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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Practice filming a dialogue scene (learning excercise)

Bismillah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem,

So far action sequences seem to be pretty easy. If the audio doesn't sync up, you can folli the sounds and replace the original audio with music.

Dialogue is a completely different story.

Some brothers came over my house yesterday and wanted to practice the filming aspect of a dialogue scene. None of us had done this before so it was an interesting learning experience. Unfortunately, we didn't have any actors so we had no choice but to do it ourselves. We made up a scene on the spot and filmed the footage ourselves with no practice, storyboard, not even a script! All of us are much more comfortable behind the camera rather than in front of it but in situations like these, you need the footage so we can learn and practice the "how-to's" of filming dialogue. With little time and no preparation, we took out the old cheapie camera and winged it.

We filmed the clip in the garage but we were constantly being delayed because of constant cars and people coming in/out of the building. One guy even stopped by to watch the clip and offered us to work on a project with him (he makes films too! Only in LA). The short period of times we had the garage to ourselves, we tried filming from different angles using once again the cheapie miniDV camera and with absolutely no lighting.

The point of this exercise wasn't to act but rather learn what type of angles that would work and not work when filming dialogue. You can read as many books as you want on filming but at the end of the day, the best way to learn is by picking up the camera. The most challenging part was trying to give the illusion that we filmed with more than 1 camera (very tough!). The problem was that we didn't have a script so our lines kept changing during the filming. Although it wasn't a issue while we were filming, it was a nightmare during editing!! At one point, I thought there was no way we could put the footage together. Last but not least, the background noise kept changing since in some scenes there was traffic and in other scenes it was quiet (street noise). So we had to film about 1 minute of traffic background noise, which we dubbed into the clip.

Nevertheless, we finish the clip. We edited it the best we could (based on what we could capture) so here it is:










You will need quicktime to view this clip
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24 Comments:

At April 11, 2006 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL...HAHA...that was funny...
We're playing by my RULES...hahahah...Ali being aggressive...that was very funny I am still laughing...haha

 
At April 11, 2006 4:32 PM, Blogger Baba Ali said...

I kept laughing during the filming (I even laughed when I was editing it)..haha. That's why we like being behind the camera instead of in front of it...but Alhamdulillah we were able to experiment with filming dialogue.

 
At April 11, 2006 6:27 PM, Blogger Hani said...

I think the clip is pretty good despite the fact that we didnt have the cannon and had to use sound off the camcorder.

 
At April 12, 2006 4:59 AM, Blogger Bilqees el-Ghoul said...

Haha The scene was good in my opinion. That's the first time I've heard Abu Suhayb act. It was fun to watch!

When doing any kind of acting one tip that may help with the giggles (which is normal) is to remind yourself not to be someone who is such and such but to actually be such and such (like in this instance, angry or frustrated).

 
At April 12, 2006 8:07 AM, Blogger Baba Ali said...

the challenging part was that there was no script and we had no charactors either. Actually, we had no idea what the other person was going to say or do (so it was totally improv). The only thing we each knew was that we were going to keep our conversation vague so editing would be easy when we cut & paste different clips together. Hahaha.....it was fun.

 
At April 12, 2006 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOLLLL
Play by my rules. who are you Al Pacino.... LOL...
Ali you know you can't get MAD hahahah
But pretty good sound. Clear.

 
At April 12, 2006 9:56 AM, Blogger knite said...

LOLLL.
"Playing by my rules.. I am not playing any games here".Who are you Al Pacino.. Hahaha Ali getting mad, hahahha funny.
Pretty good sound Clear...

 
At April 12, 2006 11:52 AM, Blogger Bilqees el-Ghoul said...

I would be cracking up too LOL. Improv is a lot of fun.

 
At April 12, 2006 4:46 PM, Blogger Mahdi Ahmad said...

When we shot the scene, we employed a few techniques that we didn't even know the name for. Like when we cut on motion in the action scene, we used cutting on motion. In the dialogue scene, we used a little of the L-cut technique where the character is talking off the camera for the brief moment while the shot is transistioning.

