Saturday, October 30, 2010

Preliminary shooting 2nd day

we took different shots of principal and the lab assistant. here lab assistant walks in a room, sits down and they both exchange few dialogues. the room we used for shooting was of career councellor so we got the original setup of a principals office. the principal was given a black gown so that her superiority can be enhanced and we projected lab assistant as small and helpless when she had to stand and walk out of a room. for now we just experimented high angle, panning and reverse shots.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Preliminary shooting 1st day

Today we begin our shooting. Today all the shots of the lab assistant and the students were taken. The shots taken today were of students doing their chemistry experiment while the assistant accidentally drops the beaker and breaks it.

We had to show a close up of the equipment and also to get some shots of other chemicals and of students working there. For the students in the video we experimented with a high angle long shot. However there was too much light coming in from the window so we couldn't use too many other angles without overshadowing the subject. Also we had to create an impressionable of an object falling on the floor and breaking so first we took a shot of the main subject - the lab assistant (Fatmah) holding the beaker and then took another shot of her standing at that same place and dropping a plastic bottle (but you couldn't see the bottle, just the dropping). In the close up, an already broken beaker with some remaining liquid was shown with some of its content spilled on the floor. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


This is our storyboard for our preliminary exercise

In our preliminary exercise the attire of the lab assistant is of the typical professional Pakistani woman. in the picture above you can see women dressed in full sleeved shirts along with a veil which they are wearing over their heads. To make our preliminary video more realistic we will use a similar type of an attire for the lab assistant. 

The Final Script for our film is complete and we now have a hard copy. However we all decided that we want to make it more serious and realistic. The story is of a conversation that takes place between a lab assistant and a principal. The mise-en-scene we plan to use include costume such as lab coats, and the kind of clothes that are mainly worn by middle class professional women in Pakistan. For the location we plan on using our school laboratory, and office. The shooting will take place in the chemistry lab. We are suppose to show that the lab assistant accidentally drops a liquid while the students are working on an experiment. To show this sequence of events we will use some broken lab apparatus and a plastic bottle which will act as a double for the real piece of equipment. I have also made a storyboard and used many shots in it. The treatment is still rough and unclear and some scenes and dialogues have to be eliminated as it is too long.

The film is about a lab assistant, an irresponsible woman who is always snapping at the students. She dismisses the students before their practical class is over. She is non-committal and lax with lab maintenance. The school Principal is aware of the problem and has thought of dismissing the lab assistant. One day a highly expensive and very important processed chemical arrives in the lab for use in an experiment. The assistant carelessly places it on the shelf and accidentally drops it. Two students witness this incident
Lab assistant trying to get rid of witnesses throws the students out of the class: “Go, now!” she says “What are you doing here?”
One of the students says,”you broke it!”, the Lab assistant turns nasty and says, “None of your business. Go on now. You shouldn’t be here".

The student makes an angry face and says”I was going to use that for my project!

Lab assistant: go I said!
Principal: Can you meet me in my office in 5 minutes?
Lab assistant enters the principal's office in the next scene. "Have a seat" she says.
Lab assistant: As you can see that was an accident and I apologize. It was a valuable chemical and I understand the implications of what happened…
Principal: Do you know how many people have complained about you? I have a whole file with your name on it here!
Lab assistant: look I am sorry about today. And I don’t remember breaking anything before today.
Principal: what about not maintaining the lab and supervising the cleaning up? And students have complained that you dismiss them before the class ends and they are unable to finish the experiments.
Lab assistant: the students don’t like me. You must believe me! And they make such mess it is impossible to clean up.
Principal: And you leave the lab in the care of janitors? What if they make a mistake and we face severe consequences?
Lab assistant: Please you are over reacting. This is not an issue.
Principal: And I can’t believe you want accept your faults and even have the audacity to say that to me! Do you have any idea how expensive that chemical was?
Lab assistant (horrified): I know. I cannot pay for that! You have to take care of it! And you cannot cut it from my salary!

Principal: We won’t. As you won’t have a salary. You are suspended. If you would like to hand in your resignation then please send it in to me before 2:00pm otherwise you will find you suspension letter tomorrow on your desk!
Lab assistant (silent for few minutes, Then her eyes fill up) I am sorry for what I said.
Principal: You should be. But that will not make us rehire you. You have been more of a liability than an asset to us.
Lab assistant: (a tear drop falls.) Okay. But you know that I don’t know much about chemicals.
Principal: Madam you are suspended. Now if you’ll excuse me.

Lab assistant gets up and walks to the door than pauses. she turns around.

Lab assistant. you know I haven’t allowed any stealing in my lab. I let the children go early so that they don’t steal anything

Principal: you were not kept as a watchdog.
Lab assistant: my son has leukemia. We don’t have enough money to pay for his chemotherapy! He just got his liver tested. He also wanted to do his high schooling from here. (She looks around) my husband does not earn anything. He wastes money on drinking. I cannot even divorce him because my little boy adores him and he takes care of him while I am in school. I am not a good assistant. Hell! I leave all the organizing for the janitor to do and he may even be a better lab assistant than me but (she wipes her tears) you know I started visiting the library and occasionally read about experimental chemistry hoping… (Her voice trailed off)
Lab assistant: I know. I just want to explain why I was what I was. I hated chemistry with a passion. But I took this job because I love my family more. You are a nice man/lady) I want to thank you for even letting me assist despite my lack of qualifications. I will hand in my resignation
Principal: Wait! Did you read the contract you signed? There was a clause that you can take an interest free loan from the school for medical expenses. Also you are entitled to some benefits.
Lab assistant: (surprised) no I did not see that clause.
Principal: This is your last chance another mishap and you are out. I mean it. Apply for the loan in the principal’s office and let the accountant handle the expenses. You will be notified of the amounts from time to time. You can leave now.
Lab assistant: Thank you so much!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shooting and editing

On Monday all three of us shot the video again this time using a digital camera. We asked four students to act for us and we shot the footage from different shots and angles including Reverse shot, long shot etc and we also used different positions to experiment with the light and angles. The video was shot outdoors and in the accounts office at our school. All the team members this time  worked together in setting up and shooting. in today's class session we looked at all the shots and selected the ones we are going to edit. However the videos were in AVI compressed form and would not open on Premier 6 as i had the oldest version of software at home. I looked up and read somewhere that we need to have Motion JPEG codec. So either that or we will edit on a newer version CS4/CS5

Friday, October 8, 2010

First Practice

The script was rewritten and this time it is between a principal and two students. All the members oft the group us wrote the script together adding a touch of comedy. The videos shot earlier weren't good enough as there was too much space and noise in the background. So the new treatment is complete and I have also seen couple of samples of storyboards online. Hopefully I will work on the rough sketch tomorrow and practice some shots. I also a few watched OCR media studies videos online for a quick recap and skimmed through the tutorial of Adobe Premier CS4.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


For our preliminary and final video we will work as a group pf three. (Me, Sama and Fatmah)

So we got on with our preliminary practice. We had a script there was just two of us (me and Sama) as the other member Fatmah was busy in a conference. Sama and I asked two boys from our school to act for us. The rough script which I wrote last night for the preliminary practice was about a principal and an over-efficient secretary who wouldn't let his boss complete a sentence. The shooting took approximately an hour with a couple of retakes. An acknowledgement to them for tolerating us as they were very patient and acted very well. we have the videos and tomorrow we will do the first cut and start editing. The video was shot from a camera cell phone as we did not have any tapes for the handy cams. Today was a good experience of shooting.  We got to experiment  with different shots and angles.