MDA 1400: “Personal Space” (Assignment 1)



In this post I will go through what happened and what I learned during filming of our recent short film assignment for the new module MDA 1400 Production Theory and Practice. I will start off just recapping what we needed to do in this project, full description in this post:

  1. Do a short film based on our understanding of ‘space’.
  2. Work in teams of two.
  3. Get it done and by 6th February.

Yeah, that’s basically it.

So after we re-decided on what we wanted to do (because our original idea was quite different), we got on to finding a location and an actress which ended up being a friend of the Director (let’s nickname her D, so it won’t be that repetitive!) from my group and the location was the actress’s dorm room in Usher Halls. From the moment we got into the room with the heavy lighting equipment, tripod, camera and clapper board, we had to figure out where to put them, how and where to set up the lights so D could get the best shots out of the scenes we needed. After we did that, I started setting up the lights and D started going through the settings on the camera, I discovered that one of the future fill lights had absolutely no barn doors whatsoever. I can say, sarcastically, that that proved to be some happy times for myself. We fooled around with only the key light for a while, trying different positions of both the light and the camera, only to discover that could not shoot it with only that light due to poor lighting conditions which resulted also in a lot of shadows on the actress. So I came up with the idea of using the no barn doors light and used the actress’s pillow case over it so it would act as a light diffuser. And no I did not just throw the pillow case onto the hot light, but I did hold it at a safe distance from it during the entire shoot. I call that commitment. I proceeded to point the light to the wall, then with the pillow case acting as a diffuser, the light bounced off the wall and into the actress which made us figure out that it actually looked good on the camera’s monitor so we went with it.


Photos of the location prior we began shooting.

Production schedule

‘Personal Space’ Risk Assessment

Production documents.

It was around a 3/3.5 hours shoot, and it was tiring. But by the end of the day we were content with what we had and under the circumstances with the lighting equipment, we felt that we did our best. So then on the 4th February (we shot it on the 2nd February), we spent pretty much the whole afternoon in the Edit Suite, editing our film away and only finished it on the 6th.

Overall it was an enjoyable experience, and I can say that I learned a lot from it, mostly dealing with the lighting equipment which made me quite proud that I remembered a way we could still make the most out of lighting our location as well as the fact that I edited our film, having only learned the basics of editing during our time in the editing suite thanks to two awesome friends of mine. Thanks guys, couldn’t have done it without your help as well. And in the two next days, I edited most of it with no help. So I liked this experience.

Personal Space (credits)


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