The colour grading

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First I adjusted the curves and crushed the blacks.

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Then I removed all the yellows and some greens.

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As you can see bellow. The colour grading was inspired by many action films. Including Man of Steel.

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Research on silenced pistols. And spy weapons.

One thing I’ve always wanted to do is make an action film in the style of a James Bond movie. I knew that it would be too much of a challenge to make a full on agent film for my FMP but I wanted to include some references. Jack’s character in my FMP ‘The mutant’ has a silenced pistol like James Bond does. As the mutant ‘never misses a shot’ I emulated the ruthless efficiency that James Bond has, showing Jack’s character with the same level of threat and brutality making the film more sinister and really emphasising the danger that’s to come.

Last Thursday I watched the Bond film ‘Goldeneye’. It’s one of my favorites for its unique action and story. I absolutely love Pierce Brosnan playing the character as he fits the role so perfectly. It was the Pierce Brosnan James Bond films that got me interested in the franchise.

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A problem with a silenced pistol prop was neither myself or anyone I knew had one. So I looked online for cheap plastic, brightly colored airsoft ones that I could just spray paint black to make it look realistic. I’ve sprayed the cheaper bright plastic BB guns black before and it seems to work really well so I was confident that if I bought a silenced pistol that’s the right size then it would work fine. This is the one a found online.

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After seeing the price I was actually considering buying that but I didn’t in the end. I actually made a silenced pistol completely from scratch!

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Well, I basically found a light gun controller for my old PlayStation. Didn’t really think anything of it at first. But then put a metal pipe I found next to it that I very luckily found in the garage, (I don’t know it’s original purpose) but asked my parents whether I could use it for making a prop and they said ‘yes’! Now with the all clear, I then made this.


It’s almost like they were meant to go together! I was both shocked and delighted as they fit really well! The only problem was the barrel looks too long which is a shame. But I didn’t let that bother me and superglued them together.

After letting the glue set, I sprayed it up with its first coat.


I unscrewed the handle so I could remove the wood part so I could add that back on when it’s finished. So far I’m happy with my result. I bought a new full can of Black Halfords spray paint to remove the possibility of it running out on me during the painting of what was becoming the silenced pistol.

I wanted to make the prop myself as I’ve seen video tutorials on youtube before on how people have transformed things like ‘Nerf Blasters’ into polished looking props. A video I saw recently which had inspired me to make my own was the video below!

After the paint on my prop had dried. I screwed the wooden handle back on and judged whether I was happy with how it was.


Although I was over the moon with the way it turned out I still wanted to make it as polished as possible, so I added in some finishing touches with the paint.


This is the finished product. Can honestly say that I’m thrilled with the result. It was an incredibly exciting task with the most rewarding outcome. All I can say is I’m proud of myself and I’m grateful for the YouTube tutorials that have inspired my idea. I’ve never managed to do anything like this before my FMP either so it truly was a great new experience.

Next year I hope to do the same or similar.

Blog the week: Making the trailer for my FMP

Unfortunately, this post had to be re-written as it got deleted when WordPress crashed on me. I’ve now learned to keep saving as I write and not wait till the post is finished to save it.

This is the thumbnail for my FMP. It’s inspired by the many thumbnails you see for trailers on YouTube. I wanted to emulate that to make my trailer look like it’s a genuine professional film. I didn’t want it to just be seen as a film made by a college student.
They usually have an edited screen shot from the film with a png that says ‘Trailer HD’ and maybe the title of the film as well. So that’s exactly what I did. I prefer it when it’s simple like this as it’s more effective and easy to understand what’s going on.

Problems when editing: Sniper Scope

One of the ending shots of my film is a point of view shot down the scope of a sniper rifle. I knew if I stood further back with the camera but zoomed it in, it would be more realistic when editing the scope in post production.

Before any effects, the picture looked like this.

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I then had to go on google images to search for a sniper scope point of view png. Luckily I found one. I thought for ages that I would have to buy one as every time I saw a detailed awesome looking scope, it costs money, and money is certainly something I don’t have! Although this would have potentially looked better in the end. I’m happy with the image I found as I knew it was easy to work with.

This is what the picture looked like with the image overlayed on top.

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The problem with this was it looked terrible as if I increased the size of the image to fill the screen, the quality seemed to massively decrease and that was honestly the last thing I wanted. I wouldn’t be able to be happy with the overall result if the sniper scope looked that terrible and distracted the viewer in a negative way from the film I’ve produced. I’m always so anxious about what people think that I make sure the editing is done to the highest standard possible. I work extremely hard on literally all the planning, filming and post production work that I honestly need people to be respectful and appreciate the effort I’ve put in. I can’t say how much I absolutely hate it when I put so much hard work into a film and people just laugh at the mistakes in it. I’ve learned from this however that in the end, it’s actually quite productive as I know what to avoid doing wrong in the future. An example of this is about giving my actors lines that could end up cringey if they don’t act it, or say it how it’s been scripted. People watching will then think of that instead of the impressive parts when they’re later reminded of my film. Although this truly lowered my confidence, I kept improving and so with my FMP. Made the lines shorter and less of them. So far the feedback I’ve got has been very positive so I’m thankful for the criticism early on for the other films I’ve produced.

I tried filling out the black spaces left in the frame with black blocks. This helped a bit and started to inspire me to carry on editing as I’m very impressed by the outcome that came from the practice edit. It was definitely worth testing this as I’ve never edited a ‘point of view’ sniper scope before. It was certainly a thrilling challenge to edit and animate such a and unique image that I’ve created myself. as you can see bellow.

