So the exhibition was cool. It had a really chilled out vibe, the people were good. But the shopkeeper and his son, that was a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. (Please watch ‘Waynes World 2’ if you haven’t already, that last sentence will make a fair bit more sense if you have seen it. No shopkeepers or their sons were harmed in the making of this blog post.)

Anyway, it was pretty cool having the studio pitches, it gave a really good insight. What am I going to do next semester? Great question, me. That will be answered one of these days. Also, it was pretty neat to see all the other people’s works of art in the presentation. I liked the broad range of peoples work, there was a sense of passion within a lot of the works, which is pretty cool. In reflection of that area, I think I would have liked to have some conditioning of an air variety. It was nice to have the heat, but some cool air may have brought a different attitude towards the end of the presentation. Apart from that, I don’t think I can really critique much else, it all was fairly cool.

The exhibiton was a really good set-up, our classes posters were pretty engaging, they really drew in the crowds, and we really had a lot of good effort and talent on display in ours. Only ours… The other studios had them too I suppose. It was really cool seeing what friends had accomplished in the semester, and this type of set-up had a pretty cool variety of different set-ups like photo booths, games etc. which I thought was really engaging.  I have to admit, my input, apart from the poster, screener and exhibit video, wasn’t as high as others, so I suppose I’ve got to give a shout-out to those people. Good on you guys. But basically, it was really a chilled-out and smooth day, with a lot to see, not really any issues, and a lot of good people to spend it with. I thought however I may have to speak to people about what we did as groups within our studios, but the dropping in and out, like you’d do in a gallery, worked pretty well. Anyway, that’s about it.


I actually really don’t know. So that’s nice. But what I do know is, is that I’ll be going into university, and Bottle Rocket’s production of ‘Trams, Rentals & Instrumentals’ will be screened to the public audience of Media Students. So that’s nice.

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to talk much about my time getting things done this semester, learning new things and trying new things like camera work, script writing, shooting under pressure etc. But my role will be to sit back and enjoy the show.

I think however at some point I’ll be having to print out my Poster in A3 tomorrow, I’m pretty happy to have designed it. However, I’m kind of annoyed that in the final I forgot to put in a comma after, Trams. But life goes on. Also, I spent a fair amount of time re-exporting both the exhibition video and screener to make sure that the file wasn’t compressed, and to make sure that it was in the highest resolution as possible. I initially tried to submit it all on Google Drive, which I thought worked. It turns out that I had to go in anyway and hand them in personally. In the end though, this should ensure it looks as nice as humanly possible for the people who are watching.

But that just about sounds like it. The poster I designed is below in the last post. I also took our final ‘Trams, Rentals & Instrumentals,’ video (edited by Steph McCarthy) and made that our exhibition video. However, the colour grading I talked about in a previous post is no longer there, since I had to re-export things in premier. The 1 minute screener is a slightly edited and varied version of the Martin segment, which I also compiled.

Anyway, thats just about it… until tomorrow.


Trams, Rentals & Instrumentals has undergone quite a revolution since Bottle Rocket’s first brainstorming sessions. Our initial proposal was to create three separate short films, evoking the spirit of Melbourne – its culture and its people. We even had a fairly fleshed out concept for one of them, ‘A Fine Man‘, following a middle-aged Myki inspector and his quest for a partner who doesn’tdespise his job. However, the triptych of shorts proved to be a fairly unwieldy format, and after a consult with our tutor, the idea forTrams, Rentals & Instrumentals began to form.


Trams, Rentals & Instrumentals is a half hour mockumentary series, inspired by such great mock-doc series as ‘Summer Heights High’ and ‘Parks and Recreation’. It follows three separate characters – Liam, who we kept from our initial brainstorm, Valentina, a highly strung real-estate agent, and Martin, a self-centered busker with delusions of grandeur. With these characters, we were attempting to evoke the sense of Melbourne that we’d initially discussed for our short films. As a Myki inspector, Liam allowed us to explore the public transport sector, which we felt was a large part of the Melbourne experience for a lot people. Martin would busk in the CBD, obviously a big feature of Melbourne, while Valentina’s work as a real-estate agent enabled us to showcase some of the outer suburbs – basically, we wanted Melbourne itself to be a character in the series.

Our major question in the creation of this project was how we could faithfully and successfully recreate the mockumentary genre. This meant a careful study of those aforementioned mock-doc works that we drew upon, examining the technical and stylistic flourishes that we enjoyed, and shooting test clips and going through rehearsals to see if we could recreate them. One example of this was the mockumentary tendency to crash-zoom on an actor’s reaction for comedic effect. While it looked easy, it’s tricky to pull off smoothly, and required multiple takes to achieve. We were also struck by the suspension of disbelief employed by these series in regards to the camera’s point-of-view. For instance, a scene inSummer Heights High might begin with a camera inside a room with the actors, before cutting to a hallway outside, watching the action through a window, and then cutting once more to a figure down the corridor – all ostensibly filmed by a static documentary camera crew. As viewers, we tend not to notice this while watching, and Bottle Rocket paid particular attention to how these series pulled off this effect.

