Transformation project


The task for this project was to take an existing piece of media and alter or transform it in a way to make it our own piece of work. I started by looking at my 2 case studies on Deep end(1970) and The Hurt Locker(2008) to see if there was a scene or some inspiration from here to base the Transform film off of. I remembered a scene in ‘The Hurt Locker’ in which tension is meticulously built for around a minute and a half of a bomb being defused only for the soldier to realise there is 6 more bombs right next to it that he also needs to defuse. Here is the scene:

(Unfortunately there is no clip on YouTube including the first bomb defuse)

I really liked the idea of tension being built only for the realisation that there is so much more to do. I thought about creating a scene with similar themes to this, but of a teenager doing an essay only to realise there is 6 more and still building tension in the same way. This was my original idea, but I wasn’t too sure I liked the idea about writing an essay and I couldn’t think of any other idea without trying to recreate a bomb defusal which would have been very difficult.

I decided to stray away from this idea, as it was my first one and look for other scenes in film where tension was built, as I liked this theme and wanted to keep it.  I first looked at the “Funny Guy” scene from Goodfellas(1990); as seen here:

But after watching this I stumbled across the scene in which Tommy shoots Spider in the film and realised that the set for that scene could be easily recreated in a coffee shop that my family owns. Here is the scene:

I figured that if I could recreate this iconic scene in which Tommy murders Spider out of the blue after Spider finally stands up for himself, but in a girly coffee shop in which the characters were drinking out of tea cups then this would be a suitable enough transformation for my project. I also decided to have a twist in the ending in which Spider dies via a gunshot to him dying from a small pot of jam hitting him and dying. As this fits with the location of the girly coffee shop.


The filming went better than I expected. Due to cancellations I had to find new actors on the day of filming who didn’t know anything about the scene so trying to direct them was difficult, but they picked up what to do quite quickly. Therefore some of the lines were not exactly the same as they were in the original script, as it would have taken too much time to


Here are some set photos from the day of filming. We had some problems as noted in my daily diary. One example is the Rode Videomic that we were using wouldn’t fit on top of my camera, as the screw was stuck and couldn’t be loosened. As i was short on crew members I ended up having to balance the mic on top of the camera or get an actor who wasn’t in shot to hold the microphone. It was doable and in the end the quality of the audio was good enough for the film after being cleaned up a little in audactiy.

Unfortunately on the day of filming there were no Zoom audio recorders available. If there were I would have attatched the mic to a boom and then synced the audio in post production, however as this wasn’t available I had to improvise on the day and make it work.

Post Production

The editing for this project went quite smoothly. I only had a few issues which were quite easily solveable. For instance in the last 5 seconds the actor i got to hold the microphone accidentally bumped his hand on it. This obviously came through on the track it sounds really unprofessional.


I managed to keyframe some of the audio out of that section to make it sound better, however there is a shot where george steps and there is no sound for it, as I wasn’t able to use a soundbite from a different step without it sounding wrong or out of sync and so that problem is still there.

This was the first project in which I used colour correction on my footage. I never fully understood before how much of a difference it can make to the overall look of the footage.


Looking at the original footage now it looks really desaturated and low contrast, however with some small and quick tweaks the colours and levels look much better. I also made sure I kept the same continuity of colours shot to shot so that every shot still looked the same after colour correction.

These are the levels i used for that shot:


I needed the sound of a pot of jam smashing into a persons chest, however that’s quite a difficult sound to recreate So i found some archived sounds of glass smashing and a blood splatter. The glass smashing sounded roughly like the small pot smashing, however the blood splatter wasn’t quite right. I put both sounds seperately into audacity and changed the pitch slightly of the blood splat which made it more like the sound I imagined.


I added some reverb to both sounds so they sounded more natural in the environment of the scene compared to the original which sounded like it was stock audio.audactiy-reverb

I wasn’t too sure what all the settings would do and so I ended up spending about 15 minutes experimenting with all the settings before I found levels that made it sound the most organic to the scene and less artificial.



This is my finished product; unfortunately due to actors being unavailable on the day of filming I had to cut the number of people in the scene down from 5 to 3. As there were only 3 main parts and the other 2 in the original scene didn’t have any lines it didn’t effect the scene too much, however it would have made the scene more realistic and like the original.

Something I learned whilst doing this project is knowing who to trust and who is reliable to be actors and crew members for future projects. I had actors and crew members cancel on me the day before and even on the day of shooting meaning I had to delay my filming on multiple occasions. I now know for my next project not to rely on these people.

My target audience was people who had seen the film Goodfellas(1990), and the scene that I have created is very similar to the original and so people who have seen Goodfellas(1990) should understand the context behind my recreation of the scene.

Transformation project

Contextual Analysis 2 – The Hurt Locker


A film with similar themes to The Hurt Locker(2008) is Jarhead(2005). Jarhead is mainly a character study on the character of Anthony Swofford and deals with problems like soldiers mental health in war and PTSD


Contextual Analysis 2 – The Hurt Locker

Lighting Task

We were tasked with creating 3 different scenes using just different lighting techniques. Unfortunately due to the set up time we were only able to create 2 of the different scenes as we wanted to get both right.

For the fireplace scene we used an ARRI light, an LED light and a reflector.

We covered the ARRI light in a diffuser and then 2 layers of orange gel. We had hoped that the diffuser would diffuse the light enough to shine it directly onto the subject, however when we did this it completely drowned out the LED light covered with a red gel. Therefore we decided to point the ARRI light at a reflector to further diffuse the light. This worked quite effectively in the end, as the LED was now also visible on the subject. As the ARRI light did not have a dimmer on it we chose to continuously dim and then lighten the LED to give the flickering fire effect we were going for.


Although the lighting setup we used for the fireplace scene was more complex than the one we used for the TV scene we found it more difficult. We were trying to get a variation in colours to make it looks more realistic, however if the light was too close to the subject then the light was too bright and it looked fake. So we moved the light further away and got the correct levels we wanted, however this meant the gels that we flickered over the light no longer showed up visibly on the subject. In the end the only way we got the colours we wanted was by moving the light closer, and at times in the video the light is too bright on the person.

Lighting Task