This Is Serial – Reflective Blog Post #18


On my way to today’s studio, I realised I felt dispirited about having to go to class. But why should I be? I came to this class with the intention of learning about serial production and that’s what I was doing.

However proud I was of our group’s ability to work together, I wasn’t proud of the short clips that were finalised. I initially wasn’t a fan of the scripts either, and the pilot fell short for me too. But because we have to produce these scripts, the idea of redoing episode one sounded great. If we could get the writers in to work on improving the first episode script, or at least making it to our liking, it would be much easier for us to continue.

Pitching the idea to the media group to redo the pilot, I mentioned that in terms of scheduling, we should have enough time to film about three episodes – at least the two that we need.

hypothetical mathematics to justify this

If our pilot covers half of the script and goes for 2.5 minutes, the entire pilot should only go for about 5 minutes. If it looks us 8 hours to record a 2.5 minute compilation, then recording 3 x 5-minute-videos should take about 48 hours to shoot. 48 hours in 8-hour shoots means we will need about 6 shoots. This can be over 6 days. We have 5 full weeks left (not including the final week of semester for summarising). 

My reasons for wanting to start all over again is because our pilot is our draft. It can act as our practice for how to carry ourselves on a set. What to do and what not to do. Remaking the pilot while paying careful attention to the technicalities and knowing what doesn’t work, would produce something everyone in our group can be proud of. We would be able to correct technical issues. We wouldn’t be afraid to put it up on social media and label it as our work. A web series doesn’t follow the same model as traditional television production, which means we would all be able (or at least most of us) to work together on the creative aspect of the series, and together make decisions about shots, production design, and the vision to direct the actors. The bland locations of the pilot were a huge problem for everyone in our group, so getting the chance to work in another space that looks more realistic would be great as well. I imagine that we took eight hours to film 2 minutes of clips because we were mostly new to this, and thus our second time could take less time to film because we know everything we need to plan and everything to do on set. This time the actors can have a read through. The continuity and pacing between episode 1 and episode 2 should be better because there wouldn’t be a huge gap of time between the two, unlike now. For example, I was told that one of our actors had a haircut and another shaved their beard. I understand it’s only a pilot, but this gives us the chance to avoid these differences. Lastly, and most importantly in my opinion, I’ve read from Gianella’s blog post that our group works best under time pressures. I agree with this entirely. Our group members lose interest when we’re left sitting idly by, waiting for scripts or for something else to get done. It wouldn’t be a huge time pressure, but I think it would still jolt our group awake enough to, not necessarily rush things, but to participate with enthusiasm.

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