Covid has shaken the globe over the last year or so, affecting everyone and everything, including this project. I think however I have been quite lucky that we have been able to do FMP and get back to a relatively normal college environment. Last year I had to produce my FMP online which was hardly ideal although still possible and I made something great considering the circumstances, unfortunately, it never went towards my grade.
Covid is something that will end up being mentioned quite frequently in this evaluation specifically for things like location and idea planning which I will go into more detail later on. So I can’t say that Covid has not had an effect on my project because it has but this was to be expected and I just had to work around it the best I could.
Covid safety also had to be factored in when it came to filming later on for the project. As part of my risk assessment, I did have a section on mitigating the risk of Covid infection. Lucky since the college also has safety in place, including bubble systems, I was able to work indoors around the people within my bubble. All the people I worked with in my documentary did end up being in the orange bubble which is also my colour which was great.
If I had gone out and done my documentary in a business place I feel that much more research on the Covid regulations would have been necessary and even more precaution be taken. During our filming, all members of the crew and cast were tested and wore masks where appropriate.
Progress & Development
It was really important to me and the project that I created here, that my final project on this course reflected what I had learned and created over these 2 years. I came into the course knowing some basics but nothing major and what I have created now, I feel is some of my best work and really reflects my progress.
I decided a great way to show some of this progression and journey along the course would be to use some of my previous projects within this project, specifically the intro. The intro features several different projects I have worked on, including the filming of the performing arts “by the skin of our teeth” and some of our first green screen experiences. You can also see later on in the program a section, with some footage from the old tower block to show when it was open. This was taken from a white balance lesson we did right at the beginning of the course in year 1 when I knew nothing about white balance.
It was really nice when I was able to white balance this properly years later for this project, now understanding white balance and what it does. It’s not perfect because honestly you can only do so much in post-production when it was filmed as an amateur and the lighting in the college really isn’t great.
As mentioned around my FMP and in idea development pre-production the original idea of making a documentary was with me around when I started the course. It’s just something I had my heart set on doing and enjoyed the style. When I was not able to get out last year I put the project to the side to pick up again later which I did this year. I did debate and nearly did pass it aside this year again to do for my level 4 course FMP next year. I was thinking about this mostly due to the restrictions Covid might have on the freedom of creating what I wanted to create.
My idea has developed multiple times over the project timeline having gone from a programme based on roles in a business place, to a programme based around all the college campuses looking at hidden roles and then further to based mainly around Amersham College itself. These changes were caused by many factors and at one point I felt like my project was changing too much and was not true to what I had originally planned.
Looking at it from the end now, this was not the case at all; it’s natural for an idea to develop based on limitations and developing thoughts. The project is still very much what I wanted to do when I set out and even what I was brainstorming with ideas last time. I will review location more later on but although the college was not my first choice, it always has been a choice and if I was able to produce a professional standard programme here chances are I could have done it in any environment using the same skills.
I am glad that I decided to abandon the idea of undercover boss from the start. It was hard enough to do what I did without the extra complications and factors it would have introduced and I was able to identify that.
I will admit if I hadn’t done this documentary idea this year and stuck with it, I don’t really know what I would have done, I did have my heart set on doing it. It was also a bit different from what other students were doing with short films and dramas, not that this is a bad thing, in fact, that would also be enjoyable to make but, I wanted to expand my knowledge and ability to other styles of filmmaking. One way or another, if I hadn’t done this specific project I still think I would have done something in the same style.
The idea to turn it into a series of documentary programmes, I think I was inspired to do based on the style of the programmes I have studied. It also gave me more room to develop and experiment with different things. This would also fit into my intro and outro sequences which were also done in a similar inspired style.
Carrying on from what I said in ideas, about the college not being my first choice of where I wanted to film, it was the first option I put down on my location’s planning page. For preplanning, I knew the college would be a reliable and safe environment to film so I made arrangements early to use this if I needed to. Which in the end I did and if I am honest I did kind of expect the results I got but having that secured position made me a lot more comfortable knowing each way I would have somewhere to go.
