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Thread: Long term project and learning curve!

  1. #1

    Default Long term project and learning curve!

    Hi all, first of all I better introduce myself as this is my first post on this forum despite being a member for about a year!

    Im 20 years old and based in Bristol and my main interest/hobby is filming however I am not experienced in the field in any way. I've never done a project of my own before, only ever helped out with some of my uncles work including various car DVDs and some documentaries.

    Now I know some of the very basics in filming and apparently my filming work in terms of the shots I get has been said to be 'on form'! Yet I have mases to learn. I am looking to apply to the national school of film and television either this year or the following year to enhance my knowledge but to do so I have to provide them with a piece of work I have done.

    This brings me on to the project I am working on!

    Now I respect this may seem like I'm chucking myself in at the deep end but thats how I work most effectively. If I don't know something and I need to know I will go out my way to find out and with this project there is going to be a lot i don't know so in effect I should learn a lot!

    Ok so what is it?! Basically I enjoy going on a lot of minibreaks such as minicruises and one of the most entertaining has been on P&O's 'Pride of Bilbao' which sails from Portsmouth to Bilbao and then back in 3 and a half days. Its a great, cheap getaway where you can meet a large variety of people and just get away from the uk for a while! Due to being on the ship an awful lot I have met and got to know people such as the cruise director, animal welfare officer, the nurse, various bar staff and last time even met the Captains daughter!!

    Now because I want to do something that will have purpose I'm currently liaising with P&O about doing a promotional video for the pride of bilbao. Maybe a short 3-5 minute video showing what great fun the cruise is and so on.

    I will also have the support of my uncle and he's even offered to come along to get some more footage for me to use etc which is a great help!

    In terms of equipment I'm soon to receive my sony z1 and I shall be editing the footage with Final cut pro. I have also got someone who has done a lot of sound for various projects offering his services free to me.

    Now I have no time limit on this production other than time restrictions when im actually capturing the footage but I will only be doing that when I feel I'm 100% ready. I have an awful lot to learn and any pointers in the right direction including books and so on would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance and I hope I haven't bored you too much!


    Nick

  2. #2
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    Most of what you want requires, first and foremost, project planning. I thinks it's a given that you have the required equipment, expertise and resources available. It's how you implememt these that will maximise your efforts.

    From your post, you don't seem to be the most structured of people (forgive my bluntness). As an example, you haven't clearly told us:

    1) The set objective (what you need to deliver)
    2) The timescales (when you need to deliver it)
    3) Your budget (whether you'll make a profit, or minimis your loss)

    Before you even think about the technicalities, start a project plan. Start with the high level requirements above, then create the detail. If you don't do this, you'll be all at sea.

  3. #3

    Default

    No please be as blunt as you need to be, this is why I am writing to you today I need honesty and real advice.

    Now in terms of delivery, I need something fun friendly and informative. The aim is after watching the clip people will think what a great idea and want to see and visit the boat for themselves etc! The timescale is endless as I am doing the project free with P&O subsidizing my expenses on the trip i.e free travel, food etc. This project isn't about me making money, its about me learning and advancing my media knowledge and hopefully getting me into the film school.

    Thank you for your feedback


    Regards,

    Nick

  4. #4
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    Despite it's apparent unstructured format, you'll still need planning to ensure you capture what you need. More importantly, you will need to plan what the video will look like before you start filming. For example the genre will dictate your filming style and requirements for interviews.

    For your own sanity, set a delivery date. Without this goal, the project will run and run. You can either set an arbitary delivery date and work out timescales from this, or set the end date based on a schedule. You'll then know what you need to film and when. Ypu'll also be able to plan other work around these dates (or vice versa).

    Sit down with a pen and paper and sketch out:

    1) Your project milestones (dates for scoping, filming, editing, and final delivery)
    2) Your project scope, including what your filming, why and for whom.
    3) Your budget

    Just as importantly, get inspiration from other documentaries and decide on a style for you video. What and how you film will be strongly dictated by this goal.

  5. #5
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    If you intend this to be your demo for the NFTS then you might be heading in the wrong direction.

    Which subject do you intend to take up?

    If it's cinematography then they're looking for a visualist, someone who lives, sleeps, eats pictures. Someone who plays with super8 film, maybe develops stuff in a darkroom, certainly someone who has an eye for an image.

    An advertising video made with footage from you and your uncle ain't gonna help.

    (I know that you're shooting the most of the footage but hopefully you see where I'm going with this...)

    If you're going to do a promo then go for it 100% and use it to learn (and make some money) but the people in Beaconsfield are looking for something more than a competant videographer, they want passion.

  6. #6
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    Sod doing a promo - pants.

    If you have so much access to the ship do something creative - promos are just commercial crap with the aim of the creativity only to sell more crap - that isnt art in my book. Off the top of my head, what about the huge social differneces between passengers and staff - passengers, old rich - staff - mostly poor young and often foreign workers. Or maybe talk to people about on the cruise - is it a special holiday - people are always intersting. There must be loads of great stories on a ship waiting to be told.

    Film makers are artists, not cruise line puppys.

    And finally - a cruise ship full of arthritic rinsers is no place for a vital creative 20 year old to be hanging - I very much doubt the atmosphere is very bohemian and most of the chicks will be your grans age - lols.

    There are great films on your doorstep waiting to be made.

    Dont make what is easy and convenient - make what is hard, complicated and something maybe that makes you mad or sad - yea - as Guru says - find your passion.

  7. #7
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    Mark hits the nail on the head for me. The disparity between passengers and crew would be a great vid... only thing is I'll bet P&O won't be too keen on it. And therefore perhaps won't let you film. Be a guerilla and film Marks idea while pretending to do the ad. Give 'em an ad too if it makes you feel better.

  8. #8
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    Answer this question: Do you want to be an ad man or do you want to be an artist?

    You sound quite keen to learn, but you won't learn any film production techniques if P&O have you by the balls, critiquing any shot or narrative that you do.

    Foremost in your mind at all times will be "Will the management like this?", which although is a good skill for sales or sycophancy, is extremely unlikely to be a good way to learn filmmaking techniques.

    If I were you, I'd interview passengers from all walks of life - young, old, couples, families, people from various countries and get their honest opinions. Watch everything, set yourself a schedule, make sure you film

    I'm not suggesting that you should go deliberately looking for 'sleaze' - I think that sort of tabloid sensationalist muck-raking is offensive to my intelligence, but don't be too naive, don't try to get in with the Captain's daughter too much by being careful creating a film that her daddy will love.

    Basically - think "If someone else was filming this, would I find it interesting?". Don't risk turning it into a glorified video blog along the lines of Peaches Geldof's ill-fated travel blog, or some awful Nathan Barley-esque self indulgence.

    Go for it as open-minded and impartial as possible and see what you get. Then show us your work

    (And for goodness sake, don't do anything you may regret with the Captain's daughter, otherwise your Z1 may end up going for a swim)

  9. #9
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    I think we may have scared him off....

  10. #10
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    Hmmm... would be a shame if we've scared him off - sounds like it has the potential to be quite interesting if done correctly.

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