BSA234: Polarised Filters 

 

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I was wondering through the rose gardens at Queen’s Park today taking pictures on my phone (most of which can out quite well actually – I’ve added some for proof) and I was looking at some thinking they were quite dull and wouldn’t it be nice if they weren’t. Turns out that exactly what polarising filters can do for your camera according to these useful articles I found (1 and 2). Polarising filters increase the exposure and contrast so the colours in the pictures you take look far more vibrant which is particularly useful for outdoor photography. They also reduce the glare on water or glass (non-metallic surfaces, according to those articles). This glare reduction, when photographing water, makes what is under the surface much clearer in the image so, I assume, would be excellent if you were taking pictures of something such as fish in a pond.

Polarised filters are also used in sunglasses which explains why the world sometimes looks far more vibrant and beautiful when you are wearing your sunnies!

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The images below I took on my phone. I feel they would have benefited from a polarised filter as it would have made the colours pop more and brought a little more life to them, especially the middle one.

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BSA204: The Beat Sheet

In the last few days I was struggling to fit my idea for a story to the requirements for this screenplay. My biggest problem was finding a want/need that was simple enough for a short film as the original want/need was happiness. Duncan pointed out during one of our classes that a want like happiness is the kind of want can be achieved in a feature length story rather than a short film. I focused myself on finding a simpler want or a simpler way to convey the happiness want, but decided it was near impossible and I just don’t have enough time or the right words floating around in brain right now to be able to do that.

Naturally, I began to panic a little about not having an idea with only a few days until the due date, but like a miracle straight from heaven, a story came my way. One of my friends (who shall remain nameless) shared a funny story with me that happened to her – she got lock in a toilet and had to climb out. I thought this would be an excellent story for my screenplay and could easily be done with little to no dialogue! So I set to writing my beat sheet…

 

“Stuck” Beat Sheet

  • Friends doing shots in a club
  • The friends are dancing
  • One of the girls (Leah) stops and signals that she’s going to the toilet
  • Leah heads to the bathrooms where there is one other girl
  • Leah goes into one of the stalls
  • While she is in there the other girl leaves so she is now alone
  • Leah finishes peeing and moves to unlock the door
  • The door won’t open. She is trapped.
  • Leah bangs on the door and calls out. No one comes
  • She goes to kneel down on the floor but sees it’s very dirty
  • Leah looks around for another solution
  • She decides to climb up and over the door
  • Her high heels make this process very difficult
  • She moves the rubbish bin by the door
  • Stands on the toilet
  • Steps over to the bin while reaching for the door
  • She pushes herself up and over
  • She skirt snags on the top of the door
  • Someone walks in and sees Leah hanging over the door
  • The other person, looking shocked, turns and walks out without saying anything
  • Leah unhooks herself and drops down
  • She stumbles a little, knocking the locked door
  • The door swings opens
  • Leah shouts in frustration

BSA234: Getting Some Experience

IMG_0118Thanks to Ash, the second year, third year, and grad dip students have been given the opportunity to film the basketball games at the stadium over the next few weeks for the live feed to the screen during the games.
I’m really looking forward to this opportunity because it means practical experience for potential future employment. It’s quite a high pressure situation, but I think that’s a good learning environment.

For this first game I actually didn’t do anything but watch in the control room. I honestly enjoyed this for the first game because my confidence levels weren’t there to have been doing anything else, so I appreciated being able to observe and see what happens.
Being an observer for this game helped me learn some important things which I have listed below:

  • Deep field of depth – it’s not an artsy situation, people just need to see the game clearly and not be focused on one tiny detail in the frame
  • Appropriate ISO – the aperture needs to be adjusted when the flood lights come on and when switching between the game and crowd (even though that doesn’t happen too often
  • Smooth camera movements – the high speed nature of the game requires a lot of camera movement, especially when zoomed in a little more, and smooth movements are required so the audience can follow the game easily

