Constrast and Affinity: Rhythm

Contrast and Affinity: Rhythm

The Film:

Version #1:

Version #2:

Audio Commentary:

Summary:

In this project, I created my own film about a character who has bad luck, and he can’t seem to get a break. All these unlucky things which happen to him seem to build up, and as viewers we want something good to happen to him. In the end, he finds a four leaf clover which symbolizes the good fortune he has coming in the future. I had the character change his shirt from solid to striped to plaid. This helped the visual intensity increase as the unlucky things continued to happen.

Visual Element Controlled: Rhythm

I used the reoccurring character’s shirt as a way to show the rhythm. In the beginning, he has a solid color shirt. After a few unlucky things happen to him, his shirt changes from a solid color, to a shirt with vertical lines on it. By the end, he was wearing a plaid shirt which showed the maximum intensity of the film, this was the climax of the film. The solid color shirt is easy for us to take in. When it changes to vertical lines, the shot becomes more intense. The plaid shirt provided the maximum amount of intensity throughout the film because with all the lines, it makes for a lot to take in visually.

What I learned:

In this project, I learned about rhythm and how it can drastically change the mood or tempo of a film. I learned about patterns that are more visually intense to our eyes which can help make the film more intense as it goes on.

I also learned how to work solo, which I enjoyed. I am proud of this funny clip that I created and I feel it is some of my best work from this year. Next time, I would probably try to plan out each camera shot better and allow more time for editing. If I had been able to do this, the film could have been even better.

Dialog in a Screenplay

Summary

In this project, we recorded a conversation, and we put it into a screenplay. (See below link). The purpose of this project was to help us understand better how people naturally sound when talking rather than making up dialog.

Conversation Screenplay

Screenplay Dialog PDF

What I Learned

In this project, I learned about how people talk. They talk over each other and cut each other off. The way people talk is hard to convey through creating your own dialog without speaking it or acting it out.

PGC Off-Court Impact

PGC Off Court Impact

Summary:

In this project, I had to talk about how a week of basketball changed my life. It was supposed to be a video of myself just talking, but I wanted to do a little more than that so I decided to do some extra filming outside of school of what changed in my life since going to the camp.

Video:

What I learned:

In this project, I learned how I can keep the camera steady without using a tripod. I learned how to film and record my own audio. I learned how to plan out my shots with locations and other supplies. I learned how to better sync up the audio with the video and how to combine smaller videos to make a larger one. I learned how to manage my time and how to make do with what supplies and resources I had.

Film Sound Design Project

Film Sound Design Project

Summary

In this project, we were given a clip (see below) and recorded our own sounds for it. Individually, we brainstormed roughly twenty different sounds that could be used in the clip. Then as a team we combined our sounds and decided which ones were the vital to the clip and which ones we agreed that we would need. After a few days of recording sounds, we organized them into an accessible folder and separately edited it into our own video, exchanging our new audio with the soundtrack which was already part of the video.

Film Before Foley and Sound Effects

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh57zcmI3WQ&nohtml5=False

Film After Foley and Sound Effects

Sounds and Written Description:

  • Sound Library
    • Train Engine: shaking trash can
    • Screams: we screamed
    • Train cars rattling: Pens in a cup
    • Rocks moving: Shaking pens
    • Individual rock moving: Dropped one pen
    • Pulse: Tapped a pulse on the floor
    • Tension in power lines: guitar string
    • Wind blowing: Natalie pretended to be the wind
    • Earth cracking: Ripping paper

Sounds and Written Description

Audio Signal Chain Terms: Notes

“Sound is Half the Picture” – Steven Spielberg

Signal Chain – At the source a microphone converts sound energy into analog electric signals. This signal is carried down a cable and into a preamp on an audio recorder or camera where it is converted into a digital file.

Recording Devices

Single System Setup (Combined Video and Audio Production) – Audio is fed directly into the camera and recorded with the image.

Double System Setup (Video and Audio Production) – Sound is recorded into a dedicated (it just records sound) audio recording deck, like a Zoom or Tascam.

