Category: Producer


Evaluate your Idea

Critically evaluate the success of the completed project

Consider the success of the artifact in terms of technical quality and fitness for purpose in accordance with your original brief as well as the working practices and production skills used and developed.

Present it as a final blog entry on your individual Blogs and at the end present a simple action plan that highlights your ability to improve in the future.

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reflection

The role of a producer is to plan and organize the day to day production of a film. They are usually well established in the acting community and have many locations at there disposal. They are the direct link between these things and the movie director. Our purpose for this project was just to do the same and get this film made.

So how do I think my group did for this unit? I believe that Gareth and myself were very successful in this producer project even though the final video was never made. We had set everything up to the best of our abilities. We  made necessary script amendments as well as acquired actors, and locations in place for filming but it all fell through. But at least we had set everything up in place so if it was going to happen everything would have run really smoothly. And who knows? We could potentially still film it because everything is still properly set up.

Acquiring locations for this story I believe was really simple for our group. It was very convenient that most of the setting was in a pub and I happened to work at a pub. Plus my boss is really nice and said I could film there whenever I needed to. It was especially good as the pub is set in a nice rural setting and could double as multiple locations. Outdoors next to a canal/ and indoors which has 2 bars a restaurant, a TV area, a Snug, and a back garden.

Personally I thought getting actors was probably the most difficult aspect to this project unlike sorting the locations out. We wanted older more believable and experienced actors. Our lecturer Jon Holmes gave us contact information of a former student who is well established with loads of actors who are in the local area, however he never responded back to any of our e-mails. So unfortunately we had to settle for some level 3 actors from the college instead. Although they aren’t as old or experienced as we would have liked, we had no other choice unless we wanted to fork out some cash for some professional actors.

Reflecting back on this task, I really enjoyed acting as a producer. I think I would have liked it more if it was for a project of my own, so I didn’t have to rely on other parties but overall I would say it was a good experience. Gareth and I did our job as producers and ticked off all the boxes that we needed to do. However saying that I do think there are a few things we could have improved on. Such as in our regular meetings we had with Jai Masters, since he was the only one turning up to theses meetings, we should kept insisting to him to let his group know that it was required to turn up and be involved so everyone was kept well informed.

If I was to get another opportunity to properly produce something like this again in the future I would definitely try to keep everyone in the loop, and if they weren’t interested in doing any work, then I would find someone who was. If I were to have another go at this I think I would focus more toward getting suitable actors for the position as it comes across as more believable in the film. Also I would have like to follow through with some of our other ideas. For instance getting the media make-up department to provide us with makeup so our characters could look older possibly with wrinkles and dyed grey hair.

This has been a real learning experience for me and I’ve gained a lot of organization and communication skills in the process of being a producer. I realize that some aspects of it can be really easy but others a bit more difficult. but I guess thats with almost everything right?

Criteria: 4.1 & 4.2  

 

 

 

 

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independent

Formulating the Project:

For this project I needed an external brief to meet the criteria of this assessment. I knew I wanted to make a short film for this project, so I did some research on competitions in the UK. I found the Sundance London Short Film Competition online via the website http://www.onlinevideocontests.com. Although the competition would probably be stiff, it was too perfect to pass up as it fit perfectly with what I wanted to do. Another added challenge was that the competition deadline was in less than four weeks. However I wasn’t going to let that deter me, if anything it motivated me to get the video finished before the deadline because in the media industry most projects are given a maximum of two weeks.

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The first thing I did was send the link to my fellow classmate Jordan Schofield to see what he thought about it. He really enjoyed the brief and was willing to collaborate with me on it. We discussed the brief and what it consisted of. The video had to be 3 to 5 minutes long and the brief states that the theme had to be inspired by the theme, “Making A Go Of It.” This was followed by a short paragraph that stated.

“As the world around us changes rapidly, it seems we are constantly striving to either get ahead or get by. This year we are looking for stories about moving forward in life, love or loss and the pursuit of what makes us inspired to keep going. Sometimes these are happy stories and sometimes they are poignant, but they always change the way we look at the world.” – Sundance London

With this, we decided a few main components that we wanted the video to consist of, and from there we did a rough brainstorm of how the video would be put together. So since Jordan loves writing scripts, and I’m not the biggest fan, it was bestowed upon him, that he took on writing the script for this short story. We both came up with ideas, and Jordan produced the dialogue.

We started with the ending first. We knew that whatever the story ended up being that we didn’t want a cliche happy ending, as most videos tend go down that road. The problem with that is it’s just not realistic, as life isn’t always happy as media usually makes it out to be. We then devised the story around this factor. We came up with the main character wanting to be a successful writer but struggling to find jobs in this industry. This is also a real struggle that many people face once they graduate university, so I quite liked that fact that the story remained true to reality. Below are the notes/ brainstorm leading up to the script.

