This is my conversation scene for a test piece of my documentary project ‘Mr. Jazz’ with a video diary at the end of the footage.
When shooting for this test piece we were working inside a kitchen which was not well spaced or appropriate for stage directions. In other words there were key shots that linked certain things together and created meaning: Such things as; a close up of a briefcase being picked up off of the group would give an importance to the documents that were inside and shots of reactions would have told more of how the actor felt.
I did not attempt any of this because my main concern was to give the actors a chance to get use to the dialogue and characters.
The camera shots were concentrated of two shots and one shots and when editing gave me room to explore the meaning of the story i.e who was in focus when something was being said; who’s reaction are we trying to show and who’s were more important.
Through a lot of the footage Mr.Jazz was the one to be making mast of the dialogue but Tony was the one to be chosen in focus. This was because it is Tony’s journey through the story we were following and Mr.Jazz’s role is mostly a challenge so cuts to Tony’s face and confusion were the main idea with the edit.
As this was a test piece I did not find any need to have the use of sound. I knew for editing and performance qualities the record on the Cannon 550d would be enough for the information I needed.
I feel I managed the project seemingly well. I stopped when I bumped into any mistakes and worked with the group to correct it (the first mistake being the reflection of the camera in the window). The communication was good too, when ever something was pointed out that was prone to face a change I would commonly hear either my actors asking me if things were still ok i.e. the eye level between the two.
I did my best to give advise on how some lines would be said but tried not to over emphasise so as to save the performance of the actors. I felt like if I said so much at an early stage of the production it would be too much on my actors and I was quite interested to see how they would naturally take to the script.
The edit went smoothly and even though I experienced a number on continuity errors the cuts were made exceptionally well. I did how ever not capture enough meaning to Tony’s situation and emotions that I would have hoped but I know from how and what this test piece was going to be about that all element would not be there. I did how ever turn the camera to Tony at the correct times i.e. when Mr.Jazz was giving a long winded speech; the cut almost illustrated that he was not listening or the information that was being told was of no importance.
The same thing happend when Tony picks up the phone; he takes the call but we turned to Mr.Jazz’s seemingly relaxed expression (which was intentional). This shows that even though we are to believe this is a one on one business meeting it was ok to take a phone call from his mother hinting towards the fact that everything is not as it seems.
Where Mr.Jazz says the lines:
“Refuel yourself”. There was suppose to be a stage direction where Tony would be brought out a silver tray and have him holding a knife and fork. To his confusion he is presented with a telephone; which rins and we are left with a conversation with his mother.