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Ejah Media

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My Experience of ‘Oblivious’

Hi guys

As mentioned in other blog posts we decided to undertake a short film project that showed how people need to be more aware while using mobile phones. However where other blog posts have discussed each step of the process, i thought i would tell you a bit about my experiences throughout the project.

Pre-Production

This project was different to previous projects i have done as i have previously done more interview based one to one style and this was a single camera more hard hitting short story. In this project we would be using a motor vehicle and be filming near roads which meant that we would need to apply different risk assessments in order to adhere to correct film practices. . I have originally only needed to use generic risk assessment that involved minimal risks, however for this project i learnt how to do a supplementary risk assessment to ensure that we had taken all the risks into account. I found this difficult at first as i had never done this before however i did some research online at other similar risk assessments which helped me build our final assessment.

Production –

For the production we were using the DJI Ronin M. In previous projects i have worked with cameras such as the Sony EX-1 and EX-3 which has been fixed on a tripod with limited mobility however for this project i got the chance to experience using the DJI Ronin Stabalisation. I found that at first this camera took a while to get used to holding as the weight is distributed across your arms only and so you have to have quite a bit of strength in order to film longer scenes, although it provided a lot more smoothness to the shots we wanted. I was able learn the stabalisation procedures of the Ronin and learn how it is set up correctly and how to handle it correctly. This was done through the help of other team members. I was also able to operate the camera and film a few scenes which i enjoyed a lot and found it to be a very good experience.

Post production-

For the editing of the film we used Premier pro as described in other posts however we also used after effects which i have only used slightly. From this process i learned how to manipulate each of the primary colours through colour curves and apply them to an adjustment layer which was then used throughout the film to highlight the more blue tones and get rid of the warmer colours such as the reds, as we wanted our film to look more dreamlike and so it had to look less like reality and enhance the overall feel.

In the adjustment layer i also learnt how to apply black cinematic lines to add a more professional finish to it.

The final skill that i learnt to do was masking which we used to allow one of the characters to disappear from one scene to the next. I learnt that we needed to draw around the object that we wanted to disappear and then through transitions and effects applied we could transition to a different scene with the same actors except the one we wanted to make disappear so when we played it through it appeared that he just vanished. This was one of the most enjoyable skills i learnt during this project.

I have learnt from this a lot of new skills and i have found it to be a very enjoyable experience. I am glad i was able to take part in such a different style of filming and broaden my experience of different setting and various equipment along with creating a new style of product. Overall i would defiantly do it again and would love to take on similar projects in future. I would also like to thank the rest of the team for helping me learn new skills and for making the experience very enjoyable.

Thanks Emma

 

 

 

 

 

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Critical Evaluation

Finally, here is our finished group project, we hope you enjoy!

 

As a group, we decided to upload our short film to YouTube, we felt that as a platform it is more popular, the most user friendly in comparison to Vimeo and as a website it gives the creator more detailed analytics, such as audience retention, playback traffic, demographics and much more. Unfortunately, due to time restraints we haven’t had many views on the video as of right now so we can’t look at the analytics for the film yet. We all will be individually posting the link to our own social media pages too which will then attract more viewers to the video on YouTube. We have been able to send the video to one of our TV Production lecturers and his feedback was “I like it, very good. Well done everyone!”

As a team, we are very pleased with the outcome of the film, we feel it is engaging and emotive whilst being successful in sending a clear and important message to the viewer. We feel that visually the film is very aesthetically pleasing whilst maintaining consistency throughout. This project gave us the opportunity to experiment with a variety of filming equipment which allowed us to record a lot of creative shots. The music and sound effects we added enhanced the mood of the film and helped to build to a more impactful ending too. 

Even though we are very happy with the film there is always room for improvement. On close inspection, we recently found a few minor continuity errors in the film. To the average viewer they aren’t at all noticeable so we don’t expect those small mistakes to affect the viewing of the film. Also for the future we agreed it would be more beneficial to draw out a more detailed storyboard. This will make it a lot easier for us whilst shooting and we won’t have to rely on our own memory as much. Finally, we think it would be better to be on the safe side and create a more detailed risk assessment for future projects when working with vehicles too.

 

So, we hope you enjoyed the film, feel free to share it as we would really appreciate that.

 

From all of us at Ejah Media,

Thank you.

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=yuV4OMNpUuI

Production and Post

Production

Shoot Date – 19th April 2017, 3pm

Shoot Location – Alexandra Park, Moss Side, Manchester

Crew:

  • Joe Pye – Producer, Actor
  • Hussam Albahar – Producer, Director of Photography
  • Emma Farr – Producer, Sound Mixer
  • Amanda Hession – Producer, Camera Assistant

Cast:

  • 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.

Post Production

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.

Music By:

Dark Times – Kevin Macleod

Departure Ghostpocalypse – Kevin Macleod

Sources

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.

Pre-Production

For our final assignment the group was tasked with three different options. We could either choose to produce; a short film, an interactive video or a crowdsourcing project. In a Creative Media Production session, we discussed as a group which option would be best for us and any ideas we had for each.  As predominantly filmmakers we decided the correct choice would be to create a short film and as a team we worked together to come up with a creative and original narrative for this project. A variety of different film ideas and subjects were considered but we soon agreed on a very interesting story. 