  • Sound from the camera is still recorded if it’s available but used as a sync or scratch track.

Sync / Scratch Track – Audio recorded with the camera at the same time as an audio recording deck.

  • The camera audio is used as a sync or scratch track to line up the video with the audio from the audio recording deck.

Double System Quality

  • ADVANTAGE: It does not have to be attached to the camera.
  • ADVANTAGE: Higher audio quality.
    • Digital audio recorders have some great features that make for better recording.
  • ADVANTAGE: Higher sampling rate.
    • When an analog signal is converted to digital, the smooth analog curves of the wave signal have to be quantized
  • DISADVANTAGE: You will have to sync the audio in post production, but you can use slates to line up the audio on each shot or use sync programs, so long as you record a scratch audio track on your camera.

Slate or Clapperboard – A device used in filmmaking and video production to assist in the synchronizing of picture and sound, and to designate and mark particular scenes and takes recorded during a production.

Quantized – Analog sound wave that is split up into samples with the amplitude, or height of the wave (bit depth), measured.

Sampling Rate – Number of times the wave form is sampled, per second, determines how accurate the digital representation matches the original analog waveform.

Analog Signal – Analog recording methods store signals as a continuous signal in or on the media.

Sample Rate Values (Low) – 11 kHz – 11,000 times per second.

Sample Rate Values (Middle) – 44.1 kHz – 44,100 samples per second

Sample Rate Values (High) – 96 kHz. Twice the sampling rate of 48 kHz

Bit Depth – How many different values of amplitude each sample can be.

Sounds File Formats

Uncompressed WAV Files vs. Compressed MP3 Files

  • ADVANTAGE: Dedicated audio recorders also have the ability to record uncompressed or compress audio wave files.
  • ADVANTAGE: Always record uncompressed as WAV files.
  • DISADVANTAGE: Compressed audio, as an MP3, throws away a lot of useful information that will come in handy in the post processing side.
  • ADVANTAGE: Compressed audio, as an MP3 file, is about 10 times smaller than a WAV file.

The Deck

Preamp – Boost the signal of a microphone so it can be recorded.

  • Most preamps have a switch that can be toggled between line or microphone signal.
  • ADVANTAGE: Preamps in dedicated audio recorders tend to be quieter.
  • DISADVANTAGE: Preamps in cameras and cheap equipment tend to be noisier.

Line Signal – A strong audio signal usually coming from a mixing console or playback device.

  • Professional line out signals are designated as +4 dBu (1.228 volts root mean square, RMS ).
  • Consumer line out signals are designated as -10 dBv (0.316 volts root mean square, RMS).

Microphone Signal – Far weaker than line signal at only 2 millivolts (two one thousandth of a volt).

  • Preamps boost the microphone signal.
  • Preamps invariably boost noise and some preamps are noisier than others.
  • The more you pay the better the preamp.

Phantom Power – +48v supply of power down the microphone cable or line for condenser microphones.

Clip or Clipping – Looks like the top of the sound wave is being chopped off.

  • Avoid clipping at all costs.
  • 0 dBFS (decibel full scale) is set to the clipping point – the maximum loudness.

Headroom – The amount of dynamic range between the normal operating level and the maximum level, which is usually the onset of clipping <— bad bad bad.

  • ADVANTAGE: Enough headroom keeps signal from clipping
  • DISADVANTAGE: Too much headroom and there is not enough space between the recored signal and the noise floor, more noise is present in the recording.
  • SUGGESTION: Keep average level between -20 and -12 that way any sudden spikes and boost in loudness will top off at -6bB – well below the clipping point.

Sound Source and Ambient Background Separation – Recommend keeping at least an 18dB separation between ambient sound and the desired sound so that you can ensure recording a clean signal.

Microphones

Impedance – Impedance is a measure of opposition a device has to AC current

  • Basically the combined effect of capacitance, inductance, and resistance.
  • Designated as the letter Z and measured in ohms or the Greek letter Omega.
  • Low impedance microphones, sometimes labeled Low-Z have impedance of less than 600 ohms.
  • Medium impedance mics have between 600 and 10,000 ohms.
  • High impedance is anything above 10,000.
  • ADVANTAGE: In the audio chain always go from low to high impedance.
  • ADVANTAGE: The microphone should be rated lower than the recorder or else you have degraded signal.

