Monday, 30 April 2018

TRANSITION: Props for the Set

As we have challenged ourselves and have planned to shoot in a vet waiting room / surgery, we need to aim for a real-life vet setting. We can do this by using props to help bring the atmosphere of a vets to life, props such as tables and chairs, leaflets and posters for the waiting room and the vets clothes (scrubs, stethoscope, gloves) and fake blood for the vets surgery. The props are essential to make the whole mockumentary work and to bring the humour out, this will also help with the actors we cast but the locations and props will be a big help. 

I picked up some leaflets for the waiting room from Pets at Home:

These will be appropriate for the test shoot tomorrow (1st May) and I will also see if we could do with more leaflets. We want to use some for the waiting room table, and I thought about a notice board to put some up on the wall also. This will accompany posters that Katie is looking for / making. 

One of the leaflets I picked up was about what to do once a pet has passed away. I thought this would be a good leaflet for the vet to give to the owner at the end of the film once he has butchered the poor animal. We also thought about covering it in fake blood as the vet will be covered in the blood also, this should add to the humour of the scene as the owner will be disgusted about the blood over the vet and the leaflet. 

Katie's posters

Katie found these online and some included pet insurance and flee prevention methods, these were very appropriate for a vet setting. She also included one about the anatomy of the cow as our mockumentary features a lot of humour surrounding cows, therefore we wanted the set to show the cow obsession as well. 

Alex, Katie and I went shopping for a few extra bits for the set. We were primarily looking for cow toys / ornaments to display. We found a pack of two mini cows but this was all - these will act as a good cutaway. Additionally, we picked up a small notice board to pin my leaflets on for the wall. 

Alex also thought to bring a dog carrier for the corner of shots so it looks as if there are other patients in the waiting room. As the editor, I can add in a chatty ambiance for the background of the waiting room shots, again helping the viewer think there are more owners and pets in the vets. 

Vet props
As we are focusing our mockumentary around a doctor, we need the actor to look like a doctor otherwise this won't come across in the film. This means wearing scrubs, gloves, having a stethoscope, glasses, operating tools, a mask and other small bits, but these will all add to the authenticity of the vet setting. Alex found and brought these online. 

Sunday, 29 April 2018


As the Director of Photography, Katie will be deciding how the shots will look, while liaising with Alex. Katie has made the shot list which we will be primarily following during filming. 

I will need to follow this during the edit so I know what shots they want in what order, and they type of shot they want. On the shot list, Katie will write what the shot type is that she wants, the shot description and any notes that we need during filming and I may need during the editing stage.

Shot list:

TRANSITION: Script Drafts

Alex is the writer for this project, therefore, he is in charge of the script and the content it contains. He started the first draft and Katie and I were really pleased with it. Alex sent it over to Simon and he also liked it, Simon said that it was funny and sharp - the main aim now is to create the filming location to look like a real-life vets, which will help bring the humour across.

Script draft 1:

We will be using this script for the test shoot (1st May) to see how it works out in our vet scenario. 

After Simon's feedback to the script, Alex completed his changes accordingly and sent it over to Katie and myself. I will need this script to complete the edit, so I can bring Alex's ideas to the screen in the correct order.

Script 2 (final):

Saturday, 28 April 2018


As we're sharing the producer role, Alex took on the role of creating character profiles which we can use for casting.

Casting is essential for our mockumentary because we want it to be funny, the actors will place a massive part in the humour and how they play the role. Alex created character profiles on how he imagined our cast to resemble.

Character profiles:

We are looking for a male aged between 25 and 40 to play Dr. Tim Stewart, a person of any age and gender to play his receptionist, and a women aged between 50 and 75 to play a pet owner seeking treatment. We are also looking for a female voiceover artist to provide narration for the film. 

Alex imagined the lines of Dr Stewart being delivered in a dead-pan manner to add humour to the piece.

We have all worked with Aidan before and we think he would be suitable to portray the vet as confident yet incompetent. We will ensure Aidan dresses in smart clothing, and we'll give him glasses, a stethoscope and scrubs and gloves to make him more believable as our vet.

Vet surgen - Dr Stewart 
Aidan Robinson-Jones

We cast Samantha as the dog owner as she is at the younger end of this age bracket and is very lovable with animals. This helps within her role of the dog owner and will need a good level of trust with the animal. She seems very caring and seems perfect as the innocent animal owner in our mockumentary.

