Documentary Seminar Post – Eight – After the Seminar

Overall I am extremely happy with how the seminar ran! I think we got some great information out of our guests and the audience was happy with the information they got about the documentary industry.


I think the whole concept of Fear and Loathing worked really well and made a great aesthetic and vibe to the seminar. I was a tiny bit disappointed with the turn out, as there were not very many people there, it seems as though once a group has run their seminar they do not both coming to the seminars anymore. This is a shame for them as they missed out on an extremely interesting seminar.


One thing that we should have figured out more was the questions from the audience. While the first few were great, the last couple that came in caused my timing of the questions to be slightly messed up causing me to run slightly overtime and not being able to ask a few of the questions I really wanted to. For example the question Shelly asked right at the end, meant that I did not have time to ask my final question, which was, exactly the same as the question she asked. I think this made us look like we had not included questions about the industry and caused us to look quite unorganized, whereas the timing and questions were actually planned extremely well.


I think that our group ended up working really well together and I am extremely happy to have been group leader for the seminar. While at times it was hard to bring everyone together, I think I did a good job of keeping everyone on track and bringing together the seminar. I think the plan and questions I made worked well and the communication I had between the steering committee and the group was clear and well done. All in all I think I was a vital group member and did more than my fair share of work.


In the end I feel as though I played a vital role in making sure the group made stayed on track and got everything done, as it needed to be.


I am really happy that the seminar went well and now just have to make sure that everyone does their part in getting the paperwork for the steering committee done by next week.

Documentary Seminar Post – Seven

As it is only one week away from our seminar I am pretty sure that our group is on top of everything! While we are a hard working group it is sometimes a bit hard to get us all working cohesively. For example we have a great poster, a great promo, a great plan for the seminar set up and food, and great questions and a good plan on how everything will run, it is just hard to get everyone to focus to make sure that everything will come together. I guess that comes with working in such a big group though. In the meeting today after the seminar I asked everyone to focus for 10 mins to go around and make sure that everything is on track. It seems as though it is!! Now we have three confirmed guests I have tailored some questions to suit the guests specifically and also make sure that the way the seminar will run well.


After the seminar this week, I was really impressed with how it was run; the one thing I took was that there was not much flow between the questions. This is why I have made sure I have follow up questions to the big questions, in order to make the seminar flow. I am a bit nervous about how the seminar will go, but I think that our group has done good work and will be able to pull off the seminar well!!one week

Documentary Seminar Post – Six

I had to get everyone send our progress into the steering committee today, which was hard as our group has had some trouble staying on track and actually meeting the deadlines we have made. I had to put a bit of a hard word on everyone to get all that needed to be done, done, I also had to do quite a bit of it myself. I did the seminar plan, promotional strategy, reminded Tom to tell the guests about the release forms, as well as finalising the guests bios. I collected everything on the list below and sent it all into the steering committee.


Documentary Seminar Post – Five

The list of questions I have suggested.

How did you get started?
– What path did you take from there?

When starting out in the field, did you have mentors or did just, figuratively speaking, learnt to swim on the job?

When you have an idea, or a lead for a doco, what’s the process to see it happen?

Most difficult part of your job

Most exciting part of your job

Do you struggle to tell an unbiased story / is there such thing as a truly unbiased documentary?

  • Richard with Ecco Homo about your friend and interviewing friends


When creating a documentary, is being passionate about the topic / subject important?
– Is there a struggle between creating documentaries that you are passionate about and what there is economical and corporate pressure for you to make?
– Examples of both / either



What is one thing you shouldn’t do when creating a documentary.


If you could give one piece of advise to someone wanted to get into documentary what would it be?


What piece of work are most proud of?

  • Why?


Do you go out and find topic and projects to work on, or do you get people approaching you saying ‘I have this idea, help me make it.’

Documentary Seminar Post – Four

The TV seminar was much more inline with how we want to our seminar to run. It was a very coherent seminar that was quite on the mark with what the audience wanted to hear about the industry. The major thing that stood out to us was the lack of female representation in the seminar. We found it extremely interesting that all of the guests were male and so was the host. Christina pointed out to us, after the seminar in our tute, that if we end up having an all male panel, we should at least have a female host, which we are planning on having. I have passed on the names of some potential female guests that Christina suggested to Tom for him to contact. I made a list of things that MUST get done over the next week and posted it on the group. This was the list:


– finalise guests
– make a social media event
– finalise food and drinks
– promo ad
– poster
– draw up a stage set up
– research guests
– write questions


My job on this list is to finalise the questions, I will post the questions I have written on the Facebook page later today for feedback and suggestions.


One of the other major things we took from the TV seminar is making sure that the audience have an opportunity to ask questions, this is why we thought of including a roaming mic to allow the audience to ask questions at any time. So far the only guest we have confirmed is Richard Lowenstein, and I have begun to research him to be able to write specific questions for him, however, we still don’t have the other guests confirmed so I am finding it hard to write any more specific questions.

