For some unknown reason, I can't seem to open my copy of the camera evaluation I sent to Ray after our summative assessment last week. Despite having saved it as a Word document AND emailing a copy to Monsieur Tallan, the computer has decided that it simply doesn't exist. IRRITATINNNGGGG! This means I'm going to have to recall how I felt I did a week later, rather than a day later... considering I have to check bus timetables every day because I can't remember what time I got it the morning before, this is quite a feat for me. In saying that, since writing my last evaluation I've had my tutorial too, which I think gave me a clearer breakdown of my slightly shonky performance... and at least now I know I did indeed pass, happy days!
Sooo anyways, last Tuesday Kelsey and I shuffled into the Chandler Theatre for our assessment. I was most relieved we weren't due in until 4:15, which gave me time to do some last minute cramming... although I quickly realised studying for a tech assessment by reading notes is clearly not the way to go! We were being assessed on basically everything we've learned in Ray's classes so far, including all the camera stuff from last term and lighting from this one. I figured lighting would be a total skoosh... I really enjoyed the class were we had to each take turns of being DoP and lighting a shot, and I was SO organised I even wrote down the positions of the lights I'd used in mine.
I had alot of trouble with camera last term as I found it really difficult to understand...it didn't click very easily, although admittedly I was terrified of the bloody thing and generally observed whilst others busied themselves in setting it up. In the first assessment (which MERCIFULLY we weren't being graded on) it took me so long so set up the effing tripod that I had to de-rig just as I was about to start dialling in the time code. So naturally time code became a HUGE thing for this assessment I used my trusty highlighter every time the two words were mentioned in my notes. This time around though, everything seemed to flow more easily and things camw to me a bit more naturally. I decided it'd be best to set up all the lighting stands beforehand so I wasn't faffing about with them when I was finished with the camera. Unfortunately I put up the wrong stand for the 2K light, which I chose as my key, and totally forgot to take it down at the end of the hour.
I managed to set up the tripod, calibrate the monitor, dial in time code AND back focus the camera relatively easily, and didn't even have to redo anything- this was a huge thing for me considering my apparent lack of techy skills last term! I think having lighting this term has meant the focus isn't solely on the camera, therefore it's less of a Huge Scary Thing.
So far, so good, I thought. The hardest part was over and I could go about setting up my pre-planned, proven-to-work lighting. Then came the realisation that, in my eagerness to dig out last term's camera notes, I had COMPLETELY dorgotten my lighting notes. I couldn't even remember what position I'd put my lights in, never mind what tyoes I'd used. In the end I opted for a 2K for my key, and two reds for the back light and fill light. In all honesty, I had absolutely no idea why I picked these lights- my only explanation is the Chandler was really dark and so I figured the 2K would flood it pretty well. It did- too well, in fact. It was far too bright, and the fill light I'd used was barely visible. Also, all three lights were at really bizarre heights- again because I couldn't remember which ones were supposed to be higher, which ones I'd used before, etc etc. But we were fast running out of time, so I had to make do. With the help of Ray I managed to shoot my MCU and CU shot before a mad mental dash to get everything unpacked. This is where I started making some really properly stupid mistakes- you know that way when you're in a hurry and you get all panicky and just start doing stuff wrong and start giving yourself the slow sarcastic hand-clap in your head? Yeah. After dissembling the tripod I attached the shoe and plate together, then put them both in the wrong bag. THEN I forgot to take down the spare lighting stand I'd put up, and had to unwind and rewind the big rolly extension cable thing on the wheel. Earlier on I'd also put my back light at the wrong side hich involved much cable-dragging and some questionable health&safety.
All in all, I finished 13 minutes after our allocated hour was up- not great. I feel like I definitely have improved since last time, let's face it, I'd be kind of worried if all I could do at this stage would be put a tripod up... I'll admit I haven't yet taken kit out to practise with yet though, which I'll definitely need to do... as I said before, it's all very well reading notes and highlighting til my heart's content, but it's no substitute for actually physically practising with the equipment itself. And maybe bring along the right notes would help too...