Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Fine Cutting Part II

On the second stage of fine cutting, we wanted to ensure that everything was together, in regards to the project being tidy, so we ensured all the shots were sorted into correct bins.

Editing Sounds

Since this was a 'Non-Sync' project, the sound work was very important. Because they're isn't any dialogue, the sound we were given needs to be used efficiently to create a narrative between the characters as well as the whole misé-en-scene. We wanted to ensure that the sound worked with the footage we'd chosen to use, in the sense of both flowing with the visual, as well as creating emotion and empathy with the characters (which is known as one of the most important features to think about when editing a drama), therefore the audience are enticed to watch the film throughout.

We started by looking through the script because we wanted to see which voiceover sections we wanted to use and what would work together to allow the piece to flow. There were sections that I felt didn't need to be in our piece, because it was clear or 'over-describing' the situation, or was just completely irrelevant. For example, a section in the script stated: 'the man was wet under his clothes.' - we didn't find this line particularly interesting and didn't really give anything to the overall narrative, and if it doesn't contribute to the film in any way, there is no need for it to be in the cut.

When we'd decided which sections of the sound worked well, we worked with the footage to fine cut the piece together. Part of the fine cutting process was, of course, editing the sound. We listened through each clip, and used Soundtrack Pro to cut out any clips or pops in a clip (luckily there weren't many) and re-imported the new version back to Final Cut Pro to work with the video and audio together. 

When it came to the voiceover, we spent time editing out parts we didn't need, changing parts around to create more drama and empathy and ensuring levels and pans were set correctly throughout. 

The sound consisted of both the voiceover as well as the atmos tracks. The atmos tracks, in my opinion needed more time to edit then we had - this is because they weren't recorded in the best quality and therefore would need time spent in Soundtrack Pro to bring them up to a standard we wanted to use. Unfortunately, due to our bad planning, we didn't think about the atmos until the very end of the project, which caused problems with time, however we managed to look a little into editing the atmos through Final Cut Pro, by editing levels and pans to ensure it worked with the footage and if needed, gave a dramatic effect (e.g. when a train passed by, the audio was to pass from one side and pan to the other, depending on the direction of the train). 

If we had managed our schedule better and thought about everything we needed to do in the process, I would have definitely have spent more time editing the atmos sounds. 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Starting The Fine Cut

When we had brought together our rough cut and were happy with how it was structured and looked (roughly), we then moved on to the fine cutting stage of the editing. To do this, we worked closely with the rough edit of the sound structure, since this was a non-sync exercise, I felt it would easier to use the sound as a focus point and cut down relevant shots to fit/work and create emotion.

Warning Lights/Fading To Sleep

For this section, the narration goes 'That Settled Everything', and I felt that came across as dangerous and a warning, so I decided that a cross fade to some bright red lights and bells ringing would be effective for this particular part of the work.

Another shot I liked working on was one near the end which has the ending shot, where the main character is falling asleep and says 'i don't want to die, not yet'. It was rough at this stage, however we decided that it would work well with a fade in/fade out effect. 

Working On The Rule Of 3

During the feedback session, we were told that the best way to include sceneic shots and change from internal to external was to use the 3 shot rule - use three shots to allow the audience time to adjust and understand that something is changing. We looked through what we thought were the best shots to put together and worked them into different sections we thought needed the change - for example a change in time or place/pace of journey and storyline.

Week Twelve: Rough Edit - Feedback

Unfortunately I was absent from this session due to illness, however Jess showed our 20-second opening for feedback from our tutor and classmates.

- The first point made was the timeline mistakes (which we didn't fix before this date), which we sorted out straight away.
- The shots we're broken down nicely, but need to up cleaned up and put into bins.
- Really nice beginning.
- Good considered use of narration, cutting the narration with the pictures.
- The pacing on the beginning is perfect.

So since we'd only focused on putting the assembly into a rough edit, it was going well so far. Unfortunately we didn't have a full rough cut to show so we didn't get as much advice on the rest of the piece as we should have been able to have - however it was helpful and let us know we were going in the right direction.

Rough Cut & Altering Timeline Efficiency

Before starting to thoroughly start editing the Night Journey footage, we noticed a few mistakes with our rough cut timeline and decided that it would be better for us to sort this out now so we didn't run into problems later in the process (since it should have been done when setting up the Final Cut Pro Project at the beginning). So firstly, we noticed that this particular sequence was set to a 1 hour starting timecode. Unfortunately I felt that editing it on this sequence would cause too many problems, so ensured that my rough cut and fine cut timelines were both set to 10 hour start time codes. We use 10 hour time codes as starting at 1 hour is used in American editing.

