Field diary no. 4: “Alright, stop! Collaborate and listen…”

Working with your friends is easy in some ways, difficult in others. What do you do when your friend starts crying on camera? Do you turn it off and console them? Or do you keep it on in an effort to make your film more emotionally compelling? Ok, so the ethical dilemmas of working with your friends might not be as controversial as when you film someone incapable of giving consent, but I’ve been thinking about the implications of filming your closest friends. Of course, I would do my best to portray them as positively as possible, but what if they don’t like my portrayal? Who am I to portray them?

The only real solution is to collaborate with them. I might not be the MacDougalls, but damn it, I am principled. So, I won’t include scenes where Tina smokes – because she doesn’t like how she looks when she smokes – and I will turn off the camera if things get too emotional. I will ask them what I can film and what I can’t film. Simple.

Field diary no. 3: “I don’t know, I tend to waffle…”

In light of the mistakes I made last time I tried to film, I think it’s worth re-visiting the advice Mike gave in the last lecture. This is of course, IWAFFLE. No, Apple hasn’t expanded their product range to include waffle irons. IWAFFLE stands for:

Intention

White Balance

Audio

Frame

Focus

Light

Exposure

This is designed to help DSLR users with their workflow. Something that was obviously interrupted by too little preparation – and a bit too much wine – in my last attempt to film my project.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 17.07.49

In terms of intention, I have to make sure to use the tripod next time I film. Most of my footage last time was fantastic. I had an amazing scene where Alice described everything that she hates about herself, but the footage was shaky.

White Balance proved to be too much of a hassle. Even when I made a custom white balance, the auto white balance proved to be nicer. I need to spend less time trying to figure that out, and more time remembering every other element which could render a whole day of shooting pointless.

Audio was another problem. When I didn’t forget to turn the microphone on, the audio was disturbed by the busy pub. Another reason why Alice’s perfectly unscripted moment was ruined.

The framing of the video is integral to my project. I want the film to be beautifully framed, but because I relied too much on the DSLR that I had in my hand, the footage ended up being shaky and ill-framed. I was ambitious, but not careful. Another reason why a tripod will be necessary next time.

I tried to pull focus, whilst holding the camera in my shaky shaky hands. This proved to make terrible footage yet again. I think I will focus on (see what I did there) keeping the camera still, with the subject in clear view. I’ll keep the auto-focus on. Although, I could easily use pull focus, I find that it distracts from my subject and what they are saying.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 17.05.48

The light was a major problem as the direct sunlight created a sort of yellow hue on everyone’s faces. I have to make sure I film in the shade next time.

Exposure was possibly the only thing that didn’t create a problem for me this time.