Posts Tagged ‘Sba2011’

How Long? How Much?

Posted: October 1, 2011 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 10_12
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Ok, we are making short films. Adverts.30 seconds. That’s it.

So how long is it taking us to make these films? I want you to time all the tasks in the process. How long is it taking you to research each company you look at? and be careful here – some research packs have taken a week to get back to the folder, yet I know the researcher has sat still for a long time – or even just printed out web pages.

I want to know in hours how long the whole process has taken – confirming who what they have been nominated for, looking at what the company has given us, finding the web site, reading it, extracting what is important & relates to the awards, putting together the checklist, rough script, shot list & questions, phoning them, talking to them, running through the shots we want, negotiating access to those areas, running through the questions, rewriting the questions, rough script and shotlist based on what the company have said they want.

Then the logistics – this is essentially just sorting out who is going to get the footage. This should not take too long, but can be quite complex when there are 5 groups going out with 3 cameras in 1 minibus.

Then there is travel – how long does it actually take you to get to the company? How long are you filming on site? The average seems to be about 2 hours, which is a long time for a 30 second films… Then there is the journey back.

Then digitising – real time for DV, quicker for digital. But you ned to log the footage – where is the good stuff? Have we found the best shots, the best soundbites? We only have 30 seconds, but it needs to be a dense, action packed 30 seconds. It has to sell. This takes some serious editing.

By my estimation, 3 hours filming per film, 4 hours researching & talking, and (depending on how well the shoot was logged) either 7 or 14 hours editing. So, lets say 21 hours per film. Most of you will take a lot longer. But why is this important?

A job like this is payed by a fee. You would estimate how long it would take you to do all these jobs, in hours, and then multiply by an hourly fee. Lets say, £25 per hour. So, I make it each film (before we get to the master edit, and without expenses) as being worth about £525 each. (NB – this is based on one person, so with a 4 person crew going out takes it closer to £900). So, talk to someone who you know owns a business and see if they would be willing to pay £525 for a 30 second piece. If they say no, look at how big their business is – then ask yourself why…

I have had companies complain at a release fee of £100. But how would you bring the cost down? Well, you do it quicker. Drivers and crew who don’t muck about. Get in and film exactly what you need, based on good solid research. Maybe 2 hours to explore the subject, and come out with a good solid shotlist and questions that cover everything. It is worth spending more time on the research, because it is the filming and edit that will consume the most time. If you know what you want before you go, it is so much easier to assemble what you need at the end of the day.

So, as part of you blog – tell me how long you have been spending on each task. Multiply that, in hours, by £25. Then tell me if the work you have is worth that amount of money.


More Haste, Less Speed

Posted: September 29, 2011 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 10_12
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Haste – a necessity for hurrying; urgency

Speed – The state of being in rapid motion; rapidity.

We are about to enter the last week of filming. We should have all the names to visit by tomorrow afternoon. We are running out of time.

Is the project possible? Of course it is. However, the stress is beginning to show. People are starting to panic. And people panic in different ways.

Some run around screaming. Some sit and work really hard. Some just stare into space. Only one of these reactions actually helps…

Often, the first thing to stop is communication. People don’t talk. They assume someone else is doing the job. Communication is a two way process; You cannot communicate if the other person isn’t listening.

The most important thing to getting this done is to know what you need to do. You have a choice, either plug away for an hour trying to figure out what is happening, or think about it for 45 minutes, and then do it in 5 because you know what you are doing.

This is the difference between speed and haste. Haste is the point where something needs to be done with some urgency; take a medical procedure for example. It is urgent, but if you rush it there will be dire consequences. Haste is a need for acting quickly, not actually rushing in.  Speed is the object in motion – there is no cognition, just a physical measurement of how fast something is happening. If you rush, you are using speed and no accuracy  –  the phrase “Rush Job” refers to something that has been done shoddily.

The trick is to use haste. Do not rush, do not panic. Look at the job. do what is necessary to complete the job. No more, no less. Do it in good time. If there is a mistake, correct it. We need attention to detail just as much as we need timeliness.

So, follow the plan. If you don’t have the plan, find it. Talk to the team – and there are 40 of us – and focus on the goal. All films, edited, by 10th October.