Main Components:

-DREAMS

Opening scene is a dream of the main character of his/her ideal job. ie writer

Second dream is the main character younger with a parent saying they can be whatever they want to be and anything is possible.

Maybe third dream during interview process ???

-Wakes up, walks past his degree, showing he is capable.

 

-PHONE CALLS

Between mom or girlfriend for added character development asks if he has any luck with job hunting

Newspaper on side, red circles around some jobs, some crossed out already.

Computer open on job site.

Gets phone call, being denied another job, his face drops, and he crosses out another red circle on the newspaper

Throws paper in the bin, camera follows, zooms in, when zooms out it is the psychiatrists bin (bridge between scenes).

 

-PSYCHIATRIST

More character development

See that the main character is afraid of actually going for this big job and afraid of failure

Doesnt want to work a factory job like everyone else

 

After this he is confident, montage of him getting ready for his interview, circled date, brushes hair, sprays mouth, puts on suit and tie, polishs shoes etc etc

 

-MAIN JOB INTERVIEW

Really trys hardest for this big interview, gets suited and booted/practices his interview in mirror

Cuts as he sits down across from the employers, with him smiling hopefully

 

-ENDING SCENE

Comes home with a factory jumpsuit on.

Slumps down on the couch/ chair.

Looks tired is not happy, slow pan out to symbolize he is alone and he comes to realization that his life is not how he wants it.

 

 Implementing the Project with Agreed Procedures:

With our idea set in stone and the script made it was then time to get this video made. Andrew Miles offered to help out with the production which was very nice as we definitely needed the extra help. So we then allocated roles and responsibilities. While I would direct and edit it, Jordan would write it, and Andrew would be in charge of head camera operator as well as lighting.

We also decided that we would all be acting in it, as sourcing actors would be too difficult of a task to do within such short of a period. I decided that I would take on the main role while Jordan took on the role of my psychiatrist, and Andrew would be the person interviewing me in my dream. We also acquired Gareth Skinner from college to help act a bit, as well as Jordan’s father and younger brother who also did some acting. I also arraigned an external music composer to create an original sound track for the video but due to time constraints with the contest deadline, I was forced to do the sound design myself sourcing royalty free music and sound effects.

Picture 4

As a team we all pulled together and produced this project to get it made. We had 5 locations all together: Andrew sourced his mothers office in Syston for the 1st dream sequence. Next I had used my home for the main portion of the short film, I also used my Aunties house in Grimston for the psychiatrist bit. Jordan used his house for the 2nd dream sequence and finally we used the college for the job interview towards the end, both of which are in Melton Mowbray. We made a shooting schedule that consisted of 5 days over the course of 2 weeks.

To get to and from location we all relied on public transportation, which wasn’t all that bad apart from lugging heavy equipment on a crowded bus. We used most of our own equipment, such as multiple canon DSLR’s, a tripod, My Rode video mic pro, and a jury-rigged boom pole. From college we had to book out the photonbeard lighting kit and the 1 metre glide track (which were the biggest kit we had to lug around).

Picture 3

I had also considered costumes a major thought. Since Jordan was going to be a psychiatrist he needed to be dressed in somewhat smart clothes. Although he didn’t seem to have any to suit that role. So I went to the thrift shop and found a nice collared shirt and a sweatshirt to go over it for a reasonable price. I would say for the scene it suited him quite nicely. Next I wanted the factory uniform that I wore at the end. I located one from the Country Co store for about 20 pounds, which wasn’t bad but considering I only needed for one scene and nothing more I returned it and gained my full money back, not bad if I don’t say so myself. Also Smart clothes were also required for the first dream sequence and last interview scene.

Picture 2

The main prop that I had to get ahold of was a college diploma in a frame. This was to add to the character development to show that the main character had the qualifications but just struggled to get a job in the industry. So since I’m still working on my diploma and I’m doing media not journalism, I thought I’d just make one instead. I downloaded a diploma online (one from California which was very suitable for me) and I erased the name that was on it and replaced it with mine in Photoshop. I used a specific font and even curved it a bit so it was more realistic. In the end it looked somewhat real which was good for what we needed it for.

Once all this was done I had a week and a half to edit the video as well as did the sound design before the submission deadline. This was all done in Adobe Premier CS3.

Paperwork:

Below I have release and consent forms for actors who appeared in the video as well as spoke in the video. In addition there are also location release forms for the places we filmed.

