Thought this project, I’ve been constantly evaluating myself so I know what I need to do and where I could go from each point. I decided to do an overall one at the end of this project to show what I’ve done, what I did well, and what I can do better next time. Last year I did a similar evaluation, which helped me with all my projects including this one, so I’m going to follow a similar structure.
For this project I started with the theme identity, and from there I made the film below which I am extremely proud of.
Research and Analysis
For this project I used a lot of research, primary research and secondary research, which really contributed to my final film. When using research, I used primary research to get my own feedback and see clearly what the audience wants. When using books and websites I tested what they preached and more importantly, looked closely into if it was reliable by looking at the author and the actual website.
I used a broad range of research through this project to make sure that I was always looking at diff rent opinions and ideas. I analysed the sources to help me gain a better understanding of there meaning and importance. I researched looking at films, real life stories and techniques. Analysing the colours, characters, how to film a certain shot, why a story works so well and a lot more. I analysed by breaking them down, especially the films, so I could learn how I can create similar looks or narratives. I focused on certain types of research through my project, like solely researching the narrative of running away and how that can be presented on screen. Just in this section of research I identified a lot of conventions within these films. For example colour schemes, which were mainly natural or bright to represent childhood which I solidified in my own primary research later on in the project. Understanding these conventions were very important for my final film as it helped me understand what an audience wants and what an audience reacts to. Using the colour schemes as an example again, learning that yellows and oranges represent a lot of peoples childhoods made my film a lot more relatable and warming.
I learned a lot of key lessons in researching in my FMP, mainly about what my audience wants and enjoys. This made my film a lot more positive, as I think its easy for a filmmaker to get lost in their ideas and forget about what the audience wants. This influenced my planning a lot, as I looked at what the audience would want to see and be interested in, making my final film more positive to audiences by giving it a clear audience.
If I was going to do this project again, I think I would’ve researched a lot more in the earlier stage of my project when I was stuck between ideas. This is because at the start, I was very unsure where to go from that point and if any of my ideas would work. If I had researched more, I think it would’ve helped me understand which ideas would’ve worked quicker, and start to visualise the best ones. I could’ve developed my research and analysis further by breaking down research I got from book and magazine sources. I think a lot of them where passing quotes that I looked at to help me understand topics more, whereas I think I could’ve gone further into looking into them.
Generation, development, Planning and Preproduction
The planning and preproduction of this project was a very important stage for me. It helped me make my film the best it could be by making sure everything that was in it, the best it could be.
To approach this brief, I started with idea generations. I was instantly drawn to the theme identity, as a lot of my films I have made have been about peoples identity. I started to look at how I could use this theme and wrote them out. We also discussed them as a group, getting feedback off them. This was a really useful process as I began to filter out what ideas, and develop new ones. Whilst doing this process, we also looked at how to come up with ideas and keeping on task. I made mind maps and mood boards mainly to help me visualise these ideas and get feedback on them. I don’t think the brief restricted me that much, apart from the time limit. Last year I went over the time limit in the brief, so I wanted to stay clear of that this year. This meant I wanted a more simple idea that wouldn’t be too complicated. After a lot of backwards and forwards of different ideas, I finally went with the one of the siblings running away.
After I picked the idea I wanted to work on, I had to think about a lot of factors and challenges that would effect my film. Last year, my primary problem was location. This year I really had to think about how I would make the story interesting and different. There is a lot of running away stories, and I wanted mine to be upbeat and quirky. I knew I would have to focus on narrative, which was a big challenge for me as I do like to focus on the overall look of a film. I had to take into concideration how much time I had for this project and wether I would be able to make a strong narrative as well as a strong visual film. I was worried about this, but I knew if I scheduled my time right and was confident enough in my ideas, I would be able to do it.
A lot of this project and my biggest blog post this year was idea development. A lot went into developing my story and film till I got my final FMP. I kept researching and planning, which made my ideas evolve constantly. One of the first big influences in research that changed my planning was only using one main character. I decided on this because of the research I did supported the idea of using one child to capture an audience and make the film more relatable. I also researched a lot into production design again, but the other side of it. Last year I was looking a lot into blues, this year I was looking at bright colours and the way that colours can stimulate an audience. My plans defiantly adapted as the project evolved as researching throughout was a constant process for me. The script was the main part of my film that kept changing and developing through feedback, analysis and research.
I recorded my planning through my WordPress blog in designated posts. Last year my work was all over the place, so like an actual film document I had clear sections. All my planning is in the Idea / Pre Production Development – FMP blog post. This way you can clearly see my process and where it came from. I created a lot of preproduction documents, that constantly developed which can all be found in the Idea / Pre Production Development – FMP post. These consisted of,
- Project propsals (Project Proposal – FMP)
- Project schedules
- Research and development posts
- scripts (Script FMP -2, Script FMP-2, Second Draft, Draft 3, DRAFT 4-2, Final Script)
- Health and Safety (Risk Assement full)
- Scheduling (schedule tuesday, Full schedule)
- Shoot preparation (prop list)
- Location scouting
- Costume design
- Story boards
Preproduction brought a lot of value to my film as it it helped me organise and keep on track. Developing the documents and getting feedback was really positive for the project as it made them the best they could be. The planning and scheduling was one of the biggest contributors to why my film was successful as it made me keep on time and get everything done in the project, and also give me time to develop it further and more efficiently.
