Oblong Films

Oblong Films is a Bristol Based film company specializing in observational documentary. The company was set up in 2009 and has had a number of documentaries presented on television including ‘Prom Queen Divas UK’ (channel 5) and ‘The Naked Rambler’ (BBC) The Company was nominated for 3 RTS West Awards for their documentary ‘Millionaire Boy Racers’ an unscripted documentary that provides an insight into the influx of super cars and their wealthy owners in central London each summer.

The company hasn’t posted any recent updates of work online and they haven’t posted on Twitter for the past 6 months.

Advertisements

New Chartist Idea Tutorial – Judith and Alistair

New Chartist Idea Tutorial – Judith and Alistair

This afternoon we had tutorials with both Alistair and Judith about our new Chartism project. We were a bit apprehensive about suggesting a new project at this stage in the semester but myself and Hannah-Jane felt that we had valid reasons for parking the St Fagans project (access, pace of development and story) and that our new idea was a lot more suitable and achievable.

Our first tutorial was with Judith was brief but we explained our reasons for the project change and Judith was positive about our plans, she was aware of the Chartism movement and was pleased that we were continuing to work with interactive platforms. I think she was particularly pleased that we had now included the Klynt application which will allow us to create an interactive archive of our event and the research we will be carrying out.

Our third tutorial of the day was with Alistair. We briefly explained the project to him and he offered some useful advise on research. Primarily that we had to nail the history of the Chartists ready for the pitch so that we could easily and clearly explain both the project idea and Chartism in general as most people will be unaware of the movement. Alistair also suggested some people to contact for research for the project and students who could maybe help with that. Colin Thomas who is a BBC film maker and is part of the Bristol Radical History group. and Ben Pike, A fellow student who has made a number of social history films while at UWE.

Our meeting came just two days after the election of Donald Trump and with this in mind along with Brexit we all felt that this project could fit in well with the current mood for politics and change in the UK and around the world. Our project documents part of the introduction of real Democracy in the UK and the plight of the people who fought for it and could remind people about how important it is and how it may/mayn’t be being eroded.

Wildscreen Work Experience Wednesday Day 4

Short one for me today, I have Work tonight so had to leave at 2pm. We had an early start interviewing Jonathan Dimbleby. A really nice man who has recently moved to Bristol. Our set up was similar to Hughs last night on the same balcony but in daylight and an opposite corner.  The Image coming out of the Panasonic Varicam LT is stunning and I can’t wait to see the final result.

The interview with Jonathan Dimbleby went well, after a number of setups we were now quick at knowing how to approach this. Jonathan was very co-operative and knew what was expected from him so overall it turned out to be a great interview. I once again gathered behind the scenes images and videos that can be used by floating Harbour to create a show reel of the event. This week has really taught me how to set up for this kind of interview, how to choose a location and the problems that will be faced such as noise and members of the public, also the speed at which this has to be done, interviewees really don’t have time to wait for the crew so it’s important to be professional and be ready to go when the contributor arrives, also to have researched your contributor so you don’t look uninterested when asking questions.

We had a busy morning, we had to film a talk at the Watershed then move all the equipment back to the Arnolfini for the rest of the day. Luckily we had some new crew members. Joe and Tommy who would take over later in the day after I left. I felt a bit sorry for both Joe and Tommy as the rest of the team had become comfortable in our new roles and they seemed a bit lost as there wasn’t a lot for them to do. I just tried to explain what I had been doing  to tommy so that he could learn as I did and get comfortable in the role and with the equipment.

I helped move all the equipment back to the Arnolfini for the rest of the days talks and then headed home for some rest before work tonight.

Wildscreen Festival Day 3 Work Experience

Later start today, But caught in traffic so we were a bit late arriving. The Boat is lovely to work from but it’s right in the centre of Bristol so is a nightmare if you’re in a car during rush hour. On the plus side, I have free parking which is a rarity in the centre of Bristol, well more than rare, it just doesn’t happen at all.

Today we had to film more talks and couch sessions and later had to do an interview with Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. Rich suggested we split the team up today. We had a team working on filming the coach sessions and another starting edits and gathering some more GV footage. This was a great opportunity for me to get behind the camera and film using the Panasonic during the talks. I was in control of the main close-up camera using the canon 70-200mm lens with an extender making it 400mm. Jake was on the back stage camera and Rich/Tom took control of the safe wide and the vision mixer. Using such a long lens at a ow aperture was tricky keeping focus, especially as some of the talks had moving guest speakers. The couch sessions were much easier as the speakers remained static. Working with Tom on Vision mixer was great, I could keep an eye on the camera that was live by looking at his screen and he allowed me to use my intuition to find him suitable shots to cut to.

The live mixing became sort of a game, we were trying to complete it in the apollo to save us time in editing and the further we got into the talk with no issues the more challenging it was not to mess up a shot. Unfortunately we still had sound issues which means the recordings will once again need some re-editing. The sound issues are stating to frustrate, especially as the sounds team don’t seem very approachable, i’d expect them to be a bit more professional.

In the afternoon I went back to the boat to start work on the Highlights film edit. I was given the job of creating a timeline of ‘Selects.’ This meant going through the footage so far and picking out shots that could be used in the highlights film. I had to trip out bad bits, shaky footage so that the timeline only contained usable footage. This process will make creating a highlights film a lot simpler, the editor will know that all shots can be used and won’t have to root around in different folders to find footage as all the good stuff will be in one place. This is an idea I will now adopt in my editing workflow.

