I started working on this post yesterday and meant to save it but somehow it got published… Sorry that there are two posts now! (I’m not quite sure how to edit/delete old posts)
A Sprinkle of Oregano is my first film. It’s supposed to be a cute little story about two very different people, in a relationship, that realize their personality differences and flaws while in the kitchen. The boyfriend, Fredrick, is a self-driven, stubborn perfectionist and his girlfriend, Kate, is much more care-free.
So anyway the three acts of the story are like this: 1) Both of the characters are introduced. Fredrick is cooking in the kitchen because he is going to be a contestant for a cooking competition. Kate walks in and Fredrick assigns her to help with the dessert, so that he can make the entree by himself. 2) Fredrick’s recipe is not quite right and when Kate tries to help with his part of the meal he snaps at her out of frustration and causes her to leave him alone in the kitchen, disappointed and upset. 3) He finally tries out Kate’s suggestion and realizes that she was right but his stubbornness drove her away. He calls her back to apologize for not being open to suggestion and all is well.
When I watch it now I realize that the conflict and resolution happen almost too quickly so that it seems like Fredrick’s personality immediately jumps from being nice and happy to overreacting and being mean. Then all of a sudden he is happy again. You also can’t tell that he’s cooking for a competition.
While I was editing I realized that I could have asked my actors to “tone down” their acting, when I was shooting, because they were used to acting for theater rather than film, and before I didn’t know how much subtle acting creates a higher emotional impact. But because I could not shoot anymore, I tried my best to fix it in FinalCut. I think I could have toned down or distracted from the over-reacting in the editing process, by creating a smoother transition into Fredrick’s frustration (maybe using more clips that build up to his reaction) and then making his realization much more profound than it is (by having more footage of him alone in the kitchen reflecting on what just happened). I could have also made some quicker cuts after Fredrick has a change of heart to bring the tempo up again and show that he did make a big realization and that things will be okay.
Stylistically, I wanted it to be very bright and use props and costumes to reflect what the characters were like and I definitely put a lot of work into trying to get it to be bright and fun, but there are scenes that definitely need more color correction (so that the bright colors at the beginning and at the cake scenes hold through the whole film).
I also think that the script could use a more work so it sounds more realistic. And it would have been fun to shoot in more locations, but luckily because it was shot in one location we were able to get a lot of the filming done quickly and shoot a lot of different takes.
So there are parts of the film that I now ask myself “why didn’t I cut that clip a few frames back???” or “why didn’t I take more time to color-correct the film??” but it’s okay and I am still proud of the work I did, because it was my first time using FinalCut and I basically put the entire film together by myself so I had to teach myself a lot. I feel like I definitely learned a lot about the process of filmmaking, and can’t wait to make another film!
PS. I just finished my third piece (not quite a narrative, but about Move-In Day) check it out on the USF homepage! :p