I contacted 3 organizations, including the college, to inquire about, filming obviously the college said yes. One of the companies I had contacted was MBSE, a large supplier of film lighting equipment across the country and Europe. I had previously worked with them as part of my work experience last year, which you could count as another development across the course as I have built some contacts during this time. I spoke to Toby Dare via email who is the director of operations, unfortunately as stated before, on my locations page, I was declined mainly on the grounds of nondisclosure and this was a problem I also faced a lot in this project. They did however offer me some support on other projects, which although they were not able to help with this, I am so pleased they would offer that, and I have a stronger connection I may be able to call on at a later date.
The other organization I contacted was the Forestry Commission, looking to film with their team around Bucks and Wendover Woods. I had also contacted them previously about a private project and would ask again. They never actually said no, they liked the idea and thought it would be great to do just, however not in the time frame I could prepose due to the restrictions I had on the deadline and previous units. Although now the project is specifically about Bucks College Group, there would be nothing stopping me from making a stand-alone documentary or separate series on it as another project later on. So I also don’t see this as a disappointment but a future opportunity.
Surprisingly none of the people I contacted mentioned the Covid issue at that time of communication, I did cover this in my contact email which I think did help. I do think that if we had continued further communication and organization it would have come up to be a stronger issue. It might have also been a contributing factor to the results I got.
I tried to structure a clear and informative email to explain what I was doing simply and how and why I wanted to do it, so they would be able to make a quick decision on if they could or could not accommodate my project. I think this was successful as in both cases outside the College, I got one main response within a couple of working days.
Example Email (MBSE)
I am a student studying at Buckinghamshire college group Amersham in Film & Television.
This year is the final year of my L3 course and I’m getting ready to do my final major project which will dictate my majority grade.
The project I am planning is a day in the life documentary episode in which I plan to follow multiple people over several days in different job roles to tell a story and show the workplace environment.
I am reaching out today to see if there is a chance to using your organization.
Last year as part of my work experience placement I was working with pinewood MBS as a trainee assistant lighting technician and really enjoyed the experience so I have already a bit of insight into the organization and what they do which I would hope to share with others.
I understand now that Pinewood MBS I believe has merged with MBSE and has now moved to a new location in slough, I am currently looking into transport solutions.
If possible I’m looking at dates between the 19th of April to mid May 2021, I apologize for the short notice on this however due to the year we have been having I myself have only just been made aware of project dates and times.
Covid is a big thing right now so this will be important when it comes to safely working, before this project I will do a full covid & risk assessment as well as taking the normal procedures including masks and hand washing, I will need a crew but I will keep it small I’m thinking around 3 people who will have also had covid tests before the days of filming.
I am currently building options for the project, however, this would be the main organization I would love to work with on this project.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my request, if you would like any more additional information please do email me back.
Before the idea had developed further Tim Day (Manager), my contact for the college had been helping me reach out and contact people across the colleges I wanted to work with. I identified roles and campuses I wanted to contact and Tim was able to get me in touch via email. Unfortunately, Tim was describing the project as an interview rather than a follow along which it originally wasn’t. This caused issues when I came to contact them myself because it’s not what they had signed up for and caused me to lose a couple of people.
This fault may have been caused by my explanation to him of the project and I will take responsibility for that, however, I did never describe the project as an interview during communication with him. The other issue I had is people just not wanting to, which is fine, however, some people just never replied in general it is a busy time in college. However, it would have been nice if they had sent some sort of reply as I was waiting for a reply.
Ben (Photography Technician) had originally replied and agreed which was great. I also had Martin who was a plumbing technician at Wycombe who had agreed to talk to me about it. This was around the time I changed the idea slightly. This was mainly based on some concerns Tim (Manager) had expressed about time and the people I had been able to get on board. Since martin had agreed, I still wanted to work with him on the project however he then failed to attend our arranged zoom meeting with no explanation, and then I decided to cut him out because I was worried that he was not going to be reliable and because actually, I didn’t really need to be going to other campuses now. I would have still worked with him if he had continued communication as it would have still been great to have that role. I would have just needed to put some thought into how to fit it in.
