The Importance of a Colour Palette

Something which is apparent in everything film and is one of my favourite aspect of cinema is: the colour scheme. The majority of films usually have a particular colour which is associated with the story or, perhaps just the aesthetic in general. I think creating and applying a colour palette to any film not only shows creativity but, it also shows a great deal of skill in editing and the actual production of the film. With this in mind, I am definitely and one hundred percent going to create a colour scheme and palette to apply to my short film.

A film which comes to mind straightaway is: Call Me By Your Name. Even though Call Me By Your Name is a 2017 romance film, the colour blue is incredibly prominent throughout the whole film. The colour blue usually has a stereotypical connotation to the theme of sadness and melancholy but, like I said before, the genre Call Me By Your Name fits with is romance. What I have noticed in a large number of films, is that the [primary] colour used throughout the film does not have to be a connotation of the genre and underlying theme of the film but, it can arguably just be aesthetically pleasing. The example I have just given does not feature a great deal of sadness within the storyline but, the blue undertones look so pleasing to the eye and it definitely adds even more to the film. Furthermore, instead of the colour blue washing out the other colours featured in the film, pops of colour are seen throughout different shots which can add even more to the aesthetic of the film.


A scene where the blue is evidently incredibly apparent in Luca Guadagnino’s 2017 romance film Call Me By Your Name.


A scene in the film where the pop of colour is featured in a predominantly “one colour based” scene – this brings the audience’s attention to the pop of colour who also happens to be the main character of the film.

The Psychology

The importance of the colour scheme is largely to do with how the human brain responds to colour and what makes particular colours attractive.

English scientist Sir Issac Newton, discovered in 1666 that “when pure light is passed through a prism, it separates into visible colours”. Similarly, Sir Issac Newton also found out that each colour is built on a single wavelength and therefore, cannot be separated any further into other and different colours. With this in mind, when humans look at a particular scene (not just the scenes featured in films), our visual nerves register the differently colours in terms of the attributes which are associated with them: the amount of green or red, the amount of blue and yellow and finally, the brightness.

For many years, leading names in science have studied the relationship between the mood of a person and colours in general. It is evident that colours can cause a reaction which affects our emotions but, colours can also correct our well-being and mood. Even though many of us think we just “see” colour, scientists believe that we actually “feel” colour in their heart, and not in their head. In relation to this, studies present the idea that colours behave in three, main ways: active, passive and finally – neutral.

The many colours we have in this world all have a place on one spectrum and even though colour is completely subjective, these colours can create and present a series of emotions for the human brain to comprehend. Colours which are in the “red area” of the colour spectrum are described as the warm tones. These colours (red, orange and yellow) can arguably evoke emotions such as: warmth and comfort to the complete opposite of feelings of anger and hostility. On the other hand, colours on the cooler end of the spectrum (blue, purple and green) can create a calm feeling and can also create feelings of sadness or indifference.

Since it is so important to analyse different colours and their emotions and feelings related to them, I am going to look at all the basic colours I may apply to my film and see which colour[s] relate to my genre (which is drama) and the genre features. With his in mind, underneath is a list of all of the basic colours and their connotations:

Grey – formality, mourning, neutrality, balance, strong emotions, urban sprawl, pollution, entanglement, dust, dullness, decrepitude, decay, boredom, anachronism, wisdom, old age, subtlety, stability, reverence, respect, humility and elegance

White – celebration, empty and unfriendly, bland, hope, air, fire, unimaginative, fearfulness, cowardice, surrender, criticism, coldness, winter, sterility, humility, security, simplicity, cleanliness, innocence, peace, snow, purity, reverence and light

Black – rebirth, sorrow, lite, unity, anarchism, rebellion, conventionality, seriousness, sec, unhappiness, mourning, remorse, sadness, anger, anonymity, fear, death, evil, style, mystery, wealth, elegance, formality, elegance, modernity, sophistication, absence and power

Red – respect, summer, autumn, aggression, communism, socialism, radicalism, revolution, war, anger, blood, power, danger, passion, strength, energy, fire, love, sex, excitement, speed, heat, masculinity, leadership, arrogance, gaudiness

NOTE – In scientific studies, it has become apparent that red can actually have a physical effect the human body; the rate of respiration increases as well as a raise in blood pressure. Furthermore, the colour red is also claimed to make people hungry. In terms of modern culture, the colour of the devil is also red in modern Western culture.

