This quarter was a true test of my abilities as I worked myself harder than I ever have before. Unfortunately, with all the hard work & long hours I put into this quarter, I don't feel like I have a single completed piece of work to show for it. I was talking to one of my instructors about how I thought the quarter went. I told him that despite my projects this quarter not yet making it to a polished point, I still feel like I was kept busy and worked extremely hard for the past 11 weeks.
Even if finishing these projects takes the next few weeks, It will be well worth the added weeks of attention. I've never worked on three large projects of this magnitude and I am very proud of the work that I am doing. All three of these projects will be used in my graduate portfolio next quarter and I will make sure that they get the polishing they deserve. I just wish at the end of the quarter I would have had a better sense of closure.
Along with finishing my senior film, I will be editing segments for my multi-cam production, Destination Brew. It is a competition reality show on home-brewing that we produced and filmed this quarter. I will also be finishing my independent study project, which is a short promotional piece for a local dance company. I was really happy with the way the footage turned out, I would just like to give the editing a little more time and close attention. Hopefully I can make some time for some R&R this week, yet still continue making progress on all of these projects.
As I continue working on various cuts of my senior film, I have been looking at the changes I've made and how the film has changed from my original intention. Overall, I think the purpose for creating this story has always been the same, but some other elements have had to slightly change in order to make a more effective and meaningful piece. I've had to dramatize various moments to give them more weight and a better payoff in the later scenes. At first this was really hard for me because I wanted the film to stick to the true story. Eventually, I accepted that the film didn't need to follow every single detail of their story and making these changes would only benefit the narrative.
Luckily, the majority of the style remained true to the original intention. The director of photography was able to understand my vision & followed the style. My intention was to have a blend of handheld, static & tracking/jib shots throughout the film because each shooting style had a way of complimenting each individual scene. For example, I wanted handheld for more chaotic moments, locked down/static for when Joe was confined to the hospital bed and then loose, flowing tracking/jibbing shots to accent Joe's delicate movement. During the more procedural scenes, his camera work flowed nicely with the movements of the characters & I was thoroughly impressed!
The editing style remained true to the original intention, but became more of a daunting task than ever imagined. I never realized how much sound design & mixing would have to accompany the picture so that is what will take the most time as I finalize the edit in the next few weeks. A friend of mine from Pennsylvania has agreed to help with some of the sound design & final mix, which I am really excited about! He will be able to give me a lot of insight on how to accomplish some of the more difficult sound decisions.
I think that with both this film and the rest of my projects this quarter, I have learned a lot about my own abilities and skills as an artist. I think I have a better understanding of where I am doing well and where I still am struggling. I think that I did well with the execution of this production... working through the logistics, asthetics & style of the film, but may have struggled more with the editing portion. I feel like I was off to a great start with the assembly edit, but because of the time commitment associated with Destination Brew, I wasn't able to give the my film the attention it deserved during post-production. Like I said before, my biggest struggle has been with the sound design. Once I talk to my friend about ways to approach the sound, my film will be in much better shape. Once I have a better sense of the sound design, I will be able to lock the picture & finally work on the opening titles & color grading.
Also, another thing I have been struggling with is that I have a tendency of second guessing my own abilities. I know that it is often because I value the opinion of other classmates and my instructors, but it sometimes makes it difficult for me to make progress. I need to trust my own instincts & accept that even mistakes are a step towards improvement.
This quarter has been an incredible learning experience for me. With each project, I test my abilities and grow stronger as an artist. At the end of next quarter, I will be graduating from college. To prepare, I will need to push myself even harder and pay close attention to the areas in which I still need to improve. I'm excited to work hard and see what kinds of new challenges I can get my hands on while I finish these last 12 weeks of school.