Morning Glory

New Zealand, 2009. 5:41 mins.

Team: Dave Strydom, Michael Handley, Bryn Guthro, and Nina Archer

Our contribution to the True Lies Festival 2009 is Morning Glory, a short film, based on the glossy breakfast show style in which the team of presenters talk about everything, yet somehow nothing at the same time. Our aim was to replicate a typical breakfast show studio as closely as possible, and then contrast it with far fetched contents, outrageous facts and make-believe characters. This turned out closer to reality then originally intended.

behind the camera

The creation of a realistic set was vital to the success of the film

Behind the concept

In light of the huge influence the media has on the lives of everyday people, it is truly remarkable what items of ‘news’ manage to slip through the quality filters and land up on our television screens. With reference to this, we took on board the Truelies concept and explored how far the boundaries of realism could be pushed. From this stemmed the idea for the hoax of our film, an anti-global warming suit, so advanced in it’s design, it protects the wearer from all the effects of climate change.

In the format of a morning breakfast show, co-hosts Barry Wiseman, Trish Redfern, and Bambi Brown bring us the latest in news, facts and weather as well as discovering the secrets in managing climate change with their special guest Dr. Wrice Sony, a leading Paleoclimatologist.

In light of the huge influence the media has on the lives of everyday people, it is truly remarkable what items of ‘news’ manage to slip through the quality filters and land up on our television screens. With reference to this, we took on board the Truelies concept and explored how far the boundaries of realism could be pushed. From this stemmed the idea for the hoax of our film, an anti-global warming suit, so advanced in it’s design, it protects the wearer from all the effects of climate change.

In the format of a morning breakfast show, co-hosts Barry Wiseman, Trish Redfern, and Bambi Brown bring us the latest in news, facts and weather as well as discovering the secrets in managing climate change with their special guest Dr. Wrice Sony, a leading Paleoclimatologist.

Behind the scenes

With consent from the Design Studies Department we were able to get cracking on the filming, with the Leith Bank studio as our main location. We realised that filming the breakfast show in the Leith Bank was the location with the most potential, with its simple and modernist interior. Our original idea of perhaps one of our lounges or a design room could have ended in a bit of a disaster.

Further locations included St. Clair beach, Botanic Gardens and Pet Planet. The team pulled all this filming off in one trip on a weather permitting day. With Bambi Brown reporting the weather in the Gardens and the rest of the infomercial.

behind the scenes

Set Production

Once our location was sorted we pooled our resources and built as convincing a set we could manage.

The chairs

In terms of the set construction, we were lucky enough to convince Property Services to borrow three red lounge chairs from the central library. Thank you Property Services and Campus Watch who helped with  transporting them. Most of the other props we managed to gather from around our flats and made use of miscellaneous items lying around at Leith Bank.

The costumes

Trish had the pleasure of squeezing herself into a lavender suit a few sizes too small, while Barry and Dr Sonay donned some professional looking suits, including a classy pink shirt for Barry. The ‘cool’ suit, being a major focus within the show, was designed and crafted by the team.

The details

Other slight challenges we encountered was the positioning of our painting and coffee table within the breakfast show set. As a whole we managed to build the bridges or find an alternative solutions.

behind the lightningproduction

Lighting the set

The lighting of our set was our biggest challenge. We borrowed two large studio lights from the department and two small desk lamps. We discovered that the positioning of the two large spot-lights was essential in reducing or increasing shadows behind the presenters and the adjustment of the ‘barn doors’ could only do so much.

Never enough light

To reduce the shadows we realized that we simply needed more lights but did not have access to any more when we were filming. As a result, we had to make the most of what we had and repositioned our lights as best we could. Lesson learnt, you can never have too many lights!

Watch out for the sun

Another issue with our set lighting was the obvious difference between the day-time and night-time light within the Leith bank studio. Initially we progressed from a warm yellow light during the afternoon filming to a harsh white light in the evening. The progression was so subtle that we did not notice until the editing stages of the film, when it was too late.

lightinglightning1

Slight variations in tone between footage recorded at various times of the day

Editing the footage

As expected we ran into a few editing issues, most of which were easily solved.

High definition recording

The film was recorded in High Definition which not only gave us great video quality but allowed us a fair amount of freedom during editing. A few simple things we were able to rectify included straightening out the camera and zooming in a little closer to the action.

Besides the shadows, our biggest drama was with inconsistent sound recordings. The sound levels varied between recordings due to the use of different equipment, locations and days. Easily fixed with a little tweeking of the gains.

Post recording production and rendering

Our film has a high amount of post filming production, such as the scrolling text, logos and overlays. All of this made rendering time consuming. With the final video taking hours to render, which had us pressed for time.

Multiple edits

As expected, editing can be a slow process when working off a single computer. The group got proactive and spread the recorded footage over two computers, allowing for multiple edits at the same time.

nina and bambi

A little extra…

Please enjoy the extended bloopers reel for an extra laugh…or two.

That’s a wrap!

After writing scripts, organising the production of sets, wrestling through filming and pain staking hours of video editing, the team behind ‘Morning Glory’ is pleased to produce an entertaining and light-hearted piece for the 2009 True Lies Festival. Enjoy!

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