The past week we have been filming for our project. One of the first things we filmed was a scene where “Centaurions” are discussing why they moved to the planet.
It was filmed in one of our project member’s kitchen, which was quite challenging as during sound recording I realised there was quite a large body of background noise coming from a fridge or a fan. Another problem is that out of shot there was a large window and during the time we were filming the sun was setting, so the light levels and colour balance throughout the shots became quite uneven. Hopefully these things can be resolved somewhat during post production.
The black clothing and makeup is to give the actors a cultish look. Overall I find it quite effective, however personally I feel the make up could have been more standardized throughout the actors in order to make it more aesthetically legible for the viewer and to give sense of it being a “brand”. It is also not mentioned in the script which could be problematic for some veiwers.
The end shot for this advert is a group shot, which is kind of kitsch admittedly, but it is a good visual shorthand for the type of company that would have these shots in their promotional material which we are trying to emulate.
The outdoor scenes in a way also proved quite challenging. By the time it was light enough to film (around 8 am) the town was allready getting quite busy. Thankfully we got some nice shots, though as I thought the ‘Earth’ doesn’t look as derelict as I imagined it would. The best we could come up with was this shot of some bins and a lock in the rain, though it is quite non-figurative in nature. We made the shot more interesting by slowly pulling into focus the lock, but I feel this shot still would have been more effective if the background was just a bare alley as the bins become too much of a focal point.
As discussed before the weather dictated our filming schedule and a spate of very rainy and windy weather delayed the shooting. Thankfully Luke Monet was able to get some useable footage in the rare moments of sunshine despite the poor weather.
However there were a few shots that we were unable to get that we had discussed. These adverts also do not have clear storyboards drafted for them, so being able to edit these videos might prove difficult.
Some of the most effective shots are of the wooded areas, hopefully we can use them in a way to symbollically represent the purity of the new planet in a way that would be clear for the audience to understand.
Footage of the sky could also be used to this effect. We have some long still shots so we could speed them up to make time-lapse footage that would give a nice effect that is often used in travel advertisements.
We also have shots of some houses. Although these are more modern, I think I prefer the idea we had in location scouting about using beach huts. They are much more uniform and cult-like and could give quite a sinister underlying tone to the films , which is our intention as Alpha Centauri is meant to be based on ‘model villages’.
A real-life example of these model communities would be Bournville, a town built in Birmingham for the workers of the Cadbury’s factory or the town of Celebration in Florida founded by Walt Disney. These communities, although they are often managed to a high degree due to the company “owning” the housing and most amenities, can also have what is described as a “creepy” feeling. This could be due to the paternalism can occur, where company owners often dictate aspects of the life of their residents, such as in Celebration where lawns must be cut to a certain height at all times. “Middle-class” and “capitalist” were two recurring themes I found.
From studying these communities motifs I could use in the visual aesthetics and sound design, is a uniformity in design and a lack of complexity. This could be applied to later editing and sound design by using footage with quite long shots and pans with little movement of objects within the frame, giving a calm feeling to the work and a lack of visual complexity. To match, the music could be quite simple using little variation of pitch in the melody and use of sustained chords.