Another thing we wanted to change was the efficiency of how the timeline looked and how we worked with it. At the beginning, we used the option to keep the thumbnail of the shot on to familiarise ourselves which what we meant, however we noticed that these images took up a lot of space on the timeline, so we decided it would be better to change this to just show the name of the shot we were using, because, if we'd labelled it correctly, we should know clearly what shots are what.  

Rough Assembly

After sorting all the files out, we decided to move onto our Rough Assembly. We chose the narration (roughly) which we wanted to use, and went through all the footage to see what shots we liked, that would fit with a particular piece of narration. We also played around with the audio rushes to see which sounds belonged to which shot, and make sounds work to our advantage.

Sorting Out Narration

After working through all the rushes, we looked at the narration more closely. We looked at the script (as shown below) and decided to listen to the narration to see whether it worked in the order we wanted it - because if the voiceover actor didn't show the emotion we wanted, we'd have to change our style so that it worked. 

Some of the narration worked and some didn't, sometimes the words lacked the emotion we wanted to portray so, we changed the mood to be more confusing and mysterious than a fear. We ensured that we looked through both takes of the narration, and sub-clipped each different section to make it easier for ourselves later on in the editing process. The narration however was recorded on a good level throughout (didn't change too much, but would still need some editing later on...), which was helpful. After sub-clipping the narration, we decided to look at the next step.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Early Stages: Breaking Things Down

The first thing we wanted to approach was the footage. We wanted to break it down so it would be easy for us to understand what clip is what, what/who it involves - so we could then decide whether it would be used and if so, where it would be within our work.

To break down the footage, we decided to go through each 'rush' and sub-clip each section - break it down and make it have one purpose or focus (instead of one massive roll of film which contains several important parts that might accidentally be overlooked).

We first focused on breaking down the picture footage, because there was quite a lot of footage, and it allowed to understand a little about what the story was meant to be about.

After breaking down the footage (because there was so much of it!) we decided to start creating Bins for particular features within the film. For example, I created a bin called Character Shots, which contains shots that focus on the characters, in regards to CU, Mid Shot and others, as there are many shots that do not contain people. I also added folders such as scenic shots, which was ordered by time of day they appeared to be filmed at - so I could use them at the right time in the story without jumping from night to day by accident.

After completing the breakdown of picture footage, we went on to focus on the narration. Since this was a key feature to our assessment, it was important that we understood the narration, how to use it and what we had so we could create a story later in the process. To help us, we received a written script (shown below) (MY NOTES ARE IN COLOUR, the others are original ones):

After breaking up the narration into what we wanted to use, we broke it down on Final Cut Pro. Breaking it into small sections so we could work more freely with each phrase that was said.

The last thing we needed to break down before we thought about starting our assembly was the audio rushes, which will be useful in creating a sound design within the work.

To do this, we did the same as the picture footage, by listening and sub-clipping separated sections to use with ease later on.

After breaking everything down, and now we had parts of script we wanted to use, we could start our Rough Assembly.

Brief 1: Non-Sync Drama Editing 'Night Journey'

Our first exercise for this module was to create a 4:30-5:00 minute piece of work that concentrated on:
- Learning to structure a narrative (with the given material 'Night Journey')
- Use voiceover correctly and effectively
- Create a sound design to help the piece flow together
- Develop a range of skills including teamwork
- Focus on pace and characterisation

This brief did seem rather complicated when we first received it. I felt this because I'd never come across it before (unlike previous films I've worked in where I had storyboards and many other documents to guide me through) and there was a lot to go through and understand before we could edit.

First, as usual, we set up Final Cut Pro to auto-save every five minutes (which is extremely helpful once you get into the 'full swing' of editing the footage). Changed the timeline sequence to 10 hours rather than 1, to give us more space to work with, and of course, saved our new project with a suitable name of 'Night Journey'.

We then needed to look through all of the footage captured for 'Night Journey', by using Final Cut Pro and re-naming/sub-clipping individual scenes/people to allow ourselves the chance to understand what shot was what when it came to bringing the piece together as a whole.

