Personal Reflection

In January I handed in my 360mc proposal for my film idea which at that time was called ‘Shattered Dreams’ I have to admit I had an idea but nothing too solid in terms of practical items such as a script, crew or locations, I had a lot of work to do, in fact more work than I probably anticipated at that point in January. I thought I could put together a script in a few weeks that would be fine to shoot with and I could be done by the end of march. This was EXTREMELY unrealistic for what I was aiming to achieve and I learnt that fairly quickly, I think when I got back from Dresden I finally realised how big this project really had to be and how much time it would take off me, I’m not saying I didn’t do anything before the middle of febuary but after that point I really felt I had to up my game so to speak, This project forced me to try my hands at things I had never done before, I had never done casting before and this was a massive challenge as seen in previous posts, I also had to become a much better organiser of time not just my own time but also managing the time of my cast and crew.  This got me very stressed at occasions and people having to back out of the project didn’t help me manage that stress. Once I was able to confirm my filming dates (which was much later than I would have liked) I found it much easier to organise my crew as ‘most’ people were able to fully confirm their involvement. Setting myself ‘interim’ deadlines was extermely helpful as it allowed me ‘nay forced me to stick to these dates and any alterations to these dates were pretty much unacceptable. especially the finalised filming dates. This became a problem when a couple of actors dropped out a few days before filming but this was solved by the additions of Rob and Ashlian. I was also very fortunate to have a good group of people helping but an extra special thanks should go to Laura and Tayo who were a great constant to have over the first two days of filming. I was directing the piece which is something I had a bit of experience with, but not to this degree. It was a challenge but I felt overall I did rather well, in hindsight I wish I had gotten more ‘safety’ and cutaway shots to help with the editing, I also wish I’d planned the timings a bit better so it didn’t feel like we were battling against the clock all the time, but at the same time that clock mentality forced all of us to make every moment count during filming.

All of this presented work at the editing desk, I felt I had done enough to make my job as an editor bearable, I had got plenty of retakes and shots from a number of different angles that helped make putting the scenes together easier than it could have been, again this wouldn’t have been possible without the crew I had around me during the filming. I felt that as an editor I could get a rough cut together very well, if i’m being honest I think I have a good eye for the structure of a piece, however my skills in the ‘online’ edit stage can be lacking I have little to no skills in colouring and I really don’t have a great eye for editing that to a professional standard, in the future when working on a major project I would certinanly get someone else to help or perform the colouring and grading tasks.

In terms of the actual story and finished piece I have to say i’m quite surprised by some of the reactions I have received at this point I have always considered myself good at taking a rough idea (presented by someone else)  and making something from it, but scripting a whole new idea was a challenge, when presented with the opportunity to do anything I spend a long time doing essentially nothing as I contemplate what i ‘could’ do. Although I had help along the way from Cifton and Laura, my idea that went into production was still my own, but making that into a decent film isn’t necessarily  a simple process, getting the pacing right for this film was a challenge, getting it all to flow was a worry, I didn’t know if my audience would get it, as this was for the most part a one person job (as in I produced, directed and edited) I began to worry that I was wrapped in the film world and didn’t allow the film to explain itself. Showing this film to fellow course members was extremely helpful as they picked up on things that I hadn’t noticed such as sync issues and odd shots. Some criticised my office scene which I had to admit was my weakest due to some of the acting and lighting issues, whilst praising the structure of the piece and a strong intro and outro.

Here are a selection of quotes from people about my film.

“You could perhaps cut it a little tighter as well to up the pace, the ending works well as good on the screen as in the script so this is a good surprise ending.” Clifton Stewart Coventry University Lecturer

“Grandiose has a catching storyline which made me interested to know what would happen next, however some of the acting felt like it wasn’t of professional standard but overall the film managed to overcome this.” Heather Reale 3rd year Occupational Therapy Student

“A common story with creatives, well done its good very good. The girlfriend is really shallow here, no 2nd chances with her pretty ruthless and I don’t like her character. Are there women like that in this world, I like the story, and you let the audience figure out what the ending to it is…” Richard Wood Filmaker – Call The Shots

“good stuff, i think the shots look good, looks like they were filmed pretty well” Jimmy Allen Coventry Media Production Gradute

“First thing to grab my attention when watching Grandiose was its realistic take on the blind passion that can sometimes revolve around a unsigned band. The lead characters drive was believable and something I’ve seen many times in lead singers. There were some really nice shots and the pace of the film never dragged. Even in short films you can find yourself checking your watch, but Grandiose was interesting enough that I felt I wanted to see what happened. Overall it was an impressive and interesting film” Jim Peakman 3rd Year Media Production Student

“An inventive and original film with an unexpected twist, fun to watch and very creative. ” Kayleigh Gleeson 3rd Year Media Production Student

The film originally started out as a look into the world of media, particularly the music industry, it’s quite clear that this film did not stick to that ideal, only keeping some of the original ideas intentions at heart,  My research during 360mc did allow me to work the locations and settings I would have used and also helped inspire some of the characters and their intentions, In essence the story changed from a look into the industry and more about those trying to get into that industry, It also looked into friends and family motivations and how sometimes a story is open to interpretation. I wanted my audience to dislike Nathan to begin with, I wanted him to appear naive and arrogant, whether that was successful my audience would have to tell me. I don’t think I’m a great scriptwriter and it is certinanly not an area I will be looking into after university but I felt this project really improved my scriptwriting abilities from pretty poor, to possibly half decent, maybe in the future I will practice more at improving this further.

Getting all of this together was a challenge and I was very VERY lucky to get this done for as little as I did (final budget <£200) This was ridiculously small for this film and much of it was spent on transport, I really SHOULD have spent a lot more on actors, crew and the like but as most of it was done under a helpful ‘scratch your back I’ll scratch yours’ policy, which wasn’t at all a problem. In the future to even repeat making this film I would likely be paying at least 3 or 4 times the budget i paid to get the same quality crew and cast. Everyone involved in the shooting crew was great and I have no real complaints to say (not like I would really post them here by name anyway) There were a few nagging issues during shoots but nothing we didn’t get past, I appreciate how rare that can be during shooting as I have been involved in some less than stellar crews in the past.

Overall I can say I am happy with my final project. Infact I’m pretty proud of it. I KNOW there are a lot of things that could be improved, I do plan to get a colourist involved at some point to improve some of the colouring issues I have mentioned prior (although the current edit isn’t exactly terrible) and there are a few things I would have done differently, but realistically I couldn’t have done too much differently once the flow was going. At the start of this module I said all I wanted from this film was something I could hold up and say ‘I made this’ I’m pretty happy to say I can say that with no shame, which is something I didn’t think I’d be able to say during the march stress.

Shaun Jacques.


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