Our 1 min single shot video is called Take My everything with Iphone. At very beginning, I’d like to introduce the story of our single shot video. The idea is provided by Zhang Zihan (Fred), which is about how the girl killed her boy friend successfully. There is a couple had a serious fight, then the boy friend got drunk and lied down on the ground. Before he got drunk, he attempted to push the girl, our protagonist, took everything out of his place. She didn’t, however, and she was still in his place until the next day while the unlucky boy friend woke up. The unlucky boyfriend wanted to get her out again. In this time, she did as the boy friend asked, put her “everything” into two suitcases and went away. The Most important thing that I must mention, as the girl said, the boy is her everything!
Before we filmed the video, we watched some of great long takes from Touch of Evil (directed by Orson Welles), I AM Cuba (Mijail Kalatozov), Children of Men ( Alfonso Cuarón), El secreto de sus ojos（AKA The Secret in Their Eyes by Juan José Campanella) and Atonement (Joe Wright). What we found is that the opening scene of Touch of Evil is full of suspense; the long take of I Am Cuba is more artistic; the long takes from Children of Men and El secreto de sus ojos demonstrate well the relationships between characters and environments; Atonement, however, is more like showing off. So we decided shooting our shot like mixture of Children of Men and Touch of Evil, demonstrate the relationship between our characters and environment, and at the same time, put suspense into the shot a little bit. The suspense existed at the moment that our protagonist closed the door, and the door covered the Iphone, so audiences can’t see what was going on until the girl reopened the door.
For resolving the problem of which Iphone has low dynamic range, we didn’t lock the aperture on so that the brightness always change while the Iphone move to darker or brighter environment. At least, it is better than that the iphone can’t capture whole details in both dark aera and bright area within one shot in different illuminated conditions when we use fixed aperture. Meantime, to compensate the change of brightness, the shot was became white & black style. We used chickens with blood and a knife to connect with killig, as symboles, and offered some hints about killing such as showing the broken photo. Then, for emphasizing the atmosphere and association of the chicken, the knife and killing, we used color grading software to draw nothing colorful but red like the scene of Schindler’s List directed by Steven Spielberg.Unfortunately, couple of frames are lost after color grading.
When we review our single shot, we fond that it could have been better,smoother movement of camera, better performance and higher quality of illuminating. We must say it is an opportunity to find our flaws and fix them in next time.
Single shot : Take my everything
shot by Naizhong Jiang (John)
Actors: Chengming Zhong (Jason) & An Chen
Written by Zihan Zhang (Fred)