After going through all the picture, I went through the narration script to understand what the original work was meant to be about:

'Journey Through The Night' 1999 was about a man travelling to Amsterdam and meeting a 'cannibal' on the journey. The two talk about his lifestyle, death and what it means to each one in regards to their lives.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Keyboard Layout

On blackboard was this suggested keyboard layout for Final Cut Pro projects. This post is to remind me of the layout and referencing later on in the projects.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Week Eleven: Assessment Brief/Edit Competition

In this session, we were introduced to our assessment briefs as well as given a competition to take part in during the session. 

Firstly, for this module, we were asked to complete a portfolio of work (in the style of a blog) that would include three major editing projects: Non-Sync Drama Editing (Night Journey), Documentary Editing (In A Climber's Hands) and Comedy Editing (Out of Date) as well as the Research Blog itself, where we would need to show evidence of work through screen-grabs, reviews and evaluative reports. 

After discussing the nature of the module, we watched the beginning of  'The Cutting Edge', which is a documentary, which at this stage confused me because our first project was drama, however it was very interesting and I noted down some ideas for the next project.

For the rest of the session, we were asked to complete a competition within two groups. Our aim was to create a 90 second promotion of Sheffield Hallam film students by finding video clips online, which were from a list of film and TV shows Sheffield students have/are working on after university. 

The first thing we did as a team was have a group meeting to decide who was going to research which item from the list, who was going to bring the project together (edit all the clips together) and any other issues we had. I chose to research a TV programme Breaking Bad (because I've seen the show and knew a good action sequence we could use) and also the new James Bond film Skyfall. 

Above are the two clips I chose to work with. My role was to choose the time frame from the clip and send it to the two editors who were bringing the piece together. From the Breaking Bad clip, I chose the slow motion throw of the explosive and the explosion, and in the Skyfall trailer, the scene on top of the train, as well as other action scenes within the trailer. When I was finished with these two clips, I attempted to get some others, however noticed that the editor in charge of bringing it together was struggling, so I helped bring all the footage to her for her to work on.

Unfortunately we didn't finish our video, we ran out of time. We got feedback from Chris, saying that we needed to be more organised, as well as assign someone to be the team leader. I really enjoyed this exercise and would like to try again in the future, but ensure that we're much more organised as a group next time.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

History of Technology within Film Editing

For this module, I felt that to understand editing to the fullest, it would be a good idea to explore how editing techniques and technologies have changed and developed to give us what we have now.

Before we had digital editing systems (which is a video/audio editing workstation), the majority, if not all, films were produced by using a positive copy of the film negative which was called a work print. A work print was the technique of cutting and pasting together pieces of film, and then using a 'splicer' to thread the film onto a machine such as the Moviola.  

I researched what 'Moviola' is and found that it is a machine that allowed an editor to view film whilst they were editing it. It was the first ever machine created for film (motion picture) and was invented by Iwan Serrurier in 1924. 

It allows the editor to view and analyse each individual shot in their workstation, and therefore allow them to determine where the best point would be to cut the film. 

Another piece of equipment I came across was the 'Steenbeck', which is more known for sound editing. It was mostly used to control the process  by being able to control the speed of a piece of equipment and also having the restoration facilities which allow prints to be inspected quickly, creating less risk of damage to the original piece, compared to a movie projector. 

In the present, most films are produced and edited digitally, (using programs such as Avid & Final Cut) and don't use the film workprint at all. Previous to the digital development, the use of film positive was often used to allow the film editor to experiment freely with the film, without risking damage to the original pieces of film. 

When the film's work print had been cut to a high enough standard for the editor to work with, it was then used to create an EDL (Edit Decision List), which was then used by the negative cutter to allow them to split shots into rolls, which were contact printed to create the final film. 

This was quite interesting to research, because it shows how differently people within the industry have had to work and adapt with the changes and developments in technology. 

The Great Train Robbery (1903)

The Great Train Robbery by Edwin Porter
Running Time: 11 Minutes (18FPS)
Silent Film
B&W (With Hand Colouring)

The Great Train Robbery is the second film created by Edwin Porter. This work is known to be an expansion of Life of an American Fireman. The film follows two bandits who force an operator to tell the engineer to fill up the train's tank before knocking him unconscious. The bandits force their way onto the train, killing a messenger and opening a box full of valuables (with dynamite). The passengers are forced off the train and their belongings are taken by the bandits and escape - whilst back at the office, the daughter of the operator enters the room and wakes him up. The operator then gathers a group of men who follow the bandits - and when they catch up, have a 'shootout' and kill all the bandits.

