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  • Writer's pictureDorsa Sajedi

CINEHAIKU REFLECTION

OUTLINING CONTEXTUAL RESEARCH:


To avoid being too repetitive (as I talk about how we developed our ideas in my earlier posts) I will try and summarise this the best I can! We went from nature to dancing to femininity to mother nature to Greek mythology, and Persephone's story stuck! We had a bash at writing our own haikus for inspiration and help in guiding our 'narrative', and so here we are! We wanted to portray Persephone's capturing to the underworld within our CineHaiku by:


1) representing her relationship to nature, as the goddess of spring, on screen (thus the first section shot going up into the trees)

2) the iconic pomegranate, to help draw that connection to Greek mythology - very important as it is what 'locks her away' in the Underworld

3) representing the Underworld and that change from the mortal realm (thus the upside down, desolate, and unique shot)


Here is the end product:

Overall, I'm happy with what we produced - it was a lot of fun, and as usual, a great learning experience. I hope to work with the girls again on future projects!


REFLECTING ON PRODUCTION:


Things we did right:

  • Aiming for an early start: although we actually 'started' at 12:30, if we hadn't aimed for as early as we did and ran into travel issues, we could've ran out of time before it was dark, so timing-wise things worked out okay.

  • Bringing enough props, deciding exact location spots in advance, taking test shots with Cadrage as reference points, doing a recce to ensure location is accessible with equipment.

Things I would do differently:

  • To aid with pacing, try doing a paper-edit, especially for such a short piece - as we ended up spending more time than necessary to get lots of lovely shots which we hardly used any of.

  • In doing the task above, this would help to establish a more clearer production/shooting schedule for the day, being more time efficient.

  • Doing a test shoot, so we know exactly what shots we want - and also, if we collected stills for ALL of the shots we had down, we could have done a paper edit/practice edit to test pacing through that. In doing so, this would have highlighted the problem I ran into in the edit suite on whether we were going for something more of a linear narrative or more of an abstract piece.

  • Allowing enough time for post production, especially sound for abstract pieces (to clarify, we did allocate the same amount of time to both picture lock and sound design, but sound could have benefited from more as we found ourselves having to do more than anticipated).

CRIT FEEDBACK


WIDE SHOT:


There was a little bit of debate over the use of the wide shot of Persephone with the pomegranate, some liked it, some wanted more of the pomegranate close-ups or just less of the wide shot in general, etc.


So I briefly touch upon this in one of my posts, but I used the wide-shot to pick and choose the real golden bits from the pomegranate close ups without it being a bunch of jump cuts. In my opinion, though, that wide shot is my least favourite shot - I don't feel like it matches the other shots 'cinematically' - I feel that the other shots are so much more exciting, but, even saying this, one of my peers noted how Persephone holding the pomegranate looked like she was also holding a heart, which I really liked. If we had a chance to experiment more with that shot (which sadly, the only reason why we were unable to was because it was the shot where she gets blood on her dress for the first time) then we could have had more options to choose from.


DIFFERENT READINGS:


So, as presumed, not everyone picked up on the Greek mythology reference - which is good, as it provided insight into other potential takes on it. One of our peers noted their reading, being femininity as a performance, and how detrimental it can be.


While it's not exactly what we set out to put across, it definitely aligns with our initial ideas/intentions of exploring 'femininity' and 'mother nature'.


THE SOUND & 'POWER' OF THE THIRD SHOT:


Less is more. The feedback we received on the third section was that we may have been trying a little too much, to the point where silence could have fitted it better. The shot alone carries a lot of impact, especially when put next to the forest and pomegranate shots - turned upside-down, that in itself also does a lot. Although some found that the animal sounds made sense in relation to Greek mythology (through Greek theatre performances), I think it needed a bit more work.


Reflecting on this, although I am overall happy with the turnout of the sound, if we had more time to work on this, we would have dedicated more time to the sound design as it would have allowed us to feed back to our sound designer more, allowing for further improvements.


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