3. CODES AND CONVENTIONS
OF SHORT FILM
“A short film will most commonly last between 3 to 20 minutes, however the length varies
greatly and can last as little as a minute and up to 40”. With my project and the limited time,
I have I’d like to aim for around 2 minutes worth of footage as I feel I can create a good
narrative in conjunction to the time I have to film and edit.
“Due to the length and simplicity in storyline, a short film will usually introduce between 1
and 3 main characters as creating back stories and developing characters is again limited.
This is also done in order to keep the audience engaged and be able to follow the storyline
without being bombarded with information and new people. Short films will usually last only
long enough to connect the audience to few characters and will not have a developed
enough storyline to hold a large cast.” My initial thoughts about my cast was to keep it very
minimal (1 or 2 people at most) and try to tell a story through shots and tone of the video.
“Including a twist is a common convention in short film although this is not a general rule
and not all short films will use this format. However, a twist allows the film maker to tell a
short story in an interesting way and they are able to do this as the short storyline gives less
clues to the ending.” my story plans for my project involve a false sense of danger through
4. CODES AND CONVENTIONS
The main idea of a commercial is to sell or advertise a product or service to a large
group of people via video posted on social media, television or in person via
something like a billboard. When associated with fashion, these videos often have a
centralised product/range/collaboration that is trying to reach the broadest market
possible to try and sell the most products possible. These videos often last anywhere
from 15 seconds to around a minute as if they drag on too much the viewer will often
get bored and lose interest, Often, the brands who already have a big name for
themselves will attract the most customers which is often why brands collaborate to
generate hype and attract new customers to a different market. These advertisement
will nearly always contain the products logo and branding in them which is to the stay
the same. Depending on the product they are marketed in either 3 ways; luxury,
quality or budget. This is to set up the customer and to make them expect what the
type of item they will be receiving will be. The use of colours, props and settings is
very important to create brand identity as people often associate brands with colour
e.g. Tesco with blue and red. Adverts are often recognisable by music and slogans
also as they often are made with the intention of sticking in peoples head.
For my commercial I want to take a more of an artistic approach and go less fell on
with hard branding and aggressive marketing techniques. As I intend to make a
collaboration of two brands it also needs to fit to a theme which I wish to be outdoors
and adventure based. An indiscrete narrative and a story to my video would give it
the structure it needs and when that’s combined with backing audio of something like
a poem or a voice over related to adventure with intense music I think it would create
an atmosphere which viewers would come to remember,
5. CONVENTIONS IN
COMPARISON TO MY VIDEO
With my video having aspects of a short film and aspects of a commercial
I have looked at both and taken multiple aspects from both. The creative
approach I want to take allows me to create a film like atmosphere in my
commercial which is unlike many in the industry. The niche film making
approach when combined with my idea of creating a collaboration hiking
brand makes for a unique idea. I want to take the stereotypical 30 second
long commercial and combine it with the well shot, graded and
professionally edited short film. The narrative is an important part of my
commercial as I feel it gives good structure and makes the viewer more
curious and want to watch more. Foley sound is often used in film and to
create a tense atmosphere I would like to try and use it in unison with the
choice of intense piano or string based music as music is a prevalent
feature of successful adverts.
6. RESEARCH TESTING
I’ve done two different sets of research testing. I made
sure to test a lot of cinematic shots while I was away, but
I also took some shots from my old FMP to test the
colour grading tutorials I looked at. By practicing these
things now it means I can perfect the skill for
production, especially for the color grading as its
something I haven’t investigated in this much detail nor
am I used to using the program. In shooting these test
shots and grading them, I also can better understand
the direction I want to take my project with clear visions
of what works and what doesn’t pre planning phase.