As I was now focusing on Amersham College I decided it would be good if Tim himself got involved in the project and invited him to do a piece on the development of the College. We were having some building work done and they had just declared a new College, the building work you could see in the opening shots, so I thought it would be good to explain this as the first part of the documentary. Tim agreed but his time frame was tight so we organized a later date.
I was never intending to originally use students but I thought it would make a good perspective and they were a bit more willing than some of the staff I had originally contacted. I wouldn’t say I was desperate but I was running out of time to find people.
I reached out to my fellow student Harley, he did my film and tv course which I wanted to cover anyway, and he agreed to let me film his FMP and then later do an interview with him about it. I also reached out to Chris our technician to see if he would be interested in doing a piece about facilities, however, he would have rather not been on camera.
I had already signed up to help Ryley (Student) with his FMP (Live Lounge) but decided it would be a great opportunity to capture the sound and music department, and asked him if I could also film some behind the scenes as well as use the music, and carry out an interview, which he agreed to. He was a great person also to work with.
Production was completed over a couple of weeks in the College, normally during lesson times, but I was able to contact the tutors and arrange a time for me to do this work. Our film & tv tutors were happy for me to do this anyway since the time was allocated for FMP.
My footage was filmed in a mix of HD and 4k which allowed me to have more flexibility with shots in the edit once it was edited down to HD. I filmed it in HD if I knew I was not going to need to move the shot since 4k yields a larger file size and can be harder to edit with. If I wanted to move it or there was the possibility of, I would film in 4k, so I could zoom and move around shots. This was useful especially if the boom mic was in the shot, or for interviews, if I wanted to get closer or wider. All the footage was filmed in 25 fps as I had no need to shoot in anything higher than that.
I will now go through all the sections again. I covered these on the production page but maybe in a bit more detail. Harleys FMP we filmed during the day in the TV studio, the first part at least. We did the outside part the next day. I also had some other roles on the film set, so I was multitasking quite a lot. What I really wanted to do was capture regular behind the scenes and then I did some zoom and pan shots when I had the time. I was using the Sony (FS5 M1) for this in low light but it did perform quite well, I did play around with the settings. Being a new camera, myself and our technician did struggle to work out the plate system for the tripod however we eventually figured it out.
I managed to capture just over an hour and a half of footage on the first day and then around 30 mins on the outside section. This section was shorter anyway, and I was also acting in this part. I think I set the Sony (FS5 M1) on automatic for this part as I wanted to just capture some quick bits, however looking back at it, this was an amateur move again since the exposure of the sky was really blown out at some points which made some of the footage unusable. I was able to use some bits and worked on it a bit in post. Maybe I could have spent more time with these settings, Harley had allowed me to do this but I also had a dedication to him for his FMP so really it was a balance. The footage I ended up with was mostly quite useable for the bits I wanted so I’m ok with that.
The next section I actually did, not in order of the programme but the order of filming was the live lounge with the music technology students. We had great camera coverage for this as we had a 5 camera setup and 3 operators including myself. Ellie and Gareth (Students) had the bigger JVCs we have at the College, and I was using the Sony (FS5 M1) handheld for more exciting angles. We also had a GoPro mounted to the wall to capture the drummer and my Canon 700D in the corner for behind the scenes. Unfortunately, since it was a very dark room my Canon just could not really see anything even on maxim ISO, so this footage was never used. This was also an issue with behind the scenes, you could not see the other cameras although the focus was more on sound and music rather than us.
I captured some behind-the-scenes of the desks and sound checks. After I thought about it, I thought I could have really done with a bit more behind-the-scenes footage, but in actual fact, there was not too much more I could have captured. Saying this, it would have been nice to get some footage inside the actual mixing studios, and maybe a quick tour of the facilities. It came back to the fact that we were there to help him with his project, and I was allowed to use it for mine as well. We filmed it after College on a Wednesday evening, supervised by the sound technician. I was able to get a quick interview in before the lounge started which really helped the content flow, and fitted the style I was going for. The footage I was able to capture was great and worked well in the video.
