What is primary research? Primary research is sourcing and gathering and collecting new data that has not been sort after or explored before. In terms of doing research for a film, this can be explored by:
- taking pictures of potential locations for a scene,
- practicing filming different angles and frames for a shot
- conducting interviews to find out more information about a topic being used in the film
- handing out questionnaires to gather information for a documentary
- testing out and practicing different techniques and options that the camera offers, which can be advantageous to the shot you want to get, eg. exposure, focus
- exploring the use of artificial and natural lighting to achieve the effect you want the scene to have
What is Secondary research?
Secondary Research is the collection, understanding and summarizing of research that has already been done. Examples of this are
- the use of photos that have already been taken of a potential filming site
- watching interviews found online, or on TV that relate to what you need to find out
- watching and taking note of techniques used in films similar to the one you want to create
- watching videos that demonstrate camera techniques
SOURCES OF RESEARCH
A research plan collects the appropriate data needed to complete a project, states it’s importance and describes the steps that need to be taken in order to complete the task accurately and to the highest quality and standard possible.
Importance steps to consider and record when writing a research plan are:
WHAT information do I need to find out:
Location: Once you have an idea of what you want the scenes background to look like, you need to figure out where is the best place it can be shot.
Actors: What kind of personality and traits does the character you want to portray, have? What actor can portray this the most accurately. Or, if an interview is being made, who can you interview or obtain information from that has the knowledge that is needed.
Genre: What genre does your idea fall into? What are common props, locations, clothing and camera techniques are associated with this genre or are usually used in similar productions? Think about what props will contribute to the mood of your genre and themes in your production and what will help exaggerate it.
Audience: Take into deep consideration who the film is aimed at and who will be the audience. This will affect many aspects of the movie, such as the language used, themes explored and the general message that the film will give off.
Competition: As no idea is completely original, there is more than likely a film or documentary that already exists very similar to your own. So what will make your project stand out and be different from everything else? Something has to draw in the audience in and make them keep watching.
HOW will I achieve these things:
Once you figure out exactly what it is you want for the content of your film, it is essential to research where it will all come from and record this in the research proposal. You can search the internet for locations nearby that match your ideas for the background of the scene. You can also travel to the place and take your own pictures, to explore how and if your scene can be shot there. In addition, the interviewing of actors will help determine who would be most suitable for the role.
Furthermore, practice is absolutely vital in making your final filming of your production as perfect and problem free as possible. Experiment with the camera to see how certain shots and frames will look.
Also, watching similar films to what you intend to create may not only give you inspiration and ideas, but will also show you what has already been done, and what has not. This will help your research of the genre, as well as your competition. In order to make the production stand out, you want to make sure that the idea that you have come up with has not already been done in the exact or a very similar way.
Lastly, it is important to list all of your sources used in your research proposal, and locate any quotes or ideas you might have found.
In My Head– Short Film
The main theme in this short film would entail family problems. It is centred around a day in the life of a 10 year old girl who lives in an impoverished area, in a household that is aggressive and abusive. It aims to give an insight into what living in this kind of environment can be like. However, to escape, the girl is constantly imagining a better version of her life; a loving family, friends to play with and who care about her, and to be better at her work at school. The movie shows how the girls fantasy is constantly being woken up by her real life, highlighting the contrast between the two.
The main locations in the film will be inside a small flat, a school classroom, and empty ally-way, where the character would be walking home from school. I would ask to use a local school’s classroom for filming once the school day is finished, and take photos of potential frames. I would also take photos of the ally way, as well as inside and outside the flat, for which i can use my own home.
As the film is mainly based around the girl, not many other actors will be needed, except for someone to play the teacher, her father and little brother and about 3 classmates.
The genre will fall into both family and personal conflicts and I will research this not only by watching other films with the same themes and genre, but also real life documentaries about children who are often in these situations.This will help to make my film as real and accurate as possible, and true to what I am trying to portray. It will also expose me to similar films that already exist, encouraging me to come up with an edge, to make my film stand out from anything else. Furthermore, interviewing social workers and other people who work with children with these problems, in order to get a professional insight will be greatly beneficial to In My Head‘s success.
Furthermore, the target audience will definitely be people 15 years and over. I think that both teenagers and adults will be engaged in this film and although it is fiction, it is certainly educational as well, by showing people the reality of life for some individuals and what many children have to go through. It many be inappropriate for an audience below the age of 15, as the themes portrayed may be too vivid and explicit for a young audience. This applies to the language that will be used as well.
Lastly, one of the most important things to do in a research plan would be to locate and source where any information and ideas came from. All the movies and interviews watched, articles analyzed, books and journals read, pictures obtained, and information received from holding interviews should be listed clearly at the end of the research plan. Anything that contributed to the idea for this film will be credited appropriately.
Making Movies Make Sense, 2016. Making Movies Make Sense, http://www.makingmoviesmakesense.org/content/pre-production
De Montfort University , 2016. De Montfort University Leicester, http://www.dmu.ac.uk/research/research-support/individual-research-plans/individual-research-plans.aspx