The final assignment for the module Principle and Techniques was to create an 8-minute hybrid genre with no limit of characters. The hybrid genre meant that the film had to contain more than one genre. The aim was to create a film that portrayed clear genre traits with a clear understand of what the films intended genres were.
The final group assignment did not start in a positive way for me personally. I had missed the previous lecture due to illness but thought that the lesson was only to present the latest films created from the groups. Therefore I did not ask the lecturer or class members if I had missed anything important. I then found out that the class had already been put into groups a week early, with a week to create a detailed pitch. I found this out the day before the pitch deadline, meaning that I missed the planning stage of the film and was not a part of any groups. I felt worried as I had missed valuable information and time to develop a film idea. I knew that I would have to accept the group’s idea that I joined as there was no time to change or expand on ideas.
I felt a lack of control and participation, which I had caused for myself. I, fortunately, joined a group and was pleased to hear that their chosen genre was horror, comedy. I was glad that horror was one of the genres as I enjoy horror films and creating them. I was however disappointed that the group had not developed an idea. I knew there would not be enough time to create a detailed plan overnight and found that it was difficult to communicate with the group. This made it difficult to agree on ideas and organise what would be mentioned in the pitch.
I became more worried about the pitch than the previous films. This was because a whole week was given instead of one night. A lot more was expected in the pitch, with specific technical and narrative details developed. This resulted in an improvised pitch with a basic idea. The feedback from the lecturer was much more critical than the other film pitches. He expressed that there was not much narrative development and no clear film concept. I felt unhappy with the pitch and did not want to disappoint the lecturer. This was an uncomfortable position that I will not be placed in again.
The main areas that led to these issues were a lack of communication and organisation. This was between the group and with myself. In reflection, I should have found out what the lesson had consisted of. Then I would have been able to join a group with the rest of the week to develop an idea. I dislike the feeling of failure but especially when I feel that I have disappointed another. This will be avoided by ensuring that I meet the full expectation and criteria set.
For this task, meeting the expectation for the pitch could have been achieved by firstly producing a detailed plan of the narrative with a script, which would have provided sufficient information about the film concept. Then a shot list for each scene with a list of editing effects would have provided a much more thorough pitch. Set locations and the cast would have allowed for an organised and more definite idea.
When the production began it became apparent that the group was not working as a single unit. One-half of the group filmed a scene whilst the other filmed another scene. This technique made it easier to film more at once as not everyone had to be filming one single scene, but multiple at the same time. Therefore this could have been a benefit to the production process. However, this did not work quite as effectively due to poor organisation and communication. I still think the production was easier to carry out by splitting workload but the communication between both halves of the group failed.
The team I was in were unaware of what the others were filming for their scene. It was planned that they filmed the last scene, my team filmed the middle and then all together we would film the first scene. However, the other group did not inform us of the scenes script. This was mainly down to them not having a plan, instead, only having a basic idea and deciding camera angles during the filming process.
This made it difficult for my team to link our scene with theirs. I had made a plan of camera angles and what exactly would happen in the scene. This was uploaded to a shared folder on Google drive so that everyone could view it, including the other team. I did not feel confident with how the film would turn out. This was because I did not know how the other team’s scene would turn out and do not think the overall film would flow.
During the filming of the second scene, I found it enjoyable because the team I was within worked well together. We did not have any issues with the way we worked together and took on individual roles which made the process faster and easier. One member played the character, another was the camera operator and I took on more of a director style role. I did not take control and made sure that we all had an equal voice in the group. Instead, I found that the issue with the other films was that no one helped the camera operator, by creating a plan of camera shots that coincided with the script and aiding them during the film process.
Therefore I created a plan to follow and helped the camera operator with composition and informed him what was to be done next. We still added new ideas which benefited the scene and allowed everyone to have their own input. I felt satisfied with the outcome as we put much effort and time into this scene.
Although the first scene was not as enjoyable. It did not take too much time and no major issues occurred but it was not properly organised. No camera shot lists were created and no one had a clear idea of the scene. It felt rushed, which could have been prevented by detailed planning and time management.
During the production process, one member of the group edited the scenes that I was involved with and another edited the other scenes. They were then put together with a splash screen created by one of the editors.
I had informed the editors that I would help with any tasks that needed to be done during this process, but they did not feel that any help was necessary. Therefore for this process, I did not have much input, which made me feel guilty and unhelpful to the group. It felt unusual to not have any part in the editing process. I viewed the edits and provided any advice that could help or improve the edited footage. Although it was not stressful compared to other projects when the editing was last minute and I had a lot of work to finish myself, I felt the opposite as I wanted to have work to help with the post-production stage. I did not enjoy the feeling of not having much input to help the group.
I found a positive of this stage was that one of the group members had experience with editing. In most other groups I did a large majority of editing, which I did not have any obligation to, but found it to be a heavy amount of work. Whereas this member enjoyed the process and conducted it faster and easier. He added effects that improved the overall film and was able to achieve the ideas of small effects on audio and visuals that the group had thought of.
A negative was that the group had split into two smaller groups to film and edit. This meant the way it was filmed and editing style did not match. A critic was that it felt as though two separate films had been put together. I agree with this critic and felt that the scenes are too different from one another, which breaks the continuity and flow of the narrative.
This issue could have been avoided by creating a detailed plan of the filming and editing process for every scene. The group could then follow the plan to ensure that the footage and editing were similar. I think this would have also produced a better narrative and improved the organisation of the production and communication between the members.
From this task, I have learned that a production will not be successful without good communication and organisation. Although these areas were poorly executed in the production I think the final outcome was better than expected. However, if plans were created and followed by the whole group, the film could have been a much higher quality. The feedback given from the film was that it did not flow, the narrative was confusing and the second half of the film was weaker than the first. I agree with the feedback and understand what areas impacted the final outcome.
A plan of the camera angles was created for the second scene, which was the stronger section of the film according to the feedback. The plan made the filming easier and much quicker to conduct. It also allowed more creative angles to be used that improved the scene. A plan for the other scenes would have improved the quality of the film. Detailed plans of each camera angle, script and editing effects would have made the group work together as a whole team and improved the communication issues. More time must be taken for the pre-production process in the future, with extensive research and thought into the production from the whole team.