Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Yr2 Nov Reading Week (Fri 1 Nov - Editing Workshop)

Today, we had an editing workshop for Dual Screen Editing for Guy (Film Innov) in Final Cut. We began with a quick revision of the sidebar tools (Roll for decreasing/increasing the time in a clip, Ripple which slides the edit point around between clips (or can also be type in), Slip which shows the beginning/end of clips, and can move them without cutting/altering the others, and finally Slide, which does the same but does alter the others to accommodate the increased/decreased size of the selected clip).

With that refresher done, We took to doing some multi-camera/screen work, using footage from a review show (oh the irony!), Two Monkeys, which was discussing the 2011 sci-fi western Cowboys & Aliens (and before any inquiry, no, I do not care for this one as much as Lone Ranger. It wasn't a terrible film, and had its moments of fun action and some amusing jokes, but was very paint by numbers in its script and directing). Here, we synced up the sounds of the clapperboard to each clip, and then cemented all three in Modify>Multi Clip, the result all playing in perfect union. Then, to cut to different shots, we marked the in point/out point, and then dragged that over to the second screen until another sidebar came up, and we dragged into there and voila. Done. I' actually surprised how straight forward it is, given that I assumed it would be a little more complex and perhaps would require some other kind of function/option on the programme, or even a crossover with another programme, but nope.

Another quick trick shown was that, by pressing Alt & clicking wice on a Sequence you could then having FCP play that as its own video, and then drag that to the right, again, and turn it into its own proper video. Again, I was relieved and surprised at how simple and straightforward it was, given how much Technobabble there can sometimes and how, if one is not full accustomed to/experienced, it can be easy to get a little lost, even with notes.

And well, that was that. The only other real comment of note to make was that there were only about four other people with me in the class, which, though it made tings quieter and more relaxing, was pretty surprising since this is something that we need for later in the course, and the fact that a a number of my peers can be so lax about is a little concerning.

Yr2 Nov Reading Week (Mon 11 Nov - Production Meeting/update - Producing and Directing)

Okay, today was fairly sort, so I'll get to the brass tacks: we met up in the Grove building, and got to talking about what we needed to do next to get our production off the round, now that Jack had gone back and reworked the script of Curious Dog:
  • Once he script was finalized, we would begin to storyboard it.
  •  Do a location scout of the flat we intended to use for our lcoation (belonging to Jesper, Alex and Harry), and work out floor plans.
  • Get on with casting, posting on the relevant websites who we needed and when (We would need a young boy circa late teens for our lead, and a woman to be the voice of his mother in flashback. The father had already been cast thanks to Jack utilizing an old contact.)
  • Future meetings would go over other details once all the basics were in place (props, food, risk assessments, costuming etc.)

Yr2 Week 5 (Thurs 7 Nov - Producing and Directing workshop)

Today was centered on 'Director's Homework', the planning and thought that goes into directing before we even think about shooting. In a nutshell, its the detective work that a director must do to do full justice to the screenplay he is given. Below are the steps and elements that must be considered, if we are to effectively and thoroughly, understand what the script is conveying:
  • Read the script inside and out, leaving nothing untouched.
  • Find the film's 'spine' - the main action that drives the piece.
  • Find the character 'spine' - what is their superobjective/end goal
  • Find 'the want' - what is the immediate objective in a scene
  • Find the 'Actions' - active/action verbs and transitives, like 'to greet'
  • Find the 'Activities' -  What does someone do/interact i.e. light a cigarette, shake a hand etc.
  • The Circumstances - where did the characters come from, and what are the expectations for them when going towards the next scene
  • Acting Beats - Each new action is another beat
  • Narrative Beats - the stylistic choice that highlights the theme of the piece
  • Dramatic blocks - each time the overriding idea changes, its another block
  • Fullcrum - The moment when things can go either way.
To try and understand some of these better (I myself never go into the this much detail when I normally direct, keeping more towards the practical side while also having a general understanding of the overall themes of the piece) we went off in groups and examined a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious (19) and see if we could find all of these pieces. Frankly, the exercise was problematic, since I struggled, not because I didn't understand, but because some of them (such as actions and activities) tended to blend together and have similar meanings, and it wasn't until I saw the scene that it came together and I could say 'okay, now I see the difference between this and that'.

