Tuesday, 30 April 2019

MAJOR PROJECT: Group Viewing on Big Screen, Grade Day & Final Viewing


We were scheduled a viewing on the big screen with the rest of our year group. We had the opportunity to watch everyone's films to give feedback on their progress so far. I felt that this would be beneficial for us to make any last changes to the edit ready for our hand-in next week. 

Feedback from Simon & rest of the group:
- Engine sound when moving
During scene 3, Tim and Luke have already picked up the van and they are on their way to the owl academy. To get the shot to look like they're moving we filmed it while the van was stationary, and then Katie added a light changing effect in the fine cut. The effect changed the light across the frame, making it look like the van was moving with the light travelling across their faces. This worked really well, however, we were fed back that the engine sound didn't quite fit. As the van wasn't actually moving we had the stationary engine sound in the background which would be better than hearing silence as the van is meant to be moving, however, this was the same sound before they hit the dog, during and after when Tim had stopped the van. It was pointed out that the engine sound would be a different pitch when the van was moving to when it had stopped after hitting the dog. This means we need to layer over another engine sound on top of the part when the van is moving or just simply raise the volume level to make it louder. Usually, the engine in a vehicle is loudest when pulling away from a stationary position, however, we need to make the difference between the two engine sounds so making the volume louder when the van is moving should work. 

- Audio in scenes 7 & 9
We were already aware of this point as Katie has been working on it throughout the duration of the fine cut. After trying a couple of different methods, we have decided to keep the audio as it is rather than trying to bring each individual clip down in volume as this was distorting the pitch level. However, Katie will edit the audio clip slightly by bringing the volume down as a whole rather than trying to edit bits of the individual clips to avoid making the audio pitchy. It was beneficial hearing the audio on the big screen for the second time as it sounds completely different to what it sound like in headphones. I was pleasantly surprised about the level of the audio on these scenes, from what I remember in the rough cut it sounded louder, which shows that Katie is improving the audio well.

- Sound effects
We are aware of the fact that we still need to add in a few sound effects - when Luke drops the bag on Sheila's doorstep and the gameboy effects during the night scene. I especially noticed that the bag needed a bigger thud when it hit the floor now that we see a shot of the dog. The audience would be able to get a idea of the weight of the dog after seeing the breed of dog we are using, and as a result of this, I don't think the bag hitting the floor reflects this well. The bag seems very light when it hits the floor, and the dog is a cocker spaniel which is a reasonably sized dog. I imagine it would give a bigger thud than what we have on the edit at the moment.

- Music
Simon suggested music would help bring up the quality of the film. As our inspiration, The Thick Of It, doesn't have any music we are reluctant to use any. However, I do agree that the night scene needs a bit of music and I believe that a heist music would be effective at this point in the story.

- Picture is pretty much there
We agreed that the pictures are pretty much there, with a small bit of refinement left to do. Katie added in a wide shot which reveals the van slogan before our main reveal, which looks slightly out of place. She argued that the original shot of Tim sitting in the van and then turning round to look at the van broke the 180 degree rule, however, we hadn't received any criticism about this in all of our previous viewings so I didn't think it was a problem. Simon seemed to agree so I will recommend changing the shot back to how it was originally, allowing us to reveal the slogan in one shot. 

- Unexpected comedy - cat & owl & pub punch
The group were laughing in appropriate places throughout the film which was a clear sign that the comedy was being shown through the edit. Getting people to watch the film who don't know the premise of it is a helpful technique to see how the comedy is actually working. Having the group big screen viewing was a good opportunity to do this as the majority of the people in the room hadn't seen the progress of the film.

Overall, the feedback was really good and constructive. The changes we need to make are achievable which is the main thing. I was concerned that we would be advised to make changes that aren't possible in this late stage. We will be working on the edit for the rest of the week with the aim of completing it a few days before the deadline, giving us time to export the final version. 


We had a full two days with colourist, Nathan Caws, helping us to improve the our edits. He sat down with each group individually but he was around for us to ask him questions throughout the two days. We explained the premise of the film and watched it through with Nathan first. 

Scene 1 - Overexposed light behind the window. The room has a good dark look to it, however the light coming through the living room window is very bright and stands out too much from the dark shots. Nathan understood that there wasn't anything we could do about the light coming through the curtains on the day, so although it can't be fixed completely we can dull the window down to match the rest of the dark shot. He showed us an example of making a box around the window and only changing the exposure of this. Then he masked it so when the camera moved the dark box stayed over the window rather than moving with the camera. This worked really well and made the bright window less obvious which was ideal. Katie will attempt this as best as she can in the final edit. 

Scene 1 - Colour grade that's already been done doesn't quite match in living room. When the light gets turned on it's quite warm (orange, yellow tones), but some shots are cold (blue tones). The colour needs to be consistent throughout the scene so make the cold shots look warmer. Katie had already applied a bit of colour grade to the edit previously, however today was about showing Nathan and seeing what the thinks of the colour she's already put on there and how we can make it even better. We didn't realise that the warm toned shots weren't consistent throughout the first scene, however, now we know we will amend these to match throughout the first scene. 

Scene 2 - Nathan explained that he couldn't read the whole slogan on the van in time before we cut away from it, this then prevented him from understanding the punch line of the reveal. This should have been changed when I had the rough cut, however, this was the first time we had received this feedback. As we know the slogan we may not have had it on the screen long enough for someone who hasn't seen the van before. This was a simple change of making the shot last slightly longer.

