Monday, December 2, 2019

Filming challenges

 This past week has been more challenging than anticipated. I ended up switching my storyboard around a bit. Sticking to it was much harder than I thought it would be. When it comes to the angles, movements and the type of shots I plan on using, I’m pretty confident. I’ve not had to worry about those just yet. Something I do indeed have to worry about is shooting my new scenes. I need to have solid back up plans if no one is to assist me with shooting. Overall, I was able to get a bunch of new shots, my music video is nearly complete!

 Over Thanksgiving break I spent the first two days filming morning scenes. When I woke up I made sure it was the first task I did. During my process, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to shoot every single take I was hoping to get from my storyboard. With me working alone, it didn’t come as a surprise. Therefore, as I was shooting, I made changes to my storyboard and continued on. Now I need to shoot a few more takes in a much different location than expected. I’ll be shooting some school and bus scenes this week, in hopes of sorting through all my takes by the end of the week.

 Furthermore, I never did get to purchase the mount I originally planned on using; therefore, I improvised. I made a tripod out of a toilet roll. I used a paper roll to hold it up and stacked a few boxes underneath. Now, don’t get me wrong, it was much harder than you think. Because I was shooting in different locations, moving the boxes were quite a hassle. My phone kept falling out of the “tripod” and the paper roll kept falling over.

 Moreover, my phone had been acting odd too. Whenever I’d place it at a certain angle, the camera would start glitching. It’s not as noticeable in majority of the shots I plan on using though. Even though this is occurring, it’s not ruining my shooting process. I’m still very much content with my takes. I’ve also already begun to edit my music video. I won’t be going far in depth with the editing, that I will save for another post. This journey has been interesting, yet difficult.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Music video filming

 Filming my music video has been serene so far. I hope it remains this way throughout my entire process. On top of that, I manage to stick to my storyline. These are all tiny accomplishments that I am extremely proud of. The Thanksgiving holiday is around the corner, which means I'll be on a short break from school. During this break I plan on taking all my takes, so I can spend a little more over a week editing. I only have two locations to work with and very few props are needed. Something I may struggle with though, is shooting the high angle I had plan on using for the bible scene on my storyboard. If I'm not able to find someone to assist me with it, I may end up changing a few things and improvising.

 For shooting itself, I haven't used the provided cameras yet. Using the camera was my initial plan, but that changed along the process. I have an iPhone 6s Plus and I'm content with the camera quality it provides. I attempted to use the camera a few days ago, but the time of day I needed to use for shooting was too dark for the camera to pick up any light and I didn't have the correct lighting to fix that. My phone was able to pick up lighting; therefore, I decided to stick with it. I've only shot with my phone so far and it hasn’t been giving me any trouble. I have enough storage to shoot to my heart’s content, that’s exactly what I plan on doing. Moreover, I need to purchase a tripod mount for my phone. Because I’m going to be panning and shooting some high angles, I need my phone to be as secure as possible.  Mounts are inexpensive, so it’s not much to worry about.

 Furthermore, I believe I filmed a good quarter of my music video. I have a ton of scenery shots that will go well with my theme. On my bus ride home, I plastered my phone to a window and shot a bunch of scenes as the bus was in motion. They came out beautiful. All I need now is the car scene and a couple of more house scenes. For the car scene, a backup plan surprisingly isn’t needed. Whether it’s raining or sunny, both will fit well with the music video. Also, If I have more time, I will be sure to shoot some random scenes. Who knows? The takes may just end up being a great addition to my music video. So, as I said again, filming so far has been a breeze. Hopefully it’s able to remain that way.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

New project: music video

Today a new assignment was assigned: a music video. I'm excited to create a music video, especially since I've been able to learn about all the work and thought processes that go into creating such a thing. For our music video we are to create a 1:05 - 1:15 length video. I will be working alone on this. Currently, I'm not completely positive on what song I plan on using. I'm stuck on deciding between “Lights are on” by Tom Rosenthal or “Are you bored yet?” by Wallows. I am, however, sure on the genre I plan to stick with: indie. Both songs are from the indie genre. Wallow is a boy band, while Tom Rosenthal is a solo artist.

Conventions of the indie genre are simple in a way. The indie genre is based on passion. In indie music videos, artists tend to make their talent and skills the focus point. Some common props I often see are their instruments. When it comes to the lighting, lights are either behind the artist to create a kind of shadowing effect, directly in front of the artist so they, them-self are the main focus or just natural lighting overall. If natural lighting is present, a nature scenery is most likely present as well. I sat down and watched a bunch of indie styles music videos and majority of them had a lovely, calming, type nature scenery. The beach, mountains, and meadows filled with flowers where the most common amongst the videos I saw. Another amazing fact I found out was, indie music videos tend to have lowest budget, which I think is awesome. 

