Friday, 24 November 2017

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: Editing The Film & Rough Cut Feedback
I had an idea to have someone using the Fly Tool and then the background fading into a stock video of the 18th Century workers at the river. This proved very difficult when I couldn't the specific video I had in my head. I know I definitely want a video as it'll look better but I may have to settle for a photo if I struggle with the video. I attempted a few photos and videos to see which one would look better (example on the right). 

I want the shot to be of just the peoples legs and the spade, without any faces in (like the photos below). This way, I can shoot the tool being used at this angle and then the continuity will flow better if I then fade to a stock video in the same angle.

I found a reasonable video which may be good to use, the only problem is that they are in jeans which the victorian workers wouldn't have worn but they also aren't digging, just hitting the spade on the ground. 
Screenshot of photos from

I had thought about this before the first shoot day so I was able to position George corrected to where the person in the video was. As I didn't have a definite video by the shoot days, I filmed George using the tool in a number of different angles so I would hopefully find a video in the editing process which would match one of these shots. 

Below are a couple of screen shots as to how I have filmed the materials which create the cement. I was very happy with these shots as they are clear and I think are good visuals for the words. 

'fired in a kiln'

'and sieved'

Screenshot of my edit timeline

Voice over
I knew from the beginning that I wanted Katie for my voice over artist as I definitely didn't want to use my own voice. She was happy to help me out and spoke the words very professionally. She had a cold at the voice over recording but she sounded good when I listened to it back so I was happy with the outcome. If Rachel and Steve want it changed then we will do it again and hopefully she will not have a cold and therefore it will be an even better recording. 

Set-up at the voice over recording 
For the voice over, Ferg set us up with the computer and the Adobe Audition system. This was new to me to work with but I am very glad I did as it gave a very clear recording of Katies' voice with no fuzzy background noise. I just had to press record and stop and it copied the recording into my own folder on the computer. We had the microphone set up with a board behind it so Katies voice would be aimed into the microphone, giving a louder and clearer sound. 

Rough cut feedback

Friday 24th was our rough cut viewing with Rachel and Steve. I had a problem with my audio at the last minute last night so my video was silent, but I read the voice over out so they could hear the words with the moving images.

Initially, I think Rachel and Steve both liked the approach I took with my video, however, some of the shots weren't emphasising enough as to how tough working as a 'muddy' was. I have a clip of George using the tool but it wasn’t with enough effort, as working with mud and clay was tough work. 

Feedback notes:
- Get stock footage of the actual muddies - won’t find videos but there will be photos, so maybe have a montage of some photos - video of someone digging in really muddy mud (doesn’t have to be victorian people)

- I showed them some of my research into the stock footage and they said the videos of men digging in jeans was acceptable and the people are allowed to be 'modern dressed' and as long as they were digging hard then I could use that to emphasise the hard work

- The video of the chalk I have is of processed chalk and not original blocks of natural chalk which is what they would have used to combine with the clay to create the cement. For this I think I will go down to the cliffs along the sea and get shots of the white chalk/rocks so it looks more what they would have used in the 18th Century

- The clay shot was good but the clay looks very clean compared to the mud shot at the river earlier on in the video. Maybe I could change the colour of the clay to a dirtier/greyer colour in premiere/photoshop

- Change the measurements at the end (1090mm and 122mm) to something which can be pictured easier e.g. ‘just over a metre in length’ 

- It was good to see the chalk breaking underneath the glass but the video should really be mill stones grinding something - stock footage of this or mortar and pestle

- ‘create the narrow cutting edge’ - show a shot of the edge of the tool, the one I had didn't show the end, just the detail in the middle of the spade

- The voice over at the end was really nice and a good way to finish and the beginning titles and end credits were good, maybe change some sentences to make them more child-friendly 

Taking all this information into consideration, I am going to go to the Studios today and get the audio to work and put in some of the stock footage. I will book out a camera with Ferg for the 4th of December to film the chalk. 