While we learn, we will get better insha Allah...

 
At April 15, 2006 9:41 PM, Blogger Huda said...

heheh, i liked that... nxt tym make the prequel tht shows him kickin ur dog or wateva it was tht got u mad... lol.

i love wat u guys r doin, i'm really glad tht i'm not gon take on the world by myself coz i've been planning since ages ago on goin in2 this muslim multimedia buiss wen i finish skool inshallah ... but i wanna do mo of a music videos+music n documentaries, not movies so much...

one more thing, i noticed u mentioned a few tyms tht there aren't any otha muslim film companies (i loved this blog so much i read the whole thing even tho i jus found it now)... mebbe you should check out 1Islam, they're an Aussie based film company 4 muslims, they're mostly known for documenting the lectures of world-renowned speakers lyk Khalid Yaseen,etc. but they do other stuff 2... n they're good really professional.

This is their website: http://1islam.net/

 
At September 05, 2006 10:40 PM, Blogger www.McWorld.net said...

this is a complete joke were is the media player man on my next visit brother i got to see a media player on here k salam peace

 
At September 12, 2006 8:33 AM, Anonymous Sali said...

This is hilarious!! "going buckwile" huh? too funny. it was really good though, i keep watchin it over and over again..keep up the good work.

 
At November 03, 2006 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL so funny "play by MY rules" lol

Great stuff!!!

 
At November 17, 2006 4:00 AM, Anonymous Ichorlicker said...

Heyya brothers, I'm impressed with your work. It is very encouraging to see you all working towards the good of humanity as a whole.

I'm not sure if I have any place adressing you as brothers, since I'm not muslim, but it seemed apropriate at the time.

You are a positive influence to be sure.

 
At December 29, 2006 10:01 AM, Anonymous ukhti said...

As Salaamu Alaikum, Br. Ali:

Here's a tip (sound familiar?). This is from my feature film days:
When you do another project and the different background noise is a problem in editing, at the end of your last take make everyone be TOTALLY quiet then record about 30-45 seconds of just nothing...whatever is the ambient noise, just no talking or moving. This is called "room tone". Use it underneath your dialogue, that way the sound quality matches.

 
At January 11, 2007 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all have done great and I'm really impressed how you all are going about learning the filming techniques. I pray much success in your future. Salaams.

 
At January 21, 2007 2:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you mentioned the "cheapie miniDV camera"...what do you recommend...i'm a young muslim & very ambitious about filmmaking. I'm planning to buy a camera insha'Allah...what do you recommend?

 
At February 16, 2007 12:25 PM, Blogger seg said...

Good experimenting. Also, its a good illustration of why people use stuff like the "180 rule" for dialogue.. When the camera flips past that plane, it gets really confusing for the audience, cause the same character keeps switching from one side of the screen to the other. Do you know what I'm sayin?

 
At February 25, 2007 9:30 AM, Anonymous Little Caliph said...

MasyaAllah brothers, keep up the good work... inshaAllah, Allah will reward your 'amal...

 
At April 25, 2007 8:42 AM, Blogger muslimah said...

salaam
mashallah Ali is just toooooo funny he came to london and i misst it i saw him on islam channel i was kicking my self it felt like every1 was there but me hey ali if you read this are u gonna come back to the uk dont worry about the hot and cold water and all the street looking alike thats the beauty of it you will neva get lost lol

 
At May 04, 2007 4:10 PM, Blogger aMiR said...

thats a phat Bronco! wana sell it? :)

 
At June 03, 2007 5:59 PM, Anonymous Noma said...

Salams
I've seen a lot of your "learning scenes," but are you planning to go further? Like producing a movie or something?

 
At August 18, 2007 11:43 PM, Blogger wasif khan said...

Asallamualakum warakmaturahe wabarakatu.

MashAllah, bro Ali, this is good stuff man. MashAllah, i support your work 100% all the way man.

This video is amazing and it's a good dialogue.

I support your work all the way bro.

May Allah reward you and grant you jannah for your fine fine fine efforts.

WK.

 
At August 25, 2007 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

الله معكم..

 

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