The Clip Club

Primary after-school club in East London, UK – we watch, talk about, shoot and edit short films and clips

Archive for the category “Clara”

Final session and party

It’s the last session…. ūüė¶

Michelle does some of her research stuff: setting up an audio recorder, a few photos on the tables and some post-it notes. She wants to find out what we remember about the process from way back when we first started by writing memories, words, observations on the notes. Michelle points out a photo of Gman’s that is particularly good… this one:

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It’s good because of the use of the ‘rule of thirds’ (imagining the photo split into a grid of 9 squares with balanced content in each one), the interesting natural lighting, the depth of field (seeing right to the bottom of the corridor), the composition (the arrangement of everything in the frame), AND catching Clara at exactly the right moment, in a fantastic pose in the centre of the frame. This is sophisticated photography and Gman should be really proud. Clara should also be proud as it’s not just her face that’s acting, but her whole body too. Well done!

There’s much excitement as people drift in …. we’re without Leonardo, not sure why. Dual2 nearly didn’t make it, so Michelle gives him his present before all the others … turns out he does make it to the session, but he manages to keep¬†the gift a secret.

Some are happy to write on the post-it notes but Dual2 for example prefers to interview his peers with the audio recorder. People are sad to see that it’s all over and more some have wondered if they can come back to help with the next Clip Club – if that were to happen. Michelle says that would be good, but they could also set up their own Club in their new secondary schools, like DJess did.

We move onto the next phase where Michelle has prepared some words/questions/phrases on cards. The group take turns to pick one or two up at a time and talk about what the cards say eg.

I liked it when…

I now know I’m good at…

Things went well when…

Things didn’t go so well when…

I think (X) is good at…

I think the best shot was…

TEAM / FUN / EDITING …

Examples of the things the group says: Nimbus reckons it’s made him feel more creative / Dual2 recognises that film making is a process that takes planning and lots of time / Wizard23 thinks he’s got more social skills / Clara & Cara regret the times when they messed around and could have done more work.

Michelle gives everyone a present – a Celebrations box of sweets (& Mr. P some whiskey!) to thank them for making the past couple of years such a special time. We do a collective hands thing – what’s the name of that? – and go out¬† to take photos. Mr. P produces some pop and hoola hoops. We watch the film and the ‘Making of’ film again as Wizard23 hadn’t seen them. Much laughter at Dual2 running along the paving stones – again!

Roll on Friday 11 July 2014 – the day we screen to the school. Next post will have links to all films.

More green screen, fixing a problem

We’re all aware that there are only a couple of sessions left to us as a group and there is still much to be done. Michelle talks about her research and asks the group if they wouldn’t mind filling in or decorating an accordion style (Moleskin) notebook, as they might a journal – to surprise me with any thoughts, feelings, drawings, prints of photos, collages, patterns, writing about the Club over the past 16 months.¬† Also perhaps thinking about accomplishments / what might be missed / remembered / the best bits/ the worst bits/ the cool bits/ the funny bits. This will help Michelle understand how everyone has felt about the process over the months.

Wizard23 and Dual2 are back so we watch the edit so far to get everyone up to date. The split screen climax shot is still not quite right – they’re not aligned perfectly. So Nimbus comes up with a possible solution – to green screen another sideways shot of the Clone and drop that over the original shot of the real Clara. Most people help set up the shot. Clara rightly complains that she’s doing her best acting at a dramatic moment in the film, whilst others are messing about and putting her off.

As it happens, after we’ve wirelessly transferred the clip and imported it onto the timeline in iMovie, there are problems with the Clone’s proportion because we’re not doing it in the same location as before and the distance and angle of the camera is different. The green screen idea fixes the alignment problem because we’re no longer splitting the screen, but the Clone now looks quite small in comparison with the real Clara on the left of the screen. This is actually quite a funny effect but we’re not sure this is what we want at this point in the movie… Mr. P suggests she could be shrinking as well as disappearing….?