Once the voice over is on the video and I have sorted some of the stock footage, I will email a YouTube link to Rachel so she can hear it with the voice over, therefore I will have time to make any improvements around the audio before the fine cut on the 6th December.

It was a great learning experience having Rachel and Steve to look at my video and how I was getting on so far and to give their ideas. This was the first time I have had a rough cut viewing of something that will help someone else and their business rather then just a viewing of one of my student projects. It was good to hear what they thought and to give their ideas for me to think about. Their points have given me a couple of ideas which I hope I will be able to pull off for them. 

I have decided to shoot someone digging in mud with a spade, therefore, it's all my own work and not stock footage. I will have close ups of the spade and struggle of digging a hole and shots of the mud being thrown over the shoulder. Being able to control it myself means I can tell my actor to put a lot of work into it. Then I will cut to stock photos of the real 'muddies' in the 18th Century. I am also going to film someone using a mortar and pestle for the "to a ground" line, then again it is my own work and this is a simple task to do so won't be too time consuming. 

Tuesday, 21 November 2017


Shoot day 1

My first shoot day was Tuesday 21st November. Today was primarily to shoot the Fly Tool and its features and the Medway River. The tool was a lot lighter than I expected and had a lot of detail to it. I got as many close ups as I could, especially of the wooden handle iron around the spade end. My initial thought was to shoot the tool outside because it was used outside to dig up mud and clay back in the 18th Century, therefore it would make sense to film it outside. Steve set up a table for me inside with the tool on top so to get as much coverage as I could, I also filmed it inside. That way I have a lot of shots to choose from. I want the sequence of the description of the tool to be in the same location, e.g. if I choose the shot of the wooden grip from on the table and then show the spade end from the shots outside, the continuity will be disrupted. 

Photo from shoot day 1
Photos from shoot day 1

I got George to pretend to use the tool in order for the audience to see how it would have been used back in the 18th Century. However, because obviously I couldn't actually get him to use it in mud, he just pretended to dig round the back of the museum. I shot this in different angles so I had a wide choice of shots to choose from. 

When I was filming the details of the tool outside, I needed George to hold it, but this didn't look as nice with hands in the shot. I preferred the shots from inside on the table which is something I didn't think would happen. I was able to get a lot of coverage of the tool and was happy with my shots. 

The next thing to do was to film the shots of the Medway River. I decided to film this on the first shoot day because I was right next to the river being at the museum so it made more sense to walk round to the river on the same day. I was able to get some wide shots of the river and close ups of the mud and reeds around the outside of the river. These were perfect shots to describe digging up the mud and clay from the Medway River. 

What went well?

- The access to the tool was great, I was allowed to do what I wanted with it, like taking it outside and getting someone to pretend to use it.

- I had all day to film which was more than enough time, I got all the shots I needed of the tool from as many different angles that I could think of. This means I shouldn't need to re-shoot the tool.

- Having George filming on the same day came in handy because he was able to hold the tool for me, he was also there to give any ideas/another creative eye. 

- The close up and detailed shots of the tool looked good and I was happy with how focused they are.

What would I improve next time?
- I had to wait for George to finish his filming before he could help me, this lead to me standing around for a little bit. If we had to do it again maybe we would arrange times with each other when we knew we would be free, e.g. if George knew he would be filming for a while then I would have got to the museum slightly later as the shots I needed a hand for were the shots that needed more time spent on them. 

- I was later than what I thought in finishing filming the tool as I helped George do his filming also, this meant it was getting darker once I got to the river, and because it was getting even darker I was limited on time with the daylight at the river. If I had planned the time slightly better then I might have had more time at the river. Nevertheless, I was pleased with the shots and they are usable and I shouldn't need to go back to re-shoot.

