Evaluation

What specific skills or knowledge have you developed to produce CW2? How did you challenge yourself? What would you like to do better? How can you develop your interests/skills further?

This was my initial pitch:

When reading this blog on 10 ways to make a successful film pitch, I feel I have done certain aspects correct with my pitch. (Make Film Teach Film, 2012) For instance, I feel that I have made the genre very clearly defined in the ways in which I describe my documentary throughout. I also feel that I have effectively kept it short and sweet, cramming as much information into a short time as possible whilst still initiating aspects which would want the audience to hear more of the content. However, my pitch is vastly lacking in visual aids. The lack of these are a detriment to the pitch in terms of fully engaging the audience. This is something I will be rectifying in my final pitch. Furthermore, I do not believe I have made the pitch personal enough to myself. I should show my personal connection to the subject matter more obviously to show authenticity. Finally, I should have said “who was the story about” and given further information about my contributors to allow the audience to forge a connection with them.

When watching a video about pitching techniques, it speaks in vast quantities about engaging your audience, something I feel I did poorly. (Make Film Teach Film, 2012) I could improve this through her suggested techniques of creating a killer logline that is one line and has a hook and by perhaps making the presentation more interactive to entertain the audience. Furthermore, I listened to a BBC podcast on giving the killer pitch. Within this podcast they say when they are pitching a “factual thing” that they will have some “territory thoughts but it’s much more of an embryonic conversation (Bbc.co.uk, 2012) So, as I am pitching a documentary, perhaps I should be remembering some key information but try to have the interlinking conversation come naturally. This could definitely help in the pitch seem more genuine. 

Since I was doing a documentary, I had to deal with the fact that “representing reality deals with meaning meanings and values, interpretations and purposes, not simply with signs and systems“. (Nichols, 1991) So, I have to be careful in what I put forward and think of the implications of what I create. I will had to take this into account when planning the content I wish to use.

Furthermore, I had to start thinking of ways in which I can fund my project. After reading an article about the most successful kickstarter campaigns, I decided that would be my main course of action for funding. (Filmmakeriq.com, 2011) As I can see that a documentary about a current trend (Minecraft) is up there at number 2, it makes me believe that this course of action I am taking is viable. However, I believe I need to have a much more thorough and professional proof of concept artefact to attract more donations, this is a constant throughout all of these projects. This means that marketing has to be an even larger part of my plan of action. “Marketing means promoting what is best about your work, giving buyers a reason to want to own it or rent it.” (Rea and Irving, 1995) As well as giving the audience a reason to donate, I have to continue to challenge myself to ensure the end product is successful so the donators can see their money went to something worthwhile. This means I have to create a marketing technique to ensure the film’s success. This has been done through the plan of entering certain film festivals that I have researched and I will continue to research into marketing techniques, as I have learnt that it is a very important aspect of production from this module.

As I am using a crowdfunding system, I had to create an accurate budget to give credible goals for funding. I found this challenging but I feel I did this successfully. When looking at the Media Production Rate card, I gained a idea of how much everything would cost. (Cumoodle.com, 2012) I then had to think very critically in what I could realistically supply myself and what I need essential funding for. It was challenging but this module has helped me in creating a realistic budget for film. However, I could perhaps develop this skill even further by researching into the specifics of catering costs and travel expenses and get an exact figure rather than just allowing myself a half researched, estimated budget.

References

Bbc.co.uk, (2012). The killer pitch. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/production/article/art20130702112135669 [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].

Cumoodle.com, (2012). Coventry University Media Production Rate Card. [online] Available at: https://cumoodle.coventry.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/1147655/mod_resource/content/1/Media_Production_Rate_Card_201213.pdf [Accessed 13 Jan. 2016].

Filmmakeriq.com, (2011). Top 25 Most Successful Kickstarter Film Pitches | FilmmakerIQ.com. [online] Available at: http://filmmakeriq.com/2011/06/top-25-most-successful-kickstarter-film-pitches/ [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].

Make Film Teach Film, (2012). Pitching your project -tips, hints and killer strategies. [online] Available at: http://www.chrisjonesblog.com/2012/09/pitching-your-project-tips-hints-and-killer-strategies-to-make-it-count-when-it-matters-most.html [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].

Make Film Teach Film, (2012). Ten simple ways to make your film pitch more effective. [online] Available at: http://www.chrisjonesblog.com/2012/05/ten-simple-ways-to-make-your-film-pitch-more-effective.html [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].

Nichols, B. (1991). Representing reality. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p.13.

Rea, P. and Irving, D. (1995). Producing and directing the short film and video. Boston: Focal Press. p106,

Teenage Gangs of South London

Teenage Gangs of South London is a documentary about crime and the gangs involved in the south of London. It is presented by Ross Kemp and produced by Sky. Whilst this documentary does not explore the same themes I wish to, it does have some stylistic approaches when it comes to the content it produces. After analysing the documentary, I wish to take the following techniques into my own documentary:

  • Establishing shots when entering new locations

  • Lots of close ups during interviews to show emotion.

