#6 Reflection on the course

From this semester, I have a deeper understanding of the film production. Firstly, in the pre-production, I learned that I need to get the permission first from building manager (location) then start shooting. Also, I need to place myself in the scene and draw the storyboard template, because we should know the angle and position of the camera setting in advance.

Secondly, in the production. It is important to set white balance, especially when moving the camera from indoor to outdoor. In addition, the log sheet has to be write carefully in order to match the audio and video accurately. I learned that there are several types of shots and shot size. However, I am not very familiar with the setting of the light, so I need to read more reference about lighting. In a team, each member has a clear role and they need to communicate effectively.

The editing is the most important task in the post-production. At the beginning of the semester I wanted to improve the professional skills in editing. Now, I know how to do the color grade and add some effect on the audio and video. I understand that different genre of the video requires different editing style. The keyboard shortcuts can make the editing easily and quickly. The project editing should be organized in the right way. At first, I didn’t know why we need to do this. After this semester, I understand that I can clearly distinguish the different video, audio and music. And I know that we need to save the different version into different sequence.

Before I study this course, I just concerned about the content of film, now, I will focus on some shooting and editing techniques when watching films.


#5 Colour Grade

Here are the three clips before editing.

I have seen some Japanese film that add a lot of blue and gray color that makes the film natural and soft. In this clip, firstly, I adjusted the highlights to the blue side, then went back to basic correction. I decreased the whites and increased the blacks, then decreased the contrast and highlights that makes the image become blurred. Final thing that is to adjust the shadows a bit. The blue color represents quiet and relaxed.

屏幕快照 2017-06-10 上午10.30.25

For this shot, the first thing that I did is to make the image a bit more contrast, I added contrast to make the image look natural. The next thing that I did is to adjust the blacks, but this not means underexpose anything. Then increasing the whites that makes the image a nice contrast. However, I cannot see eyes of the girl clearly. So, I increased the shadows but decreased the blacks, that make sure the face has a nice contrast. Final thing that I did is to adjust the skin tone. In the color wheels, making shadows to the blue side and midtones to the orange. Adjusting the highlights to the blue side as well that make the white area very white.

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However, this kind of color grade is not suitable for all the clip, some of the image is overexposure.

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This clip was taken outdoors so that the white balance is not correct and overexposure. Firstly, I made the blacks to 100 and also decreased the whites that make sure the image has a nice exposure. After these steps, the image was a bit blue, so I adjusted the temperature and tint to the opposite way.

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This clip should be focus on the boy who passes through the window. I increased blacks and shadows to make the rest of the image underexposure. Then increasing the contrast to emphasize the white shirt boy. Finally, I increased the highlights.

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#4 The Edit and Reflection on your Vox Pop and Interviews

Vox Pop

The process of shooting the Vox Pop, the first thing I want to talk that is hard to ask people to do the interview, they scared of standing in front of camera, so it took a lot of time to find interviewees. I think the shooting location is really nice that has a good light and the rocking chairs. In addition, there is relatively quiet so that the audio and video can match accurately when we merge clips, even we didn’t have the sound of “click”.

Secondly, the exposure of footage is good but the next time I need to consider the composition of framing. We need to zoom in or zoom out the frame according to the height of each person. Because I found one of the interviewees is shorter than others, but we did not adjust the position of the lens, resulting in the lens almost only shot to her head.

When I was editing, I took a long time to trim each participant to the question. It was easy to find each participant’s clip because we wrote the log sheet carefully, I can label my clips with the participant’s names. We only recorded the voice of interviewees that lead to the voice of interviewer not clearly. So, I added titles of each question before the interview, and I also put the titles into the footage but sometimes the text affects the participant’ face. I also tried to add background music during the interview, but I don’t like it because the voice of the participants will be difficult to distinguish clearly, and if I reduce the volume of music, I think it is better to delete it. Furthermore, I also added several empty footages to show the environment of the library. Sometimes when I cut some words from one question that will make the transitions of different clip not very smoothly.


In terms of shooting the Interview, the most important thing that make sure the light comes from right way. Different people have different skin tone, so the people who has darker skin need more light, and also depend on different color background. In my opinion, the camera’s movement of this group is a bit slow. When one of the interviewers spoke, I added the silence footage on it. However, when I was reviewing the footage, the camera rarely shoots the interviewer who does not speak, so it was hard to find some footage that I needed. Because we forgot to check the camera’s sound before shooting and didn’t have the sound of “click”, resulting in the problem when matching sound and video.

