Thursday, 7 December 2017


I started this project open to any type of 'real-life' work as I hadn't had any work experience or ever had to create work for someone other than my own student projects. I originally wanted to do a work placement, until I heard about the commissions at the Guildhall Museum, and the 100 Objects That Made Kent exhibition.


I agreed a date to meet Rachel and Steve at the museum at the beginning of the project to find out what they expected from me and my film. It seemed pretty straight forward to create a story from an object and I started by researching into the 100 objects exhibitions and choosing which object I wanted to film. At the first meeting Rachel said it would be good to have a video for the Fly Tool and that it has a good story behind it, this is what made me want to take on the tool and create a professional video for it. 

I started by creating the script which was the voice over for my film as that was the only dialogue I wanted in the video. I used the information from the 100 Objects That Made Kent website to create the story for the tool. I made sure the dialogue was child-friendly and I only used words I thought children would understand. I started with introducing the tool and then spoke about what it was used for and who used it, and finally, the description of the tool came at the end of the film. 

The shot list came next so I could plan out what shots I would need to get on the filming days. This was fine until I got to the editing stage and struggled to find stock photos that I could use in the video. 


Getting access to the tool was simple as I had Steve helping me throughout the first filming day. I had the whole day so managed to get all the filming done that I needed. After filming at the museum, I took the camera to the Medway river to get a couple of shots of that. Seeing as I live in Margate, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go to the river then, instead of coming back to Rochester another day for a couple more shots. 

The filming at the house of the chalk, clay, kiln and grinding action went well, after I had to re-shoot the grinding shot. They are simple and nice-looking shots which children would understand that these materials helped in the process of cement-making. 

The shots of someone digging down the beach now seem useless as I didn't use them, but everything is a learning curve and if I hadn't filmed those shots I would have never known if I needed them or not. The shots definitely made me realise that I wanted the movement of the tool and the digging involved somewhere in the film but as I wasn't able to get access to really muddy mud, I was unable to feature the movement in the film, but I think I made up for it by getting access to the scan from the Medway archive team.


Copyright was the biggest problem in this process, in the end I received photographs which had expired from their copyright from the Local History and Archives Enquiry and Research Service and I was allowed to use these as long as I acknowledged them in the credits. The rest of the editing process was simple. I didn't need many shots to complete my short video. I described the tool with a couple of graphics showing the measurements of the length and width of the spade, which should help the children visualise the tool easier. 

My video is short and sweet at 1'20'', enough for children to learn something from it but it's not too long that they get bored. A short film was one of the only requirements from Rachel and Steve, as well as that the film had to be aimed at children. Apart from that we were free to film and create whatever we wanted within reason.

During this project I had a work experience week at Suite TV, a post-production house, so I have been able to experience two different types of working in the industry within a couple of months. The placement and commission were very different, as at Suite I was a runner and then sitting in with editors to see what it is really like but with the commission I was planning and researching for the video and filming and editing it myself. 

Skills attained

I gained a few skills during the 5 week commission period, such as:
- Liaising with the client - we had four meetings (including the filming day) and it was essential to schedule these and attend them.

- Time management - on the first shoot day I had to film the Fly Tool and the shots of the Medway river. I had to plan my time carefully so I wouldn't be too late in getting to the river as it's getting dark earlier now. As I was there quite early at half 11 and it didn't take long for me to film the tool and I was successful in getting to the river with plenty of light. I also had enough time to look back at footage and re-shoot different angles if I missed them the first time/were new shots I had just thought of. 

- Basic camera skills - I was filming on my own for most of the shoot days so just having basic camera skills came in handy, as there was no one I could ask quickly if I had any problems. 

What worked?

- Arranging the commission was easier than I thought and I had no problems in doing this. The project was underway as soon as Rachel and myself agreed a date to meet and have a tour of the museum.

- I had really good access to all the objects in the exhibition. Once I had chosen the Fly Tool for definite, I had a whole room to myself with it on the shoot day and I was allowed to take it outside. They were very open to what I wanted to do with it which was also really helpful. I had the whole day to film the tool and the next day if I needed it so I had plenty of time to get all the coverage I needed. 

- After struggling with the 'muddies' footage, it worked out for me in the end once getting the photographs from the Local History and Archives Enquiry and Research Service.