During Reading Week, we were to read the next 3 chapters of 'Directing', as well as get cracking with our individual productions. Really, I can't say much as a conclusion, since I voiced my main issue above, but I'm sure with time and practice, I'll adjust. I suppose part of my difficulty with comes from my background in standard media, where there's often a 'get on with it, and on time too' mentality, which doesn't always lend itself to the more artistic side of the film medium, but again, that will probably change.

Also, just as a reminder/refresher, my team is me, Jack, Tara and Patrick. Just to be on the safe side.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Yr2 Week 5 (Wed 6 Nov - Producing and Directing seminar & Film and Innovation)

In our P&D seminar, we talked over our treatments for the 4 minute short film with David & the class, and got feedback from it. Ours was Jack's idea for an adaptation of an early segment from The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night Time, where our protagonist, a young boy, searches for his diary, and ends up coming across hidden letters from his mother. The class seemed fine with the idea, but felt that it needed trimming down in order to work for the limited time (the motivation for why he's searching for the diary being a major point of issue). Furthermore, we mentioned details of the possible execution (using text on screen to highlight important details and the boy's abnormal thought process ala BBC's Sherlock) and these were immediately panned as unworkable and bordering on spoonfeeding/info-dumping/cheap afterthoughts, as was the possibility of using splitscreen during a scene with the boy reading one of the letters, and having his mother appear on screen alongside him, writing it.

Later, in the seminar with Helen on F&I, we continued on the discussion of interactivity with arguably the most famous example of interactive entertainment: games. The subject inherently brings up the question of Cudology (playing, participating) vs Narratology (the narrative), and whether the two can find a happy medium, or always be polar opposites. This debate, speaking a gamer myself, has gained a lot of stem in the last decade, with a number of franchises taking on whole worlds and mythologies as opposed to cut and dry levels to beat (Mass Effect, Final Fantasy, Assassin's Creed, Kingdom Hearts, Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls etc.) and recent games like Bioshock Infinite and Beyond Two Worlds have received stellar praise for their writing and characters (the latter utilizing motion capture to get a direct performance out of the actors for the game).

But, casting this debate of narrative in games aside for a moment, why exactly are games popular and what do they offer over other mediums, likes books & film? Well, some of the following come to mind:
  • Interaction, being able to manipulate and control what happens in the game actively, rather than passively observing like on other mediums.
  • Allows for more complexity than other mediums, both in narrative terms (with alternate paths & routes, as well as the concept of 'Choice') as well as in the gameplay (read below).
  • Multiple paths/replay values, enticing to play the game over to find other paths to the goal or even extra goodies, like secret weapons, trivia, artwork or other unlockables ('easter eggs').
  • Direct investment and 'feeling' like YOU are on the adventure, which can take hours, days, weeks if not months to complete, and feeling a tremendous sense of satisfaction at the end when you've completed the final game/defeat the last boss/save the world.
Also, this brought us to what we had been reading over the past week, 'Riddles', which invite someone to solve them (right answer = reward/satisfaction), and you can see how this type of play = satisfy would play into games later, even in the early days of video games (we went through part of a rather humorous text adventure game called, well, 'Adventure', where we had to type in directions and commands to advance). Naturally, as the medium evolved from there over to the 8 bit, 16 bit, 32 bit and HD eras, other questions and possibilities arose (Multiplayer with friends or the computer, larger and more expansive worlds to explore no longer limited by hardware, the evolution of computer A.I in games and thus, affecting the difficulty of the enemies, bosses and puzzles in the game and, in the last decade, the rising of online communities of fans and players who devote many hours towards the adventure, 'grinding' for experience, money and better weapons/items).