We will ensure Sheila is wearing her normal clothes to portray the look of an ordinary pet owner. We will get her to bring spare clothing for her interview, the shots with Coco in the park, and for after the surgery.

Animal owner - Sheila 
Samantha Joslin

Lastly, it was essential that we had an animal involved to visit the vets. We'll use Alex's dog Coco. This seemed appropriate as she has a good bond with Alex so should feel comfortable around us with him being there as well. She is also a very well behaved dog and obeys commands, this should make the usual struggle of working with animals slightly easier.

Coco, the chocolate labrador 

Alex decided to cut out the receptionist as they weren't an important part of the mockumentary, and we may rarely even see the receptionist area in the film. Therefore, we didn't need to cast anyone for this role. 

TRANSITION: Location Hunting

After the group tutorial with Simon, we realised how important the location is for our idea. We need to use a vets or somewhere where we can decorate it as a similar to a vets as possible. 

Locations needed:
- A house setting for Sheila's interview
- A plain room for surgery scene
- A consultation room
- A waiting room

Initial thoughts for locations:
- The lecture rooms - we could use one of the lecture rooms at the Studios as a waiting room as they are quite plain and we would just need to put in some chairs / sofas, and decorate the walls with posters and leaflets. However, we would have to film at the weekend which we are aren't sure if we're allowed to, so we will have a back up. 

- One of our houses - for the documentary-style interview with Sheila and Coco. 

- An estate agents building - we have contacted someone who works at an estate agents. We could use the room while the shop is shut. The room has plain white walls, apart from a green feature wall, which is no problem for us. Looking at it now, it looks like it could be a waiting room, apart from the housing advertisements, we would just need to replace these for pet posters and leaflets. It would also be nice to film somewhere that isn't the lecture rooms and somewhere that looks professional as it is.

- A local events venue - Katie looked round a room in a local events venue. 

This location has a lot of potential. We will be able to use the room pictured, and it has plain white walls where we will be able to stick things on the wall like notice boards and posters. It also has a television in the room which can be used for slideshows and information like you would find in a doctors waiting room. The venue also has a flip chart that we're allowed to use, this could be ideal for when the vet draws the picture of the cow. They also have a small metal trolley which could be used for the vets operating tools during the surgery scene. These little details will help with the aesthetics of the vets.

It has a big window which will let in a lot of light, although we will be bringing lights it will be helpful to have a good source of natural light. We also need to be able to change the lights in the room as the surgery scene needs a dim light throughout the room, with a harsh light on the vet. We can dim the lights with a dimmer switch and close the curtains for the dim light while having one of our lights as the main light on the vet. 

Katie spoke to the staff at the events venue and agreed everything we needed for the shoot. They allowed everything, including the blood splatter scene, which was promising. We would need to pay for the room at £12 an hour, and we would need it for the most part of the day which could be quite expensive, but the events venue being our only location and splitting the cost between three people makes it worth it. 

Katie said there was a folding wall which can split the room in half. She was unsure about sound issues with this, but she spoke to the staff and they assured her that there was no big groups due in the other room so we shouldn't have any loud noises around. The room we want to film in has a fire exit, although there is a low risk of fire, we will be careful not to film in front or block the exit. 

Additionally, there were a set of wheelie bins outside the events venue which are ideal for the bin scene at the end where the vet throws the dog in the outside bins. This means that we can use this location for the majority of our scenes which will make the filming days easier for us.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

TRANSITION: Group Tutorial

Alex, Katie and I had a group tutorial with Simon to see how far along we were with our research. We explained that we changed the idea to The Supervet. 

- We need to create a real-life looking vets if we use the lecture rooms

- Sonia has filmed in a vets before - contact them

- We want 4 actors, this is including a narrator 

- Filming the week of the bank holiday 

- Edit like supervet - make sure theres enough coverage to be able to edit 

- Possibly contact the Kent film office 

- Clinical style - an office, UCA Rochester photo labs? 

- 3-4 mins is very short. We need to make every line in the script count - must be funny

Think about:
- Props - knifes / scrubs etc.

