Short form narrative establishes abilities when producing a short film. We were provided with a prewritten script which we adapted into our own film. My role within ‘Jump’ was art director and production designer. I was responsible for facilitating a creative vision for the location, props and costumes. I created the “visual concept for the film”, giving it a unique identity and design style [www.media-match.com, 2017]. I worked “closely alongside the director and producer” to get their feedback and opinions on the chosen ideas [www.prospects.ac.uk, 2107].
The inspiration for this film came from many films such as ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, ‘The Nice Guys’, and ‘Man on a Ledge’ but the two main films that inspired ‘Jump’ was ‘Pink Grapefruit’ and ‘In Passing’. ‘Pink Grapefruit’ [Michael Mohan, 2014] inspired the creative aspect of the film such as having interesting camera angles to tell the story. There is a shot in ‘Pink Grapefruit’ where it was filmed from the backseat of the car and the character was shown in the rearview mirror which heavily inspired one of the shots in our film. ‘In Passing’ [Alan Miller, 2017] inspired our film as it has a similar storyline and the tone of the film is how we envision our film to be like. ‘Jump’ is a dark comedy which is a sub-genre of comedy. ‘In Passing’ is a dark comedy about a man about to commit suicide but meets a lady on the way. This is very similar to our film in which the dark comedy can be perceived through the narrative and the dialogue between the characters. ‘In Passing’ has strong colours such as deep blues and blacks as well strong, contrasting orange and pink tones which have inspired the colour tone of our film.
My role was heavy on pre-production as it required me to envision areas of the film such as location and costume and prepare it for filming day. When analysing the script, I instantly imagined the costumes and props to suit the characters and film. Once I had an idea about what costumes I wanted the actors to wear, I researched costumes and created a mood board on what I vision Jean and Stanton to wear. I used characters such as Mrs. Doubtfire and Christian Grey as inspiration as their fashion style matches well with our character’s personalities. I visited the costume department to research different styles of clothing and get ideas on what the characters could wear. A suit was chosen for Stanton’s character as he is a wealthy businessman, therefore, he should be smartly dressed. On the other hand, Jean is an eccentric elderly woman, thus, her outfit would be colourful and flamboyant. Her colour palette was bright pinks and reds as that matched her personality.
I also created a mood board on how I envision the tone and atmosphere of the film. I took inspiration from scenes of Sherlock as there were dark tones and it was fairly dull which matched the style of our film. I imagined this style as ‘Jump’ is about suicide so I wanted it to have a monotone and bleak atmosphere. This style would help accentuate jeans character as she is contrasted against it by wearing colourful clothes. This would help the character stand out and have more attention. This mood board also helped when creating the recess as it helped me gain knowledge on rooftop scenes and if the chosen location would suit our film and reflect the script well.
As my role was mostly pre-production work I helped other crew members during filming. I helped the marketing executive as I took behind the scenes photographs which are now used for the EPK, website and on social media. This helps with the publicity of the film and gives viewers an insight into filming. I also helped during post production as I did full colour correction and grading for the film. I did this as I know how to colour grade and I had a clear understanding of the colour tone of the film.
Creating this short film has taught me many things such as budgeting, colour theory, lighting, creative camera angles, the design aspects of film and much more. As we were using professional actors, crew members had to plan the production to be affordable and consider how much we are able to pay. I created a costume and prop list to outline what was in need of purchasing and what items were pre-owned that we could use. This helped the crew members see where money was being put forward to and it aided in part of the productions budgeting.
This role has taught me about colour theory and design as I had to consider what colours would suit the style of the film and the colours of the outfits. The overall vision of the film was to have it a slightly blue tone as it sets a cold atmosphere for the film. I then considered the colours of the outfits as I wanted Jean to stand out so her outfit was reds and pinks which mixes well with the blue tone of the film.
Creative camera angles were used to mimic the actors leaning over the edge as we could not actually film them doing this due to health and safety reasons. We achieved this by having them pretend to lean over whilst filming from a slightly low angle to show that they are above.
This role has mainly taught me the importance of props and costume as they make a vast difference to the tone of the film and how the film flows. It also gives a lot of background information to the viewer about the character without directly telling them. I “considered the production brief well and discussed concepts and production requirements with the director and producer” to help achieve a successful outcome [www.prospects.ac.uk, 2017]. I deliberated “whether the design elements give more depth to the film” and if these adjustments were within our budget. Overall, I think the production ran smoothly and any issues were dealt with efficiently. An improvement that could be made within the film would be lighting. The weather heavily affected the lighting as we filmed across two days and the weather drastically changed although we found ways to overcome this.