But, beyond just screens, in real life, we are seeing manifestations of this interactivity, with activities like 'geocaching' (a sort of world-wide treasure hunt) gaining -popularity as the internet grew, building the aforementioned communities into fully operational, organized events and networks. In the end, what can we truly learn from all of this? Well, the giving the player/consumer a role can have very powerful creative possibilities, even if authorship and original intent may be lost. Furthermore, it gives a new, refreshing outlook on entertainment and the way we can use our imaginations and share them with other in a more direct and open fashion than a lot of the older, traditional mediums.

Our assignment for Reading week was to go off and begin coming up with ideas for a 'proof of concept' for an interactive piece in our groups. So, what is there left to be said about today? The morning served as a good wake up call and affirimer of personal concerns with Jack's vision for the story, and hopefully we can start hacking it down and finding the core 'meat' of the tale. As for the afternoon, well, it was probably the most obvious thing to go with, but it worked, and holds possibly more relevance than ever thanks to some of the aforementioned names in the field that are very much challenging stereotypes about the medium and what it can do.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Yr2 Week 5 (Tues 5 Nov - Producing & Directing)

In the screening, we watched Roman Polanski's acclaimed neo-noir, Chinatown (1974), which dealt with the uncovery of a conspiracy involving Los Angeles' water supply and real estate by the private eye Jakes Gittes (Jack Nicholson). The film, my second viewing in fact, was truly terrific, with a solid, confident performance from Nicholson, alongside a rather turbulent & emotional Faye Dunaway as his love interest, and a bombastic, scene-chewing John Huston as the film's defacto villain. Making surprising use of color for such a dark story, and terrifically scored by the one and only Jerry Goldsmith with a terrific use of sax in the main theme, Chinatown transcends mere homage by making its own statements about societal corruption and how, sometimes, good does not always triumph.

Afterwards, we got to talking about the film's production: Robert Evans (the producer) had been rising to the top, turning around the fortunes of Paramount with hits like Coppola's The Godfather (1972), wanted to produce his own film, and knowing Robert Towne, a popular script doctor, got him to write the script for it. Furthermore, Evans brought on European auteur Roman Polanski, who had also scored a hit for Paramount with Rosemary's Baby (1968), who worked with Towne on streamlining, and changed the ending to a more realistic and, well, unhappy one. Towne never liked this, but he still got an Oscar for Best Screenplay.

Then, we got down to talking more about the story and its ideas: the Chinatown of the title, for example, is only visited briefly at the end of the story, and is more of a reference to a never-changing state of mind, or how Gites shares similarities (a code of honour, sticking his neck out and promptly getting whooped by outside forces for it, falling for the client) and differences (he's slicker, better dressed, slightly younger) than the types of detectives & private eyes that inspired his creation. Also, we touched on the visual style the film went for (having gone through three cinematographers), such as the frequent references to seeing devices like binoculars and glasses (nodding to the way the story messes with our perception of events and who is who), or the aforementioned contrasting of widescreen and colour against the period setting & dark nature of the tale, and of course, many classic noirs, and the camera even opts for a first person perspective, again differing itself from its iconic predecessors..

Yr2 Week 5 (Monday 4 Nov - Screenwriting the Short Film)

There was no session on Thursday due to a teacher's strike.

In today's lecture, we took a look at the concept of Ideology (the values/themes/principals/agendas of a piece), and how this is applied to film. We began by taking a look at a clip from Alfred Hitchcock's much acclaimed Psycho (1960), where Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) is spying on Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) as she undresses. What could be the ideas here at work, even in a few seconds of film?

-The supremacy of Patriarchy (male authority), since he has the power within this scene, and of course, we know what he'll do next to her, taking the ultimate decision of life or death for this woman, which she is completely oblivious to.

