Making Soup

This film took me 2o hours in total to shoot.  I set up the scene in my student kitchen and hired out 2 lights, a tripod a Canon 5D camera with a 50mm lens and a laptop with the Dragon Frame program from college.

After i had done some small movement experiments and a mock up of the set i would be using i took the experimental footage to Matt in AV to get some advice.  I decided that i quite liked the home made aesthetic of the shots, the kitchen table and the people jittering around in the back ground gave a quirky look to the footage and emphasised the every day activity that goes on in a kitchen.  This is why i decided to shoot the final film in a similar way.

I used a 50mm lens so that there was a shallow depth of field in the shot, putting more focus on the foreground which was continually animated and the back ground of the kitchen and people was blurred but still showed some movement.

It was a challenging film to shoot as the props i was using (food and kitchen appliances) were ridged and not very easy to manipuilate (unlike clay or paper). I wanted the construction of the food city to resemble a building sight, which is why i used string to lift the vegetable buildings and the tin can sky scrapers, this was supposed to act as a crane.  How ever this was the hardest thing to keep continuous movement with, as the tins would spin in the air when hanging from the string creating more jolty movement.  Although this was not ideal it was relatively unavoidable.

Looking back i would have asked matt for a recap on using Dragon Frame as when it came to editing the footage i realised that i had not been exporting the footage or saving it correctly.  When the battery ran out on the camera i had to restart the program to connect the camera, but instead of opening the previous project i was opening a new one and not exporting the previous take.  This created a massive hassle when it came to editing as i had to find each take, open it in dragon frame and export and save it correctly in order to be able to use the footage in premier pro.

I have also made the same mistake i always make when editing my footage and not taken any screen shots to record the process.  This is some thing i will make note of to make sure i record the editing process in my next project.

Unfortunately i did not have time to record my own sound for the animation but this is some thing i intend to do in my next project.  I used sound effects downloaded online.  This is the first time i had used sound effects as opposed to a musical accompaniment.  I enjoyed the process of getting the audio and video completely in time with each other, i feel i achieved this well.  The issue with down loading sound is that i was restricted to what sound i could find.  For example the sound for the rolling tins was very difficult to pin point, if i had more time i would have recored my own sound as there would have been more room for creativity and experimentation.  The sound of the film is supposed to represent the sounds of a building site, i think with out the sound it would be difficult to tell that the scene represents a city being built.

This film was also the first time i had experimented with a green screen technique.  I used green paper and filmed the title sequence as a stop motion so that the writing looked like it was being written on the screen, i thought this would contribute to the playful home made style of the film.

After a tutorial with David we discussed that the message of the film was unclear.  This is why at the end of the film there is a short paragraph explaining that the food used for the film was food donated from a local vegetable shop as the food was too old to sell but still edible.  This was the whole point of the film as i used food that would have been wasted, not only for the film but to also make a nice soup with, this is to emphasis that food waste is not uncommon and can be easily avoided.


Weeks Work Before Shooting

I have been working in a sketch book for Visual Literacy and I try to update my blog as often as possible but I find it more natural using a sketch book, physically writing things down helps me to remember and I find my notes in short hand easier to understand rather that writing explanatory paragraphs on my blog-

Here is my progress so far on VisLit part 2….

Thinking about making an animation for VisLit part 2-

– interested in food wastage and using other objects as food after watching PES films.

-begin story boarding, thinking of narratives about food.

-coming to dead ends, the stories were too gimmicky and lacked meaning or purpose.

-felt restricted and struggling to come up with a story i was inspired by.

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– discussed these issues in tutorial.

– talked about sticking with the idea of using objects to represent things that would not normally be represented in that way. e.g- using house hold objects as food, knitting needles as spaghetti, dice and vegetables etc.

-Dont focus on creating a film with an obvious message, can be subtle and still effective.

– Experiment using food as a material rather than a subject

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-started story boarding again with new ideas

– more of a light hearted, comical approach.

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– Had the idea of using the title ‘Food in the City’ literally.

– Visited the Junk Food Project Cafe and spoke to the people there about where they get their food from.


– Was told to ask restaurants about their food waste, if i could use it.. to go to super market bins to see what food they have to throw away after shelf date but is still edible.

– Went to grocery stalls round Hyde Park and Headingley and asked if i could use the food they could not sell.

– created a city out of food.


-used spaghetti as telephone pylons.

-Tins as back ground buildings etc

– Food as more detailed buildings.

-Stuck labels in the buildings to look like cheese labels to keep within the food theme.

-Chose to label buildings as main consumer hot spots to show how much there is to buy and how much there is going to waste e.g super market, shopping centre, petrol station, power station etc.

-not sure if i’ll keep the labels for filming.

– movement experiments

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– Discussed and showed work in tutorial and asked for help from Matt in AV as i was unsure of lighting etc.

– I also wanted advice on the back ground of the animation as i had had ideas of filming on a white table cloth and a white back ground or filming the animation with the kitchen background and normal activity going on behind the main subject.

-I have collected donated food from local shops that they were unable to sell due to SBD but are still healthy looking and edible.  Props for set are all ready.

– I will be filming over this weekend and this should give me enough editing time and also if i was to run into problems enough time to film again if necessary.

Tom Hunt

  • Tom Hunt eco chef, involved with Fareshare charity.
  • Fareshare take food that has been rejected by supermarkets and bring it to various UK charities to ave money on buying food from the supermarkets.
  • Tom Hunt creator of ‘Forgotten Feast’, pop-up restaurant that use natural seasonal food and rejected or wasted food to create their dishes.

Tristram Stuart

  • Tristram Stuart Food Waste Activist
  • Creator of campaign ‘Feed the 5000’, a series of events bringing people together and cooking dishes with only waste food to feed 5000 people.
  • Creator of the Pig idea
  • Freeganism- Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed.


I found PESfilm on youtube who make short animated films often using house hold objects.

I like the idea used on the ‘Western Spaghetti’ video, it related to the ethos ‘Feed the Planet’, using house hold objects is not only aesthetically fun and different it also links to that idea of food can be found every where and every one round the world has to go through a different process to get their produce and then cook and prepare their food.

Story Boarding VisLit part 2

I have started creating story boards for the animation i am preparing to make for the second part of visual literacy.

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*I am interested in the idea of using house hold objects as substitution for food.

*I am also looking into the notion of food wastage and the effects it can have on the planet.

*Using hand rendered scenery.

*Using plasticine for figures/characters.

*Using the kitchen to film around/in.