- Place looking like a vets

- Working with dogs

Editing side:
Simon advised me to look at different editing techniques in The Supervet.
- Is it graded?

- Effects?

- Astons?

Our next step is to get on with locations and casting. Individually, my next step is to look at the editing techniques in The Supervet and think about how I can develop them for our mockumentary.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

TRANSITION: Research into Editing of The Supervet

General layout of shots
- Start with voice over introducing animal and owner
- Interview of owners story
- When owner talks about her and the animal, we see a cover shot of her playing with the animal
- Voice over talks throughout the interview as well as owner talking
- Voice over introduces topic, Dr and owners fill in the content of the topic / story
- Long reaction shots on the owners when Dr is giving his results
- Keeping mid shots of person talking longer in length, while cutting between wide and mid shots

The font of the title is very simple, in thin white letters states 'The Supervet'. As there is no fancy writing this can give a serious and clinical feel to the documentary. There have been 11 series to The Supervet and throughout each one they have kept this style of font and layout for the title. 

The Supervet titles Series 1 Ep 1 (top), Series 11 Ep 1 (bottom)

We may want to keep this font and style for our title, I have found a font called 'Century Gothic' which seems the best fit, 'Avenir Next' is also appropriate. The gaps between the letters in The Supervet are wider than standard text, I should be able to widen the letters in Premiere under the titles tab. 'Century Gothic' and 'Avenir Next' aren't exactly the same font, but by using one of these you can still see the connection to The Supervet.

I created these examples with a coloured background so I could see the effect of the white font. The white definitely looks better than black on a white background - the white font brings the title alive. 

Supervet and VETMAN titles in 'Century Gothic'

The animation on the title causes it to fade in, it then grows slightly and then stops and fades out. I will replicate this for our mockumentary title. 

A few seconds into the episodes they also have '#supervet' on the bottom right hand side, this way people can tweet their thoughts and opinions with #supervet so they all come up on one page when searching for The Supervet. We may think of doing this for our mockumentary and add #vetman on the bottom right hand side.

The grading can look quite clinical, especially in the interviews with the staff and the surgery scenes. We can give this look to our mockumentary with a slight blue tint over the shots. I will be liaising with Katie for the colour grading so I will get her opinion on this. 

In The Supervet the employees interviews / PTC are on a blurred background of a surgery room (second photo below). We know we always should include something related to the person / story in the background of an interview, so for The Supervet they use a dark surgery room but blur it considerably so all the focus is on the person in frame, and the white caption was very bright and bold along side the dark background. 

This may be down to the depth of field the DoP creates in the shot - I will feed this idea to Alex and Katie and see what they think of it to get a similar style shot. 

Lower thirds
The name captions for the people involved with the current episode are written in the same font, and simply say their first names.

Screenshot from Series 11 Ep 3

The captions for the employees at Fitzpatrick Referrals are also in the same font, and they include their job title under the name. These captions are only on their interview / PTC scenes, not during the actuality shots with patients. 

Screenshot from Series 11 Ep 3

Ours may look like the examples below, but again I will space out the letters in Premiere. I made the font examples in a coloured box so we could see what the white text looks like, on the edit there will just be the font with the accompanying shot being the background for the text to appear on. 

Captions change from bottom left, middle and right of the screen.

Series 11 Ep 1 (left), Series 11 Ep 3 (middle, right)

I don't think I'll be putting our captions in the middle, we only have two actors anyway so there is no need to mix it up and place the names in the middle. I will choose either the left or the right. As we have two actors, I may put one on the left and one on the right. The middle ones look slightly messy in my opinion, however I understood why they placed the caption there, as there wasn't much room either side of the wide shot for such a long name tag. 

- There are no captions for the animals - just the voiceover introducing the animal with its name.

- The lines of the font are slightly blurred, giving a shimmery and glowing look to the text. I should be able to blur the font slightly on Premiere giving the same look. 

- Screenshots from

TRANSITION: Final Idea & Research

I did some research in preparation for a group tutorial with Simon. We originally wanted to do our own version of a new mockumentary called Cunk On Britain but while thinking about the idea we came across a few issues:

- Thinking of a new subject matter that Cunk On haven't done, and something worthy to make a short film on
- A subject matter that we can create a comedy out of

We all definitely want to do the mockumentary idea so Alex came up with another plan - a mockmentary of The Supervet. 

