#4 Documentary in a Day

Posted by XIONG XIAOHUI on October 25, 2016

Before shooting this documentary, we had a practice, and our theme is “food”. After practice, I think that the theme of food is too simple, because people finished this topic within one minute, and some people reject to answer questions. So after practice, I realize that I need to change topic when we shoot documentary on intensive day.

In intensive day, we have 5 person in our group, and we will shoot each other. We discuss long time about our topic, and we decided that our topic is “home”.  Also we assign work for each person, and make sure that everyone can get work and working in different part such as interviewees, interviewer, camera, lighting and audio.

We choose Building 9 level 3 to shooting, where is quiet. we think that it is good for record, and the audio can be used when we edit. I response for lighting, I used two lighting, one is white lighting and another one is yellow lighting. The framing is interviewees in front of wall. We use the tripod to set up our camera and the interviewee sitting on the chair and in front of the camera, so we just have some body language and do not have movement. I put white lighting in front of interviewee to make sure that her face is bright, and I put yellow lighting on the left of interviewee to light background. When we start shooting, a problem came out, which is the shadow. The shadow is on the right side of interviewee on wall, and we can see shadow clearly in the camera. I change the yellow lighting in different angle and place, such as make the equipment lower than interviewee and using color paper cover lighting. But still have shadow on the wall. I set up one more yellow lighting on the right side of interviewee, then the shadow disappeared. We use MCU for our interview, and we found that interviewee on left side or right side in screen is better than interviewee in the middle of screen. Also, we realized that the interviewer sitting beside camera is better than sitting in other place, because it looks like chatting, which is relax and natural, and to avoid interviewee is nervous when they stare at camera.

After lunch we went outside to shoot outside scene to relate our topic. It is very bright outside. I forgot adjust aperture at the beginning, which lead to exposure in video. Fortunately, I found this problem early, so I fix this problem on time. It is very interesting experience to shoot outside, because we can shoot every thing what we want. If I have chance to shoot in next time, I will focus on lighting and exposure. I will check aperture before shooting, and test lighting to avoid shadow.

The Editing

We have four questions in interview, so I decided that I will separate four scenes for mini documentary and one question set up for one scene. I decided use four-minute for my documentary, so I cannot choose everyone’s interview in the documentary, because our interview almost ten minute, so I have to edit more flexible. For example, for everyone’s interview I just need to choose some interesting answer, and use same question in one scene.

I put three person’s interview in one sequence, and start to edit. I try to unlink the picture and the audio in different layer, because it is easy to edit each of them. During the time, I found that our group has more footage can be used. It makes editing easily, because I can use some footage relate to interviewees’ answer. For instance, when interviewee talks about family, I use the audio from interview, but I cut the interviewee’s picture, and add our outside shooting to match the audio. I found that it is better to use footages instead of their picture. As Jeremy told us that we can just keep high rate audio to use, and cut others. Actually, it is better way, because it can make interviewee’s speaking loudly and clearly, which reduce noisy from environment. I put interviewee’s sound as first layer, and add the music. If I have chance in next time, I will keep these method to edit my video, and I will try to shoot more outside video which can make documentary more interesting rather than only watch interviewee’s face. Besides, I tried to use text to show the question, because I can remove interviewer’s question, and make interviewee’s answer concisely and reduce time for this documentary.


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