Final Production

My final production!

An experience through embodying the camera. Where the embodiment of the camera allows for a shared exploration, as if happening in real time. Approaching the beauty of decay in derelict areas seen through the eyes of another.

Further ideas

I have decided to start my video with a quote to invite the viewer in and get their brains thinking. As for the name of the video I have had further brainstorms which arose names such as, “Free as a bird” and “alone”. I have finally decided to name the piece “Through the eyes of another”. This leaves the video open ended and lets the viewer interpret it in their own way. I did not want to lean towards any endings with the name, such as the way it was a bird all along or the way that the bird was a symbol of death. I want to viewer to read the video in either of these ways or their own take on it. That is why I have chosen this name, it leaves it up to them, only stated that they are seeing through the eyes of another, experiencing what they experience in real time.

Screening my piece

As for the screening of my piece, as previously mentioned I wish to screen it in a dark room. I also want to have it projected onto a screen, as it will give a bigger image allowing the viewer to become immersed within the video and to be able to take full advantage of the wide angle shot. This will allow my video to be more of an experience than just a video. Having it in a dark room will help them to focus on the video and forget about the outside world, to become ingrossed in it. Furthermore, it will add to the intense, unknown, unnatural feeling of the production.

I am very excited to see my production in th exhibit and have been joining in with meetings to help get things going. I have chipped in for the initial funds and look forward to doing some more fundraising once this work is done.

Fisheye

According to the GoPro website “The reason GoPro videos have a slight fish-eye effect, is due to the wide angle lens on the camera. It’s actually called a barrel distortion, which is a result of having the 170 degree lens. This curve/barrel distortion allows for the 170 degree ultra wide angle shots that GoPro is known for.”

 

Fisheye correction – tried it in Adobe After Effects cs6 – lens distortion, optics compensation. Reverse lens distortion put field of view to 65-75 50 -80 BUT cuts out part of shot, makes less good quality. PLus i like fisheye, ads to peice, like seeing through actual eye 170 degrees. much nicer after editiing fisheye in post production.

 

Post Production – Editing

Once I had filmed everything the only thing left was editing. I had a few problems at first which slowed me down a lot. The problem was converting the Gopro files using the program on offer by Gopro,  Cineform. This took a very long time to convert, I left it over night and it still had not completed the converting. On top of this, I converted every file only to find they then did not agree with my editing software, so I was forced to convert all over again, adding a day to my editing.

The editing software I used was “MoviePlus Starter Edition”, a program i downloaded for free after researching the web. It does not allow much editing in terms of effects but for my piece I only needed to cut, order and fade so this software allowed me to do so from home. This also required processing before I was able to edit, which once again took a long time for it to complete for all my footage.

I tried out the “day for night” setting in Cineform to see if this made my production look more eerie but i decided not to use it. Not only would it take too long to export but it took too much away from the beauty of the abandoned area. Also I developed the piece into less of an eerie project, into an unknown but intriguing video.

At points in the video I wanted to build up the intensity but whilst filming i could not run as it was too shaky, so in order to create this effect i cut together short, quick scenes. Some scenes were faded to create a blinking effect, reinforcing the idea of the camera as somethings vision. I also slowed down some shots to give them a smoother look.

Editing was extremely time consuming  and took far longer that I expected, which is usually the case when it comes to editing. I had a lot of footage to work with which made it very hard to cut down to just what was needed. I have kept the piece at around 10 minutes long as i did not want it too seem too long and drawn out. I also want to keep the viewer interested so that they become ingrossed in the video and gain an experience from viewing it.

I did record a sound effect for the flapping of the birds wigs, this was done by wafting the PVC piping up and down. The sound effect was very believable but I decided not to use it as I wanted to music the be the main focus, as it proved to be quite powerful on its own.

I have filmed some of my footage in 1080p at 30fps but after some research I found the majority of GoPro users think that 720p at 60fps is smoother, so I filmed the rest in this setting. I must be honest I cannot really tell the difference, so it was worth trying both to put me at ease. I have exported it in 1080p for the best quality!

Final scenes

I went out for a final shooting session to capture the cliff scenes and bird scenes to complete my piece. These were always going to be the most tricky and challenging scenes to shoot and so I had to be very prepared.

Previously, for the scene which jumped out of the window I merely secured my Figrig on site with some Blu Tack in quite a botched manor, as the height of the fall was not too great. Yet, the height of the cliff scene was incredibly high, if the camera was to fall it would never be recovered. So, the night before I made sure to secure the Figrig as well as I possibly could. To do this I wrapped Blu Tack around the inside of the pipe then forced it into the joint with a lot of pressure. This seemed to hold very well and so I was confident it would be able to take any sudden stops. Here are some photos to show what i mean:

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This left me with three pieces to all secured which could fit in my bag and be put together on site before the cliff scene.