After, we began to really break down cinematic themes into a set of groups, such as the Controlling Idea (the ultimate idea of a tale, determined by is value+cause i.e. in Death Wish; Society will be Okay once Criminals are dead), which we had discussed last year, as well as how Classical Cinema would project these ideas unto the audience (identifying with the characters and thus, getting to understand their world view, the imagery evoking a certain atmosphere or mood upon the subject, the use of cause + effect to demonstrate the effectiveness/ineffectiveness of a certain idea/belief etc.)

Also, as one is writing the actual story, it can become very much a/the philosophy, and from there, the C.I can arise from there organically, as opposed to being crow-barred in by the writer, blended seamlessly yet inseparably from the narrative. As another demonstration of this in action, this time within a short film, we watch the 1996 French short, A Summer Dress. where two young men are out on holiday the country, one of them gay, and the other, irritated by his companion's camp attitude, goes for a bike ride. He ends up meeting a girl there, and they have sex in the nude. However, his clothes go missing and he is loaned her dress. At first irritated, he grows more comfortable in the outfit, and upon returning home, has sex with his companion, taking on the more submissive role and even referring to himself a s a 'girl'. The following day, he returns the dress.

What s the ideology here? Some of the ideas thrown up by the class included:
  • Life is short, so don't limit your choice or variety of 'pleasures'.
  • Human desire is complex, and what we may want is not always clear at first.
  • It takes a woman to truly help a man find his 'preference'.
  • The narrative favors a heterosexual (straight) couple, since they get more screen time than when he is with another man.
Then, in the seminar, well, not much happened: we listened to the remaining pitches for our shorts from the past week, and then just only briefly touched on the step outlines, running out of time before we go into real details or discussion. The assignment for this (well, for 2 weeks, since nxt week was Reading Week) was to go away and write  a treatment of up to 1200 words, fully detailing out story and all the key events.

Today was a mixed bag, with the lecture standing head & shoulders above the rather meager seminar (though, in fairness, this session was more of a mop-up, and the leftovers from last certainly hurt it quite a bit). The lecture was where the day's major ideas were discussed, and it certainly was interesting how even a few seconds of film, or even a short one, can convey a lot of ideas with having to out and out spell it out or be made for a specific agenda. Given my background as an internet reviewer, I'm no stranger to the concept of themes/ideas in a piece, and often discuss them when talking about the film's artistic merits/ambition, and how the dialogue and plot construction either helps or hinders the presentation of these ideas (for a example, recently I reviewed the 2012 historical, For Greater Glory, which had a very pro-Christian message, but the clumsy narrative, flat characters and stagey, bland dialogue did nothing to help it present them with any sort of grace.) Full review here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAS3HB9x5mw

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Yr2 Week 4 (Wed 30 Oct - Film and Innovation)

Today's seminar marked the return of Helen Bendon as our lecture, who last year had taught us, along with Eddie, the basics of Film Production(not without some bumps along the way, with a particularly hilarious guff at the very start of term with first assignment. Read those entries if you wish to know more.) Anyway, she was here to get s talking about the other half of this module: Interactivity.

Interactivity forms part of that 'what is Innovation' question: how do we change the way people can experience a film, and what the boundaries of cinema are. In this case, what is Interactivity?
  • Giving the audience a means of control/manipulation with a piece of media, and what it can do because of said manipulation.
  • A more direct and personal engagement with a piece of media than just sitting back and watching it on a screen.
  • Invoking other senses than just sight, especially touch (this is a core element of interactive exhibitions at museums as well as video games).
  • This can have both negative and positive repercussions, since, on the one hand, you can offer a unique experience that can change each time you interact with the media. However, this can also lead to a loss of authorship, and the choice can interfere with conventional narrative functions.
One of the emerging forms of interactivity online is known as Hypertext, a concept that dates as far back as 1945, where multiple pages can linked through words (famous examples of this include online encyclopedias like Wikipedia, but there are a number of interactive fiction sites and competitions where, depending on what you click, you can change the outcome of a tale or learn more about a certain part, like a character's back-story). The beauty of his type of work is that is it can offer a bigger, broader than conventional narrative and media, as you can acquire a lot more information in not only less time, but without having to get other volumes/books or papers together.