Blue – aloofness, sadness, love, truthfulness, peace, friendliness, light, steadfastness, strength, nobility, royalty, wisdom, air, tackiness, obscenity, idealism, clones, depression, winter, technology, cleanliness, dependability, loyalty, ice, water, conservatism, confidence, coolness, calmness, tranquility, harmony, unity, peace, skies, productive, men and sea/ocean

Green – creative intelligence, calming, stability, harmony, balance, health, growth, natural abundance, renewal, hope, sincerity, eternal life, corruption, greed, lines, disgrace, jealousy, coldness, misfortune, envy, inexperience, aggression, grass, generosity, vigorously, good luck, money, wealth, environment, youth, fertility, spring, bad spirits, nature, life and great intelligence

NOTE – Green is believed to be the luckiest of colours.

Yellow – courage, deceit, friendship, summer, sociability, gladness, femininity, greed, weakness, avarice, dishonesty, illness, cowardice, hope, summer, wealth, idealism, intelligence, optimism, earth, happiness, joy and sunlight

Purple – penance, delicacy, romanticism, riches, pride, confusion, exaggeration, profanity, mourning, gaudiness, flamboyance, arrogance, enlightenment, wisdom, mystery, ceremony, nobility, royalty, wealth, creativity, spirituality, bisexuality, sensuality and envy

Orange – desire, autumn, danger, warning, over emotion, gaudiness, arrogance, aggression, playfulness, flamboyance, enthusiasm, fire, heat, balance, energy and happiness

NOTE – Orange has less intensity or aggression than which red is typically associated with; the red is calmed by the cheerfulness of the yellow, thus making the colour orange.

Brown – down-to-earth, roughness, poverty, heaviness, filth, dullness, dirt, boorishness, fascism, anachronism, tradition, stability, rusticism, richness, nature, natural organisms, depth, boldness and calm

NOTE – Brown is a colour which can actually stimulate the appetite, friendliness, wholesomeness and dependability.

Pink – love, sex, June, marriage, joy, gratitude, spring, appreciation, admiration, femininity, sympathy and health

Applying Psychology to my Film Idea

When analysing the different connotations which are attached to the colours I have just listed, it is important to apply these connotations to my own short film idea and see which colours would allow me to create a meaningful colour palette.

Since the twist at the end of my short film is mainly to do with the idea of technology, I was actually quite surprised that the colour blue has an association with the theme of technology. Blue is actually a colour which has many connotations which can relate to my short film, such as: sadness (my short film is of the drama genre where a common theme is melancholia); truthfulness (the young woman comes to terms and deals with the truth that her brother is no longer around and technology is just a substitute); idealism (links onto the previous point, the woman is almost creating this ideal life) and depression (this is referring back to the idea of the film being from the drama genre).

However, a colour which I can mix in with the blue to make it darker is in fact: the colour black. The colour black evidently links to all of those dark themes I discussed earlier which do consequently, fit with the themes and ideas of my short film. These themes and connotations include: sorrow (the woman’s sadness that her brother is gone and she is using technology to regain her memories with him); sadness, anger (the girl is angry that her brother is no longer around); death (one of the main themes of the short film) and absence (the girl has lost her brother completely).

After looking at all of the different colours and the themes which are associated with them, I think the colour scheme and palette I am going to go for is: a dark blue theme as it incorporates all of those different connotations I mentioned in the previous two paragraphs.

Whilst I was researching colour grading and colour schemes in the world of cinema, here are some videos I found incredibly helpful:

These next videos are not necessarily educational but, they include a number of incredibly aesthetically pleasing shots and scenes which I could perhaps take inspiration from for my short film in regards to framing, composition and obviously, the colour palettes used.

And, my favourite video:


Film Poster Research: Different Types of Posters

One of the key parts of distributing the film is advertising and promoting the film. One of the most common and important ways to do this by creating a film poster. There are probably over one million different posters created for numerous amounts of films and they all look completely different. With this in mind, you could say that there isn’t really any right or wrongs when deciding what to put on your film poster as there are so many options available. However, there are some conventions and elements of film posters which need to be on there – if I want to make my poster look professional and realistic then I should include these conventions.

