The Narrative Arc Stop Motion what now?

As a group of three, we created a stop motion animation with the aim to create a 30 second video that would highlight the crucial aspects that make up a narrative. We decided to create a narrative which had the theme of ‘lost and found‘, which manifested itself in the form of using Lego bricks to illustrate someone getting rescued that was in danger of being injured by a shark and then escaping.

Does it fulfill the traditional narrative structure?

Yes, it does as it includes a clear beginning middle and end which is a mirror image of the theorist Todorovs idea of perfect structure. The start features a visual representation of the shark swimming around the surfer. The middle presents the boat coming in and picking the surfer up with the shark rising out of the water slightly, before finishing with the two riding away on the boat.

Do the characters fulfill conventional character types?

We went against the conventional norms of a woman character being the reward of the hero at the end of the narrative and instead had another man as the ‘damsel in distress‘. However we also conformed to the conventional features of a lost and found narrative by having one character that is in despair and feels as if all hope is lost, as well as one that saves the other that is brave and courageous. In our video this took shape in the form of the person in need being the surfer that is being terrorised by the shark, and the robot driving the ship acting as the ‘knight in shining armour‘ type character.

Are there binary oppositions?

The main binary opposition present in our short narrative is that of nature vs. man which is formed around the theory of binary opposition coined by Levi Strauss. This is represented through the shark that acts as the antagonist that is part of nature trying to devour the man in the water.

How Music Video narratives can differentiate from conventional ideas?

Compared to other film media, music video narratives are repeatable which is made possible by the fact that many of them don’t have an ending to them which creates a paradoxical and repeatable idea, as if they could happen under lots of different circumstances. The narratives can also be set out in a nonlinear fashion, which opens a whole new playing field of understanding and meaning that can be unlocked by using things such as flashbacks.

In conclusion, this task has aided my knowledge of how to create a polished and eventful narrative, which differentiates from conventional ideas and also sticks partly to a traditional structure to create media to the best of my ability. If there was one thing I had learnt that I didn’t know before, it would be that narratives being nonlinear could actually greatly improve the narrative, as it can help to provide information that needs to be known to understand the narrative without actually telling the viewer.

The Finalised Second Prelim Task for my Video!

This is the secondary preliminary task that we have embarked on, this time taking into account both the mise-en-scene and camera but leaving out any dialogue.  Below this there is a story board which is followed by some strengths and things to be improved upon as well as the actual recording of the task.

This storyboard shows you a preliminary vision of what we wanted the final edited production media to look like after putting it through Adobe Premiere Pro.

Some Strengths of my Video are:

  • The emotion/theme of anger and annoyance is captured very well by using closeup shots on the models face after they realise the drink is not dropping out of the machine together with the change from calm, graceful music to rock music with drums and an electric guitar to symbolise a change in mood.
  • That I managed to cut down the time to a suitable duration for what the task was without removing any of the intended shots and keeping the video able to be understood by the person who is watching it improving the continuity. An example of this is 22 seconds into the video where I edited a second out every other second which created the effect of a jump cut.
  • I think one final strength of the production of the video would be how well we communicated to the actors to ensure we were able to keep what was happening in the actual video as close as possible to the storyboard. This helped overall to present a great quality video.

Three Things that could have been improved are:

  • I think that I should have taken a few more closeup shots of the models especially in the reaction shots to give a clear understanding to the audience of what is happening in the video.
  • Another thing that could have gone better is the camera wobbling on the tripod. I had previously screwed it onto the tripod however it wasn’t connected properly and therefore wobbled before and after touching the camera. This meant I had to edit the shots so that they would only properly start after the camera had stopped wobbling, even with this you can sometimes see the camera wobbling around a tiny bit.
  • We could have filmed the drink being released from the vending machine as the model walks away from it with the camera facing front on to the machine.This would add more understanding to the video in a shorter amount of time, making it more efficient overall.

Some things I learnt:

After editing and rendering the video in premiere pro, I can say that I have learnt how to properly import and edit in audio files to the video to add more understanding to the video. I have also learnt how to censor parts of a video in premiere pro so that I can use more emotive acting in some circumstances like at the end of my video where an actor flips the other off. One final skill that I have learnt is to make sure everything is checked to be working in advance as when we got to the vending machine we realised it didn’t recognise £1 coins and then add to spend time going and asking to exchange it for smaller change which took up a lot of valuable time that could be spent getting filler shots.

A Breath of Fresh Air with the First Prelim Continuity Task!

Hello and welcome to the start of another component of my media blog! In this post you can lay your eyes upon a preliminary task that I directed to find out how to use new camera techniques, understand continuity editing rules and get better at using Premiere Pro in preparation for the creation of our music video!

I used the 180 degree rule, as well as a tripod in the video as some camera techniques in the video.

I utilised the 180 degree rule in the video to create an imaginary axis between the two characters. The tripod was used to mount the camera which meant that I could keep the camera steady while filming at an angle in the air. I used these techniques to create a sense of being able to focus the attention on either character at a chosen point in the video without disorientating or distracting the audience. In the case of the tripod it meant that I could film at an adjustable height which in my case was to the height of the characters heads to help create the effect of the 180 degree rule.

I used shot reverse shots as well as match on action with one or two establishing shots to create continuity in the video.

Shot reverse shots play out the process of a conversation happening in a video working around the 180 degree rule to capture the reaction of each character after an emotive line was said which gives the audience to see their changing facial expression and stance, giving them a further understanding of what is happening in the shot. I used match on action to home in on parts which are not as in focus or are unable to be seen from the default shot location, so that the audience sees the end of the last shot as the next shot in another location starts. The establishing shot right at the start of the video is there to give it a setting so the audience have a better grasp of where the film is happening.

I learnt to use the mark in and mark out tools as well as the razor tool as well as the film dissolve tool in Adobe Premiere Pro.

I did this to cut up the video so that you can easily put clips from different perspectives into the main stream of film to create a larger variety of camera angles in the final video to give the audience a full understanding of what is happening in the video. The film dissolve tool creates the effect of a fade out at the very end of the video. The only reason I used a fade out at the end and didn’t use a fade in was to signify an ending, not only of the video but also the event happening in the film as the point where it started fading out is where one model puts his head in his hands after the incident.

What would I do differently?

If I was to do this project again I would do some things differently, including filming the scene in a much larger room as there are times in the video that you can see the camera juddering around which in one case was because the chair of one of the models was tucked in so far to make space for the tripod that when they got out the chair to run out the room it moved the camera.  The small room also made it hard to find a good orientation for the 180 degree rule because it was hard to fit the models at either end of the table in order to capture the door that would be used at the end of the video. Another change I would make is making sure that when I do a match on action shot the situation is set up to act the same as how the last shot ended as in my video I found it hard to find a point where the door closing was in sync with the model running past the door in the previous shot and in the outside shot.

There is also a scanned image below show-casing the annotated script of the sketch; present face acting as a shot list.