For some reason, I didn't really enjoy this film as much as Life of an American Fireman. The film used a range of long shots, minus the end scene, where you see the leader of the bandits (played by Justus D. Barnes) Mid-Shot, Straight Shot, firing a point blank towards the camera. This was placed at the end and I wasn't really sure as to why. I found this film a little confusing in that sense.

I also noticed the use of colour was to demonstrate the shots from the guns, the dynamites and other dangerous objects, but why was the woman's dress yellow? and the other slightly purple? Some of this is left slightly unclear to me, unless it was mainly just experimenting with colour within film.

Even though these were early films, I did notice some mistakes within the work. For example, when the bandits are robbing the train and drive away with the engine, it's on the right rail-track, and when they stop to proceed on horseback, it magically moves to the left:

Overall, I liked the idea of the film, however I did, in my opinion, find it a little boring. The use of colour confused me at times, because, for the explosives I understood what it represented, however I didn't understand the colour of the women's clothes and the banners.

(Also, the not-so-amazing dummy being thrown off the train roof was very easily noticed by myself)

Editing Review: The Vampire Diaries

I recently watched the New Episode of the American TV Series 'The Vampire Diaries'. 

I enjoy watching this show on a regular basis, but during this particular episode, I wanted to look at how it was edited to create drama and tension (which helped with both my editing and my drama modules). 

The programme doesn't use voiceover, expect in the title sequence, which once again is quite effective. It tells you the story of the characters so far, by matching the voiceover to the shots - for example when it introduces the main characters, each of the voiceover changes to their voice and a shot of that character is shown. It allows you to understand who the characters are, what is happening to them - all straight away, so you are able to connect with them and explore the story with them, so you can emphasise and sympathise when things go wrong.

However in the particular shot above, I noticed a slight edit problem. As minor as it is, I found it very noticeable because it made the scene not continuous and knocked me out of the 'trance' of the story.

Here we see two characters, Klaus & Rebecca. As the male approaches her and starts conversation, I notice that Rebecca changes directions of face during the shots. In the close-ups, she's facing Klaus straight on, and when the shot is an OTS of his face, she is turned towards the bar. 

It looks strange to me, however it shows that little details such as how your actors stand/place themselves need to be continuous to avoid any confusion for the audience. 

The Importance of Continuity

Whenever I watch a film (as seen in previous reviews), I'm always concerned about continuity problems, because it makes the audience aware of the editor's work, because it doesn't work together as an edit and therefore becomes almost jolted and incomplete.

The idea of continuity in film means that a series of shots should be physically continuous, as if the camera simply just changes angles within the same event. For example, in The Great Train Robbery where the train jumps from one track to another would be a bad example.

Even though this is most noticable in the edit, it is not seen as the sole responsibility of the editor - if the shots are not recorded continuously, then the editor can not change that in post-production, the problem ripples throughout the entire production, however usually gets noticed as an editor's mistake.

To have a continuous film, you need to ensure that a director (or script-writer/producer) ensures that shots continue correctly - such as a glass being half empty throughout - instead of being full in one shot and previously being nearly empty.

Even though this isn't a big concern of the editors, it's always something that catches my eye when watching TV dramas or films - so when it comes to other projects, I need to ensure that people I'm working with understand the idea of continuity to ensure the films success in post-production.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Life of an American Fireman (1903)

(Original Film Doesn't Have Audio)

Life of an American Fireman is a short film created by Edwin Porter, and was one of the first ever American films that contained a narrative. The narrative is short and sweet: we see a fire break out and watch the firemen race to the scene and save a mother and her child from the burning building.

I really enjoyed watching this film, I noticed that, as researched, it used a lot of long takes of long shots, which in this sense was effective (and at this point, the main way cinema was presented to the audience at this time).

Edwin Porter created this film by building a narrative over only seven scenes, which have been created by only using nine shots altogether:

1. A Fireman sat in a chair, having a vision of the woman & child in the building.
2. The Close Up shot of the Fire Alarm box, as the man opens it and sets it off. 
(NOTE: this is the ONLY Close up in the entire film!)

