Final making of project, this time we’re working in a group of three creating a project of our own choosing.
In our intial meetings we came up with a variety of ideas that we all wanted to try out for this project however one thing that we could all agree on was that we wanted to move away from Animation and go into live action. I wanted to do something fun, like a classic B-movie, Josh wanted to do some silent/b&w movie after being inspired by Charlie Chaplin and Tz showed us a video which interested him using shadows:
In the end we all agreed on doing a silent movie using black and white movie techniques and went away to think of the story. It was here that Tz brought his story about a detective, who’s solving a crime where the murderer leaves behind a red die at the scene of the crime. This will be the only source of colour in the piece but also it’ll serve as a countdown to the final kill.
During research, I found this great video about Logan (2017, Director. James Mangold) which uses it as an example of how to use lighting and contrasts to really bring out the best in black and white filmmaking:
As Tz was in Bulgaria for Easter it was really down to me and Josh to begin working on the project. As director, I was also responsible for writing the script and starting on the thumbnail storyboard for when we get to filming. Me and Josh began writing the Detective story and this is when cracks started to appear.
The main problem we found was in trying to tell a story which made sense without dialogue and that could be told as a short story. I decided to meet up with Josh towards the end of Easter to discuss possibly changing the story idea after coming up with a new, hopefully easier project after seeing the new film Free Fire.
Josh liked this idea, and after briefing Tz about it and our reasons as to why we were so keen on changing it at such a late time he was on board too so it was now down to me to write out a second script based on this idea.
For this film, we were planning on having dialogue however rather than write out the dialogue first and have to find actors to fit the parts we decided to leave it blank till we had our actors then fill it in when we knew what their range was like. After this I made a brief set of thumbnail storyboards…
Which Tz then expanded upon by redrawing when we had a chance to meet up about the project…
With pre-production done, we went straight into filming on the easiest day for us. Late on Thursday to try and get the base room while it was empty from other animation students. This worked well for us, however because of deadlines and other factors we had no actors and had to make do with only 4 people who were thankfully willing to help out. As our script required 6 actors though, this meant we had some rapid script changes on the day and the shoot massively overran our initial estimates of only spending a couple of hours filming.
At first, we’d really given up on this project. After the horrible shooting day, me and Josh were prepared to do a very quick jumble together of shots and call it a day. (We personally thought our actual making of video was great, which is also the only bit that matters so we focused more on that then the video we shot for it).
However when Josh nipped out to get a coffee, I decided to play around with the video, adding in some titles and changing around a few of the shots to make it more like the old silent films that had initially inspired him to do a video like that. To my surprise, Josh loved the video, and we realized that we somehow managed to salvage the entire project into something we could be proud of, which can be seen here…
As a bit of fun as well I had a go at making a small trailer that we could share with our classmates to hopefully build up some anticipation for the project. I also wanted to do this because I made a joke about how the black and white video reminded me of the new movie Logan, and so wanted to make a trailer in the style of that as I personally loved the editing in it.
All said and done, while the project didn’t turn out exactly how we wanted it to I like to think we managed to pull some great work out of the back, especially in our actual making of video and the setbacks only made that stronger. Looking back I feel like I did quite a lot more than I probably should have on this project and even then it felt a lot like a paired project with Josh rather than Tz. We’ve had a great group dynamic however, aside from the minor hiccup when we changed the entire project, there hasn’t really been much friction and our ideas have really flowed off each other. Overall, it’s been a really fun project to work on.