There are typically three different types of film posters in cinema. The first one being a lobby card. Lobby cards are similar to posters but, a lot smaller. The size of lobby cards are usually around 28 cm x 36 cm. I think the main aspect and selling point of lobby cards is that they are


King Kong Lobby Card

seen as collectible items as different values are determined by their age, quality and popularity. Lobby cards don’t tend to come singularly as they usually come in sets of eight, each containing and featuring a different scene from the film. Lobby cards are not as popular now as they were in the 1930’s to 1960’s. However, I feel like because of their collectible valuable, lobby cards would be a good way to market and make money for big franchises, for example: Star Wars or X-Men. Even though lobby cards seem like a fun and creative way to market and advertise a film as well as drawing in audiences, it is not the type of poster I would like to create for my film. I think nowadays, the most common way to present a film is through the big posters we see in the cinema or through other forms of un-targeted advertising.

The next type of poster is a teaser poster. A teaser poster, or advance poster, is probably the most familiar and common way to present a film on a poster. The teaser poster is an early promotional film poster,
containing a basic image or design without revealing hardly any


Finding Nemo Teaser Poster

information about the film or it’s plot. The main reason for a teaser poster is to excite audiences or to incite awareness. One of the key tricks to creating a teasing poster is by making it eye-catching but, subtle at the same time. Since we are using very little of the film in this poster, it is important to be eye-catching in unique ways. For example, using a simple symbol or just a tagline will most likely grab the public’s attention. I have seen many teaser posters from


The Incredibles Teaser Poster

Pixar which I still remember to this day. Many of the Pixar posters fit the popular styles for a teaser poster, which include: bearing only a symbol associated with the film, or simply just the title; a main character, looking away from the screen but looking at something in the distance. This is probably the most well-known type of film posters in cinema as well as the past few decades. There are thousands of examples of teaser posters so, I am definitely drawn to the idea of creating a teaser poster for my short film. This will also show more skill to as I will have to take the photos, title as well as the many other aspects of the teaser poster.

The third and final type of film posters is the character poster. The character poster is quite popular but, only with certain types of films. For example, my short film wouldn’t have a character poster due to the fact it doesn’t have an ensemble cast. Character posters can include a poster featuring the whole cast but, there are can be many other posters just featuring individual characters. A character poster is a bit like a cross between the lobby cards I mentioned at the start with the teaser poster. It is a full size poster but, there are many different types – these are also collectible and the character posters are usually seen within big franchise films. The layout of the character poster usually shows the name of the character and the actor who plays them. The poster may also contain a tagline which reflects and presents a quality of the character. The problem with these posters is that sometimes they can be quite


X-MEN APOCALYPSE Character Poster

revealing in terms of the plot and they do not leave much to the imagination – especially for something like a superhero adventure film. These posters are much more common than the lobby cards but, I haven’t seen them in a while unlike the teaser posters. Creating a character poster would demonstrate skill due to creating the image, tagline, title etc etc. However, I don’t think a character poster would fit my short film’s genre.

In conclusion, the type of poster I am going to research more about is the teaser poster. The teaser poster is the type of poster I would like to create for my short film. I have seen teaser posters for many kid’s animated films so, I think it would be a good poster  to research.

What is on a Film Poster?

In my last blog post, I spoke about the different types of film posters and how they have changed overtime and which ones are mostly seen today. Instead of focussing on the lobby cards which were at their peak of popularity from approximately 1920 – 1970, I am going to focus on different film posters from the past few decades. I chose these films at random (apart from the Alien: Covenant poster because, that is one of my favourite film posters ever and I wanted to discuss it) and I have printed them off and annotated the different features of them. My film is directed at children but, I wanted to look at a wide variety of posters before delving into my specific genre. Furthermore, I highly doubt that an animated family film poster is completely different from a common film poster. However, I am first going to talk about an important part of a film poster called: the billing block.

The Billing Block

The billing block is an incredibly important part of a typical film poster however, it isn’t entirely necessary to include one if you are designing a teaser poster for example. The word “billing” is a performing arts terms used in referring to the order and other aspects of how credits are presented for plays, films, television, or other creative works. The information which is usually contained in a billing block are: actors, directors, producers and other crew members. A billing block is a very efficient and easy way of listing the people who work behind the scenes of the film as well as giving them credit. Evidently, you cannot list the entire crew including the catering team,  makeup artist, hair stylist etc; consequently, there is a certain order for the names that go into a billing block – the billing order. In order, the billing block contains: name of the film studio(s), production company(ies), possessory credits, above-title billed actor(s), film title, main cast, last billed actors(s), casting director(s), composer(s), visual effects supervisor(s), costume designer(s), film editor(s), production designer(s), director(s) of Photography, producer(s) and/or executive producer(s), screenwriter(s) and finally the director(s). I think a common mistake in designing the billing block is the misconception that the director goes in the first few names when actually, its the other way round. In terms of measurements, by convention the point size of the billing block is 15 to 35 percent of the average height of each letter in the title logo. As you can see, the billing block follows some very specific measurements.