Wizard23 reminds people about the idea of the “Previously on Run School Run!” at the beginning of the film, I suggest we may not have time to do this but they’re welcome to take responsibility for it.

There’s more talk about how to end the film… and tie up a few loose ends.

The Headteacher has said that we can screen the film after an assembly at the end of term and do a Q & A with the audience.

 

Green screen and split screen adventures

Cara shoots the climax ‘meet scene’ again, and again, and again. She would have shot it yet again if we’d had the time. We find it’s really important to keep the camera still, but we don’t have a tripod for the iPad. The last time we shoot it Mr. P comes up with a makeshift tripod/trolley thing to keep the camera steady, whilst Clara shifts position in front of the camera to become the Clone on the other side of the 2-shot. See below one of the takes.

Nimbus watches the Youtube clip from the last post whilst the others are filming and figures out how to make the split screen work. In this process, because of the blue bits in Clara’s school uniform, other unexpected effects are discovered that make Clara body look like it’s semi-disappearing or that her body has been cut in half and absorbed by the Clone?…. maybe we could use this effect somehow?

In the end we’re not sure if the split screen works 100% because of a lack of alignment and we still need to work out bits of the narrative to make it flow. Dual2 and Wizard23 aren’t here today, but we may need them to come back to make the story fit together.

We try some green screen filming. The screen has been set up earlier and Gman films Clone Clara settling in back ‘home’, walking across the green background. Whatever is green can be replaced with whatever we like, an image, more film perhaps? Nimbus suggests Clone Clara touches the green screen as if she’s interacting with her stuff at home. He has a go at slotting in Wizard23’s drawn backdrop of the insides of the computer on the timeline and then putting the green screen footage on top of it. As Gman points out, peeling off bits of film on the timeline to hide the bits of film not covered by the green screen, makes it looks like she’s entering a portal.

Here’s the original green screen footage and then a clip of the editing process in iMovie …¬† it’s a sneak preview of the final bit of the film… It’s really great the way everyone works together on this … gathering around the screen and chipping in with editing suggestions… We’ve been quick with the filming, quick with the wireless download from iPad to Macbook, quick with the import into iMovie and finally patient and careful with the second go at making it all work in the software.

Well done guys, it looks great! Just need to think about the narrative so it makes sense to the audience. Just a few more sessions to go now….

Workshop style session & split screen

It is another small group in this session. Wizard23 has football and Dual2 is elsewhere. Nimbus chooses to edit as does Leonardo, while Clara and Cara go and shoot the climax of the film – the meet scene where Clara meets her clone. Meanwhile Gman captures it all on the stills camera. Nimbus and Leonardo begin to think about the sound track – listening to the effects and samples available in the iMovie database.

It then turns out that we need to film Nimbus – The Master – having a meltdown under the stairs so Clara does some editing while this is happening. Both Cara and Gman have goes at filming – there’s a low angle pan upwards from Nimbus’s feet to head and then a high angle shot from the stairs, looking down on a crumpled Nimbus losing his sense of power and all his computer equipment. This shot reminds us of the shot earlier in the film where Nimbus was looking up and smiling, except this time he’s falling apart and things are all going wrong.

The group even get another shot done today – of the Clone’s twitching face as her batteries start to run out. Thanks to Gman for getting these shots and showing us how the film is being put together. Loving the screen in the screen!

It feels like a workshop today because people change what they are doing depending on what needs to be done. And then others take their place. I need to go to a meeting so Mr. P takes over during the remaining time. We’re also collecting some fun bloopers in a special folder in the iMovie project. Hopefully someone will feel like editing all these together at the end.

In the next session – after the half term holiday – let’s use this Youtube clip to tell us how to do a split screen effect. It would be great if someone could watch it beforehand and be prepared to tell us how to do it:

Shooting The Meet scene, editing, experimenting on the bridge

Two weeks in May:

We watch a 5 minute animation called Animatou by a Swiss animator called Claude Luyet. He was asked to make a film showing many different animation techniques and he chose to do that using the classic ‘cat and mouse’ routine. The reason I choose to show it now is because it could give us inspiration about how to end the film…?