Scene 4 - As we filmed the dog shot in slow motion there are slight movements from the dog's fur and the gravel that are noticeable. Due to the fact that there is movement in the scene, it makes the slow motion shot obvious. We only used slow motion because the dog wouldn't lay still for long enough, it doesn't add anything to the story and wasn't meant to be noticed. As a result of this, Nathan suggested freezing the shot because it's not a noticeably windy day so we wouldn't expect anything to move. We will be able to freeze the take and it would just be seen as a static shot.

Scene 4 - Nathan suggested speeding up the cuts during surgery in the van in an Edgar Wright style. This means we can get through quicker to the punch line of the blood splatter. Rather than spending a couple of seconds watching him put on one glove, and then the other and the rest of the takes, we could see a shot which lasts a second of the first glove, and a second of the next glove, and then cut to the flick of the needle. This makes sense and would speed up the sequence leading up to the blood splatter so we will try this out to see how it looks. 

Scene 5 - When Sheila hugs Luke after finding out about Sooty, the exposure on her hand is very bright. This was caused by the light sky outside the house on the shoot day, it may be difficult to lower the exposure without lowering the exposure of the characters and house as these are fine. We will play around with this to see how we can lower it without changing too much.

Scene 7 - Odd cut at "That's so smart Tim!" - this may be because it's a 2 shot cutting to another 2 shot. Hold previous shot or change shot to different angle completely. 

Scene 11 - There is a shot of the owl flapping it's wings and the the next shot is really similar - looks as if it could be the same shot. Either change shot or zoom in or out to change perspective.

Scene 9 - When Tim dangles the pills at the end of scene 9 it and then nods - looks as if we are waiting for something to happen. Nathan suggested seeing Tim's face on that shot because he nods. We explained that the original shot included a pan to Tim's face however, we changed this to focus on the pills. Nathan said that we are sat on the pills shot for long enough so maybe if we could cut before Tim nods. Then we would have shortened the take, and don't expect something to happen after Tim's nod. Or include Tim's nod completely, so his face is in the shot, rather than half off the screen.

Having Nathan come in and watch our films was beneficial. He is extremely knowledgable on editing and colour grading, and he gave feedback that we hadn't heard before in previous viewings. However, this came with some disadvantages. Some of his feedback would really improve the edit, but it would take a while to correct, which we may not be able to complete before the deadline next week. Katie is going to try and complete the feedback that Nathan suggested, however, we are unsure if we can do everything before the deadline. 


We had a final viewing with Simon a few days prior to the deadline for some last minute advice. He only had minimal suggestions which was ideal just a few days before the hand in. Simon's feedback included:

- Bigger on title
The text should be bigger across the screen. The reasoning behind the smaller title was because of the anticlimactic idea. However, we did make the text slightly larger as it was quite small.

- Scene 2 - shave time off reveal of drugs 
Simon suggested shaving a bit of time off the drug reveal by refining the action of Tim opening the glove compartment. 

- Use of a squelch sound when Tim cuts into the dog
When Tim slips and stabs the dog with the scalpel, Simon suggested a sound effect of a squelch. We have a quiet sound from the spray bottle that made the blood splatter however, this is really quiet underneath the dialogue from Sheila and atmos. As a result of this, Alex found a squelching sound that seemed appropriate for the spray bottle. This sound is now more defined and sounds believable. 

- Dialogue "as good as him" needs to go up in volume up

- Dialogue "the game is a foot" sounded a bit quiet

- Music to take us from scene 11 to scene 12. From night scene to pub location
Simon suggested having the music from the night scene and playing it into the pub scene so it sounds like it is the pub who are playing the music. I thought this was a really good idea as it will help transition from the scenes, however, we initially only wanted music when Tim thinks he is being a successful vet, i.e. surgery scene and night scene, so if we were to continue the music into the pub, we wouldn't be following our tone throughout the film.

Mark's punch sound effect on black screen
Simon suggested to put a punch sound in between scene 12 and scene 13 to signify the idea of Mark punching Tim. However, we liked the idea of leaving this to the imagination of the audience, and then seeing Tim with a black eye and bloody nose.

- Alex wasn't sure about the final line from Luke - "what does it taste like?" - I liaised with him over this as I agreed that we didn't always quite have the reaction we wanted from the joke in some of our viewings. However, Simon reassured us that it was a good place to end the film, so we kept this in the final edit.

After this tutorial Katie completed the necessary changes we discussed with Simon. There were some points we took forward and some we didn't. She tried to raise the volume on the highlighted clips to bring the sound up with the rest of the edit. She also imported another squelch sound to add to the scalpel slipping into the dog, and she made the text on the titles slightly bigger. Points we didn't take forward were the punch sound after seeing Mark when the screen goes to black. We decided against this because we wanted to leave this more to the imagination of the audience. We also didn't carry the music over from the night scene into the pub, purely because throughout the edit we have been working on the idea of using fast cuts and music to signify when we are in Tim's mind of him being a successful vet. If we were to carry the music over, then we would lose the idea of our use of music. Before we exported the final product, Katie also took out the line  - "we need scalpels and forceps Luke, not dirty needles and hot knives" - towards the end of the film because the audio was a lot quieter than the rest of the film and it was difficult to correct. As a result of this, I was happy for it to be cut out in order to maintain the quality of the film throughout. 

For the submission for the extract, we will pick a section of the film that best represents VET-MAN and showcases important aspects of the film. 

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