2. Describe the set brief for the Preliminary Task. What was it that
you were asked to create? Use the correct media specific
vocabulary and show that you understand the meaning of these
The set brief given to us for the Preliminary Task, was to produce a short-film involving
a character opening a door, crossing a room and coming face to face with another
character with whom she/he exchanges a few lines of dialogue with. This continuity task
had to incorporate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180- degree rule within it.
When we were given this task, we firstly researched the unfamiliar terms to find out
what they meant:
Match on action - An editing technique to portray continuity.
Shot/reverse shot - When one character is shown looking at another character, and
then the other character is shown looking back at the first character. Usually used when
a conversation/discussion is taking place.
180-degree rule - When filming takes place on the same side (on the same 180-degree
angle) in order to maintain a conversation and to give the audience a sense of direction.
3. Explain everything that you did leading up to the point when you
started filming (pre-production). Discuss how this process helped
to prepare you for filming.
In order to develop our knowledge regarding the filming process, as a group we researched and explored a variety of camera
shots, camera angles and camera movements. This led to us experimenting with different shots and posting them onto our blogs
which was helpful as now we always have something to refer to. We also examined the effects of the camera shots, for instance,
a low angle shot makes the character within the frame appear intimidating whereas on the other hand, a high angle shot makes
the character look weak and vulnerable. Additionally, the research advanced us to look at short films to see how the shots were
usually ordered. The majority of the time the clips started with an establishing shot, to give the audience a sense of location, and
then the shots would get closer to the character, for example: a long shot, a mid-shot, a close up and then an extreme close up.
As a group we then began to generate initial ideas related to our Preliminary Task, taking into account verisimilitude and
practicalness. In the end we decided on the scenario of 'An unidentified figure opens a door and walks into a dim lit room with a
young female tied up in the centre. The figure then proceeds towards the girl and rips the duct tape from her mouth.
Conversation continues and the girl, at the end, finds out who her kidnapper is'. We then created a storyboard in order to present
each of the 12 shots. This allowed us to visualise what the final product would look like; we had to focus on what kind of camera
shot/angle/movement would be used, what characters would be in the scene and what sounds would be generated - This
prepared us for the filming process as we had a kind of check list to follow.
Concerning Mise-En-Scene, we planned the locations that were needed for our Preliminary Task and the casting as well. We
wanted our location to also relate to our plot so we chose to film within the abandoned bases at Grafton Underwood as they are
rather eerie and creepy. However, before we finalised this decision we went there and took multiple photographs of the different
locations we needed to ensure that they were suitable. When it came to deciding the actors to play the characters, we wanted to
make sure that they were some what decent at acting so we limited it to people who did Drama at GCSE level. Eventually we
chose Mea Fenwick to take the role of the unidentified figure and myself to act as Emily - more reasons for this can be found on
Next we focused on editing, specifically editing with Adobe Premier Pro as this was the programme that we eventually edited our
Preliminary Task in. This was crucial for me as I had never edited before and I learnt a lot of vital, basic skills that would support
me throughout post-production. It also allowed me to picture the final product clearer as I had a greater understanding on how
the whole process worked. The last thing we did before filming, was make a filming schedule; it made sure that our group was
organised, we had everything that we needed and took our safety into account.
4. Describe the filming process itself (production). How did
Due to our thorough planning in pre-production, the process of filming went
well. We recorded each scene multiple times incase there were any flaws in
previous clips and we also ensured that all dialogue was clear. Our group
also filmed each shot longer than necessary so that when we edited them,
we could make sure our clips had continuity from one to the other.
There was a few complications regarding lighting; as we filmed, the
shadows and light would constantly be changing as we were using the sun
as a light source instead of a source that we could actually control - for our
main task I won't rely on natural sources to light the scene and will use light
boxes instead. Also, we discovered that the lighting was too dim when we
were trying too film the close up of the hand on the door handle - in order to
solve this problem, we got a torch and directed it at the handle to give the
shot some light.
5. Explain the editing stage for your preliminary Task (post-
production). This should include how you applied new skills you
I used Adobe Premier Pro to edit our Preliminary Task. During the editing process, I
wanted to add in elements of eeriness in order to make the audience feel
uncomfortable. To establish this goal I never revealed the true face of the figure, I
put in distorting scenes (such as the fast, spinning shot of the trees) and
manipulated time (like when the figure walks across the field) - these conventions
make the audience feel tense and on edge. To accomplish this effect I applied the
new skills that I learnt whilst editing: how to import clips, how to edit the clips using
the razor tool and how to navigate through Adobe's timeline. I decided to leave a
blank screen at the end of the clip for a couple of seconds to express how the
Preliminary Task was left with a cliffhanger.
After I was happy with the sequence and editing of my clip, I added in music to also
help create a strained atmosphere. I did this by gradually increasing the volume as
the short film got to the climax and by layering sound clips upon one another to
make a thick texture which resulted in the impact being more powerful. I also
decided to edit out background sound, such as wind, so that the audience was
completely immersed within the tense music.
6. Evaluate your finished Preliminary Task. How well does it meet the
expectations of your set brief? Which parts of it do you think are
particularly strong? Where are there weaknesses? What can you
identify as being an area for development when it comes to
producing your Main Task?
Overall I am extremely happy with our Preliminary Task as it meets all
requirements of the set brief. I believe that our use of camera shots are
quite strong as we used a diverse range of them, for example: a birds eye
view shot made the clip rather edgy as audiences don’t usually view things
from this angle - it adds a new aspect to the viewing. I think we also did well
regarding the continuity of our Preliminary Task because it runs smoothly.
On the other hand, I think that our match on action isn't always perfect as
sometimes the things within the shot changes, for instance, throughout the
filming whilst I was in the chair, the ropes became loose and gradually fell
down. Music plays a vital point in my version of our Preliminary Task, which
I am pleased with, as it increases tension and makes the piece more