The billing block is featured in many of the posters I analysed so, without further a do, here are the posters:

The Lobster

The Lobster is a 2015 “absurdist dystopian black comedy film” directed, co-written and co-produced by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos. The film definitely does fit the description of a dystopian black comedy aswell as being very mysterious. The film focusses around a group of single people who are given forty-five days to find a romantic partner or otherwise, they will be turned into animals. The main star of the  film is Colin Farrell, who plays a newly-single man who is one of those people trying to find someone so he can remain human. The woman who he finds interest in is Rachel Weisz. The film was selected for the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival as well as winning the Jury Prize. In regards to the poster, it evokes mystery – it gives nothing away about the film. The plain, beige background makes the central subject and black, bold title stand out. Furthermore, there is no obvious link between the picture and the bold title: The Lobster. The black and white picture is a whole mystery in itself – we have no idea what or whom he is holding. This could be described as a teaser poster with the lack of tagline and story expressed in the shot. Going to back to mention of the awards it has been nominated and won, there is a clear mention of this on the poster. I feel like this “reassures” audiences that it is a recognised and respected film because, due to the lack of anything on the poster, it may seem quite boring and dull – I think it is quite an intriguing poster, however. The typical billing block is featured at the bottom of the poster but, instead of featuring the actors’ names in the small print, they have been made much more bolder than the other pieces of text in the billing block. Another piece in the billing block which isn’t necessary but, is quite common is the logo list of all of the companies which are associated with the film. This can be seen quite a lot in film posters from the independent film genre. I do really like this poster but, I don’t think it would fit with the genre of my film.


E.T (Extra-Terrestrial)

E.T is one of the most iconic films of all time, if not, it is definitely one of the most well known eighties films ever made. It is a 1982 American science fiction fantasy film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison. E.T doesn’t have a specific audience as audiences of different ages can enjoy the film. E.T tells the focusses on a young boy named Elliot (Henry Thomas), who is living a very lonely life. His life soon turns around when he befriend an extraterrestrial nicknamed, E.T – E.T is also very lonely as he has been stranded on planet Earth. Elliot’s adventure begins as he and his siblings attempt to return E.T to his home planet whilst at the same time, keeping him hidden from the government and most importantly – his mother. The poster had a very prominent colour scheme of different shades of dark blue and even some black. This colour scheme made me think of the night sky which is arguably has connotations to. In regards to this idea, it is a good idea to use colour to portray a huge theme or part of the story in the poster. Within the huge, eye catching moon, there are two very prominent silhouettes of E.T and the child on the bike. This image of the bike was a huge trademark image for the film and arguably, it is incredibly recognisable to this day. However, the silhouettes obviously give us no idea of their identity or who they are which almost makes it a bit like a teaser poster. Aswell as a tagline, which is incredibly recognisable, the name of the director is above the title of the film. Since Spielberg is such an established director, placing his name on the poster could perhaps draw audiences in because, of the amount of great films he has done before. The title of the film is incredibly bold and prominent which makes it stand out from the rest of the poster because of it’s size and the white font. Even though the billing block is usually a lot smaller in comparison to the poster, the billing block on this poster is a lot bigger than it would be on stereotypical film posters. To be honest, I am not too sure why this is but, on my poster I would perhaps just keep it to a the much smaller size it would be on the majority of film posters. E.T could definitely be  argued as a family friendly film but, even though I love the poster and the design of it, I don’t think I will be taking inspiration from this for my poster.



The next film poster I analysed is from a much more recent film: Moonlight. Moonlight is a 2016 “coming-of-age film” written and directed by the incredibly talented Barry Jenkins. The film is based on the unpublished semi-autobiographical play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney. The film focusses on the three stages of life undertaken by the main character, Chiron Harris. These three stages explore the difficulties Harris faces with his sexuality, identity as well as including the emotional and physical abuse he endures whilst growing up. Moonlight has become an incredibly respected film for focussing on a black man struggling with himself as well as wining the Best Motion Picture Award at the 74th Golden Globes Awards and consequently, winning the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. This film is a lot more serious than my short film however, it does have many elements in the poster which I can take from. The main element which stood out to me was the vivid colour scheme of the dark blues and purples. The poster is split into three different sections which perhaps symbolises those three stages of life the character goes through. The middle section is the most vivid which highlights him in the centre – meaning he is the centre of attention and focus. Instead of the title prominently standing out, it fits in with the colour scheme since it looks like a bright blue, neon sign. On the other hand, the tagline is white which makes it stand out more against the blue background. This perhaps means that the tagline is of great importance in describing the film since it does focus on “the story of a lifetime”. Unlike the E.T poster, the billing block is just the bog standard sizing and type we see on the majority of film posters. I think my favourite aspect of this poster is the vivid and aesthetically pleasing colour scheme of the blues and the purple (and the white).


