Wildscreen Festival Work Experience Opening Day

The Wildscreen Festival got underway today and this was our first day of propper filming. We arrived at the boat at 8:30, grabbed the cameras and headed straight over to the registration area to meet Rich and gather some footage for the promo video. This was a great chance for myself and Jake to get a go on the Panasonic Varicam LT. We spent half hour gathering shots of delegates registering for the event and then we headed over to the Arnolfini to setup the cameras ready for the first talks.

The schedule is very tight and luckily Anne has been working to sort our timings out for us so we know where we should be at specific times; we also have a WhatsApp group for communication on the go which is good idea.

The initial talk was an introduction to the Festival for new delegates, it was hosted by Laura Marshall, Managing Director. of Icon films. She seemed like a really lovely lady and gave some useful tips on how to get the best use of the festival in terms of networking, most importantly not to interrupt people who are talking as they my be in the middle of an important one time opportunity pitch to a potential backer. Very good advice I though. Laura seemed really approachable and so maybe I will contact her in the future for more work experience or even film ideas, she seems keen to nurture new talent.

This initial talk was mainly a live test for us. We seemed to handle the mixing well, myself and Jake watched from the seats while the Floating Harbour team took on the important roles. We did have an issue with communication with the camera operator on the stage. We did have talkback units but we didn’t have an easy way to communicate and tell the op not to move as they were live in the mix. I had a torch with me and covered it with red gaff tape, from my position I was able to see when the camera was live and lit my touch so the operator on the stage had a visual indication to tell him not to move, this seemed to work well and was a good on the spot problem fix.

The introductory talk was followed by some ‘on the couch’ sessions with big name industry professionals and a number of other seminars. These were interesting to watch as well as film. I felt privileged to be able to attend these talks, not just film them. They were full of good advice from people who work in this industry.

While our technical end seemed to run smoothly we did have some sound problems, this was not our department as we were receiving a feed from the sound guys but it didn’t seem professional and means we’ll probably have to re-cut the days talks to fix the sound, this isn’t ideal on such a short turnaround time. Hopefully the sound problems will get sorted for tomorrows talks.

After the final talk we packed up for the day; returned the cameras to the boat and had a quick de-brief and planning session for the next day. Overall all seemed to go OK for the first day. We had some GV shot and worked well to capture all of the events, the only issue seemed to be the sound problems which was out of our control.

Overall a good day.

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Floating Harbour Day 1 W/E Setup of Equipment

Today we started setting up equipment ready for our week of filming Wild screen. During the week we will be filming most of the talks at the Arnolfini Arts Centre so we moved all the equipment we needed for the talks over to there, It’s a short walk from the boat where we will be using as our main base for the week.

The filming of the talks will be a 3 camera live edit we set up two cameras in the stalls to act as our wide and closeup cameras and we also had a camera on the stage behind the guest speakers to gather audience reactions and a different angle for the gust speaker.

Today was very much a technical rehearsal, we ran BNC cables from all of the cameras to the apollo recorder which we’ll be using for the live edit. We also linked in with the centres sound and visual department to arrange feeds for from the microphones and the projector where guest speakers will be displaying work.

Setting up the cameras was a daunting experience, these cameras (varicam lt) are worth around £15,000 so dropping it would be a complete no no. The ursa was also brand new and worth around £5000. Getting this hands-on experience with the cameras was very useful, we got a feeling for the settings and capabilities of the camera which will be essential for this weeks filming and for my general development.

The apollo recorder seems like a great tool for live editing, it takes in all 4 of our feeds and you can live edit with the touch screen. The Apollo also records all 4 of the feeds along with sound onto SSD drives and can be edited again later if there are any mistakes. I wish I could use this workflow for my Weddings, it would be so much faster but unfortunately we’d never have time to run all the cabling in a church.

Once setup was complete we de-rigged the cameras and took them back to the boat for safe keeping, luckily we were able to leave all the grip in situe ready for filming tomorrow. Today was really exciting, we seem to work well as a tam even though we have only just been introduced, looking forward now to the actual recording days.

Floating Harbour Production Meeting Work Experience

Really excited that the folks down at Floating Harbour have invited me to do some Work Experience with them as they document the Wildscreen Film Festival in Bristol.

Today we got together for a couple of hours to introduce ourselves to the rest of the team and to go over some plans for the filming week (next week.) The team seem really tight-knit. There is Rich who is the boss, Ben and Tom who seem to take on the technical roles of camera, edit and general organisation alongside Rich; and there is Emily, Alex & Ann who work on the administration roles. The team really do seem to get along well and everyone pitches in to help with tasks that need completing.

On the Work Experience team there is myself, Matt and Jake. Matt and I are both in UWE and have worked together before on projects, Jake has come from Bournemouth Uni for the week although He lives in Newport so we could possibly travel together.

During the meeting we discussed some other scheduling for next week. Team availability and locations we’ll need to film. The Brief is to create a number of short promotional videos for the Wildscreen Team to be used for online promotion and also as a record of the event. We also have to film a lot of the seminars and talks that are taking place throughout the week so that they can be made available online for delegates to view later.

The plan is to split into small teams to cover all of the filming. The FH team will take lead roles but will have assistance from us on W/E for help with gear, finding suitable shots/locations and dealing with any contributor issues.

Rich explained some of the equipment we will be using and this made me quite excited. As a Panasonic fan I am thrilled that we’ll be using the brand new Varicam LT cameras for most of the event, along with the new Black Magic Ursa Mini. These are professional cinema cameras which of only just been released, they will be great to get my hands on and see how they compare to my GH4  and G7 Mirrorless cameras. We will also be using a Convergent Design Apollo to live multi-cam record the talks along with a Canon 5d mark 4 and Sony FS5 cameras. I’m pleased to be able to get the chance to work with such high-end equipment and i’m sure it will help when building a CV for future jobs.

Really looking forward to next week.