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Iceland, Reykjavik and OutDated

So in February/March 2012 I went to Reykjavik as the producer of a film called OutDated. The film was shot so I think that means I made it as a producer.

We were there for 10days and I barely had anytime to myself. being the Producer my hands were full all the time with questions coming left right and centre and having to answer everyone amongst other things.

I had to have a plan of action for each day that we were there. Being the Producer I had to make sure everyone was doing their job and doing their job well. This was very hard to do. The director caused me huge amounts grief. It was a futile attempt at times to sort him out. The words, ‘My Production,’ uttered from his lips and that was on the second day of being there. I knew from that point it was going to be a huge effort to work with him. If it was the real world I would’ve sacked him but I couldn’t at first due to us being on a student trip. It took until the final day of shooting were I was given the power to remove him simply because he was annoying all of his superiors by becoming to self involved and not listening to what other people had to say. I could rant and rant about the director, but I shan’t. It’s plain to see that I was not happy with him even before by never being on time and not doing story boards after 3 months of badgering and even after he still thinks this is HIS and HIS alone.

Anyway,  tried to perform as well as I could. Perhaps I was a little under prepared but I made sure I did the little things right no matter what. Things like arrange the meetings, have a plan and always, always be on time. Something I had to do to lead by example.

I also tried to keep everyone happy. This did not happen all the time, especially when I sacked Chris Hammond from directing, which he apologised for afterwards for his actions. On non-filming dates I had everyone doing something.

Things like going on a test shoot proved a huge bonus as if we didn’t when we were there then we would’ve failed simply because the director had no idea what he wanted apart from a couple of shots which I really don’t like.

Meeting the actors two days before the shoot proved to be a God send. This gave jus the director and myself time to go through the character bios and the script with any alterations they wanted so they were happy. I was very happy to change anything that was needed and tweaks were made but made for the good. Everyone was made for the better. It also gave us a chance to get to know each other better and I found both Alex and Vala (our Actors) to be lovely people and were a pleasure to work with.

So the shoot itself went ok. The interior shots were easy enough to shoot, not as much pressure, you’re inside and don’t have to worry about lighting and the weather as much. Exterior, well that was always going to fail us. Has luck would have it we shot the first day with the interior shot in the morning when it was clear blue skies. By the time it got to the afternoon and we needed ext. shots the weather had turned and a blizzard insued. This lead to us thinking on our feet. Hammond was in his own little world not listening to anyone trying to solve every question the world had given us. Anyway we decided to shoot the montage scene here as the weather didn’t matter too much. The decision was made for a lot of the crew to head back to the hotel and a few of us stayed back and quickly drive round town to various locations. Which in the end worked out alright apart from being stuck in the Concert Hall for over an hour with kids playing in an orchestra.

Post-Production. Well I still havn’t seen an edit. People seem to dissapear of the face of the Earth when I asked people for it. After two months of nothing from our editor Tom Hill, I sacked him. Which had no impact on the edit at all since he had not even started. I then gave it to Hammond to edit. Why? Simply because no one else would. I personally was too busy to edit it. But after another month of badgering he is still AWOL with only one rough cut which I personally think is massively under par.

What comes next?

Me wanting to produce. I thought it was hell at times but yet in Hindsight I did rather enjoy it. To say I produced that is something I like to be proud of no matter what it is. Could’ve OutDated run smoother? Hell, yes, but this was my first decent scaled film and I don’t think I did horribly bad and next time I do have the suspicion I shall be twice as prepared with doubled results.

Heres a spoof of what I did.

Acoustic Night – dealing with the edit.

So after a successful acoustic night, I was left with the arduous task  of editing over 2 and half hours of filming. This of course is multiplied by 3 as we had three cameras so in essence I had over 7 hours of footage to sift through to make to make every song look good, make sure the right camera shots were picked and even match up the colours of the camera to make them appear the same since we had lighting problems and the aperture was changed throughout and was left on different settings.

The audio was mixed by Alex Chance so a separate audio track was added and none of the audio from the cameras was used. This left me with having to line up every single performance with the audio three times. This proved to take an age. I went purely on the lip syncing, so I matched the mouth moving the the lyrics that were used. Doing this 78 (3 cameras x26 songs) times over took a huge amount of time as sometimes I could not match the audio up as it always seemed just a few frames out.

 

Edit Timeline for Beau Giblin's Domino

As you can tell from the picture after I lined up the audio I then had to start cutting up all the footage. Fades were added in places and cuts in others to make it look as good as I could get it. To get the first rough edit together took around two weeks. With an average of 45 minutes a song it would of taken around 18-20hours of editing.
With a rough cut done that was sent to Gabbie (the event organiser). She loved it but I could see when I watched it bak with her that I saw a few things that needed tweaking. I then went back and spent another 6 hours or so editing it together. This was then watched back in its entirety (which by this point managed to whittle down to 1hr49mins as there’s no need to have the parts in-between the songs) and then made some minor changes and was ready to export the final piece to DVD.
I was really happy with the results and received great feedback. This has lead to future filming events during May, which I really look forward to.

