Alice remembers is the last shot of the first day’s filming of It Burns And Turns To Ash. I felt frustrated at myself while watching the rushes. During some of the shots I fiddled with the focus and zoomed in and out and ruined the shots by doing this. This particular shot was supposed to be blurry and then Alice’s face comes into focus.
It was good that I had set up a detailed shot list because I felt confident about what I was doing before the shoot. However, when I arrived at the location it wasn’t exactly how I remembered it. This required me to rethink some of the shots. For future film shoots I will go on location and take photos of the sort of shots I would like so that I can refer to them in planning. I’m still not certain about some of the camera settings and need to understand the way it works better. I’d like to take some time over the Christmas break to research this technical aspect of filmmaking.
I received an email from Charlotte, lead actress in my film It Burns And Turns To Ash. She has a feel for the character of Alice and thought she would dress quirkily. The photograph is of Charlotte in the costume she has devised for Alice. I’m very happy with her choice and it fits the image I had of Alice too.
Charlotte also stated she’s going to try a technique she learnt at uni for creating a sensual/emotional memory of the flashback. I think this is a great idea; however, I have a concern about the subconscious believing the memory as a true one and asked if the technique includes a way of shaking it off or letting the mind know that it’s not real after the filming. I don’t want her to be traumatised by the work we’re doing.
I spent the day writing a detailed shot list for the shoot next week. Currently, it stands at eighteen pages with one shot on each page which contains:
+ details of the camera position and any action that occurs
+ why the shot is there
+ what sounds are played during the shot
+ any questions I have unresolved about technical aspects of filming
It helped me get clear about exactly what I’m hoping to achieve and I emailed it to Charlotte, my lead actress.
It also helped me to prepare a list of sounds and props I’ll need too.
I compiled this very rough edit of flashback visuals and sound that will be cut into other clips of the film I’m making. Am thinking of filming this scene again – slow motion would be better filmed at a higher frame per second rate. Other sounds need to be added.
Google research turned up Jan Svankmajer’s Alice. It’s a feature length animation of the Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland story. I’m thinking of using it for my Film History essay. It ties in with the film I’m making. I found and watched Alice in Wonderland (1903), on YouTube and could compare the two films.
Today I met with Sarah, my mentor. We discussed the Film History essay and the outline I need to prepare for next Wednesday. She suggested I need to find the kernel of what I want to explore in the essay and create three questions to answer that relate to and build on the argument I put forth. I stated that I tend to let wanting to please the tutor get in the way of the work I do and she said I’d please the tutor by writing a good essay; a good essay is one where my voice comes through in a coherent argument. When I realised I could make the essay relate to the film I’m making I felt inspired to begin work on writing the essay.
In today’s group critique we watched Ben Rivers’ The Ironworks. The film uses a young boy to explore a disused ironworks. As the boy stands inside the derelict place sounds of ironworks are played. I love this simple way of using sound to construct a connection with the past.
I told Rachel about the place film project and that I was worried that the narrative might get in the way of the film being about place. She suggested place is heavily involved in the film because the location is being used as the structure and holds the memory of the main character: perhaps I could bring that out further, as if the place was a character too.
I told her I was thinking about adding old footage of Brighton Lido and her reaction was that it might complicate the film unnecessarily. I realised that I wanted to do this to try to please my tutor. She told me to trust myself to make the work.
When I said “if only I could transfer what is in my head directly to video” she reminded me that accidents can make the work better.