Project 2: Week 4 skills practiced

This week we have all practiced one skill which we have never practiced before but which includes skills we have: This was a green screen exercise which meant that we did a piece-to-camera shot but in front of a green screen which we could apply any background we wanted to after- a background which related to our topic.

In terms of our topic, it was down to us to choose one which we were passionate about. I decided to talk about Taylor swift because she is someone who I look up to because of her music and how much she has inspired me in the past-plus I just love her!

The skills we used in this exercise involved some which we have used previously during our video shots such as looking in the same direction as the camera at all times, keeping our body language professional and even our spoken language because we had to ensure that we were heard not only during the filming of our shot but also with the outcome of it. However, the majority of the skills used came from the use of Premiere Pro; we had to remember how to edit, apply and put together all our chosen video images (for the background of our green screen) using the software. This was fairly simple to most of us, including myself because we have used this software and these skills a number of times before to put together video shots.

After we were filmed doing this, we were to upload it on to Adobe Premiere Pro and edit the background so that we removed the green screen and could apply whatever background we thought was appropriate and/or wanted in relation to our topic. For mine, I chose Video backgrounds of my favourite Taylor Swift music videos that show examples of her country music and some of the traditional country themes within them. However, there were some issues with converting the videos so that I could access them because many websites that allowed me to do this were blocked by the college. This meant that I had to convert them at home to my memory stick and complete it but on a later date, which was a hassle because it wasted work time and my own time but it meant that I had solved a problem which may have affected the quality of the overall outcome.

In terms of the problems we came across, they mainly occurred when we were applying our video to Premiere Pro, since none of us had done the skill of using green screens on Premiere Pro before. But one member of the class had done, so with a few simple steps explained to us by him, we were all able to (attempt) to upload our video backgrounds and experiment with our pie-to-camera shots in other ways. These included: readjusting the dimentions and positioning of ourselves so that they could fit in with our chosen backgrounds. But leading on from this problem, we also found out that all but one of our group’s shots were a bit out of focus, which did look a bit unprofessional- but this was a problem beyond our control as we had someone from a different media group operating the cameras. Although, I was the only part of the shot which was out of focus and I feel that the quality of the moving and still background images and the audio from me made up for this mistake.

Here is my completed piece-to-camera shot using the green screen:

Final green screen shot

This green screen practice we did is a skill that is very widely used within the industry, such as when the news is being reported on the TV because they will have live interviews with people who may have a green screen showing a background relating to the news story. This will definitely be used for weather reporting as well because it allows us to see the graphics clearly and the reported can tell us about it without any physical disruptions from the weather. As for the editing part of it, that is most definitely used in the industry also because whether or not a green screen shot is featured, the skills of applying the shots in order- including the backgrounds, and cutting them down to the time limit or person speaking all apply to when TV News stories are in development. I

In comparison to professional practices, I can evaluate the skills I showed whilst being filmed because I wasn’t operating any of the equipment this time round- I was just being filmed. I can also relate to the final outcome of the piece to camera shot, including with the background video and images. Overall, I feel that my shot turned out very well; mainly since my body language was professional, I used gestures where appropriate and I spoke clearly and loud enough for the camera to catch the audio. As for the final result on Adobe Premiere Pro, I’d say that mine isn’t too far off a professional example because the background images and videos relate perfectly to my topic and I have tried to fit them in as to where they coincide with what I am saying about it. If this happens in or does happen in a professional one, it may make the audience visualize the story better and understand it more- and possibly form different perspectives on it.

 

On Tuesday this week, we got started on the actual production of our 2 minute video piece. This meant Carris and I were using the professional filming cameras and tripods to film some of the shots from our shot schedule we created. However, this immediately raised a concern for me; I originally thought we wouldn’t have time to complete what we had planned to do that day so I changed the days that we had booked out the equipment from Tuesday to the following Monday. But it turned out that we did have time that day to film but not enough time to complete everything we hoped to. But after consulting our shot schedule and script, we worked out that some of our shots are taken within the classroom. this meant that we could take the classroom shots today so that it wouldn’t have been a total loss or waste of production time. We also faced the usual problems of attaching the camera to the tripod and changing the camera settings from photo to film. but after to fiddling round with it and even asking our tutor as to how to fix them together, we had it up and running. We also used these problem-solving skills shortly after when the camera wasn’t attached to the tripod tightly enough. However, we solved this by remembering how we did it previously but also how our tutor showed us what to do with it too.

