Solitaire – Shot Breakdown

Dear Blog,

I have tried to simplify the process of explaining the information about the technical aspects of my film.

I have created an edit which has all of the information detailed in the form of text on each shot.

Here is the edit:

Password: solitaire

Below I will give an explanation of each individual shot and why I chose to use it.

Just to give a quick explanation of my shooting style for this film, in case this is read before my evaluation.

I believe strongly in letting actors become comfortable with their movements and interactions with objects/characters within the scene. I like to have actors repeat their movements countless times and after I am satisfied I add a suggestion whilst still rolling the camera, this gives me a chance to let them get rid of their nerves and settle in to the movements.

Rob spent a long time typing before we rolled camera so it became second nature to him. So what I decided was to get him to repeat the movements over and over again whilst I moved around him within the spaces between lights to capture as much as possible. This gave me the opportunity to experiment and try to find something that worked.

I do not like to storyboard everything, this could be seen as unprofessional but I have heard that many directors do not storyboard everything anyway.

I storyboard the key shots that give the style to the film, but I mainly like to get into a location with the actors and props and experiment with different ideas. This cannot always work which I do understand, but for this project I had the chance to work this way.

Sequence 02.Still001

1. This opening shot was never the intention when storyboarding, it was storyboarded as a final shot. At the time of shooting I decided to start with this as a nice foreshadowing for the reveal at the end of the film. I decided I wanted the audience to be familiar with the location of my character within the room so that when I go for the slide reveal they understand more clearly and it becomes more powerful.

Sequence 02.Still002

2. This shot was captured whilst Rob repeated the motions of picking up paper, loading it, typing and then ripping it out, over and over again.

Sequence 02.Still003

3. I wanted to show the steps that are taken to write a story. I think showing the paper from here gives an indication as to the characters mindset and ultimately where the film is going.

Sequence 02.Still004

4. This shot in a recurring one used to give Rob room to create some emotion and let the audience see him straight on.

Sequence 02.Still005

5. This shot was part of  12 minute long take in which I had Rob repeat his actions and I moved around him, I was also trying to avoid catching any glimpses of the paper (as the ribbon in the typewriter was dry)

Sequence 02.Still006

6. This shot is one that I have wanted to use in a film for a long time, I took a photograph of my partner sat there a couple of years ago, I love the skyline in the background. I imagined writing a film based solely on this bench, where a couple first meet and we see them through different stages of life (young/with children/old etc) but never got round to writing it.

Sequence 02.Still007

7. This was the first thing I thought to add to break the shot up. Not an original idea for my film but that is exactly why it fits. The Eiffel Tower is a memento of mine from when I first went to Paris, it is just a irrelevant object to try and create a bit of mystery and set tone.

Sequence 02.Still008

8. An over the shoulder shot to give some space between Rob and the typewriter to show his disconnect from the page.

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9. Another shot to show the process of loading the machine. Nothing fancy.

Sequence 02.Still011

10. This shot is the first image I had in mind when given the brief, or more accurately when I was in the bath that evening. I thought it would be a strong enigmatic opening shot. I originally wanted more of the suit in shot but when I found this framing at the time it worked for me. This shot is graded to resemble a dream.

Sequence 02.Still012

11. This shot is slightly lower than the previous of it’s kind. Rob is smaller and more hidden from view, it is mean’t to imply that he is overwhelmed.

Sequence 02.Still013

12. A slightly different shot of the paper, to keep the cycle of creativity(or lack thereof).

Sequence 02.Still014

13. Another idea I had for a short film, titled ‘The Saddest Clown in Town’. I find the idea of a crying clown interesting. I am aware that it is a ridiculous idea which is why I ridicule myself by including it within the film. The shot is fairly simple, but I think the lighting and grading is very strong. I boosted the saturation to highlight the colour as it is the only shot in the film that has much colour.

Sequence 02.Still016

14. Back to a similar shot to earlier to restart the process of Rob trying to come up with an idea.

Sequence 02.Still017

15. This is my favourite shot within the film. It was achieved by lighting the room with LEDs and using a mini LED behind Rob, illuminating the smoke and create a silhouette of him. The slide from black is cliche but effective.

Sequence 02.Still018

Sequence 02.Still019

Sequence 02.Still020

16. These shots were all shot from a tripod, I was sat there panning and following Rob’s movements. I was blown away by the quality of the movement, I usually use a shoulder rig for these kind of shots but because of the height of the shot, I tried the tripod. I think the movement is beautiful and will be using a tripod much more in future, instead of just for static shots.

Sequence 02.Still021

17. My least favourite shot, the focus is on the fire instead of Rob, making him out of focus. I could bullshit about the thematic meaning of this, but it is just poor focusing. I am completely unaware why I kept the shot in the film but here it is. The fire is quite nice but when it moves to Rob it looks amatuer.

Sequence 02.Still022

18. Again I am not a massive fan of the composition of this shot, but we only had one letter to burn, so I set up in a position where I would definitely capture it. It is passable, yet a little uninspired.

Sequence 02.Still023

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19. Another one of my favourite shots. Rob’s performance, the smoke off of his arms and the tilt from the fire to his face is great. I think this is a strong shot. There was an LED behind Rob to highlight the smoke clinging to him.

Sequence 02.Still025

20. Return to the opening shot of this scene. I wanted to transition through black to the next shot back in the office.

Sequence 02.Still026

21. A fairly smooth slide/tilt to transition back into the room.

Sequence 02.Still027

22. The opening shot repeated to build up to the reveal of the paper. 2400 pieces of paper were used, it took almost 2 hours to screw it all up and 20 minutes to clean up.

Sequence 02.Still028

23. This shot is cut in entirely to hide the slider changing position. We did not have enough room on the slider to get much paper in shot, so it had to move back. This was a experimental shot that I felt fit nicely to hide the repositioning.

Sequence 02.Still029

24. This was moving into the end of the slider in it’s second position. I couldn’t go any wider than 24mm (I had the 14mm but it was too wide) so I had to position all (like 20%) of the paper to sell the effect. It is not quite as grand as I had hoped but I think the message is there.

Goodbye.

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