Testing and Development
One of the most important parts of shooting, is the testing. This is where you begin to filter out what is possible and how it can be done.
My key points for testing were shots I hadn’t done before. I wanted to test these as I wanted to see if I could do them, and if they would work within my film. My first test was the shoe throwing shot. I wanted to do this shot because it was a key point in my film, and needed to look good. I wasn’t sure that the shoe would look good on camera, so it needed to be tested. I did some research into what frame rates to use to help me prepare for this shoot, but really I was going off what I knew. I tested the difference in frame rates to see which one would look the best, by continuously throwing the shoe backwards and forwards. This was really valuable to my FMP, because I learnt that by changing the frame rate, would make it stand out a lot in my film and the 25fps made it look natural to the eye.
Another test shoot I conducted was the zoom in shot. This was another shot type I had never filmed before. My main concern over this shot is what the focus would look like and if it would have a comedic effect or not. Again, the test shoot helped me a lot towards my FMP as I found out putting the frame I wanted right at the end of the zoom, helped me get the focus right and not having to try stop in the right place. It also helped me learn how to use the FS700 as I found it had a push auto focus, which I used in my final film.
Neither of my test shoots failed enough to change my preproduction or planning, as it actually made me more confident in my actual film and I knew exactly how to film the scenes. In that sense, it did help me a lot when it came to actual filming as its a lot more professional to go in with confidence in what you are doing. Furthermore, it helped me have more valuable time on set with my actors, as I wasn’t experimenting with shot types.
Production and Shoot
Organising the shoot
I made schedule to organise my shoots so everything would run smoothly. This was given to everyone and also put up when we were on sets so people would know what to do on the day. Full schedule.
I also corrected a prop, character and set list for when we did the shoot in the gregson, as a lot of it was setting up and taking everything down (prop list). Furthermore, this year I made a risk assessment, one in full and one for each shoot. This was important because I had a lot of risks on set and also I had children so to me it was very important they were safe. I didn’t really make a proper one last year, but I wanted to make sure my set was as safe as possible and everyone knew how to be careful. (risk assesmnet tuesday, Risk Assement full)
This planning really helped me in the shoot as it meant that I was more prepared and ready for anything to happen. It also helped me knowing that people were handling themselves with the risks, rather then me having to keep an eye on everything that was happening.
I did encounter challenges when I was filming, the main one was weather. We were having clear skies until the week I needed to shoot. The first weather issue I had was on the Monday, where it was tipping it down all morning. To face this, I kept checking the weather forecast and went on a very detailed one. I decided to push my filming back and do it a couple of hours later after making sure everyone was free. The other weather issue I had was on that overnight was raining that week, so I had to find a clear night for sunset. I planned it well and I managed to film on the only night it was clear.
Another issue I encountered was the first scene I shot, which was the hospital scene, I didn’t take into account how big the set was to the door. This was a rucky mistake, as there was no way that it was going into the room. Luckily I had planned for a plan B location which was good as it meant that I could stay on schedule and keep filming. However, I did learn from this, as I went over my other locations carefully to deicide if they could work with certain conditions, which I did change in my risk assessment.
I think I planned well in my preproduction, as these were the only 2 big challenges I faced when filming. I think that I planned well for problems, especially in my scheduling as I made time to spare in each scene so there was room for mistakes instead of putting a big pressure on it.
I think all the planning I did for the shoot helped my workflow a lot, as I knew exactly what was happening on set at all times. It also meant I was very prepared and ready for a lot of problems that could’ve occurred. I think this preparation also helped the crew and actors as it meant they could find out easily what to of from the documents I gave to them. I managed the crew and cast well, by keeping professional and organised. I’ve seen sets where directors are very stressed, so it makes everyone stressed and I’ve learnt from that. Being on top of it all and making sure everyone was comfortable really made the environment better. It made the film a lot more sucessful, esecially the acting side to it, as all my actors felt ready to film. My main priority was the Jake, the actor who played Kevin, was comfortable in front of the camera, which he was.
Not a lot of my plans did evolve or adapt on set. there was only two big ones that I can think of. One was that I had to film the quick zoom in shot through a fence. I think this worked fine because I practiced in the testing stage of how it would work. I think this made the scene looked better in the end, as it gave it a more comedic look. The other change was having the tent in shot for the sunset scene. I think this worked for my benefit as the last shot really works, and I think adding the element of more things in the shot would’ve made it messy and distracting.
I think my preproduction was very up to standard, as it really helped me and my cast have a successful shoot. I made sure I put a lot of detail and time into it, like last year, as each shoot ran a lot smoother from it.
