Task 2 – Make & Evaluate A One-Shot Film

Task 2

In this week’s session, we looked at the technical and aesthetic qualities of ‘early cinema’ (circa 1895-1905). Now you are asked to make a One-Shot Film using readily available technology (eg mobile phone camera). In ‘homage’ to early cinema you are asked to adhere to the following ‘rules’:

1. The film should be no longer than 45 seconds duration (and not much shorter)

2. It should consist of just one continuous shot, and no edits

3. It may have an opening title and end credits

4. The camera may tilt and pan but should remain ‘rooted’ to one place

5. No sound

6. Your subject matter should be deliberately ‘mundane’, in the manner of the ‘cinema of attractions’, where the mere fact of image movement was sufficient to sustain audience interest

Overall, I am pleased with this short film which captures the everyday motions of working on a laptop in a cafe. Ironically shot on a laptop webcam in a cafe, this short film is successfully exactly 45 seconds, is one continuous shot and the camera is “rooted” to one place. Furthermore, there is no sound to my film and my matter is deliberately mundane which follows the code and conventions of the technical and aesthetic qualities of early cinema and follows the manners of the “cinema of attractions” where just the movement of the image was enough to entertain. In post-production, I added a grain effect and black and white color grade to the video.

Looking back now from times of self-isolation due to COVID-19, what was above once a mundane matter and something we took for granted is now a luxury we cannot have – working in a cafe with a coffee. The small film I created has captured in a simple way the luxuries we once had and didn’t know that we wouldn’t be able to in a month’s time.

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