Nous Invicta does it’s first Acoustic Night.

On April 2nd 2012 I went to film an acoustic night consisting of Performing Art Students at Coventry University. The acoustic night was shot in Coventry at the SU’s Square One.

People included:
Tom Neary – Camera 3

Thomas Barnes – Camera 1

Alex Chance – Sound

Dicken Richards – Camera 2
The day started at around 3pm when myself and Tom Neary went to Square one with 3 Sony Z5’s and 3 Tripods. Upon my arrival I had a chat with the Event Organiser Gabrielle Mir-Hosseini about what was going on and what we were going to do and film. Alex Chance was already there sorting out the sound for the evening which took along time to sort out. Myself and Tom then discussed where each camera would go and made sure that we would not be in the way of the audience and likewise them not being in our shots.
We had to move a few tables around so we could get in our prime spots in order to get the best shots of the performance. The biggest problem was where to stick Camera 2. The camera that would supply the shots directly in front of the performance. The best thing to do was to get some staging out, raise it up so it was about 5 foot off the ground and then put the camera on the staging.This made sure that the crowd wouldn’t get in the way and also that the sound desk was also in line with myself and the staging so also had to rise above that.

The lighting also proved to be a huge issue. The lighting had to be good for the show but also good for us to film in. A long time was spent on trail and error to sort out the best lighting. The main problem was that the lights that would be used were not spread wide enough to cover the whole stage. This would turn out to be a problem in filming. The problem was that the microphones had to be evenly spread but the light was different for each microphone spot and in one case the light only covered half of the space it should have. There was only so much that we could do so sorted it out the best we could.

The event was due to start at 8 and by 7 everything was set up and ready to go. Some performers managed to get a few run throughs which did help us in for the main show as well as them.

Thomas Barnes then joined us and went through everything that was going on, what I wanted from everyone etc. and got ourselves in position. What was wanted was to film it and then edit it like it was done as if it was a live tv show.

The show went on for around 3 hours with 26songs and here is a song from that evening edited and sounding amazing.

Filming the PicBod Night.

There was an photo exhibition for the second year photography students. I myself had work shown. I took it upon myself the film the event and the build up to it. In there everyday from Monday to Thursday looking to get the right shots to show the before and after like things as them putting up work and lighting the exhibition.
I worked on my own for this and tried to capture everyones work so it could be seen around the world and not just in an art exhibition.
Upon Completion of the video it was then uploaded to the PicBod website. by Jonathan Worth it has received good reviews for which I am happy  although could’ve perhaps filmed a bit more of the art itself as I over shot some photos and undershot others, but heres the video.

Spanish Students tour Coventry Cathedral

On 29th March 2012, I felt that showing Spanish students at the Cathedral would look good as it shows all kinds of people go there.
I tried to arrange a crew but failed so took too it upon myself to go film. Just me and a Camera. It was a glorious day, one of the best days of the tear so far, which made it more perfect to shoot especially outside as it makes the whole place look brighter and better, rather than the doom n gloom of filming over the winter.

Spanish Students in the Old Cathedral

 

I thought that by going by myself it lead me to be more professional and had little distractions. The fact that it was a lovely sunny day also made going outside a wonder. I got some nice shots and shots that I really wanted which I felt were missing from other shoots.
After being let down by my editor I was left in the position that no one wanted to edit it together so was left with little choice but to edit it myself.

Creative Activism Conclusion

 

The end of a module with very mixed reviews with work perhaps not as a true activist would do but never really being an activist before I think there are a lot of positives to take out of this. I really enjoyed doing a flash mob and may do it again should I get enough people together. Some things I didn’t really enjoy doing but had to be done, but it’s like that with all things I guess. It’s not been the most enjoyable module and I probably would dread doing it again but I look on to doing more open things, fictional things, things I love to do where I can have a creative mind in fiction and wonders other than pressing issues that I have to go out and exploit.

What comes next to this? I really want to make my short film about the affects of releasing balloons. I quirky film with a deep meaning. I have already sent out posters for an illustrator as it will be animated.

So far no responses but I am sure there is an eager talented illustrator out there who will help spread the word about what is happening and therefore continue to be a creative activist and see where this film takes me from there.

Creative Activism Evaluation

Overall I felt I met quite a few goals as in I managed to do all the tasks and managed to share my activism with the world via the internet.