'Animatou' short by Claude Luyet

‘Animatou’ short by Claude Luyet Source: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xtwzud_animatou_shortfilms

Cara is editing with me, and Mr. P accompanies the film crew around film locations going through the shot list. This works well – I make a point of not getting involved and they organise themselves with varying levels of co-ordination. I remind Cara about editing techniques in iMovie and we cut a great sequence. Cara is very good at watching clips, choosing appropriate ones and discarding the rest. She puts the clips in the order she wants and then chops them up into another order and shorter lengths to create tension.

Gman takes a rest from taking photos [particularly like the ones from behind the window of Clara fainting, shown below] and joins the editing team the following week, and over 2 sessions we get to the bit where Clara and Wizard23 are running away from the Clone, down the corridor, passing on either side of the camera – at which point the camera man was lying on the floor propping up the iPad – good choice!. The low angle here makes the audience feel the panic in the actors’ feet as well as on their faces.

Nimbus decides that a good place for the split screen Clone/Real Clara shot might be the bridge. We’re not sure yet if we’re going to use this as we would need to get the actors outside somehow, from the inside corridor shot. Wizard23 starts a great drawing of the insides of a computer. This is because the group had seen the short animation described above and might use some of its ideas with a green screen effect. Meanwhile Clara takes advantage of the smaller group today to film some “Making of” shots.

We watch the shots filmed so far and the cut as it stands at the moment.

iPad film making – still & moving image & sound

These clips were made in iMovie on the iPad in about 25 minutes. We were practicing the weird, scary, thriller genre, focussing on close-ups. There’s a photo effect called the Ken Burns effect in iMovie (this was the guy who first came up with the idea for documentary film making). It moves around the image and you can decide how/where to frame the image at the beginning of the movement and its positioning at the end – it’s useful for guiding people’s attention to certain details:

Here’s Wizard23 & Clara’s:

Here’s Dual2, Gman & Leonardo’s:

He Dies At The End – short ‘horror’ clip

ecu-dies-at-endWe decide to get back to film clip watching and making. We watch this short horror movie by Irish film maker Damien McCarthy called He Dies At The End. Even though we know what is going to happen, it’s still scary and creepy and full of tension. Michelle records the clip clubbers’ reactions whilst watching and then some of the comments made afterwards.¬† Watch it and see what you think about how tension and suspense is created and maintained throughout, with the Director’s choice of images, shots and sound:

In another post I’ll put up another clip of the film director making the ‘thing’ at the end… it’d spoil the surprise if I post it here!

Filming whilst watching (in poor light):

Chat about the film afterwards:

Wizard23 filming Leonardo after watching ‘He dies at the end’:

November sessions

During November we’ve been getting to grips with the¬†Explain Everything app on the iPads and playing with its many features: animation, camera/movie function, pinching, scrolling, panning, zooming, enlarging, drawing, designing slides, voice recording, exporting to .mov files, importing photos/images, saving to Dropbox and this kind of thing. The idea is to make some digital audiovisually illustrated stories. Here are some examples of the work we’ve been doing so far:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘The Big Match’ analysis

man in the moonWe begin to look at how the animation in our last sessionThe Big Match –¬† is designed and how it illustrates the voice-over story. We write some things down to do with colour, setting, story and sequence. Here are some of the things we notice in the first 40 seconds of the film:

  • the bright green colour (keeps coming back)
  • text from newspaper cuttings
  • drawn postcard of a city with a coffee stain (that Leonardo notices)
  • cardboard box background
  • a 3D McDonalds scene
  • cut outs of customers and bits of the shop flipping up in McDonalds
  • a video clip in a scrap of paper
  • little boy kicks the football out of the video into the animated sky, watched by the man in the moon
  • “Over / the / Moon” from magazine cuttings
  • the moon is the same shape as the football
  • photos mixed with black and white drawings
  • handwriting
  • sunshine and sky mean happiness
  • happy music then sadder music talking about his Dad…
  • sports shop in the sky
  • pacman eating the screen like a transition (Leonardo’s idea)
  • the concept of retro – meaning something that imitates the style of something from the past

Then we split up – each with an iPad and headphones – to watch, pause and scroll through the rest of the movie to pick up other design techniques for their own ‘making of a memory’.

