March 10, 2011

16mm film course: week 2

During the course of the day at work I became tired, bored and depressed. This is not (unfortunately) an uncommon occurrence and especially annoyed me as I had, up until that point, been greatly looking forward to my second 16mm film making class. 

Thankfully, by the time the end of the working day had rolled around I was once again, more or less, looking forward to my class.

This week the focus was on sound and sound recording. I can't say I've had too much previous experience with sound equipment - the world of sonics has always confounded me a little. I easily miss the nuances and background noise. Whether this is a question of training my ears, being more attentive or just plain ole' old man deafness on my part, sound is something I've never really fully understood or appreciated.

Which is a little foolish - sound is one of the most important ingredients in film and film-making. Yes, it is generally considered a visual medium but without the correct sound mix, the little aural queues and flags littered throughout (the next time you watch an Edgar Wright film really listen), the levels just right... the whole tale can fall flat. You can't turn everything up to 10.

We also had a quick talk, demonstration and play around with light meters. And it's not just holding up a weird wee machine with a white ball on the top and getting a magic read-out. It's also thinking about how the machine is operating - how is it reading the light in the room and what type of light is it reading. Handing them round, I don't know that everyone knew what they were doing with them though - I sure didn't.

So things got quite technical this week - cables and knobs and dials and readouts and whatnot. The technical side of the things is, sadly, not my strong suit but then, that's one of the reasons I'm taking this course. Technical things can be learned, so there's no reason I shouldn't know them.

Next week: filming.

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