Year 1 Module BACM104

Pulling Focus & Depth of Field

In this session, we learnt more about aperature (f-stop) and how to control it to create either a shallow or a deep depth of field.

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Dejain set us a task to take two pictures one with a shallow depth of field and one with a deep depth of field – for five types of shots. These five types of shots were: long shot, mid shot, close up, extreme close up and establishing shot.


Pulling focus

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Dejain also showed us a really cool trick to save time on repeatedly having to adjust the camera for different actors. He got Steve, Angus and Reader to stand at different distances from the camera, and assigned them all a colour of tape (red for Stephen, blue for Angus and yellow for Reader.) He then adjusted the aperature to bring each person into to focus, and stuck a piece of corresponding tape on the correct settings for each person. This meant that all you had to do was twist the aperature and focus rings on the lens to where the tape was telling you to, and you’d find the correct settings straight away. Pretty useful!

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This session was personally very useful for me as I’m still learning the ropes in terms of cameras.

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Year 1 Module BACM104

Lenses and Lighting

Lenses

In this session, we learnt about the different types of DSLR lenses and how we can utilise them for different purposes in our projects.  We looked at:

  • Wide angle lenses (24-35 mm)
  • Standard prime lenses (24-35 mm)
  • Zoom lenses (55-200 mm)
  • Macro lenses (50-200 mm)
  • Telephoto lenses (100-600 mm)

Dejain also got us all to come together and recreate the same mugshot of him using the different lenses. This obviously required adjusting the placement of the camera dramatically from up close whilst using the wide angle lens, to right at the back of the room for the telephoto lens. You can see our results below:

IMG_8115
16mm
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24mm
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35mm
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50mm
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85mm

Although we touched on what their uses and limitations are a little during this session, I decided to do some further research and find out what the specific pros and cons were of each type of lens. For example, I found out that wide angle lenses creates more depth of field, resulting in more in-focus images. But it is not great for creating compression, and can create disorted images.

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The different camera placements based on lenses

This session really helped my understanding of something that I lacked in before, and I am really interested in taking advantage of this newly learnt information in my music video. The wide angle lenses really caught my eye; I was a big fan of the cinematography from Blade Runner 2049, and I noticed it included a lot of wide-angle shots. These looks amazing, and I really want to incorporate those kinds of shots somehow. I still don’t know my idea yet, so this may not come to fruition, but it is definitely a starting point.


Lighting

In this session, we learnt how to properly light a set, set up lights and how to utilise those lights to further tell your story.

We discussed how Kino Flow and LED lights (Arri) can swamp your set with light, and if you want to stop this you should use diffusers. As a result, they also stop harsh shadows if that is something you want to stop. Moreover, there are different tools (diffusers included) that can be used to shape the light in a specific way. Scrims and diffusers can cost a lot of money, so we also got to learn from Chris that we can create the same effect by tying some tights to a coat hanger, therefore cutting costs right down. Perfect for our music videos.

Before and after diffuser:

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We also discussed the ‘three-point lighting’ set up so we can correctly light a subject: Back lights to light the back of the subject, key lights to light the front and fill lights to fill in the shadows created on the subject’s face. But we also discussed how we could take this set up apart for different looks, like just using back light to create a silhoutte.

Lights can help tell a story too, and there’s different ways you can use lights to do that. In Blade Runner 2049, they did the equivalent of shining light down a glass cup to create rhythmic ripples across the set, and in this session Dejain shaked a diffuser around in front of an orange light to create the illusion of candles flickering. Several lights together can create the look you’re going for.

I took these things from the session specifically because they are what I think can help me the most with my music video, and the perfume advert we have to do for BAIS300. I will discuss more about why in the productions logs for BACM103 and BAIS300.

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Year 1 Module BACM104

How does your work compare to other professionals in your area of interest?

 

First, it may help to layout my current interests at the time of writing this:

  • Post-production (Editing)
  • Motion Graphics
  • Graphic Design

In my personal opinion, I don’t think it’s right to mark or judge your own work this should be left to others. However, I can see why we are being prompted to start critiquing our own work. Therefore, I shall break down each of my current interests and try my best to judge how my work from semester one compares to professionals in the industries.