In fact, that brings me along to the other topic covered in this lesson: Alternative structure, which interactivity, by its very nature, can afford us, and it cna provide fresh and exciting new possibilities with how stories are told and how the audience can digest them (already, in the print form, works like 'B.S. Johnson's The Unfortunates and William Burroughs' Cut Ups have played with the nature of structure and what part of a story can go first, and when each part can be read), and hypertext already affords us that technique in a less cumbersome fashion, as well as one not confined by things like pricing and material costs.

Our assignment for the following was to read up a section on riddles that Helen provided us, discussing how riddles relate to and can be applied to modern interactive fiction. So, in closing, while I would've preferred to keep on going with Guy so that we could, week by week, discuss and iron out all the 'bugs' with our work, this has certainly been an illuminating seminar on interactivity, something which, because we so often use in day-to-day life, we never really examine with much depth or thought because it is just 'there', and this project certainly affords a number of interesting and creative possibilities that I look forward greatly to trying.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Yr2 Week 4 (Tues 29 Oct - Producing and Directing)

Today was the big one: today we had our lecture with acclaimed British filmmaker and rising star of the industry, Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Sightseers, A Field in England). He was a large gentlemen, sort of brawling with a large beard (much like Alan Moore), but very frank and not afraid to tell it like it is, even mixing dashes of dark, ironic humour as he spoke about his life & career: He had a lot of false starts, going to art college, and wanting to do things like comic artistry and sculpture. However, during his studies, he made friends with individuals who practicing film making, and regularly assisted them out in their projects, dabbling in editing and camera work. Afterwards, he would drift around, working in graphic design, then commercials and television before making a break into features with Down Terrace, which we watched and discussed the previous week.

Afterwards, he gave us some tips on low budget film making and how we could do our first features:
  • Keep costs down where possible, with the only real investment being good sound equipment, and use deferred payment methods to save even more.
  • Go over storyboards and know your film inside & out before you shoot, to save more time and know what you want, since there won't be sufficient time for rehearsal.
  • Make something interesting happen every seven pages to keep the audience regularly hooked, and make sure the script is clear and concise.
  • For the first feature, think like and use people more versed in documentary film making, since they know how to shoot fast but still make something presentable and can easily adapt to any situation.

Afterwards, we got to ask him questions and some even took pictures with him: I asked him about independent distribution: He said that Studiocanal and Metrodome were good sources, since they regularly partake in the independent scene, but it might be better and cheaper to self distribute and market (which may work to my advantage, since I have a Youtube channel with several hundred subscribers, so that could be a very useful asset.) And, well, that about wraps it up; it was a really interesting and engaging talk, and I wish Ben all the best in his future works, and the advice he gave us will be of great use I can assure you, especially once we longer have the resources of the university at our disposal, but need to break in to the business and have to very much rely on what we have at hand and be light, quick and cheap. All the style and flash can wait for Hollywood!

Yr2 Week 4 (Mon 28 Oct - Screenwriting the Short Film)

