To be honest, I still don’t totally understand shutter and iso and all of those important things that I really should have a good grasp on. Although, I did find the video we watched in class to be quite helpful. There was a lot of information to take in and it didn’t all stick in one sitting so I think I will watch it another few times over the next few weeks to help me gain a better understanding.

We did two exercises experimenting with aperture and shutter speed/angle this week. The first day we seemed to spend most of our half hour trying to figure out how to change all the settings on the camera! For this exercise we had our subject walk across the room while the camera person panned to follow so we could take note of the differences when the shutter was changed.
The second day was all about depth of field and creating “nice, creamy” bokeh. I know I could have done a lot better in this exercise. Instead of making sure I focused properly on my subject I was more focused on finishing the exercise as quickly as we could (photos below).
I’m going to make a point of practising with bokeh (I found this good article on bokeh for beginners) in my own time because it’s something i would really like to be able to do well.



BSA204: The King’s Speech Review

The King’s Speech is the story of King George VI’s struggle with a speech impediment and Lionel Logue, a speech therapist, who treated the King before and during his reign.

I found this film inspiring and also grounding. Seeing someone born into a privileged and powerful position struggle with something most of the world take for granted reminded me that everyone is human, we all have struggles in simple things that others take for granted and no one is exempt. I find this story inspiring because it is a true story of overcoming and learning to believe in yourself.

King George VI (or Bertie as he is most commonly referred to as in the film) is the main character of The King’s Speech and I think he is a very inspiring character and historical figure. I really enjoyed this character because I think I was inspired by him from the beginning where his weakness, his speech impediment, was displayed. I found this moment inspiring because, even though his struggle of making a speech to thousands of people, as well as having it broadcast live, was a painful experience, he pressed forward and did the best he could even though it was clear he really just wanted to curl up and die.

My favourite character on the other hand was Lionel Logue, Bertie’s speech therapist. Again, the first moment the character was introduced influenced my decision on this. Logue’s introduction is incredibly informal which is of stark contrast to the characters introduced prior to him. He yells from the toilet to a potential client that he will be out soon, even mentioning that he is “in the loo”. I really appreciated the humour he brought to the film the moment he entered it and the everyday human personality the moment promised.

There are many engaging moments in this film, but for me the most notable is the opening scene. Bertie, this powerful, important and respected figure, endures the humiliating experience of stuttering incoherently through a speech in front of thousands (and broadcast live to thousands more) while they watch on with the face of a disapproving father. I found this particularly engaging because it made me invest emotionally in the character as I experienced his humiliation and made me root for him to succeed.

When I first watched this film I about 16 and I remember beginning to lose interest when Bertie and Lionel have a slight falling out. I think I just got bored at that age, but now when I watch this film (it is now one of my favourites) I don’t lose interest and I think that’s probably just because as I’ve matured so have my tastes in films (they don’t have to be full of action to be interesting) and I now understand the story more.

Personally, I don’t think this film has weaknesses, it is an excellent film and so is one of my favourites. This film was wonderfully directed and the acting was superb. I heard in an interview with Colin Firth, who plays King George VI, that he gave himself a bit of a stutter for a few months after filming because of his dedication to his character.
I also think a strength of this film is it’s great use of symbolism in the backgrounds for the characters in Logue’s office and also the way that it could be considered that the microphone is the antagonist (I wrote an essay on this, Patrick, if you want to read it).

BSA206: Favourite Films (or near enough)

Top Ten favourite films/Top three favourite films plus a bunch of others that I really enjoy.

Top 3 (In no particular order)
1. The King’s Speech 
(2010), Tom Hooper/Momentum Pictures (Drama)
2. Pride & Prejudice (2005), Joe Wright/StudioCanal (Drama)
3. Boy (2010), Taika Waititi/Transmission Films (Drama)

Others that I really enjoy (also in no particular order)
4. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), Ken Hughes/Warfield Productions (Musical)
5. October Baby (2011), Erwin Brothers/Provident Films (Drama)
6. Shutter Island (2010), Martin Scorsese/Paramount (Thiller)
7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Gore Verbinski/Walt Disney (Fantasy)
8. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Peter Jackson/WingNut Films (Fantasy)
9. Titanic (1997), James Cameron/20th Century Fox (Drama)
10. Bridesmaids (2011), Paul Feig/Universal (Comedy)

Though some of the films on my list haven’t been categorized as drama, most of them cross over into that genre too. For me, Bridesmaids is a comedy/drama as the themes in it have been very relevant to me and I think that’s the point of the drama genre, to be relatable.
I noticed that half of the films on my list were released in 2010/11; must have been a good couple of years!

BSA234:Week 1

12711256_1118970141446831_3713537092653105600_oOur first practical activity was given to us this week for Cinematography. After a very useful and much needed lesson on exposure and the ways in which aperture, iso, and shutter speed effect your photographs, we were set into pairs, given a camera and sent outside to experiment, our focus on shutter speed. The brief was to take three photos of our partner waving furiously with each shot set at a different shutter speed; one at 50, one at 100, and one at 250, and compare the differences.

The first image was taken with the shutter speed set at 50. The effect of this is that while the things that were still when the photo was taken are crisp, the moving parts (in this instance, Nicola’s hand) are blurred.
In the second image the shutter speed is set to 100 and while Nicola’s hand had been moving fast, there is far more definition than the first photo.
The third image here is not the best example of higher shutter speed (for this one the shutter speed was set to 250) as I was not using a tripod and my hands were a little shaky. If a tripod had been used, the higher shutter speed would have resulted in an all round crisp image, regardless of the moving hand.

BSA204:Week 1

I already have ideas for our first assignment and even though it was made very clear to us that we were not to revolve our stories around “self pity”, I think that’s more or less what I want to do. I had this idea in my head last year so I’m glad I have the opportunity to at least write it into a screenplay. Assignment 1 involves writing a screen play that has little to no dialogue which, when we read through the handbook together, really caught my attention as this was exactly the criteria my idea adhered to. It is going to require a lot more thought, but what I have in mind is to look at the ways girls/women draw a lot of self worth and form their opinions of whether or not they are beautiful from wearing make up.

Here are my thoughts so far on what I would like this story to include (in chronological order) :

  • A young woman concentrating on applying her thick layers of make up to make her face appear flawless
  • She inspects her finished face and takes countless selfies before posting one on Facebook expecting plenty of “likes”, but receives none and removes the photo angrily.
  • She returns to the mirror, stares blankly at her face, then bursts into tears and smears her eyeliner etc. down her cheeks.


I haven’t yet worked out how I’d like it to end, but I want there to be someone or something that tells her, or somehow reassures her, that she doesn’t need the make up to be acceptable as a women or to be beautiful. I realise it sounds a little cliche in a lot of ways, but I am keen to write on this topic because I feel it is very important and is something that needs addressing in the society we live in.