4.1 – What are the resources required for your film production (think about equipment, props, actors, location etc)
To begin film production, for both of the short films I worked on, my crew and I gathered for a production meeting in which we made a list of all the props, equipment and locations we needed (although we already had one location, we had to choose between the different studios). For example, in ‘The End’ we had to get two rings for both of our actors, clothes, makeup, empty coffee cups (to set the scene), two tables and four chairs… etc. And for ‘Spaghetti’ we had to get many things like: Spaghetti, takeaway boxes, tomato sauce, carrots, cooking knife, recipe books, a table, two chairs, some fabric to cover the table, two bowls, cutlery and more.
4.2 – What is your key role and what are the skills and equipment required to fulfil it?
My key roles in ‘The End’ are editor and sound designer. The skills required to complete these roles are paramount. I need to be organised, and focused, to be able to know what is going on, how everything is being filmed, in what order, what soundtracks correspond to what video… This will greatly aid me when it comes to the first cut.
I also need my team members and relative equipment, for example, for sound design, I worked with the boom operator Dora, and together along with the correct equipment, (a boom, sound mixer, cables, headphones, data storage,) we were able to record good quality sound of the heavy dialogue based script.
For editing, I will need to be creative and work with the director to complete her vision, as well as coherently put together the film to most effectively tell the story, with our teams input. To do this, I will need the correct software and the video and audio recorded.
What is your supporting role and what are the skills and equipment required to fulfil it?
My Supporting roles in ‘Spaghetti’ are stills photographer and script supervisor. To complete my role as script supervisor, I must pay close attention to the actors and exactly what goes on to ensure continuity. I must have good communication with the relevant people to make sure everything goes smoothly.
4.3 – How do you feel you performed your roles on set? What were your strengths and what were any challenges you faced?
I was surprised by being on set for the first time. In ‘The End’ (where I was sound designer/mixer and editor), I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed working in sound. I had to pay close attention to all the sounds, especially background noise, at all times, and make detailed notes about the recordings, adding in when the meter went to high, or what take it matched up to. I was very happy to have received extremely positive feedback from my sound tutor. I also really enjoyed communicating with the boom operator Dora, and I overall felt that it was a great experience, though stressful at times. I faced a few (As mentioned in 3.1) challenges when it came to sound with the background noises and heavy dialogue based script (that included screaming), however overall, I believe the sound team and I dealt with it very well.
I also took a lot of notes on set, while sound recording that made my job so much easier, especially in post production as the editor. Here are some of the notes I took:
As we were rather short staffed on both shoots, I also had to take on several roles at once. (For example, I helped with some of the actor’s nail polish etc.)
I also took on roles like getting props, helping others on set and running back and forth to make spaghetti. This was very challenging and had me very tired at the end of the day, however I did feel a lot more accomplished.
How do you think your skills and knowledge developed in this role?
I feel that I have developed a lot of knowledge in my roles. For example, I know a lot more about what it is like to work on set, and in post-production, as well as working in the sound team. It has been a whole new experience and has allowed me to learn to work with equipment that I had no idea even existed before.
Moreover, I feel that my skills have also developed during my time on this course. I have become more passionate about film, and I have realised the importance of communication and being organised. For example, I communicated with the director and DOP to ensure that I fulfilled my role as script supervisor. My organisational skills and time management have also improved. At first I was a little overwhelmed, however now, I feel like I am more sure of myself and I am more confident in what I am able to do, I am now making my own schedules, for even non-film related things.
4.5 – Following completion of the Film Academy, please give examples of film production skills that you would like to develop. Did you have any particular strengths or weaknesses on the course?
I need to work on my prioritisation. When I was on the set, I had a lot to do and not much time, which meant I had to be cool under pressure. At times I didn’t really handle this very well and felt a bit stressed out. Over time, I feel like I overcame this slightly, and I would like to be able to evaluate what I have to do and how long it might take me.
I feel as though one of my biggest weaknesses I discovered on this course was my script writing. I enjoy the idea of creating a script, and I enjoy creative writing, however, I had never had any experience when it came to script writing and how scripts are expected to be written and formatted. I would like to try and get better at this. I would also like to learn more about the sound industry, and being a sound recordist or Foley artist. You need to be very talented and think outside the box to create believable sounds to match the visual film or video.
Lastly, I would like to develop my post-production editing skills further. I am very interested in the idea of VFX and CGI, creating something that was never there but making it looks so incredibly believable and realistic seems like an awe-inspiring skill that I would love to be able to possess.