Then it was over to Ben (Photography technician)which we did on a Friday. We spent a couple of hours working with him and getting tours and interviews. Ben’s session was what I was hoping to do at the start of the project when it came to the roles. He was great with the camera, talking to it, letting us know what he was doing. We went all across the art and design department. Gareth (student) was also helping me out with a secondary camera to get some extra footage and b-roll. He was using his Canon 60D and the Panasonic Lumix SH1 when I was not using it myself.
Since the College does not allow pre-booking on equipment, I came into College that morning to pick up the Sony (FS5 M1), which was the general camera I had been using for filming like this, however, one of our tutors had booked it out and was using it for a lesson which was an issue. I did have the Panasonic as well but I did not want the footage looking like the cinema-style it produces. I had to end up using the Larger JVC which I was a bit worried about since they are older cameras and might not match the quality, and are not great in the low light. The JVC would however produce a more similar look to the Sony which is what I wanted, so I had to go with it. Ben was not in the next week so this could not have waited or been rebooked.
I was pleasantly surprised about the outcome of the footage after filming. The footage from the JVCs was a bit noisy, and it needed seriously white balancing which was to be expected. In terms of the filming environment, the studios and rooms that photography had were some of the worst for filming, as they were dark and the lighting was very inconsistent. Considering this, I think it worked quite well. I had to keep stopping to adjust white balance and exposure during the tours and follows. As I said it was a bit noisy in places, but I actually liked this, as long as it was not horrible and ruined the footage because it gave it a documentary feel and emphasized the fact that the places we were in were actually that dark.
I did make the decision to use the Panasonic when we went into the darkroom, just simply because I wanted to have cleaner footage and that room was considerably darker than the rest and I knew that camera would be able to handle it. If you look at the footage, it is still a bit noisy and not very sharp, but once again I loved this. I set up the camera to emphasise the red and create an effect because it really fits the environment. We did a quick ISO test where we took it all the way up to max and you could see the room really bright, still not very sharp but that was also to be expected, but actually, I didn’t want that because I wanted the viewers to have the experience of the “dark” room. It needed to be dark with that red glow from the top lights.
Going back to the interview at the start this, and the darkroom was probably some of my favorite footage I captured, using the Panasonic with the 50mm lens created such a nice depth of focus, and with the composition I had set up, it just looked so clean and sharp.
I was overwhelmingly pleased with how this footage turned out, Although I still would have loved to use the Sony rather than the JVC. That was the only thing, but I problem-solved and that was the best option I had available for me so I went for it.
The last section of the main content I shot not including b-roll was the interview with Tim which is funny since that was the first section actually in the programme and it was done last. I was once again using the Sony handheld for this, but I also wanted another angle so I could switch it up, so I had Gareth (Student) with the Panasonic and 50mm lens in a static position. Saying static, I was also mostly static, however providing a wider shot. I wanted to capture a decent background of the reception, however, I had to film at an angle because otherwise, the incoming light from the door would have over-exposed the shots. You can see the effect of the light slightly in the Panasonic shots in the first scene, however, I don’t really mind this. I think the mix of shots with the Panasonic and Sony work well together. You don’t see a major difference between a cinema and documentary camera here, but it depends on the camera settings and the environment. We then switched to the tower block area, (while the others moved the rest of the gear) I followed Tim up the hallway, handheld to capture this movement for the audience so it was not just that he had switched places. I had a vision and I was able to make this work in the edit.
I had collected B-Roll along the way but also wanted some dedicated shots using the TV facilities and Reception. I once again had a basic vision of what I wanted but got as much random and planned footage as I could get. This was a mix of handheld and static shots using different techniques such as focus pulling. I used the Panasonic for this, using various lenses, as I wanted the sharper look. For the reception shots I used the Sony as I wanted that look again for these shots that would be used as cutaways and openings, this also included the time lapses I created and knew I wanted to use. I created the main one by using the upstairs area in reception which I got permission to use, and set up a tall angle on the reception. Once again I could not angle this directly because of the incoming light. The exposure was still a little odd and the reception is not greatly lit so I set it up to the best of my ability.
Looking back after the edit, I really could have done with some extra general b-roll. I had plenty of specific areas, but I needed some other areas like hallways and hub spaces. I decided I could work with what I had and I needed the time then to edit, but if I did it again, that would be something I would make sure to do. I knew b-roll was important, so I got lots, but even lots was not enough. I did however make do with what I had and it did not majorly affect the programme.
