My project ultimate goal in the Innovator Project is to study the work of Alfred Hitchcock’s to create a screenplay and eventually film two scenes for.
I need to explore different story structures and study the different techniques that Hitchcock uses for his films. I am not in a group but I do want to create one edited scene which means I will need to be able to coordinate with others to film a completed scene. Furthermore, during the narrative unit I was not very focused on cinematography as I was rushing to get the shots and I needed. It would be nice to take some time to study the actual art and use the techniques of famous filmmakers.
Before the Innovator started, my family had gone up to San Francisco to see the filming sites for the Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. I had never seen very many Alfred Hitchcock movies so I began to watch them. I started with Vertigo, Charade, and North by Northwest. For my project I initially intended to try to emulate Hitchcock’s style. I had originally planned to make a video that showed his styles and write a mystery similar to many of his movies.
My research started off with trying to research Hitchcock’s styles and why his movies were considered so successful. This stemmed into researching the effects of censorship and the relationship that Psycho had with the MPAA. Psycho pushed all limits in a controlling time in movie history through the use of its violence and sexuality. This sparked a new age in movies. My research then became focused on the pros and cons of censorship.
I collaborated with others primarily through filming and table reads. When others would read my script, they would give me back valuable feedback and tell what was considered realistic and what was not. In terms of filming, I had planned for my two lead actors to film with me over spring break. However, when one of the lead actors dropped out at the end of spring break, I immediately rushed to find a new one. This was particularly disappointing because I had originally chosen the lead actor based on his personality and to find someone with a similar energy was impossible. Eventually I found another actor but then my other lead actor dropped out three days later. After finding new actors, I needed to collaborate with people to figure out their schedules and times we could squeeze in the shoot. Because my actors dropped out, I felt like I rushed the project. Had I been able to film when I wanted to, I would’ve had more time to spend on shoots and to emulate Hitchcock styles better.
If I were to do the project over, I think I would’ve preferred to have just done a screenplay or just a video, not both. I know a screenplay does not relate to Hitchcock considering it is not a demonstration of his film techniques but I changed my screenplay idea so many times that I had to write a back-up script for video because I knew I wouldn’t be ready to film scenes from an unfinished screenplay.
I think the aspect which was the most challenging yet I felt improved a lot within was self-direction. Considering how open-ended the project was, finding an idea that I knew I could do was very difficult. Personally, I have always been better at projects with more structure because I can take that structure and add my own creativity to it. However, in doing a project with no guidelines, I often felt stuck because I never knew what to do next or how to pace myself. For me this project was super difficult in the sense that I never knew which direction I would take next. I think the skill in which I did not improve was the aspect of time management and high productivity. When I started the project, I was very diligent about taking notes while watching movies, staying on task, and making sure a final product was being generated. However, by March, I had mapped out my screenplay and then immediately changed my mind. I went through four different ideas before I settled on one idea. This was extremely hard because I began to not meet my deadlines and began to lost motivation.
If anything, I feel like I learned how to develop characters and stories especially. I learned the about the amount of planning required and how each character must have their own motivations as well as story arcs. The reason the previous two screenplays did not work out was because the characters had no motivation and if anything, I was not attached to them. The screenplay I wrote in the end, I made an effort to map out the B-story and really figure out where I was going with each character. It helped me to enjoy what I was writing.
I felt like I had control over my own schedule and my own project. Although I prefer structured projects, this project taught me how to plan and create things on my own. I think this is very applicable to college and the real world because we are not always going to be given a template and told to fill it out. The whole world is based on creating things from scratch that we enjoy. I realized that this project is much like that considering that we need to be passionate to get it done and create what is meaningful.
Although I have met many people who are passionate and have created great things, I personally did not enjoy this project as much as I could have. Personally, I really enjoyed writing my screenplay and having people read it. I had a ton of fun this semester because people were always helping me create new weird characters. However, since I am about to go to college, I really would’ve enjoyed learning more in design and film considering that in college I will not be able to take design and film classes for my major. I wish we had a more open-ended project in each of our classes rather than one giant project to occupy our time.