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Filmmaking 101

By Tara Mendis

12th September 2020

Film Making 101

The day began as I was tying myself into knots, agonizing over the mini presentation I was to deliver later that morning. But Bubba’s insightful delivery on creating a visual narrative allowed me to flesh out my slim deck of mental notes. Vision being told without sound, the importance of frames to guide the viewer and dialogue were some of the topics that were briefly touched on. An slide named Intermission made us all of laugh - an actual inclusion in the film Interstellar and most famously in many old Bollywood films.

Soon, it was time for us to present our analysis of our favourite scenes. One team talked about a few scenes from Crazy Rich Asians, showing how lighting and camera angles added to how characters were portrayed onscreen. Another showed a few minutes from a theatrical play captured on film, contrasting in the way it was experienced, us being able to see close ups and the live audience only seeing it as a big picture from a distance. One of our team members compared scenes from a Korean crime series episode, showing how characters were shown at first as equals in a scene and later, when it was implied a character was a suspect, how that was shown through framing and a different camera angle. Finally, I talked about the elevator scene from The Shining and how the background technicalities made it much more impressive.

After lunch, Amal from Oddbox Pictures talked to us about scene building. She touched on the three-act structure, which I had heard about before but not in depth. The concept of character trees was introduced to guide the composition of a scene. She also mentioned an important aspect of a script - show, don’t tell- which was all too familiar to me. Next, Shukri Rasidi from Otter.co explained about sharing one’s vision through mood and story boards. I was very interested to see his creative process when he brought out his sketchbook and showed us all the ideas he had drawn for various projects. The final presentation was by Aaqiil Ahmad, hilariously titled Editing - What is Sleep. I suspect it might be something that I will be intimately familiar with come November.

Truth be told, the only experience I have with film making is the time when I made a stop-motion video for a university module. I joined Play Naturally this time around to push myself out of my comfort zone and I have no doubt that, as nerve wracking as some moments may be, I will have gained another skill set when all is said and done.

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