Hi, this is my journal through the last few months.
- More buses please.
Everyone on the course seems to get on well. I’m not sure how many are from Bristol, but know for me that it’s been quite a shift from leaving home and trying to manage on my own. Journey to Bower takes longer than I thought and the buses packed. Hard to time the journey right.Getting slowly used to being at Uni. Everyone is friendly and all sorts doing different subjects. The days on campus are long and tiring. Days off tend to sleep to catch up. However I must try and manage my time or will have deadlines looming fast. Have all been set a number of projects to take us up to Christmas break. They are all quite small short projects but interesting and that I will learn from them. Will have to get organised and try to keep on top of the work. Individual SISE projects – have some ideas for where to take photos in my kitchen at Marketgate and for my 1-minute sound piece – noises from around the flat.
2. Television Studio exercise (fun)
Today in our groups we were shown the TV studio at Bower Ashton and given an introduction to some of the equipment; three cameras, a mass amount lighting, an according lighting mixer desk, different colour backdrops, props and chairs. A vision Mixing room can broadcast and receive direct footage. This is where the director, script supervisor, autocue, online vision mixer and graphics. Sound is in the next room having similar set up for for more sound related. Having a little play on the camera, testing the zoom, focus and being surprised at how easy the transportation through the mounted wheel.
Our task was to create a five minute news show type thing with a presenters and guests LIVE. (Also green screen usage.) When it came to the choosing of a certain role, I put myself for Vision Mixer but I ended up as Autocue. A simple yet crucial role. The group sorted out the other remaining roles between themselves as Dylan taking charge.
This was to be able to give us some experience of a TV studio and what is required even for a very short piece of work. Very new to me, have no experience of TV studio so it was very interesting to step behind the camera and see what goes on. The roles were split between us and I’m on the autocue. I was shown the process of how it worked. I will have to wait for the script to be written before I can carry on with my role. The script for the TV exercise was emailed to me and I began using the software ready for me on the computer specially for my role. This took my 20 mins to copy down Dylan’s script, word for word. I had to be very careful with spelling and accuracy as obviously the actors were relying on me for their script and I didn’t want to let them down. I had to make sure the font and size was easy to read and each persons name was highlighted to avoid any confusion when reading from it.
Lunch. One hour and a chill cheese panini later.
We had several rehearsals so the team could get to grips with their role. Two of the cameras were static, so once they had been set up and properly focused, they didn’t have to change again These would be used to film Luke, the presenter, Rich and Tim, the interviewees, being able to make a tighter shot on either of them by zooming in. Obviously the audience doesn’t want to see this, nor the camera swivel around etc. One camera had to move around the studio floor to be able to film green screen. Different cameras were masked in the vision mixer room by changing to another camera once that one had been set up and ok’d by Ellis the director.
We were instantly able to watch live footage from the rehearsals so the team could finalise their role to the best of their ability. It was a challenge getting the correct pacing to 5 minutes, it took a good few takes for everyone to ease into the exercise. We eventually got the take we were after on the 5th and final attempt.
It was a good take that the team were happy with, a tiny error right at the end however where the vision mixer, Andrew, changed to the green screen camera without the graphics offered by Charlie. The tutors said we worked really well as a team, reinforcing the importance of working smoothly and efficiently so that the production is as good as it can be. Lovely feedback from the technicians who have been surrounded in this kind of setting for years. For them to say nice things intwined with how to always further yourselves in a studio environment. The TV studio exercise was very useful giving me an insight into what is necessary to produce a smooth running TV studio production…things that can hold the process up, how important the collaboration of the team.
3. A change of thought.
I have changed my mind about individual SISE still image and sound. I will venture fourth into Cabot Circus and take photographs and record sound there on a busy day and see what I come back with.
4. Sweding. 27th September 2016
We have been given a task of creating a sweded film. A swede film is where you recreate a famous film using key scenes from it with an incredibly low budget and editing. All editing must be done ‘in-camera’. We brainstormed some ideas, kicking around favourite films from everyone or ones that people think would be funny to make. A highly recognisable favourite film would be something to think towards as that would make it easier for us all as a group to be familiar and have a good understanding of what we wanted to achieve.
‘Shaun of the Dead’, directed by British director Edgar Wright was the classic film our group decided upon. Decided democratically with a tally chart. We discussed and took notes on the production and what we would need to do and meet up again. We decided the roles in the canteen on the long table. Everyone putting themselves forward for key roles that interested them. My role was camera operator.
Left: Planning and job roles. Right: The chosen scene selections.
Remember, no editing. We had to do several takes of different shots to get one that sort of worked for the piece. When Nyles and David are singing then a zombie, Gryff, is in the background, I had to be guided down steps backwards to hit the cue and frame it like the actual film. We just rehearsed where ever we needed to. We spilled over time very slightly getting the last of the scenes.
A thoroughly enjoyable experience and team to work with. Everyone seemed game and ready to dive into a bit of filmmaking. Lots of things went wrong, obviously its a swede film, the things that go wrong tend to make people laugh. This very short film has helped me to work as part of a film production team, having to produce something quickly and well. It was fun to do as we chose our subject to parody well. Here it is.
5. Alrite me luvver?
We had been introduced to documentary film making this week, learning about the different styles and key ingredients that make up a successful film. A documentary about Bristol; the task set.
We were split into groups from the register – Steph, Kezia, Matthew, Richard and me. We brainstormed and have eventually come up with our idea – to make a mockumentary about the Bristol dialect. I think this is going to be fun! Not made a documentary in a group yet so will be weird to just have one or two roles instead of doing everything myself…less and more pressure in different ways. We spilt the roles between us – everybody seems happy. All working together to help each other. Group all gets on well, think the documentary will be good. There seems to be some good and creative ideas within the group. Everyone is collaborating well I think. From our workshops we have learnt how to use the equipment and we do at least have some idea what is going on and what we want to achieve.
