Film 5

 

 

 

 

TMA 285 DIRECTOR’S REFLECTION

Overall response

Write an overall response to your film in 2-3 paragraphs: Were you successful at achieving what you set out to achieve? What are you proud of? What would you do differently if you could remake this piece? What did you learn? 

Viva Zapata! has a lot of powerful moments, I was a little intimidated by the screenplay and the fact that the film was directed by Elia Kazan. I feel good about the final result, I liked the production design and even though I had a hard time trying to find the location I wanted, I found a good location and made it work.  One of my favorite things was the blocking I feel it worked pretty well.

 

I enjoyed shooting a scene in one take, I learned a lot about the importance of blocking and having motivated camera movements, when done right, those elements help the performances feel more believable. If I was to remake the film, I’ll make sure every single camera movement is planned and purposeful and I’ll make sure the actors know their lines and be very decisive about what the camera sees,

 

Briefly discuss the following:

What, specifically, did you want to communicate? Were you successful? Why? Why not?     

I wanted to communicate Emiliano Zapata’s struggle as he has to kill his friend. I wanted to show this as Emiliano’s internal fight and Fernando and Pablo are the voices inside Zapata’s head.

When Zapata decides on killing his friend he becomes a fallen hero because he gave in yo Fernando’s voice.

 

I think by the time I got to shoot in the actual location, it was difficult to get all the things I have planned, I couldn’t get zapata in the middle of Fernando and Pablo as I first envisioned. When I tried to move up and down to change the eyeline It wasn’t clear enough

 

How, specifically, did you try to communicate this?       

Zapata has only one line but it was important to see his reaction throughout and the influence the words of Pablo and Fernando had on hi, he was supposed to look somewhat disconnected but very lost in thought as trying to figure out what to do. The light was an important element to create that as Zapata get’s closer to the light is because he is closer to Pablo, as he is pulled back to the dark is because he has made up his mind and then he is standing right where Fernando was when he pulls the trigger.

 

What did you learn about storytelling:    

It was interesting to read all the script and then when selecting the script trying to figure out how to communicate what was happening. I wanted this scene to stand on it’s own without having to know everything about the story.

I think it’d be useful to think of every scene of a movie as an individual piece, for some movies that won’t necessarily work but if we plan it and consider it on it’s own, the final product will be a lot more powerful.

What did you learn about working with actors and getting performance:   

I learned that having auditions and talking to the actors before time it’s very important. It was because I had an audition that I discovered my first option to play Fernando’s character wasn’t really working and I had time to change. I also had a chance to talk to the actors before hand so by the time we were on set everything went smooth.

Something I wished I’ve done is to have the actors read the entire script instead of having me tell them what happened.

What did you learn about blocking the camera and actors?   

One takes are the best way to practice blocking, it pushes you to find the most effective way to move and communicate what you want without  having the safety of coverage. I learned that one of the reasons the director’s breakdown is important is because the motivations tell you where to put the camera and how to move the character.

 

What did you learn about visual elements such as lighting, composition, framing, etc.?       

I’m a colorist and I can’t help but focusing too much in color so shooting black and white is a good way to change that. I love black and white and shooting this gave me an opportunity to use that lack of color as an advantage, I don’t mind having lights that can be seen in frame and in this case I wasn’t planning on it, but I ended up not minding having some of those lights visible.

What did you learn about design and art direction?     

I was trying to keep the film on a budget but I just couldn’t help but getting more costumes and props and I’m glad I did because it added a lot to the final product.

I wish I had visited the location with a lot more time because I would’ve found a way to cover all the cables that can be seen in the ceiling.

What did you learn about the Production Process such as pre-production, collaborating with crew, securing equipment, etc.?    

This is the first time I got an AD to help me and I found it extremely useful. It took a lot of pressure off my shoulders both on-set and during pre-production.

What was it like to watch your film with an audience? Did they understand it? Miss the point? Why did they respond the way they did?  

It’s really good to watch the film in front of an audience because it made me feel accountable about my work. I think most people got the message and the feedback was extremely useful because I actually went and changed something I was already insecure about. After everyone confirmed that the ending wasn’t working I changed it and the ending became stronger.

 

Film 4 Directors plan and reflection

Beat List

Directors Plan

 

 

TMA 285 DIRECTOR’S REFLECTION

Overall response

Were you successful at achieving what you set out to achieve? What are you proud of? What would you do differently if you could remake this piece? What did you learn? 

My original intent was to shoot a capoeira fight, I observed and shot some of it, but I wasn’t able to get what I wanted and I wasn’t happy with the result. I found the capoeira team and observed them for around 30 minutes, I really liked it and adapted my original plan to this event.

 

The purpose was to capture some friendly competition and show some of the physical dangers of the sport. I was lucky to capture a very cool moment that I decided to include as the prologue but that luck only came because I was prepared, all my observation paid off and the introduction turned out very nice.