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Here are other design elements we notice from the film:

And more:

  • panning shot across the railings, photo in background
  • photo of living room on newspaper, live action on TV
  • aerial shot of town
  • black outline of Dad and kid
  • extreme close-up of green tickets
  • rainbow & multiples of jumping kid
  • newspaper headlines
  • whistle blowing
  • crowds cheering
  • panning shot across stalls selling hats
  • bovril cups in newspaper
  • cross dissolves watching game
  • aerial, high angle shot to finish

Clara finishes early and goes to another room to record and then re-record her own story using Garageband. She’s brought a tiger soft toy with her to start collecting things to help tell the story of a trip to Dublin Zoo with her family.

Leonardo has brought a video he made on his phone – of him telling his story – but we have problems getting it off the phone. We’ll try again next week by blue toothing or using a cable.

Wizard 23 has also brought something in to share – his first football shirt. Mr. P is going to keep this safe till next week when we will have time to listen to his story and take photos.

Thanks to Nimbus for helping to set up the iPads with some efficient QR code scanning so that everyone had easy access to the clip … and then putting all the iPads away at the end!

Storyline and shooting the storyboard

Here’s the storyline:

A Macbook is left on a table in the library with iMovie opened on a project. Footage of Clara is being edited.

Something happens and a clone of Clara comes out of the computer (the ‘Alma sequence’ of shots).

She goes off wandering round the school.

Wizard23 & Clara come back to the library and continue working on their film.

Clone Clara finally finds them.

Wizard23 hears something, turns round and sees both Claras.

Clone Clara reaches out to grab Wizard23 to get him out of the way.

Wizard23 and Clara are in shock and try to defend themselves. Wizard23 runs away.

Clone Clara doesn’t go after them, she touches the computer to get back into the iMovie programme to get ‘home’… (another ‘Alma sequence’ of shots).

Nimbus set up some nice shots and Gman used his photographic eye to take some great photos to capture the rough plot outline. There was some brilliant acting and great support from the rest of the team. Thanks guys!

Here’s a slideshow of the storyboard:

Here’s a test series of shots to show you how the ‘Alma sequence’ might work once the stills/effects/sounds are decided on.

Editing Horror/Thriller trailers

It’s great to see everyone turning up for more Clipclub sessions – we’ll be carrying on into the summer months. This is important because, as we’re discovering, films take lots of time, planning, concentration and effort! Over the past 2 sessions the team has been been working on edits for a potential film trailer.

Before they get on with editing we talk about what makes a good edit:

  • selecting the most interesting bits of the available clips:
    • visually
    • cinematically
    • dramatically
  • being careful about deciding where clips start and where clips finish (the start point and the end point)
  • thinking about clip length – shorter the better for trailers
  • carefully adding digital effects: sound effects, voices, titles, music, fade ins and fade outs
  • carefully editing digital effects: reversing or slowing down sound
  • not SHOWING and EXPLAINING everything… it’s better to make people curious and raise questions in people’s minds so they want to see the film

The below clips were done in a short space of time, with only a quick demonstration on the whiteboard of what’s possible in the software. This one by Nimbus and Leonardo is particularly good and captures all the suspense of a thriller/horror trailer, made from the various bits of footage and sound taken over the past few weeks.:

Here are more practice trailers which aren’t quite finished yet:

Clara and Cara’s end of film rushes

Check these out and figure out how you’re going to edit them into your final piece.

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