Inspiration: 3 minute wonders

Being an avid channel viewer, I have watched many ‘3 minute wonders’. These are 3 minute slots that channel 4 has given to independent directors to display their work between the advertisements between the end and beginning of the next programme. The objective of these short films are to promote the talent of  independent film makers, giving them a helping hand to break into the industry. What Interests me about the style of these mini documentaries is how intimate and forward they are. Some of the most moving and eye opening episodes I have watched have been set out in the most visually basic format, simply consisting of a white backdrop with the subject sitting and facing the camera, discussing a subject or topic in which they feel passionate towards. This intimate and very effectively persuasive style of film draws the viewers to feel as if they are being spoken to directly by the on screen subject. It almost imitates a diary cam style of shot, therefore providing a similar effect on the audiences regarding their reactions towards the information supplied by the subject talking. These techniques to capture the audiences attention means that their message comes across much stronger therefore convincing and impacting the audiences opinion, as usually they are concerning topics which are not usually reported on through the mainstream media. One way in which Guardian reported described these 3 Minute Wonders as ‘brilliant use of their micro running time, you are left feeling short changed’, implying they encourage revelations to audiences thought processes towards the specific topics discussed.

During a studio workshop in which we were taught about lighting techniques for the cameras, we were testing differing kinds of lighting to produce different types of images and atmospheres. This is was the moment I realised that a straight forward and uncomplicated documentary would be most effective for the subject I want to focus on for my project. Whilst testing how the lighting looked on a person through the camera lens, the class picked up on the positioning of the camera lens and compared it to the framing used to film as an audition tape. This could also have been due to the fact that she was talking to the camera lens, however it evoked a sense of directness and truth from her- an important aspect that which I want to promote through my project.

Here are some photographs of us experimenting with the lighting to see how the different positions and intensity of the lights have on the subject being filmed:


(photos coming)



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