When initially presented with the Final Major Project, my immediate intention
was to make a documentary because that is what I have enjoyed doing most over
the course of the year.
After planning out a loose idea for my film, I tried to contact my subject who I
was very confident would work on the film. Unfortunately we couldn’t come to
an agreement so I had to abort my project and look for a new idea. This was
terrifying because I really had put all my eggs in one basket and I learnt that in
future, I really shouldn’t invest too much into one idea when I don’t have any
guarantee with it. If I pursue something ambitious, I should make sure that I have
an alternative idea that could be used as a spontaneous replacement.
After coming up with my new idea, a short film, I started looking at research that
I felt would be truly helpful to my project. This consisted mainly of studying
obscure film characters and looking at surrealism in filmmaking. My idea was
based on a character that I had in my head for a long time so I was excited about
taking this small concept and blowing it up into a visual presentation.
In hindsight, adapting an old idea didn’t really work out how I would have liked. I
mainly put this down to the fact that I get bored of ideas and concepts very
quickly so from the off set, it didn’t feel like a fresh, original idea.
After researching characters and screenplays, I decided to write my script and as
I already had quite a vivid idea of the plot, I found this process relatively easy
and the research helped me to get into the heads of my characters much more.
When it came to pre-production, I wish I had taken more time to create a
detailed plan for all my filming because I have since learnt that it is so much
better to work on an organized set. There are times when I wish I had a plan in
front of me because then that would also give me the ability to use creative leigh
way to try out new ideas. Before this project, I felt that I could show up on set
and improvise but I believe that if that is the style I want to adopt, I at least need
a bit of preparation in case a problem arose.
I felt quite comfortable working as a director and I liked getting the opinions and
ideas of everyone on set because I feel like sometimes I was looking at an idea
too subjectively and an objective perspective can really open up your eyes when
panicking or stuck. I was comfortable around all my crew-members and I also
felt confident with all the equipment. Working with other students making films
was incredible helpful to me because we would learn from each others mistakes
and there were several occasions when people made me aware of a problem that
I was making that they had made to a worse degree.
The post-production process was much more intense than I expected. I thought
that I would assemble quite a rudimentary edit because none of the projects
ambitious elements required after effects or graphics. I learnt quite instantly that
this would take longer than anticipated because I had lots of problems with the
focus of shots and audio. These are mistakes that I should’ve been aware of on
set but because I missed them, they have came back to be problematic in the edit.
I felt like I managed my editing time better than any other aspect of the project
because I was efficient and objective every time I was with my footage. Without
sounding negative, I wasn’t too happy with a lot of my shots but this actually
made it easier for me when editing because I didn’t really have an unbreakable
attachment to any of my footage. If they weren’t good enough, I’d cut them out
without any hesitation. I’m quite comfortable when working with audio in
Premiere Pro and this came in useful because a lot of my problems lay with the
Now at the end of the project, I truly feel like I have improved my abilities in all
aspects of filmmaking. Going forward, the area that is most crucial for me to
concentrate on is the pre production work because I really feel like not having a
thorough foundation allowed for several aspects of the project to constantly
change and fall through at unexpected times.