IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Greetings fellow cinephiles

This short was shot as a four shot exercise in the advanced digital cinematography class at Indiana University.  You may think that this was shot in more than four shots due to the edits but I have also included the raw footage that I used after the scene so you may see how I edited the film from just four shots.  I also wanted to push myself beyond the limitations of the four shot exercise so this is also my first attempt at day for night.

Here are a couple of reflections on this first exercise. First, it helped being the last in our group to shoot as it gave me time to really think out how I wanted to craft the shots so that I could make them as dynamic as possible. The rack focus worked pretty well but I wish I had been able to get one more take as the other two did not work well and I wasn’t completely happy with the shot I used in the edit.

Another thing that I tried to create more of a cinematic look without a jib was to hand-hold the first shot and follow the action of my protagonist into a over-the-shoulder shot. Being limited to four shots really made me think out how to maximize my shots with the blocking of the actors so that I wasn’t left with nothing but static shots that would not look very cinematic.

Lastly, I wasn’t 100% happy with the end results of the Day For Night as I had to crush the blown out areas of the footage and I do not feel that it reads well as a night shot due to the higher contrasts of the lighting where the sun bleeds through the trees. I am not sure if I could have played around with the F-stop some more and wish that I was dealing with an overcast day. Overall, I am pleased with my first attempt because I was able to play around with layers while I was editing to try and give the blue hue a more natural look.

Let me know your thoughts and by the way, this is my first official blog.  I’ve posted in a few other blogs but this is the first time that I have had my very own blogpost.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video and I look forward to your feedback.

Cheers-

Russell McGee

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