Documentary Seminar Post – Three

The social media seminar was interesting today! I was good to get an idea of how things are going to run and also was good to get an idea of what works well and what does not. When we met after the seminar, I ran the group meeting and we decided a few things. For example we thought the way that the social media seminar was run was a bit disjointed and off topic. We want our seminar to be run in as an open forum discussion with the questions based more around the theme of documentary and what it is actually like working in the industry than the guests personal lives. This seminar has given a lot to go off to start writing the questions for the seminar and figuring out to run the seminar and get the best out of our guests. In our meeting I took minutes of what was said and what everyone said they would do in order to be able to post on the Facebook group and make sure everyone knows what needs to be done and by when. I posted on the group a list of things that needs to be done by next week, this consisting of making a plan for the promo, making a plan for the video promo, making a list of ideas for the food and actual set up of the seminar. The thing that I need to get onto is begin to make a plan of how the seminar is going to run and what questions we are going to ask. The major thing we are focusing on now is getting the guests on board with the seminar. We have given Tom, who is contacting the potential guests; a list of people to contact who we think would be great to have on the panel. We think it would be great to have a mixture of the people on the panel, for example we do not want 3 directors.

Documentary Seminar Post – Two

After deciding on the title ‘The Wolf, the Crossroads, and Reaching Grandma’s House,’ I sent it into the steering committee last week. However this week in the lecture, the steering committee told us that it didn’t make enough sense and that we had to change it. So in our tute time with Christina we brainstormed other names and came up with the theme, ‘Fear and Loathing in Documentary.’ We thought that this was a theme that is both in line with the epic adventure theme as well as being a great theme for our overall seminar set up and publicity. I have sent the new name into the steering committee and hopefully this time they will like it!! In this week’s tute we also decided on specific roles we would all do to get the organization for the seminar started. We split up into groups for the poster, video promo and filming the seminar, set up and food, contacting and sourcing the guests and social media. My specific roles are to be the group leader, make sure everything is on track and keep in contact with the steering committee, and to be the MC of the actual seminar interviewing the guests and mediating the seminar, this also includes writing the questions and planning how the seminar will run. It will be interesting seeing the first seminar to get an idea of how they will run and to get a better idea of what the students actually want to find out from the seminars.


Documentary Seminar Post – One

We formed our documentary group today, there are 12 of us and never having worked with any of them before it should be interesting working with them. After having a brief chat and deciding to create a Facebook group and posting ideas for group names to vote on and make a decision in the next couple of days. The group name has to have something to do with the overall theme of ‘Epic Adventure’. Once we have decided the name I will send it into the steering committee, as I am the team leader. Once everyone had left, David and I were still in the lecture room. One of the steering committee came up to us and asked who our team leader was, as our group had not discussed this, I had to put my name down as group leader. I am not really sure what this entails but I am more than happy to take on the role for the group. I am excited to get started working on our seminar and think that is it an extremely interesting topic and we should be able to some really interesting people in to share their insights about the documentary industry.


Deconstruction of Imitation Game Interrogation Scene

The interrogation scene in The Imitation Game is an interesting scene. While being from what is considered to be one of the best films from 2014, it does not really do anything too interesting as far as shot construction goes.


The most interesting component of the shot is the green and blue colour scheme, creating a dark, cold and hopeless feel in the interrogation room. The lighting also ads to this, the characters being lit from their ‘off camera’ side creates an interesting shadow on their face that provides them with more definition and also mystery at the same time.


The scene goes for almost a minute and is simply made up of shot reverse shots between the two characters. The first five times this shot reverse shot occurs, it is with dirty over the shoulder shots at a medium close range. Then the scene proceeds with close up shot reverse shots. The scene always shows the character who is talking, rather than ever showing the reaction of another character. I think this is a strange choice as I think it is often more powerful to show the reaction to what is being said rather than how it is being said.


The pacing of this scene is extremely slow, and while we as an audience are meant to feel worried as the protagonist is being interrogated and interrogated while the topic of machines thinking like humans is discussed, I find that it is quite easy to become disinterested due to the quite frankly boring shot construction of this particular scene.



Deconstruction of Sherlock ‘Mind Palace’ Scene.

This scene takes place in Sherlock’s ‘mind palace’, a place that he escapes to in order to think clearly. The use of light, pacing and camera coverage allows this pretend place to be created while engaging the audience completely.


The lighting is soft and direct, the key lighting appearing to be coming from above, yet still allowing the close up shots of the characters face’s to be well lit from the front. The room itself is not overly important to the scene so therefore the lighting focus remains on the two characters, helping to add to the suspense of the scene.


The pacing is fast, with the editing not allowing for a seconds break in between the characters conversation. Of course a normal conversation could never occur like this, but this use of pacing allows the audience to feel for a moment what it is like in Sherlock’s brain, while also building up the tension immensely as the time passes, Sherlock does not have much time, but even he cannot stop his brain from bringing in childhood memories and person fears into his thoughts.

The music, which in the previous scenes has been building, slows slightly and allows a moment for Sherlock to clam down towards the end of this scene.


The shot construction is simple in this scene. Starting with establishing shots of the characters’ whereabouts, that slighting track towards the characters. It then proceeds to depict a series of shot reverse shots as the two converses.


This simple piecing together of the shots is made interesting by the way in which the shots are taken. They are to show each of the characters’ first person point of views and this allows the feeling of inadequacy that Sherlock feels to be depicted through the use of angles creating a juxtaposition between the powerful, Sherlock’s brother, and the weak, Sherlock as a child.


The scene ends with the child Sherlock turning and it transitions back to where the adult Sherlock is turning in the same fashion.