Art · Class Assignment · CS3 · film making · school · Videography

CS3 Blog 5: R-E-C-C-E — can you even pronounce this?


Believe it or not it took me nearly the entire class to be able to pronounce this word. Is it even English? Well whether or not it is English is highly unimportant. It’s relevance speaks to the preparation of a videographer, production manager, producer, and director before a shoot.

A recce (Pronounced Re-ck-eh in case you were wondering) – in layman’s terms – is pretty much a checklist which coincides with your equipment AND shooting location before a shoot. It is important to remember that your Recce should be done on the same day (not date) that you will do your shoot. Before you ask why let me give you a scenario.

So, we have a producer – let’s call him Tom,  and a director – let’s call her Jane. Tom and Jane decide to do a Recce on a Tuesday. They have their checklist (Which should include the equipment you will need, power supply, food, trailers or comfortable areas for talents, food, closest hospital and or police station, food, any written legalities or signed permission forms,food, first aid kits and did I mention FOOD? and other necessities- which includes food.) and they want to find out what the traffic is like on a Tuesday afternoon. Tom and Jane’s shoot isn’t until the following Saturday evening. Tuesday afternoon traffic is bad but not terrible, and they get to the set location within 45 minutes.

By now I hope you see where I am going with this. Tuesday afternoon traffic and Saturday afternoon traffic is not the same even if you take the same route. Simple things like this is why your recce and your shoot should be properly coordinated.

That being said are recces important? ABSOLUTELY! And I bold caps that to say NEVER and I mean (spell it with me) N-E-V-E-R do a shoot without having done a thorough recce and scout of your location and all contributing factors.

Having considered blogs 1-5 you are almost on your way to shooting day! (whoot!) Just a few more important steps to go then you can get cracking! Until my next blog, stay eager, stay creative and stay focused.

Art · Class Assignment · CS3 · film making · school · Videography

CS3 Blog 3 – Lighting: Who needs LEDs anyway?

Sound is to microphone as light is to lens. Pretty basic common sense in filming, so why is it necessary to teach this stuff anyway?

Firstly, just because it is basic common sense, let’s not assume that everybody knows it. One of the first things I was taught when doing photography was that the lens of the camera was like your iris. Your iris (equivalent to the ISO on the camera) will expand to let in as much light as is needed in order for you to see. And while this is so your iris cannot create light that does not already exist. Similarly, your camera’s exposure can be set to the lowest or highest point in order to determine how much light is let into the lens. This is why lighting is so important in photography and videography.

Secondly, How much lighting and the type of lighting you have on a shoot can make a world of a difference with how your footage comes out. Aside from the obvious – low lighting equals dark footage – the lighting also affects the mood of the footage.

For example, a low light can sometimes mean suspense or horror and soft light can mean romance. Lighting helps set the mood of each scene and therefore is of vital importance when filming.

Finally, a great way to add light to your set without a bunch of expensive LED lights is by using props for lighting. So, in a romantic scene instead of adding light, simply use a bedside table lamp with just enough light to set the mood and light the actors. Or an even better way to save on both electricity and money is to film during daylight. The sun is still free…for now.

Art · CS3 · school

CS3 Blog 2 – Shots, Angles and compositions ooze emotion

So I already told you what happened at my first videography class. By week two I was learning shots, angles and compositions and feeling like a full blown camera woman. Well, not exactly, but I did learn enough to know when a video or picture is not properly composed.

The types of shots you take will influence how your viewer interprets the story you are trying to tell. Though the final interpretation is clearly up to the viewers themselves, the videographer’s composition can make storytelling a whole lot clearer and effective. The emotion you portray with a medium shot is different from that done with an extreme close up shot.

I won’t lie to you, when I was finished with that class I began watching my TV shows through a completely different type of lens (if you may). My understanding and appreciation for certain scenes became more evident and I felt as if I finally “got it.” It was as if all along I had been watching television knowing that different shots and angles create a certain mood or emotion but the difference now is I know why they were used in the first place. I know now that when the camera zooms in on a tear as it slowly falls from a woman’s eye as she gradually loses consciousness after being shot (Castle), it isn’t a mere coincidence.

I take great care now in the way I compose my videos and the emotion I will evoke with each shot.

Art · Inspiration · Life · Literature · Music

My Writing Playlist

Music plays a major role in how focused in am when i write and how certain scenes play out. Typically I’m Listening to Enya’s Greatest Hits album when I’m writing. She just calms my soul to the point where i can block everything and everybody else out and focus on the scene I’m writing.

When I need a little more inspiration, depending on the mood of the scene and what the characters are feeling at a certain point in time I always jump back to this playlist:

1. Bizness – tUnE yArDs

2. Breath of Life – Florence + the machine

3. Undisclosed Desires – Muse (+ pretty much anything Muse sings)

4. Cameo Lover – Kimbra

5. Talkin’ bout a Revolution – Tracy Chapman

6. Mountains of Things – Tracy Chapman

7. Aniron – Enya

8. Trains and Winter Rains – Enya

9. Mercy – One Republic

10. Say When – The Fray

11. Science and Faith – The Script

12. Hall of Fame – The Script

13. Walk Away – The Script

14. The Great Escape – Pink

15. Redemption Song – Bob Marley

16. No Woman No Cry – Bob Marley

The list is ultimately over 200 songs long but these are the songs that are the most played of the list. I hope by posting this I’ve introduced/reintroduced some inspirational music to someone out there. Even if you don’t listen to it for inspiration they’re all really great songs to have on your phone/ipod/listening device. 🙂

xo Alee.

Art · Life

Every Piece Tells a Story

Sometimes to escape the madness and the constant busyness of life, I lock myself in my room with Enya’s Greatest Hits album down low and I write. I write poetry, short stories and even start plots for novels. Sometimes I even sing. Some people take refuge in music or dance, some like me in writing, while others find the calm in visual arts.

Visual arts over the centuries have been a way of expression. Caribbean art expresses the culture and history of the people. The fact that some artists paint, draw and sculpt aspects of the Caribbean culture, some without even giving it a second thought, just proves how deep our history has been etched in our brains that it reflects in our thoughts and actions.

A field trip to the National Gallery here in Jamaica opened my eyes to this. The Gallery was divided into separate centuries, with each art piece being represented by a century. Each piece told a story of what was happening in Jamaica during those years.

A particular piece that I found quite interesting was one done by Edna Manley during the twentieth century. The sculpture represents the black community pushing down with strong hands on negativity and oppression and the head is turned up, which is interpreted as “looking up in order to better ones self.” This piece reflects what living in Jamaica was like at a time when we were getting ready for independence and the effects afterwards.


Visual art isn’t just a drawing on paper or a painting on a canvas, it tells a story and sometimes tells history.

Reference: (2010) (Retrieved March 29, 2012)