Evaluation/reflection – Four week project

We produced a short film entitled, ‘Samaritan’ for our four week project.
The premise of the film was originally based on the short film ‘Lovefield’ by Mathieu Ratthe – we were intrigued by the idea of manipulating the codes and conventions of a particular genre (horror in Lovefield) and then incorporating a denouement at the end where the film is shown to be that of a completely different genre; incorporating the technique of synecdoche. In creating this we planned on showing a young girl, in mourning of her lost friend who turns to the church for comfort. In doing so she meets a ‘good samaritan’, who attempts to reach out and comfort her in a time of need, reassuring the audience of his intentions. He then goes on to walk the girl to her car, where he attacks her, and through object codes and flashbacks we realise he is the attacker. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts we did not manage to clearly convey our idea. We encountered a number of problems during our time, including actors dropping out last minute every time we planned on filming and problems with getting the location we wanted: the church. Fortunately, I had a strong team and we managed to produce a final product that was very visually pleasing. We spent a lot of time planning our shots, and positioning the camera in a variety of different positions and angles for each shot to make sure we could gain an aesthetically beautiful piece. Our cinematographer did a great job and with the help from the team we produced a piece, which may not have had a clear narrative, but looked good.
We were given the task of including two pieces of product placement in our film: Tesco and WWF which we managed to incorporate subtly, but effectively. For example the ‘WWF’ website was up on the computer screen at the beginning, and we then used an eye-level, close up shot of a Tesco carrier bag in an exterior shot.
Due to the problems we faced in pre-production, we became behind on time and though we got our filming done in two days, the editing process was rushed. We edited our film on Premiere Pro, and used basic transitions and cuts to create a linear narrative (though our original plan was to include flashbacks we did not have the time to do this). A very basic non-diegetic sound was used, consisting of long high and low pitches, creating a sinister and eerie ambience. Our use of religious imagery: foregrounded shot of the bible, stained glass windows, a giant cross are important symbolic codes, signifying a challenge in representations of religion – and people who abuse the stereotype of good will to gain an antagonistic outcome.
There are changes I would make to this project, with more time we could have worked on the narrative to make it more clear, I have also learnt the importance of planning and pre-production, and the types of struggles we have to face in the industry.

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