Whilst I have been conducting photographic shoots, I have also been conducting shoots for the video element of the project.
In November, I shot the first of my videos using the camera on my smart phone. I wanted to mainly experiment with shooting both on a mobile device, as well as shooting on a digital camera so I could contrast both the ease of use and the quality of the work I output.
Using the storyboards I created when I was learning about video technique, I decided to keep close eye and follow what I’d written on the sheet because this would help me to remember what shots I needed and also keep me on my toes throughout the shoot as I only had about 20 minutes on location shooting time as well as then having to conduct a second video shoot post location shoot.
The video shoot took place at the Cricket ground in Cheltenham, where there was a fireworks display taking place. Beforehand, I spoke to my tutors and Annie about how would be best to shoot the fireworks event because I was aware it was going to be dark and also quite loud and noisy so I wouldn’t be able to hear my subjects well at all. I took a spare torch just in case additional lighting was needed and then also made sure my phone was charged up to the max so I didn’t miss any shots due to low battery. I also contacted the church and they were aware I was going to come to their base at the fireworks so I could get some shots here too.
I was looking for a variety of shots on this shoot:
- Overviews of the fireworks and then people being illuminated by the fireworks.
- The girls walking through the crowds of people.
- The girls at the church base with other members of the community.
- Some of the leaflets from the church if there were any around.
- A range of panning left to right/ up and down (I considered using zoom for this shoot but considering I was using my phone I figured this would cause too much pixelation of the image and also would look very judder so I declined against this.)
In terms of sound, I decided to go with the audio on my phone because to use an external form of audio recording would pick up too many other sounds and would be constantly hit or bashed around, causing excess noise. Therefore I decided to just use the audio on my phone.
When I got to the location I explained to the girls who were working with me what my plan was by showing them to storyboard as this meant they were aware of what I was looking for and it gave me greater ease of movement around them. I also realised the noise levels were going to be too high for me to get any interviews with them whilst we were on location, so I decided at this point to conduct the interviews later on and just film mainly cutaways with the girls on location.
This is a cut selection of clips I decided to use for the final put together of the video from the location shoot. I wanted to ensure I had enough material for the 90 seconds I needed as I was aware I’d need way more material than the 90 seconds I needed to produce.
Once on location, I did find there were certain problems that made it hard to film in the way I had envisioned, such as the audio problems and also the timescale I had to shoot. I didn’t realise that it would be quite so tight and I’d have to get as much material as I could rapidly so I began to shoot in bulk and then filter out what was good and what was the same or what was rubbish, which left me with the final cut.
Once we were back to the main base I then decided to conduct interviews with the girls. I had a selection of questions ready to ask that I had prepared so I could get straight down to asking what I needed to know and then recording the girls answers.
I wanted to make sure the audio was as good as it could be, so limited noise distractions and I also wanted to make sure the video was visually appealing by keep changing the location of the girls and the backgrounds I was using.
Again, this snapshot is a cut version of all the video I took as I had a lot of outtakes where the girls got shy or nervous and the video wasn’t great. Also I found using a mobile and trying to film handheld is quite hard because of the shake in your hand and trying to keep it as still as possible whilst still using different video techniques such as panning or movement to keep the video interesting. So this was quite hard because it meant if I didn’t get the shot the first time because my finger was over the lens or the playback was too shaky, I had to get the girls to do it again which then felt less authentic and didn’t produce the same results, so this was a bit of a learning curve for me using this method of shooting.
The shots I had wanted for this second shoot were:
- A mixture of close ups with the girls as well as shots that were further away.
- Shots of the girls together and individually. (this was to get them used to the camera and feel more comfortable.)
- Some fillers, of shoes and hands which I might be able to use later on if I need to fill in over the top of the individual interviews.
I decided to shoot as much as I could in order to get the most out of the video as I was aware cutaways would be a main bulk of the video that I needed to use.