Shoot day 2
My second shoot day was Wednesday 22nd November. This shoot day was primarily for filming the materials which were used to make the cement in the film. I had to film a flame/the ignition of the flame for the kiln representation, clay, chalk, something being sieved and something being crushed. I used my cousin to help with these while I held the camera.

I filmed a few shots for the flame, including the hob of the cooker being turned on, a lighter being used and a match being lit. The match turned out to be the most effective method and we could hear the ignition of the flame on the camera which sounded good as well. The sieving method was easier because I had this shot planned in my head as to how I wanted it and it turned out just right. I sieved hot chocolate powder as the mud and clay are dark colours and flour would have been too white. 

For the chalk representation, I used sticks of chalk and simply filmed them rolling around, this was the only thing I could think of for chalk to film and it looked quite effective. The grinding of something was harder because I had no idea what to film for this. After trying different things, we found crushing the chalk under a glass was very effective as you could see the crushing through the transparent glass. It was some sort of representation for the grinding so I felt confident in using this shot and using it to show Rachel and Steve. Filming is done for now unless Rachel and Steve give me any other ideas or want me to change anything. This extra filming will take place around the week beginning the 4th December, after my weeks work experience. 

What went well?

- I managed to get all the shots I needed and I was very happy with how the shots came out.

- I had scheduled all day for filming so I had plenty of time to film them.

- Because of all the time I had filming the objects, I was able to film them in different positions and in different ways completely, therefore, I had many different shots to choose from. 

- It was a bright day so I was able to use just the natural daylight coming through the window, which is what I wanted. If I used the kitchen light, it may have made the shots look a bit yellow which, therefore, would take up more time in the editing process. 

What would I improve next time?
- If I had to do these shots again I might ask someone from the course to help with it so I had another creative eye, incase they thought of a better idea for the objects. 

- I had to change a few shots because they didn't look as good when I tried them out. E.g. I initially had the idea to break up bits of chalk and drop them, then film them hitting the table in slow motion. However, this didn't look as good and the chalk was difficult to break up into small bits. In the end, I had them rolling on the table, which I thought was a good substitute. If I had tested these shots out before the shoot day then I may have realised this and changed the shots during the research period. 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: Location Recce & Risk Assessment

The Guildhall Museum
My first visit to the Guildhall Museum to meet with the staff, was the perfect opportunity to have a look for any risks involved with filming there. I was aware that I wouldn't be able to take the object away from the museum and it had to be filmed there, understandably. I preferred that because I wouldn't want to be responsible for the object when taking it away. Nevertheless, Rachel and Steve were extremely helpful and suggested helping us take an object outside the building if we wanted, as the natural light would look a lot better. 

I am filming on a day when the museum is open to the public (Tuesday 21st) so I will need to take the amount of people on site into consideration. Rachel said I could take the object into a empty meeting room inside the museum, unless I want to film it outside, so I will be careful not to get the equipment out until I am in the room with just Steve and George. This will help prevent the equipment from getting damaged before I have even started filming. Furthermore, I will make sure it is all packed away before I leave the room, again to prevent equipment and wires getting in the way of the public.

I will warn both George and Steve of the wires and keep the cables out of the way, hopefully off the floor. I think I will take out the DSLR if one is available with Ferg. As I will be getting the train to the museum in case there is a delay on the motorway, using this camera means I can travel light and not have a heavy camera to carry to and from the train. I may ask George to take a tripod and lights in his car and I'll meet him at the car park and help carry the equipment to the museum. The bigger equipment will be safer in a car than on a train. 

Steve will be transporting the objects as he handles them everyday as part of his job, and I wouldn't trust myself to move them. If I decide to and am allowed to take the tool outside, then I will only do so if it is good weather and if it is not raining. The risks are very low and are controlled with help from Steve and Rachel. Therefore, there should be no problem in getting the go-ahead for filming. 

Medway River

I want to get a couple of shots, wide and close up's of the Medway River. I will put the microphone on top of the camera to get some sound from the atmosphere/waves/water but I will be careful that there are no wires on the ground and I will stay away from busy places up the river and large groups of the public.

