Finding a story

Posted: September 18, 2011 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 10_12
Tags: ,

There are a number of important factors in making the films for this project – Speed, accuracy, and story.

We have a deadline. We need to see at least 4 sites to visit in each filming window. Luckily, we have drivers too, so we can get away with 3. But we have 40 businesses to see in 3 weeks. Then we edit. So, speed is essential. More speed, less haste.

We have to make sure we identify everything we need – therefore the important thing to do first is identify everything we need – location, contact number, contact name, what they do, who they are, when they can film, when we can film, what they have been nominated for… and all this has to be accurate. We have already had a slight mix up in contacting a client before we had all the information – so while speed is important, it must be balanced with accuracy.

So, then we have story. This is not history, this is how we are making the film interesting. What is the story we are telling? Every event has a number of different angles we can take on telling it to someone else. Lets take the Rag Day for an example – we can take 3 routes. 

1. Rag day has been an event in the college calendar for 20 years.

2. Rag Day raised over £2000 for charity last year, and this year hopes to raise more.

3. Large numbers of college students end up in hospital every year with alcohol poisoning.

While we assume all 3 are accurate (although I have just made them up as an example), No1 is potentially pretty dull. While 3 is possibly the most interesting story to run with (cue shots of drunken students, students in hospital, concerned parents, teachers and medial staff) it is not necessarily a story we would run with if we were commissioned by the College. 

So, we are left with No2 – the story os about how much we have raised for charity, and how much we expect to raise for charity next year. Cue interviews with Staff members, Students, Charity Workers with shots of students in fancy dress and fact checking about which charities are involved and how much has been raised in the past.

All the information is then organised into a story – Introduction, main information, summing up – as a rough script, which will help to generate the questions and shot list. Then we phone the client and run it past them – that way, they correct it for us and we have an accurate story.

Simple.

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