7. CINEMATIC COLOUR GRADING
“Colour grading is the post-production process by which a colourists stylise the
colour scheme of footage by “painting” on top of what they’ve established
through colour correction. During colour grading, colourists use editing
software to stylize the footage—emphasizing the visual tone and atmosphere
of a movie, and making it look more cinematic. Colourists use colour grading
to adjust contrast, colour balance, white balance, black level, saturation, and
DaVinci resolve is the widely renowned best colour grading software by a lot of
people on both YouTube and reddit and is the main cad used to edit film
footage by amateur film makers. Using a tool called a LUT (Look Up Table) the
original footage is glazed over by a pre-made preset to give it an alternate
look to its raw footage. The camera you use will have a different gamma and
colour transforms depending on the make but using LUT’s and manipulating
this can result in far more vibrant shots which is what I’m looking for if I wish to
create an outdoor themed video.
8. EXISTING PRODUCT RESEARCH
My hopes with the existing product research is to gain a good
understanding of what goes into making both a cinematic video and a
commercial and combine my findings into making a successful advertising
campaign in my production. I want to investigate many short films to learn
how they are shot and what techniques are used in the filming and post-
production areas. I wish to also investigate advertising videos and
commercials to see what methods of displaying a product or a brand into
their videos are. After gaining influence from these examples, I hope to
have a good idea of what music, shot types and post-production
techniques I could use to create a successful video.
9. OUTER BANKS
The narrative of Netflix original outer banks sets it apart from the rest as its
character development and wide variety of shot types goes into creating a
very detailed story. With shooting somewhere like the outer banks, the use
of natural light in all the shots is important which when combined with the
warm filters applied in post processing makes for clear and detailed shots.
10. SHOT BREAKDOWN: OUTER
Natural lighting is a key part of the shots displayed here but also in the show collectively. The “paradise
on earth” approach they’ve taken to make the setting look as good as possible. Warm tones throughout
show the climate of the setting they’re in but also connotes friendship and warmth. The first shot shows a
full body shot of a character balancing on a roof of a house. The shot shows the peacefulness of his
surroundings and looking out onto the water with a very warm sky which contrasts the blue of the water.
The natural lighting and the sky being used makes for very good lighting which I would like to
incorporate into my work.
The low shot used was done to display not only the characters but also the sunset sky
With my idea revolving around a lot of natural light I think a shot like this would perfe
Fit the idea I’m looking for. I’d easily be able to implement this into my video as techn
its pretty easy to do.
The use of the water really makes this shot amazing for me. The reflection off the wate
With the dark silhouettes on the boat makes this shot very dramatic. The water use is
Something I’d like to try and implement into my project as I believe the types of shots
Can get change an awful lot with reflections.
11. GAWX: SUMMER IN EUROPE
• Gawx is an artist and film maker from Spain who creates short aesthetic
cinematic films in far fewer extreme places than a lot of other creators.
His use of filters and grain on his shots has inspired me to test out the
effect and potentially use it in my project. His unique approach to film
making by using music and still shots to display his work is a similar sort
of unique style I wish to try and create for myself. The lack of narrative is
inspiring to my project and may potentially be something I like to use or
test in my own project.
12. This shot out of a plane window with the dramatic clouds has been colour graded to
provide emphasis on the light of the sunset which I find looks very aesthetically
pleasing. This shot has inspired me to try something similar using the insta360
camera but instead of being so high up its closer to the ground to emphasize the sky
from a smaller angle.
The dark vignette of the shot emphasizes both the shadow off the water and the
blue of the sky making for a clearer focus point on the reflection of the house and
the trees on the water. The colour grading also plays a part in this shot as the green
of the trees appear to pop a lot more which gives a more autumn vibe.
This shot is something I would like to test with as the clear difference between
foreground focus point and background are made very clear. The panoramic like
view with the small subject contrasting the extreme large hills make it a very
pleasing shot. The angle the shot is taken from also supports the view and what’s
in the background.
This shot in the early morning with the dark blue tints and the minimal light creates
Contrast to the rest of the very bright shots. The temperature and brightness have bee
Tampered with resulting in the shadows becoming almost silhouettes.
13. NEW FOREST | CINEMATIC
• This cinematic has all the features of a video I would like to try and
remake in my own way. The aesthetic approach to the shots and
transitions make it for a smooth flowing video and when combined with
the slow music in the background makes for a relaxing yet very high
quality and technical video.
