Author Archives: natatatjulianne

Two Ladies and a Hill

(I’m having a hard time embedding the film, but here’s the link. But go watch it! It’s cute 🙂 )
http://www.thesmalls.com/members/fedeforc/films/two-ladies-a-hill.go

Two Ladies and Hill is a really cute and funny short film about the exciting adventures little old ladies, Hilary and Elizabeth, go on while they still can. It starts off with Hilary standing near a curved dirt road looking disappointed as she waits for her friend to show up. She begins to think that she is no longer coming, but lo and behold, a smaller old lady comes huffing around the bend on her bicycle, she looks like she’s barely going to make it but slowly and surely reaches her friend and locks up her bike.

“Oh Elizabeth, do hurry! Or there won’t be any left by the time we get there,” says Hilary, slightly annoyed with the slow Elizabeth. This statement creates the story and curiosity the audience feels. What are they looking for? or What are they going to do?

The women begin walking up a hill through nature and we catch scenes of the trees around them and constantly hear bird sounds. There is a longer shot of a seagull flying above them, mixed with even more bird sounds, so the audience thinks (or at least I thought) that the women are going up the hill to see some birds. Throughout the film Hilary is seemingly annoyed with her dear friend Elizabeth, because Elizabeth is so slow, and our curiosity grows as we want to know what they need to hurry up for. The ending takes a twist, that I’m sure you will all love, and were not expecting!

I think that the reason this film works is because the concept of the story is so simple. These little old ladies need to make it up a hill to find something before it’s too late. Because it’s so simple, the story is told through the great acting of the two ladies, and through the mixture of nature shots  and shots with Hilary and Elizabeth. The only possible problem that I found with it, is that I think the bird chirping sounds were a little bit overdone, but they were overdone for a reason: to fool the audience. Because the ending is so great, I think the bird sounds can be forgiven.

Enjoy the film! Also I can’t wait for adventures like these when I’m a little old lady 😉

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AmĂ©lie takes a scary ride and falls in love

This scene is from one of (almost) everyone’s favorite film, AmĂ©lie. This is the scene where she takes a ride into the haunted house (perfect since it’s October! hehe) and has her first intimate moment with the guy she is falling in love with. The lighting in this scene is crucial to setting the emotions AmĂ©lie is feeling, because although she is in the spooky haunted house you can tell that she begins to feel something for Nino.

To create this feeling the lighting is play between foggy greens and yellows lighting up the haunted house, and a soft and warm light for AmĂ©lie. The beginning shots must have used lights with green gels to light up the walls and create a fill light from above. The yellow lights among the walls light up the different layers of the walls, to show the space of the haunted house and show what types of lights a real haunted house would use. By coming from below they don’t interact with AmĂ©lie or create extra lighting on her. After she comes out of the fog she is lit from the front, probably by bounced light. The angle in which the light is bounced from changes as the angles are shot. When she is facing the camera the light comes from the front to light up her entire face, but the colors are still warm and very soft. Then when the camera is angled so you see the side of her face from the top (0:31) she is lit from the side as if the light is coming from the haunted house’s skeleton prop.

Overall I think the lighting is very beautiful in the entire film because it is very warm and rich without being  too overwhelming. It is very soft and that is what helps the audience warm up to Amélie, and believe in her innocence. This scene in particular is very well done because of how the lighting lays between creating the feeling of the spooky haunted house, and creating a warm moment between Amélie and Nino.


AmĂ©lie takes a scary ride and falls in love

This scene is from one of (almost) everyone’s favorite film, AmĂ©lie. This is the scene where she takes a ride into the haunted house (perfect since it’s October! hehe) and has her first intimate moment with the guy she is falling in love with. The lighting in this scene is crucial to setting the emotions AmĂ©lie is feeling, because although she is in the spooky haunted house you can tell that she begins to feel something


A Sprinkle of Oregano – Natalie Eakin

Hello everyone,

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)

Anyway…

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