Our aim, in the end, was to create two short mockumentary sequences following two of our leads (Valentina and Martin). We intended to draw on the appropriate generic conventions to do this, and the results are below. ‘





Now, I was able to get a little bit of experience colour grading. Unfortunately, it was through Premiere, but through iMovie. It’s slightly late, but better late than never. Unfortunately, the time of day being as late as it was when we filmed, the glare got rid of some detail within the car. I was able to correct the colour otherwise, but it’s probably not as vivid as it could be. Anyway, heres a part of the class exercise, of colour grading.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 2.04.01 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 2.04.20 PM


Here it is. The Final prototype. It has a real professional and legitimate feeling to it. After everything the group has undertaken, I feel like it really embodies what we were after from the beginning; a prototype of what our mockumentary style show could and should be. I feel like there is an obvious flow between the unrelated characters, and it would be something audiences could understand and be entertained by. The intercutting and multiple story lines would supplement the comedy of each character, by having contrasting personalities.

I’m happy that this is what will be publically seen, as this is what we were after from the beginning. I feel like the Thursday presentation supplemented by having video segments of Martin and Valentina separated so we could talk about the process of making each seperate segment more seamlessly. Again though, its good to have a feel of how the show would function, and this shows this really well.


As whole, the Bottle Rocket members collaborated quite well with one another. The experience of us giving each other constructive feedback was really beneficial. We were able to be frank with each other as well if need be, in what could work in terms of writing, filming, framing etc. and also what may not have been able to work. On the days of shooting, we worked together quite closely making sure that we were all involved in getting the production made to a high quality.

In the writing process and pre production stages, we divided up duties of the production fairly equally. Jess had the idea for Liam, the unlucky in love Ticket inspector, and eventually when the idea came that our final prototype would be a mockumentary genre TV pilot, Steph, David and I all had divided writing responsibilities for the other characters that eventually turned into Martin and Valentina. Also, seeing as it was a mockumentary pilot, Ashton was active in creating a title sequence which would include composing music, taking images of Melbourne and setting the tone for our pilot prototype. So, from the get go, we had a level of division that was pretty equal. Along the way, it remained equal. Throughout production this pretty much was the standard, and, if my memory is accurate, we agreed that we each have a role to play on the day of filming. As whole, we all had individual roles that we divided amongst ourselves. We trusted each other to create our own separate elements of the pre production like scripts, opening title music etc.

There were a few things that popped up along the way though that required a little extra effort from individual members more than others. Jess’ script required low-risk filming at a tram stop exterior, and that required her to get on to Yarra Trams and try to consult with them about obtaining a permit. That eventually didn’t work it. Similarly, I spent a few hours of one afternoon getting a low risk permit for filming in Carlton, which did get a little bit stressful when the request got really close to not being considered as City of Melbourne council were closing up for the day really soon. But that is just the byproduct of trying to make an ethical and efficient project, you have to get over annoying things.

It ended being fairly even in roles all throughout, but a big shout out is needed to be given to Stef Macarthy. (I think I’ve spelt her name a little bit wrong) Anyway, she volunteered the use of her house as a filming location, and due to her close proximity to the edit suites, she in the end was the editor of both clips. I suppose it was difficult to get duties be split as evenly when the semester started to get really busy and our schedules didn’t align as well as we thought it would, so I think it’s fair to say Steph ended up doing the most for the group. But as a whole, during the consults we had along the way, we really had really decent ideas that we shared, we were all active in contributing ideas, as well as contributing ideas and giving each other updates on Facebook.

All in all, it went very smoothly.

REFLECTION ON ENTIRE SPECTACULAR COURSE…tacular-course/ – Goals for the course…


Dun. Dun. Duuuuuuuuun. The final evaluation of the course is that it was good. It was my goal to have a little bit more experience in a few different areas to supplement my nun chuck skills. And my writing and filming skills. Little did I know it at the time of writing the above post, but it turns out that I had an active part in the production of ‘Trams, Rentals and Instrumentals’ doing both of those things.

I ended up writing the part of Martin that shows up in the final prototype, which is something that I don’t really know if I was expecting or not when I set out my course goals. It was pretty cool having the new experience of adapting the pretty weird ideas I can have on to the screen play. I had only written a class exercises as a screen play, I’ve got to say it’s a pretty new experience, but a valuable one and I’m pretty happy that it worked out that my script was used for filming. In retrospect, I suppose if I had the time, it may have been beneficial to sit down with the Martin script, and go over some things that may not translate as well as I thought when writing. For instance, one scene with Martin included him talking about social justice. It may seem slightly strange and non sensical if it was actually said the way it was written. Luckily on the day of filming, the actor for Martin and Steph were pretty open with their ideas and were like “how about we say this, but slightly differently.” I’m pretty happy with the feedback I got along the way, and I’m still pretty happy with how it all went.

