Monday, 28 May 2012

Land - finished version

 Critical reflection - Land 

 Will and I decided to produce our film in national parks, particularly the New Forest . We decided that it would only be him and myself in our group for two reasons – we knew from previous experience that we work very well together and we also felt that we did not need anyone else. 

We had three main areas of focus: bluebells, horses and oak trees. We also tried as much as we could to film only places that didn't show any sign of human activity. The filming techniques were defined from the start – we would keep the camera still, on a tripod. We decided not to do any zoom in/out, pan, as it can very easily look a bit clumsy if it's not done properly. Given the equipment, we thought it was best to keep the camera still. The main technique we used was to play with the focus, and I think we managed that successfully. The film is mainly composed of close-ups - we really tried to avoid mid-shots - or on the contrary very wide shots. We would always compose the picture carefully, be weary of the colours, movement etc. 

We started filming in the forest in Micheldever where there are several outstanding patches of bluebells. We went back to the same location five times, in order to follow the evolution. We started filming during the winter when the bluebells were not out yet, and finished at the end of April, where the forest's ground was a magnificent blue carpet of bluebells. To start with we thought about filming only on nice and sunny days. It is true that it made our lives easier, not having to worry about the rain. But as most of April was cold, rainy and windy, we did not have much choice but to film in the rain. And it turned out that it was the right thing to do, since rain is great material for pictures and sound. Also it would have been unrealistic to produce a film based in the UK that would only show sunny places. 

The two tracks we have used in the audio have been produced by Dave Champion. We also used bird songs and we recorded the sound of the stream in the New Forest. 

 We took inspiration from Jean Renoir's film, A Day In The Country (1936). This movie features many beautiful landscapes of the French countryside, and we tried to have similar shots in our piece – ie: the clouds, the rain in the lake and the river. We used the clouds to show the transition between seasons/ different times of the year. 

The film could have been better if we had managed to film on a very rainy day. The natural sound would have been incredible with the noise of the rain falling on the leaves or in the stream. Unfortunately one thing we could not plan was the weather, and it never rain hard enough while we were filming to produce these dramatic effects.


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