Since my last blog post, my mentor and I met four times, which is twice a week. I appreciate that my mentor willingly puts time and effort into teaching me. I learn so much, and I enjoy the fast pace.
In our first meeting since my last blog post, I shot a short filming exercise with the help of Angelina and her mentor. It did not turn out as good as I expected, which means that I have a lot of room to improve. In our second meeting, I edited the film while my mentor monitored and gave me advice. Here is a screenshot of the editing software that I use:
I incorporated “how to listen” and “asking questions” from Edward De Bono’s Beautiful Minds book into my last two meetings by paying close attention, and “[seeking] to get the maximum value from what is being said” (76). During these meetings, Nathan taught me basic photography, shot types, color, lighting, and other technical aspects of filming. It was a lot of information to take in, because he covered an entire filming course in less than two hours. I needed to listen carefully in order to absorb as much information as I could, and ask questions to strengthen my knowledge and understanding. For example, I asked Nathan, “should I always follow the filming rules you taught me”? He then told me, “you don’t have to, but you must know the rules before you break them”.
After learning about composition, I planned my next filming exercise. I created a bird’s eye view of camera positions and motion, and Nathan gave me advice and feedback. While designing the layout, I noticed that the biggest factor to consider was the 180 degree rule. I “[got] a new point of view which had not occurred to [me] before”, and I “[realized] there [were] alternate perceptions that [were] new” (76). Most people do not notice the 180 degree rule, but it is actually quite important in filming and composition. I thought carefully about the 180 degree rule while I brainstormed, so that I could position my cameras accurately.
180 degree rule
Because this was my first time planning out camera layout, I asked Nathan many questions. I mostly asked “fishing questions” because I found them the most useful, but I also asked multiple choice questions too. For example, I could not decide what shot to start my scene with, so I asked Nathan whether I should use an establishing or close up shot. I believed an establishing shot suited the scene well, but he suggested I start with a close up shot. I “[asked] for the values in use and also the underlying basis of what [was] being proposed” (88). Nathan gave me his reasoning so I could understand where he came from, and it proved to be useful. He also told me, “There is no wrong way to film, as long as you have a reason for your choices.”
My next few weeks of In-Depth are busy. Tomorrow, I am helping out Angelina and Ethan with their film, by acting as the main character. On Thursday, I am filming the exercise that I planned and brainstormed with my mentor. Additionally, during Spring break, Jewel is filming her movie and I offered to help as a filming assistant so that I can get more experience behind the camera. I am honestly so happy with In-Depth. It’s awesome to work on a project where I can really explore my passion!