Live Action Game Trailer Evaluation (and Production Diary/Log)

The aim of this assignment was to create a finished live action game trailer, backed up by a variety of pre-production techniques and processes, as well as the use of industry-standard software for post-production. Initially, we were tasked with formulating, in a group, two ideas for a trailer each.

My two trailer ideas can be found here: https://kcimgdryannothard.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/live-action-video-game-trailer-ideas/

After discussion as a group, we settled on a concept relating to the game Planet Coaster, and upon doing so we began to organise and construct our treatment/pitch for our trailer. For the pitch we created a PowerPoint presentation, of which we used to supplement our recorded pitch that we presented to our lecturers. The individual slides of the pitch may be seen below:

 

 

 

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While the roles were decided upon early in the process, they were an organic arrangement that shifted as challenges were presented, and when strengths and weaknesses were pinpointed. My main role was that of director, with my responsibilities including the creation of a variety of pre-production and production documents.

 

Pre-Production and Production Documents (and member of group whom attended to the relevant documentation):

-Storyboards (Thomas)

-Production Schedule (Group)

-Script (Me)

-Art Design and Costume Planning (Group Vision)

-Prop Planning (Group)

-Lighting Planning (Group)

-Location Recce (Maciej + Overseen by me)

-Equipment Research and Booking (Group)

-Health and Safety (Group)

-Call Sheets (Me)

-Logging Sheet (Me)

-Shot List (Me)

-Moodboard (Maciej) [displayed below]

Trailer_Moodboard.jpg

 

After creating a variety of pre-production documents, we moved onto the actual filming, of which we managed to complete in one afternoon. The set was our lecturer Lewis’ office at Anstee House, a room we have used for a film assignment previously and are well acquainted with. Therefore, we had a decent understanding of the variables included in using that location, such as traffic and classroom noise, as well as artificial light from the hallway (we dealt with this in post via editing both the audio, lighting, and colour grading, however, the sounds of traffic were used to add emphasis to the character’s plight).

We experienced an issue with the camera/SD card where it would present an error relating to a ‘Buffer Overflow’ and prevent us from recording clips longer that 30 or so seconds. However, this was not a major issue as the scenes we wished to film were both short, as well as interchangeable via the editing process later.

We recorded many scenes, referencing our treatment/pitch concept, the storyboards created by Thomas, as well as a script provided by me. Very few scenes required more than a few takes, as the nature of the scenes allowed us to splice the footage and audio together in the editing process of the post-production phase.

Maciej was the main actor for the majority of the scenes, performing as the mentally-spiralling worker. Thomas acted as another worker, whom drops off more papers/work for Maciej to complete. I acted as the boss, who arrives to scold the main worker for him slacking off during work as he begins to lose his sanity.

I acted as director during the filming process, ensuring that the camera (operated by Thomas) was aligned correctly, the lighting was ideal, the composition pleasing, and that the actors were following the script. However, input into this process was provided by the entire group throughout.

Moving onto the post-production phase, we used Adobe Premiere to edit the trailer. The main editors were Maciej and Thomas, with me providing creative input and direction for the flow, structure, and style of the trailer. The intent throughout the trailer is to provide the viewer with a sense of empathy for the character, as they understand how a day may drag on in such an environment/situation. The trailer, as it progresses, then begins to include not only bursts of game trailer footage and audio, but the gradual decline of the worker’s psyche. The distinction between the game trailer footage/audio and that of reality, accompanied by the worker’s increasingly confused reactions, cements in the viewers mind that the main character is the one envisioning and daydreaming about the game.

As the trailer progresses, the character’s mental state gets beaten down more and more until he snaps, having a breakdown before giving in and playing the game. The use of the game trailer audio in the final scene, of which is based in reality, where the character is using his laptop in the dark, communicates to the viewer that he is playing the game. The difference in lighting, costume, and props indicate that he has been there for a long period of time, displaying to the user how fun and addictive the game must be.

To help communicate his loss of sanity at the climax of the trailer, we reversed a series of shots and their accompanying audio, moving and distorting them inside Premiere to create a strange series of clips that helped to display a turning point in the character’s story arc.

Overall, I believe the trailer was a success, even though the opinions were usually rather mixed the peer review we conducted indicated that most found the trailer humorous and entertaining. However, the first portion of the trailer did (even though this was a stylistic choice that was required to create the desired impact) have trouble capturing the attention of many. The breakdown of the character confused some, as they had trouble making sense of it, however that was the desired effect.

