Bournemouth Masters students and the 4-shot scene

January 19th 2013: I did a presentation on a Masters residential (Creative & Media Education MA at Bournemouth University) which included the Cinémathèque project. I set the students a slight variation on the 4-shot exercise – the awkward situation in a constrained space. They were given about 20 minutes to plan and shoot their scenes. We didn’t have time to view the clips so I subsequently edited them together in iMovie, added some sound and here are the results (hope the editing didn’t alter the vision too much!)

Really nice planning of continuity shots for ‘the girls’. I like the grim tension in the lift, the thought given to the staging of the 3 actors, the changes in framing and camera distances.  A fight scene is an interesting choice as it seems we’re often dealing with boys wanting to develop fight scenes.

As for ‘the boys’ – I took the liberty of adding music with a comedy twist, as the situation seemed to evoke slapstick / TV sketch territory. I like the way they really ran with the constrained space idea and it’s refreshing to see a surreal comedy take on the brief. There was a student from Malta who had never seen snow before… and who had probably never stood outside a lift with a pillow stuffed up his jumper either …

It would be really great to get some comments from the film makers themselves on how the practical went for them. I’d like to thank all the students for collaborating on this task. Well done!

This entry was posted in Mettre-en-scène 2012-2013 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Bournemouth Masters students and the 4-shot scene

  1. Hi there (its the bloke in the sleeping bag here)

    Like the end result – think you have captured what we were aiming for here quite well :-). It’s a shame we did not have a go at the editing, but obviously time/facilities was a factor – however, gave us enough of an idea of the value of this type of practical exercise in educational contexts. It’s definitely something that can get participants to collaboratively work together in a refreshing way and also gives them an idea of how to use filming techniques in bite sized chunks. If you have got any specific questions for me on the exercise, would be glad to reply to them… you just might need to give me a nudge by email to let me know the question is there.

    – Rich

    BTW: My wife is French, so will be trying to get her to help me go through some of the Cinémathèque french language posts… I’m sure she will thank me for asking her! 🙂

    • Richard – thanks for this. Sorry about delay – been away for a week. I’m glad that you found the task useful. I couldn’t agree more about your comment ref. editing … Not to EDIT your work is a bit like – shopping for a complex IKEA flat pack, having it delivered, laying it all out, matching up all the bits … and then abandoning it, leaving the satisfaction of building it to someone else. Though for some, this is a blessing… on both sides of the analogy. Do come along to a Cinematheque session of a Thursday ‘after school’ at the BFI if you’re in London at all, you have my email:

  2. Liz Miller says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Lefthand fighting woman in the lift here. Thanks for editing this for us, it’s pretty much exactly what we had in mind. We had great fun making this,though it would have been good to get the lift key, as every time the door shut we dropped down six floors to find frustrated guests at reception trying to move their heavy bags upstairs!

    I borrowed the “awkward moment” in four frames idea for some sixth form students doing a masterclass at our University last week. Needless to say one group of boys headed straight for the gents loos to make their film.

    It is a useful exercise in clarity and simplicity, especially with tight constraints on time. Thanks for your input to MACME.



    • Hi Liz
      Thanks for commenting. I’m pleased the exercise was useful for you. I do feel that there are conventions around film education initiatives to produce some kind of finished text or at least be working towards one, whereas I think we can see there’s educational value in ‘the short form’ more commonly associated with Youtube clips than the cinema.
      If there’s any chance of seeing your 6th formers’ work online please do post the link, assuming they’re fit for secondary consumption!

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