I think I managed to pick a lot of topics that were not picked up by my fellow students by picking Balotelli, balloons and even picking Coventry Cathedral and making their good work noticed. By picking up on things that other people don’t really know I feel that I have the upper hand on quite a few people who picked similar things to follow up on like Apple , the armed forces and Facebook. Not to say they havn’t done a good job but to say I am glad I searched deeper than every day things which when we all think about we can all figure out one way or another and has been proven that coverage on them has not worked no matter how mainstream it becomes. I think Balotelli’s antics are the only thing thats mainstream but his work for charity isn’t so I think I have done well there. I have tried to come up with original workings and I think they have had a positive response in the whole.

I think I need develop my way of being an activist. I could have done a lot more, I could have been more active in going out there and really showing people my view points. I think the one thing that was stopping me was being too proud to go out there and have people think things I didn’t want them to think. I prefer to be heard and not seen which is why I love being behind the camera and not in front of it. If I went out there trying to put a view point across if it was on Twitter, Facebook or out in the general public I would be more bothered about my standpoint with them before I did it than after. I will happily create things but I didn’t want to be the one on the front line. I was happy to sit back and hope it would all be okay without my reputation tarnished.

What I would do differently next time is perhaps not be bothered about my reputation and not care if it changed as a result of doing a bit of activism. I would put myself out there more. I would have made more images and more videos to get my viewpoint across and do my utmost to get my work seen and to provoke a huge response. I could’ve gone to the local council in regards to the balloon releases and try and get them on my side. Start a huge campaign so everyone is aware what is going on with balloons after they’re released. Schools I’m sure would’ve liked to know about this. Teaching young children about the risks of balloons since they are amongst the demographic for balloons. I think I stumbled upon a good issue which not a lot of people know about and if it were more widespread then it really could’ve made a huge impact.

With regards to the Flash Mob I think we could’ve done a lot better even more so if it was done on a Saturday and if we had more people and more time to develop our idea. Full evaluation here.

Overall there are a lot of positives to come out of doing creative activism but I think I still have work to do if I am going to really make a dent on this world for the better.

Creative Activism Reflection

When I first heard about this module I was rather hesitant about the whole thing. I’m not an activist. I don’t go to any protests or marches, I don’t really care for the ones that I see. What I like doing is keeping myself to myself and like a true Brit with any problems that I have I just bite my tongue and get on with what I’ve got bar the occasional drunken rant of course.

Sadly it took me until the Flash mob before I started to really enjoy this module. Getting out there, having fun and trying to cause a stir. It was the one day that I was really glad I got out of bed and yet it was the day I probably needed sleep more than ever since coming back from a tiring trip to Reykjavik.

The balloon activism was something that did also start to become worthwhile doing and I did several things for that. How much of an impact I don’t know. All I got from a randomer on youtube was that they were more bothered about the balloons. I only posted the video up a couple of days ago and it has 70views already which is more than my others which have been up there for years and I didn’t promote it in any way. Only the image was promoted and that didn’t get much recognition.

If we go back to the very first task I took more effort in looking at Mario Balotelli just because of his quirky nature than trying to be a creative activist. In the end however it seems to have amongst the most views on the flickr page which is pleasing so it has provoked a response from people.

I think overall I think the whole creative activism has sadly been put in second place because of the film that I made in Iceland. I felt that there were some opportunities missed which I could have been more  of an activist but I do however think it shows that this isn’t really my path of choice. What it has done however has made me think more about the helium balloons and what destruction they cause a lot more and has really inspired me to make a short film which I wrote a year ago about the balloons entitled the Baby Blue Balloon which I aim to complete by June. So stay tuned.

A Positive Story

I decided to make a short documentary on the Cathedral school’s team. Every week they accommodate students of all ages and give them an incite to the the cathedrals way of life and it isn’t mainly about christ but about the history of Coventry sine the Cathedral got bombed during the 2nd World War.

It’s short and just shows Coventry Cathedral (both of them) in all its splendour with school children enjoying themselves also. I think its great what they are doing as it is completely different to what you would expect from a Cathedral where Christ isn’t always their number one aim.

Media Spoof

Robert De Niro recently jokingly said that the US might not be ready for a ‘white first lady.’ I’ve personally thought it was rather funny since it what was said by some people not being ready for a black first lady.

He has since come out and apologised as it has gone down badly with a few people but it lead me to task where you have to make something satirical and not really true so I came up with this little notion:

De Niro not ready for a white first lady

 

The image is no where near what De Niro was meaning when it was said, but it could easily be interpreted that way and just a simple picture like this could make you think that way if you didn’t know the story. His angry face making you think that he is adamant about the words in the picture and the expression by Michelle Obama adds to the anger and point that De Niro is perceived to be making.