Shoot Date – 19th April 2017, 3pm
Shoot Location – Alexandra Park, Moss Side, Manchester
- Joe Pye – Producer, Actor
- Hussam Albahar – Producer, Director of Photography
- Emma Farr – Producer, Sound Mixer
- Amanda Hession – Producer, Camera Assistant
- Mohammed Azemari – Driver
- Amir Azemari – Protagonist
- Joe Pye – Neighbour
- Ayham Azemari – Body Double
We began the day on schedule with all cast and crew in attendance. The weather was mainly overcast but dry. Even though we would have initially preferred the weather to be nice, the lack of sun and blue sky was workable and we actually felt that it suited the mood of the film quite well. With the weather conditions and natural lighting being consistent throughout the day, we fortunately didn’t come across any exposure issues.
Following the narrative outline and rough storyboard, we were able to successfully record a lot of creative shots using a variety of filming equipment:
- Panasonic GH4R DSLR
- Camera14 – 140mm Camera Lens
- DJI Ronin M
- Zoom H4 Sound Recorder
- Sony EX-1
- Manfrotto Tripod
Using the Panasonic GH4, we shot at 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second. This resulted in a high quality, smooth image which would later allow us to add some slow motion effects if needed. The Sony EX-1 was mainly brought on set as a backup camera. This was because we wanted the look of the film to remain consistent between shots and by switching cameras we felt this wasn’t the correct practice so we didn’t end up using it. The DJI Ronin M was an essential piece of kit that allowed us to achieve very smooth and stable shots which worked very well when tracking the protagonist and many other shots too. For location sound we used the Zoom H4 which gave us pleasing results. As there is very minimal dialogue in this film we didn’t feel it was essential to replace any of the dialogue by recording vocals in the studio, thereforethe Zoom worked just fine for what was needed.
The cast and crew all worked very well with each other on the day. The general practice for shooting was pretty simple, we filmed until we achieved the desired shot then recorded another identical version just to be safe. This was successful and we managed to record all of the shots that we wanted in good time.
The only issues we came across during the shoot was the general public. This was due to the fact that as we were filming on a residential street, we quite often had to wait for a car to pass or a pedestrian to walk by. The workaround was simple though, be patient and we would eventually achieve the desired shot.
The software we used for our post-production work of this short film was Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.
We began by collating all of the footage we recorded together and then importing it all into a new Premier Pro project. The material was organised into labelled Bins which would allow us to easily find the files we would later need. The video editing process was quite straightforward, we looked through each of the shots in order and cut them so they could be inserted into the sequence timeline. We did this for each shot which gave us a basic edit of the film. To follow that, we added some nice transitions between shots such as fades, dips to black and cuts. We also tweaked some clips and their order which definitely improved the overall the flow of the film too.
At this stage we thought it would be beneficial to add more advanced video effects. This included adding slow motion to the second scene which was successful in making this section feel more dramatic. We also increased the speed of the oncoming car shot to make the car seem like it was moving faster than it actually was. Masking and After Effects were also used to achieve the final shot which shows the main character disappearing from the scene.
After this, we moved onto audio post-production and mixing. We began by inserting the two short dialogue files to the timeline and then syncing them with the video. Following this we thought it would be essential to add sound effects to certain parts of the film. This included tyres screeching, a car horn, a car impact, and more. We downloaded these effects from the internet, ensuring they were copyright free, from Freesound.org and the YouTube audio library. As a team we agreed that it was vital to have the perfect soundtrack for this film, to suit the overall mood and to also be emotive. We found the ideal song, ‘Dark Times’ by Kevin Macleod, which is also copyright free. Synth audio tracks were also added to film which helps build tension to the more dramatic shots. All of the audio files were then mixed to ensure the levels were correct and also some reverb was added to the dialogue to give a more ‘ghostly’ feel to the film.
Colour correction and grading was applied in Adobe Premier Pro. Our objective for this was to give a cold and unsaturated, cinematic look to the film which enhances the mood. The addition of black cinematic bars also emphasises this too.
The final stage of post-production was to add credits to the film. We first inserted an important fact and then the overall message of the film, “Always be aware.” This was followed by the credits of the crew as well as a thanks to the cast who helped in the making of this film. It was then finally exported at 1080p, 25 fps.
Dark Times – Kevin Macleod
Departure Ghostpocalypse – Kevin Macleod
YouTube. (2017). YouTube Audio Library. Available: https://www.youtube.com/. Last accessed April 2017.
Freesound. (2017). Sound Effects. Available: https://www.freesound.org/. Last accessed April 2017.