Specialist Skills

SOUND!

  • Diegetic -natural sound, dialogue, natural sound effects etc
  • Non-diegetic – voice-overs/music
  • Pan Arra = Left to right sound
  • Compression = Forwards and backwards
  • Frequency capping = Up and down
  • Time = Not static
  • Foley = production of typical sound effects added in post-production to enhance it
  • Wild track = audio that synchronises with the visual but is recorded separately

For our final piece we had to create a soundscape in which it told a story through the use of pure audio. I created and recorded the sound effects and edited them together in Adobe Audition.

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CINEMATOGRAPHY AND LIGHTING!

My cinematography essay (will go to downloads).

Aperture

  • Changes the f number, will half or double the light
  • Going from f5/6 to f8 will half the light, whilst going the other way will double the light
  • The higher the f number the greater the depth of field
  • Wide angled lenses also have a greater depth of field

Consider

  • Check you have a good monitor and that the camera is lined up correctly
  • What is going to happen in the shot
  • Light direction
  • Lighting level

Aperture and Shutter Speed

  • Large aperture = shallow depth of field (f/2.8)
  • Medium aperture = medium depth of field (f/5.6 + f/11)
  • Small aperture = great depth of field (f/32)
  • Large sensor size = shallower depth of field
  • High shutter speed = motion is jerkier but sharp and fast (1/1000)
  • Slow shutter speed = blurred (1/15)
  • Cinematic shutter speed is always 2x the FPS (frames per second)
  • Camera shooting at 25 FPS = shutter speed of 1/50

How to get the technically ‘Best Image’

  • Native ISO
  • F4-F5.6 (aperture)
  • 1/50 shutter speed
  • exposed to give wide range of tonal values

WFM

  • 0-100
  • tells you what is under and over exposed

120 – super white 50 – mid tones 20 – super black Ideally everything within 20-80!

Compression/Colour Depth

  • 4:4:4 – RAW – RED/Alexa
  • 4:2:2 – C300
  • 4:2:0 – 7D + DSLR + C100
  • Less compressed image – the more to do in post-production
  • Higher compressed image – the less to do in post-production

Simple shot – no movement, static, tripod, focus, focal length, depth of field, exposure, colour

Complex shot – adds movement – camera & lens but no movement of the camera mount, pan (left to right), tilt (up and down), zoom, focus pull – counter zoom

Developing shot – dolly/steady cam, on a moving mount

Aesthetic – maintain composition, visual interest, genre of style

Narrative – change viewpoint in shot, reveals information, follows action

Interpretation – suggest point of view, pacing/rhythm, atmosphere and mood, reflect characters state of mind

Here is a video clip showing a variety of shots with different lighting which I filmed:

Lighting

  • Either soft or hard (harsh)
  • Diffusion = when you add a medium in front of the light to soften/spread the light
  • Reflector = bounces the light
  • The further the light travels, the dimmer it gets
  • Light always travels in straight lines

Key Light

  • Consider other factors at the location. The persons best side.
  • In a position not cause shadows
  • Best position between 30degrees and 45 degrees from either side of the subject and at an elevation of 45 degrees.

Fill Light

  • Usually a soft source
  • About half as bright as the key and on the other side of the subject to the key light

Basic Light

  • About 45 degrees behind and above the subject
  • About the same brightness as the key

Background Light

  • Not too bright
  • Should make the background interesting but not distracting from the subject
  • Keep the background out of focus

Fresnel Lights

  • Augustin Fresnel 1788-1827
  • Considered better than open lights because they give better control

Light Control

  • Adding neutral density (ND) over the light source to reduce the brightness but not colour.
  • Dimming the light will also have an effect on the colour temperature
  • Moving the light away from the subject will reduce the level as will flooding the lamp
  • Diffuser and gels will also reduce light output

Colour Temperature

  • Expressed in Kelvin (Lord Kelvin)
  • Household Bulb – 2900K
  • Studio Light – 5200k
  • Daylight – 5600k (but this can vary depending on the time of day and the weather)
  • HMI/MSR – 5600k
  • HMI are about 4 times more efficient than tungsten lamps
  • Colour correcting a tungsten lamp will reduce the light output by about 1 and a half stops (1 stop = half a light/intensity)

EDITING!

What is an editor’s job? -An editor’s job is to put together a variety of sequences in a logical and chronological way, while still being creative and ensuring it flows and works with continuity.

