Video Project Documentation(Vasudevan) Mackenzie

Title
  • Video Project Documentation

Date 20 November 2017

Instructor Roopa Vasudevan

Partner (if any) Leidy, Candy

Aim

  • Shot and edit a romantic story called “the words we never say”, which a boy recalls the development of the relationship with his girlfriends.
Material/Application used
  • Canon 6D
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • HTML/CSS/JavaScript
Experiments
Our project started from brainstorming and design and finished by implementation. In the design part, we first decided our topic – romantic relationship, which we were experienced and sympathetic. Then, we thought how can we bring our topic out in the way of video-making. In other words, why an exploration of this particular topic was suited to the Video and interactive website format. How could we intend for this format to enhance our exploration and allow us a creative mode for expressing our ideas. So we decided to express the romantic relationship in a chronological order, and divides it to four stages – first sight, become friends, fall in love and declare relationship.
In the process of brainstorming and discussion, I learnt how to pre-design our project more efficiently. Firstly, we come up with a topic. Then, we took ten minutes to think about how to express this topic specifically independently. Thirdly, we gathered together and discuss our ideas, either combining good ideas or deleting not so good thoughts. Finally, decide the steps/plans of this project as well as division of labour. The part of independent thinking before cooperative discussion was what I appreciate, which enhanced the quantity and quality of communication afterwards. This discussing strategy can be applied to team work in later projects.
After design our project in mind, we visualized our ideas in paper by storyboard. Although I had some experience of video-editing in high school, I never used storyboard to illustrate the steps before shooting. However, I was very impressed by how helpful it is in our shooting part. There are mainly two advantages of storyboard. First, compared to words, it helped to visualize our idea and make us more clearer of what we are going to do since storyboard is shown as images, which is consistent with the media as video. Secondly, it helped us be aware of some essential steps of shooting. When shooting afterwards, we paid particular attention on the images shown in the storyboard, so that the video would focus on the significant plots and story can be expressed more clearly.
Above are the process of design, after we had a clear destination and plan, we divided our labour. Our project was implemented into four different stages – writing script, shooting, editing and building website. Since our whole project includes four stages, the first three stages each consist of three shoots, and the final stage has only one shoot. For shooting, I took the charge of the first stage, Candy took the charge of the second stage, Leidy took charge of the third stage, and we work together in the final stage, which includes only one shoot. For editing, we each take charge of the video we shoot. However for the sake of consistency, we should discuss the way we edit like what effect we use or what kinds of background audio we are going to choose. For building website, I took charge of establish an overall structure and layer of website. Leidy would add interactive elements inside. Candy would edit pictures by photoshop and provide image resources for us.
After the division of labour, we start to put our idea in action. I will reflect the experiment of this project from each stage one by one.
First was to write script. In our project, the script was the boy’s letter, which would be audioed by actor and added to video afterwards. Based on the labour division of shooting, we each were responsible for one stage of writing.
After writing the script, we started to shoot. The reason we write letter first and shot after is that we can be more aware of what should be going on in the scene in order to be more intentional and efficient in shooting. However, what matter here is that the words is just a rough draft and should be reedited afterwards based on the content of shooting.
For shooting, the first scene we shoot is the bubble tea one in stage 2, which is shot by Candy. I was responsible for taking notes. I borrowed tripod and camera in the afternoon and gave them to Candy. However, on the bus back to dorm, Candy left the tripod in the shuttle bus. It was too late to go back to school and re-borrow it since our actors have prepared well. So this scene was shot without tripod, so as the scene in the cafeteria, the retribution showed when we reviewed and edited the footages afterwards. The lack of tripod caused continuing shaky effect, which largely influences the quality of the video. The first I learnt from shooting is – it is really really important to use tripod when shooting, which professor had reminded us in class.
The second lesson I learnt is keeping shooting all the time, especially when the amount of actors are more than one, since you never know what valuable footage will turn out to be when reviewing them. During the shooting in the classroom, I kept shooting even I did not tell the actors I was recording. At that time, I just wanted to collect as much resources as possible. Then, I figured out it was a right choice, since when editing, there were many natural beauty appearing beyond the formal action part.
After taking three days to shoot, we started to edit our footage by Premier. It was the first time for me to use Premier (usually used iMovie to edit video before). Besides gradually mastering the basic skills of editing video by Premier, there are two more valuable lessons I learnt during the process. First, the high-quality and sufficient footages are the first step of success of video-editing. The high quality here mainly refers to the stability and clearness. I learnt this lesson from the shaky shooting without tripod I mentioned above. Secondly, the diversity of shots avoids flat work and increases the intensity of a video. When shooting the first scene of first stage in cafeteria, I filmed both “medium close up ” and “close up”, the latter can be better in expressing the emotion of the character.
After having edited our videos, we collected our rough cuts together. I built a rough website for demo. I set a 3*3 layout and put our video directly on it. Under the guidance of professor and Jiwon, I knew that a good interactive website, especially the story-telling web like ours, should be based on the principle – less transparency but more experience. The good editing of videos is just first step of a successful interactive video website. How to display these videos in the website is what really matters. After recoding, we added more effective background, button and interactive elements on the web.
Finally, we accomplished this project. In this project, I not only master the basics of technical skills like shooting and editing by Premier, but also learnt how to cooperate with others to initiate a project. If we have more time, we are going to take more efforts in building website, making it more interactive by JavaScript and better visual experienced by CSS.

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