https://www.mediafactory.org.au/matthew-manning/2015/07/29/aims-for-this-…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.