45 – Reservoir Dogs Evaluation

So the editing is now finished and my finished clip can be seen below:

and below is the original scene from Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992):

As I said in the editing blog I am happy with the editing part of this project. I have tried really hard to use the footage our team filmed to match it to the original clip. I think the overall results was the best I could have done and I am pleased with the result as I have played both the original and mine side by side and it does seem very similar which is the only way I myself can asses the video. The only key things I notice that are wrong are possibly the colour palette and how the saturated the shots look, I did try to match the visual look as much as possible but I struggled and ran out of time so this was the best I got. Also the text doesn’t look quite as precise as I would have wanted it to but yet again I struggled to get it exactly how I wanted it.

One of my main problems with this exercise was the time limit which I don’t think our group as a whole felt comfortable working in as the planning wasn’t quite as in depth as it could have been which then along with missing group members and a late start led to the filming being very stressful and difficult to get the best results from. I myself ended up with a larger role in the filming than I initially thought I was going to and the only preparation I had done was screen caps to use as the screenshots and suddenly I had to try and choreograph some of the shots. It was a stressful 50 minutes but it could have gone worse and on reflection it probably went quite smoothly considering the initial difficulties which we did overcome but once we got into it the filming turned out alright. My main regret though is how we filmed the characters ‘walking’ as in our version they don’t walk they just bob, in slow motion, which just looks wrong.

So after the first edit was done I watched it back myself and made notes on it and then showed a further 5 people and asked them to asses it for me and point out any mistakes. This was a really useful stage of the process for me as it allowed me to see mistakes that I hadn’t even noticed and really fine tune the whole video. I then produced a second version of the clip with new corrections which has become the finished version.

Aside from the editing side of things which I have become very comfortable with it is the filming and pre production that I found most difficult. I have definitely learnt a lot by doing this task as I now realise that the preparation before filming is just as important as the filming itself, if not more, and a greater focus will be needed on this stage in the future as it felt like once the filming started the group were a bit flustered and not sure what to do. In the future I think it would be more efficient to plan the whole shoot in detail before hand and possibly draw up more storyboards so that the filming goes much more smoothly. This preparation process is only going to get harder when we start the main production exercise as we won’t have an established clip as a starting point.

44 – Reservoir Dogs Editing

The editing of the clip has been a fairly simple process. This is because the way I did the editing was to overlay our clips on top of the original and then set the opacity down so I could see both the original and our remake at the same time. This enabled me to adjust our version so it matches the original as much as possible. Also it was easy to know how long each shot lasts as you can simply cut it at the same time as the original video. Matching some of the footage was difficult as the shot was filmed slightly wrong so it was difficult to fix the problems just through editing.

What proved more difficult was adding the text and trying to make that as similar as possible as it’s hard to find the right font and the right movements and fades so that its like the original. This involved using keyframes where possible to match the original movement on the text. I have completed these now and I am fairly pleased with the result.

One of the main issues I have with the footage is that it’s quite obvious that we aren’t moving in the clip which I tried to find ways to correct in the editing, for instance adding artificial camera movement to create a look of real movement but this was ineffective and I gave up with that idea. I have left the footage as it was now but I am not very pleased with it. It was easier when filming though to just stay in the same place but now I think we should have had the actors walking even if it was going to be more difficult with the time constraints.

After finishing an initial draft of the clip I uploaded it to youtube and showed other people so they could help me spot mistakes. This version of the scene can be seen here:

From here I wrote up a list of key problems that needed to be changed which looked like this:

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If you find it difficult to read my handwriting the list basically details problems with the audio for instance the pitch of the music needed changing and certain clips needed muting. Also a couple of the shots were too long and needed to be adjusted. Such as the first wide shot of the group walking down the street as the clip went on just a bit too long and makes it look like there are no other people walking down the street. So I then went back to the editing and changed these and then produced a second version of the clip seen below.

As you may be able to see the key differences are the audio at the start has been adjusted so it doesn’t sound as bad as the quality of the audio in the initial clip. Also some shots have ended earlier and a major spelling mistake of Reservoir as Resevoir has been changed. This version of the clip I am more happy with however I noticed that some of the text has lost it’s outline so I will just need to quickly adjust that before the finished clip. Overall though I am happy with how the editing has gone and I think I’ve done all in my power to right some mistakes and get the best out of our footage.

43 – Reservoir Dogs Filming

We had around a week to plan and organise the filming which we did today. We had 50 minutes to shoot the whole scene which may seem a lot of time but each shot needed planning and preparation that is even more prevalent than a usual video as we are attempting to precisely recreate an already existing video. Also our director didn’t turn up and neither did another member of our group so from the start we had to change plan quite quickly. This led to a bit of time being lost at the start of the lesson as we had to go and find different people to help us and star in the video.

This exercise made me realise that preparation is key to the production and even though the problems we had was no one’s fault, it might be worth making fail safe’s in the future so that if someone isn’t there then the filming can still continue smoothly. Also that there is never too much preparation to be made and when it comes to filming our main projects I think I will need to prepare a lot more than I did with this exercise.

I ended up feeling much more stressed than I thought I was going to as it is difficult to shoot without a director. The time we had felt very short which resulted in trying to get through shots very quickly which worried me a little bit as the quality may not be as good, nothing could have been done to avoid this however and the shots will probably be fine. I do think it would have been useful to have an extra 50 minutes or maybe 30 minutes just to ease some of the pressure but all will be revealed once we start editing.

37 – Reservoir Dogs Recreation Planning

Over the last week the media group was divided, girls in one team, boys in the other. A task was given to us to recreate the opening titles of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. This is the scene where the main cast are walking down the street to the song “Little Green Bag” by the George Baker Selection. Personally I was quite excited for this task as it is a really cool scene to recreate. The clip can be seen below.

Each member of the team was assigned a role. As I was the only person in the group I assumed the storyboard artist role. I started drawing these storyboards with a sense of worry as we only had a few days till the day we were filming and a lot needed to be storyboarded. This is when I realised that the scenario of recreating a scene that already exists is a rare opportunity and that the storyboard could essentially be a series of screenshots of the original video allowing for less chance of there being radical difference between our shot and the original.

The rest of the group had to organise locations and liaison with the other group on which locations to use, there as also members of the group who were in charge of costumes and of course a producer, director and camera operator.

The producers is the person who runs the whole production and managers everything from finance to overseeing the filming and distributing the film. The director is then in charge of the filming and will most likely over see both pre and post production, the director usually has the creative control over the film whereas the producer is more managing how the film is made and how it will be distributed. There could be other roles that are specific to managing certain aspects of the film like audio, cinematography, costume, locations, casting and more. Then of course there will be storyboard artists, concept artists and writers.