For my final project I wanted to create a short drama film with the theme of domestic abuse. I chose to explore this theme because I wanted to raise awareness for the subject and wanted to be creative with my original idea, which was a woman running down an alleyway to get away from something. I futher developed my idea into a narrative about a woman running away from her former life with an abusive partner, as the abuse has effected her mental health and means she suffers from flashbacks and becomes disoriented which is why she is running.
At the beginning of the project I wrote a proposal, which I have mostly stuck to throughout the project. In the first section, proposal states that the Foundation course has helped me to develop new skills and expand my knowledge of media. This has continued throughout my fmp as I have experimented with different styles of filming, used different equipment and experimented with new editing techniques.
The second section, which is the project concept states that for my primary research I would be contacting local organisations who work with domestic abuse victims for interviews which I have managed to do, I have gone further than this by attending group sessions with women who have survived abusive relationships and learning about the recovery process with them. This research has helped me to better understand the subject of domestic abuse and the victims of it, talking to some of the women in the groups was an eye – opening experience that allowed me to understand what my main character could be thinking and feeling throughout my film. It is unfortunate that I was not able to arrange these meetings until after I had filmed, as conducting interviews would have been more helpful to me at the beginning of the project.
I have also worked towards my proposal with my secondary research, as I have analysed a number of films and TV clips with the theme of domestic abuse and taken inspiration from them for my own film. In my proposal I mentioned that I would be looking into other forms of creativity that dealt with the subject of abuse such as books, photography and fine art pieces. Although I did analyse two books on the subject I later decided that looking at photography and art work wasn’t relevant to the work I was doing and decided against analysing it. Analysing a variety of media (films, TV clips and books) helped me develop ideas for camera angles and shot types, character types, dialogue and location settings.
I also decided to look into the psychology of domestic abuse, to futher my understanding of the subject and to get an idea of what my characters should act like. This research has helped me with my character development as I was able to pick out ways they should act such as body langue, facial expressions and movements to use in my film.
Part of my project was pre – production which includes my shot lists, storyboards, tutorials and equipment choices. Experimenting with different equipment and refreshing my memory on how to use it helped me to choose equipment that would be right for my project, for example the GoPro Hero4 would have been perfect for tracking (running) shots if I had been able to use it. Creating a more detailed shot list meant that I knew exactly what type of shots I wanted to get whilst filming, allowing the process to run smoothly.
I have created a poster for my short film, to be displayed near my exhibition space as this will promote my film to those in the exhibition and encourage people to watch it. I chose to use a still image from my film for the poster as it gives the audience an idea of what it is about without revealing too much, I chose the name ‘attrition’ for my film because of the meaning: “the process of reducing something’s strength or effectiveness through sustained attack or pressure.” This is usually used in terms of buildings or objects however I have chosen to apply a personal meaning to it as it relates to the theme of my film, which is domestic abuse, and shows that through the abuse the female character has lost strength and confidence. I like the name of my film as it is short and to the point, although I would have liked to have thought of it sooner as this means I will have to create a fourth draft of my original proposal to include it. I have advertised where and when my film will be showing as media will be using a different room to the main exhibition.
The final outcome of my project was a short, 3 minute film about domestic abuse, the effect it can have on a persons mental state and the consequences of this. My original goal was to have a 5 – 10 minute film, however I am happy with the length as it still gets the story and meaning across. If I were to do this project again I would expand my time limit so that I could futher develop my ideas and include more scenes.
Although I am happy with my final outcome I am disappointed that my film doesn’t look how I imagined it would at the beginning of the project. This is partly because of my technical skills, something I need to improve on and expand futher in future. In retrospect I should have used a larger variety of camera angles and shot types as this would have given me more options to choose from during post production.
To conclude, I am pleased with how the project has gone despite some problems and feel happy with my final outcome, even though it is not what I originally envisioned.