Flashy make up wasn't common either, it was more so natural or absent. The actors in these films were just the artist them-self majority of the time. It's as if they were trying to tell the audience to focus on them only. For costumes, regular everyday clothing was worn. Again, nothing flashy depending on the narrative, which was calm for the most part. Indie music videos are so good with grabbing their audience's attention. They made me feel so cozy and warm with just the artist's voice alone. The scenery just built up the warm feeling even more.

Onto camera shots, angles and editing. From tilts to pans, a variety was used. Lots and lots of close ups are used, but so are long shots. Dissolves and fades were common as well, the transitions were all smooth. Even the cuts were smooth. With cuts and jump cuts in indie films, they tend to be matched to the beat of the song.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Pinnacle studios

 Today I sat through a lesson about our camera procedure for the class and on how to edit. I learned how to use a tripod. In order to attach my camera to the head of a tripod, I must unscrew a disk on the head and securely attach it to the bottom of my camera. Once the disk is secure, I can then attach the disk back to the tripod with my camera attached. I also learned how to use the lock knob. I can tighten it if I want a stationary camera or loosen it to do camera movements such as a pan or tilt. Walking with the legs of the tripod open isn't such a good idea and is in fact dangerous because you never know what may happen. Instead, I must close the legs tightly, then I am able to walk with the tripod. It's the same exact steps when it comes to detaching the camera, just in reverse. First, I unscrew the disk from the head and unscrew it from the camera. Then, I simply reattach the disk to the head and I am all done. 

 For editing we will be using the software Pinnacle Studios. So far, it doesn't seem complex at all. Here's an example of what the program looks like.

 A tip I was given when it comes to importing to just import all of my files all at once, whether it be my takes, voice overs, or music, import it all. Once I've imported my files, I have to switch the default from organize to edit. After that, I am able to place my raw footage onto my working area. On Pinnacle Studios, there are three AV tracks. AV track 1 should be used for my titles, Av track 2 is for my footage and AV track 3 is for my sounds, such as music and voice overs. I must wait for everything to load before clicking, if I don't, the program will crash. From here I can use the play bar to cut clips. If I right click, a few options will appear. From here I can open up effects to add transitions and detach the audio. I can speed up my shot, slow it down or even reverse it. There's a T symbol that I can use to add my titles as well.

 These are a few extra things I've learned. When moving files from my SD card to my desktop, it'd be best to save everything in one folder. Another thing, Pinnacle Studios auto saves, so even if the program crashes, I am able to access all of my work as long as I click the correct options. I also learned a few key terms. Dumping is the action of moving raw footage from my SD card onto my desktop. Importing is the action of moving my files from my desktop into the program. Exporting is the action of taking my file from the program and moving it onto my desktop. Rendering is when the program takes everything that I have done and combines them together by smoothing and cleaning it up. When I save, I shouldn't replace my original file every single time. This makes it easier to track my work hope to go back to fix a mistake I've made. Overall this program seems simple enough. Editing won't be much for me as long as I am able to remember these things.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

All about me

 Greetings, I'm Shenica. I'm 15 years old and am currently living in Florida where I attend high school. I am a sophomore. My friends and acquaintances would describe me as someone who is very impulsive, empathetic, bubbly, yet bashful. I'm constantly trying to find the light in every situation. I love sharing my kindness with others and just making people smile really. I love all kinds of animals, especially pigs. Currently, I don't have a plan for the future. I want to attend college, but am just stuck on selecting a career path. I let life flow.

 When it comes to my interest, I don't do much. I love being creative and learning about the world around us. Reading is something I really enjoy. Besides novels, I love reading the most random articles I can find. I believe I do this because of my interest in learning. Who doesn't love to learn about new things? Another thing I really enjoy would have to be editing. I do a bit of video editing on the software Adobe after Effects. Although I'm not into techno stuff, it's something I love doing. I got into editing around the age of 13, it just stuck ever since. I don't participate in any sports, but would love to try track and field. I also do a bit of dancing on the side for fun.

 In school I am focused. I always walk through the doors with a goal. Whether it be to make someone smile, or get a passing grade on an assignment. My favorite subjects would have to be math and science. I can be really good with numbers from time to time. I love the subject so much because it makes me feel good knowing I'm one of the only people who favor it. Biology is a science course I also extremely love. Learning about the world around you can be fascinating. I prefer working alone majority of the time, because it is much more easier to get things done and focus in my opinion; however, it doesn't mean that I don't like to work with me peers from time to time.