 

 

References

YouTube. (2017). Anniversary Update Trailer – Planet Coaster. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgv1CZtI1Eg [Accessed 22 Feb. 2018].

 

Production Log (a lot more information and visual evidence can be found in my evaluation above, as well as the documents below):

Date Log
11/01/18 Creation and presentation of two trailer ideas.
18/01/18 A group effort was displayed for the treatment and pitch.
25/01/18 I oversaw, and helped in, the creation of various pre-production documents that were worked on by group. Individually, I created the script.
01/02/18 Continued pre-production and planning.
05/02/18 Directed during the filming process (more details in the evaluation).
12/02/18 – 01/03/18 Provided direction and creative input during the editing process.

 

Production Schedule:

Date (week beginning)   Deadline
04/12/17 Brief given out  
11/01/18 2 x ideas presented Individual ideas pitched to group
18/01/18 Group planning for treatment
18/01/18 Group treatment presented Formal Treatment Pitches to teachers
25/01/18 Pre-production
01/02/18 Pre-production
05/02/18 filming
12/02/18 – 01/03/18 editing
08/03/18 Editing Final Deadline Submission – finished film and all tasks

 

 

Location Recce:

Recce

Script:

INT. OFFICE – – DAY

MAIN CHARACTER (worker) at desk in office, writing on paper. He is wearing a buttoned shirt, glasses, and a tie. Ambient, clock, and writing audio.

Gameplay footage, with audio, appears briefly.

WORKER continues to write.

Gameplay footage, with audio, appears briefly.

WORKER appears confused but continues writing.

Gameplay footage, with audio, appears briefly.

More paper/work is dropped onto the desk by SECONDARY WORKER (right side of screen/desk), the WORKER is startled. A loud thud is heard.

Gameplay footage, with audio, appears briefly.

WORKER stares at new pile of work, motionless.

Gameplay footage, with audio, appears briefly.

WORKER continues to stare at new pile of work, motionless.

Gameplay footage, with audio, appears briefly.

WORKER continues to stare at new pile of work, motionless.

A black screen is present for a brief period, no audio is present.

WORKER proceeds to shove new work off desk, as well as swiping at the papers already present on his desk.

Gameplay footage, with audio, appears briefly.

BOSS (in formal wear, jacket etc.) yells and gestures aggressively at WORKER, whom holds his head in his hands, looking down at the desk. Silence.

WORKER stares ahead, motionless and in silence.

Series of shorts, interspersed with gameplay, of reversed footage of the WORKER having a breakdown/going mad, with footage of the SECONDARY WORKER spliced in. The audio of the characters is reversed, while the gameplay audio remains the same.

Footage of work being delivered is played again, accompanied by the relevant audio.

Another black screen (accompanied by silence) appears before cutting to more gameplay (with the usual gameplay audio).

WORKER stares straight ahead once again, motionless and in silence.

Title screen, accompanied by the gameplay audio, appears.

INT. OFFICE – – NIGHT

WORKER is then seen ‘playing’ on a laptop, in the dark, surrounded by an assorted of props. Audio of gameplay and clicking is heard.

Props and costumes/Lighting:

Props:

-Mug, supplied by Maciej

-Laptop, supplied by Maciej

-Stationery (pencil, paper, supplied by Maciej

-Table, on set

-Chair, on set

-Clock, room 207

Costumes:

-3 formal shirts

-3 blazers

-3 ties

-3 formal Trousers

-Misc. actors’ clothing

Lighting:

-Laptop glow

-Day light

-Night-time/closed blinds

-Artificial light from hallway

Call Sheet:

ED Media

Project: Live Action Game Trailer [Planet Coaster]

Date: 5 March 2018 Call time: 2:30pm
Lewis’ office at Anstee House.

 

 

 

 

Crew

Ryan Nothard
Maciej Gebski
Thomas Goodyear

 

Equipment

 

Camera and Tripod.

 

 

Props and Costumes

Misc. Stationery.
Formal wear for all 3 actors.
Laptop and misc. related props.
Pre-existing props on site (office related).