Finally, as an interviewee, the performance of my participants was not very good. My voice is a bit small, and I wore a hat that makes my face dark, so I cannot see my expression.

#3 Forbidden Lies

In this clip from Forbidden Lies, Anna Broinowski’s 2007 film, I think it’s not like a movie, a variety of image editing and sound effects make this documentary more like a project presentation. In this clip, sometimes we note that the video starts slightly later than audio recording, the sound of next image appears in advance, this makes the film more interesting, so that the audience will never know what will happen in next second.

At the beginning of this clip, I can only hear the sound of birds except the background music. The bird beautiful voice may be recorded from the environment, we also did the environmental audio recording in the class, then added the appropriate audio into the Abstract project and deleted the original sound when we were editing in the post-production. Or the sound of birds may be from the web, because the three times of the birds’ voice are the same.

The frame cut to the car, I can hear the volume of car’s engine sound from high to low, the sound is the loudest when the car driving to the center of the frame. Then, the car’s audio disappears in order to highlight the sound of the scarf. However, in my opinion, the sound of throwing the scarf and dropping on the ground is hard to record, so the sound may be added special effects or the filmmaker use other objects to create the sound. Finally, the sound of the car comes out again but with lower volume. When heroine walking in the desert, I can hear the sound of sand and wind, it may have been recorded from environment. When edit in post, making the volume of sand lower when woman walks far away, then making the sound of wind louder.

I hear “This is not the truth” first, then the interview begins. I think the interview with journalist was recorded first, then the filmmaker shoots the video according to the content of conversation. This makes the film look natural. The journalist and the author read one sentence at same time, the filmmaker may have recorded the audio when the journalist and the author read these several words together, rather than placing the same audio on different track in post. So, the audience can only see the picture of the map not reading.

In addition, there are some special sound effect, the shutter sound, the sound of heartbeat and map movement have been added in audio tracks that is different with narration track. Highlighting the sound of snapping the lighter and coins when editing. When record the conversation with two or three people, the filmmaker may use the boom pole. Also, the wireless mic had been used during the journalist walking.

#2 No Direction Home

Firstly, this sequence is beginning from the live show of Bob Dylan’s song ‘Like a rolling stone’, this told audiences that this is a biography documentary about Bob Dylan and his music, and the lyrics correspond to the name of the film “no direction home”. Scorsese and Schoonmaker explain that the song and the live show is the most important part of his music career. In my opinion, the live show of this song is not the most perfect, but the filmmakers may want to tell the audience that Bob Dylan’s song has led to a public outcry in later years.

Then the frame suddenly switches to black and white and with the narration of Bob Dylan “Time you can do a lot things…”. The black and white historical video make the audience feel that the time is speeding up, the young teenager who had a little baby-fat, now he has become wrinkled old man. Meanwhile, the background music ‘Drifting too far from the shore’ stands in sharp contrast to the ‘Like a rolling stone’, the filmmaker told the audience Bob Dylan’s singing style will has a great change in the rest of the film. During the interview, Dylan also mentioned the country music ‘Drifting too far from the shore’, so we can see that this music has a great impact in his early works. When Dylan talks about he plays guitar at ten years old, the filmmakers have told us that the whole film would reproduce the unusual history from Bob Dylan stepped into the field of country music. In addition, Martin Scorsese uses a special close-up to record the conversation between Bob Dylan, sometimes the frame doesn’t show Dylan’s whole face.

According to Bob Dylan’s description, the audience can understand that the guitar, mahogany radio and his father had a great influence on his music career. After that he describes his hometown, the childhood life is monotonous and backward and may has a negative impact in his music career, nobody thought he would become a famous singer. Dylan’s first job taught him the discipline of hard work, so that he has a shrewd mind that is different from other singers in the same period and knows how to promote himself in future music career.

