ASSESSMENT TASK #5: STUDIO REFLECTION
The Good Form studio saw itself to be an incredibly collaborative course throughout its entirety. All media products produced from this studio were done so thanks to the both challenging and rewarding process of collaboration; and of course the hard work given by individuals of the media production teams. However we were not only given the task of teaming up with fellow media students, but also with the ranks of RMIT’s creative writing students. This bringing forward a whole new, and larger, level of collaboration that I had ever experienced for myself before. The more minds at work, the more mouths with voices and the more hands on deck, the task of writing and producing a web series with such a large team had both its positives and negatives. But nonetheless with its upswings and downfalls, this experience of participating in a whole team of creatives and media practitioners provided oneself and many others with a valuable lesson on the nature and process of serious, yet comedic, collaborative works. This semester, having participated in the web series studio, it truly did open my eyes to the realities of working in partnerships, and how to work with, or overcome, the willing contributions of individuals in a team, that can hinder or heighten the quality of the end result.
Enthusiastic towards the creation and production of an online web series, an assignment I had never participated in before, I believe it can be said of myself that I contributed to the project whole heartedly; making positive and effective contributions as a committed individual working within the media production team. Taking on the role of production scheduling, an enduring task with a total of sixteen members of cast and crew, I did all that was in my power to run a tight ship in terms of the shooting of the web series. Dealing with the difficulties of the attendance of both cast and crew, I remained constantly in contact, and in communication with, the large number of people involved in the making of Shriekers: A Web Series. Furthermore, while on set of the filming of the series, I remained (for the most part) positive, professional, approachable and grateful towards the present cast and crew, despite facing multiple adversities throughout filming. By the end of filming, I also became incredibly able to carry multiple kilograms and items of heavy equipment to and from university. Continuing on to post-production, I further persisted positively with a focus-fuelled ambition to edit and complete the series. Done so with the incredible assistance and collaboration with majority of the media team. Being present for almost all of the production and post-production of the series, I was able to contribute in tasks, and give opinions and advice of both large and small proportions.
Working on our respective web series for the most part of the semester, the entire collective of the Good Form studio had at points, limited time together. In the initial and remaining time we did share however, I would have confidence in my contribution to the studio. Whether it was simply bumping into one another in the edits suites or on location, swapping stories and advice on production, or working in other small teams for the initial assessments of the studio, I was happy to get involved with anyone in the discussions and recreations of Good Form. I felt a part of a larger team of creators of media. The relationship with the web series script writers was a little more distant and different, having only worked directly with our own respective writing teams. Which for the most part I enjoyed, and partook in collaborative efforts and discussions during production meetings, script readings and days of production. As I review my participation in the Good Form studio and my web series production team, I have so far only highlighted my self-assessed accomplishments. There were of course moments in the semester in which I could have improved or further strengthened my efforts as a participating team member.
Taking part in an assignment highly concentrative on collaboration, I can say there were moments of great difficulty for myself when facing the trials and tribulations of production. Although being mostly up to standard with my communication with the team, occurrences arose whereby vital information was lost during socialising and correspondence with cast and crew alike. I could have strengthened my immediate communication skills to avoid multiple production set backs, including; errors in equipment handling, confirmation of available persons for production, costume and prop arrangements and location management. I do believe however, I was not alone in these communicative errors. Another note of improvement for myself would be my lack of pressure and directness when giving explicit instructions and deadlines to those necessary. I may have become too reserved and relaxed in an attempt to not appear too stringent in my personality. Towards the close of the assignment, I did in fact realise that one can take respective, assertive action in leadership and lateral participation, without aggression. By analysing both the strengths and weaknesses of my contributions during the semester in the Good Form studio, and reflecting on the collaborative process of media production I now have a greater understanding of this highly associative activity.
This experience of producing an online web series has awoken myself to the harsh realities of media production. It is not always smooth sailing. If something can go wrong – it probably will. Yourself and your team need to prepare for the chances of sudden changes of plan and unforeseen complications in any sense. Whether this be difficult cast, personality clashes on crew or any interruptions in the production process. Collaboration on a media production team is highly important and necessary to overcome any complexities met, and to move forward with production. Foremost I have come to understand that as much as you need to rely on other people to get certain jobs done and to reach certain goals, it remains important to not overly rely on the people you are working with. As sometimes, they may not be as committed as you are to the task at hand. You may need to prepare yourself for the taking on of extra work loads, to get the result you deem fit. There will however, be others in the team facing this same strain as yourself. By banding together with these people, this sort of stress and hassle will be overcome. It is sometimes just easiest to remain focused on the finish line, than the race being run.