What makes a good edit? -Continuity, chronological order, cut appropriately and smoothly, special effects, concise

What makes a good editor? -Patient, have a good eye, works well with a team and can listen to and take direction well, knowing the software thoroughly

Editing Techniques

Cut – when one shot is cut and replaced by another straight after

Fade – where a solid colour slowly goes into/out of the picture

Wipe – when a shot pushes the next shot off screen

Dissolve – when a shot gradually goes into the next

Examples of these can be seen below:

An example of continuity editing:

This video shows continuity editing with basic cuts on a scenario of which a character trips, falling up some stairs, one passer by doesn’t help, but another stops to help.

Event Blogging

All my blog reviews can be viewed under the following links:

Theatre

Press Events

Lion King Collectionary

Lion King

Check out http://thecollectionary.com/club/lion-king for a Lion King Collectionary Club, everything you would ever want for a Lion King or Disney fan!

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MTV Brand New

The voting for MTV Brand New opens today, Monday 16th December!

Brand New Logo

The ten shortlist nominees are as followed:

Banks
Banks Img 1 hi res
Ella Eyre
NewApproved2
Elyar Fox
Press Shot 2
George Ezra
George Photo
Joel Compass
Joel_Compass_0372_v3[1]
Kwabs
KWABS_9_187
Royal Blood
Royal Blood Photo
Sam Smith
SamSmith Photo 2
The Vamps
Vamps5
Marie Naffah (Unsigned Winner)
Go to mtv.co.uk/brandnew to vote, the winner will be announced early February, following two live showcases on Januart 29th and 30th.
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The Lion King Review!

The Lion King (Fri 28 Jun – Sat 28 Sep)

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Last night, I saw one of Disney’s most-loved musicals brought to life on stage, and when I say brought to life, I mean brought to life. It was everything you could have hoped ‘The Lion King’ to be, and more.

The opening to the show, was the best I have ever seen, being immediately drawn into what was going on. It started with a visual explosion on stage, whilst listening to the most amazing vocals and harmonies that made my hairs stand on end! The much-loved ‘Circle of Life’ was soon belted out, during which, the house-lights raised leaving the audience turning around to see what was going on – the cast, in their animal costumes, were dancing down the aisles. It was an amazing opening and I really am not doing it justice, you have to go and see the show to see just how jaw-dropping it was. It left the audience completely eager and on the edge of their seats to watch what was going to happen next.

The architecture of the costumes were works of art, each and every outfit was so well thought-out and you could definitely tell how much hard work was put into the planning of them. The thing I loved most, was that the masks were raised above the actors’ heads, meaning you could still see their expressions and know where each voice was coming from. It was so clever how they managed to capture the identifying movements  through the use of puppets and models of the animals.

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The costumes for the gazelles were brilliant, not only were dancers portraying the movements of the animal, but they had models of the gazelles attached to them which reflected of the dancers movements as they leapt gracefully on stage (see below).

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One of the things that was different in this musical, which I had never seen done in other musicals before but I really loved, was in the balconies on each side of the theatre, you could actually see people playing the african drums and percussion; this made the show feel much more authentic and real. The music in the whole show was fantastic and the musical director Jon Ranger deserves a vast amount credit for making the show as big a hit as it is.

The set was really effective in portraying the scene where the wilder beasts are chasing Simba and it was genius  who this was achieved. A lot of the set was also people, whether they were meant to look like rocks or grass, I really loved that touch.

Onto the characters: young Nala and young Simba were played by Donica Elliston and Joshua Cameron who were the two cutest kids with so much sass! I thought they were amazing, especially for their age and played their roles so well – they were definitely made to be on stage! Adult Simba was played by Nicholas Nkuna and Nala played by Carole Stennett were all-round incredible. They both put so much emotion into their performances and their singing was flawless. I really think they gave the characters of Nala and Simba justice!

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Rafiki definitely had the most effortless and unique voice out of everyone and I loved the character she played. Gugwana Dlamini who played the part, is definitely a very talented actress. However, it has to be said, the most fun characters were  Zazu (Meilyr Sion), Timon (played by John Hasler) and Pumbaa (played by Mark Roper). They were hilarious and put so much energy into their roles. What made this even better is that you could tell they were really enjoying themselves. Zazu was everyone’s favourite talented, fun-loving guardian. The line dancing of Timon and Pumbaa was genuinely hysterical and I fell about laughing; this being a complete contrast of emotion to – the euphoria of the opening scene, later sorrow at various ‘tragedies’  and anger towards the show baddy, Uncle Scar (Stephen Carlile). Scar’s make up, posture and facial expressions truly conveyed a sinister character, we all rejoiced at his defeat.

