Thursday before half term, I went to St. Mark’s in Holloway to see Katie Jones and her film club group. They were: Jojo, Jodie (x2), Tyreese, Tyler, Simran, Joel, Lucy. (Apologies for spelling..)
We worked on Exercise 2: taking exactly the same situation and filming it in two sites: one confined, one open. Our situation was a child telling her friend(s) that she was leaving the school. Joel took the camera and Tyreese, Tyler, and Jodie into the playground, while Jodie, Lucy, Simran, Jojo, filmed in the very cramped reading corner of Katie’s classroom.
Joel filmed in two takes: one, from a moving trike taken from the Early Years unit, then a brief cut to a three-shot of Jodie telling Tyler and Tyreese she was leaving. Jodie was very clever.. she waited and waited before delivering her line (an explosive ‘I’m leaving this school! Do you have a problem with that?’) so that the two boys had to improvise more and more small talk with her. It really built up the tension.
Meanwhile, back in the Reading Corner, the four shots of Lucy telling Jodie she was leaving were very deliberately framed; the final shot stayed on Lucy’s face as Jodie stuttered her disbelief at the news. Lots of consideration of the power of staying with the reaction shot of a character, rather than following the action.