Assignment 2 - Creating an atmosphere

Because we have moved over the summer and I haven't really been in one single place for more than 2 weeks these past 3 months, it has been a bit hard to find a familiar place to make the sequence. When we were on holidays in Sweden, I thought it would be nice to use the setting of our holiday home for the film. There was a nice lake and a beautiful forest with a lot of atmosphere already. However, when I look at the brief, it asks for an everyday setting and now that I'm done with the initial filming I wonder if this is everyday enough. On the other hand, I have been able to use the techniques that have been discussed and I guess that when you live in Sweden, this would have been quite everyday anyway ;-)

My scenario is that a boy hurries home so that he can be on time to watch his favourite television program. I want the mood in which it is filmed to be a mixture of threat and tranquility and let the contrast build up tension and release it in the end when the boy is sitting in front of the tv. There has to be a certain suspense and uncertainty, which I'll try to get through the use of the natural light on the lake at sunset, when it's getting dark and there is a lot of reflection on the water and fog. When the boy is at home, I want to show the warmth and safety of the home, and film the scene in which the boy is watching tv from the outside.

Storyboard:

 

 

Pre production planning:

In order to practice to produce the right atmosphere, I did some practice shots in which my daughter did most of the running scenes. Since this was early in the morning and the sun was bright, I tried to create a happy atmosphere, with bright colours and sunshine. With these shots I practiced the angles from which I wanted to shoot and the panning effects. Here are a few scenes from the shoot:

With the actual filming, I was able to follow the story board pretty well, although it was hard to get Aaron row through the middle of the scene, so that turned out a bit different, although it still has a bit of the surprising and curiosity is built up even more because we can't see who is in the boat. With the different scenes I tried to bring a diversity in the angle on which the sun is shining and I think this worked well. When editing, I did take out the scene in which Aaron is jumping on the rocks, because it breaks the continuity of the story and it doesn't make a lot of sense to be climbing and jumping off rocks when you're in a hurry. This is the first rough edit: 

As you can see and hear, there's still some editing to be done. I forgot to turn on the microphone when Aaron went inside, so I have recorded extra sounds of a door opening and closing and somebody walking on a wooden floor. I will also add the muted sound of a soccer match to put under the last scene where Aaron is watching tv. In order to make the running scenes more threatening, I want to up the sounds of Aaron's breathing and bring more contrast and darkness in the takes. And I did put the scene back in in which Aaron is jumping over the rocks, simply because I like the silhouette effect and the emptiness of the field and barren rocks.

An other issue was the edit points when Aaron is running. There was too much time between the beginnings of the scenes and the point in which Aaron comes running and it just was not smooth enough. It took me quite some time, fiddling around and even switching of scenes to get it the way I wanted. I'm doing a Davinci Resolve colour grading course on Lynda.com and I'm still not at the point that I'm completely happy with the results yet. It takes a lot of practice!