Filming a Melbourne Noir project video was a very interesting experience. While the subject seems amazing, an issue with getting the lighting correct and achieving the correct theme was a problem. It was difficult for me because firstly as a filmmaker, I am not used to filming something like this on my Sony phone, whereas I have my own professional camera that I usually use. The other issue was not being able to use lighting kits or reflectors to use while filming this Melbourne Noir project since it said I only had to use my phone. I tried with this assignment and filmed it in black and white. Unfortunately, I could not get night shots, so you can tell the sky is day and not night, in which night is more consistent with the Noir theme. The Melbourne Noir theme was difficult to achieve because of this purpose.
J. A. Place & L. S Peterson discuss that the characteristics of the film noir moods “of claustrophobia, paranoia, despair, and nihilism constitute a world view…” According to my own videos I filmed and posted, I used the moods of paranoia and despair. In one of my videos the protagonist is rubbing her head in front of the mirror and you get the sense of a dark and ominous feel when you watch it. While I didn’t get the lightning tone of the Noir theme in the video, I feel I’ve achieved the sense of paranoia as characterised by one of the moods of the film noir theme. In another video that I filmed, my protagonist is lying down in the grass with blood on her face. The viewer doesn’t know what happened, but only gets a sense of despair as evident on her expression. Once again, the lighting of the video doesn’t show that it is a noir theme, only a black and white film. The Melbourne Noir theme that was put together (and shown below in the Vimeo and YouTube links I have posted), I have created a sense of mystery and foreboding about a male protagonist contemplating suicide which is the theme of despair and nihilism of the noir theme.
J. A. Place & L. S Peterson state that noir is “low-key” and that the “ratio of the key to fill light is great, creating areas of high contrast and rick, black shadows.” An example of this lightning theme will the film Sin City. The entire tone and lighting of the film is high in contrast with rick, black shadows to create the film noir theme. It was hard to achieve a similar look of the noir theme in my video, but the next time I can improve by doing darker night shots and using streetlights around me to my advantage when it comes to lighting.
List of references:
Place, J. A & Peterson, L. S. (1974). Some Visual Motifs of Film Noir. New York: Film Comment, pp. 30-35.