Post-production (Editing)

I think the common theme in this blog will be that I am doing some things right, but I still have a way to go and that is why I’m doing this degree. In terms of editing, I’d like to think my work so far has been of a professional standard at least.

This was one of the tasks I was most proud of from semester one. I think I did a really good job of cleaning up the cuts between shots; we didn’t nail the dolly movements whilst filming so the raw footage cut together looked very rough, something that wasn’t noticed in this edit. I also think the music matched the style I was going for completely, and I feel like the tagline was great. However, there as no colour correction which would of added a lot to the video. Moreover, for an advert, the pacing was awful; the video was too long and therefore wouldn’t be that effective as an advert.

However, since it was long I’d like to compare it to an advert we looked at earlier in the semester that is roughly the same length, but was effective:

This is regarded as one of the best adverts of all time. The colour correction/grading is great, and fits perfectly. It doesn’t feel like that long of an advert whilst watching it, which goes to show that it has great pacing and isn’t boring. It has a great narrative, and really nails its target audience by making Guiness look mythical through the use of Neptune’s Horses, finished off with an excellent tagline: ““Good things come to those who wait”. Moreover, the music used is almost iconic, and the way it captures the audience’s attention is just what an advert needs to do. It is an advert that stays with you through the exceptional filming, post-production, imagery and narrative.

Compared, I still obviously have a long way to go before I get to anything of that standard, but I like to think I have shown the signs that I am on the right path.

Motion Graphics

I didn’t really do much motion graphics in semester one, but it is something I have dabbled in a bit in the past.

Task eight from semester one included a bit of motion graphics:

A motion graphics test I did a couple years back:

A video I did in 2016 that included a lot of motion graphics:

Flat design practice:

An intro I did for a Stranger Things video:

From these, I can see I am on the right track. However, I do not practice enough and as a result I lose my skills. Moreover, I am not at the point of being able to create motion graphics by myself yet, and always rely on tutorials. I realise many professional motion graphic artists may have to remind themselves using tutorials sometimes, but that is only sometimes. I also feel like the stuff I have done are only the building blocks of more complicated projects. I therefore feel, compared to other professionals in the industry, that I am still very much a beginner; it is definitely something I want to work on changing.

Looking at work from other professionals, and also considering the type of motion grapics I’m interested in (2D and Kinetic Typography), this is definitely the standard I’d like to get to one day:

Graphic Design

We didn’t do a lot of graphic design during semester one, and the stuff I did do I wasn’t paticulary proud of when comparing it to projects I’ve done in the past.

Bookcovers I created for my dad:

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I am very proud of these bookcovers, and I’ve had some great comments – even from a professional from the industry himself. These look and feel professional to me, and I’d say they compare very well to professionals in the industry. However, I would say that Graphic Design is much more than just bookcovers, and in that respect I still have a lot to learn in terms of creating other pieces of work such as film posters or logos.

 

Year 1 Module BACM104

Black Magic Live Broadcast Tech Session

 

 

Equipment used:

  • Broadcast Panel
  • BMD ATEM 1M/E Switcher
  • Studio Cameras

In this tech session, we all learnt how to set up the Black Magic studio cameras for the purpose of live broadcasting. It was definitetly a team effort, and I think one person doing it alone would be a push; I can really see how this could benefit our music videos.

The cameras are connected to a server, and this server is connected to a broadcast panel via a cat6 cable. Two TVs are then plugged into the server, with one TV acting as the multi-camera view and another acting as the live view (what the audience would see). At this point, the broadcast panel and server are both switched on, followed by the cameras. You can then use this set up to broadcast live, either on TV or livestreaming services like Twitch.

This gives me an interesting insight into a mutlicamera set up and how this could possibly be used in my music video. If I wanted to record a band playing in a studio, could use this set up. It would allow me to get many different angle to keep it interesting, and the set up allows for everything to be recorded onto a HDD instead of going live. At the very least, you can apply this same set up to three different DSLRs whilst out on a shoot to cover as many angles as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

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Year 1 Module BACM104

What makes video look ‘commercial’?

