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 “Wizard23”

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.

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.

Film Planning

wizard23Looking forward to the next session. We will be planning our movie that the school will see. Here’s a cool edited still of Wizard23 that we could use at some point in our film/trailer or publicity.

Run School Run!

Run School Run!

Poster by Wizard 23 of clip clubs upcoming debut scary movie. Keep your eyes out around the school for more news!

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:

Session 4 – Wallace & Grommit and the eye-line match

A bit of editing goes on while we wait for people to arrive. We talk about the different shots we know and I introduce the ‘eye-line match’. This mainly consists of 2 shots – one shot of the main character and then another shot of what the character is looking at – which is often a close-up shot. We look at a clip of Wallace & Grommit and the Curse of Were-Rabbit watching out for eye-line matches, for example, when Grommit is looking down at the carrots he’s chopping, or into the fridge and when Wallace looks down at his newspaper.

storyboardWe talk about how animations start out as drawings on a storyboard and how storyboards are not only used to build the story but also to plan the camera shots. When the storyboard is finished, the film makers have a list of shots to film.

This link shows an interview with Nick Park – the director of Wallace and Grommit – and some of his drawings.

Based on the work that we’ve already done on different shot types and scary classroom stories, we decide as a a group on another scary story to be filmed in 8 shots. One of these shots is an eye-line match involving an extreme close-up followed by a close-up of the top of a desk (that’s shaking!). Thanks to Wizard23 for volunteering to take over the storyboard drawing!

The group have a few good ideas about the ending of the film – for example, cutting to a news room – so it is decided that each group can shoot their own ending. Filming will begin next week.

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