Week 9: Reshoots, Pitch Preparation & Alexa Exam

Following our test shoot, we felt clear that we needed to gather some extra footage to create a complete taster film to use in our pitch. Myself, Emma and Joe visited an urban woodland location to gather some additional tracking shots through forest, extreme close-ups of insects, and images of smoke billowing from a pumpkin. I feel I was able to improve significantly from our first shoot, following our plan more closely and making clearer decisions about exposure and lighting. This resulted in much better footage, though there were still some issues with our use of a gimbal instead of a dolly (though this was unavoidable with our limited crew).

I was pleased with Michael’s cut of the test shoot and we were able to follow our planned workflow smoothly to begin the colour grade. After discussing my first pass of the grade with Emma, we agreed it needed significant reworking. Although I found this experience frustrating, I was much happier with the final result and learned more about using DaVinci Resolve and placing skin tones using the waveform and vectorscope monitors. This also revealed that there was still some uncertainty about the film’s overall tone, something we may need to continue developing after our pitch.

Having completed our taster film, we finalised our pitch preparation. I contributed a moodboard and cinematography statement based on my research of films and TV shows from a range of genres. I also compiled workflow flowcharts based on my technical reading and experiences from other projects, and contributed to the budget and schedule. Our presentation video managed to capture some of our intentions for lighting and production design, though in a more lighthearted way.

Cinematography moodboard from our pitch presentation
Workflow slide from our pitch presentation

This week, I also completed and passed my Arri Alexa training exam. My feedback was generally positive but I had some issues seating the internal ND filters correctly and managing the large number of kit boxes in an organised fashion. I will continue practising the camera setup and operation, particularly making sure myself and my final camera crew are confident about our roles and responsibilities and comfortable with the equipment before our final shoot.

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