Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Project 4: Camera angles

Exercise 5: An objective POV
Objective: To record the same scenario as the previous exercise but from an objective point of view.
I started with a series of sketches for my storyboard as described below:
(Despite appearances, it is the same person in all of the shots. I’m still struggling with the drawing.)
Frame 1
Ex 5 Frame 01
High angle shot making the sleeping man vulnerable. Perhaps zoom in on the eyes as he wakes.

Frame 2
Ex 5 Frame 02
Eye level  to high angle shot for a normal feel, man wakes and nurses his head.

Frame 3
Ex 5 Frame 04
Eye level again, man looks around the room and his eye is caught by the bottle on the table.

Frame 4
Ex 5 Frame 05
Low angel shot, I want to emphasise the glass and the bottle and make them dominate the frame as they do  his life.

Frame 5
Ex 5 Frame 06
Low angle again, man unscrews cap and starts to pour a drink, looming over the table.

Frame 6
Ex 5 Frame 06A
Close up of bell push and the sound of a door chime.

Frame 7
Ex 5 Frame 07
Low angle, man is distracted briefly……..

Frame 8
Ex 5 Frame 08
……..but continues to to pour a drink.

I’ve had two attempts at producing the required sequence and I’ve stuck to the story board fairly well. I acted the role myself as I wanted to get it done quickly during daylight and there was no-one else available. My first attempt was pretty grim but the second one was better once I had reorganised the set. (I needed more depth for the low camera position behind the table) I realised early on that the frames where the drink is being poured could only include the lower half of my torso and my hands. This is because I needed to use a low table  for the final frames so that I could allow the bottle to assume a dominant position in the frame from a low angle.
While editing, I discovered how to separate the sound and video tracks. This was particularly useful as I wanted to split the two pairs of chimes across the two frames.


As I wasn’t able to show my character’s face reacting to the first set of chimes, I dropped the bottle cap instead during the second set. My finished sequence is embedded below.
To my fellow students, please let me have your comments before I add my own reflections on the piece.

Alcoholic Objective POV from Richard Down on Vimeo.


  1. Hi Richard - this looks great. I like your different angled shots - makes it interesting. I like the way you drop the bottle top on hearing the bell - it made me jump. I did think you would stop pouring at that point. But too much of an alcoholic for that!

    1. Thanks Margaret, my first attempt at this was a real dog's dinner but on my second, I planned it more carefully. I decided to make a few changes from my storyboard for practical reasons mostly and I was quite pleased with my editing efforts too. I'm glad to have made my debut with a convincing portrayal of an alcoholic but in my defence the "wine" is just water with a touch of yellow food colour!

  2. Hi Richard, I am new to the course so I will keep my comments brief (at least until I have something uploaded for everyone to critique).

    I watched it quite a few times and I like it.

    Firstly I really like the film as a piece. Its simple, the story is clear and its well shot. I like the fact that it feels early morning and that your caracter has just woken up in last nights clothes. (it feels like he does this often because he remembers where he left his glasses) As Caraelius says I like the dropping of the cap too, maybe a little look around from your character would have been a nice cut away to break the pour.
    If there was one thing I may have considered, it would have been the glass being placed perfectly on a coaster from the night before. Could it have worked if he brought his glass to the table? Just an idea.

    Again well done.


  3. Thanks for your feedback Nico,I take your point about the coaster but that's just me I'm afraid. I'm not saying I didn't consider unlikely but it was a good way to mark the positions in between takes when I was emptying the glass back into the bottle. It took two or three takes to get the pouring and the 'shakes' just right. Of course, my alcoholic may also suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder!

  4. Good thinking about continuity, you are right.

  5. Hi Richard - this is great! and you acted the alcoholic so well! I especially liked the way the bottle dominates the shot so that we see the man coming towards us (the bottle). The colours of the shot work well too. I liked the ringing of the bell.
    The fact that he doesn't stop pouring when the doorbell goes suggests a very different character (or mindset) to one that stops, thinks and then carries on pouring. Your character has absolutely no intention of answering the door.
    Again the coaster situation suggests an alcoholic that might be scrupulously tidy!
    I very much like the shaking of the hand, and the dropping of the bottle top.
    great stuff

    1. Thanks for the positive comments Emily. I learned so much from doing it wrong first time and having to re-do it, I'd almost recommend it. Seriously though, I knew what I wanted to do and how it should look, it just took me a while to get there. There are still things I would like to have done differently but I'll explain all that in my reflections later.

  6. Hi Richard,

    I saw your comment on 'if I used an actor'. If you want to try different focusing, the easiest thing is to place a focus card (or some object) on a stick and place it where you'd sit or stand. Then focus on the object, start recording, then go and take the place of the stand/object yourself. And the other option is to try and find actors from a local amateur theatrical group - I think you'd be surprised how interested they'd be at working in front of a camera….