I think several people have given you some very good advice. Editing is the place where you can recut the story into a completely different film from your original story. If what you shot has little correlation to the script or your original vision, then try to take off your script-writer hat and director hat and put on your editor hat.
You have raw material. You have the ideas or feelings of the original intent, but you also have the actual raw material. You can cut out all the dialogue from the "problem actor" and use voice-over. You can cut things up until they make sense. You can use a disjointed flash-forward/flash-backward amalgam that circles around the subject matter. Watch "Petulia" by Richard Lester. A dream-like state can be achieved by resequencing and returning to a shot repeatedly throughout a film. Is it a memory? A premonition?
It's hard in situations where you wrote something, then you try to shoot and direct it, and then you have to edit it. It is very difficult not to be "married" to your original intention. But storytelling and all forms of art are about problem-solving. Your story or your film presents some elements, and then the introduction of those elements presents "problems" or conflicts which the viewer wants to see resolved. If it comes down to it you can chop up your footage with no regard for the "original story" and instead try to create a beautiful, evocative puzzle that is so tantalizing that your audience *wants* to put it together by watching it and perhaps even thinking about it well after the film is over.
But finish it. Complete it. You'll learn things from every step of the process. And it's an invaluable lesson to learn how to make things better when things don't turn out like how you planned.
Watch Billy Wilder's film "The Apartment" and look for Jack Lemmon's face in that mirror. Below is a link to a still from the pivotal moment:
What you are looking for isn't a "filmmaking technique" so much as a storytelling technique.
You have to take something that you've already organically established through your scene-setting and story-building and then work that into an emotional/visual element that has symbolic weight.
There are too many questions relating to what your story/characters are about for anyone to really answer your original question.
Where is this taking place? Why is the guy there? What does he hope to accomplish?
What is the weather like? How is this new environment different from where he came from? What is it about the protagonist or the situation that leads to disillusionment and disappoint after just one week?
The reason I mention weather is that this is a shorthand for how one place can be completely different from another. A person who grew up in a seaside town would feel out of place in a desert. And this feeling of displacement manifests itself through the weather and other environmental cues that a viewer will feel viscerally when watching your film.
If it is a rainy, jungle-like place that he is trying to "help" in some perhaps misguided philanthropic way, then he might be shown taking notes and writing down plans or keeping track of something in a ledger that he feels is important but the locals see as completely meaningless. Then the rains come and he's found that all his notes are illegible and blurred from the rain.
Or... if the environment is arid then he's brought a flower in a pot to remind him of home, which he waters every day. The montage of the week shows him watering the flower religiously, as it steadily withers and finally dies.
The options should really be based on the story you are telling.
And there can be no "up" or "down" votes to "replies" in the question forum.
Why? Is only the value of posts by participants in a discussion worthy of weighing?
Ultimately people will judge the value of a helpful or insightful post based on their
own criteria and needs.
The spatial aspect of the car sounds are mostly very good. Except for that puddle splash
at 1:25, which was way too loud to the point of almost seeming like you were going for
The actor in the trench coat perhaps was looking around a bit too much while he was
walking out into that field. I would assume that kind of a character would be much more
methodical and discreet. Or is that the reason for the twist ending?
I liked the bleached out look. I felt like it fit with the subject matter.
Have you tried checking your library for books? "Film Directing Shot by Shot:
Visualizing from Concept to Screen" by Stephen D. Katz is a great resource.
Are there no film co-ops where you live? If you want to shoot on film and that
requires taking some prerequisite courses, then maybe just do that. Or volunteer
to work on the crew of one of the students who is already in that film on film class.
I agree that the term "cinematic" is a subjective and far-ranging thing. If you really really need that "film look"... well it is still possible to shoot things on film. Why not try making a Super8 or 16mm film while you're a student before such filmmaking becomes completely impossible? You can learn a lot from the experience of shooting on film (especially since the sheer cost of buying film, developing film and getting a print is so steep). One of the things shooting on film teaches you (outside of how to deal with light) is the necessity to prep everything as much as possible and do dry-runs and rehearsals ahead of time so that you "make the most of it" when it comes time to shoot. If you shoot on film you will probably go for less coverage, and that outside restriction (cost) forces you to really think about what you're doing and why. And sending off the footage you've shot to get developed is a nerve-wracking experience. Getting your answer prints back is like Christmas and getting your test results back from the health clinic.
After shooting just a short project on Super8 and going back to your digital camera you will have a deeper and more profound appreciation for all that it offers (monitoring, the ability to shoot lots and see the results immediately, etc.), and that learning experience will help you conserve another valuable asset for all your future projects (time).
A lot of people have been talking about how "story" is more important than gear. While I completely agree with this assessment, I also feel like it's important to remember that narrative filmmaking isn't the only kind of visual meaning-making that's possible with film or video. People look for patterns, so shooting and editing can create a "flow" or a psychic landscape for the viewer to travel through. It can be like a conversation or a math equation. If X then Y and Z transpire over time, then certain emotions or thoguhts are elicited. There is a long tradition of this kind of filmmaking, and there is a lot to be learned by watching as much of it as you can.
If you can, check out any of the films by Nathaniel Dorsky. He works on 16mm and many of his shots are of people and nature, but the duration of the shots, and the beauty of the shots convey a lot, even though there is no "story". Or check out the animations of Len Lye and Oskar Fishinger. Or watch the Pixelvision videos of Sadie Benning for an example of somebody creating an evocative and engaging work using just a cheap Fisher Price camera that was originally marketed for children. Instead of getting too hung-up on film grain and the dynamic range of film stock, why not think about how the camera in your hands can be used to capture some aspect of the way you yourself perceive the world around you?
As for your video itself, I think there are lots of great, well-composed shots in there. But I agree with Nick Rowland about the need for a few still shots where the action just unfolds on-screen languidly. I feel like there is a frantic, uncertain quality conveyed by both the truncated brevity of the shots in your video and the pace of the editing. It's like you don't trust your audience to find your shots interesting, therefore you rush past them even before they've had a chance to establish themselves. Panning and gliding and zooming can be effective, but what is the feeling you're going for? How does the thing or things on screen call for a given camera move? Is there any correlation between the camera moves and the subject matter? I felt a sort of relief whenever you used a slight amount of slow-motion, because that was the only time where the shots weren't going by or panning too quickly. And the nature of the music wasn't really doing your footage any favors. Sometimes a shot exists for the length of a breath, or the duration of a thought. Think about how and why you establish the rhythm (independent from or in synchrony with your audio) through the pace of your editing. After you've established a pattern your viewer internalizes it and then—if the images have some relevance to that tempo—when you suddenly change the tempo and subject matter it has even more of an impact.
Just some another perspective to think about.