For the preliminary exercise we were asked to display:
- Match on action – where the editor cuts from one shot to another view that matches the first shot’s action.
- Shot/Reverse Shot – a film technique where one character is shown looking at another character (often off-screen), and then the other character is shown looking back at the first character. Since the characters are shown facing in opposite directions, the viewer assumes that they are looking at each other.
- The 180 degree rule – a basic guideline regarding the on-screen spatial relationship between a character and another character or object within a scene. An imaginary line called the axis connects the characters and by keeping the camera on one side of this axis for every shot in the scene, the first character will always be frame right of the second character, who is then always frame left of the first. If the camera passes over the axis, it is calledjumping the line or crossing the line.
We demonstrated these effects by:
Using match on action where the character opens the door in the first shot and continues to open it in the second and also between 2 shots of the character walking across the room where one shot is a wide shot of the whole room and the other shot is tracking parallel to him as he moves across the room. Another definition for match on action is “either an action commenced in shot A is completed in shot B, or an action in shot A is mirrored by an action in shot B”. In these two examples 2 shots have been used. Let’s take the door opening sequence as our example, in this case shot A is a mid shot of the character approaching the door and beginning to open it, (in this case the action is the character opening the door) shot B is a wider shot of the character finishing opening the door. As said we used this technique again between two shots of the character walking across the room. By definition the action is matched into the next shot and continued in both instances and in this way we achieved match on action effectively.
Shot/reverse shot was used when the characters are both sat down and facing each other. In this sequence we combined mid shots, over the shoulder shots and close ups. As both of the characters are looking in opposite directions the audience can see that the characters are looking at each other throughout the sequence.
The 180 degree rule was evident as soon as the characters are both sat down. All the shots are done on one side of the characters. However one of the shots almost crosses the line, this is the shot that has the mug in the bottom of the frame, it was shot on the axis but is quite close to crossing the line.
The following is our video:
Our own viewing and evaluation:
Upon our groups viewing of the video it was evident that there was audio problems that were not fixed by the time this version of the clip was uploaded but we were under the impression we would get the chance to fine tune it. The main problem with the audio was that the dialogue was captured with a microphone and when editing we added the microphone audio over the top and amplified it so it was audible but we were going to then amplify the rest of the video to match the audio but as stated this was not yet finished when this version of the clip was added.
There was also an over the shoulder shot that did not match the position of one of the characters in the sequence and consequently made the continuity slightly wrong. This was only noticed once we started the editing however. The character basically appears to be further into the room than he should be at that point. The problem was during editing there is not much you can do to fix this, in honesty we should have just removed the shot.
Aside from the shot just mentioned the continuity seemed to be up to standard and nothing looked blatantly wrong in the clip. However there wasn’t much that could have gone in regards to continuity as the clip was fairly simple and did not involve many props or movement within the scene that could have gone wrong after the edit.
Our clip was then evaluated by the class teachers who had further comments of their own. This included:
A lack of match on action within the clip. This came as a bit of a surprise to our group as there was definitely an attempt on our behalf at match on action as stated earlier. Their comments to us was that the action wasn’t quite obvious enough between the two different shots to qualify as match on action and that the two shots used would have been better if they had been further apart from each other, for instance a close up and a wide shot instead of a mid shot and a wide shot which is what we used for the door opening sequence.
Many of the shots were not close enough to the characters especially once the characters were in conversation with each other. This meant in general the framing of the shots was wrong throughout the clip which is regrettable but part of the point of this preliminary exercise is to make mistakes now and learn not to make them when it comes to the production exercise. The rule of thirds is an important part of framing the shot effectively and it’s techniques like that and more that we could do with researching more before the production begins.
There was also a shot near the beginning where it was shot against a glass door, the main problem being the reflections where at one point its possible to see the camera operators foot and I think mine is seen as well. Also there was light coming through the corridor it was shot in which silhouetted the character in the shot. Yet again this is an easy thing to consider next time.
Following the evaluation our group is now filming a new clip where we have been given the chance to improve the clip and fix errors that were made in the first clip. So overall this exercise has been really useful to me as I now understand more about how to film a scene effectively.