  • Shallow focus on subjects

  • Many different locations when conducting interviews, often unconventional (e.g. in a car)

  • Expert guests involved often

  • Very controversial questioning to create drama

The Age of Loneliness – BBC Documentary

The Age of Loneliness is a documentary produced by the BBC about dating in the modern era. It follows quite a few different participants throughout it and tells their stories about their dating life and their thoughts throughout. As I will be exploring similar themes within my documentary, I have gained an insight in how to present this theme. I have taken the following from the documentary and I aim to use these techniques myself:

  • Cut away shots during interviews to other relevant shots.

  • Shallow focus/close ups during interviews.

  • Establishing shots in new locations

  • Introduction about new documentary participants.

  • Lots of emotional scenes due to subject matter

  • Ends on an ending thought to leave a memory with the viewer.

  • Filler music used often

Festivals

I looked at a few festivals so I could market my film well. One festival that I plan to submit my documentary to is the London International Documentary Film Festival. I chose this film as it is a very popular festival and is search optimised, allowing my film to get even better coverage. It is £24 to enter a film that is under 40 minutes and £34 for a standard film. So, despite whether my documentary goes above or below this limit, it is very feasible for me to enter. Furthermore, the winner of each category will then be entered into consideration for the Annual Academy Awards, which would be fantastic.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 22.28.46

(lidf.co.uk, 2016)

I also looked at the Open City Documentary Festival, which is also held in London and has been running for 6 years so far. They run the festival over 6 days and vary the locations in London. They also have 44 different partners, which all would be very good and relevant contacts to be made. The entry price varies between £10-£30 for a student, depending on when you apply, making it very affordable.

logo

(Opencitylondon.com, 2016)

Another documentary I looked at was Sheffield Doc Fest. This festival would be very beneficial for me to enter as their main sponsors include ITV, BBC and Sky. Making contacts in any of these companies, or for them to at least be aware of my work would be massive for my personal professional development. To enter this festival, it costs £25.50+VAT for a short and £35+VAT for a feature. The entry fee will definitely be worth the potential contacts I could make.

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(Sheffdocfest.com, 2016)

References

lidf.co.uk, (2016). London International Documentary Festival. [online] Available at: http://www.lidf.co.uk/ [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].

Opencitylondon.com, (2016). Open City Documentary Festival | Open City Documentary Festival. [online] Available at: http://opencitylondon.com/ [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].

Sheffdocfest.com, (2016). Sheffield Doc/Fest: Sheffield International Documentary Festival. [online] Available at: https://sheffdocfest.com/ [Accessed 15 Jan. 2016].

As I want to develop a branding for my documentary, I thought it was of my best interest to create a poster to give people a feel for it. I studied a couple of other posters and borrowed ideas from them to ensure mine was of a high standard.

I borrowed aspects from each of these two posters to help in making mine as professional as possible. From spOILed, I mainly looked to replicate a similar theme when it came to the credits as I feel this information is important to show well as often eyes aren’t drawn to it. Whereas, from Oceans, I looked to replicate the simplicity of the main image, as the subject matter is shown very clearly and doesn’t hold any unnecessary information.Modernmobiledating

Crew

Prior to decided which crew members I would require, I looked further into which individual roles exist and what these roles entail. I decided I want a very hands on approach throughout the production of my documentary, thus limiting the size of my documentary team to a quite small one. I would only require small help in each location in order to ensure the shoot goes as quickly and smoothly as possible, therefore not having excess baggage on shoot days.

I used this guide to further understand the roles in depth and to move along my decisions:

http://www.film.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/4897/Crew-Roles-and-Departments-Guide.pdf

For my production, I decided that these roles will be required:

  • Director
  • Producer
  • Director of Photography
  • Lighting Technician
  • Camera Operator x 2 (currently)
  • Sound Recordist
  • Stills Photographer
  • Editor

Many of these roles I will undertake myself. I will be the producer and director of my documentary for starters, so I have maximum creative/logistical control over the production. I also feel my editing skills are up to scratch so I will be undertaking the editing in the post production stage. I would probably be able to undertake the stills photography myself also. However, I will have to find camera operators in order to free myself to undertake this role on set. Also, I feel others will have more advanced skills in operating cameras than myself. As long as I impart on them what I need them to capture, I feel it can still match my artistic vision. I also need to find a sound operator. As I am going to be in many interview sessions, having the sound right is absolutely imperative in order to tell each story properly. Finally, a lighting technician I feel is also very important to the production in order to light up the subjects properly, as this is not a field in which I am well versed in.

 

My Participants

At the moment, I have two confirmed participants to star in my documentary. These include two males, one 20 and the other 21. These individuals have agreed to take part in the film at some capacity. Whether that will be the ‘a week in the life’ type segment or whether it will be general interviewing about their mobile dating experiences.

Guy Shalev – University of Lincoln – 20.

Sam Nelson – University of Leeds – 21

However, I am looking to get some more females participating to show both sides of mobile dating. I am looking to aim this documentary for the younger male audience, so I feel knowing the female perspective would be something that would intrigue them and so it’s something I will be looking into. Furthermore, I am actively searching for some older participants who are in their early thirties to give another interesting angle in the documentary.