In this evaluation I am going to critically reflect upon the short film my group produced, from planning of pre production and drawing to a close in postproduction. As a group we looked into many short films online that were similar to our idea hoping that would help us in building a structure of our narrative throughout production. The process of pre production didn’t really start well as a group everyone was all over the place and we didn’t have any real direction with a narrative, for the film. Everyone wasn’t putting his or her full focus on the job at hand, this left us with a bit of catching up to do, working to the deadline. Even though it didn’t seem that it would affect us on the long run, as we got to post production and the final stages we certainly seen how important that stage was.
However we started to build on our narrative highlighting the key element of our potential story, by getting together for meetings and getting feedback from lecturers. This was beneficial to our production getting good and bad feedback for us to develop on our narrative. After we had a strong narrative and fully agreed on the storyline for our film, we began working on our treatment as this would help when writing up the script. This was important especially being a mistake of mine from past experiences not doing a treatment before I started writing a script. After we completed the treatment we then started writing numerous drafts of script, which really good as it allowed us the chance of improve while getting a real feel for the film.
A major blow to our film was when we had to change our idea, which meant scripts and all other relevant paper work up until that stage of production. The issue was regarding legalities of using a young actor in our film. We wouldn’t have had time to get the chaperone licence, again in such as short space of time. I suppose we should have looked into that area a bit earlier as we would have avoided wasting so long. I was really disappointment as I thought that narrative was really strong, and the visual would have complimented the storyline. We had to go back to drawing board and create something were able to produce in an even shorter deadline.
After we changed our story and put together treatments, scripts etc., we had to move fast in looking for actors. The casting stage was really hard in allocating actors especially as this process was our first as a group, we had never really went about making a film so professionally. We had a lot of setbacks throughout this stage, as when we arranged auditions a lot of the potential actors and actresses didn’t turn up. As a result of this we would have to reschedule or get someone last minute, which is not entirely what we hoped for. Throughout this stage of looking for contributor, we found casting websites really unreliable taking quite a while for a response. I suppose the reason for this was because we were behind schedule and we should have had it up on the sites much earlier. Nevertheless we didn’t dwell on that, as we had it advertised on more than one platform. We got more joy on our Facebook group we created advertising a brief outline of the film. The response was really good, as people were recommending others to our advertisement.
Immediately after we sorted out actors we then planned days for the shoot, which we had to rearrange a few times. This wasn’t good for our production as you can lose interest in yourself and most importantly your actors may think your not professional and back out. However as we had a real direction we were prepared and confident in executing the task at hand. I focused on the shooting script for our initial idea, which fell through, but we used it as a template to adjust to our new script, without that much drastic change.
On the first day of the shoot we took quite a while to get the right setting for the visual for example the lighting. A lot of takes were shot, positioning the lighting numerous places, in attempt to perfect our shots. I wish I could have got more lighting skills session as I really intrigued in cinematography and how it helps the way of telling a story, through visuals. Initially I think we were a bit rusty with our camera work and sound recording until we got into and everything started running much smoother. The shots and composition were really good but after we looked back at the footage a few of the stand out scenes were out of focus. This was a disappointment, as we had to reshoot on another day, if we had a monitor we would have avoided this, which we forgot to book out on the day. Sometimes when you just looking at the screen on camera it’s too small to pay that much attention to detail. Handing in a rough cut of our film was good process in gaining feedback from our peers, which we took on board. Luckily we had a decent shoot and when we came back we just back had to sharpen up and improve upon a few mistakes made in the first shoot. The scene of charity shop was the most challenging and took quite a lot of takes to get it right, being in a busy environment. I was filling in for sound on the day, which was quite challenging as were in shopping centre, and people were making a lot of noises. I suppose this is come with territory of production of films the task in getting the sound right. Personally it felt really strange but interesting as a sound operator, as I usually like to operate the camera or direct. Although I did enjoy the task and I learnt quite a lot from focusing on a sound scape.
Overall the experience of making the film has really developed by skills in many different aspects and brought me out of my comfort zone, working in different job roles. For example focusing on the paperwork side of things, sound operating and helping out with the director being the 1st Ad. This assignment has given me the advantage in having an understanding of what goes on in the making of film professionally. I have enjoyed every moment of this assignment and was excited by the challenge in producing a short film from scratch to a high standard.