BSA204: Visual Thinking

Having our script writing classes with Duncan Sarkies this week has been a really great experience. I’ve enjoyed the way we’ve been able to write down our ideas for stories and characters, real or made up, with just about no restrictions. There have been some exercises that have pushed me out of my comfort zone, such as “expand and advance” where a character name and location were the only things we had to begin a story with and our partner would tell us when to expand on an object and when to advance the story. That particular exercise pushed me out of my comfort zone because I like to take my time to describe things and really think out where my story is going. Duncan explained that the point of the expand and advance exercise was to create a world and to think about the things that drew us in and caught our attention.
My favourite thing Duncan has had us do so far has been to think of a photograph that means a lot to us and write about it describing in detail what is in the photo and why it means what it means. I wrote about a photo of my Grandpa that I particularly like. Here’s a little of it:

An old man, a grandfather, stands tall and proud, dressed in his thick, well worn swandri. His legs are covered with the dark green of his favourite overalls,  his trusty redband gumboots wrapped around his calves and feet. He stands on a cracked concrete footpath, shepherding stick in hand, a smile set on his face that says his life is fulfilled.

I really enjoyed this exercise because it made me think really hard about the details of the picture and immerse myself in that world. There were a couple of details that I wrote about that I’m pretty sure aren’t actually in the photo, but I don’t think that matters too much. What I think matters is that they were details that I related to the picture and are some of the things that make the person, the place and the memories important to me. Those sort of emotional connections to ideas and stories make them worth telling I think.

BSA234: Far From The Madding Crowd

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Far From The Madding Crowd stars Carey Mulligan, Matthew Schoenaerts and Michael Sheen and is based in Thomas Hardy’s Classic.

Most of this film looks very warm, generally reflecting the mood of the characters. However, during the parts of this film where the characters are in conflict with each other, are feeling cold towards each other, or are just generally unhappy, the colour temperature is much cooler and the film looks much darker.

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In the scene featuring the image above, the characters attitudes towards each other are quite unfriendly, hence the cool colours.
In contrast to this coolness, the warm, tungsten coloured image below matches the characters emotions, showing them warming to each other and beginning to fall in love.

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In the image above, there is a mix of colour temperature which is used deliberately to reflect the sentiments of Bathsheba’s character. There is both a coldness and a warmth in this scene eluding to the coldness Bathsheba has held towards men until this moment where Francis Troy has broken through her barriers and caused her heart to warm to him. This mix of colour temperature in this scene makes sense as it is filmed at sunrise (there is still the coolness of the night, but also the warmth of the rising sun), but it also helps to tell the story – the sun is rising on a new part of Bathsheba’s life.

BSA204: Creating a Story

I’ve decided to try and link my non-dialogue script with my project for professional practices where I am going to do a series of photographs focused around issues of self image and depression. While I’ve been trying to work out how to do these photos it’s been helping me to figure out the story for my first screenwriting assignment. The main idea I have for the photography project is to start with a happy, vibrant coloured image of a girl with no make up and then slowly fade out, over about 5 photos, to black and white and the girl, looking not so happy, with full face make up. I’d like to translate this into a screenplay through a story where the girl is reflecting on her process of being unhappy with her appearance…

The girl (who I have creatively referred to as “G” in my notes) stands in front of her mirror inspecting her freshly made up face. As her eyes bore into her reflection, memories of her happy self flitter through her mind. She sees herself before she cared about make up and whether or not people saw her as beautiful.
While the girl is adding final touch ups to her face, the memories slowly progress through the stages of her covering her face by wearing more and more makeup and, consequently, becoming less and less happy. Suddenly, she realises what has been making her unhappy (which is shown through a final flash of her naturally faced, happy self). She stares again at her face. Then slowly she begins wiping off the layers of makeup.

Now that I have a solid story in mind, I’m really looking forward to writing this screenplay. It’s still going to be a challenge I think, especially for me to be able to adequately describe what is in my head!