In today's lecture, we discussed the subject of, well, Fantasy (alongside elements such as Surrealism and Mysticism). And to get ball rolling, what better place to start than one of the main sources of human fantasy - Dreams:
  • Freud (and, on a sidenote, through my own observations, having dabbled with mental therapy and psychoanalysis before) said that dreams often represent our deepest desires and fears, the imagery often representing our subconscious wants for wish-fulfillment. And in by proxy, nightmares are arguably used a means to confront and solve that problem head on i.e. facing our darkest fears and taboo wants.
  • The irrationality and oddity produced by dreams has lead to movements like the Dada and Surrealist artists, who attempted to channel their dreams into their work, often using to represent deep seated anxieties and concerns, allowing the viewer to read in and see what was being said through the strange images.(For example, a number of Dali's paintings make reference to various real world events and issues, notably Soft Construction with Boiled Beans, which depicts a creature fighting with itself, much like Spain did during the brutal Spanish Civil War in the mid 1930s).
  • Under certain circumstances, however, dreams can, in part, lead to certain neurosis, a n over protective defense mechanism that can lead to more harm than good. For example, a case Freud studied involved a young boy, Hans who was traumatized by the collapse of a white horse, and this same horse would appear in his dreams, attacking him.
When looking at dreams, one has to consider the manifest content (content of a surfaced dream) vs latent content (what the manifest is based on), and this turn can be distilled as four key ideas, or operations:
  • Condensation/Synedoche - Combination or part of a whole
  • Displacement/Allusion - What the latent is replaced by
  • Representation - transformation thoughts into imagery
  • Symbolism - what the relation is between dream and representation
Building upon this, we got to watching the 1943 short Meshes of the Afternoon, which, frankly, takes on a very 'strange' dimension, and is a little tough to describe while doing it justice: its essentially  dealing with a woman who is reliving the same events again and again within this dreamlike context; picks up a floower from a hooded flower, goes into house and then goes upstairs. Eventually she seemingly wakes when her husband arrives, although she ends smashing 'him' to pieces like a mirror, and it reveals her bloodied corpse.

The class drew a number of different meanings from this, such as the transformation of the house key to a large knife being symbolic of the danger she feels within the household (mine), as well as possibly a bad relationship, the repetition perhaps indicating a monotonous relationship and how the flower is meant to mean some sort of spark or desire she wishes to bring her life, and the constantly ringing phone and frequent reference to upstairs perhaps indicating some type of affair, either hers or one she suspects her husband of having.

And on the note of the strange, we then moved along to discussing actual Surrealism, a movement that emerged from the aforementioned Dada in the 1920s, and very much used the irrational and bizarre to find and express some type of meaning, and the absence of conventional reason or morality. (there are many famous individuals who really ran with this concept, such as the aforementioned Salvador Dali, as well as many film makers, most notably David Lynch (Eraserhead instantly springing to mind with its bizarre, nightmarish visuals and how they are used to talk about that fear of parenthood) and Luis Bunuel (last year, we looked at some of his work, mainly The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and how it played with story ordering and conventions).

Following this right up, we looked at the short, Copy Shop, another surreal short dealing with man who starts seeing copies of himself after he deals with a malfunctioning copy/printer. Throughout the short, the film made use of its 'copier' aside from its core idea, with the idea often strobing or crosscutting akin to the way the machine works, and the sound of said device was used throughout the short film to reinforce its central idea and the appearance of new clones. Furthermore, the film very much used the 'copying idea' as a sort of commentary on the mundane nature of day-to-day life, where each day can feel similar (a fact that was exploited for a major visual joke in Edgar Wright's Shaun of The Dead, with far grislier results).

Moving on to the seminar, this was considerable more streamlined and basic: all it amounted to was feedback for the pitch we went away to produce: Mine was for a more comedic short, where a young man suspects his girlfriend of cheating, and using his film fandom, dons the manner of a 1940s private eye to track her down, which leads to a number of Looney Tunes/Three Stooges style mishaps i.e. getting attacked by old ladies as a peeping tom, being blown by a discard skinhead bomb, getting runover by a senile older driver etc. until he has enough and confronts her, only to reveal she was working on an art project. The feedback was pretty positive, the only criticisms being a stronger, more darkly comic ending, and perhaps tightening ot down due to the short film's length.

And with that, we were then given our assignment for the following week: do a 100 word synopsis and step outline (all the key dramatic events of the story). To conclude, today was pretty meaty, and gave me a lot to sink my teeth into; the lecture got my intellectual curiosity really aroused and had me really thinking about the way films can convey ideas and views, and really reminded of how powerfully even simple imagery can be, while the seminar was a good confidence boost, given how well my idea went down (at the time of it, it was the only comedy out of the group, as everyone else went for more darker, grittier drama).

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
 -Efficent
 -Paitent
Skills
 -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!