Making a Film

Today we learnt how to make a film,  called confessions and and was based on a concept by Gillian Wearing. Each member of the course,( if they wished ) sat on a chair and made a confession which was recorded on film.

It was a group exercise involving the entire course in which we worked in close collaboration with each other in order to produce a finished product.

The equipment we each had to try was, camera, lights and audio. There were five elements involved in making the film which we took turns in experiencing.

1. Being the confessor.

2. Using the camera.

3. Being the floor manager.

4. Controlling the lighting.

5. Controlling the audio.

As with all group activities it involved cooperation on everyone’s parf. It took all day to compete.

The person who was confessing sat in a chair and spoke through a microphone attached to their clothing. It put me in mind of the Mastermind programme.

The person operating the camera, in order to obtain the required quality of picture had to zoom in right into the eyes of the confessor, then zoom out and adjust the the focus according to the instructions of the person overseeing the visual aspect in the control room. This was was done through headphones worn by the camera technician.

The floor manager wore headphones through which he heard instructions from the control room. One of his tasks was to ask questions of the confessor in order to attain the correct level of sound. Once this had been achieved, he would say, ” quiet on set”. (such power). And count down to when the film would record.

The person operating the lights dimmed or lifted the lighting according to the time of the recording. This I think was very important in adding drama and mood to the film.

Operating the audio system involved giving instructions to the floor manager in order to achieve the optimum quality of sound.

The whole experience was very enlightening in learning  how atmosphere and drama can be achieved through lighting and sound.

For our our film, in order to create a dramatic effect the lights were dimmed to


zero, then opened up to focus on the confessor. After they had finished what they had to say,the lights were dimmed to zero again. This added to the drama of the film.

The position of the person on the screen was alternately changed from left to right in order to and interest to the  finished film

Never having done any of the above before, I found it really interesting and added greatly to my knowledge  of how film is made.

Post script

One of the members on the course started experimenting with the use of of the camera, and some of the effects were really interesting.

In some ways it reminded me of the scratch film we made.








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