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When that was complete it looked good and you couldn’t see any of the frame apart from what in the sights. This wasn’t good enough though has I wanted a more realistic looking scope with actual sway. Now I could animate the layers one at a time, which takes up a lot of time and effort to get something that won’t necessarily work. Thankfully this editing exercise gave me the confidence to watch tutorials on how to make this in Photoshop as a separate image. So that’s what I did.

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I put together the same simple design as before but then exported that as one image. This meant I could edit and animate it how I want it. Now it took a bit of time figuring out how to make it as in my opinion, I’m hopeless at Photoshop and very rarely use it for that very reason.

Another problem arose however when I put the edited image back into the editing program HitFilm 4 Express. It fitted perfectly but the scope was white!

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The disappointment was so real at this point as I thought I’d finally got it to work! I then had to figure out if there were any blending tools that could make it blend perfectly. Unfortunately, every blending option I tried first didn’t work and I couldn’t find a tool that removes the white background.

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They all seemed to do the opposite! The black was always the colour that got removed until I discovered the blending option ‘Multiply’ which you can see I’ve highlighted in the image above! This worked perfectly and I was then able to size the image accordingly. This is the end result. From what I researched; Multiply is a basic blend mode for darkening and lightening images respectively, which is what I’ve done here with the image bellow.

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I animated the movement ever so slightly as you can see the keyframes in the image above. I did this to make it more realistic to the film it’s inspired by which is American Sniper directed by Clint Eastwood. is an American actor, filmmaker, musician, and political figure.

I’ve done some research into Clint Eastwood and found out that he has achieved success in the Western TV series Rawhide. I found out he rose to international fame with his role as the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy of spaghetti Westerns during the 1960s and as antihero cop Harry Callahan in the five Dirty Harry films throughout the 1970s and 1980s. These roles, among others, have made Eastwood an enduring cultural icon. In addition to directing many of his own star vehicles, (which I then learned is a film written or produced for a specific star), Eastwood has also directed films in which he did not appear, such as the mystery drama Mystic River (2003) and the war film Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), for which he received Academy Award nominations, and the drama Changeling (2008). The war drama biopic American Sniper (2014) (which my FMP Engage is inspired by) set box office records for the largest January release ever and was also the largest opening ever for an Eastwood film.

In conclusion, I am very happy with the outcome as its the best way I could have ended my FMP in my opinion and I’m very happy with the progress and how I’ve learned new ways to add effects in post production while experimenting with different programs like Adobe Photoshop, Hitfilm 4 Express, and Adobe Premier.

 

Problems on filming day

Ethan bailed that morning so I needed Conor to play two roles.

Iain also played two roles.

I overcame this by staying calm and asking my actor Conor to bring black jeans and a black coat so he can play the other extra. Luckily he replied with “I’m already wearing it” so there were no problems there.

Filmed on a glide cam Canon 5D Mark3

Choreography Evidence and Research

The fight choreography for Engage my FMP is very much inspired by the fight scenes in such films as ‘The Raid’, ‘Terminator 2’ or ‘The Bourne identity’. I choreographed the main fight scene for my FMP on Friday 28th of April 2017 with the help of Jack (the other main actor that will feature in the fight).

As much as I’d like to make a fight scene to this standard, I simply don’t have the location or the trained actors. I have however done choreographed a couple fight moves to homage this.

This was just a quick test to see if the camera angle would work. We filmed this outside in my garden where there was more space, fortunately there was just enough space but not enough to make the whole fight look as good as it could be. On location however there will be more space to film that.

It’s inspired by the fight in terminator 2 as it’s an uneven fight. Jack’s character is a fast healing mutant that tires a lot slower than humans, and my character is combat trained but has no advantage over Jack’s character. It’s the same advantage the T-1000 has over the T-800 in Terminator 2 as the T-1000 heals and doesn’t tire or get damaged by things the T-800 would.

This is the fourth and final edit of the practice choreography. This is purely made as a test to see what works and with very little effects added. This has been made to show the different camera angles and how I can improve them. I feel it’s extremely important to practice this before filming just to make sure it works smoothly on the day as filming a fight scene is the most time consuming of all.

In the fourth edit I basically tested out what the effects would roughly look like without adding music, muting the clips or adding the necessary sounds to make it sound smoother like punching sounds etc. I did however add the widescreen bars used for cinematic effect and colour grading.

On the day I will definitely make use of the fake blood that I’ve bought that will be applied by Ceri in between the cuts.

I’ve also been doing research on how to make the punches look more realistic by looking at other video’s FilmRiot have done in the past. They have also shown After Effects tutorials which I can definitely make use of because there’s always room for improvements and it might make the fight scene flow a lot smoother while giving a more violent feel to it.

I personally want it to be more of a realistic with added suspense leading up to it almost like the films of Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock as they seem to often focus on stories surrounding the darker sides of life.

I’ve noticed that Stanley Kubrick chose to work in a variety of different genres, though all of his works have a distinctly morose undertone, I love his film ‘The Shinning’ as it portrays a real sense of inescapable doom. I especially enjoy the high tension, suspense and drama that features in the film and so I want to portray that in my Final Major Project ‘Engage’.

I particularly love this scene and want to show reference to this as you don’t know whats going to happen or what the characters are going to do.