The second goal, was to get technical expertise with things like filming. I’ve taken many a photo in my time, but never really proper filming actors. But again, I kind of threw my self in the deep end and gave it a go. The documentary genre really has a sense of informality and shakiness in practice, and it was probably the best genre for me to learn on. It took a while for me to master the awkwardness of the hand-held looking, shaky cam. For instance, I actually ruined a few good takes of Martin, as I was trying to do a crash zoom on a punch line, but actually zoomed out instead. In a few ways I was probably over-thinking it, I probably thought it needed to perfectly stable or perfectly zoomed in, but in reality the slight awkwardness of the camera zooming and focusing, probably enhanced the realism of the final mockumentary prototypes. I also had to consider the framing of shots, and when the battery started to run really low on the Thursday shoot, I had to not only worry about that, but try and frame everything really quickly and aesthetically pleasingly, which did put a little bit of pressure on me. But again, seeing as it’s supposed to be awkward that didn’t matter as much. Another thing, I had to consider lighting, and try not get too much glare within the camera. All of these things are pretty straight forward issues and occurrences I’m sure, but either way it was pretty beneficial experiencing those things first hand. I said something about learning some more industry jargon, that wasn’t my big priority in the course, and I did get a bit of experience in directing some scenes. That’ll probably come in the future.

Another thing that was beneficial within the production, that to be honest I didn’t think I’d have to do, was consulting with City of Melbourne council to get filming permit. Its something I overlooked, but again, I really think the skill of consulting with officials about filming, despite being somewhat tedious, really helps to make what your doing seem a lot more official. It’s important to do things professionally and ethically, and being able to get a low risk filming permit is something that in the future will be really essential for this level of filming and above. It was also good practice writing professionally written emails also.

Finally, the level of consultation in the course was really beneficial in getting all the production done. The Monday consults really helped to refine our ideas, which at some times could get a bit ahead of ourselves, usually into something that would work in our favour. For instance, Paul’s idea to have the buskers other than Martin be silent thoughout really clicked well with the group and helped me streamline Martin’s dialogue. It also added another level of awkward comedy to Martin. It also meant that the Martin shoot was a lot more streamlined, as we only needed to worry about Martin’s lines, which helped a lot with our time constraints. Also, the group I was in really had a good level of communication; we talked regularly on Facebook, and we were able to give each other good ideas.

But in conclusion overall, my general goals were met. I was also able to pick up some valuable skills that I wasn’t really anticipating. I was thrown in the deep end during production in both camera work and writing, but it was beneficial. Now I’ve got experience doing it.


Assignment done! The presentation worked out to go really well, and really smoothly. Despite my track record of trying, but ultimately failing to stick to the script, I actually pretty much stuck to the script! No awkward stammering… I think! That’s the sign of a good presentation.

Apart from that crowning achievement by me, I feel as if we had a really well organised and flowing structure in our presentation. After Ashton’s great title sequence, David started with a really concise and efficient briefing outlining the evolution of our final product. Steph elaborated on the casting, auditioning process and about a few of the issues that came about in these process, Jess talked about the fate of her character, Liam, and the process of casting and permit issues. And then I did my part, we then played Martin. After this, David concluded and threw in a nice little compliment to Paul, and summed up that this was a project which was worth doing. Despite our different roles within production, we were all able to talk about the specific fields that we specialised in within the production, as well as offer insightful reflections on the go. Also, I also feel like the variation between us speaking, and showing videos as we go, I’m sure would have been a point of interest for the audience, to have this balance. I spoke about pretty much exactly what I blogged about in my last post, however I did add a few small details which I forgot to mention in the post which I ended up speaking about.

I commented on the fact that as camera man, I tried to evoke a mockumentary, hand-held feel to the shots of Valentina and Martin. I also spoke about doing awkward crash zooms, a trademark within the genre, and how that we utilized that to supplement gags, increase awkwardness and ultimately use the camera somewhat like a character. Apart from that, the rest turned out completely as planned.

In reflection of everything that eventuated, the entire process was filled with passion and determination to get a great product in the end. Not everything went to plan however, and we had instances which weren’t always ideal, like culling characters we couldn’t film to a high standard in the amount of time we had remaining, battery life issues during filming or group members being sick or absent for instance. We were determined, steadfast and committed (I’m stealing some lines from our show here, but they apply) in trying to make a show which fit well with the mockumentary genre. We also were able to have a fair bit of fun in the process to, which is one of the great benefits of writing for comedy. Overall however despite a few struggles, ultimately we found a way to make our characters work. I’ll be uploading a few more videos, and probably another post about a reflection on the entire course. Hopefully you’ll be able to see our drive to make a really good pilot prototype.