What work was completed this week?
This week marked the final week of filming and the end of the production process. While I am still in the process of catching up on written records of pre-production, the production log work is all up to date and completed and therefore I can move on to working on the post production section of the document.
The main aim of this week was to complete several final interviews that had been scheduled and rescheduled for this week. Unfortunately only one of these were able to be completed as I was again let down by several interviewees due to a lack of response for their availability and a few last minute cancellations. This was incredibly frustrating, however I have enough footage that these haven’t really impacted the overall plan I have for the documentary.
The one interview I was able to complete, however, was incredibly successful. I interviewed a doctor of sociology at the University of Kent. This gives the documentary a much needed injection of academic presence from a sociological standpoint. The information provided gave a lot of information that could easily slot into the existing interviews and give them more context. The interviewee himself was incredibly compliant and allowed us to use a professional looking office and helped to set up the room for natural lighting. While he stated he has little knowledge of addiction itself he was able to reference several studies and sociological knowledge that could be applied to the subject itself. I think this combined with the mental health expert and the safeguarding officers inputs’ can give a good balance between academic knowledge and first hand experience of the subject matter.
I also finished catching up with all the interviewees to get their consent forms signed. Two of which I was able to do by e-mailing the document and having them scan it. It is a great relief to have acquired all these and allows me to focus more of my time on the written and academic side of the project.
Now that filming and production has been completed I am to shift my focus to ensuring all my academic work is up to the standard of distinction that I am aiming for. It makes my project a lot easier and takes a lot of pressure off in terms of planning since now filming has finished I can shift my focus to editing and written work. It has been very difficult to balance filming while keeping up with the academic side of the project due to the having to travel to film in different locations and consistently trying to organise and schedule interviews to suit everyone in the time frame I had planned.
I heard back from a university lecturer I e-mailed previously who inquired about the nature of the project and what it was for but since my reply he has not been in contact with me any further.
As discussed above there was a lot of issues this week (as has become a consistent issue) of people cancelling interviews last minute due to scheduling changes and due to the fact that this week was the last planned for production I am unfortunately going to have to skip several of these interviews. I may consider filming these later on and slotting it in during the editing process but this depends heavily on how well I progress in the coming weeks. I had one lecturer at the college have to cancel due to the pressure of having to film pitches herself on the day which is obviously very understandable. The student I wished to interview never contacted me back via e-mail until after the week had finished and was not available to film on the original dates given to me. There was also the father and son who both never gave me their availability.
The other issues I encountered were involved with filming. During the interview with the doctor from the university, my SD card ran out of space and therefore the camera stopped recording. There was also the issue with weather conditions being unreliable, this presented an issue due to having been using natural light for the majority of the interview.
There was also a slight issue with people being away while trying to obtain their consent forms.
How they were overcome
In terms of the cancellations there was little I could do about this and is something that you always run the risk of with this kind of project. I had planned for this eventuality and had already acquired enough interviews for the project. I had always intended to conduct more interviews than I needed so that I could cover this eventuality. I still have enough footage for my project without the interviews I missed out on this week.
With the SD card issue I had two separate SD cards of smaller capacity with me in case of this eventuality. I simply quickly switched them out and was able to continue with the filming of the interview. The interview only lasted for another 5 minutes but was very useful to be able to not miss out on this footage as there is a certain part of that 5 minutes that I think is very thought provoking and I will likely use in the final cut. I would have missed out on this without the footage. I have since transferred all the footage from the camera to my computer and made space on the camera for future use in case I decide to doing any last minute additional filming during the editing process.
With weather conditions changing I will likely solve this with editing by altering the brightness levels to make it consistent but it was not very noticeable in the original footage regardless. I had the white balance set to auto on the camera so it simply adjusted itself for the most part.
In regards to the consent forms, I scanned the file onto a computer and e-mailed it to the interviewees and had them print it sign it and send back the completed copy via scan. One of the interviewees did not have access to a scanner and therefore sent a picture of the document which he then e-mailed to me. This allowed me to gain the consent forms off all those who had taken part in the interviewees despite not being local to me (this also saved me a great deal of time not having to hand deliver the document).
Evaluation of work completed this week
The work completed this week I feel was of a good standard this week, but I personally feel that the main element of this week where I was strong was in my problem solving. While the interview I completed (as discussed above) was of a high quality with plenty of useful information, the weather issues do detract slightly from the professionalism of the footage. Regardless of this the video was still shot in the usual format of 1080p HD video with the same brand of microphone and due to sound check was able to acquire good quality sound. The video was again shot taking into account the rule of thirds and ensuring the interviewee is looking across the camera. While the lighting is not necessarily consistent due to the auto setting on the camera for the white balance I can mitigate any issues from this through editing.
As mentioned above I feel like the strength of this week was my ability to problem solve. I was faced with several issues on the academic side with the acquisition of consent forms as well as having to deal with cancelled interviews. Thanks to having contingency plans in place for the eventualities of the issues that occurred I was able to quickly and easily work around the problems and carry on as planned.
Next week’s itinerary
- Begin editing project.
- Continue to complete written work
- Film pitch
Was work completed in reference to plan/ am I on track?
In terms of overall time scale I think I can easily finish provided I am given the opportunity to edit from home. I can likely complete the entire editing process in a week if I dedicate the appropriate time on it and focus on that. This puts me in an excellent spot for finishing on time and even possibly ahead of schedule. The written work has become much easier to complete in a timely fashion thanks to finding some speech to text software as this saves time with spelling mistakes and means that I simply have to proof read to ensure the appropriately punctuation has been added. This time saving tool has allowed me to make significant process with the written side of the work in half the time it would normally take.