production diary: after effects

I used after effects in a variety of the shots in my film. One recurring technique i used was on the footage of my eye. To create the end result I layered the desired footage (Ink, shop, sea, tree branches, and tadpoles) on top of the footage of the eye. I then made a circular mask and changed the mask to ‘subtract’ hiding the rest of the footage around the circle. To blend the mask I used feathering and opacity. I then tracked the mask to the original  footage to make sure it moved with any small movements of the base footage. After a lot of confusion, I ended up tracking the mask manually, adding a keyframe to each small movement of the eye.

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I also used After Effects on the shot of the seafront, with the neon sign sky. I used a similar method for this shot, of creating a rectangular mask for the neon shot and feathering it into the base shot. I also created new masks on top of the neon mask with the original footage – bringing the opacity down so the blending was more realistic.

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Creating abstract visuals

A lot of the more surreal shots in my film required different types of editing to create an abstract overall image. One technique i used throughout the film was layering multiple shots over one another to take away the sense of being in a space- for example in the shots of the neon shop, the layering of two bits of footage took away the feeling of walking through a shop. This was just case of putting one piece of footage over another in premiere and lowering the opacity to let the underneath footage come through.

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With my shots of ink in water, I used the mirror tool in premiere as well as colour change to create symmetrical patterns and more vibrant colours.

 

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I also used the warp stabiliser tool on most of the ‘walking shots’ where i was moving through a space, this was 1) to steady the shots from camera shake, and 2) because it creates quite a dreamlike movement of the camera.

 

Sound Editing

My film opens with just a buzzing sound, which I intended to sound like the buzz off fluorescent lighting- I downloaded this sound from online.

I then introduce the song ‘Dream a Little Dream of me’ because it is such an old classic song and I wanted to warp it slightly to create a feeling of unease and discomfort. I used the convolution reverb effect on the song to create the echoey sound and set it to the ‘memory space’ preset. I also pitch shifted the song down two tones.

For the beach section, I only used the sound off my footage- the sea and a heartbeat recording that I downloaded. I felt this matched with the minimalist colour palette and slow movement of the shots.

I then introduced the second song of the film by four tet. I chose this song because of the way it builds up to quite a chaotic mix of sounds- ajoining to the most abstract part of the film and suggesting a loss of control over the dream visuals. I then set the song to rewind in the ending section of the film to match the rewinding visuals.

 

Michel Gondry

After researching Michel Gondry and the techniques of repetition to create pattern in his music videos, such as The Chemical Brothers ‘let forever be’ and ‘star guitar’, Kylie Minogue’s ‘Come into my world’ and The White Stripes ‘The Hardest Button to Button’ and his modern surrealist films such as ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind’ I gained a few more ideas and direction for my project. I thought that  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind captured the idea of exploring the subconscious mind through memories in an interesting and successful way  and the techniques Gondry uses create the feeling of disorientation and unfamiliarity.

I have been studying the techniques, and will be trying them out this week in filming and post production.  A lot of the shots I have already filmed are moving shots in different locations such as on a train, in my garden, on the beach and in the junkyard shop, and I think if I get the speed right in the movement and editing I can cut them to look like it is all one long sequence of changing locations without obvious cuts between them.

Location Shooting 2 (30%)

Another location shoot that I will be carrying out is at Barrow Gurney abandoned mental hospital just outside Bristol. This location, similarly to the ‘gods own junkyard’ shop in Soho, is where I want to create the ‘unfamiliar places’ scenes; using the location as a basis for the uncomfortable dream atmosphere.

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Location Shooting (30%)

One location I plan on going to in the next 2 weeks is Gods Own Junkyard in London. I feel this location will create a good contrast to the natural setting of the woods, through it’s vibrant ‘urban-ness’ The shop itself is cluttered, and surreal and in your face which, put next to the shots of the woods, or in the house,  coincides with the idea of disjointed dreams.

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A lot of the inspiration from my film came from ‘Enter the Void’ which is set in Tokyo and has a theme of neon lighting throughout it, and this location is an ideal place to capture a similar atmosphere to that.

 

Storyboarding (30%)

This is the storyboard for my next shoot. This sequence will show my actor going into a shop, paying for something, and when looking at the change she sees a handful of human teeth instead of money.

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This sequence is in reference to common teeth related dreams. It is theorised that derma sin which your teeth are falling/ have fallen out are related to subconscious money fears, which is why I have put them in the context of paying for something.

I plan to use the teeth throughout the film, often just placing them within shots in th background, showing them not as the main focus and giving the impression of them just being in the back of the mind.

 

Compiled Footage (30%)

This is all my footage cut together in photoshop. I have edited some clips, and some have been left untouched.

The two shots in the woods have an echo effect on them to try to create a sense of disorientation. The shot of the house in Brighton has a warp stabiliser on it and the ink videos editing description in my previous post. All of these shots were experiments in creating a sense of disorientation, similar to that in dreams. So far, my location shots are all filmed in places that I would personally recognise in real life, as I wanted to replicate the unfamiliarity in a familiar place experienced in dreams, however, my next few shoots will be in more obscure locations to capture the more random and obscure elements of dreams.