The next big subject was the audio. We used the basic setup of a boom pole with a shotgun mic attached via xlr to a Zoom H5 recorder. As I am normally the sound specialist, I had to focus more on camera and directing for this project, which meant the people doing sound were much less experienced operators. This did mean some of the audio was a bit messy at times due to poor positioning and levels. I did notice it was peaking sometimes, but I was not able to concentrate on levels of the audio during filming, I did the best I could with it in editing.
I had also noticed that although the audio was set to a reasonable level, it was really quiet in playback after filming, only for some of the sections. I think this was due to the phantom power being turned off on the zoom recorder due to the fact it drains the batteries quickly, and the battery in the microphone was also flat. Although there is a switch on the microphone, there is no indication that the battery is charged or flat so this can be hard to judge. This is my theory based on experience working with audio, however, I can not be sure this was the cause. If the sound operator was more experienced, they may have been able to check these settings and batteries, however, I will say that I could have done that myself before shooting, however as I said, my focus was on directing and shooting.
In some of the other sections, the audio is fine since the batteries were probably replaced in between bookings. Next time I may look to work with a more experienced operator however due to it being a student project, the crew was quite specific.
Another challenge I did come across while planning locations within the College and when it came to shooting, was an echo. As it’s an old building most of the hallways are very echoey, I took some measures to mitigate this issue, such as positioning and mic covers, but I had to work with what I had. I don’t think it was too bad. You can hear it a little but it’s not off-putting or horrible to listen to.
The voice acting stage went smoothly, John was great to work with. Being reality TV, I had to write most of my lines based on the footage I had put together in the edit. I would send him the lines and would normally receive the completed work in a couple of hours or days which worked for me. I needed a reliable person that could produce professional audio, and John and his voice really did that and it fitted perfectly. I wanted a professional voice as audio really does raise the production value of a project and just makes it more interactive and interesting for the audience. I made a couple of changes along the way to allow the programme to flow better and John was happy to accommodate these changes.
Another really annoying “issue” I had was the amount of SD cards I had everywhere. Some belonged to me, some to the College, and some to Gareth (Student). I started losing track of footage and audio to the extent that I actually lost some of it for a while, I managed to find it eventually. I have noticed that the cameras and recorders have a really awkward file system which makes it hard to find the resource you actually want. Some cards are also HC and some are XC which cameras can be fussy, about which then confuses it even more. I think I will invest in a card pouch so I can organize and keep track of cards better but when using a mix of equipment I think it’s something I’m just going to have to keep a note of.
I don’t normally take on the responsibility of directing and producing, not to say I haven’t done it before on some projects over the course and personal projects. I don’t normally do it just because it’s a lot of work to organize and a lot of the time. I know basically what I want to achieve but I don’t know exactly what I want, and this can make it harder to achieve what I want to and to communicate with the cast. To some extent, I did that on this project. I knew what I wanted to get roughly from the people I was working with but not necessarily how I was actually going to structure it.
I think with documentary filmmaking it’s a lot easier for me because I don’t need to necessarily plan every movement and shot. I can turn up having a basic plan in my head and get it done. The people are more free to do what they want because I am there to follow them, I may give some instruction on what I want to see and then they can provide that for me. I found this a much better style of filmmaking for my directing and producing style.
However, with documentary filmmaking, I think it’s a lot more of a social experience. You have to get to know the people involved and that allows you to be able to connect with them and get what you want. It also depends on the people I’m working with. I would find it a lot easier to communicate with the crew and cast I already know and have worked with before, rather than people I have only just met, but I suppose anyone could say this really.
Would I produce and direct again?
Well, it would really depend on the project and what it was for, but yes I would. As I have said I would like to keep learning other roles and although I don’t want to be a director, I really wouldn’t mind doing assistant directing which is also what I did for a couple of other students FMPs this year. I liked this because there’s less pressure on me to make decisions and I can sit back a bit more and advise on shots, lighting etc which Is what I like to do, and I think that links in towards my technical specialization. As said before, I also like working as a team because of the great creative environment and efficiency but I can also step up and take the lead on things if I am required to. I would definitely look at producing/directing another documentary in a similar or different style.