The clarity and definition of this close up shot with the blurred
background makes for a very aesthetically pleasing look. The
calmness of the music matches the feel of the video with a large
emphasis on wildlife. All 3 of these shots focus on movement and a
subject which when making my video I would like to replicate as it’s
a big part of my story I want to create. When in comparison to
someone like Gawx, they take a very different approach in the way
they film. Gawx using lots of static shots while Alex Corona uses
people and nature and to create movement in his piece. Regarding
my piece in comparison to this, I want to create a similar tone using
a similar style of somber and slow music. Alex Corona uses freedom
as a basic theme for this piece as emphasized in the middle shot
displayed. The sun shining through with the the green morning like
grass gives off a warm tone which when combined with the use of
warm filters and colour correction makes for a well-balanced shot
which creates atmosphere which makes me want to be out doing
the same thing. Blurring the background of shots may prove to be a
very important aspect of my project as I feel it splits scenic shots up
with emphasis on a person or an object. This combined with this
films use of slow-motion shots feels like it completely slows down
and sets the pace of the video.
15. CINEMATIC HIKING ADVERTISEMENT
This advertisement shows a cinematic and more unique way of creating a
commercial with minimal product or brand placement besides the end. Use of
a drone and different perspectives of this forest allow for the video to have a
good variety of shots while remaining fresh. Rather than having a strict
narrative, the video focuses on the theme of adventure as a whole which not
only gives the creator more freedom but makes the advertisement feel more
raw and less forced. Product placement throughout the film visibly shows that
it is an add for the brand Osprey which I feel as if I could mimic in my video.
The high-quality production value gives it a finished look and when combined
with colour grading it turns into a video that’s well shot and something I aspire
to make myself as I also want to incorporate a brand into my commercial.
16. In all aspects I personally believe this is one the best videos I have researched so far. Having a narrative for the
adventure of this woman while incorporating a brand is a style that I wouldn’t have thought of and I will look to
replicate in my own way weather that be through an actual story or a broad theme. The quality and variety of the
shots make this video very aesthetically pleasing with a high number of shots taken from all angles and in different
locations. Having this variety allows for progression in the story and could convey the sturdiness and longevity of the
product being advertised. The shot of the waterfall from a far is one of the most pleasing shots to look at in the entire
video for me as it not only is beautiful to look at, but the cameraman has used a clear difference of foreground and
background to captivate the audience into noticing and appreciating the cinematography. Having shots that don’t
contain the product including the close of the woman splits up the up the video and shows that it once again isn’t
about the product but about the video also. This may also provoke the viewer to find the video more memorable for
the beautiful shots and attention to detail put into the video. The final shot in the video with the all-white logo
contrasting with the sky and the rocky cliff face makes for an amazing final shot that clearly advertises the brand while
completing the narrative to the short story the videographer has presented. While shot beautifully, the audio in the
background I feel really makes the advertisement whole with the voice of the 1950s quote in the background
gradually building up to its climax at the end of the video. The quote speaks about dreaming and being in the
moment which when linked to the topic of hiking works effectively as it shows to the viewer that with this brand you
can go and fulfill your dreams. The music choices I feel also links very well to both the video and the audio with an
upbeat and mysterious approach. I think with the music I’ll use in my video, I want more of a dramatic tone and more
of a daring backing audio as I want the brand to come across as extreme and adventurous. Overall I have taken a lot of
inspiration from this piece due to its creative and unique approach to creating a commercial by using minimalistic
branding and creating a narrative through a theme which is continued through the video the entice a niche audience.
Loneliness in film can be generated in many ways weather that be through production technique, narrative of a character or setting.
In modern film directors like to use examples like staring out of a window as that makes the character appear to somewhere for a
long time deep in thought. Isolating the character and surrounding them with meaningless objects and empty space help to convey
the narrative as it makes them look small and worthless. Close up shots are another technique used as it can focus on the
characters face and capture real emotions which when combined with a blur to the background shows to the audience how nothing
is visible but them. On the other hand, using wide angles can make characters look small and worthless in comparison to anyone
else. The comparison of the small character to the large buildings or large crowds shows the isolation in the shot but the character
Using background information on a character can show the decent to loneliness just as well as filming techniques. An example of
this would be the joker where he explores the condition of modern loneliness due to political corruption, social deprivation and
family breakdown. Through the development of a plotline and creating background information on characters it can result in
actions on screen holding a deeper meaning and the viewer looking deeper into the character than before.