I am a little confused by the wording, but I am making the assumption that ‘commercial’ means ‘professional’ in this context.

Therefore, what makes a video look commercial is its production value. For starters, lighting and using plenty of is important. It makes a huge difference in the quality of a finished video, and is definitely a must, whether it is good natural light (during the day) or a well-lit set.

Crisp and clear audio is another important factor. An audience can watch a black and white film as long as it has good audio (an example being Shindler’s List).  But they will not stick around long if a video has bad audio.

Videos that make use of the Rule of Thirds, and ones that are not shaky, will always look more professional too. Situating subjects along the focus points on the Rule of Thirds grid is the beginning steps of cinematography, and pushes that video a bit higher in terms of a professional look. Similarly, using multiple angles can help with the professional look of a video too, and editing it all together in the right editing program, such as Premiere Pro, gives the video more chance to look professional, and therefore commercial, as it provides many more options to give it that ‘look’.

What companies in the UK are producing video content?

https://www.leftproductions.com/

https://www.spincreativegroup.com/

https://www.casualfilms.com/?utm_campaign=Clutch%20Sponsorship&utm_source=ppc

https://northernvisuals.co.uk/

https://www.tailwind.group/

https://www.toasttv.co.uk/video-production/

https://wearearchitect.com/

https://www.aspectfilmandvideo.co.uk/

https://www.aspectfilmandvideo.co.uk/

https://roundonefilms.co.uk/

 

 

Year 1 Module BACM104

What makes a good portfolio?

There is nothing more important than your portfolio when venturing into the creative world. It is what could (or could not) get you your first job in the industry, and is usually the first thing your employer or client will look at other than your CV.  Therefore, getting it right is essential.

For starters, it should only include your best work. Quality over quantity is the name of the game. Moreover, you should keep the type of clients you want to attract in mind; be selective, if you want to go into motion graphics then do not fill your portfolio with PowerPoint presentations. Keep your portfolio updated so clients or employers do not only see your best work, but your latest work too.

Quality over quantity also applies to things like the resolutions of your images or videos. You cannot afford to let silly little things like a 480p video prevent you from getting a client or job.

You should also show your versatility. Put on show your full range of capabilities, from experimental work to personal work; if your portfolio has a ‘samey’ feeling about it, your client or future employer will think your skills are limited.

Make sure your contact details are full visible so anyone knows how to get in touch with you. Furthermore, make your portfolio pretty and organised.

Who would you send your work to for review?

Friends and family are always a good start, but there’s always a danger of them not being honest enough. Fellow students studying the same field will give you the constructive criticism you need, along with your tutors. If you are not in university, reaching out to small creators (or even big creators) is a possibility. Moreover, there are different forums dedicated to sharing work online that can provide another possibility.

 

Uncategorised, Year 1 Module BACM104

What are the differences between Commercial and Public Radio Services?

The biggest difference, of course, would be that a public serving radio service is owned and financed by the public. In other words, it is paid by us through licensing fees. A commercial radio service (privately owned) is financed by themselves through advertisements; the public is not paying the station, the advertisers are. Think of BBC Radio vs HEART. As a result, they can broadcast much more than a public broadcaster.

There are also different reasons for broadcasting. Public stations are there to “educate, inform and entertain” the audience who pay their fees. Commercially owned stations have much more freedom on what they can broadcast, within reason, but they also need to draw in big audiences to keep their funding through advertisements.

Another difference is that commercial stations like to play music by musicians that are nationally recognised so they can get the ratings they need. Public stations have more freedom in this area as they do not have the same pressures.

Who controls the rules for broadcasting and how?

The office of Communications, or Ofcom, is the UK’s government-approved regulator for broadcasting. It exists to represent the interests of citizens and consumers, and protects them from harmful or offensive media. It does this by licensing all UK television and radio services. Broadcasters must comply with the terms of their license agreements; if they do not, their license is revoked. There is a broadcasting Code published by Ofcom which requires content inappropriate for children not be broadcast between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.