Post Production (Editing)
I have looked quite a lot into the process of the editing on my post-production page but there’s a couple of things that stood out to me and will evaluate further. I would say documentary-style editing is a bit more simple than say a feature or short film, based on personal experience. There is not too much you need to do in the ways of sound design or special effects, obviously depending on what it is you are going for.
In my case, most of the content was already there and there was not too much I needed to do to it. I’m not saying at all that the editing was quick or simple for that matter though, and I also did use sound design so you do need it. A lot of the process was just organizing the structure and creating a story flow throughout the programme. I ordered my programme so it went from the start to the end of the day.
A lot of my documentary was based on interviews and the raw interviews were long and in most cases boring to watch. Having the long interviews, however, meant plenty of content to choose from, so a lot of the editing I did was reorganizing the interviews and picking out the interesting parts. What is interesting really depends on the person. The first couple of cut downs were based on what I would enjoy personally. Once in a position to do so, I was able to show the original edits to family & friends, and tutors for feedback, and then made more appropriate cuts. I knew this was going to be the process but it was hard for me to keep cutting out content.
If I was able to I would have left most of it in but I knew this was not possible, not because I was being forced to, but because I wanted to create a well-flowing interesting programme, and to do that I needed to be to the point and engaging. I must have cut some of the parts such as Tim’s (Cast Interview) down around 5 or 6 times but once I had done, it did flow better and I was pleased with it. This cut-down process was probably the hardest and longest part of the process. Another reason I wanted to keep a lot of footage was because I had a length I was working towards and every time I moved or cut down footage I was making it shorter. I knew I needed to do this but it doesn’t make it any easier. It’s better to have a shorter programme than a longer but boring one.
Following on from what I said about audio in production, this needed some work in the edit. For a long time during my edit, the audio levels were very up and down which I was adjusting as I went along during the editing process. I think I lost some editing quality when I had to boost a lot of the audio clips because of equipment issues. It still wasn’t terrible and sounded ok but It was not ideal. In some stages, I had to use the pen tool to adjust specific points in the audio. This was a mixture of just loud sounds and going back to inexperienced operation.
The audio collected from the boom mic was far superior however to the inbuilt camera mic, which was to be expected anyway, so of course, I used that. I did remember on most of my clips to do a sync clap or was able to find a distinct point in the audio that I could sync. The audio synced perfectly and I had no issues with this.
The graphics and transition sequences were some of my favourite parts, just in the way they were able to flow smoothly and resembled similar in the other programmes I had looked at. Most of the time it was just a small clip or timelapse with some sound design, such as the birds in the background, just to add a more friendly environment feel which was accompanied by a voice-over that did most of the work. In some sections, it is also followed by b roll which would introduce you to the course-specific environment and this was just an extra touch that set the scene and was very effective.
The intro sequence was the first thing I produced based on the voice-over narration I had already written. This really led the programme and I don’t think it would have been the same without it. It started off strong and was able to show the College feel straight away. Once again I think the voice-over really led the sequence, which led into the short graphical sequence created with native shapes and images which I had keyframed. This then went onto the drone shot and although I was not as happy about using footage not done myself, it was an essential shot to have, not only to fit the style I was going for but also, I know I have said this a lot, but to introduce the environment, you get to see a full shot of the building itself and the surrounding area of Amersham.
The lower thirds were also a powerful graphic I made use of during the programme. This was something that other programmes I had looked at didn’t make use of as much. I debated for a while whether to keep these on-screen or to have them come in and then fade out, but I liked the way they added something else to the composition of the video and it was not just plain video. These were also created in premiere pro using native text and shapes with the logo as a png item.
I also debated on creating these in adobe premiere pro or adobe after effects, but for the sake of simplicity, I decided to do it in premiere pro as it’s a very similar system when it comes to making them anyway. I was able to make changes on the spot rather than going into after effects and doing it which would have taken a bit longer. I am aware that you can link premiere pro and after effects but that is still a bit awkward for something I can do in a couple of minutes. A small touch I added to these and decided to continue on with some of the other graphics, such as the thumbnail, was the staff/student-specific Colours. The lower third would change outline based on the staff or student lanyard colour and I thought this was just a nice touch and another thing to stay on brand with the college scheme.
