What work was completed this week?
This week was predominantly centered around planning. Firstly I filled out my official proposal comprising of my plan for the project. Following on from this I wrote out an asset/planning file in which I outline specific criteria for the project (such as target audience, contingency plans and health and safety and legal issues to consider).
I also created my research file, due to having completed the majority of this for my unit 12 project I was able to do this fairly quickly and has put me fairly far ahead in terms of the project as a whole. This allows me to focus more on the production log as well as the filming and editing of the documentary itself. Considering the length of time I have for the project and the fact that for the most part I am undertaking this documentary on my own I am very pleased to have gotten ahead of schedule early.
A lot of this involved making contacts and using existing contacts to book interviews. So far I have managed to book two interviews for filming next week with a safeguarding lecturer at the college as well as a member of my class who has personally experienced gaming addiction.
Following on from this I was able to get in touch with two of the college’s games design lecturers in order to organise an interview with them regarding the teaching of students who have been addicted to gaming and how it has affected their classwork. While discussing this with the lecturers I was informed of a gaming festival being held at the college next week and given the opportunity to shadow the lecturer heading up the event giving me an opportunity to film some B reel. This will also give me the opportunity to get more contact with gamers who I can either interview during the event or at a later date. I have also arranged an interview with one of the gaming lecturers for the Friday after the Easter break.
I have also been in contact over e-mail with a psychology professor at the University of Kent and have arranged an interview for April 26th at 3pm. This will provide some valued insight for my project, while he has stated he doesn’t have much knowledge into addiction himself he does has some “controversial” opinions on the matter that may be of use for the documentary.
Finally I filmed an interview with the mental health specialist with a homelessness charity. His understanding of the kind of people who are addicted and are likely to become addicted will be of great value for the documentary. This will be perfect for voice over as well as interview segments. His input was incredibly valuable and something I will definitely be using in the final documentary. Also due to having had mental health training, it gives my documentary a voice of authority on the subject
Following beginning reading the book “Death by Video Game” I have had more thoughts as to how to structure my documentary. I now have access to so much more fact checked information relating to gaming addiction that could be included in sections of pieces to camera in order to break up the interviews so the viewer doesn’t get fatigued by it and lose interest.
I also had a conversation with a professional musician who has previously created music for documentaries. I will be outlining this conversation and more from the discussion regarding the music in my pre-production portfolio.
The main problems faced this week were related to audio. Due to not owning an external microphone audio quality from recordings on my camera are not of as good a standard as I would have liked.
Other problems faced was the fact that, in order to film of a good quality, I had a lot of equipment. The main issue with this was transporting the equipment to the location for filming.
Other than these two since there was little recording done this week there were no more issues. In terms of planning and research this was all done easily and took relatively little time.
How they were overcome
In terms of audio I was able to borrow a rode microphone from the college that was compatible with my camera. This allowed for me to record sound from a direction and therefore cut out background noise. Following this I did several sound checks prior to getting to the filming location and on site, this allowed me to prevent audio levels peaking and ensure the auto setting was a viable option. Unfortunately the microphone was slightly worn and the attachment to mount it to the camera was broken, to solve this I also borrowed an extension cable for the microphone and was then able to position the microphone on the table in the office.
In terms of having a lot of equipment I was able to borrow a large equipment bag to carry all my recording devices and tripod. This allowed me to easily carry all my equipment to the filming location simply and safely.
Evaluation of work completed this week
The work completed this week was completed, to what I would deem, a professional standard. The interview I filmed was with a mental health specialist and therefore this will give credibility to my piece as well as adding a more knowledgeable voice of the mentality of addicts from a professionals perspective. By having this voice I have given my word a lot more credibility.
In terms of the shooting of the piece I found that it was easy to frame and focus the camera to create a professional looking documentary shot, inspired by the cinematography work seen in interviews from work such as “Making a Murderer” and “13th”. However, in terms of framing I did have to remind the interviewee to look at me and not the camera to ensure he was looking across the camera rather than speaking to it. This was quickly resolves through a reminder with a few hand gestures to get his attention without breaking his train of thought or interrupting recording. Also the interviewee’s office was in front of several windows that let in a lot of nature light which allowed for a well lit piece of footage making it again look more professional. This also meant I did not have to worry about adjusting white balance or going through any other prerecording checks relating to this.
In terms of filming there were certain aspects that could have gone better, due to the fact the audio mount wasn’t functional I had to put it on the table, while this isn’t noticeable in the footage it does not appear professional and nor would me holding the microphone myself. While there is little to do to resolve this issue for this project due to it being the only equipment I can get hold of, it is something to bear in mind in future endeavors.
Another aspect to consider is the lack of B reel footage and different angles for the interview. Again, I am limited based on the camera equipment and what I can on my own and in general I don’t really feel it necessary to have B reel footage for these particular interviews in terms of what I have in mind for the interview. In terms of B reel I plan to use gaming footage of people playing as well as footage from the games themselves.
In terms of improvement I think a lot it comes down to have more audio equipment and having more people available to use to help me with the work such as recording from different angles and shots. This also extends to the idea of having other insight into the process and could generate different ideas. In this sense I will be looking to recruit a contact or two of mine who I could have help me with the filming.
Overall this week has been incredibly successful due to the fact I have finalised a lot of the planning elements of the project and made a lot of contacts who I have organised interviews with in coming weeks. This essentially makes filming and creating the documentary the main focus along with the production log, which I will be working on beginning next week. It has been a very successful week in terms of learning about the work going into recording interviews and everything I have learnt will be applied to my future interview recordings.
Evidence of filming
Was work completed in reference to plan/ am I on track?
As this was the first week and therefore a lot of the work produced this week was in regards to planning and time management I had no issues working to the deadlines set for the end of this week. In some ways I am also ahead based on the fact I have already done the majority of the project research as well as planning.
Next weeks itinerary
- Film the games festival during the Wednesday and Thursday
- Interview contact about his gaming addiction
- Interview safe guarding lecturer
- Begin work on pre-production portfolio
- Ensure all work from SD card is uploaded to One Drive
- Purchase higher capacity SD card
- Begin work on production log.