48 Hour Film Project – ‘I, Fluffykins’

When?

24th January 2014 at 4.30pm to 26th January 2014 at 7.00pm

ImageTeam photo:

What?

The 48 Hour Short Film Project is a crazy sleepless weekend in which teams make a movie. All writing, shooting, editing and scoring must be completed in just 48 hours. There are no winners, only survivors! Staffordshire University, in conjunction with the Film Society and Grand Independent, mission is to advance filmmaking and promote filmmakers in the Midlands.

The first line of the short film must be “Call me Fluffykins and hear my story. This is the weirdest tale ever told.” The feature must be 4-10mins long.

Why?

This event developed organisation skills, time management skills, team work, an understanding of key roles on a film set and coping with little sleep.

How?

At 4.30pm on Friday the teams met to be briefed with the first line of there films. Afterwards teams disscused script ideas and assigned roles:

Director: Rowan Ashe

Co-Director: Emma Simms

Producers: Rowan Ashe, Simon Picken and Emma Simms

Production Manager: Ben Gray

1st AD: Simon Picken

Cinematographer: Emma Simms

Camera Operator: Seyato Aremola

Focus Puller: John Lines

Editor: Seyato Aremola, Rowan Ashe and Simon Picken

Assistant Editor: Raj Satish, Emma Simms

VFX: Rowan Ashe

Sound Recordist & Boom Op: Simon Picken, Ben Gray

Script Supervisor: Adrian Pritchard

Runners: John Lines
Clapper – Raj Satish
Screen Play – Emma Simms, Adrian Pritchard, Ben Gray
Storyboard –Emma Simms, Rowan Ashe
Call Sheet – Ben Gray
Release Forms – Emma Simms
Production Schedule – Simon Picken
Sound Editing – Ben Gray, Simon Picken
Lighting – Emma Simms, Raj Satish

ImageDiscussing story ideas:

The team mind-mapped ideas together and settled on an agreed story line.

ImageMind mapping story ideas:

The director then assigned times for filming in the morning and locations suitable for filming and accessible. Actors and equipment had already been confirmed before the project began. Cameras, lighting and sound had been collected and was ready for use. The team had decided to use FS700 camera for the weekend.

ImageFS700

The scriptwriters, storyboards and director stayed until 6.30am finalising the script and production details.

ImageScript Writing:

The final story line: An old high school bully moves in next door to Stanley and his wife, bringing up the old hated nick name ‘Fluffykins’. When Maria calls Stanley the nickname he snaps and decides to kill his neighbour, resulting in some funny occurrences. This tale is a Black Comedy.

At 9.30am the crew met at the first location and set up the scene with actors ready. However the director and producer had to go prop shopping before shoot began to ensure smooth running and little disruptions.

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Prop Shopping:

The scenes were set up quickly and shots devised and planned before had. The actors memorised the line quickly and efficiently, working with the crew closely to achieve perfection.

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Working on set:

The team used a variety of locations to simulate a larger on screen world.The shoot officially ended at 2.30am Sunday morning with an extra scene shot on Sunday morning at a separate location.

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Basement Filming:

Editing began mid way through Saturday’s shoot with material being sent to the university to be edited and save time trying to edit everything at once at a later time. The a draft edit was finally completed at 4.30pm on Sunday and viewed at 6.00pm in the TV Studio room.

This project would have ran more smoothly with a better script scheduled, completed and more detailed storyboards, a larger crew to swap for sleeping and more time. However the film was successfully completed and the edit will be finalized for viewing. The crew and actors worked extremely hard and under difficult conditions, not just lack of sleep but transport and weather issues. Everyone also enjoyed themselves fully, working with new people and expanding the networks available to us. It was a huge learning experience due to a mixed team of skills and levels.

ImageFollow the development of ‘I, Fluffykins’ at https://www.facebook.com/IFluffykins

Who?

Raj Satish, Ben Gray, Simon Picken, John Lines, Rowan Ashe, Rob Young, Adrian Pritgchard and Seyato Aremola. Project overseen by Tim Dunning.

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Jennings Bet

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When?

01/03/2011 to Present

What?

Worked for JenningsBet in Leighton Buzzard, Milton Keynes, Midsummer Boulevard and now Birmingham shops; Bull Street and Erdington

Why?

To originally save money for Gap Year Travelling in 2012, however the job also was key to improving time management, communication, direct dealing of money and money management.

How?

Bets are translated and processed through the till and direct handling of payment and large sums of money in store. Money was also deposited to the bank and to other shops when needed. It is important to keep the shop tidy and constantly interact with customers ensuring high social skills and ability to defuse difficult situations. Frequently worked long hours, answering the telephone, developing posters for promotions and ‘thinking 21’.

Rome in January

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When?

10/01/2014 – 12/01/2014

What?

Visited Rome, Italy

Why?

To enjoy the sites of the historic city gaining knowledge of the cultures raised and destroyed in Rome but to also have an understanding of the locations used in famous films located throughout the city.

How?

Firstly film locations were researched such as Angels and Demons (2009) and Roman Holiday (1953) that was filmed by the ‘Spanish steps’.

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The Trevi Fountain, features in many films such as the recent Eat Pray Love (2010) which is situated in a very small square, rife with tourists. Due to the tightness of the space it would have been important to design the shots carefully so that everything fit in and composition was correct.

