The Fine Line (Short Film)

Our first 5-minute short film assignment has allowed for creative freedom in our team, with little restraint other than the limitations stated in the manifesto.

There were two shooting days, one of which I missed but was seemingly a success (Indoor house scene) and the second was a 6-hour shoot for the remainder of the short, which I was present for and provided assistance both technically and physically.

My experience of The Fine Line was good overall, after we all put our heads together for the first time within a week of becoming a team, we all chipped in ideas until this short was invented. Otello was particularly keen on the ‘no faces’ idea, which I am pretty happy with; it does give the film a particularly memorable quality. So, with weeks of planning, we had the cast and crew for two successful shoots and I was left with the edit.
I am happy with the editing, we showed a 1 minute preview for a WIP presentation earlier this week and, having forgot entirely about this, I started the edit at 9pm the night before, so the cut REALLY WAS rough.

There were pro’s and con’s to the editing experience on The Fine Line.

A particularly successful aspect was the freedom I was given. I had nobody hanging over my shoulder, the film was mine to mould.
I incorporated various transitions and editing techniques, including a jump-cut (with alternating opacity for a fading effect), we composed shots so that I could merge two scenes together effectively, which, with some nitty-gritty adjustments, I think I accomplished.
There was a well-choreographed whip-pan, solely planned by Ryan the cinematographer, which allowed me to disorientate the audiences by showing Ryan move across the screen to ‘shadow fight’ with Callum, then whipped back to show Ryan stood on the right of the frame.
I haven’t been allowed much freedom with the sound, as we have a sound designer who’s job revolves around that area. I did, however, provide the kettle-sound and the opening and closing theme. I have purchased the rights to the song last year and can provide appropriate documentation upon query.

There were, however, some technical hitches with the film. Once I finished the final fight scene, the film ran to 3min 40sec… falling 1min 20sec short of the required time. I then decided to get particularly inventive with the editing and separate the film as a new composition. I then reversed that composition and increased its speed by 350%, shortly afterwards I decided it would be complimented with the ‘smoking’ overlay. I began experimenting with the opacity levels of the clips, incorporating steady fades in and out, flipping the overlay horizontally and adjusting the motion and speed.
The .MXF files which didn’t always agree with the software and regularly ‘dislocated’ in bulk. I persevered through the issue, it simply took longer than it should have done to complete the edit.
There were a few consistency errors within the shooting of the film which I have managed to weave together in the edit, illustrating my ability to compile an EDL and be rigorous to ensure the five minutes are filled effectively.
There is a distinct colour variation from the initial outdoor scenes contrasted against the town centre scenes. This is because the white balance was not done prior to the town center scenes, where I noticed and informed the cinematographer it may be wise to WB, although I was a little too late. The shots are too cold/blue to grade to a realistic tone in consistency with the other shots, so it’s a mistake we shall have to accept and learn from.

Conclusively, the experience was interesting, and I shall now pass on the edit to the sound designer and see how creative they get with it.

Here are some production photo’s I’ve taken from The Fine Line shoots:

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