Our next assignment in the MDA1300 (film language and production) required students to recreate a scene, or segment from a scene, shot by shot. The video could be no longer than 90 seconds and it had to replicate the chosen seen as close as possible, from lighting and location, to acting and costumes. After some discussion, my group and I decided to recreation 90 seconds from the final scene from Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Godfather’ (1972). We chose this scene because it would be fairly simple to recreate without a budget (that and because it’s one of the greatest scenes in the history of cinema). We were in a group of 4. 2 of our group members acted as Kate and Michael (the character in the scene), our other group member was in charge of sound and I directed, shot and edited the film, however we all worked in collaboration, everyone had contribution to all aspects of the production.
Overall I believe our recreation is very successful, some things proved difficult to recreate (such as location, and acting), however the timing of the shots, the lighting, the grade and the angles I feel are close to perfect. Here is the film (our film plays alone in the first half of the video, then there is a split screen comparison in the second half):
There really is not much to say about this task, due to the fact that it didn’t require much creativity, in film making terms, it was an exercise concentrating on film craft rather than film theory. We were simply following what we see within the scene we were copying. The assignment required a fair bit of re production, I had to make a storyboard from the screenshots in the original scene, as well as record the timing of every shot. I also made a shot list, one in order of the original scene, and one to show which order we would shoot in. One of our group members also watched the scene and created the script for the actors to read.
The most difficult aspect of the shoot was undoubtedly the acting, and the timing of the acting. Lighting also proved difficult, we used 2 ‘3 point lighting kits’ to recreate the aesthetics. 2 red heads were the primary source of lighting in the scene, 1 shining through the window from the outside, and the other bouncing off the wall to replicate the soft lighting in the scene. It was also difficult to get the timing of the cuts right in the edit. In conclusion I feel that our group was very successful in this assignment, our end product was pretty much as close as we could get to the real thing.