Disney’s award-winning musical of course had a standing ovation, rightly so, as the atmosphere was just incredible, as was the acting, singing, dancing, costumes, set… the list could go on and on. I’ve never wanted to recommend a show as much as I recommend this one, out of every show I have ever seen in my life, this is by far my favourite. The passion, energy and effort that went into the show was out of this world. The show was a full emersion experience where sound, song and sight came together perfectly. It had everything a show should have and way way more, I liked the film but I adored it on stage.

For more information and to book tickets for the show click here.

Some of these photos shown were taken by me, to see more click here.

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

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Hairspray Review

Hairspray

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The much loved musical, Hairspray, has arrived at Birmingham Hippodrome for a two week period. Having read about the opening night standing ovation, I was even more excited to see it, especially as it is one of my favourite films.

The cast, well what can I say, they were amazing. Mark Benton, best known for playing “Daniel ‘Chalky’ Chalk” on BBC’s Waterloo Road, played the fantastic character of Edna Turnblad. He was joined by understudy Wendy Somerville as Velma Von Tussle, X Factor finalist Marcus Collins as the all-singing, all-dancing Seaweed Stubbs and Freya Sutton who played the famous Tracy Turnblad.

You would never have guessed that the same Mark Benton, who plays a nervous wreck on Waterloo Road, is the same glitzy drag artist. He really was fantastic and even when his character slipped, it was lovely to see his personality shine through amidst roaring laughter from the audience, who lapped it up. This was particularly evident in his duet with ‘his husband’ Wilbur Turnblad, played by Paul Rider, which left the audience in stitches. He looked like the stereotype of a comedy double act and couldn’t have played the part any better if the film version is anything to go by.

Before the show had even began, I was sure I’d love the character that Marcus Collins plays – Seaweed is one of my favourites in the film. I already knew he could sing but boy can he move! He was so flexible that he could have been made of elastic and you could tell he really was born to be on stage.

I thought Freya Sutton had tough competition as some of the other cast members were quite well known. However, she was the biggest stage personality, being so full of life and reveling in her role. Luke Striffler, who played Link Larkin was every bit the heart-throb, with his moves, grooves and tunes. His passion was evident in everything from  ‘the motion of the ocean’ to the ‘sun in the sky’. He really couldn’t stop the beat!

Corny Collins, played by Piers Bate, lived up to the characters name and was indeed, ‘corny’, nailing the part. However, I must say, an unforgettable character was Lauren Hood who played geeky Penny Pingleton. Her energy and stage presence had us transfixed, and her ability to stay in her gawky role throughout even all the dance moves, really shows just what a talent she is (and a real highlight of the show)!

Gemma Sutton (Amber Von Tussle) and her equally spoilt mother (Wendy Somerville) made a fearsome duo with their scheming plans and diva behaviour. However, the show really couldn’t have been in the ‘standing ovation on a Wednesday night category’ without being completed by the chorus: Lou-Anne, Brad, IQ, Shelly, Tammy, Brenda, Fender and Sketch who put on a fabulous show. I particularly loved the novelty and skill of the musical director’s solo spot. Peter White showed off his orchestra’s talents, whilst building the audience for the second half.

The set was bright and colourful, just how it should be and worked well with this stage adaption of this much-loved musical.

In case you can’t tell already, I absolutely adored Hairspray and would recommend it to absolutely anyone, of any age, who loves musical theatre. I just found it hard not being able to sing along at the top of my voice to some of my favourite tunes but that didn’t stop me from belting out renditions the whole way home… I just wish I could now be ‘welcomed to the 60’s’!

For more information or to book tickets click here.

Here’s what some of the audience members had to say during the interval!

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Me with Marcus Collins (and other X Factor contestants) in 2012!

I am a blogger and member of Birmingham Hippodrome’s First Night Scheme, offering £5 tickets to 16-21 year olds – CLICK HERE to join the scheme for free.

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High Society Review

High Society Review

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High Society arrived at Birmingham Hippodrome, for it’s anticipated leg of the tour on the 14th May. I hadn’t heard too much about what the show was like so I really had no expectations, though after watching it I would highly recommend it, I felt it was very different to anything I’d seen before!

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Sutra Review

Sutra Review

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Sutra hit the stage at Birmingham Hippodrome last night and it certainly was not one to be missed. I had no idea what to expect but after watching the show, I was so glad to have witnessed their acrobatic feats.

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Birmingham Hippodrome Updates #3

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These are some of the latest updates at Birmingham Hippodrome, to find out what’s going on and what’s been happening, keep reading!

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