There are some good moments when we see the two fighters and the action.

The ending was strong, we see the fence break and the reaction that comes from that.

 

If I was to remake this, I’d be more precise in the compositions and let the camera stay for a while instead of being indecisive. I wandered too much and I wish I had more close ups of the hands, the legwork, and the faces.

I learned a lot about the importance of observing and being in the moment, I also felt a lot more prepared to shoot the scripted scene in one shot as I understood the importance of finding the beats and the purpose of the scene by showing the important elements.

 

Briefly, discuss the following:

What, specifically, did you want to communicate? Were you successful? Why? Why not?     

I wanted to show a friendly competition and the inherent risk of any contact sport. In this case, fencing is an elegant yet dangerous activity.

I was successful in showing the risks by adding the prologue which I wanted to have as part of the one take but the rest was too long and didn’t work quite well. I liked the beginning and the end, but the middle felt very insecure, I was everywhere and it shows it was the last shot.

I think it wasn’t a complete failure since I was able to get some of the things I wanted but I wouldn’t say I succeeded either. I think one of the problems was that I spend too much time in that space and by the time shot the scene I was too tired and not fully invested in what was happening.

 

How, specifically, did you try to communicate this?       

The prologue helps a lot because it raises the stakes and shows some of the risks of practicing fencing. I tried to create a sense of competition by focusing in one of the characters and at times using low angles and fast movements to communicate danger.

What did you learn about storytelling:    

Character!

characters are the center of every story and the conflict only works when we feel some empathy for the characters. No matter what kind of narrative, we should always focus our attention on the characters and the best way to do that is by showing them.

 

What did you learn about working with actors and getting performance:   

Since this a documentary there wasn’t any performance, however, I learned that once you have a camera in front of someone, they will start performing and you have to learn how to deal with it.

In the case of the prologue, the guy who was poked with the fence was one of those that like to perform for the camera and I decided that to deal with that the best thing in that moment was to ignore him and once I cut I explained that I wasn’t looking for any performance and I wanted them to forget the camera was there.

 

What did you learn about blocking the camera and actors?   

This was a great exercise on blocking because I wasn’t supposed to block anything but the camera. It was hard to anticipate the movements but I learned that the more you observe and become part of the environment the better you get at knowing where to put the “camera eye”  

 

What did you learn about visual elements such as lighting, composition, framing, etc.?       

In situations where you can’t use any lighting or block your actors, the composition becomes very important. I learned that shooting documentaries is a great way to become a better cinematographer because creating wwell-composedimages becomes part of your nature,

What did you learn about design and art direction?     

The reason I chose this scene was because the people fencing was clearly different. The hair and clothing helps create a sense of character and orients the audience.

What did you learn about the Production Process such as pre-production, collaborating with crew, securing equipment, etc.?    

I think i just confirmed the fact that securing your equipment  very early is very important. I wish  could’ve gotten the lens and camera I was planning to get because that would’ve saved me some trouble and helped me get closer to the action and also get wide angles of the fight.

What was it like to watch your film with an audience? Did they understand it? Miss the point? Why did they respond the way they did?  

My favorite part was the response to the prologue, It was overall my favorite part of the film because it engaged the audience and they reacted the way I was expecting. The rest of the film was somewhat clear but not as engaging as the introduction.

Photos 12

 

 

 

 

 

Black and White

In order to prepare for film 5, I did a little study in black and white. One of the most important things I discovered when shooting B&W is using contrast to guide the eye, when it comes to black and white, contrast does what strong vivid colors do to colored images.

 

 

Photos 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted to play color by using red to direct the eye in the second photo this works well because the eye goes back and forth from the red tulip to the red lipstick and it balances the image. I wanted to create a “heavenly look”

I wanted these photos to have an intimate feel, I used soft high key lighting to achieve an ethereal feel. I liked this photoshoot because I feel I achieved what I had in mind. For me this was an exercise of combining elements of light, “performance” and production design to create a specific look.

 

 

Photos 8

 

 

 

 


I

Sometimes Provo can be nice…or at least we can get a glimpse of nightlife when center street gets busy.

II

There’s something about Salt Lake city that captivates me. Just like in a small town, everything moves slow but at the same time, it feels very urban. This photo makes me think of that feeling I get every time I walk around downtown SLC.

III

Kevin can’t stay still when he pets his dog, they love each other so much.

 

Photos Week 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

The first image is a great example of using color to create emphasis. The use of color is extremely on the nose but serves the purpose since I wanted it to be obvious.

II

The second image serves as a continuation of the first in which the intensity of color serves the story. For the first two images I wanted to use red because it’s very intense and sensual.

III

This image is another example of being too obvious with the use of color, getting rid of all the colors around and just using a single color to create the mood is somewhat easy but I wanted to explore it because it makes me more aware of the specific color I choose.

IV

The las photo was just for fun, completely different to the other ones but still using color to create a mood.