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 “Dual2”

Final session and party

It’s the last session…. šŸ˜¦

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 keepĀ 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 outĀ  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.Ā  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.

 

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:

Blue Chopper & experimenting with EE

It’s been a while since we met and so to get back into the swing of things we have a look at another clip similar in style to the Big Match. Set in 1975, it’s called Blue Chopper about a boy and his new bike:

We talk a bit about families and how they might respond in a similar situation. We also talk about the possibility of: involving the rest of the class in an EE (Explain Everything) project as well as doing a Run School Run 2 later in the year/term.

The rest of the time the clubbers spend doing more work experimenting with their EE projects. It seems that we come across the same problems with EE and maybe it’s not the easiest software to be creative with …. you need to have your slides all finished and perfect before you start talking/narrating over the top of them and it’s difficult to go back and edit images, photos and text if you make a mistake. Perhaps it’s better to use EE for EXPLAINING things or showing knowledge about things or processes that you’ve laid out beforehand, like Powerpoint. Or – you just have to be really organised and totally STORYBOARD every slide and know what’s going to happen on each one before recording.

You would need to have a fixed background and various characters or objects sitting on the top that you can animate or move around with your fingers as the story develops. This takes lots of planning, which is not a bad thing.

Here’s Dual2 playing with the EE App.

November sessions

During November we’ve been getting to grips with theĀ 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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dual2’s response to award day

National Youth Film Festival – Short Film Entry

The film has now been submitted online. There had to be a 50 word synopsis, which is a short description of the film’s story – and a 50 word paragraph on the reasons why the film was made.

Synopsis:

Year 5 children are editing a film. One of the filmā€™s characters, Clara, emerges from the screen and explores the school. Her energy dropping, she needs to get back into the computer, terrifying the film makers. Will she make it? or will Clone Clara carry on her exploration of reality?
Reasons why film was made:
Children our age will be entertained. We made an effort to make a good horror film.
It’s fun, we make videos and watch animations, giving us ideas to make our movie.
Anything I found hard there was someone to help. It was a good experience, editing gave me patience. It was brilliant.
(thanks to Dual2, Wizard23 and Gman for these thoughts)

Dual2’s reflections on Clip Club

It was good, enjoyable it taught me some things. It helped me with technology; it helped me to make films. Anything I found hard there was someone to help me with. It was a good experience it encouraged me to always edit your movie, it gave me patience. It was brilliant. I am enjoying using ipads to film and to use imovie. I liked being the director because people followed your orders and I think I was good at it because people listened to me. I liked being an actor, also in fact I would say that I enjoyed experiencing all the roles. The movie was good, it could have more added, a bit more humour and action in it, but overall it was a good movie. I was surprised that people laughed at it, perhaps it could have been a bit scarier. It would have been interesting to have some talking in the movie.

Alma Analysis Session

I’m still thinking about last week – analysing Rodrigo’s Blaas’ short animated film – Alma – almost frame by frame – it was an explosive session.

Bursting with great ideas and discussions about the intentions of the film maker, narrative, camera distance, positioning and movement, symbolism, sound, editing, artistry, mood and light…. Wizard23 and Dual2 wrote down many of the techniques used in Alma, some of which we may use in our own film to create drama and suspense.

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Film techniques used in Alma to create drama and suspense

I particularly liked Clara’s suggestion that the front of the shop looked like a menacing face into which Alma was being drawn. Mr. P noticed that the ECU of the dolls’ head with Alma’s reflection inside it could symbolise her being inside the dolls’ head later. This idea comes back again seeing the inside of the shop out of Alma’s doll’s eyes when she’s sitting on the shelf.

The clipclubbers also made comments on the sound effects and the creepy music. Often sounds are heard before you see what’s making the sound. There’s a good point of view sequence of shots when Alma is looking for her doll and the camera moves quickly from left to right, as if it was her head searching this way and that. We noted that there were about 40 separate frames that made up the amazing 2 second sequence when Alma got ‘absorbed’ into the the doll. A couple of these frames reminded me of Gman’s flash photos of Wizard23 lying on the floor.

There are lots of activities we could follow up with here.. Some experimental scriptwriting/poetry: from the point of view of the next doll-victim? a conversation between the twin dolls when they see Alma coming in the shop? the thoughts of the little boy trying to escape? more on Alma’s confusion? something exploring the ‘thoughts’ of the shop itself.

If we had time we could also storyboard and film a reconstruction of a section of the film trying out camera shots, always bearing in mind that no shot must go to waste – there must always be a reason for a choice of shot. Another idea might be to improvise this – in silence – with them taking it in turns to be the director placing camera, people and props accordingly.

However, I think that the next session should be about discussing and starting to storyboard our film.

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:

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