Planning Films

During our art lecture we saw several different types of video art including ones using green screen and others using 16mm film on a hand held camera. These were all intended to inspire us, however I soon found that it cemented the fact that I liked our ideas about the video that we were aiming to create. The group as a whole also found that the longer videos that we saw were more boring and complex, something that we did not want to incorporate into our video art.

We began to quickly throw ideas up in the air and suddenly began to understand that we needed to choose some, and soon, to make up our final story board in order to know what exactly we were filming.

Georgia, Romaisa and Hadis draw out several images that were the majority of our ideas, specifically the ones that worked well with our themes of feet following and the day in the life of a university student. These included everything from the beginning credits to stepping on a slug to skateboarding down the road.

As many of us had not worked together before, many of us had not worked in a group so large, and pretty much all of us had not created a film before, there were some consequences. Admittedly, there was some tension when deciding the final, or partially final, story board, as of course, when working in a group, different people have different opinions about certain aspects. For example, some of us were determined to have the skateboarding as part of the film, but others could not see where it would fit in. There was a long, and heated, discussion about this, where ideas were repeated time and time again. Misunderstanding was part of the reason, but also imagination and a little too much of it could also be to blame for the ‘over-heatedness’. We did however, then come together as a group, and compromised about the situation and the scene, in order for the skateboard to fit in. There was another discussion about where we should film the bedroom and bathroom scenes – this was between Halls of Residence in the university or a flat that which on of the group members is renting out. This was a difficult decision as we wanted the ‘homely’ look to the video, which leads us to the lovely apartment, but convenience screamed at us to go to the Halls as we do not have much filming time. We decided at that time to go with the apartment, however I had a feeling that this might change.

Our initial order began as:

  1. Opening credits
  2. Feet coming down off of bed (moving title out of the way)
  3. Stretch, wiggle toes in the rug
  4. Shower
  5. Dry off, put slippers on
  6. Get dressed and knock something off the side e.g. bag and dropping things on the floor
  7. Walking down the stairs and saying hello to flatmates/neighbours
  8. Walk out and greet a cat which twirls around legs OR steps on a slug
  9. Runs in a puddle because she is late (to a date)
  10. Steps in chewing gum
  11. Coffee date

This order, as I began to very usefully write it down, very non-usefully, changed, because as a group we did not like the order that it was in. The story board changed several times more, and the use of the individual pieces of paper for each scene allowed us to change it with ease. This was until we found our final story board (which, as you will find out, changed again).

  1. Opening credits – shoes that we are wearing or our favourite pair of shoes – names displayed above and below each pair of shoes
  2. Get out of bed, follow the feet – title get swiped out of the way from the feet
  3. Stretch out – hands stretch down to stretch the body? – Stretch the toes and wiggle them (in a fluffy rug)
  4. Shower – shave?
  5. Dry off feet/legs and put feet into slippers
  6. Get dressed
  7. Drop bag/object off of a sideboard/bed in the room and things fall out of the bag onto the floor – shocking objects such as bullets or drugs
  8. Rush outside where greeted by a cat who brushes around the legs, then put the skateboard down and scares the cat off, and head off OR rush outside and step on a slug or a snail, shake the foot to get it off, give up, put the skateboard down and head off
  9. Society
  10. Go outside to leave and run back because forgotten about the skateboard. Doors are locked (see door shaking) and so have to walk to the date.
  11. Steps/runs in puddle (gets quite wet).
  12. Steps in gum (Layal found video to make some?)
  13. Coffee date – tippie toe for a kiss/hug (do not see what is happening knees above so anything could be happening – suspense and suspicion) – guy comes in on the bike?
  14. Tries continuously to get the gum off of the bottom of the shoe. Successful – footsies with guy and nervous tapping from both sets of feet or legs
  15. Goes to leave and through the door and trips in doorway and so spills the drink all over herself
  16. Goes back through the door – transition (use green screen) to the bedroom
  17. Gets changed ready for a night out (and also because she spilt coffee all over herself)
  18. Walking down the stairs, saying hello to flatmates/neighbours, stopping, dodging etc (busy because everyone was heading out) – only one with shoes on walking down the stairs? Or not wearing her shoes because she puts them on at the bottom of the stairs?
  19. Clubbing!
  20. Falls over (beginning of hallucinations and ‘trippy’ sensation) and takes her shoes off
  21. Trippy: spiders climbing up leg/around legs
  22. Trippy: Shooting someone who has the same shoes as the guy on the date. Dropping of a bullet after shooting. Kick the body?
  23. Transition, trippy (less): step over the body and camera follows through into the body – sweeps into darkness and into another room (bedroom or bathroom)
  24. Shower – blood dripping down – hers or from the murder scene?
  25. Get back into bed and follow the feet up into bed
  26. Pan up to a moon/light reflection and end credits – include music, sound, feet credits – ‘The End’ written on the balls of the feet?