3. The inside of the sleeping room (?) where the fireman are (Wake up & go down pole)
4. The interior of the fire station - preparing and getting ready to leave

5. The horses/firemen and equipment leaving the station
6. The journey to the origin of the fire.
7. Arriving at the fire and rescuing the mother and child

At the time this was created, the editing style of the film was quite unusual, as it was one of the very first experiments with 'cross-cutting' - where we see the fireman within the house rescuing the woman and after, see the same event but outside of the building. (shown below)

Early Experiments of Film Editing: Edwin Porter

Early-day films were created by a company by Thomas Edison, who is famously known as an American inventor who developed ideas such as the phonograph, the light bulb and the motion picture camera. The films consisted of one long static shot, which was locked down throughout the film. At this stage in development, the idea of story and editing didn't exist, and films lasted as long as there was film left running in the camera.

In 1899, development started when Edison hired Edwin Porter and put him in charge of a studio in New York, and Porter is known to be one of the very first to experiment with the idea of film editing.

The first film to have a breakthrough in regards to having a narrative, action (and even a different shot - a close up of a hand as it pulls an alarm) called Life of an American Fireman. For inspiration and guidance in creating this film, Porter followed early films created by Georges Méliès.

As time passed, it was known that Porter continued to experiment with the idea of film editing by using different cinematic techniques and later went on to discover the idea and important aspects of language in motion pictures: 'that the screen image doesn't need to show a complete person from head to toe and that splicing together two shots creates in the viewer's mind a contextual relationship'. - this was known tot be one of the most important discoveries which made all non-live narrative films, as well as television programs possible - the idea that you can use different shots (shot in a variety of locations over different lengths of time to create an overall narrative.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Film Editing 'The Invisible Art'

Since film making began, film editing has always been an important part of the creative post-production development of film-making. A film editor is known to work with the raw footage produced in production, select shots and combine them to create sequences, that make up the finished film.

Film editing itself is known as 'the invisible art', the unique art form to be created within cinema. However, editing has been very closely linked to other art forms, such as poetry or novel writing. The reason, however, that editing is seen as the 'invisible art', is because, if done to a high standard, the work should make the audience so enticed and engaged wit the content, that their minds are unaware of the editor's work.

As an editor, the job isn't simply working all the pieces of film together, cutting off dead ends or editing scenes with sound - there is much more creative thinking in this process then is first thought. An editor is required to approach the footage with a fresh pair of eyes, and find inspiration within the work to place the layers of shots, story and narration with music and rhythm (as well as thinking about the actors' performances and working them into the piece effectively) to almost re-write the film in their eyes, to some extent.

Since the advance of digital editing, the role of a film editor has expanded to take on responsibilities of other roles. One of the most clear examples of this is that, in the past, picture editors' responsibility was to deal with only the images and the visual aspect of the film. All the sound feature would be dealt with by specific editors with that speciality, with the supervision of either the picture editor or the director themselves. However, since digital systems were introduced, these responsibilities are usually dealt with by the picture editor (especially on low budget/student films!).

On a whole, film editing itself can be used in a variety of ways to create a film.
It can:

  • Create montages
  • Become the 'laboratory' for experimental films 
  • Bring out an emotional truth within an actor's role
  • Create a POV on particular events
  • Guide the rhythm and pacing of a narrative
  • Create a state of tension or danger where there isn't one
  • Create emphasis on objects that wouldn't have been noticed without it
  • Create an emotional connection with the audience 

The Third Man (1949)

In session, we watched the first opening scenes of The Third Man to show, once again, the effectiveness of the voiceover on that particular scene. I revisited the film and watched a little more to get a more thorough understanding, however stopped because it didn’t continue with voiceover.

From the scenes of the film I saw, I really enjoyed it. Overall, it uses the voiceover in an ‘informal’ style – it almost seems like the narrator is telling this story to a close friend, or making us feel like a close friend to this particular character.

This style makes you feel more comfortable as an audience member, and I feel that it is also used to establish the mise-en-scene of the film – the location, the era, the cultures and the characters. I enjoy the natural conversation style of voiceover, it was more relaxed (it included stutters and restarts) which have cleverly been put together with the edited shots.

One of my favourite things about this style of voiceover is how it is used to create a connection with the footage. For example, the narrator talks about ‘having the money to pay for things’ and a shot (shown below) is presented showing a man handing another some money for some items. Also, at the very beginning, where the narrator introduces the location of the film (Vienna), we’re shown related images and symbols which represent this city – allowing the audience to familiarise themselves with the setting. If the voiceover was used over completely different footage, I feel it would only confuse the audience, because they wouldn’t understand the places they are being told about without being shown them.

It was easy to understand the narrative because the footage and voiceover are cleverly and clearly linked together. Because the voiceover is so ‘laid back’, it makes what he is saying and the mood he’s trying to create believable, making the film itself more successful in the long run.

