Category Archives: 260MC – Placing MP In Context

Short Film Idea – Roadtrip

As a group, we decided to go with the idea brought forward by Sara – this was the journey of the old couple. We really felt that it was just a nice story and had a lot of potential to look and feel beautiful. Here is the Pitch, Outline and Treatment:

Pitch

We meet Harold and Geraldine who have been happily married since they were 21. Now retired, they enjoy the spare time they have. With all this leisure time, they decide to take a road trip, but where this trip takes them is anyone’s guess.

Outline

An alarm goes off at 8am in a bedroom, with sun shining through the curtains. HAROLD and GERALDINE slowly awake from their peaceful sleep and greet each other ‘Good morning’. They clamber out of bed, put on their dressing gowns and go down for breakfast.

In the kitchen, Geraldine is making tea and a bowl of steaming porridge and places it in front of Harold, who is reading a newspaper. Geraldine joins him the other side of the table with her breakfast. They have a conversation about the day ahead of them, and their impending trip. Geraldine tells Harold not to be too long eating breakfast so they can get ready and go.

We then see the couple in the bedroom getting ready, surrounded by cases and bags. Geraldine is helping Harold get dressed, doing up the buttons on his cardigan and smoothing out his shirt before finishing getting ready herself and Harold combing his hair.

We are now outside seeing Harold fill the car with their luggage. He does his best to try and get everything in, closes the boot then jumps into the drivers’ seat. The couple set off for their journey.

As they’re driving we see them chat and Geraldine trying to navigate by reading a map. Many people pass them, both on foot and on bikes highlighting how slowly they’re driving.

They turn the corner and they have reached their destination: the local park. They start to pull everything out the back of the car including a picnic basket, thermos and blanket. They make their way to the park to have their picnic.

Afterwards we see them sitting contently in each other’s company before Geraldine says it’s time to go home.

Treatment

A HOUSE – EARLY MORNING

We see multiple shots of what appears to be an elderly couples home, seeing things such as old photographs of them together, slippers on the floor, glasses on the table, old trophies and medals, bunting around the living room, all basking in the golden glow of the sunlight breaking through the closed curtains.

BEDROOM – EARLY MORNING

An alarm goes off at 8am in a bedroom, with sun shining through the curtains. Old married couple Harold and Geraldine slowly awake from their peaceful sleep and greet each other ‘Good morning’. They clamber out of bed, put on their dressing gowns and go down for breakfast.

CUT TO…

KITCHEN – EARLY MORNING

In the kitchen, Geraldine is making tea and a bowl of steaming porridge and places it in front of Harold, who is reading a newspaper. Geraldine joins him the other side of the table with her breakfast. They have a conversation about the day ahead of them, and their impending trip. Geraldine tells Harold not to be too long eating breakfast so they can get ready and go.

CUT TO…

BEDROOM  – MORNING

We then see the couple in the bedroom getting ready, surrounded by cases and bags. Geraldine is nearly ready and is seen helping Harold get dressed, doing up the buttons on his cardigan and smoothing out his shirt before finishing getting ready herself and Harold combing his hair. When they’re both dressed and ready they stand and stare at each other, exchanging a loving smile.

CUT TOO…

OUTSIDE – MORNING/AFTERNOON

All the bags and cases are placed next to the front door and Harold is filling up the car with their luggage. As he does this Geraldine is locking the door. Harold successfully gets everything in the car, closes the boot then jumps into the drivers’ seat. The couple set off for their journey.

CUT TO…

THE CAR – AFTERNOON

As they’re driving down the road we see them chat and Geraldine trying to navigate by reading a map. Many people pass them, both on foot and on bikes highlighting how slowly they’re driving. They turn the corner and they have reached their destination: the local park

CUT TO…

A PARK – AFTERNOON

They park the car and get out. They start to pull everything out the back of the car including a picnic basket, thermos and blanket. They make their way to the park and under a tree place their blanket down. They begin to unpack the basket and have their picnic. They eat and laugh in the sunshine.

Afterwards we see them sitting contently in each other’s company before Geraldine says it’s time to go home.

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Four Week Project

Over the summer, we were asked to think of some ideas to pitch to a group when we came back. I did have an idea for some sort of sitcom set around the antics of university students as nothing in the mass media existed in this subject area. However, within a week of me writing some ideas down, Fresh Meat was advertised and then broadcasted on C4. Pretty much scupered my plans for that.

However, I was not stopped there for ideas. I thought about things I had never worked on but really wanted to. The first was stop-motion (of some interesting level as opposed to basic Lego figures etc) and the second was messing with time and continuity in films. The latter included reverse shots and speeded up/slowed down footage and other techniques like it.