- My video is definitely aimed at a young audience of school children which was the idea of making the video in the first place and was really the only requirement Rachel and Steve expected from the video. I think I wrote the voice over well so children can understand the dialogue and the shots describing how they made the cement with the flame, powder and clay were good visuals for the materials that were used.

- I made sure I attended every meeting at the museum and took on all their feedback and responded to it appropriately in my film. 

What didn't work?

- I thought I chose a relatively straight forward story to put with the Fly Tool, until I had the problems with getting photos/videos of the 'muddies' in the 18th Century. I didn't think this would be so difficult but the 'muddies' weren't very well known so it was a struggle to find a proper images of them online.

- Once I found a reasonable photo/video I wasn't sure about the ownership rights and crediting so as my video might be going on the 100 Objects website, I didn't want to risk using someone else's photo and not crediting it correctly.

- The other option instead of stock footage was filming it myself but I couldn't find anywhere muddy enough to film. I tried getting the footage at a beach but this meant the film was confusing as I don't mention sand anywhere throughout the video - this is where getting in contact with the Local History and Archives Enquiry and Research Service came in handy.

What did I learn?

- During the filming and editing process of the project when I was struggling to find appropriate photos/videos of 'muddies' or any ideas instead of using stock footage, I thought back to the beginning of the project and thought that I should have researched properly into the stock footage before choosing the Fly Tool. From the beginning, I knew I wanted to use the royalty-free stock footage/photos of the 'muddies' but I didn't look into the footage then and I should have, because I might have chose a different object if I knew it was going to be this difficult to find the footage. 

- I learnt that ownership of footage and photos is really important, especially as we were making this film for someone else, I didn't want to get into trouble by not getting permission/crediting properly.

What could be improved next time?

- I will make sure I will research into everything next time, just in case there is a reason why I cannot get the shots/photos I need, then I can sort a plan B in the pre-production stage. 

- Maybe taking someone else to the shoot days from the TVP course so I had another creative eye when it came to different shots.

- Next time I would test different shots and have a number of different ones to show the client rather than doing one type, putting them on the film and then getting the response from the client. This way I would have known the digging shots wouldn't have been any good earlier on instead of finding this out at the fine cut.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: Fine Cut Feedback & Response & Final Cut

Today Rachel and Steve watched the fine cut of my Fly Tool video. I was happy with what I was showing them but I was unsure about the digging in the sand shots because I am using sand and sand doesn't come into the story of the Fly Tool. However, having someone do the action that the ‘muddies’ did looked very effective and brought the film alive a bit more. Today was my opportunity to show them this part along with the rest of the film and to get their response on it, whether it looked ok or needed to be scraped completely as it could mislead children. 

Fine cut notes:
- Voice over is a lot better and flows well since I made it more child-friendly.

- They liked the measurements on the tool - made it look very visual for the children.

- Like me, they weren't sure on the digging shots because of the fact I was using sand. I explained that it was very difficult to find royalty-free stock footage of Victorian workers or anyone digging in mud in general. However, they gave me a book on the ‘muddies’, called Cement, Mud and Muddies, which had a few photos in it which I could input into the film as stills - I just need to find out how to credit the book/photographs for the film.

- Ideally, I would have got someone down to the mud at the Medway River to use a spade but this wasn't possible.

- Beginning and ending credits were good - make sure to credit UCA.

In response to their feedback, I will see how the film looks with the photographs put it and will scrap the digging shots completely. It was helpful to get their feedback on the digging shots so now I know that they will not aid the education part in any way, I can get rid of them. 

Therefore, the final shot list and script looks like this:

Shot list

Shot number
Shot type
Description of shot

Whole tool in shot

Mud at the Medway river

Medway river

Royalty-free stock video

Cement being smoothed out

Focus pull

Spade of tool

Photograph of Victorian workers from Medway Archive Team

Natural lump of chalk along a beach

Clay in someone’s hands

Ignition of the flame


Crushing powder with a pestle

Powder going through the sieve

The length of the wooden shaft

The top grip

Iron spade, focus on the detail in the iron and wood

Whole spade with graphic showing measurements

Pan of the length of the tool, titles ‘The Fly Tool’ come in


Fade in

Shot of the spade, slowly turning

V.O – “The Fly Tool is a spade-like cutting object…”

Close up of the mud at the Medway river

V.O – “…used for digging and loading mud…”

Wide shot of the Medway river
V.O – “…from the Medway River onto barges…”

Stock footage of cement being smoothed out

V.O – “…for the cement industry.”
Focus pull of spade

V.O – “The spade was mainly used by Victorian workers…”
Photograph from the Medway Archives Team

Fade to black
V.O – “…who were also known as muddies. The need for a strong reliable cement increased due to the growing engineering works from the late 18th Century onwards.”