Also, in the Pre-production stage we developed a rough storyboard which would later assist us when shooting different scenes for the film. At this point we also talked about different equipment we could need for the production of this film too.

storyboard (2)

For our film’s location we discussed two possible options, MediaCity and Alexandra Park.  We later decided to shoot in Alexandra Park because we thought it would work better with the narrative and we wouldn’t need to consider as many health and safety issued compared to the MediaCity campus. A generic Risk Assesment was filled out for this shoot too.

In regards to dialogue, we planned on not having that much as we didn’t feel it was necessary for the film. However we planned on recording location sound as well as any dialogue we feel could work and also discussed adding sound effects and music that would suit the genre of the film in the post-production stage.

Here is the call sheet that was created which details the shooting schedule, location, cast and crew, the general outline of the film as well as the dress code and all of the props we would need on the day:

CMP Film

Shoot Date – 19th April 2017, 3pm

Shoot Location – Alexandra Park, Moss Side, Manchester

Crew – Hussam Albahar, Joe Pye, Emma Farr, Amanda Hession.

Cast – Twins, Hussam’s friend and some crew members.

  • Main character – Slightly arrogant person, completely glued to his phone and ignores people who try interact with him. Played by both twins.
  • Shopkeeper – An upbeat individual who attempts to greet the protagonist but is made unhappy when ignored. Played by Hussam’s friend.
  • Extras – People who rush into the accident scene trying to help, acting very distressed. Played by crew members and any other people available.

Outline – The film begins as the main character leaves his house, puts his headphones in and starts listening to some music whilst setting off on his journey to work. He glances up from his phone to say “Hi” as he passes by a neighbour but he gets no reply. He tries again however the man completely blanks him, puzzled he continues his journey. Up ahead he notices a commotion as a group of people are panicking by the side of the road. His neighbour rushes past him towards the crowd, so the protagonist decides to follow. He notices a car parked awkwardly on the side of the road with a very distressed looking driver holding his head in his hands. The protagonist attempts to ask another onlooker what happened but again, no response. The main character then begins to panic and barges through the crowd to see what has happened. Laying on the ground is himself, dead. Looking distraught and confused, the main character tries to think back to work out what has happened.

The film rewinds to earlier that day when the protagonist begins his actual journey to work. He exits the house whilst having a phone conversation with someone.

“…yeah, yeah sure I’ll be there in time. Fine, maybe only five minutes late (laughs). Okay then, see you soon mate, bye.”

Again he begins his journey listening to music and on his way you see him glued to his phone, not looking where he is going at all. He even walks past and completely ignores a friendly neighbour who attempts to greet him. The protagonist is then seen walking towards a road, still busy texting or tweeting on his smartphone. Without looking for cars he attempts to cross the road. Suddenly a screech of tyres and a loud horn can be heard just as the protagonist looks up to see the oncoming car. Cuts to black.

The film fades back to the first scene where the protagonist is upset as he now remembers what has happened. The protagonist then looks down and laying in his bloody hand, a mobile phone. The final shot is a wide shot where the ghost protagonist has disappeared to show the crowd of people surrounding his real body.  

Dress Code – Main character will be smart casual as he is heading to work, twins need to have a similar, if possible same, top or jacket to maintain continuity. 

Extras to just wear casual clothes.

Props – Mobile phone, headphones, car, football, fake blood. 

The film will be edited this week and posted to the Blog very soon so make sure to stay updated!

Celtx Inc. (2017). Celtx Apps. Available: https://www.celtx.com. Last accessed April 2017.

Assignment 2: REMIX (Supercut/Mashup) Title:Banned No 7 (Mashup &supercuts)

Overview
For a second assignment of our module Creative Media ,we have been tasked to create a media artefact by remixing existing media,so i decided to create something from reality using mixture of different techniques that represents facts that i personally experienced and might be hidden to majority of the new generation.

Message
As we all know that president Donald Trump banned recently 7 muslim countries to enter the USA ,and then afterwards and suddenly he dropped Iraq from the list,so I intended to highlight his contradictory view about Iraq and his intentions about this country.I also focused on how he forgets that Iraq is destroyed and became no country according to his words ,because of the ex-presidents’ mistakes.Then I tried to justify why is Iraq is dropped from the list by illustrating his speeches in several occasions recently showing his intentions to take the oil from my country and how is the conspiracy is continuing.
Motivations
There are significant reasons encourage me to choose this topic,and my main target is the new generation as i wanted to show my class mates and everyone who gonna watch this video how we as Iraqis are suffering since 25 years because of personal mistakes,wrong decisions and misjudment.

Research
I have watched several remixed videos about political subjects and especially about Iraq.I also searched for old speeches of Clinton , Bush and his father.I looked for old footages from the war in order to find the appropriate ones .I also listened to the recent Trump speeches and his interviews.lastly I had a read through human rights organisations that stating Iraq losses.

