I Have A Film

Picked up the VHS with the rushes this evening. Wonder of wonders, nothing is completely overexposed or underexposed, nearly everything is in focus, most of it is reasonably framed. I won’t say well framed because I was looking through a 16×9 frame and taking a guess, then discovered that the format only comes out as 4×3. Still, it’s not a bad guess. The action is there and the acting is there, which is what counts, and the lighting is fine.

The advice I received to shoot everything one stop overexposed seems to be slightly exagerrated. Looking at the rushes, they look bright to me. However, all the tones are there and when it’s graded it can be pulled down–made darker–which will make all the colours much more saturated and improve the contrast. At the moment it looks like something from the 1970s–which, funnily enough, is what the writers wanted. But we can do better than that.

There are a few faults. The close ups of the lead actor in the police station have lens flare in all of them. Parts are okay, but mainly they’re unusable. I kick myself for not noticing that. There’s also lens flare in the two shot (the only take) of the lost woman talking to Sgt Cobbett on the police station steps. It’s still funny and might be usuable but it’s not clever.

Then there’s the opening shot. This long shot tracking the car as it winds into view then stops, the driver gets out and we jib down to the film title. The film title is far too small in the shot. Well, it’s okay for cinema, just too small for TV. We could do with re-shooting it. Apart from the that, the only other (major) problem I spotted was the crew appearing in three shots. One is inexplicable and looks like the viewfinder can’t have been on properly. The other is a shadow and Simon (the editor) will freak.

Continuity: the old lady exits frame left in a wide shot and hides behind the phone box in a close up. Other than that, I didn’t spot anything which couldn’t be fixed with the coverage I got, which is all good. Some of my tripod work could be better, but considering I haven’t operated a moving picture camera for six years, I don’t think it’s too bad.

Today has been spent designing postcards. Now I know I actually have something that will cut together, I’ll be sending the artwork off to the printers in the morning. More pix (and links to all the film stills) are now up on the website, which has a new frontpage.