Shot in 1080p 60 using – Oneplus 3, Microsoft Hyperlapse, Stop Motion Studio, Smart Recorder
My idea for a mobile phone film came to me only a few minutes after I heard Marianne say something along the lines of “No tea-drinking and no bus-riding”.
The left part of my brain thought – damn. That’s almost precisely what I wanted to do. Impossible. And the right one something along the lines of – that’s NOTHING like my idea, mine’s about MAKING COFFEE and WALKING. Luckily as this module regards CREATIVE media – I decided to listen to the Right (pun intended) part of my brain.
This film is about Sven, a Swede who gets disappointed with his morning coffee, so he decides to venture out on a quest to find the ultimate black gold.
The film is directed at a British viewer; the stereotypes getting played with in the film are very specific to what people from the UK see Swedish people as
[read] There are plenty of other, more funny, and more creative ways of making fun of a Swede [read]
But anyway – who doesn’t love a bit of making fun of oneself.
There’s IKEA in there, there’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, there’s ABBA, and finally the Scandinavian “Velbekomme” café in Chorlton! The place only opened about two weeks ago – lucky eh?
If the people running the café are reading this by any chance I’d like to thank you for your hospitality and your delicious Scandinavian food.
Even though you are Danes…
(For anyone not from Scandi-land – we’ve been at war on and off for about a millennium. The grumpiness persists).
A crucial part of making my film work was that I wanted my friend Callum to play the lead part. Something in my head just found it hilarious that a Welshman is playing a Swede. I also didn’t plan on teaching him the phrases properly, but left it up to his interpretation after I gave him the line once.
Back to the tech-y stuff…
Coming from a sound-background I thought it’d be good to play around with some sound effects. The ABBA song I had a bit of fun with – I ingested the song into ProTools, used a bandwidth-type EQ
– /\ –
to remove almost all the bright frequencies, AND almost all the low frequencies. Leaving only a select few to pass between a bandwidth of approx. 1.5k-5k. After that I added a bit of distortion to symbolise speaker artefacts, and finally a bit of reverb to signify that the song is being played in a room with room tones.
Another quick sound trick I did was record Callum grumpily saying “Helvete”, at the start of the film as Sven is waking up (no need for translation) using the app: Smart Recorder. It worked really smoothly and produced a high quality enough recording for the purpose.
Whilst ABBA is playing out in the background Sven brews himself an unsavoury instant coffee that he ends up spitting out. This part was done as a split screen type edit trick with an almost unnoticeable IKEA-logo in the background. The sequence in turn becomes fullscreen for dramatic effect when Sven takes a sip, and then tracks
him as he spits the coffee out, to finally land at a close-up of Sven saying:
Fan vad jag vill ha en riktig kaffe!
The very first idea I had was a stop motion style title sequence. I looked through the available apps and finally landed with Stop Motion Studio. It’s really simple to use and lets the user export with ease without any watermarks. The idea was simple, a top-down shot of the main character writing the titles into a notebook, and then making that look old-timely using the wonders of colour grading.
The whole film was actually colour graded. I applied a simple LUT, made some simple changes so that it would fit the style of the film, and BOOM –
more cinematic-looking footage!
(Or less mobile-phone looking footage, you decide).
Another idea I really wanted to do was an over-the-shoulder style hyperlapse as a way of Sven to get from his house to the café. I also made it look like Sven magically appears somewhere else: by starting the first hyperlapse from behind a tree, and finishing behind a tree, and finally starting the next hyperlapse shot behind a tree as well! A simple but powerful camera trick that I enjoyed trying out for the first time.
An 80’s style ending – for some reason
The film ends with Sven joyously leaping up in the air, soundtracked (kindly enough) by Journey. Taking direct inspiration from the ending of the 1985 film “The Breakfast Club”. And finally ends with a very 80’s style graphic thanking the artists for the use of their music.
As a conclusion – I feel this assessment has broadened my skills as a filmmaker, and definitely given me new creative techniques to apply to future projects.