Met up with my Bristol Film group to talk about deciding what equipment we will need and booking it out from the stores. We must remember in time and to check all charged up with enough memory. Kezia had written the idea and sounds like a plan!
Day 1 shoot: photographs provided by Matthew.
Walking into Jeff’s house with all our equipment. Feeling part of a proper production.
Jeff’s living room. Stef and Rich ensuring the Sony F5 camera is set to record the best possible footage. I set up the sound equipment; no tangles in the table
Rich taking care of lighting with his nifty reflector. I monitor the Jeff’s audio levels.
Panoramic view of Jeff’s living room, lovely set. Here you can see Stef setting up the frame.
The Bristolian poem Jeff read in the documentary.
Moving from Jeff’s house to the shopping centre where we recorded our vox pops interviews.
Talking to passers by what the hell was going on. Rich stands in while Stef sets up the shot. I test the sound.
Mid interview. Thunderbirds are go. I monitor the sound as Rich develops the interview. Stef making sure the framing is good.
I am going to be editing using Final Cut Pro, which is new for me.
The filming went well and now must get on with the edit. Feeling confident, but don’t want to rush it and know I am a bit of a perfectionist and will want it to look as best as possibly can. Time needed to complete edit? Will need feedback from rest of team during editing to make sure all are happy.
“Editing is cutting out the bad bits, the though question is, ‘what makes a bad bit?’ so the editor embarks on the search to identify these ‘bad bits’ and cut them out, provided that doing so does not disrupt the structure of the ‘good bits’ that are left.” – Walter Murch, In the Blink of an Eye.
6. Getting on with it.
I know that I’m not eating well enough and very tired. New course leaders, Freya and Mark now as Tim has moved to the MA.
Lecturers are all enthusiastic and a lot of fun. Shown in workshops about sound on location and recording sound, which is helpful, and also ProTools for sound editing. All new and interesting. Took photos in and around Cabot. Looking good, very pleased – spent time on my framing and have a good choice of images to choose from. Used the sound recorder that Stef booked out at the weekend to record sounds from around the shopping centre and got a good range. Had thought of recording at Bristol City football match but didn’t want to get the equipment damaged amongst the crowds.
Bristol City 0-2 Hull “BREAK HIS LEGS”
7. Dominant Jesus… (…yes, I know)
Have done a visual storytelling exercise with the group. I suggested shots that ended up in the final film; beginning and end but flipped. Helping Henry edit the video, giving suggestions.
Basic storyboard ideas.
On set, a staff kitchen. Left to right: Nyles on camera, Will the actor, Charlie on props, David the director and me.
8. Group SISE Production
Our group SISE project is going well, we have booked out equipment and going to film next Monday in Castle Park. I spent weekend catching up with paperwork and trying to get organised.
The initial idea was to have a balloon fill the screen at first and then pull back to realise what it was before following and tracking. We need to meet with the others and try and develop our idea further or change direction altogether maybe.
Production meeting at Marketgate where we all live. Decided on our roles :Andrew director, Ellis camera and script, Chloe producer, Anna as the actor and myself editing. We decided on the equipment we would need and booked on Connect2.
At this meeting we decided to change the balloon idea as we thought it was too risky and challenging keeping a balloon in shot with unpredictable wind and no time for special effects. Instead we would have Anna taking a bouquet of flowers to the memorial statue and laying them there. This would be less risky and continuity would be easier.
Set the shooing for Monday November 28th
Perfect weather for the shoot, no rain, bright day – but we were losing daylight fast.
While some of the team went to get the equipment, Andrew and I chose and bought the flowers from Tesco and recceed the park again for a suitable filming spot.
I spent some time while waiting for the others to film some footage for my individual SISE work rather than just hang about doing nothing. Got some good shots.
We decided to shoot the memorial sculpture and its path leading up to it as that would give the film a ‘journey’ and a strong bold focal point to aim for, the place.
My first rough storyboarded idea
The final storyboard
My editing log, thinking of shots that i could later join together.
We have started our script-writing module. It is great fun and I am really enjoying the lectures. Looking online at scripts from different films to see layout and get inspiration. Paired up with Joey and we are starting to write our script together. It’s coming on well we have a good idea to work on and we have worked well together, we have a draft already but will add over the break. Using Celtx.
10. Final Stretch – 28/11/16
Filming day for SISE.
(While waiting for the others I recorded some visuals for my individual SISE 1 min video. Very pleased, will edit soon.) The couple hours of filming went OK, lots of footage, but not very prepared and wasted time, lots of unusable footage. Weather good and I will start edit tonight.
Disappointed with what we filmed today, need to work very hard with the edit to make something I am happy to show. I Finished editing my individual SISE sound and SISE video this weekend on my iMac. Quite pleased with what I have achieved –there are stories there that make sense.
11. Nearly there 4/12/16
The term has really gone quickly, suddenly the deadline of December 8 is next week. Struggling a bit with keeping on top of the work and wish that I had kept a diary logging what I did every day as this would have helped a lot with the journal.
Editing always takes longer than I think and I was up till 5am editing the group SISE film.
Writing up the reports and evaluations has been hard and takes a lot of time for me, I really enjoy the practical hands on doing tasks but the paperwork I have to add takes forever and feels irritating sometimes.
I now have to pull it altogether in time for the deadline, the individual SISE pieces and the group film work. The screening is tomorrow then I can add to my evaluation with some feedback from the group and the tutors.
Need to print off work when complete and reread to see if makes sense before submitting.
12. The day before the deadline, 7th December 2016.
Finished all remaining work, touching up the tiny mistakes, ironing out the creases. I hope this is all ok.