Blue is the Warmest Colour

Like The Lobster, this film is also an independent film which was recognised at many film festivals around the world. Blue is the Warmest Colour is a 2013 French coming-of-age romantic drama film co-written, co-produced, and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche with main actors Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. This film also fits into the category of a film which has been split into two chapters. In these two chapters, Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a French teenager who discovers desire and questions about her sexuality when a blue-haired aspiring painter (Léa Seydoux) becomes the main focus of her life. The story takes place over a time span from Adèle’s high school life to her new career as a school teacher in her early adult years.  At the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, the French film won the Palme d’Or from the official jury as well as the FIPRESCI Prize. The sophistication and originality of the film can also be presented in the poster.


Alien: Covenant

The next and final film poster I analysed is definitely my favourite as well as being completely different to the other posters I have analysed. Alien: Covenant is a 2017 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and written by John Logan and Dante Harper. The film is sequel to Prometheus (2012) which means it is the second instalment in the Alien prequel series as well as being the sixth instalment overall in the Alien film series. The film stars Michael Fassbender (reprising his role as David as well as playing a new additional character, the A.I (Artificial Intelligence) Walter) and Katrherine Waterston, with Billy Crudup, Danny McBride and Demian Bichir. The story follows the crew of a colony ship that lands on a mysterious planet who make a terrifying discovery (its the xenomorph of course!). Being part of a huge franchise, the film poster is recognisable due the subject in the centre of the poster: the xenomorph, The colour schemes are primarily dark with a black background and a dark blue/green xenomroph in the centre. The xenomorph is the centre of attention on this poster which grabs the audience’s attention. The one word tagline of “RUN” creates a very suspenseful mood on the poster and obviously foreshadows what happens in the film. For horror and action films like this, a one word tagline really does add to the mysteriousness of the film. The lack of billing block reveals nothing about the cast or the crew but, since it is such an established franchise, people must already have an idea of what the film is. Compared to other posters from the Alien film franchise, this poster is much more different. I feel like this poster has a modern twist on it as opposed to the posters from the 1980’s. This modern twist on this poster looks even more menacing compared to if they used a picture from the previous films in the franchise. Furthermore, unlike the other posters I looked at, the Alien: Covenant poster is an obvious teaser poster only stating the date and a lack of a billing block. I absolutely love the design of this poster but, my film is not part of a horror genre like the Alien film franchise is. I will definitely take into account though the techniques they have used to present different moods and atmospheres just from this simple, yet effective, poster.Alien Poster

I have found lots of inspiration from looking and analysing a range of different film posters from different genres. In my next post, I will be more specific and look at animated kid’s film posters and what common traits and elements they contain. What I taken away from looking at these posters are:

  • A bold title
  • A catchy tagline
  • Colour schemes which fit well together
  • A subject
  • Billing Block
  • Possible feature of the date of release?

I will take all of the bullet points above into consideration and try an incorporate them into my film poster to ensure it looks professional, sophisticated and most importantly, realistic.


Rough Cut #1 Feedback

After about two days of exporting my footage, I have put together my first rough cut for A2 coursework piece. A rough cut is incredibly important in terms of getting a rough and quick idea of what length the film will be at as well as how the footage looks in a sequence. Even though editing a piece of film is incredibly intricate and time consuming, a rough cut is incredibly quick to make and put together.

Not only is a rough cut beneficial for a filmmaker in analysing what is available in terms of footage so far, it allows audience members to have a simple idea of what the film looks like and it allows people to be vocal about what they like and don’t like before a number of altercations are made to the film before it is too late to change them.

My first rough cut was a total length of four minutes and thirty one seconds which is pretty much in the time range my A2 coursework is allowed to be at. However, this is minus any opening credits and end credits as well as the Go Pro sequence which I still need to export. In my opinion, I am quite happy with how my rough cut looks at the moment and how the short film flows together. But nonetheless, I am open to constructive criticism.