Interestingly Gladiator (2009) was never filmed at it’s center location – the Colosseum.
Imageand depicts an untrue image of the Romans entertainment system. The film isn’t historically correct to the entertainment it is revealing, even to the design of the Colosseum itself, which would have included a roof made of sails and the event would have played out like a theater production.

The Vatican city also appears in a few films although many are not given permission to film in this holy center. Angels and Demons director Ron Howard had it digitized using the crew as tourists.
ImageRome holds its own independent film festival in March, celebrating this iconic city mentioned in many films but no longer used or appreciated on the careful planning it takes to successful create a film.

People and Place Documentary

When?

6th December 2013

What?

needed to create a documentary portrait of a character in their location and consider how filmmakers communicate that relationship through image and sound. There was a small rule book for this assignment.

1.) No talking head shots
2.) No non-diegetic music
3.) No text other than the opening titles & credits
4.) No handheld camera
5.) There should be no questions asked on the sound track

Why?

This task was designed to use the technology in an interesting way but still informative. This would create a unique style and film, pleasing to the eye and interesting in both sound and cinematography. This is no standard documentary challenge.

How?

The documentary was shot at Stafford’s local cinema, displaying a cinema goer’s experience and enjoyment. By focusing on the background the footage shows visual the individual aspects that make this the place, the person wishes to be. The slow lingering shots make it personal while the soundtrack gives and upbeat and fun feeling.

Unfortunately the voice over, gives a commercial quality, rather than a personal experience, this would be changed if the project was done again.

Due to the cinema being open to the public while shooting, there was limited time in areas, leading to on set improvisation and good communication among the crew.

The cinema were also kind enough to give access into the projection room, displaying how the machinery worked and giving different lighting opportunities. Lighting was an issue due to the location being dark and the inability to light areas more due to the public and space.

This was an enjoyable shoot on the day. However if this was done again a different interviewee would be used making the dialogue more light hearted and personal. Post went smoothly due to lots of footage available and plenty of time to edit.

Who?

Other members of the group included Simon Picken, Laura Humphrey, Jack Fenton and Charlotte Morgan.

Two Characters, One Light

When?

22nd November 2013

What?

To create a one minute film with one light source and two interacting characters. Dialogue (if any) and sound track is sourced or created by the group. The scene has a short narrative as if it has been cut from a larger film.

Why?

This task is designed to see how lighting interacts with characters and conveys emotion on scene, adding to the atmosphere. It also reveals how light can direct an audiences eye level, focusing attention and diverting it.

How?

It was decided to have a short narrative with as little dialogue as possible to focus on the light as tasked. Lighting was kept looking as natural as possible with the use of one Redhead light positioned outside the window to shine through the curtains as sunlight. The character is kept quite shadowy except for the beams of light on her face to show emotion. The scene as a whole is quite light but the use of the specific beam picks out the important aspects of the scene and characters.

Throughout the scene the lighting was used to pick out the emotion on the characters faces. The lighting also isolates the male character as he opens the door which gives the impression he is an unwanted intrusion on the female character’s personal space.

The lighting in the end is a soft light picking out the emotions the character is feeling and exaggerates them to show the intensity of the sadness she feels. The audience is concentrating on the character’s face as the other areas of the shot are in shadow. Making this a successful short piece.

Who?

Other members of the group included Simon Picken, Laura Humphrey, Jack Fenton and Charlotte Morgan.

Tableaux

When?

18th December 2013

What?

To create a one minuet short film in the style of a tableaux.

Why?

To develop other methods of shooting style. Tableaux is a common method appearing in other films such as ‘Hypothesis of a stolen painting’ (1979), which clearly depicts all action happening in an area centered by the camera focusing the audiences attention.
The purpose of tableaux is to have no camera movement and all action happening in one place like a living picture. This was to be direct and grip an audience in 60 seconds. This is a short time period and coming up with a theme that builds an immediate tension was vital. Themes that grab audiences tend to be sudden changes in human nature, such as Death, Life, Love and Tragedy. Tragedy is a beautiful and horrific term which was emulate in this piece.

How?

Using the new Sony F55 in an outside location, a low angle was used to focus on the action in the center. This film depicts the events after a car hitting a person. The headlights are used as a backdrop, with the hazard lights constantly flashing. This noise is also edited and made slower in the music score.
Actual methods of first aid are then performed on the victim carrying on when a passerby offers aid. The scene in slowed and accompanied by emotional music to make tension build. The music also emphasizes the disaster and directs the emotion to sadness and horror. The audience doesn’t know if the victim will survive, just like ‘how the event occurred?’ This is clearly an extract from a bigger scene which is being presented to the audience.

This was a successful production with crew members working together in an outside location, in dark conditions.

Who?

Other members of the group included Simon Picken, Laura Humphrey, Jack Fenton and Charlotte Morgan.

Rythms

https://vimeo.com/82091807

When?

17/12/2013

What?

To create a two-minute film that explores rhythm. The project will be made with original recordings only, and will illustrate a range of location and / or studio recording techniques with the aim of creating an exciting sonic event that underpins or acts as a counterpoint to the visual rhythms taking place.

How?

For this project the focus was rhythm which in the video is created using foley noises opposite a stressed and calm person working. These are the daily sounds they will hear while working.

The idea could have been further developed by locating the subjects in completely strange locations but represent how they feel, for instance the stressed subject in a lift and the calm subject in a large open field.

Who?

Charlotte Morgan, Laura Humphrey and Tharani Mahes.