 

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180

Evaluate Project Outcomes: 

I spoke to my lecturer Paul Smith about this video, and he gave me some really good critical feedback. He made a few valid observations as well as pointing out some mistakes we had made and I gladly took them all in and learned from them.

Above are 2 shots from the beginning dream sequence. In the first one I am looking left towards Andrew while the second I am looking right towards Andrew. Although I am positioned on the left side of the frame this still makes it really confusing to the viewer. This is because we broke the 180 degree rule and we crossed the line of action while filming. This is the only time we made this mistake during this shoot, but if we never had the first shot then things would have been okay. Paul did say that since it was a dream sequence, that we could have gotten away with it if we actually did it intentionally because dreams aren’t always normal.

neck

Above is another two shots that we used from the short film. I cut from  the mid shot to the close up because I wanted to show more emotion with the characters. The problem is the continuity with the little boys neck. In the first shot he is leaning back more, which makes it not flow and obvious that we filmed multiple times. To avoid this, next time while filming, I’ll get a shot individually of each characters face, possible an over the shoulder shot so it makes continuity and editing much easier.

Another criticism that paul had was the fact that nothing was pushing the main character to go and get this job. We needed more character development to make this a real problem for him. Paul suggested that maybe the mother is pressuring him to go out and get a job and she is always nagging him about it otherwise she’ll kick him out the house.

I completely agree with this point. Watching this video I feel as the problem isn’t intensified as it should be. This was definitely a learning experience for next time though. To my defense, if we had done something like that, it would greatly surpass the 5 minute limit for the contest. The video was cut down from 8 minutes to 5 minutes already, so adding in more scenes would have been very difficult from me when it came time to edit.

Other than these mistakes I believe the video was shot quite well and had a somewhat high production value. With a little extra time I think we would have realized these problems and fixed the issues accordingly. Next time I will make sure not to break the 180 degree rule as it can confuse the audience, as well as create more of a problematic setting for the main character so it engages more with the viewers.

Unit 3. Criteria 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, &; 4.2

Based on the Level 3 ideas that have been pitched to you, you will work with the Level 3 students – in your producing pairs – to OriginateDevise and Formulate the completed original, imaginative and detailed idea for a Moving Image Production and place it on your Blog. This must be the completed, production ready idea that has been tested for feasibility by yourselves, alongside the other level 3 learners.

You will then Pitch this idea – which has been tested for feasibility – to the media team – acting as Exec. Producers – and Negotiate the final outcome, before the producers take it into the production phase.

Contents of your pitched idea should include the following:

  • subject idea
  • format
  • genre
  • style
  • audience
  • intended aim
  • budget, eg research costs, crew costs, travel, accommodation, subsistence, contingency

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Rumpelstiltskin-1

For this task we paired up with the level three students to produce a two minute short film based upon the brother Grimm’s fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin for A Virgin Media competition. Our role is not to make this film but to make it feasible to get it made. Below is the original story synopsis, character briefs, aims and objectives, identification of genre, target audience, script, and storyboards that we were given by Jai Masters from level three.

Character BriefsAims and objectives

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Storyboard1 storyboard2 storyboard3

After been given all this material from Jai Masters we could tell he had put in a lot of work into this project. We allocated him the role of being the director as he was best suited for the position. We then set up a meeting to discuss the feasibility of producing this short film. Below is a screen shot of the e-mail arranging the meeting that we had on March 5th 2014, as well as a picture from the meeting with Jai.

Picture 3

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First we addressed the issue of the script being too long for a two minute film. Although it’s a great script, it’s thirteen pages long and we is not practical to fit in a length of two minutes. We’ve told Jai to minimize the script to a maximum of five pages so we can realistically make this fit within the time Virgin Media Shorts has allocated in the competition. Next we’ve asked about if their group had any budget to pay for costumes, props, an transportation to and from locations. So far there is no budget but we’ve discussed certain ideas such as a bake sale to fund some of these things. Next we’ve discussed locations. Luckily I work at a pub and my boss said it’s alright to film on his property. This is a very rural area and can serve for multiple locations within the film. As for the city scenes we decide on melton (even though a town) would best suffice as it is close to college and could work well. We then discussed actors as there were too many and we told jai to minimize them accordingly. We’ve given the level three’s two weeks to complete these changes before we have our next meeting and then we can move forward in making this production.

Above is a meeting Gareth Skinner and I had with our Lecturer Jon Holmes on March 7th, 2014 about where we were at in our producer unit. We discussed problems we encountered so far and Jon gave us guidance on what to do next. We discussed sourcing actors as older actors we thought we would struggle with quite a bit, as well as locations issues, such as power outlets and restrooms for these actors.

Criteria: 2.1 &; 2.2

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