Microphone Placement – The first and most important thing to remember about audio recording is that sound dissipates according to the inverse square law.

  • The power of a sound wave decreases by the inverse of the square of the distance – if you double the distance between your microphone and the sound source, you reduce the power of the sound waves to a quarter.
  • Triple it, and power reduces to a ninth.
  • ADVANTAGE: Get the microphone as close as you can to the subject.

Proximity Effect – Cardiod microphones and other non-directional microphones exhibit a boost of the bass frequencies when the sound source is very close to the microphone.

Boom Mic – Booming is simply putting a microphone on a pole and holding the boom so the microphone is just out of the frame either from above or from below.

  • Often times a shotgun microphone is used at the end of the boom.

Shotgun Mic – They have a tight polar pattern like a supercardioid capsule.

  • A long interference tube that sits in front of the capsule and is what gives it a tightly focused pickup pattern.
  • Sound that travels on axis will hit the microphone capsule unimpeded.
  • ADVANTAGE: For booming outdoors, shotgun mics are a great option.
  • ADVANTAGE: Sound that is coming from the sides will be forced to go through slots and since sound waves will hit the slots at different times, they will be out of phase and start canceling each other out.
  • ADVANTAGE: The longer the interference tube, the more directional the pickup pattern.
  • ADVANTAGE: Shotguns work best when the unwanted noise is relatively different from the desired noise.
  • DISADVANTAGE: Off axis Sound from moving objects will not be filtered as well because the the wave is changing position as it is entering the interference tube.
  • DISADVANTAGE: Shotguns can behave strangely in really small rooms or in highly reverberant spaces where the off axis sound will become colored.

Lavalier and Pin Mics – Small microphones hidden on the source of sound, generally attached on or near the chest, to get sound closer to the source.

  • ADVANTAGE: Very small and can be hidden.
  • ADVANTAGE: Moves with the source of sound.
  • ADVANTAGE: Used a lot in live performances.
  • DISADVANTAGE: You just have to be concerned about unwanted rustling sounds depending on placement.

Foley and Sound Effects Terms: Notes

  • Production Audio focuses on dialogue
  • 3 types of post-sound effect:
    • Ambience: Psychological que for space
    • Library Effects: Prerecorded sound effects
    • Foley: footsteps, cloth, props
  • Modern Foley breaks a scene into several passes
  • Don’t need professional gear to perform Foley

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

In this project I learned how to edit and create a well-done soundtrack in GarageBand. I learned how to keep my audio files organized which was very helpful when I got to the editing process. If I had problems, I would ask a classmate or the teacher to help me solve them.

ADR (Automatic Dialog Replacement) Project

Licensed by Eric de Redelijkheid under Flamingo

Summary

In this project, I learned about ADR. We learned how to sync up a different audio track with a video, and also got to have some fun with it! It was helpful to be able to freely learn about how to use Premiere Pro just by experimenting with it.

Film Before Visual ADR

This is the original clip that we used when editing. The audio is not the same track as used in the final version (see below).

Film After Visual ADR

This is my edited version of the film (with clearer audio):

ADR Terms:

  • Used to fix technical problems
  • Used to make a tv safe cut
  • Replace a vocal performance
  • Early films were restricted by audio requirements
  • Post Synchronization- when the audio is recorded in the post-production
  • Replace dialogue
  • Partial ADR: need to match microphones, mic placement and environment with the stuff from the rest of the film
  • Visual ADR: actor visually matches with the lip sync
  • Audio ADR: actor matches with the sound of original audio
  • Harder to ADR a longer audio clip
  • Keep the clips short

What I learned and Problems I solved

In this project, I improved my skills of editing, and I learned how to change the length and duration of audio and video clips using premiere pro. When I had problems, I would ask my classmates.

