be craaaazy. Lots of flashing things and different photos jumping out at you, but I was working mostly with stills. I was really surprised of how well the iPhone turned out. I will be making more films with just my iPhone because of the awesome quality and convince of it! Im excited to see what I make next. I think this is one of the better films I have put together. I missed working with others though. I enjoy having a story behind my videos.

    Like

  11. Leah Beltz
    Untitled
    Run Time: 3:06

    https://vimeo.com/114990004

    This video was an experimental project. Through collaboration and developing a relationship with the program (Adobe Premier), I was able to compile a video using the tools I have developed over the semester. I drew inspiration from the American Horror Story television series openers. Through dark music and erratic footage, the feeling that comes across is dark and mysterious. I hoped to have portrayed similar tones throughout my piece. As I continue to grow my cinematography skills, plan to bring in more broad footage to compile with my close up shots. This is my first attempt at a music video, and I plan to mature my aesthetic.
    For this particular film, I asked a friend to create a dark witchy tune for me. I had a vague story board playing in my head of dreamy imagery and magical undertones. Since working with people creates a time boundary, it was something I learned to work around. I actually had not heard the song before I had my first video shoot. Tobin and I had discussed back and forth about our ideas for the final track though, so there was some continuity to go off of. It was neat being able to take the footage and manipulate it to fit the beats of the song just right in preproduction.
    I learned that by creating a video with many short clips, takes quite a bit of time and the audio can get quite old after awhile. Luckily the music was catchy and ambient enough to actually inspire me continuously. If I were to go back and do something differently, I would have broken up my editing to the song. Not the clips themselves but the time I took to edit them. By working in a similar way that the movie is being outputted, I feel would bring another element to the final product.

    Like

  12. Eric Soderberg
    “Slow Start”
    Run Time: 2:24
    https://vimeo.com/114595804

    This class has definitely made Adobe Premiere much more familiar and a tool that is now easy to understand/utilize. Both projects were fun and creative. The first one was very collaborative and a overall good learning experience throughout the process. Our final project gave us space to demonstrate things we’ve picked up over the course of the semester and allowed us to be as creative as we wanted. Definitely a good way to end the semester and test our skills.

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  13. As for details about my project, I just sort of liked my friends cluttered house and it seemed to make everything feel so real. It really added to the morning feeling that I was trying to achieve. The natural lighting actually worked out really well and I didn’t have to use many lighting setups. I shot quite a few different shots so I could have some options. I had a few challenges with noise and volume, but was able to sort of straighten it all out. The only effects that I really used was slow motion and inserted some background ambient music. My goal was to make this video easy to relate to and just overall visually interesting.

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