The AS film studies coursework was to create a short 2-5 minute film of any genre and narrative. I worked with Shanie and Hannah to create a family film which creates an uplifting atmosphere for the audience. Using the four micro features of cinematography, sound, editing and mise en scene, we conveyed the typical codes and conventions in a family film. I took responsibility in editing and acting in the film whereas Shanie took the main role of filming and director with help from Hannah who's main role was to obtain mise en scene and location. Shanie and Hannah also took the responsibility to finding appropriate music for our film. Our main focus was to convey an uplifting atmosphere through cinematography and editing.
The film begins with a shot of the bear on the floor laying on it's back with the protagonist's feet positioned on the far left of the frame. This was done in order for the audience to focus more on the bears state. The clear blue sky could contrast with the bear's appearance as it is covered in mud.
Through the use of mise en scene we wanted to create a divide from the bear to the protagonist. The barrier between them could symbolise the barrier between our protagonist's childhood to imminent adulthood. The choice in costume uses light colours to emphasis the uplifting tone we wanted to create in the film. Her blue jeans are shown to be folded unevenly at the ends which could suggest her youthfulness and her childlike appearance-her white trainers could further convey her purity and youth. This fits within our target audience of children and teenagers aged 6 to 18 as our main prop is a teddy bear which is stereotypically associated with children- this also follows the conventions of a family film. In addition, the use of a teenage girl as the protagonist could target a teen audience as they can easily relate to the character. Our film could be seen as an allegory for the fear teenagers face in their impending transition to adulthood from childhood as we cling to childhood possession.
Furthermore, we wanted to create a balance between her youthful side and her mature side which could be conveyed through the bear. This was done through the use of mise en scene and cinematography as the close ups and mid shots of the bear was framed as the focus in the film. We also positioned the bear in various shots closer to the camera in order to convey that the bear is more important than the protagonist. The scene of the bear covered in soap could add to the uplifting sense as it's dirty appearance is beginning to disappear.
It can be suggested, the protagonist's childish personality is shown through her actions such as her pouring washing up liquid on her messily in order to clean the bear. This could also relate to our audience as ,stereotypically, teenagers and children are known to be clueless with household chores typically associated with mothers such as a mother washing a child's dirty bear.
The warm lighting of the home further adds to the friendly environment of the home. In these scenes, the camera is shown to be still which could reflect upon the safe environment of the setting as the camera does not abruptly move. The use of close ups maintains a focus on the bear being repaired by the protagonist. Mise en scene shows the girl is wearing pink nail varnish, further connoting her girly nature and femininity. Following the feedback received from our class, we cut these sewing scenes down as some believed they were too long and unnecessary in our film.
The non diegetic soundtrack is continuous throughout the film. In our first draft, the audience did not like the music chosen as they claimed it to be 'too repetitive' and it did not create an uplifting atmosphere. Another soundtrack was chosen which was more uplifting and joyous. The last shot of the film shows the bear in the centre of the frame and of the other bears conveying a sense of importance for the audience. The window behind could suggest the barrier between the past life of the bear to its new life. From our audience feedback, we made the last shot linger more. This establishes the happy ending- following the codes and conventions of family drama- as the once lonely bear has finally found a home. I believe the uplifting atmosphere is successfully created through the use of mise en scene and cinematography.