Referencing loneliness in my piece will result in my story having a clearer narrative and a deeper meaning which I’m hoping to do
through the use of a story telling via a character. In researching the topic of loneliness, it has helped me understand that for my film
to be successful I will need a narrative weather that be through using voice over to tell a story or through it being visual making use
of flashbacks or technical aspects like wide angled shots and isolated spaces.
The outlook on loneliness in films such as the joker paint loneliness in a very negative light relating it to things such as mental
illness. The film “silence” portrays being alone as a positive showing that getting away from the hustle of everyday life and doing
something on your own can be therapeutic and worth your time. The contrasting shots at the start of the film versus the end with
use of colour grading taking the saturation out the city shows the dull and busy life people are stuck in and when in comparison
the so called ”lonely” hiking appears beautiful and bright. The voiceover gives this video a lot more depth explaining how this main
character feels when escaping from real life. This aspect of the film I would like to incorporate into my own video as I feel its an
easy way to show a back story or explain the thoughts of a character. The weather plays an important part to this piece as
depressing city-based shots are all filmed in the grey and wet and all the mountainous shots are filmed to make it seem peaceful
with the example below being very sunny. The use of contrast in the video makes for entertaining viewing as it shows the two sides
to life and a lesson of being alone and being free is necessary for the mind.
The main character in my film will be based around my research of loneliness because adding a topic or a moral to the story means
I can base it on whatever I like. The types of loneliness I looked at take two very different approaches with the joker showing the
negatives and SILENCE showing the positives so deciding which way I want to take my project in terms of this topic will decide
weather or not I want to make my film more lighthearted or more depression oriented.
21. AUDIENCE RESEARCH
Short films have a lot smaller and niche audience than mainstream due
to the creative nature, length and simple storyline. Although largely
accessible, many are not aware of short film. This is largely due to
popularity decreasing through the 30’s onwards, and the limited access in
mainstream forms such as prime time television and cinema. Short film
also varies in genre and style and will appeal to a much more specific
audience. In my case, as a film maker, I look to others short films as
inspiration and ideas for my own film. It could be through a shot or some
music but what I take and create could influence a lot of people. The
gender split is often 50/50 when looking at short film but in general
more men are interested in film and more women are interested in
creative arts and film making. It's shown that higher class citizens are
more likely to be interested in short film as a lot of the films display
social while the more working-class audience would rather indulge in
blockbuster films or tv series.
In summary, short films are often targeted towards young film
enthusiasts who are both genders and any ethnicity with more of a tilt
towards a upper class audience due to its availability to the upper
22. RESEARCH SUMMARY
In summary, my project is being made for a niche film making and hiking/outdoors
audience in hopes of reaching broader audience to market a project. My research has
taught me how to colour grade effectively through both YouTube and testing on my own
footage shot with the intentions of mimicking a style in my project. After looking at
existing projects I found that using natural light and warm tones a film can change its
dynamic as warmer shots often convey safety while colder shots are associated with
danger and adventure (the style I wish to use). Researching the creator GAWX showed me
that simplicity and less movement in shots which is a very alternative style in comparison
to that of Alex Corona who focuses a lot on nature and emphasis on movement and life
in his projects. For looking into the advertisement aspect of the project I wanted to look
at what the style and conventions are how to incorporate it into the cinematic aspect of
my video. The hiking advertisement I looked at had a lot of the similar styles and
methods I looked to use weather that be the use of the audio and backing vocals or the
high paced dramatic yet minimal branding in entailed. Keeping a theme to my project
was pivotal to creating a story rather than having a prewritten narrative as it allows me
more creative freedom in the planning stage. The idea of progression and becoming
better is something I’d like to investigate doing as it goes with the theme of a hiking
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