During the decision process of the story board, we also came up with several things that we needed to take into consideration when filming and editing the video clips. This included (see spider diagram at the bottom of the post for an alternative view):

  • Blooper Reel – Extra video? All the little bits that we mess up/testers
  • Colour or black and white? – Colour for normal and black and white for the hallucination part of the film? – slowly add in colour? – distorting or colourful
  • Music – ‘everyday’ noise – none – weird and whacky – a song – just the footsteps
  • Hallucinations? Or just a really clumsy person?
  • Which camera to use? Go-Pro, Phone or Digital?
  • Speed – double speed for normal everyday – get slower/psychedelic when hallucinating/drunk
  • Opening credits – shoes with names above and below – use favourite shoes/shoes we are wearing on the day of filming? Or shoes that we use in the video?
  • SHOES! Trainers, heels, dancing shoes, boots, slippers – clothes and outfits; tights, jeans, odd socks, shorts/skirts

I highlighted a couple of key elements including that of hallucinations and which camera to use. These were very crucial elements of our video. For the camera dilemma, we had the choice between a GoPro, our phones, of which most are iPhone, or a digital camcorder. First to be illuminated was the phones as we all wanted a higher quality image that which the GoPro and the digital camcorder could provide. We found videos online showing that the GoPro produces a fish-eye look to the video captured, as it round off the edges and makes everything a little wider (see video below). This was not the particular style of image that we were looking for, and so decided to scrap the idea of using the GoPro, and decided on the digital camcorder. Our second problem within this camera dilemma was how we were going to record the whole thing at floor, or ankle level. This was quickly solved by our technician who had the idea of using a floor-level trolley. We found one in the art department but soon found that it has the mind of its own and only ran smoothly on smooth floor surfaces. We opted for a broom and a clamp in order to get the video at a constant height and for it to be easily transported inside, outside and also down the stairs, which is what one of our scenes required.

Source: YouTube

Our second problem was the hallucinations. We all preferred the idea of the use of drugs, as these are somewhat common in university and women can often be subject to drugs such as roofies. We then talked to those who we know who have taken drugs and there were some mixed reactions to the way in which we wanted the hallucinations, as no one had ones such as these. One of the lecturers spoke to us about this and asked whether it was convenience or coincidence that we used women’s feet. Honestly, it was initially convenience as we are a group of six girls, however, he also pointed out that the events that we have described often happen to women, and how we are somewhat pointing out the vulnerability of the gender, and of the feet themselves. It is for these reasons that we decided for her to still take drugs, but something more recreational, and instead of shooting someone, the night goes horribly wrong, and a guy follows her out of the club and tries to do things that she does not agree to. We all found this to be a better idea as it was more truthful and more likely to happen, and also, a murder was a bit jumpy to have at the end of the more-or-less normal day.

The next step, is to film.

Initial drawings by Romaisa and Georgia.
One of the first story boards, featuring drawings from Romaisa, Georgia and Hadis
More alterations to the story board, featuring drawings from Romaisa, Georgia and Hadis
(What we thought was) The final story board, featuring drawings from Romaisa, Georgia and Hadis (the story board changed since this photo was taken).
Rough notes Georgia made during the selection process of the story board, including things we needed to think about during filming and editing.
A mind map of the things we needed to consider during filming and editing, and the initial order of the story board
Our almost final order of the story board for our video art



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