I decided the best way to grasp what will be the most effective way to shoot within my location to create fear is by using the camera to capture some test footage.
My story line focuses on a a female protagonist at home and she’s making a cup of tea when she is tormented and haunted by somebody / something she doesn’t know. This figure will turn out to be her dissertation deadline; however that will not be known until the very end of the video.
I decided to practice capturing the footage that will start my film and that is of my female protagonist making a cup of tea. I chose to use a simple activity as it is something that many audience members will be able to relate too as an everyday situation, which means it puts them in a vulnerable state from the very beginning as an activity so normal turns out to be filled with fear.
I did not know what the lighting would be like within my location so this was also a perfect time to practice with lighting and understand the best movements of the camera and the best shot to focus on.
I began by just having my protagonist make a cup of tea several times while I filmed from several different angles and shots. By having a variety of different shots and angles, it means I will have a bigger range to choose from when it comes to editing which will lead to smoother cuts and become more aesthetically pleasing. My main protagonist is not an actress so was not used to being in front of the camera, so this test footage enabled her to become used to being in front of the camera which led to a more natural performance as we went on.
As all of this is just test footage I did not edit it at all, hence why the beginning of the footage is me and my actress gathering our bearings and getting ready for the shot to begin.
I wanted my video to feel as realistic as possible. I want my audience to feel as if it could be them in their own home having the same situation happen to them; therefore, I kept everything as it was in the house before I started shooting. By using a realistic setting of a kitchen, such as washing up drying in the background and a box of corn flakes on the side, it makes the scene easier to relate too.
By using a variety of different shots, it enables me more options when it comes to editing. I also found that the different shots , when all placed one after the other, gave a disorientating feeling which I found to be a positive attribute as it keeps the audience on edge. I don’t want them becoming to comfortable as I want them to be full of anticipation.
I discovered that the lighting was something that was going to be hard to control. In my location there are a variety of different light bulbs which are used which gave off different lighting; however, by changing the angles of the camera and using different filters I was able to gather footage that had consistent lighting throughout. This is why capturing the test footage is a critical part of my production as it enables me to locate what kind of problems I will encounter and how to find a solution to them before I come round to filming my final footage.
I gathered feed back from Project Partner to gain an outside opinion.
“Even though this footage is just rough, basic footage without editing I think you are on the right track. You have used a variety of different shots which is good. I liked it when you done a close up of your protagonists face as it instantly makes the audience connect with her. The connection is good that connection is what will make the video scary as I can sit there and think “oh god imagine if this was me”. It puts me as the audience into her shoes which I definitely think is a plus.” – Tara Rance (project partner).