Even though I didn’t watch the entire film throughout, there were things that I noticed about the film that helped me understand different techniques and their effectiveness. One thing I noticed was the film was in black & white, which I believe is always strong to portray the idea of shadows and dark colours (this is similar to the idea of darkness and danger of the unconscious mind in the experimental film Meshes of the Afternoon by Maya Deren).

Another thing I noticed about this film was that throughout, there was only ever one jump cut (shown below)....:

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Senna (2010)

Another filmed we watched a clip was Senna, which is a documentary about Ayrton Senna, who was a Brazilian Formula One driver who won three championships before his early death at the age of 34.

For this film, we saw a clip where Senna had won a championship. Above the footage, a voiceover was played above by the commentator (Murray Walker). In my opinion, this gives the shot a professional film and brings it together as a scene. The timing of the voiceover and the footage is thorough thought about, as it allows the audience to see Senna in the context that the voiceover is implying.

I feel it has a big impact on the scene. It allows you to emotionally connect with Senna, to know how it feels in that moment – you feel happy for him, the playfulness with his friends and the water is almost moving. It works very well as a misé-en-scene and creates a nice moving feeling within an audience.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Week Ten: The Important of Voiceover, Re-visiting Final Cut Pro & Assessments

For our first session in Editing, we were firstly given a suggested reading list that would help us throughout the module. We were previously told about Walter Murch’s In The Blink Of An Eye (2nd Edition), which I haven’t yet read completely, as well as other material such as:

Sidney Lumet – Making Movies
When The Shooting Stops… The Cutting Begins
Screencraft: Editing & Post Production
100 Ideas That Changed Film
Scorese On Scorese
Broadcast Engineering Tutorial for Non-Engineers

Our first assessment for this module was to edit a Non-Sync Drama called ‘Night Journey’. We were given the video and audio rushes in a shared folder, with a script of the original version online.

I used this session to look through all the footage (both video & audio) and label everything and sort out all the files into suitable bins. When going through the footage, we noticed that between each take, a flash would occur before moving onto the next one – which we later learnt was because the film was shot on 16mm film which uses leader tape, which causes flash flames to occur when a shot begun and finished.

For this project, I worked with my partner Jessica to set up our project correctly. We used Final Cut Pro, and ensured that it was set to the right settings (which I’ve had problems with before!). Me & Jess went on separate computers and split the footage between, so we could look at different rushes at the same time and cut out anything unusable, label shots and sort out our footage to make it manageable later in the project.

We noticed that the rushes needed a lot of breaking a part, which meant a lot of labeling shots, which however is important. It makes it easier to find particular shots you may need when you start putting together a rough assembly and rough cut. Labeling usually requires information such as the style of shot (Close Up/Long Shot) the angle (Eagle, Low, Straight etc.) and a description as to what actually occurs within the shot – this saves you a lot of time, because you can easily find shots, rather than searching through them all.

When it came to sorting through the rushes, we realized that it was a good idea to create subclips (which I will explain in further detail in a later post).

For the video rushes, we were told that it is a good idea to ensure that you know whether particular clips had sound on them or not. And to do this, we were shown that if you place a small dot (a bullet point) - done by at the front of the label of that particular shot, it means that it doesn’t contain any audio at all – a silent shot.

We then went on to talk about voiceovers in film, and why they are so important. In the session, we were shown a few different film clips that used voiceover, so we could see how effective it can be and how it connects to the footage, as well as the effect it creates on the audience.

To me, voiceovers allow you to get inside the character’s mind. It allows you into their personal space and therefore allows you to emphasize with that person, so the audience can have an emotional connection to what is happening within the film and how it affects this particular character.

In Apocalypse Now (1979), Directed by Francis Coppola. We were shown the scene in the hotel room, where the main character has a mental breakdown through post-traumatic stress of what he has been though. The scene is violent and tense, and the voiceover (with other remembered sounds of his past) is amplified to raise tension within the scene. The amount of content in this scene helps present how the character feels – so much is going on in his mind that caused him to breakdown, which allows the audience to react and feel for the character.

Another key resource to help us was to watch the Heart of Darkness, which is a 15-minute film, which explains the editing, and behind the scenes of Apocalypse Now.

Thursday, 4 October 2012


Welcome to my blog for Level 5: Production Skills - Postproduction. This blog will hold all the research and data used/reviewed throughout the semester as well as the development of our three exercises.