I decided to not only show my first, short film rough cut to my teacher but, I also decided to show the rough cut to my target audience. When looking back at my AS coursework task which was to create a film opening of any genre, I only really showed the rough cut to our classmates and teachers. Something I wanted to improve on this year was utilising my target audience to the full potential, especially during the pre-production and post-production stages of the A2 coursework. My target audience for my A2 coursework, or in other words the target audience for the drama genre, are eighteen to thirty year olds [both male and female].

In terms of feedback, it mainly focussed on improving on what I already had. The first sequence of my short film is the food preparation scene which is almost “chopped” in a way to make the pace increase and not be so slow and boring. When I received feedback from my target audience and my teacher, they both said that the pace should be increased slightly. In other words, the pace throughout the whole short film is kept constant whereas it would be better to trim down a few of the beginning food preparation shots to increase the pace and not have as many long shots on random food items. I think this is a good idea as it means that there is a contrast between a quick and pace which lacks tension and all of a sudden, a pace which slows down due to the apparent melancholia throughout the scene. This is something I totally agree with and I will be definitely getting to work with improving and altering that so there is a clean contrast in pace which ultimately creates a dramatic effect.

The next two pieces of feedback are ones which I was expecting due to the fact that these sequences and alterations have not been made to the short film yet. The first one is the audio. Since this is my first rough cut, I decided that I would just focus on the sequences and the flow of the footage and deal with the audio later. However, the diegetic and non-diegetic sound is an incredibly important aspect to any film and with a short film from the drama genre, diegetic and a non-diegetic soundtrack can convey a great deal of emotion.

The third and final piece of feedback I got from my first rough cut was the fact that I need to import the GoPro sequence. This is something I am obviously going to do incredibly soon but, it was very interesting to hear the target audience and the teacher’s ideas on the GoPro footage. A common piece of feedback which cropped up is that the GoPro will really emphasise the link between the VR headset and what the girl is really seeing; almost like that contrast between appearance vs reality. Evidently, the Go Pro footage is something I am going to work on straight away.

Even though I did receive some incredibly constructive feedback and criticism, I did also receive some positive comments on my first rough cut on my A2 coursework piece. Since I did not want to completely cover my rough cut with the colour scheme and palette I am going to use in my short film, I decided to have a little example of what my colour scheme will look like. I applied this colour scheme to a few pieces of footage I know I will keep in relation to the final cut of the short film. Like I have said previously, the colour palette is an incredibly important aspect of any piece of film as it can, yet again, create a lot of emotion and make the audience feel a certain emotion towards the characters and the series of events which are taking place on screen. Since drama films do have an underlying theme of sadness and melancholy, I wanted to use blue [a connotation of sadness] as the primary component of my short film’s colour scheme. When I showed an example of the colour scheme to my target audience and my teacher, they both said that the colour scheme worked really well with the genre of the short film as well as making my footage look incredibly professional.

Another piece of positive feedback I received from my target audience and my teacher for my rough cut, is the fact that the footage looks good and is of high quality. After getting this feedback, I also asked if I needed to re-film anything but, they said that everything looked good and I did not need to change anything in terms of how the footage looks.

I am overall very pleased with how my first rough cut viewing went and it has allowed me to not only get positive feedback on my footage but, it has also allowed me to get constructive feedback and has given me an opportunity to improve some aspects of my short film. In order to prepare my next viewing of my short film, I am going to focus on: applying the Go Pro footage, adjusting the audio and improving the overall pace of the film in relation to the genre and the events being presented.



Exporting the Footage

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 15.39.18.png

After filming my short film, I arrived back at school and began to export my footage. The software I am using to edit and use for the pose-production of my short film is in fact: Apple’s Final Cut Pro X and consequently, I am using an iMac throughout the entire process.

Exporting the footage is an incredibly easy process and is the first, basic step in me editing my short film. The first thing I do is insert my memory card into the slot behind the iMac computer and then I open a pre-made folder with the name ‘IMPORT ONE’ and begin selecting all of the footage I recorded and placing it in said folder. The iMacs are incredibly fast when exporting footage so it did not take long for the file to be full with the footage I recorded during the production stage of my short film. I usually wait about five minutes after the files have all been exported, just to ensure that everything has fully developed on the new import folder. One thing which I always forget when exporting any piece of footage is that I need to drag the memory card into the eject section in the dock at the bottom of the desktop layout. Exporting the footage and ejecting the memory card properly will ensure nothing will happen to my footage which could make it go wrong.

