Don’t Think!

New Zealand, 2009. 4:04 mins.

Team: Abi Holt, Nari Lee Kim, and Sophie Taylor

Summary

The film depicts a classified Ministry of Defence report, containing footage of an infotainment style, investigative show that is researching the subject of mind reading. The young and enthusiastic reporter, Susan Deloy, is reporting the invention of a Thought Identification System created by Dr. Mark Neilson. This technology gives the scientist the ability to project the subject’s thoughts onto a screen and also search for specific memory patterns to isolate and project particular memories. Susan Deloy is to be a test subject when the procedure goes awry.

Production

As no one in the group had substantial experience in filming or editing it took a lot of trial and error to learn the processes involved. We had one test shoot for the News Anchor scenes without the actor so that we could work out the lighting and try to minimise the shadows and figure out what equipment we were lacking. We shot these scenes in the design lighting studio, which was useful as there were lighting frames and a filming space already set up. The other scenes were filmed in the design lab, which retrospectively was not entirely appropriate as the wall partitions were not sufficiently high or wide enough to provide a clean background or ‘wall.’ However there was a lot of useful props and equipment such as the whiteboard and computer equipment that we incorporated into our set. Also the consistent availability of the space was nice as we shot late at night and there were few people around to affect the sound. At times it was rather difficult to co-ordinate all the equipment we required along with the group and people involved and this made us understand the intense complexity that must be present in large-scale film production. We are very grateful to our actors for giving up their time as they are all very busy people. Both Brendon and Hariet did well with their eloquent speaking as news journalist and Sam was successful in his portrayal of a slightly odd and eccentric scientist.

Post-production

After filming and importing our footage we identified the lesser quality in the lighting and framing of our film that could be greatly improved if we had the opportunity to film again. However this was not possible due to time and availability restraints. It would have been beneficial to shoot and review some of the footage on a computer at the time of filming so we could immediately correct these issues. However this learning curve has been beneficial in terms of experience for the future. Despite these issues we enjoyed the pale ghostlyness of the news anchor as the grim austerity hinted to the events to come and also found we had enough footage to work with after some adjustment to lighting and framing. Most of our interest lay in the information graphics and the credits and we had a lot of fun creating the ‘stock’ scientific images and overlaying them with dense scientific jargon that was pretty much nonsense. Also the introduction and credits were areas of importance that we tried to coordinate with and appropriate soundtrack.

Behind the scenes

The team had a lot of fun filming with lots of laughs on set especially in the takes of Brendon talking with a mouthful of food. Not so classy. We all found niches of interest within the process, such as the set up of equipment, the direction of people and overall look we wanted to achieve.

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Conclusion

We found this to be a very valuable experience in what is achievable especially seeing the high standard of work produced by the other groups. This was a rewarding experience and a great opportunity to learn new skills within the design field.

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