Industry Event: Sustainability Event

After commissioning the year 1’s to make corporate films about Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Prof. Jon Fairburn held a Sustainability Event to showcase the films in front of a group of Staffordshire University staff with interests in the subject.

The films were also to be judged by a panel of people as well, who would decide which film was the best, and win £200 to share between the members.

The winners were the group who made a film about Fairtrade. The judges said it “was the most professional film of them all”.

Cutting to movement

The way you can tell if an edit is good or not is if you can tell it’s been edited in the first place. A good movie or TV show will draw you in, and most of the time,  you won’t see the edits being made, as they have been made to the camera movement.

A lot of students (and industry professionals) go into a production with the mentality that they’ll fix it in Post. This isn’t the way you make a good edit.

A good director will be shooting something for post. Something that they can see going into the post-production stage and flowing perfectly. The best TV shows and films have been extremely planned out to deliberately move and be cut in a certain way.

 

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Talking Heads (2014)

Based on Krzysztof Kieslowski’s ‘Gadające Głowy’ (1980), Staffordshire University students were given 2 days to recreate a modern version of the film.

Organising themselves into teams of 3 filming units and an editing unit, the students went out into Stafford to recreate Krzysztof’s work.

Krzysztof Kieslowski’s original film contains people of all ages ranging from 1-100. The team wanted to try and replicate this, so each of the units focused on a certain age demographic. One group focused on under 18’s, the second group on 18-40, and the third on 40+. By doing this, the groups were able to gather a wide variety of ages.

When it came to editing, the plan was to stick as closely to the original film as possible, however the groups shooting the footage didn’t follow the same format of ‘Gadające Głowy’ and it meant that the editing style had to be changed.

‘Gadające Głowy’ has a really nice pace as the people answering answer both questions at the same time. The jump cut pace takes away from how natural the original film is.

Talking Heads has worth behind it. This is the kind of film that can be watched 34 years later (like ‘Gadające Głowy’), and still be relevant to the people watching it!

Industry Event: Stoke Your Fires

On the 11th of March, the year 1 students headed down to Stoke Your Fires film festival, to take part in the Student Symposium. The event consisted of 3 feature film screenings, How to be happy, a feature film created by the students on the post-graduate course in Ireland, After Cease to Exist, a feature film directed by John Bradburn, and Olivia Twist, a BYFA modern adaptation of the story Oliver Twist.

Each film had its own style, its own way of being made, and its own identity. It was a great experience to be exposed to these different kinds of films. Everyone had their own opinions on the films they watched, and not everyone liked the content of them, however it’s a great learning experience.

Halfway through, a symposium was held. The discussion was “Why make feature films”. Where the discussion went, and the different opinions brought up everyone was amazing. It was great to be able to voice and formulate an opinion, and that opinion to be accepted. There was also the chance for someone else’s opinion to do the same. When a group of passionate people are allowed sit and discus a topic they’re passionate about, so many avenues are introduced, so many experiences to be heard.

Chase Scenes

Chase scenes are a big part of film, especially in certain genres (such as Action / Thriller).

How a chase scene is constructed can determine if the chase is successful or not in a film. Some films have really bad chase scenes in them, and it makes you wonder why were they in the film in the first place.

We were given the task of creating a chase scene, which has a start, middle and end narrative, shot all on a smart phone.

The class split into groups of up to 5.

My group decided to create a chase scene which revolved around a misunderstanding.

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CSR Film – I’ve got the Power

Subtitled Version

My CSR film has been through 5 different drafts, and I’m still not happy with the editing of it.

I’d like to blame it on the crew who went out and shot it, as the thing was always shot on a limb.

This makes editing hard, especially when the director’s mentality is “I’ll fix it in post”, because sometimes you can’t fix a bad idea.

 

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Industry Event: Birmingham Film Studios Meeetup

Birmingham Studios host monthly / bi-monthly meet-ups for filmmakers to come along to, network and pitch their ideas to each other. On the 7th of March, they held on of these meeting, and so a group of first year students decided to make the trip down to Birmingham, in hopes of making some industry contacts and raising awareness of their projects.

The studios were still under construction, so the meetup was hosted in one of the more completed rooms, the green screen room. The meetup wasn’t quite as expected; a lot of the people weren’t too keen on chatting with students. The size of the group that came was probably off putting as well, as the amount of students that came made up about 40% of the people who attended the event.

It was good to hear the ideas that everyone brought to the event. It provided opportunities to work on projects outside of University, which is something that employers like to look for. There were opportunities to work on a Music TV show, short films, feature films and more.

There was also free drink at the event, which was extremely useful as it loosened everyone up, and after a drink or two, people were much more willing to have a chat.

The night was a good taster into the world of networking and pitching, and definitely a learning experience. With practice, networking should come easier. But on that night, networking was a hard, scary, tedious task.