research, experimentation and development

Dear Blog,


Youtube videos I used to communicate ideas to cast and crew:

Videos to Demonstrate breaking the fourth wall

High Fidelity –

House of Cards –

Walking towards camera montage –

Scenes to emulate: 

Shaun of the Dead:


Films I watched for inspiration/research:

Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of The Dead DVD-500x500

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World


Requiem for a Dream


Withnail and I




Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


Pineapple Express


Angry Video Game Nerd (Web Series)


Books read for research:

Cinematic Storytelling



section 3 (Shape within the frame) pages 32 – 44

Section 9 (Camera Lenses) pages 134 -146

Section 10 (Camera Position) pages 148 – 166

The Visual Story



chapter 3 (space) pages 14 – 90

Tests and Exploration

Test Shots from Storyboards: IMG_5031 IMG_5061 IMG_5077 IMG_5092IMG_510320140205_211841

Game/film title design

After Effects example title for the fictional game within the film –

Game Screen attempt 1


Short film title Attempt 1


Arcade Machine Design Attempt 1


Final Design for arcade machine


Final result


Examples of shots referencing influences.

Shaun of the Dead:



Heat: 1393021_10153540429455198_1186680834_n

Pub Heat

Requiem for a Dream:



Responses to Workshops

Mei Miserere

Mei Miserere –

During one of our sessions we were tasked to go and make something within our area of interest. I have wanted to make a film noir film for quite a while and whilst sat there thinking of what I wanted to do, I quickly decided now was the time to try. I recruited Kurt and Wes who were interested in the idea and we went to work. Wes was tasked with writing a script about a bumbling idiot trying to be deep in a comical yet ironically poignant way, he delivered a script which was really impressive in a very short time. Kurt wanted to experiment with his acting and was happy to play the lead. I booked equipment, remembered a decent location and we went to work.

I was responsible for directing, camera operating and editing and quickly got on with my roles, allowing plenty of time for the edit as I know that is where the film is mostly created. We shot quickly and I kept the camera rolling and threw out suggestions of body language to capture snippets of. I got the film into editing and due to some experience, managed to get the film cut together in under an hour.

This was a great opportunity to push ourselves to create something quickly and efficiently, we worked well together and delivered a decent little short for the time given.



Panopticon –

This short film was made within two hours, we were tasked to make something based around a chosen sentence from another film.

Kurt and I worked together and our chosen sentence was: “Extraordinary, the tricks memory plays” from Waiting for Godot (2001. Dir. Michael Lindsay-Hogg) or from the play Waiting for Godot (1953. Writer. Samuel Beckett).

We had several ideas at first and then settled on the final idea which honestly in my opinion mean’t nothing. I am intrigued by the idea of an audience interpreting film as an art form and I myself was interested to create something that to me wasn’t fully fleshed out, but presenting it as something with depth. This was not mean’t in a malicious way but more as a test to see whether anything can be made sense of if you try.

This was a great challenge and gave no room for error when making it. I was in charge of creating the film with Kurt playing the lead. This gave me the opportunity to take advantage of my technical knowledge and create something quickly with the camera and in the edit.

Experimentation with overhead projector and various objects:

OHP - StillOHP (Short Experimental Film) –

2013-11-08 15.00.35

2013-11-08 15.00.42

I created a short experimental film to show how I engaged with the footage captured during this workshop. I used the opening music from Seven (1995. Dir. D.Fincher) as I felt that some of the footage had a similar feel to the opening sequence, which was designed by Kyle Cooper. I enhanced the effect I was trying to achieve by adding light leaks/film burns and a super 8 grain effect designed in After Effects.

I was blown away at the results from this technique. I thoroughly enjoyed using the OHP and am definately going to be using this as a tool when creating title sequences in the future. I am interested in using practical means over visual effects in filmmaking, which I guess is a direct result of my undying love for the original Star Wars films. I appreciate the resons for having us experiment with this technique, it is good to remind a younger generation of filmmakers of more out dated processes that are equally as effective as the newer digital ways.

Lighting Locations

IMG_5026 IMG_5031

Requiem for a Dream (Restaraunt scene) –

After reading through a scene in Requiem For a Dream (2000, Dir. D. Aronofsky) we attempted to try to create a similar looking scene within the classroom using a small selection of lights and props within the room, in order to show that you don’t need an exact location that matches the script.

This was a very good insight into how important lighting is when trying to achieve a certain look.


We attempted to create a new location from the green screen studio using a small selection of lights and the exposure triangle of in camera settings (ISO, aperture, Shutter speed).

I was involved in adjusting the lights and settings to achieve the above results.


On looking back at the entire module it really helped to open me up to experimenting with a variety of possibilities and techniques. I found myself planning in more depth than previously before and really considering the best option technically. I considered my field of view, what aspect ratio I wanted to achieve (2.4:1) and positioning of actors and props within the sets to maximize my space and create depth.


One response to “research, experimentation and development

  1. Pingback: Contents | forestories Year 2·

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