Shot List:

Pre-production template: Shot list

 

Production name:                                         Working title:

 

Group members: Ryan Nothard, Thomas Goodyear, Maciej Gebski__________________________________________________

 

Scene Number Shot Number Take Description/shot type/ camera movement, in frame movement (dialogue) Location/props/costume & audio requirements
1

 

 

1  

2

 

Character at desk in office, writing on paper.

Office props stationery, formal wear. Ambient, clock, and writing audio.
 

1

 

2 Gameplay footage. Audio of gameplay.
 

1

 

3 2 Character continues to write. Ambient, clock, and writing audio.
 

1

 

4 Gameplay footage. Audio of gameplay.
 

1

 

5 1 Character appears confused but continues writing. Ambient, clock, and writing audio.
 

1

 

6 Gameplay footage. Audio of gameplay.
 

2

 

7 1 More paper/work is dropped onto the desk by another worker, the actor is startled. Sirens, loud thud.
 

2

 

8 Gameplay footage. Audio of gameplay.
 

3

 

9 1 Character stares at new pile of work.
 

 

3

10 Gameplay footage. Audio of gameplay.
 

 

3

11 1 Character continues to stare at new pile of work.
 

3

 

12 Gameplay footage. Audio of gameplay.
 

3

 

13 1 Character continues to stare at new pile of work.
 

4

 

14 Black screen. Silence.
 

4

 

15 2 Character shoves work off desk. Sound of shoving and landing of work.
 

5

 

16 Gameplay footage. Audio of gameplay.
 

5

 

17

 

2 Boss yells and gestures aggressively at worker, whom holds his head in his hands, looking down at the desk. Silence.
 

6

 

 

18

1 Worker stares ahead, motionless. Silence.

 

 

 

7 18 1 for each individual shot. Series of shorts, interspersing gameplay with reversed footage of the main character having a breakdown/going mad, with footage of the other worker spliced in. Gameplay audio, reversed audio of actor/s.
7 19 1 Replayed footage of work being delivered. Sound of work dropping onto desk.
7 20 Black screen, then more gameplay. Silence, then audio of gameplay.
7 21 1 Character continues to have a breakdown, audio and footage is reversed. Reversed audio.
7 22 Gameplay footage. Audio of gameplay.
8 23 1 Character stares straight ahead. Silence.
8 24 Title screen. Audio of gameplay.
8 25 2 Character ‘playing’ on laptop in the dark, surrounded by an assortment of props (including a clock). Audio of gameplay, audio of clicking.

 

 

Logging Sheet:

Production Paperwork –  Logging shots

 

Name: Ryan Nothard, Thomas Goodyear, Maciej Gebski…………………………………… Production:

 

Date: 5/02/2018…………………………………….

 

Name of file? Scene? *Shot number /take? File details (content of shots) Special elements ie: sound, cutting etc Use?

Y/N

 

Throwing_2

4 2 Main character shoves work off desk. Sound of shoving and landing of work. Y
 

Thomas_3

7 1 Secondary character points past the camera. Reversed audio. Y
Thomas

 

7 1 Secondary character sits in chair, talking. Reversed audio of talking is used. Y
Thomas_2

 

7 1 Secondary character sits in chair, talking. Talking. N
 

Slam

2 1 More paper/work is dropped onto the desk by another worker, the main character is startled. Sound of slam. Y
 

Shouting_2

5 2 Boss yells and gestures aggressively at worker, whom holds his head in his hands, looking down at the desk. Silence. Y
 

Shock

6 1 Worker stares ahead, motionless. Silence. Y
 

Throwing_Paper

4 1 Character shoves work off desk. Sound of shoving and landing of work. Y
 

Chewing

7 1 Character pretends to chew. Sound of chewing, reversed. Y
 

Can_U_Do_This

7 1 Character talks and moves around. Sound of talking is reversed. Y
 

Anger

8 1 Character ‘playing’ on laptop in the dark, surrounded by an assortment of props (including a clock). Sound of clicking and gameplay audio. Y
 

Acceptance

8 1 Character retrieves laptop from below the desk. N
Writing_2

 

1 2 Character at desk in office, writing on paper. Ambient and writing audio. Y
Shocked_2 1 2 Character appears confused but continues writing. Ambient and writing audio. N
Writing_Scribbling 1 1 Character writing. Ambient and writing audio. N
Shocked_1 1 Character appears confused but continues writing. Ambient and writing audio. Y
Anniversary_Update_Trailer Footage of Planet Coaster Anniversary Update. Gameplay audio. Y

 

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