The colour grade

The colour grade was a very important part of the process for me, considering my career plan to work as a DIT and colourist. I took my time and designed a structured approach based on the suggestions in the Blackmagic user guide. I began by normalising and colour balancing each clip to create a fairly... Continue Reading →

The Edit

While the edit was mainly the domain of Michael and Emma, I did offer my feedback on rough cuts and found it a good opportunity to critically reflect on my cinematography. Initially, there was some worry about bed scene and whether there was enough coverage of Valerie's reaction to seeing the black goo. We briefly... Continue Reading →

Shoot part 4: The forest

4th May was our prep day for scene 10 (the main action in the forest). We intended to set up the bed, practice the practical effects and get a good idea of the blocking. This day was stressful for a number of factors, including constant rain meaning we had to do our tests indoors and... Continue Reading →

Shoot part 3: the bathroom

On 3rd May, we packed a smaller selection of equipment and travelled to Musselburgh to the bathroom location in a church hall. This shoot day involved a lot equipment transport and setup in a short space of time but, overall, I think it went very smoothly and we managed to mainly stick to our original... Continue Reading →

Shoot part 2: Field scenes

On 2nd May, we shot all the scenes at the 'field' (now a hilltop). This was our first exterior shoot day and we were mainly very luck with the weather, apart from some clouds affecting lighting continuity. In the morning, the HoDs arrived at the house and loaded equipment - we took everything to a... Continue Reading →

Shoot Part 1: Prep day and house scenes

On 30th April, we had a prep day to clear the storage room we would be using in the house, load in equipment and prelight the house scenes. In the morning, we collected equipment from screen academy and brought it to the house location. As the house is in Merchiston, this wasn't too challenging, just... Continue Reading →

Week 15: Final preproduction

This week was a bit hectic as I had to balance finalising the camera previs documents with other production-related task. Emma and I met several times to discuss the shotlist, blocking and storyboards. Using Lightroom's contact sheet feature, I compiled the photos we had taken into storyboards for each scene, adding thumbnail sketches to fill... Continue Reading →

Week 13: Recces and tech learning

On Monday 12th April, Emma, Kaitlyn and I visited a number of potential locations for the field scene including a farm at Harlaw, Bonaly Scout Camp and Wiston Lodge. Though all these locations had their merits, Harlaw and Wiston both had restrictions on where we could go and limited directions we could shoot in. Wiston... Continue Reading →

Week 12: Fort Tom and script analysis

As our shoot date is drawing closer, I decided to start breaking down the current draft of the script. I followed the advice in the American Cinematographer article, reading through the script multiple times, noting changes in mood, narrative perspective and any practical challenges. I then made rough tramlines outlining my approach to coverage for... Continue Reading →

Week 11: Straw in the Wind

This week, I spent most of my time working in one of my secondary roles as a loader and gaffer on Straw in the Wind. This was an exciting shoot with a very talented crew and it was great to be a part of and watch the story come together. After the shoot with the... Continue Reading →

Week 9: Recces and tutorials

On Monday 15th March, we had another group meeting. We discussed making a short video for our crowdfunder page, with the aim of launching our campaign on the 26th March. We also talked through the new moodboards and discussed casting, budgets and Emma's progress with the script. On Wednesday 17th, I helped out as a... Continue Reading →

Week 8: Social media and logistics

This week I spent a lot of my time working on finalising the 1 Page Pitch and visual style for our social media launch. I also contacted a number of locations and rental houses as part of the shared producing approach that we had agreed with Katriona. This did mean that I didn't have as... Continue Reading →

11th March: American Cinematographer

This week I read Jay Holben's article from the latest issue, focusing on the process of breaking down a script, establishing visual styles and previsualisation. I found this article to be highly relevant to the stage I am currently at with Wee Wild Flowers. Holben suggests that it can help to use the initial read-through... Continue Reading →

Week 7: Ursa tests and many moodboards

This week, I carried out some more camera tests, this time using the Blackmagic Ursa. I tried to recreate some of the scenes from my previous Alexa tests as closely as possible, allowing me to compare the dynamic range, grain, sharpness, exposure characteristics, and colour processing between the two cameras. I also tested the ergonomics... Continue Reading →

Week 4: Script Development

This week, Emma and I attended a tutorial with Paul to discuss the story and visual approach. We then went on a socially-distanced walk as we both find it quite difficult to communicate and discuss ideas over Zoom. Overall, we came away with a sense that it would be best to focus on the sense... Continue Reading →

Week 2: More Meetings…

This week we met again as a group on 31st January. Prior to the meeting, as suggested by Paul, I had looked through Emma's current draft of the script and made annotations based on my current cinematography ideas. This was helpful to look through as a group and allowed me to show a fairly consistent... Continue Reading →

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