If the plan changes, the plan changes.

This is why we use computers. Or students.

Posted: September 19, 2011 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 10_12
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We went through a list of everything we might need in the research packs, and I wrote it on the board. Luckily, Sian translated into legible writing!

So, here is a research to do list, to go along with the checklist in dropbox. 

SBA Editing Team Tasks

Posted: September 18, 2011 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 10_12
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As part of the editing team, you can focus on individual film edits, or take responsibility for the overall master edit. Either way, you are making the most of what you have been given by the other teams. You have the right to reject footage if it is not high enough quality. Equally, your edits need to be accurate. You will need to work quickly to hit the deadline – so follow the logging and capture what is needed,

Your roles and responsibilities are:-

  • Capture footage
  • Put it in correct aspect ratio
  • Colour correct where neccesary
  • Edit to the rough script / updated script
  • Edit sound (Ch1 as main signal. NOT STEREO!, edit to – 6db)
  • Add music at the right level – so we can hear speech clearly
  • Compile master edit
  • Add motion graphics
  • Add Logos
  • Create Logo loop
  • Create inserts for each nomination
  • Complete master edit ready for client viewing
  • Re-edit master edit after client viewing in time for Awards Ceremony

SBA Production Team Tasks

Posted: September 18, 2011 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 10_12
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As production team, you are the middle man – the researchers have given you a shopping list, and you need to get all the ingredients.

The most vital thing is to get it right. Check your equipment, know your research, memorise the map. Never go in cold, and never assume the research pack is complete complete complete. 

Your roles and responsibilities are – 

  • Film to a high standard
  • White balance in all areas
  • use available light
  • record sound to a high standard (ch1 – Boom mic, Ch2 – internal mic or Lapel Mic, aim for -6db)
  • check sound signal and monitor at all times
  • follow question list
  • follow shot list
  • add questions / shots based on opportunities on site
  • be professional on site
  • Log shots
  • Log interviews
  • Update rough script
  • Label all tapes
  • Pass tapes and logging onto editing team.

SBA Research Team Tasks

Posted: September 18, 2011 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 10_12
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As part of the research team, you will define what needs to happen for each film. You play a pivotal role which gives a firm base for the rest of the production.

Your roles and responsibilities are:

  • Create a realistic schedule
  • Follow the research list
  • Collate all information given (contact details, 6 facts, nominations)
  • Find news stories
  • Summarise what the company does
  • Find similar corporate videos
  • Find copyright free music
  • Make a list of questions
  • Write a rough script
  • Find the story
  • Get pack signed off by tutor
  • Make a shot list
  • Contact client
  • Be professional when dealing with client
  • Make appointment / window of appointments
  • Talk client through process (email Questions)
  • Assign production team
  • Assign editing team


SBA Team Responsibilities

Posted: September 18, 2011 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 10_12
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It is important to understand the full nature of what we are doing on this project. You have met the client, watched examples, and now have the first few nomination shortlists. Take a deep breath, and prepare yourself for a busy month. To this end, here are my expectations of what you will need to do as a team and as an individual.

This is a team task, therefore the entire class is expected to behave in a particular way and follow the same set of tasks. It is your responsibility to input into the project. Failure to do so will result in expulsion form the project and failure of the unit. Please use this to guide you through the project and the assignment.

All team members will need to:-

  • Meet all deadlines
  • Stick to the schedule
  • Observe organisational hierarchy (Client, Tutors, Task Team Leaders, Production Team leaders.)
  •  Team leaders will be responsible for making sure their team members are aware of their individual role, and all tasks are being met.
  • Take responsibility for completion of all tasks within their team
  • Be professional at all times.

Team roles and responsibilities will follow in the next few posts.


Contacting Clients

Posted: September 16, 2011 by Alan Hardcastle in CMP 10_12
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We are currently in the Research phase – which means we need to find out as much information as possible about teh comapnies we will visit. This should inculde News items, company profiles and entry information from teh SBA’s as sources of information taht you sue to generate the questions, shot lists and script.

Once all this has been done to a high standard, we can contact the client to discuss the film with them. Never phone a client blind! Always phone them with all the information you have, so you can talk them through the visit – and ask what else we can film!