The weather is always an issue when shooting outside. Ideally, I would like to get to Rochester slightly earlier than they're expecting me at the museum so I can get the shots of the river. If it is bad weather in the morning, I will try again at lunch time and if not when we've finished filming at the museum and hope that some point during the day it will be good weather if not for the whole day. 

I want to get close ups of the river as well as wide/establishing shots, therefore I will want to get closer to the river, this means there is a trip hazard. I will be careful not to get too close to the water to prevent myself slipping over. The risks here are low so there should be no problems with getting the go-ahead to film at this location. 

My house

There are less risks for filming at my house. I will be needing to film the chalk, clay and sieved powder at this location. The only risks will be wires from the camera and microphone. To prevent anyone falling over them, I will make sure they are off the ground or not in the hallway, or any other regularly used path through my house. This risk is very low so should have no problem with the go-ahead for my filming.

Photo of risk assessments for the three different locations

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: Script, Shot List & Storyboard

Below is the script I have put together to get an idea of how the voice over will flow and what visuals and sounds I think would look best with the words. The VO may change in response to Rachel and Steve's feedback but I hope they like what information and research I have started with and it is up to their standards. 

Fade in

Shot of the whole of the spade, on table/against a wall outside. Slowly turning?

V.O – “The Fly Tool is a spade-like cutting object…”
Shot of the Medway River/mud or dirt around it

Waves and water sound effects

V.O – “…used for digging and loading mud from the Medway River onto barges for the cement industry.”
Someone pretending to use the spade.

Background fades to stock footage of the Victorian workers, then working/talking sound effects fade in.

Person using spade then fades out and left with just the stock footage of workers.

V.O – “The spade was mainly used by Victorian manual labourers, who were also called muddies. The need for a strong reliable cement boosted due to the increasing engineering works from the late 18th Century onwards.”
Falling chalk onto a table. Slow motion?
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 / lighter / lighting the top of an oven

Sound of initial flame

V.O. – “The materials were broken down and fired in a kiln at 900 to 1200 degrees centigrade…”
Stock photo of mill stones? Crushing powder with something else to show the 'ground to a powder' visual?

V.O – “…they were then ground to a powder with mill stones…”
Powder through a sieve. CU/slow mo?

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, slowly turning

V.O. – “…with a perpendicular top grip.”
The spade shaped end
V.O. – “It is heavily shoed in iron to create a narrow cutting edge.”
The whole tool in shot, slowly turning

Fade out
V.O. – “Apart from the iron feature, the rest of the tool is made from wood and it is 1090mm in length and 122mm wide. The Fly Tool is one of the objects which helped make Kent what it is today.”

Shot list
The shot list is purely for my benefit for when I start filming next Tuesday. This way I will be able to refer back to this table and see how I planned out my shots and what action I want in the shot. These camera shots may change throughout the filming day, as I may make different decisions when the spade is in front of me.

Shot number
Shot type
Description of shot
Using the tool to cut something imaginary

Medway River – waves

MS/CU – Stock photo
Person using spade – fades to Victorian workers at the river

On the chalk when it hits the table (a more creative way of showing chalk than it just placed on a table)

Of clay in someone’s hands?

Ignition of the flame


Stock photo of mill stones? Crushing powder with something else to show the 'ground to a powder' visual?

Powder going through the sieve

The length of the wooden shaft

The top grip, turning slowly?

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

Whole spade, turning slowly

Rough storyboard
I created a storyboard mainly to sent to Rachel and Steve to give them a visual idea of what I am thinking for the film.

Rachel and Steve were happy with the story I decided to go bring to life and were happy with the storyboard. This was a confidence boost with my idea because now I can start planning the shoot days and booking out the equipment. At the moment, I am confident that I will produce a usable and professional video about the tool. 

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...