Monday, November 14, 2011

Adventures in Filmmaking: Final Cut & Feedback

As the semester has progressed, my adventures in filmmaking have continued. I have left super 8 behind and ventured into the modern era of filming learning how to use a mini DV camcorder and da da da dah...FINAL CUT PRO 7 (go figure, it's the version my University uses).
Using a mini DV camcorder is a bit more difficult than I expected, I think I actually prefer super 8 cameras, just in terms of style. I love the feeling that comes from black and white films and the silence that accomplices them. Having to think about sound and color composition is a much different experience. It has really made me aware of the sounds that occur around me and how they can be used to tell a story.
Also, learning Final Cut Pro has been interesting. My professor tries to cram so much into a given class period that sometimes we are left without enough time to go really in depth in how to use all the functions of the program. I consider myself a slightly computer savy person, but there are so many functions that I have to learn (not to mention just learning how to turn on a mac). However, I am a person who learns by doing; the best way for me to learn Final Cut is to just play around with it once I am done shooting my final project which is the biggest and most challenging of the semester.
We've already done our first project using in camera editing. The project was to test our use of the camera while focusing on sound and image combined. If my film had a title it would have been "Chasing Cars" (I name most of the things I do, whether it be poems or films after song titles) because I recorded the sound from cars on a street while not actually filming any cars themselves. I captured images of streetlights and neon signs and traffic lights all the while with the sound of cars and trucks driving. I thought it came out really cool and I got some great feedback from my class. Once I get it back I will try to figure out a way to post it on YouTube or something because I am really getting into the sharing part of cinema. I have become more willing to let people see my work and to receive feedback.  I think it's also really great that I have awesome friends who actually want to see what I am working on.
Just getting feedback has been really great for me in gaining confidence as a filmmaker. In his grade report for my last project (the super 8 one that I did all the editing for) my professor said that I "have a good eye for framing" and that my "comparison...between a train and a boat, slow and fast motions, nature and man-made machines, and organic and geometric shapes is amazing." (He gave me an A- on the assignment if anyone was wondering.) It is just another one of those affirmations that tells me I am moving in the right direction. I am having such a great time in this class, I really feel like I am actually learning new and important skills. I have already signed up for Video Production II for next semester so I can continue my adventures in filmmaking. Who knows where this will all take me...

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