#1 Introduction to Documentary

In terms of the expository, this is more the kind of documentary people might see on television and film. The expository mode makes the documentary intentions clear, the filmmaker relies on the power of commentary to persuade the audience to accept their own point of view. The typical form of this genre is evidence of editing and omniscience narrative. Filmmakers often use a voice-of-god, voice-of-authority commentary and using voice over, it means that from the person talking or the narrator cutting away to other footage, like the definition called “b-roll”.

The expository mode emphasizes the educational role of the documentary in the public, so it is the most convenient way to use commentary to directly state a view or a fact. With the voice-of-authority to instill all idea of author into audience’s mind. In the thirties, the expository mode favored by the government quickly. However, this mode is not only used to shoot the government theme documentary.

In the early 2000, one very popular expository documentary was Spellbound (Blitz 2002), which is mainly to describe the process of eight different areas and different family background children to participate the national spelling game in the 1999. The filmmaker uses several close-up to shoot spelling bees’ expression in the exam room. For example, the students’ perspiration, tears and painful expression on their faces when they guess words in the exam room. When students answering questions, their parents pace back and forth, pray and deep breathing, all these frames make audience feel an invisible pressure. In addition, this documentary uses the form of an interview to record the life of each spelling bee and express the attitude of every parent. Spellbound illustrates the idea of sportsmanship and being all you can be and the agony of defeat and the joy of competitions.

In my opinion, there is another function of voiceover is to remedy for missing images. For some historical documentaries or for some abstract concepts, it is difficult for the filmmakers to find some historical fragments, so that the narration is the best way to explain the problem. For instance, one popular documentary Ordinary Fascism (1965), the whole film is based on German news, but the filmmaker uses a strong commentary to reinterpret the meaning of the shot and tell the audience how the Nazi were formed. Thus, the commentary is the soul of the documentary, and if there is no commentary, a documentary is meaningless.

Practice-led research






In this digital story assessment, our group decided to tell the story about the experience of a Chinese student finding accommodation in Melbourne, through asking people who from different countries to reflect the diversity of culture. In the pre-production, we decided to tell the story by using still images. In the production, I was an actor, but the main problem is that I wear a black clothing, because I found that dark clothes is not very inconspicuous in the street when I edited images. In addition, we shoot some footages to get more images because we need different angles of the characters, as a result, some of the images are out of focus and not clearly. The next time, we need to prepare more things in the pre-production, such as drawing all the necessary camera setting of this project, it is like a storyboard template.

In the post-production, I did images editing. Firstly, we need the picture in sketch effect. According to the Photoshop tutorial by RiverCityGraphix (2012), he makes a pencil drawing from a photo. Step1, making the photo into black and white then make a copy layer to invert it. Step3, this is an important part of the process that change the blend mode to color dodge. Step4, adjusting the minimum. Here is picture I have made after I watch this tutorial. However, layering is not obvious in the dark part of the picture and I can only see the outline of people, some of the details doesn’t show in the picture.

                                           Figure 1                                                   Figure 2

So, I click the Layer Style to adjust numeric value of Underlying Layer. Here is the final sketch photo.

     Figure 3 333

Secondly, I need highlight the background buildings and major characters. As Odisho (2011) explains that I need to create a layer mask then use brush tool on the layering mask (“White reveals, Black conceals”). However, it just works on the white and black picture not the sketch one.

So, I tried to do the sketch first then the Color Splash Effect, it didn’t work cause the effect was covered on different layers. Then I did the Color Splash Effect first, but the colored part was covered (Figure 4). So, I used brush tool again to highlight the background and character.

                                                                         Figure 4

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Here is the final image I have made (Figure 5). And for some unclear photos, I made it sharper.

                                                                     Figure 5

屏幕快照 2017-05-18 下午10.22.35

In terms of social media strategy, because the target audiences are international students and tourists, we did Chinese and Urdu posters that include the QR code of our Facebook account and posted around the campus. However, not many people are willing to scan it. Instead, more people are willing to scan it and click the “Like” button when we shared QR code on the Facebook.


Reference list:

RiverCityGraphix 2012, ‘Photoshop Tutorial: Photo to Sketch in Seconds! –HD-’, YouTube, 29 February, RiverCityGraphix, viewed 15 May 2017,< >.

Odisho, J 2011, ‘Photoshop Tutorial: Color Splash Effect’, YouTube, 27 August, Odisho, J, viewed 15 May 2017,<;.