Abdul, Alex, and their friend Hamzer came to Queen Mary last week to shoot a ‘run through’ of the chase sequence for the group’s final film essai: Character A is trying to catch up with Character B to return a book. The boys shot the sequence on their phones, and edited in-camera. Look out for Alex taking some shots while moving on a skateboard..
Saturday 2nd May, the THAMES workshop group met outside Bow Church metro station to begin filming their film essai. The scenario is that a young girl, feeling neglected by her family (the ‘group’ that she is ‘envious of’) leaves home. She encounters an enigmatic young man on a railway station platform, who leaves a book behind on the platform bench, just as he leaves. The young woman spends the rest of the film trying to catch him to return his book. The action moves from the railway station to the local university, and then finally to his home.
The group began the day filming the station scenes: the ‘Docklands Light Railway’ is an above ground, and quite accessible railway line; we were lucky not to be stopped and questioned by railway staff.
The second set of sequences were all filmed in Queen Mary University of London – in their prestigious Queen’s building.
Our story is about a girl feeling left out and neglected by her family which impacts on her decision to leave. The first scene is her frantically packing her bag with essentials and getting ready to leave to make her way to the train station. When she arrives at the station she sits on a bench waiting for the train. During that time she takes a moment to collect herself and think back on her actions. A new character walks into the scene shifting the attention from the girl. The new character is a very open and confident person whereas the girl is more closed in and prefers her personal space.
The new character unpacks his bag looking for something. The girl finds herself staring at the new character due to his unusual style and recognises that the new character is reading the same book that she packed. He quickly repacks unaware that he left the book behind. As he hastily gets up, the girl picks up the book clueless of what she should do. She decides to follow the new character to return his book.
This transitions into a pacy sequence where she is trying to catch up to the new character to return the book. She finally catches up to the new character however the new character is unaware of this and slams the door on her when he reaches his house. We end the movie with her deciding whether she should give the book back or not.
This is our response to exercise three. The film observes a meeting between two characters as they exchange a rather gormless looking human being. We shot the film in three different ways: once in a long take from a wide angle, then in a moving long take (using a tracking dolly), and finally edited into a continuity shot.
In the first film the camera was stationary. We chose to do this shot from a wide angle to accentuate the spaces between the characters and how they changed throughout the film. We chose to leave long pauses between the action to emphasize the awkward atmosphere of the scene.
In the second we used the track and dolly to move the camera towards the action. We did this in order to draw the audience in. We paused the movement of the shot multiple times to frame a particular moment.
In the third sequence we used decoupage to create continuity. You can see the spaces between the characters from many different vantage points along different axes.
Here are a couple of photographs of ‘Exercise 1’, taken to explore the differences in depth of field when using wide- and zoom- lens photographs. We run our workshop in Queen Mary University Library, so these shots are using spaces, staircases, bookshelves all in the Queen Mary Library.
We are a group from three schools in Tower Hamlets in east London. Our project takes place in Queen Mary, University of London, every Tuesday after school. We started in November last year. So far we have made three exercises; we have been looking at different ways of portraying space and here are some pictures of us, and our neighbourhood.