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Professional Project: Evaulation

May 4, 2011

For my professional project I had decided that seen as one I day I want to work in the film production industry, I felt that I should look into doing some kind of video production work for this brief. After Phil had brought several different ideas forward for us to choose from I felt none of these were suitable for me, so I started looking for something that not only I would enjoy working on but was productive to the area I was planning on building a portfolio for.  I searched about the Internet for jobs or apprenticeships that were available during the timeframe until I came across the idea of entering a film into a film festival.

I mentioned the idea to Phil and Bob to see if they thought it would be suitable for the criteria, and they told me as long as I put the work in it would be fine. From searching for film festivals none of them seemed to be based around the time of the project, until I discovered that the Cannes film festival was running just after the crit for the project and after browsing its short film site I found that the deadline for entering a film was in April which gave me plenty of time to come up with an idea film it and enter the festival, and would also give me some time afterwards to help some of my other classmates with their projects too.

When thinking of an idea for my short I felt it would be best if a made a dramatic piece rather than a comedic piece as I feel with a lot of my past work some of my ‘funny’ ideas tend to be improvised, and as I was certain I wanted to remain behind the camera for this project and bring in professionals to star in it, it would be much easier to write something serious and have them use their emotions rather than having them cracking jokes.

After I came up with the idea of basing the idea on a break-up (something I felt everybody could relate to) I started to search for actors to star in my piece. As I was unsure where to find actors for my project apart from at the university itself I asked Juno who had, had previous experience working with actors before. He pointed me in the direction of the website www.starnow.com which was like an online social network filled people based in all kinds of media ranging from behind the camera works like directors through to Models. I promptly signed up to the site and posted my roles I needed to cast, and within a few days I had received over 20 responses from people wanting to appear in my short. They ranged from professionals (Two of them had appeared in one of the Harry Potter films) down to people just starting out (One male actor rendition of a scene from The Shining was a personal favourite of Dom and mines). In the end I chose to work with Jordan and Caitlin as I felt they were both well suited to the roles I had written.

Once I sent them copies of the script I began planning out my scenes with Dom as he was helping out on the production and was drawing my storyboards for me too.  About just under a week before I was due to start filming my project I came up with an idea to help take my story in a different direction and what I felt would help to develop my storyline better. I had decided to add the male characters conscience as a physical role to help show what was going through the actors head at the time when he would originally be alone on scene which I had decided may of came across as dull. So I wrote out a new draft of the script and sent it off to my actors I then was faced with a problem as it was just days before I was preparing to start filming and as I couldn’t afford to put filming back at all I had to quickly find an actor to fill the role. In the end I chose to cast Juno in the film as he had the kind of look I wanted to put across as Jordan’s conscience and he also he did have a small amount of previous acting experience.

Filming at the beach went by without ay trouble as we filmed in the morning before the area got too busy for us to work (although we did develop a small group watching us film the acting scenes at the beach) and filming at my house was no trouble too putting me slightly ahead of schedule. Editing my project was pretty straight forward as I made sure I had enough takes of each scene making it easy to cover over any errors that were made, the only thing that took some time to sort was the sound from shooting at the beach. As we had filmed down by the water the mic had picked up the sound of the sea making the background noisy rather overpowering, but after browsing the internet for what to do about it I discovered it was easily sorted my exporting my audio to Soundbooth to reduce the background noise before re-exporting it back onto Premiere Pro and linking it back up with the video footage.

This all went by perfectly fine and I was ready to upload it to the Cannes site several days before the deadline. This is when my problems began. On Friday April 8th I began uploading my film to the site, and after leaving it all day it had only got to 36%, this didn’t seem a concern at the time as I felt although it was uploading very slowly it would be done in time. The next time I came back to it, it was at 80% but after that and leaving it for hours it just stayed at that percentage not moving anymore, so I emailed the Cannes help address to see what I should do, they responded with saying as there was a high amount of traffic on the site uploads weren’t working as they should so they would email me when to upload it to the site. This was on Monday the day before the deadline. I check my email almost every hour looking for a reply until on the Tuesday I finally got one. I quickly got my film uploading to the site as I knew how close to the deadline it was, It seemed to upload rather quickly and before I knew it, it was on the site and I got an email confirming its upload. It wasn’t until the next day I saw I had received another email from them saying my film wasn’t successful at being entered to the festival due to me uploading the film after the deadline. I had to admit I felt cheated by the site as I did as they told me to do and waited for their response. I emailed them back explaining that I had waited until they told me to upload and even though that was on the Tuesday the site didn’t specify what time the deadline was. I never received a response to this email.

After this major setback with my project I felt it was important for me to pick up some extra work helping some of my classmates. So I did so work for Dom writing a script of dialogue for him and also filming the scenes for him to draw over, and also some work for Juno appearing in his film a well as some behind the scenes work too.

When looking back at my experience during this project I cannot help but feel a slight bit disappointed, as I put a lot of work into this project knowing how important it was for my course and also for the experience, only to be let down by a faulty website.  Despite this I am happy with the work I have came out with as an end product and in a way it has set me up for work in the media business as at some point during my career I am bound to be disappointed but as the morale from my short tells the audience everything will work out ok in the end, I kind of feel these words couldn’t be more true.

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