We both followed the shot script in order to capture the required shots we needed and the content we needed- we even captured two or three extra seconds than stated because it gives us more flexibility for editing and prevents us not getting enough timing in the shot. Below is the shot script we used to assist us when we filmed our shots on Tuesday and for future production:

Shooting Script

Shot No. Action Dialogue / Commentary / Sound
 

1

(Establishing shot) The city centre of Canterbury with busses passing by.

 

 

(Voice over- CARRIS) This is where we are now…
 

2

(Establishing shot) A nearby park which features squirrels (mainly grey).

 

(Voice over- CARRIS) But this is one of many places where the problem lies.
 

3

(Three sequence shot):

1st– a mid-close up of plant bed area of the entrance.

2nd– another mid-close up of

3rd– a close-up shot of branches with leaves, which will become a focus-change shot (from near to far).

(Voice over- CARRIS) Ever since the introduction of the Grey Squirrels during the 1870s (¹), the Red Squirrels have clearly met their match due to the other species’ powers to compete for food and natural resources.
 

4

 

(Full body shot) me walking towards the camera in the same park location. (Live audio- GRACE) Though sadly, this has had its consequences; there are a staggering less than 140,000 left in the UK today, from 3.5 million in the 1950s (²).
 

 

5

(Tracking shot) Carris and I walking along the path of the park. (Voice over- GRACE) This is a result of the Red squirrels becoming out-competed by them…
 

6

(Close-up shot) my hand on the computer mouse. (Voice over- GRACE) …as well as catching what is known as ‘squirrel pox virus’ from the Grey Squirrels.
 

7

(Three sequence shot):

1st– a close-up of the computer screen showing information on the Squirrel pox virus.

2nd– a mid-close up from behind of Carris and I looking at the information on the screen. The focus changes from far to near.

3rd– a mid-close up of a side view of Carris and I looking at the screen.

(Voice over- CARRIS) This virus is passed on in a way that means it’s totally immune to the Grey Squirrels, whereas it can be lethal to Red squirrels.
 

8

(Close-up shot) The computer screen showing the Wildwood Trust page on Red Squirrels. (Voice over- CARRIS) But are these the only reasons that these species have become endangered over recent years…?
 

9

 

(Mid-close up) behind the computer we were using which changes focus from near to far. (Voice over- GRACE) We were lucky enough to meet… of the Wildwood trust in Kent to investigate more upon this matter.
 

10

 

(Rule-of-thirds shot) showing an interview with the member of the wildlife trust. “………….”
11

 

(Three sequence shot):

1st– focus change close-up from behind a tree base (near to far).

2nd– a mid-close up of water running out from the water fountain,

3rd– a mid-close up of the park field which tracks into a full body shot of us.

“………….” (until the tracking part at approximately 1.40 seconds)
12 (Full-body shot) Of Carris are in the same park area as the last one. (Live audio- CARRIS) So there we have it, after what has been said today, we can only think positive about the future of these little creatures in relation to what is being done and will be done to help them.

This kind of production task did force us, but mainly myself, to figurer out some problem solving tactics; I had originally transferred our booking for the camera and tripod to Monday but we were told today that we would use the afternoon to start our actual production. I thought that this would be a massive hassle in sorting out in terms of access to the equipment. But this was resolved by filling in a booking form for our required equipment for return that day. This meant that Carris and I could film what we had time to film in class that day and return it without the worry and hassle. We did manage to film a good deal that day because some of our shots were set in the classroom- and we managed to film all of them too.

As for the industry, I’d happily say that this skill is one of the most widely used due to how many job areas use it. For example, TV news reporting have to use it in order to gather the shots to tell a news story- otherwise, we would have no news to watch on the TV! This also applies to the production of online news videos too. However, journalists would definitely use these production/filming skills when it comes to recording vox pops and any other interviews for a report.

In comparison to other professional practices, I believe that the shots we have come up with and taken so far are not afar off a professional one, due to a number of reasons: we had the tripod to balance the camera on and reduce the levels of unprofessional movement; we used the professional film cameras for improved quality of the overall image; and finally, we had the focus-change lens on the camera which allowed us to change the focus of the image and make it look more exciting as a result. This is a feature very commonly used in TV and online news reports so it will make ours look more professional in the end result. I could only evaluate the shots we have taken already, since we have only taken around a quarter of the total and are waiting until all are taken before we start editing. However, bsaed on what we have taken already, I’d say that we have made a very good start due to our ability to problem-solve with the equipment and ensuring the quality is of a good standard

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Project 2: Week 4 skills practiced

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