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To help the day go smoothly I also downloaded the Gopro app as it was vital in order to get the bird scenes done. Without the option of the playback preview i could never be sure that the wings were in position as this was a hard enough scene as it is. However, connecting the app and the Gopro was known to drain the battery life substantially, so every shot needed to be done quick.

It was an intense and nerve racking day of filming. Dangling my camera of a cliff was extremely scary, physically demanding and terrifying. In order to get the camera over the edge without risking my life I used the left over PVC piping I had from making the Figrig to make a fishing rod styled contraption which gave me that extra length i needed. Here is a picture to show this:

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I did have a back-up cliff in mind in case the gorge did not go to plan but luckily it all went well. However, i did also film off the lower cliff in order to flow the two scenes together.

As for the bird wing scene, I managed to hold the camera in one hand and hold one wing in the other, while one of my crew held the other wing. Katie Millner also watched the video playback, with its delay of 2 seconds to instruct us on whether the shots went smoothly. The video playback was also used in the fish scene in which the bird dives in to get the fish.

To shoot this scene I bought a fish from sainsbury’s and, with the help of Katie Millner, sewed it shut. Here is the fish during surgery:

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The fish was attached to thread, then hooped through the PVC piping and was moved about by Katie Millner while she watched the playback and me and Daniel Train (my other crew member) worked the bird wings and camera. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of this as a dog turned up and ate the fish in one. Luckily I had just finished the last shot at this stage!

How one might read the ending

The ending of my piece shows a cliff jump which fades to black. It then shows a bird flying off and then diving for a fish. The way this might be read depends of the viewer. It could be seen that the vision we were witnessing was that of a birds the whole time. But, the ending I personally see, one that is more powerful in my mind is an ending of symbolism. The bird represents life or freedom. The “being” or “thing” which we have been following throughout the film looks as if they kill them selves from throwing them self of a cliff. I feel that it can be seen that they do indeed die and the bird is there as a symbol of their life, perhaps a sign of their soul carrying on. It shows symbolism and the idea that some people cannot feel free in this life, they end their life to become free.

These are just some approaches to my production, I can never decide how it will be read by the viewer, only contemplate. 

Footage from Barrow Hospital

Looking back on the rest of my footage from the hospital, I can see that I have well over enough footage to play with. It seems I will be editing for a long while to cut down what I have filmed, as is the way with most productions. Once again some of the footage had the unavoidable shadow, foot, finger or reflection. Yet, there were a lot less mistakes compared to the first session. Also, a shot or two had the Figrig creeping in as it had fallen out of place here and there. Otherwise the footage all seemed great.

I have decided from reviewing the scene in which the camera jumps out the window that it just isn’t as epic as I had hoped. The shot was done very well but it just isn’t long enough, additionally, it is not high enough. I believe that this shot would be over to soon and seeing as it is the pivotal ending of the video it needs to last a bit longer and be more intense.

Therefore, I have decided to go back to my original plan and shoot this scene at the gorge at Clifton downs. I will then cut to black and film the lower part of the drop at a lower cliff near Frenchay. Yet, it is vital to note that the scene shot from the 3rd story window was not a waste of time, far from it. It allowed me and my crew to experiment with the lowering contraption and get to grip with it in a safe and low down area. Furthermore, I still intend to use part of this scene to build up tension. It will portray the camera considering jumping out of the window but too scared or unsure. This will then lead into the scene which will take place on top of the gorge. 

All in all the day of filming went well and the window can be seen as a vital test. Some of the footage seemed a little shaky at times and the general movement of walking could be noticed. However, I do not see this as a negative point. I think that the combination of smooth steady shots, with those which show the movement of walking combine to portray an unknown, unnatural and confusing movement. Therefore, not giving away too much of the identity of who’s vision we are sharing. 

My third & final visit to Barrow Hospital

After looking back at the footage from my last visit and constructing my Figrig it was time to head back to Barrow Hospital to finish filming for this area. This time I did not go alone and took at crew of two others to help out. This was because I planned to film the scene of the “being” jumping out of the 3rd story window for the ending of my production.

On this trip I managed to explore more of the hospital, covering these extra buildings:

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To film the scene where the camera jumps to its potential death I attached 3 pieces of 15 metre camping rope to the Figrig. 15 metre’s seemed like a good choices, yet I didn’t really think about of much string this actually is, which turned out to produce quite a few tangled problems. The reason for using 3 pieces of rope was because the Figrig had 3 handles which allowed me to attach them to. How did i go about attaching them, simply tying a knot and using a lot of my trusty friend, Blu Tack. I also used a lot of Blu Tack to secure the frame of the Figrig in place as i didn’t want it falling apart as the rope became taught, which would cause my camera to fall to its death. Here is the modded Figrig:

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With the help of my 2 man crew I was able to get several shots of the camera falling out of a 3rd story window. I also got the rest of my filming done on site during this trip. Here is the view from the window and a few photos of the day:

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