When we were briefed about the four week project, I pitched my second idea. I felt 4 weeks would not be a great deal of time to plan and film a stop motion film of a decent quality, content and length; let alone editing! The second idea would be more feasible – but I was thinking of an experimental film without a narrative. I thought about jump shots( such as in the Snow Patrol video “Take Back The City”) and other different styles of cinematography.

At the end of our group discussion, we decided to roll with Nick’s idea; a music video of an unsigned artist (his friend Jordan). The narrative fell around love. In brief, the musician had a relationship with a girl; they broke up; she finds love in a different man; musician longs to have her back. There was mention of doing experimental filming for this project – something I think I influenced. With that, we came up with some interesting ideas.

Firstly, we wanted to do lots of reverse shots. I suggested that this could tie into the narrative as the musician wants to go back into time to when things were good for him. Secondly, we wanted some stop-motion like the Snow Patrol video.

Our next step was to set about looking for actors, locations and  permission. I took responsibility of a producer for this and started to get the project running. I didn’t deal with actor scouting although we needed a woman and a man to represent the people in the relationship. We already had Jordan as the musician as we could use footage of him playing the guitar and singing the song as in most music videos (with the artist’s performing the songs not just singing them).

I looked into gaining permissions to shoot in both Coventry City and the University grounds. I had to contact CV-One, the town’s security force, to gain permission to shoot anywhere in the city that was not privately owned land. I had to provide them with the university’s Public Liability Policy which took a bit of charm and knowing who to go to to get a copy promptly. (Will not put a picture up of these policy’s as I am unsure of legal implications.) To shoot on the university grounds, I had to contact it’s protection service, Alma, and just inform them what we were doing, when and where. This really gave me an insight to how a producer works at getting all the admin and legal side of a shoot down.

We were then ready to shoot. I made especial care to do things “good and proper” so I got all three actors to sign release forms (admittedly I could have pre-prepared for this by drafting up a printed copy as opposed to a written copy). This meant that the content we filmed with the actors belonged to us and we could use it for whatever creative purpose we desired. It also worked as a disclosure that any injuries or events that happened to the actors whilst working with us were not our fault – we would claim no responsibility for them.

Jordan's Release Form

However, we did a H&S form (which I have yet to get off a colleague) to minimise risks but be fully aware of any that did occur. We also worked very well as a team to prevent any injuries.

At this point I had to step into the director’s shoes and perform this role for most of the shoot. Jess, Ally and Nick had devised a plan of what shots they wanted and I controlled them actually been done. It’s worth noting that not only did we work very well as a crew but also very compatible with the actors. This connection really helped us keep going when it got cold, people were tired and miserable as they would not resent doing another shoot – etc. As producer,director and H&S, I kept in constant check with everyone making sure that they were all warm enough and nothing silly happened like hypothermia (easily prevented with due care and attention to each other’s well being). We got most of the shoot done in one day (and only had to shoot one scene the day after) so we were satisfied with our schedule.

The original audio recording of Jordan’s song was not all too clear or a brilliant quality. Consequently, we wanted to re-record it. I had spoken to Paul Adkins about using the professional recording studio in the music department and he happily obliged to helping us out in doing this.  Whilst we were out shooting scenes not requiring Jordan, I met Paul with Nick and Scott and the three of them did a guitar and vocal recording. I meanwhile had to return to the shoot but I had at least made contact with all parties involved.

Mike's Release Form

 

 

Briony's Release Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the filming and audio recording was completed, we headed into the editing suit. I assisted in this area a great deal – lending my hand with a lot of reverse shots and jumps shots as well as the transitions. It was imperative to experiment at this stage as we pitched our film as an experimental one. We messed about with continuity and interloping shots of Jordan singing with the narrative. It worked out pretty well in the end.
When we presented the film to the rest of the year, there was mixed reactions. Some people really liked the experimental ideas but others said they didn’t work at all. I have posted a number of feedback sheets we received.


Brand New Year; Same Old Blog

So it’s the start of a new term, start of a new year and start of a new reign of creativity for me at Cov. This year I’m going to aim higher, achieve more and give the others a darn good thrashing, trousers down, six of the best.

So what’s this year got in store? Apart from my set work/modules, I’ve also opted to study Documentary again and Short Film. In all honesty, I’m quite annoyed at how the modules planned out term wise. I wanted to choose both Documentary and Formats (broadcast basically) but these modules ran at the same time. I feel, at this current time, that in the future, this is where my pursuits will be directed. In that respect I’m gutted I don’t have the opportunity to work both mediums this year.

My own little projects this year, apart from set work, will be a little more varied than last year. I want to try lots of things; stop-motion films, be creative with time and continuity, music video, a documentary close to my heart. I will undoubtably have more as the year progresses.