For our Neo-Noir Film Trailer project, I was given the roles of production manager, script supervisor, camera operator, audio editor and production designer as well as being the on-set stylist during the shoot.
Character designs and Initial Ideas
At the start of our project, my group began researching different aspects of film noir to help familiarise ourselves with the reoccurring themes and stylistic motifs of the genre. We analysed trailers and looked at classic films which gave good examples as to what kinds of characteristics noir has.
I also decided to create character designs to help out with the wardrobe choice and to make sure that the costumes we would then shoot in were styled to the film noir era (early 1940s – late 1950s).
Preproduction and Storyboarding
My colleagues Drew and Daniel were in charge with producing a rough screenplay, as well as brainstorming and deciding on the different shots used in order to eventually send to me for storyboarding. Once I had received the screenplay, I then began drafting out a storyboard with help from the two to keep things accurate and consistent throughout.
Call sheets and Filming Preparation
Drew was mainly in charge of organising the shoot’s location, but I ended up helping out with adding the final details to the Call Sheet such as the weather, wardrobe and additional actor details. I also helped with the management and distribution of Call Sheets, creating a Facebook event for the shoot and messaging the film crew with constant updates about what to bring and how the day would run. I went round making sure that everyone had their props, costumes and equipment sorted out and ready to bring to the film shoot.
I arrived at the shooting location on time with make-up and hair equipment for one of the actresses, Isabel. Jacob who was in charge of bringing the filming equipment, was running late so in that time I decided to get the hair and make-up done for everyone as well as have a look at the rooms we were going to film in.
Once we started filming, I helped direct some scenes and explain to our main cameraman Jacob about the types of shots whilst referencing from a copy of the storyboard I drew. I also helped operate the camera in some shots when Jacob had to go act. I discussed various shots and angles that we could also additionally shoot at with Jacob whilst reviewing the footage at the end of every take, as well as organising food and breaks for the crew throughout the day acting as a sort of runner.
Post Production Composition and Editing
Compositing and cutting our footage in Premier with Daniel.
Importing and editing the sound and music in Premier. Michael sent me the mp3s for the soundtracks he decided to use. I used various online sound effect libraries such as freesound.org to find appropriate sound effects.
Creating the end card in Photoshop. I saved the text with a transparent background before importing it into Premier to keep the black background consistent.
I recreated the Nocturnal Cinema logo that Drew made in Illustrator so that it was resizeable and easier to maintain it’s resolution.
I imported the graphics into Premier and edited the transitions for the clips.
During the post-production stage, I was given the role of overseeing the overall editing in addition to editing the audio and graphics. Michael, who was in charge of picking out the music, paired up with me to find appropriate soundtracks to go in with our trailer, with Michael passing the final judgement on two tracks to then have me edit in. We created several drafts and rush edits, asking opinions from peers about what we could improve on.
I was also in charge of the ADR dubbing, and brought in my RODE NT USB Studio microphone to record some dialogue with Michael and Daniel. I then edited the audio, removing background noise and adjusting the levels before exporting it as an mp3 to edit into Premier Pro. I also managed the foley and additional sound effects which were mixed and adjusted straight into Premier to fit with the footage and cuts.
The various trailer graphics such as the title cards and production studio logos were also edited and produced by me. Drew came up with a rough design for the Nocturnal Cinema logo and was then recreated and polished by me in Illustrator before importing it into Premier.
Rendering and Upload
Once we were almost ready to render out our final trailer, I went in and fine tuned everything, adding in changes according to the feedback we received from out peers. I added more sound effects and adjusted the cuts and timing a little before rendering the final composition.
After double checking for the correct aspect ratio and resolution, I then uploaded the final outcome onto YouTube and messaged my group the link for them to see.
Throughout this group project, I have helped set up and organise various schedules and messaging groups through social media to keep in touch with everyone whilst I was working. I made a Facebook group for the event to provide crucial information and resources to the crew, as well as organising and managing a Skype group for those who didn’t have Facebook such as Michael.
Every time I uploaded something onto the group DropBox, I would inform my group and update them on my progress as well as ask them about theirs and discuss things. I was also in charge of organising the final group project folder.