Post Production and Edit
Approaching the edit was now second nature to me. I started off by uploading rushes and logging them, which has always helped me have a cleaner edit. I made a plan of what I was going to do to help me keep on schedule and time as I had deadlines to meet throughout the edit.
I think the only thing I would have done differently to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of my edit looking back at the planning, would of been trying to get my filming and voice over done sooner. This made my edit take a lot longer and harder to make assesbely edits and rough cuts.
My work flow was based a lot on getting feedback from rough cuts. Once I had exported every rough cut, I made sure to keep getting feedback. I’m not very strong at editing so it was important for me to keep getting the feedback I needed to keep me focused.
Tools and Techniques
I used the same editing tools and techniques I’ve learnt over the last year and making it more efficient by keeping an organised timeline. This was important for me, because I get quite lost in an edit sometimes, so I wanted to make sure everything was labeled and in the right place.
However, I did learn some new techniques. For example, how to fix bad sound in adobe audition. This really helped me make my film more professional by giving it cleaner sound.
I also leant how to make overlays so I could get rid of patched or dirt on my lens, which made my shots look a lot more professional.
Both these things have helped me as they are both things I’ve struggled with in past edits. Now in future edits I know how to effectively use the skills to fix bad sound and a bad shot.
If I was going to do this edit again, I would’ve tried to fix a lot of the problems earlier on. This is because they were very time consuming, so it would’ve been good to get them out of the way. I don’t think my story or idea changed a lot in the edit and I kept to my script throughout. I think in the past, it has change a lot during the editing stage making the quote ‘the edit is the final draft of the script; very accurate which I didn’t completely agree with last year.
Evaluating and Monitoring
Through the project, I recorded all my work in designated blog posts.
- Project Proposal – FMP
- Idea Generation – FMP
- Idea / Pre Production Development – FMP
- Testing and Development – FMP
- Pitch and Feedback – FMP
- Project Diary – FMP
- Presentation and Release – FMP
- Treatment – FMP
- Production – FMP
- Post Production – FMP
These clear blog posts helped me keep track of all my work and my workflow, which is something I struggled with last year as they were in the wrong order. These sections are very similar to what a professional would use to monitor their work flow in a large production folder to give to someone they work for. At each stage and on each blog post I critically reflected on my work I developed and evaluated each section. I did this by constantly looking back on what I had done, and looking at what I had left to do. This election helped me develop my project as I could see where I was going wrong or my mistakes, so I wouldn’t repeat them further a long. It also helped me because when I analysed each step, it helped me understand the ideas more. I think that my work is very connected to my research as it shows a clear understanding of what I learnt, and you can see my process from idea generation, to research, to idea development to my final film. This is clear from the images below.
I am extremely happy with my final film. It looks exactly how I imagined, and I think it visually shows who I am as a filmmaker and my style that I wanted to achieve and keep developing. I can see the difference of how professionally it was made from last years FMP, and that makes me very proud to see my development as a filmmaker. This film shows people who I am as a filmmaker as it is an accurate representation of my style, visually and narratively. I want to bring these skills into future projects by developing and keeping the style I have created in this film, as in the bright colours and the shot types. I have also developed my professional skills by publicising my film and talking to people as a professional filmmaker rather then a young filmmaking student. I did this by entering film festivals, talking to people in the film industry, people messaging me about future work and even being on my local radio. This is such an important skill as now I feel comfortable enough to introduce myself as a filmmaker, rather then a film student. I know I have a long way to go by developing these skills, which I can do by gaining more publicity on social media platforms, or connecting with other filmmakers. This is a good thing to set as a goal as it will really help me become a better filmmaker and more confident within myself.
I think this also links into what I have learned about myself as a person. I’ve started to realise that I do have a skill and that I need to have more confidence in that. I can see that this still needs to be developed, but I also see how far I’ve come in a year. So I also believe that my confidence is a characteristic that I still need to develop.
The initial research and inspirations have helped me evolve my film, which I demonstrated before by looking at the process I have made. More scenes have more connections then others.
Writing over shots:
Zoom in Shots:
And my main influence, colour schemes:
This film have changed my own understanding of my progression and ambitions, as now I see that I really want to concentrate of fictional stylistic filmmaking. Over this project, I also applied for Manchester Filmmschool, which I will be attending next year. This film helped me realise that I need to keep learning and keep developing as a filmmaker, and that further education is the best option for me.
If I was going to start this project again, there is defiantly things I would do differently. Firstly, I would’ve researched further and got more feedback on my initial ideas. This is because I found this part very tricky and hard to pick which idea to go with. I should’ve had more confidence and gone with what I wanted to do straight away, as that was my main issue. In the future, I need to tell myself to go with my gut and do the style of filmmaking I want to do.
However, looking back, I did everything I could’ve done on this film. I am so proud of myself as I was constantly doing work and I really put my heart and soul into this project, and I think you can see this in my final film. I have loved this project as it’s been very close to my heart, not because of the topics, but because its really represented me as a filmmaker. Leaving college is a very scary thing to do, but in the end its helped me so much I feel confident enough to say that I am a filmmaker, and that this film is the best of me and my work.