After I exported all of the footage into the pre-made folder on the desktop, I opened Apple’s Final Cut Pro X. Final Cut Pro X is quite an intimidating application at first, especially since I am used to using iMovie on my MacBook Air at home. However, after using Final Cut Pro X last year for my AS Media Studies coursework which was to create a film opening for any film genre we like, I began to get to grips and soon realised how easy it was to use; essentially, Final Cut Pro X is just like a more detailed version of Apple’s most common free, film editing application: iMovie. When I opened Final Cut Pro X, I created a new project and proceeded to drag the file into the empty box for imported media and I let the files load into the software.

After they had uploaded, I began to go through the different pieces of footage and even though I had looked at the footage on the small camera display, I hadn’t actually seen the footage on a much larger scale. I analysed the footage and I was incredibly happy with the quality as it was not noisy at all and all of footage was in focus and had a HD quality about them. At this stage, I have not imported my GoPro footage yet as I will do that after I have exported the footage from the Go Pro camera onto a memory stick which makes it easier to then transfer onto the iMacs.

After looking through the footage briefly to check that there were no problems with the quality and overall look of the videos, I began to look through the multiple takes of each scenes and decide whether or not I wanted to “reject” or “keep” particular pieces. This bit is quite consuming as it means that instead of looking at the clips briefly, I have to check that each piece of footage is good enough to make the cut for my short film. Linking back to the production of the film, it is incredibly important to shoot as many takes as possible for each scene as it means that I have a huge range of footage to choose from which means I can find the best shot for my short film.

Exporting the footage has been an incredibly easy and simple step in the post-production stage of the film however, it can be incredibly daunting at times as it is the anticipation of whether or not the footage will export properly as well as whether or not it will look good. I am happy with how the footage looks so far and the next stage of creating and editing my short film is to piece together a rough cut to show to my target audience.

Equipment I Want To Use

For my A2 Media Studies coursework which consists of me creating a short film, I am obviously wanting to produce a piece at a high quality. With this in mind, it means that I should use different pieces of equipment to get the desired effect for each shot, scene and sequence. Instead of using the cameras the school provide, I am going to use a different camera which I have more experience and there are also different lenses which can be attached onto the body of the camera. However, underneath I have explained the different pieces of equipment and technology I will be using to create my short film.

Canon 60D

Like I said previously, I am not going to use the camera the school have provided as I am more familiar with this particular camera: the Canon 60D. This is an incredibly complex camera and when I first learnt how to use it, it did take an immense amount of practice and time to learn all of the different features. A common feature I have found with the majority of complex and high-tech cameras is the: ISO adjustment. I find that with a lot of cameras, sometimes it is difficult to actually change the quality of the picture without moving around what is physically there in front on me. However, the Canon 60D has an ISO of up to 64000 which means that I can adjust the “brightness” and quality of any shot that I like. As opposed to different cameras, the range of ISO I can choose from avoids my shots and scenes looking particularly noisy or in other words, static in a way. I think this camera is amazing and will be of great help to me when producing and creating my short film.


Underneath is an in-depth tutorial on how to use the Canon 60D camera [with different lenses]:

The Lenses

Since the Canon 60D is actually just the “body and frame” of the camera, it means that I actually need to attach particular lenses to the frame to ensure that I get a specific composition and framing that I would like. I looked carefully at the different lens and what their specific details and measurements are and, with that in mind, the first lens I decided to use was a 15-85 mm lens with 3.4 f/stop [by Canon also]. This will most likely be the lens I use the most as this lens is mostly used for the common wide shots we see in the majority of cinema. The lens are incredibly easy to clip on and off the body of the camera however, one needs to make sure that no dust or bacteria comes in contact with the actual lens as it will damage the equipment permanently. The second lens I have decided I am going to use is the Canon fixed 50mm lens with 1.4 f/stop. Since the previous lens I mentioned was going to be used the most for the wide/mid shots, this lens is for the [extreme] close up shots I have featured in my short film. I have used this lens before and with the ISO features I mentioned earlier on in the blog post, the quality of the images and videos look impeccable. I think when it comes to editing and the actual production of the film, the two lenses I have decided to use will look incredibly good and provide a range of great footage for me.


The Canon 15-85mm lens I am going to use for wide/mid shots.


The Canon 50mm lens I am going to use for [extreme] close up shots.