Chocolate! Film Post-Production

Licensed by Marco Verch under Chocolate chunks and cocoa powder

Summary

In this project, I put the video and audio clips we recorded during production into premiere pro. I took two class periods to completely finish, and I included multiple “J” and “L” cuts. When I finished, I uploaded it to youtube. See the link below for the video.

The Film Final Edit

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

I learned more about editing and how to be a better editor. I learned that editing is more a feeling of when to cut rather than a specific time. When I wasn’t sure of exactly how to do something in Premiere Pro, I looked it up or asked my classmates.

Chocolate: Editor Pre-Production Journal


Icicles by Keith Allison under CC BY-SA 2.0

Summary:

For this project, we are going to create a short film using learned skills about cinematography, editing, blocking, and more. Our pre-production work will help us plan out the project. Our production days will be short but organized and compact. In post-production, all members of our team will be editing the raw film. In pre-productions, we scouted locations, finding ours quickly. We tried different camera angles to find which one fits each shot best. We tested different props as well, and found what we needed to use during our production.

  • Element: 48- Visual Match Cut
  • Element: 20- Mise-en-Scene
  • Element: 42- Matching Audio Segue

Test Shots:

Planning with Cinematographer:

We planned by scouting locations, shot types, and different camera angles. We agreed on what type of shot to use for each part, and we were able to get our film planned out. See “Storyboard Notation” section below for more details.

Influences from Films:

  • In “The Silence of The Lambs”, there are points in the movie where the editing causes the viewer to believe something different than what is happening
  • The cuts and placements of the shots are helpful in making viewers more emotionally attached to the characters and to what is going on in the movie
  • Another influential film is Citizen Kane: In this film, the opening scene when Kane says “Rosebud” and drops the snowglobe, and the closeup of his lips when he speaks, draws viewers into the story.

Storyboard Notation:

 

Editing Program:

Editing Shortcuts: I took these notes while watching a video about how to edit in Premiere Pro. This will be helpful because it will allow me to speed up the editing process. These notes came from a previous blog post.

 

What I learned and Problems I Solved:

In pre-production, I learned how to decide which shot types to use in certain scenes, and other editing tips. These tips helped me plan out our story better, which will overall lead to better quality of a video when we are done.

Recommendation Feedback

Natalie is a strong-willed student who cares about everything she does. She excels in projects, even if she has little experience in her roles. Natalie cares about getting things done well and on time, like being the cinematographer in a recent project. Every day, even during hard projects, Natalie somehow makes people smile. She is very good about making sure that her job gets done correctly, efficiently, and with fun. If you need a hard worker who is versatile and can get the job done, you need Natalie.

Editing an Interview

Crop by Nadir Hashmi licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Summary:

In this project, we learned how to use Premiere Pro to edit and create a short interview. We had requirements to cut away at least three times and keep the video under three minutes.

Storyboard:

What I learned:

I learned how to edit better than I could before. I learned how to cut out “ums and uhs”. I learned how to use A-roll and B-roll which allowed me to have a certain clip run with audio from a different track.

 Edited Video:

 

Walter Murch Editing Tips

(e)Motion

  • Montage- building something- is what editing is
  • How does this shot make you feel? Is this what you want for story-telling?
  • Use pictures and audio to change the audience’s emotion
  • When cutting people walking, use the “baton” example (down, up, down, up)
  • Cut at blinks because it feels natural

Story

  • Do you understand whats going on with the characters?

Rhythm

  • Knowing when the cut should be; is it at the right place?
  • Pick up “rythmic ques” from different sources and integrated/extend those rhythms into spaces where there is no rhythm
  • Find the “rhythm” of the film

Eye-trace

  • Where the audiences eye is at one point
  • Need to have a pretty good intuition of where they are looking
  • Construct the film by where you place the cut and where you want their attention
  • Cut clips so that the audience’s eye is looking at the same spot in the shot from the end of a clip to the beginning of the next

2D plane of screen (180˚rule)

3D continuity of space

  • Where all the people are in the space (ex. living room, soccer field, space)