The brief of this project tells us to create a promotional video or commercial spot. We decided to use the resources given to us, including script and voice over, to encourage Londoners to move to Amersham through a comedic, contradictory video this was a specific brief, Don’t Move to Amerhsam. While the voice-over insinuates Amersham is not the place to live, we will film in areas that show the opposite; for example, the audio clip that says “It’s unfriendly” will have a partnering video of a person handing a flower to someone else. The thought behind this technique is that the pleasant visuals will be a bit more emphasised but it also doesn’t make it look like the message is being shoved in your face, which a lot of adverts seem to do, making ours more appealing.
My first thoughts of this were that it definitely captures a good variety of activities and attractions on the Waterfront of Portsmouth, with pleasant videos, uplifting music and no unnecessary editing effects. I like the simplicity of the video while also having some interesting shots, including the ones at 0:17 to 0:19.
Looking at it more thoroughly, I noticed that a lot of the shots were stills, which can look good when only a few are used, but when they are put together in a sequence it usually looks like a slide show rather than a professional video. On the other hand, I like the captions and how certain words are enlarged to bring attention to the important parts to remember. I think it would be great to include this detail in our video, specifically a the end where we plan to put positive reviews of Amersham.
This Jet2CityBreaks advert, to me, immediately appears more professional from the small-print text at the bottom of the screen, but more due to the voice-over and clips. From, what looks to be, colour graded videos, the advert flows nicely from each transition. There are even less special effects throughout it, which I think makes even better, allowing the scenery to speak for itself. The only times you can obviously see any substantial editing are at the beginning and end, even then, it’s kept simplistic. The one issue I have with this is that the transparent logo in the intro becomes slightly difficult to read where the “Breaks” and “flight, hotel, city” are positioned on a pale area of the background.
I’ll be taking inspiration from the way they have made sure to link what’s being said with the specific clips, this will be well prompted by how the way the shot-list we were given is laid out.
Script, shot list and location list:
As we already had the script in order of how everything would appear on-screen, I drew the storyboard in the order we were going to shoot. The scene number indicates the arrangement they are in on the script. In the past, I would usually do these in the same order and even though it did slightly help when the team went out and filmed, I will probably not repeat the technique I used for this project again as it did create some confusion.
– Harley – Editor/Second unit
– Jack – Actor/Props/Graphic Design
– Adam – Sound engineer/BTS/Tech
– Ellie – Cinematographer/Camera/Ast. director
– Gareth – Director/Assistant camera
– Charlie – Actor/Music
– Canon 700D (Adam)
– Canon E60 (Gareth)
– Tripod (Gareth)
– Mic (College) (Adam)
– Mic Boom (college)
– Mic Cables XLR (College)
– External Recorder (College)
– SD Card x2
– Cleaning Equipment
– Planning Papers
– Reflectors (College)
As the assigned cinematographer, I wanted to be more ambitious in the way we would use the camera and locations available to us. I took it upon myself to begin the shot list and script, with the contribution of everyone during class; later I drew the storyboard, making sure to think carefully about how each shot would look when transitioning to the next. I also drafted up a location list so we could see if they would work for the planned shots and add to it once we found more areas.
Charlie, Gareth, Jack and I followed the location list to scout them before the day of filming. Using the Canon E60, I took photos of each location to reference during the production and practice clips of some of the shots in order to see if they would work well – this resulted in a lot of wandering around Amersham high street to find the best locations to fit our vision.
During the production, Gareth and I paid close attention to the camera settings for each scene to make the videos look as pleasant as possible, mostly through different apertures.
After this, Gareth and I went to a location a bit further than initially planned to get extra shots with a friend of ours to be the subject of some of them (Matthew). This was in Old Amersham, where we thought was a perfect area due to the beautiful high street, especially as it’s decorated at this time of year. – Most of these shots weren’t used in the end as the video turned out to be quite short.
In a lot of travel advertisements, there are reviews from (real or fake) customers that have used the service or visited the location on-screen and have rated it highly. We are going to scatter 2-3 reviews from real people about Amersham train station, high street, or just the area in general by typing them up, stating the star rating and the source/writer. These are the best ones from Google, Trip Advisor, etc;
First edit of the video (by Harley):
I really enjoyed seeing the first edit, my initial thoughts when reviewing it were that the music was a great choice and ensured the peaceful mood of the video slightly overshadows the negative voice-over. Harley has done a great job fitting in respective clips for each line and I actually thought that the clip of Jack (at 0:25-0:29) running over two lines of the script worked very well, slowing down the pace a little bit.
Looking further into each shot and discussing them all with our tutor, Nick, I believe they all turned out the way we wanted, especially the clip at 0:21 as the complimentary colours of the green background and red outfit (Charlie) make for great contrast and emphasis on the character. In this clip specifically, the aperture was set to f/5.6 which created a shallow depth of field that looked perfect for the soft appearance we were going for.
Production & Evaluation
There are a lot of aspects of this project that were great to do and that turned out just as we wanted, but a few things in the final video could be changed to really exceed my initial expectations of it. I find the pacing of the video great and easy to listen to while understanding what’s being said, especially as Harley decided to run the clip of Jack in the field over two lines of the script (0:25), which I think prevented it from seeming like we were trying to cram as many different shots in as possible. This is what I believe helped the entire video’s pace, particularly with it being in the middle of the timeline.
Although this editing decision was one of the best, the framing of the shot during production could have been better. As my role in this project has been cinematographer and camera operator, I planned and shot this scene. After talking with my tutor, Nick, reviewing the footage we got from the first production day, some feedback included the position of Jack in the frame (0:25), it would have been more effective to pan the camera and stop where he would be positioned on the right side of the rule-of-thirds; this would have made the shot more appealing and put even more focus on Jack, as the top right area is usually the point that gets most attention from the viewer.
(more evaluation to come)