Another university project, this time photography based. Though I cunningly presented my work in film form. The brief was to present a series of images that are connected to cinema. A deliberately broad task. It could be genre, actor, style etc. or more metaphorical interpretations. I settled on the idea of doing something Film Noir inspired. As a chance to experiment with lighting and Photography direction.

After watching a lot of classic Film Noir films; Sunset Boulevard, The Killers, Double Indemnity, as well as a terrific documentary on the genre; BBC Four's "The Rules of Film Noir" I began some practise shots and practise photoshops.

The script was an attempt at being as cliché cheesy and 'hard boiled' as possible, while still being a successful stand alone story and not a parody.

For the shoot I used my Canon 550D with again the 50mm f1.8 lens. I also used a Metz Flashgun loaded from uni. (Possibly a CL4, though I may be mistaken.) This was hooked to a radio receiver, with a transmitter plugged into my camera, so the flash would trigger as I hit the shutter. This was a very new experience for me, but was incredibly enjoyable, and I was very impressed with the outcomes. Long, sharp, edgy shadows, classic Film Noir.

It also meant I could shoot at a very low ISO, which was at 100 for the whole shoot. Shutter speed was at 80 for almost all shots. Aperture almost always 1.8.

After shooting, I recorded the talented Barry Robbins on a Zoom H4N, reading the script, picking up several tips and tricks to the art of voice acting at the same time.

In photoshop I took the RAW .cr2 files and switched them to black and white, and fiddled slightly with the colour balance and contrast to my liking, and also applied a film grain filter, for a slightly more aged look.

I then imported them all into Premiere Pro and put them together, also utilising cross-fade effects and panning across images. I then set the voice recording over the top, as well as Isaac Baggaley's terrific score.

The feedback was very good for the project, though it was pointed out that perhaps the shots of the woman holding the knife were too 'in your face' and obvious, and didn't match the others, and the way the knife was being held did not look threatening or with intent. It's also probably best not to discuss the dynamics of cutting off a man's finger with a butter knife.

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