Story Telling Workshop – Production Day

Production Journal

Today after planning our storytelling film we had the use of the small studio space to film. We had only 3 hours to shoot all of our shots and it became clear how planning out the shots we needed on both a storyboard and shot list meant we could be more productive when filming, managing to get most of the shots we needed and a few extra shots to give more options in the edit.

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The studios black walls were an ideal backdrop, we dressed the set using the props we had organised in our previous meeting. To light the scene we used a large LED light and some smaller lamps to take out some of the harsh shadows and light the talent from a number of angles. We hung a lower wattage bulb from the scaffolding above the set to act as the source of the light for the scene, this light was purely for decoration and wouldn’t be suitable to use to light the talent.

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When filming the scene we decided to get our talent to act out the whole scene over again for each camera angle, we decided to film in this way as we found that filming just the shots we needed for each angle was difficult for the talent as it interrupted their flow. The extreme close ups were filmed after we had the main wide and mid shots and were filmed as required according to the shot list.

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For each angle we had to reposition our lights to correctly light our talent. We captured sound separately on a Tascam recorder with a shotgun microphone.

We finished filming with 20 minutes to spare which we set aside to transfer our footage off the cards, we backed up the footage on two computers for safe keeping ready for the edit.

During the day we had some issues that had to be addressed. We had to find a way of mounting our go-pro to the scaffolding (using a monopod and gaffer tape), we ran out of memory on a card because it wasn’t formatted at the start of filming and we also had complications initially with too many people directing the talent which left the talent confused when trying to understand what we wanted from them.

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Media Futures – Editorial Decisions

Production Journal 

When filming our documentary we decided to split it up into 4 sequences to make it easier to gather footage and construct the final product. Sequence 1 would be an introduction to Bristol. Sequence 2 was introducing our contributor and getting soundbites related to our brief. Sequence 3 was added after our interview where we realised the topic was more focused on Aardman than just bristol so we wanted to include some stock footage and additional material from our contributor. Sequence 4 would be a conclusion.

Bristol Media Edit

Our brief stated that the final product should be no more than 4 minutes, this created a problem during editing as it became clear that with the voice over we would be way over time if we included everything we had planned. We took the decision to reluctantly remove our sequence about Aardman, this was a shame because it was very interesting but I think it was a good lesson about having to make editorial decisions in post production and made me think about how much useful material must get left on the cutting room floor during programme making.

Final Script for Production

Production Journal

Today we got the final script from Tom which combines both the narrated parts of the film and the responses to questions from Dave. We conducted a few read throughs and recorded these to use as a base for editing and to check the timings.

Dave Riddett Interview Script

Interview Transcript and Editing

Production Journal

We decided the best way to go about creating our main script which incorporates our interview will be to transcribe the whole interview and then go through it and highlight soundbites or responses that we think are relevant to our theme.

David Riddett interview transcript

Jack transcribed the interview in super quick time and we all met up and went through the transcript with a highlighter and tore out relevant responses to create a rough script, I took the all the material home and edited the transcript to make it easier for Tom to see which parts we agreed we want including in the final script.

Question responses to be used in Doco

The next step for us will be to get a full script together and then have a read through which will highlight any problems and also give us a chance to edit it again if it is too long for our 4 minute time limit.

 

Factual Film Structure

Production Journal

We have decided it would be easier for everyone to be clear about how the film will be put together if we split the film into small sections. Having a structure laid out means we can decide what shots we need for certain parts of the film and also be clear of the styling of the shots required based on where they will sit in the final piece. Having this structure will also help Tom when writing the narration as he will know roughly how much narration is needed for each part of the film.

doco Structure

Factual Film Treatment 2

Production Journal

This is the second treatment as we have decided to change from our initial proposal 

Doco Treatment

We wish to create a short linear factual programme that introduces prospective media students to a range of media companies in the local area and gives an overview of Bristol’s media landscape. The programme will follow a new university student journey to explore the city and find out what it has to offer and will be split into 4 sections. Section one will be an introduction to the city as a whole and will highlight local landmarks. This section will lead into an interview with Dave Riddett who works at Aardman Animations as a DoP. The interview will highlight some of the benefits of studying and working in Bristol. Section 2 will focus on the mainstream media companies that can be found in Bristol particularly along White Ladies road. In section 3 we will return to the interview and get more specific information on what it’s like to work in one of the big media companies in Bristol (Aardman). Our final section will focus on some of the smaller independent producers in the city and explain the benefits of having so many large and small companies working together in a small(ish) community.

The narrative will take the form of a voice over accompanied by images that relate to the script. The interview will be filmed and include cutaways to archive material to add interest to the viewer and act as editing points for the interview responses. Background music will be used to supplement the voice over but will be passive as so not to distract audience but to compliment the images.