For our AS film production coursework, my group decided to create a short film under the drama genre. We intended the film to be targeted at young adults, around 18-30 years old. In order to conform to the generic conventions, we decided to that we would employ a range of micro features in order to the relationship between the characters, and to create a sense of empathy towards the main character. I took specific responsibility of the use of cinematography, sound (soundtrack) and both me and Kaesiegh did editing, in the production of the film. What we want the focuses to be on in the film is the performance and editing.
The narrative of the film is another reminiscing about the happy memories with her daughter, and in a way, mourning after her death. However, it has been brought about there are some allegories to the film as well. One allegory for the film is of teenage abortion, due to the mother looks very young; and looks back to what she could have had if she kept it. Another allegory of the film is miscarriage, as the toy rabbit could represent what she got for the child and the memories are what they could have done together.
In order to establish the tone of the film, I decided to introduced a non- diegtic, meloncholic soundtrack at the start of the sequence which follows all the way through. I selected an unknown piece of piano music so it doesn't bring the audience attention of the performance. Also a piano soundtrack is simplistic and brings a sense of nostalgia to the film, as it’s telling a journey a mother and daughter. The soundtrack was mainly used to underlay the poem during the memory phase. We needed something simplistic so the sound is not 'too busy' so the audience can understand the momentum of the poem. Kaesiegh choose the poem and recorded the girl say it, we both helped edit it in sound it sound runs smoothly throughout the sequence. Initially we were going to use 'chasing cars for the soundtrack without the poem as the song is easily recognisable to the target audience and relate to the main character. However, when showing the rough-cut of film to our target audience, they thought it took away the atmosphere of the film and had mix feeling about it. Once showing them the new soundtrack, they thought it was much better and created more meaning to the film. I decided not to us any diegetic sound to make the memory more lifelike, as most people only remember images not words. We decided to add the poem in to enhance the strong relationship between the mother and daughter, as in the film you only see the mums reaction to the death of her child, not how the daughter felt as well. This should make the audience have a connection with both the mother and daughter in the film.
The next micro-feature I looked at is cinematography. Cinematography is key to establish the characters and to show how they are feeling. This is done through arrange of shots. In the rough-cut, our target audience felt there was not enough close ups in the film to show the relationship between the mother and child. In response to that, we filmed another two times to get the shots we needed for the film. Close-ups are key in any drama film to show expression of the character faces and how they feel (convention of a drama). This is shown in reality, when the mother is seen as sad, and in the memory, where the mother and daughter are happy. Shots are key to establish the roles in character, along with the mise-en-scene. For example, at the end of the film, you can tell the man is the husband to the woman due to their age and performance; which help from the array of mid, long and two shots of the together.
The last micro-feature I looked at is editing, which both me and keasiegh worked on. This was used to create the sense of past and present and to combine all the micro-feature together, to make the film run smoothly. for the film, we did two sequence, the first I did the editing and there were shots of the flask back and reality cross-cutting between each other, however, colour and sound was wrong so we started afresh using some of the footage I edited previously. the first cut, the audience thought the women found a child instead on losing one, so we cut out all of the footage of the mother on her own and just has reality, flashback, reality. We then looked at the colour and brightness of the footage. We though the audience would understand there are a flashback if we changed the colour of the footage, so it contrasts the reality. We decided to us black and white as those colours are usually associated with the past. For the footage in present time, we kept the colours the same but pulled down the brightness to create a darker atmosphere and tone to the film. The final thing we did to the footage was to add transitions. For the transition to reality to flashback, we overlapped the footage and used cross-dissolves, to show the change in time (memory) which is target audience understood a liked. Through the memory, we added fade in for every change of play equipment is used to show how time progresses on. They are fades at the start and send of the film with the footage and sound to introduce and end the film.
The editing for the sound was much more simplistic. We added fades at the start and end of the film like I said previously, but the poem was much more difficult. As the girl could not read, she had to repeat the line from kaesiegh one by one. Each line had to edit with fade-in and outs of each clip, so the camera buzz is less noticeable. However we managed to do it in the end and it sound much better. We also lowered the soundtrack so you can hear the poem better, as in the feedback from the audience; the sound was too loud to understand the poem. With these editing techniques combined, this helped create a slow pace to the film which helps create a melancholic atmosphere and a sense of empathy for the mother. Overall I think the film was a huge success and thoroughly enjoyed make it.