Monday, 4 November 2013

Yr2 Week 3 (Thurs 24 Oct - Producing and Directing workshop)

To get the session rolling, Eddie immediately threw us a task - look at the opening of the first episode of Sons of Anarchy, and find six things that as a producer, you'd need to consider when prepping:
  • Vehicle hire (motorbikes for the cycle gang)
  • Location scouting (finding a long stretch of free road, as well as shops and cafes for the bikers to attack)
  • Actor hire
  • Costumes
  • Music rights, since a rock song plays over the montage
  • Permits to shoot in the particular area/part of town/city/state
Throwing up our ideas on a board, the class covered a vast spectrum of things needed, though frankly, it was only scratching the surface of the needs of a project like this one. In fact, the next question he threw us was just that: What is A Producer? Some threw out some more extravagant words (big daddy, God, Magician) but no less true than others (the rock, parent, supervisor, safety net, boss), being the role upon which everything hinges upon, and ensuring it comes together and gets done, on time and on budget.

Naturally, some felt they weren't quite straight up 'producer material', but Eddie pointed out that everything has, on some level, skills and qualities that could make them good or even great producer, and to really encourage us, he got us to write up some of our best personality traits and skills on the white board. Mine included:
Personality -
 -Fast learner
 -Time concious
 -Team Player
 -Hard Worker

Afterwards, we went through a quick rundown of what a producer does (gets equipment, fiances, casts, crews etc. been down this road a couple of times), but this time put special emphasis on the post-production phase and all the steps involved:
  1. 1st Assembly
  2. 1st rough cut
  3. 2nd rough cut
  4. Final rough cut
  5. Fine Cut
  6. Sound mix
  7. Colour grading
  8. Mastering 
  9. Backing up
 Then, as a final bit of wrap up, Eddie took us through an internet spider diagram of the elements that comprise producing (all the stuff discussed above), just so that we were all clear on the sheer weight and size of the task ahead. Speaking of which, were given our first major assessment assignment brief: in groups of four, were to make a 4 minute short based on an outside work (novel,  play, short story etc.) I was put in with Tara, Jack and Cat, and we decided to go off and look up different works, rendezvousing on Monday with all our suggestions and then deciding upon the final work, mostly on practicality and conscious of the limited time available.

Frankly, what can be said in conclusion, other than this will certainly be a daunting job ahead of us, mainly due to A) 4 minutes give us very, very little time to adapt a full scene, especially since a lot of the interesting and character-oriented scenes tend to be both later on and also fairly lengthy, so finding an ideal scene that isn't setup will be quite a challenge, and B) This limits our scope to mainly drama and comedy, since other genres like action, sci-fi, horror and mystery need more time to really allow the audience to enter in and soak in all the details, so it's a bit of shame that we can't yet expand our palette. However, I've worked with these people before, and I have faith vthat with their help, we can make our short a good one. Knock on wood!

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