These graphics and lower thirds also show the progression of things I have learned in other units during the course such as unit 10 this year, In which I created a full graphical pack for our news show, including lower thirds which developed my graphical skills. This also links back to the lessons we have had with both Simon and Al (tutors) on title sequences and after-effects over the 2 years of the course. I have really seen an improvement in my skills in this area and It was something I was always interested in before joining the course.
On the subject of the thumbnail, this was just a quick thing I wanted to do and did in photoshop which displayed the College logo, and in the background, all the people I had cast. I wanted to do this because I identified it as an area of improvement in other students’ Amersham videos. Although this wasn’t really needed, I am thinking ahead to marketing and audience again, and having a good-looking preview/thumbnail would be more likely to yield views. This would also be a template I could use if I made other episodes, as I created this to be the first episode, as if there was to be a series.
If I had more time I would have created a trailer. The trailer, I think, would be based on the series rather than the specific episode itself since it would make more sense. I feel that this would mean I would have to go out however and create more content since it would have to reflect the entire series and I wouldn’t be able to fill it with what I currently have.
Copyright was something I wanted to have a quick look into. It’s a big thing when creating media within the industry and we have looked at this in lessons during the course. I was considerate when choosing music and sound effects for this project. The majority of which was sourced from royalty-free websites and credited for it. There was one piece that unfortunately I was not able to obtain royalty-free without subscriptions and fees, but if this programme was broadcast or used commercially then royalties and licensing would be paid.
All artists are credited and the project was created for educational purposes.
Working From Home & Time Management
Closer to the FMP deadline and pre-production stage I have been working from home with permission from my tutors. We have facilities in College, however, I felt with the equipment I had available at home I would be much more productive and focused at home. The results of me doing this were very successful, as you can see, yielding this evaluation and editing sequence.
At the start of the project, I was very disappointed by the time we were given this year to complete the FMP. It has been a chaotic year and we had only just rushed to get all our unit work finished, to be then bombarded with FMP. Once pre-production was completed over my half term break I then only had a couple of weeks to film and complete the project. We had much less time this year than last, which if anything, we should have had more due to the effects Covid has had.
Working from home and during breaks and weekends has been the way I have solved and managed to get everything I wanted to do done, however, you are able to see the impact of this deadline in the development of the initial idea. Was this caused by my idea being over ambitious? Maybe to some extent, but I wanted to create something to end this course that would be able to show the skills I have learned, not only to UAL, but also to myself, and that’s what I have done.
My Future & Conclusion
In the overall conclusion of the project, there were some things that went wrong, some things that didn’t happen but a lot of things did and went right. This was to be expected. I set out at the start of the project to create a semi-professional standard documentary programme in which I could show most of the skills I have developed during this course, while also continuing to develop them whilst learning another style of filmmaking. The question is, had I done that?
The short answer for me is yes, I think I have. I am so proud of my final product documentary. It looks and sounds professional and I have had some great feedback on it. I have also managed to show my skills through pre-production, production, and post-production in many ways, including research to graphical effects. I also said that I wanted to learn more about documentary making through this project and I now have the experience to start me off, and I think I will continue to be invested in this style.
Of course, there are things that I would change and improve on, for example, the content of the documentary. Although I am happy with what I have I feel that if restrictions due to time and Covid were not in place I would still have been looking to do it outside of the College environment and I would still have liked to have had more following content rather than more interview-based as I have now.
I have wanted to do this project since the start of the course. It was like a calling, and now I have explored that I am looking forward to my next project in the future which will be part of the level 4 HNC course I am hoping to do next year. I don’t think I would do a documentary next time just because I want to try new things. I have had a very positive experience with documentary making and although people can be difficult to work with I will definitely do it again at some point.
In terms of my specializations, they haven’t changed during this project. I still have my heart set on sound and technology, but I was able to explore other roles and will be able to use this on other projects, personal or work-related in the future.