Go Pro Hero 4

The final piece of camera equipment I am going to use is my own Go Pro. My whole film is based around the idea of a girl using virtual reality to connect to her deceased brother and in order to create that visual effect of a virtual reality headset, I have decided to use a Go Pro and a head piece to attach the camera to. I was originally going to use the Canon 15mm fish eye lens however, I wanted a piece of equipment which would actually look like the audience are watching a sequence from the protagonist’s point of view (POV). Similarly, it would also mean spending £30 on a new lens when I already have the Go Pro to use. I think the Go Pro is a brilliant piece of technology which is super easy to use and adjust to whatever preference you would like. Even though the Go Pro does not have the best of audio, I am going to use the audio from the microphone and edit it over the Go Pro footage. I think the Go Pro will not only show skill and initiative but, it will also provide me with some great footage for my short film.


The Canon 15mm fisheye lens I was originally going to use for the POV shots.


The Go Pro Hero 4 I have decided to use for my POV shots.

To conclude, these are the [main] pieces of equipment I have decided to use for the filming of my A2 coursework which is to create a short film. Obviously there are other pieces of equipment such as: a tripod and a microphone. But, since they are so necessary in filmmaking, I thought that those particular items did not need a mention because they were so common and already known. However, these are the specific pieces of equipment I will be using in the production and filming of my short film and I think they will provide high quality footage for my A2 coursework.

Three Point Lighting

Lighting is something which is incredibly important to filmmaking and the production of a film. Lighting can create depth and it can make the audience feel a certain mood or create an atmosphere. One of the most well known lighting techniques in the world of film is three point lighting. Three point lighting is the technique of using three separate positions for illuminating and lighting a scene. Placed in different positions, the lighting can create shadows and shading which will create a theme or atmosphere in the film. There are three different lights: key light, fill light and back light. Even though it is not mandatory to use all three lights, each light does have a different purpose.

The key light is the light which shines directly upon the subject and essentially serves as a principal illuminator. The key light is probably the most important of the three lights in three point lighting because, the strength, the colour and the angle of the key light determines the setting’s overall lighting design. In terms of setting and location, the key light is usually a specialised lamp when filming indoors. In outdoor locations and scenes, the most powerful and biggest light source a filmmaker can use is obviously the sun. However, filming in natural, outdoor lighting can be difficult as the sun cannot be set in a particular position and one has to be careful of the changing sky for example, clouds covering the sun.

The fill light also projects light on the subject (the actor) but, instead of face on, it shines the light from a side angle. Instead of being at level with the key light, the fill light is positioned and placed a little lower; usually at about eye level with the subject’s face. The fill light is incredibly important in terms of balancing as it balances the shadows and shading of the shadows cast by the person’s features (for example, casting their nose upon the rest of the face). Not only is the fill light different from the key light in terms of positioning, the fill light is a lot softer than the key light and isn’t as bright. Shots which are intended to look a lot more natural, like my short film for example, are required to have a fill light. However, when working with natural lighting, the fill light can be replaced by a reflector or something white to reflect the rays from the sun. Reflecting the natural rays up onto the subject can cause a softer, subtler effect as opposed to using another electronic lamp.

The third and final light in three point lighting is called the back light. As it says by its title, the back light is placed “behind” the subject and often but not necessarily, shines to one side or the other. Instead of the lights which are more “hard hitting” and light up the subject either head on or from the side, the back light essentially outlines the subject from behind. It is a much more of a subtle and softer positioned light than the other two lights in three point lighting.

Here are some helpful videos I have found about three point lighting in film

In relation to my short film and the use of three point lighting, even though many of the examples use bright, studio box lights to present the lighting shown in the media texts, I do think that the lights the school offer are incredibly bright. I will definitely use and present three point lighting in my short film however, I want the lighting to look a lot more natural and not as intense and harsh. I feel that natural looking lighting will be a lot better for the genre of my film as it makes the audience feel incredibly voyeuristic as they are immersed in this regular, day to day event the characters are experiencing. In terms of achieving this natural lighting, I will not only use the sunlight and the regular lights we find in the household but, to ensure that the footage and scene is lit correctly, I may use a reflector in some shots in case the sun is too bright. Instead of buying a stereotypical light reflector (the large, foil looking sheet), I am going to use a white piece of A3 paper as I do think that it acts as a good reflector.

In conclusion, I definitely think that lighting is something many of us overlook when, in actual fact, it becomes a pivotal part of any film and creates a range of dramatic and cinematic effects. Three point lighting is an incredibly useful and effective technique I will use in my film but, instead of using harsh, bright lights, I think utilising and interacting with the natural lighting to create a “normal” setting [as well as taking three point lighting into account] will fit my short film’s genre perfectly.