Reflection to my Tutor’s report for assignment 2.

Shaun Mullins Ass. Fback 02

I was pleased and relieved that my Tutor liked my short-film and that I had achieved to create a sense of atmosphere in my film.  I must admit I often suffer from self-doubt  even when assured by family and friends.

Scene 1 – The Letter Arrives.

I thought I had cut down the movie quite ruthlessly but I have to admit I had I had a feeling that the opening shot with me at the door picking up the mail and looking at it was a bit long; but thought as I had cut so much elsewhere it would be okay.

This is the second time my Tutor has commented on my use of transitions.  I chose to use the blur transition to suggest a passing of a short period of time for moving between the hall and the kitchen but I realize that this was un-necessary.  The black cut was intended to create a smoother transition but again this only highlights my lack of experience.

Scene 2 – The Letter Opening.

My experience working with sound is very rudimentary at present as I am still going through a steep learning-curve; so I am not too surprised that it has drawn much criticism but criticism is good as I can only get better.  I have to confess that the soundtrack for the bell and the child crying was taken from the movie ‘Odd Man Out’ which I can be seen watching on YouTube from my lap-top and I carried this sound-track over in to other shots.  I thought the child crying suggested my distress but perhaps if I had figured out how to loop the bell tolling sound this would have been better.

I hadn’t noticed the soundtrack at 00:52 until my Tutor pointed out to me.   Again I can with the sound at 00:58 yes I guess it’s over the top.

Again the idea of dramatic sound at the moment my character sees the assignment due date makes sense.  I must admit that sound was only a secondary consideration for this film as I am still very new to working with it.  However, a lot of good constructive comments to ponder on and learn to build in to my thought process when filming, recording and editing in the future.

Egg Timer

My first thought was to have a calendar and clock face in my image; but I didn’t have a calendar nor a suitable clock-face, then I remembered the use of an egg timer in Wizard of Oz and I had such an item to hand.  Again, yes, dollying closer to the egg timer might have been better; but I didn’t have a dolly and holding the camera would have been too shaky.  Plus, I was using a Macro 105mm lens that offered me greater exposure control so that I could sufficiently darken the background but limited my depth-of-field which would have only added another obstacle to a good image if I had tried been able to dolly the shot.  I therefore agree with my Tutor but probably would have kept this static for the above reasons, hopefully in time with experience I will be able to be much more successfully creative.

Scene 4 – Studying

Again, yes I take my Tutor’s point, in-fact I have just done an exercise with using cutting to extend time for dramatic effect and I  am now thinking more along these lines.  This is discussed in Film Art, chapter six, The Relation of Shot to Shot: Editing that I am currently re-reading for Part Three, Sequence in my Setting the Scene Course.

Scene 5 – Thinking and Pacing

Again the criticism falls on to my sound track, part of the fault in my soundtrack was my lack of experience using my equipment as I had not set the gain controls properly in order for the build in mics to be sensitive enough to record the sound loud enough.  I was also using the wrong gain dials, I have four and I thought that the first two gain controls operated the built in mics and I have since discovered it is in-fact the third and forth gain controls.  Know your equipment, there are no excuses.

Scene 6 – Brainstorming.

As mentioned above the reason for the poor sound volume was mainly down to my lack of knowledge of my sound equipment.  Yes, I do have a shotgun mic, I purchased one with cable and handheld boom with my digital recording device; but it was one more thing to try to figure out and find a way to clamp to a light-stand; so I chose not to use it on this occasion.  I am now playing with theses tools; so will  fully employ them and (hopefully) correctly.

Yes, I am a little bit out of focus, it was very tricky trying to photograph myself and my camera’s screen hasn’t got the size or resolution to help see such problems on review and is only noticeable of a bigger computer screen.  When I reviewed it in editing I felt that it was tolerable.

The flash-frame I missed and have only now noticed it since my Tutor points it out.


I have had a look through my blogs but can not find the bad links, I have emailed my Tutor asking if he can advise which ones he had trouble with.


Fair comment –  I have been so focused on my assignment and catching up on my exercises that I haven’t thought about blogging my research and the movies I have watched this I must and will address.

Learning Log

I have added ‘Learning Log’ to my menu in my blog as advised.

Suggested reading / viewing.

I haven’t yet had an opportunity the see Gravity, but I have a copy on order and should be able to watch it later this week.  Hitchcock on the other-hand, I have many DVDs of his films including Vertigo, Rope, Psycho, Rear Window and The Lodger.  Hitchcock must be my favorite Director, “He is the King”.

Pointers for next assignment / assessment

Pay attention to moments in movies when sound had been used for dramatic effect and blog.

Watch more movies and blog.







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