This evening we had to pack up quick and take our gear to the Watershed Cinema. We had a 5 minute slot with Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall for an interview. We quickly scouted out a location, a balcony with a view of the harbour and we set up ready to go. We used the Panasonic Varicam for the interview and a Sony A7r2 for some behind the scenes footage. The interview was short and sweet and Rich managed to get Hugh to give some sound bites that we can use in the highlights video. We seem pretty slick now and are producing some really nice content. The team seem to be feeding off each other which is great for Moral.

img-20161012-wa0003

We ended with a Pint and Ben and Matt went off to film one of the evening events while myself and Jake packed up and headed back to wales.

Bracken Films – Corporate and Documentary Small Film making Company

UWE Industry Talk – Bracken Films

Bracken Films is a small Corporate and documentary film company headed up by Two ex UWE Film making students Jim Smith and Zander Mavor. They created the company after leaving UNI and have secured a number of contracts with high profile customers to create promotional videos and internal team videos for company training and information.

Jim and Zander came to UWE to give an industry talk. he main focus was of their experience since leaving UWE and how they went about setting up their company; they also showed us some of their past work including Jims documentary ‘The man who fell from the sky’ which documents the story of immigrants fell from a planes landing gear onto a London street.

This talk was very useful to me because it’s the sort of area I wish to go into after finishing in UWE. While I feel many people will turn their noses up at corporate work, i think it’s a good way to build a brand and a reputation which could in tern lead to bigger more creative documentary work, Also I think this steady work offers stability while still offering the opportunity to work on passion projects for low or no income.

Jim and Zander explained that they have a good working relationship because both of them specialist in different aspects of the film making process. Jim is more of the DoP while Zander takes on the sound roles, I think having these specialisms is a real asset because it means that both parties need each other which will help strengthen the bond of the owners while also easing the pressure on each person.

Jim and Zander explained some of the pitfalls of setting up their company and things we might avoid. they explained how they contacted a number of companies to offer their corporate video services and that this didn’t get them much work; the work they currently get comes through networking and through contacts through friends so this is something to think about when I start my business. The boys talked about some of the processes such as invoicing the company (40% pre-production & 60% on delivery) and the importance of contracts to protect yourself. They also explained some of the other work that may be involved including pitching ideas from a brief to potential clients.

Zander and Jim also stayed behind after the talk for a beer and had some great personal advice for myself and Hanna-Jane.

One criticism I do have around Bracken Films would be the lack of online presence, while the boys had business cards it is very hard to find any information on the company and there is currently no website to get contact information or view the companies show reel of past work. I think when building my company this will be one of the first things I should look into initially.

Home

 

Floating Harbour Films Work Experience Meeting

Today I had a meeting about possible work experience with a Corporate/Events Company called Floating Harbour Films. They are a small company which operates from a boat docked in Welsh Back, Bristol Harbour.

I got the contact through a uni pal, Alex who has been working there over the summer. The company are looking for Camera operatives for an event they have to film in the next few weeks called ‘Wild Screen’. Its a film festival focused on Wildlife films and photography.

I met the owners of Floating Harbour on their boat, we had a brief chat about my background and the sort of work i’m interested in, the boys ( Rich and Ben) explained to me that I will probably be acting as a runner and camera assistant during the week and possibly have to do some data transfer and running about with memory cards as we had such a tight schedule.

The thought of doing some running work and data wrangling really appeals to me right now, I have a heavy edit load and this would give me the opportunity to learn more about the back end processes of a professional company; how data is stored, logged and how they manage quick project turnarounds.

The meeting went pretty well I think and the owners seemed pretty fun to work with so I’m hoping to hear back to see if they will take me on for the week.

Media Futures Factual Film

Credits:
Gareth Croft – Camera, Sound, Assistant Producer, Editor
Bart Chomiszczak – Research, Location Manager
Jack Anthony Coliandris – Research, Camera, Location Director
Tom Creagh – Presenter, Interview researcher, Camera
Hannah-Jane Churchman – Producer, Camera
Simona Cucinella – Camera
Today we presented our final edit of our Media Futures fil to the rest of the group. We had to do a short presentation and take questions about the film and hear some critical feedback.
The majority of the feedback was positive, people liked the way it was edited and said it felt like a ‘real’ short film that they might see on TV which is pleasing. There was some critical feedback, Charlotte thought that we had missed an opportunity with the green screen footage and thought that we perhaps could have used it further to contribute to the film instead of just using a static background. Dominic commented on our choice of music and how while it was music that related to the film we might have wanted to consider how the lyrics (which mentioned drugs and prostitution) might not fit in with the theme we were trying to portray.
Having been a bit nervous at how the film would be received I was relieved to get positive comments, having had to change our initial idea and opt for a more ‘bog standard’ style that we are used to on TV I expected to face some harsher criticism.
I think this process has proved to highlight to all of us in the group the importance of setting roles and proper commitment to planning and research, we started out in a lack lustre fashion but have quickly gelled into a group that I think can go forward to create some well produced work together.

Can a Music Video be a Documentary?

We had just discussed our plans for our short documentary about Bristol and the opportunities for media in the city. We came up with a narrative that explored how Bristol was probably now known as a ‘one trick pony’ in media (everyone is always harping on about Aardman) so we wanted to show something different. Driving home I hear Sigmas latest dance tune, featuring Paloma Faith ‘Changes’. I’ve heard it many times before (being a bit of a fan) but never really heard the lyrics.

Now listening to the lyrics it seemed like it would fit ideally as our background audio and could even be used to push the narrative along. I had visions of fast moving shots of Bristol landmarks and people along with our ‘sheep’ narrative that had already been discussed. The main issue that I was debating with myself was can a music video be a documentary?

I think Documentary or Factual as a genre has a very wide reach. As long as something is being ‘documented’ then does it matter if it’s being done in the style of a music video?

I don’t think it’s a problem but would be interested to hear what other people think.