Media
After few days of research and watching different videos on YouTube,I started downloading and renaming each video depending on the keywords that I need from each video ,for example if video about Bush announces the war of 91 ,I named it Bush-aanounce-war-91.

Editing
I used Adobe Priemer and Adobe Audtion as main editing programs for the video .
I started to put shots in order to get meaningful flow depending on the message i aimed to deliver.
I started with different shots of news stating the main problem which in this case the ban of 7 Muslim countries.Then I emphasised the last shot of the news by highlighting Iraq map and zoom in to it in order to attract the viewer to my main subject ,which is Iraq.Then I exaggerated Trump shot when he said “there is no Iraq ” and made this as start point where Bush reminds him about the past by illustrating videos from the war showing the role of the USA government to make Iraq no country!

I enhanced shots where Bush get contradictory or to highlight some important data ,I used hold frame technique .scale ,basic colour grading and sound effect to do that.I also used lots of caption to make things more clear and understandable

Audio levels
All the clips I downloaded coming from different sources and therefor they were on different levels ,so I balanced them closer as i can using Adobe Premiere and in some places Adobe Audition ,the overall headroom was between -3 to -6 db.

Music & Effects
I used free copy right music and effects from the iMovie library ,the style of the music was mysterious/dark and i thought will fit in the edit as it demonstrates conspiracy feeling.The effect I used was also dark and enhances the bad moments in the shot as well as attract the focus of the viewer.

Enjoy the Video

Banned No7

Hussam Albahar

Reference 

The Huffington Post. 2017. Iraq Death Toll Reaches 500,000 Since Start Of U.S.-Led Invasion, New Study Says | The Huffington Post. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/iraq-death-toll_n_4102855.html.
[Accessed 12 March 2017].

YouTube. 2017. I’m not stupid, Okay Trump tells British PM Cameron – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6-e5hNIBOk&list=WL&index=32. [Accessed 15 March 2017].

YouTube. 2017. Video: Trump suspends refugee program, bans entry from 7 Muslim countries – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f5ns1F9V2E&t=41s&list=PLeeLq-0pLzavSoDc3nCVrgcIy426eN7PU&index=2. [Accessed 11 March 2017].

YouTube. 2017. Which countries might be subject to Trump ban? BBC News – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APyPAiExYPA&t=5s. [Accessed 8 March 2017].
YouTube. 2017. Why Russians are not banned, they also don’t like us. Heated Debate over Muslim ban – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AepQNvmZzjM&t=14s. [Accessed 9 March 2017].
YouTube. 2017. US judge blocks Trump’s order to ban Muslim travellers – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-QloYe8af0&t=44s. [Accessed 9 March 2017].
YouTube. 2017. Trump Iraq oil comment raises eyebrows – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOsWcEoKfp4&t=28s. [Accessed 9 March 2017].
YouTube. 2017. CPAC 2014 – Donald Trump, The Trump Organization – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nzaemPHSU0&t=666s. [Accessed 9 March 2017].
YouTube. 2017. Donald Trump: I would bomb Iraq’s oil fields (CNN interview with Anderson Cooper) – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRjAeEovnlQ [Accessed 9 March 2017].
YouTube. 2017. 2003: President Bush announces invasion of Iraq – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zT-ZHBbOzM&t=26s. [Accessed 10 March 2017].

YouTube. 2017. George H W Bush Announces War Against Iraq (January 16 1991) – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFrnQHaQWoA&index=4&list=PLhdZvuFsGQPpgVX-2FWGISyEMvIpgEbK7. [Accessed 13 March 2017].

YouTube. 2017. BBC LIVE ON BAGHDAD TRANSMISION. – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvaU3ZiBmGw [Accessed 7 March 2017].
YouTube. 2017. ‫منظمة الدرع العالمية تذكر المجتمع الدولي بصورة من جرائم الحرب الامريكية في العراق ضد الانسانية‬‎ – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVhYAxm77Zo. [Accessed 5 March 2017].

YouTube. 2017. Donald Trump Calls Ted Cruz A “Pussy” – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fm6IyOXsaI [Accessed 8 March 2017].
YouTube. 2017. Bush admits that Iraq Had Nothing To Do With 9/11 – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_A77N5WKWM [Accessed 6 March 2017].
YouTube. 2017جرائم الاحتلال الامريكي ضد الشعب العراقي- YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I57l0_WYv6U [Accessed 6 March 2017].
YouTube. 2017. Trump’s ‘Take Iraqi oil’ quote video compilation by Abizaid N. Alqassier – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saqkQU5anI0 [Accessed 9 March 2017].
YouTube. 2017. Trump: I’ll Take the Oil – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySdhGyqGCZk [Accessed 8 March 2017].
YouTube. 2017. Desert Fox – Bombs on Baghdad, Iraq – 1998 – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbmfFz-zEPs&t=81s. [Accessed 10 March 2017].
YouTube. 2017. President Donald Trump’s Travel Ban Hard To Justify With Facts | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6H2aBii_0o&t=76s. [Accessed 14 March 2017].

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