Fade in

Natural lumps of chalk from beach

V.O – “In the right proportions, chalk…”
Someone playing with clay
V.O – “…and clay were used to make the strong cement.”

Someone lighting a match, showing ignition of flame

Sound of ignition of flame

V.O. – “The materials were broken down and fired in a kiln at a very high temperature.”
Crushing powder with a pestle
V.O – “…they were then ground to a powder…”
Shot of powder going through a sieve

Fade to black

V.O – “…and finally sieved.”
Fade in

The shaft of the tool

V.O. – The Fly Tool has a wooden shaft…”

The grip at the end of the tool

V.O. – “…with a small handle.”
The spade shaped end
V.O. – “The end of the spade is covered in iron, which creates the sharp cutting edge.”

The whole tool in shot

Graphics come up showing the measurements of the tool

V.O. – “Apart from the iron feature, the rest of the tool is made from wood and it is just over a

metre in length and about 12cm wide.”

Pan of the whole tool

Title fades in ‘The Fly Tool’

Fade out
V.O – “The Fly Tool is one of the objects which helped make Kent what it is today.”

Photographs of 'muddies'
I borrowed a book from Steve called Cement, Mud and Muddies by F. G. Willmott which had the photographs of the 'muddies' I have been trying to find online since I chose the story for the Fly Tool. They were standing with their fly tools on the mud and clay. These photos are perfect in describing who the 'muddies' were so I am grateful that they have let me use the photographs in this book.

Photos from Cement, Mud and Muddies by F. G. Willmott
I tried a couple of zooms into the photo and a couple of focus pulls, and the focus pulls looked like a good way to introduce the photo, starting with it blurred and then putting it into focus, then cutting to the second photo of the 'muddies' and then putting it out of focus to come out of the photographs and back into the rest of the video. I was happy with these and relieved I have finally got evidence of the real Victorian workers from the late 18th Century.

Copyright issue
While I was editing in the photographs of the muddies, I thought I should ask Helen about the copyright issues and how to credit the person who owns the photographs. She told me that I needed to get in contact with Rachel at the museum again to find out if the Guildhall has the rights to the book. I did this and Rachel said that the museum doesn't have the rights to the photographs in the book, they just brought it for the museum for research purposes. Although, she put me in contact with someone from the local history and archives enquiry and research service who deal with questions about the history of the Medway towns. I didn't even know there was a group who provided this service so I was very eager to get in touch with them and ask if they had any photographs free of copyright. They were very helpful and said they will have a look into the photographs for me and the day after I had a reply. 

They weren't able to find any photographs of the cement workers  using the Fly Tool but they sent me a scan (below) of cement workers from the same time period, they also said they have some more if I wanted to see them - which I sent back saying I did want to see the other photos. 

Scan of cement workers from the 18th Century

I was very happy with the first photo they sent me, and in their replying email they said the copyright had now expired and I just needed to acknowledge the photo in the credits.

Email about copyright - edited with Paint

I think I will zoom in slightly to get rid of the border and possibly change the colour slightly to fit in with the colouring of my video better.

Final video - The Fly Tool

Self evaluation
I was really happy with my final video for the Fly Tool. I think I have followed the requirements well from Rachel and Steve - a short video aimed at school children. The duration of the video is 1:26 and includes simple words and sentences and a few graphics for the children, to help their understanding of the tool. 

I have had a few problems along the way, mainly with the stock footage but I've managed to get a good photo in the end showing the real 'muddies'. I have enjoyed the Professional Practice unit and have learnt how to communicate with people from outside the university and have produced a usable video for their business website, if they choose to use it. 

MAJOR PROJECT: Project Evaluation

Production My aim for this major project unit was to further develop the aspects of production which I had written about in the p...