The Supervet is a documentary showcasing Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick (the Bionic Vet), one of England’s top veterinarians, as him and his staff treat hard-to-cure ailments with innovative care and surgical techniques. The programme gives the emotional stories of pets, owners and the passionate team that pushes boundaries of medicine to save animals from life-threatening conditions.

The Supervet - Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick

As The Supervet is a documentary, it's shot exactly like one with establishing shots, fly-on-the-wall cameras and interviews with the people we focus on in the programme. We want to incorporate all of this in our mockumentary - the comedy will come from the comments that the vet makes. 

We want the vet to be really naive by showing a lack of experience and knowledge towards animals, e.g. a cat would come in with a simple cut from fighting with another cat and the vet could think it's dying.

An example that comes to my mind is the Specsavers advert:

In the advert the man needs glasses so can't see that the 'cat' is actually a fluffy hat. He proceeds to work on the 'cat' by checking his stethoscope on himself to check it's actually working, before placing it back on the 'cat'. Then his co worker enters the room in a rush, thinking there actually is a cat unable to breathe, but then realises it's her hat and takes it and puts it on her head - the vet then looks very bemused and rethinks about what's just happened.

These simple mistakes from the vet is the sort of thing we want to include in our mocumentary to create the comedy, and then possibly real people with real reactions being the owners of the animals. Similarly to Cunk On Britain, Philomena Cunk talks to professionals and asks them stupid questions and it's their reactions as well as her questions which bring the comedy.

Editing technique of The Supervet:
- Clinical look during surgery, this is achieved during colour correction. I will aim to replicate the look of The Supervet alongside Katie (as director of photography). 

- While we are listening to the vet, we are watching the reactions from the owners, this will be the method I choose to use, but the reaction shots will be for comedy purposes. 

- The Supervet has a structure to it, opening sequence, establishing shots, interviews, back stories and then into the consultation. This is the structure we want for our mockumentary. While it's Katie's job to film these specific shots, it'll be my job to put them in the same order, replicating The Supervet.



Monday, 23 April 2018

TRANSITION: Presentation & Feedback

Alex, Katie and I had to present our idea to Simon and the rest of the group. We presented a mockumentary idea inspired by Cunk On Britain. 

Our presentation:

On slide 7, we each had our own research to explain to the rest of the group. As editor for this unit, my information included the different comedic editors I want to look at:

- Edgar Wright’s work – he uses fast action style editing, usually of mundane tasks, including whip pans and crash zooms – editor Chris Dickens (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz).
- Damon Tai - editor of Cunk on..., 8 Out of 10 Cats, Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe.
- Nigel Williams - editor of The Office, Outnumbered and Mongrels.

And then the recent research I've done about comedic editing:

- Timing needs to be sharp in order to land well with an audience.
- But sometimes the comedic timing doesn’t work – there’s just not a long enough pause after a joke – will liaise with Alex on this.
- Sometimes a few extra frames added or trimmed can be the difference between a joke landing or not.
- Good way to see what’s funny and what’s not – get someone else to watch it and see their response to find what people think is funny and not funny.

- The rest of the group liked the idea and found the clip really funny.

- They also said they think we could pull of an idea like this.

- We pitched that we wanted to use the same subject matter as the clip in the powerpoint - climate change - and then aim to create a mockumentary with our own subject matter in the 3rd year. Simon recommended that we create our own subject matter for this unit instead as copying the one in the clip, as we have a writer in the group (Alex), and ideally he should write a new script rather than copying the same information as the one for the climate change clip.

- Simon asked about how we were going to work the producer role - we said that we would all take different parts, e.g. someone looks for location and someone makes a casting advert. 

Overall, Simon was happy with the chosen idea and we can now develop our mockumentary and continue researching, looking for contributors and locations. 

Sunday, 22 April 2018

TRANSITION: Research into the Mockumentary Genre & Editing

A mockumentary is essentially a 'fake documentary'. A comedic documentary about current events and issues, usually in a fictional setting. A mockumentary is "a film that has the look and feel of a television documentary, but with the irreverent humour and slapstick of a comedy, designed to 'mock' the documentary or subject it features". (Garner, 2003)

This is Spinal Tap (1984) is an American rock music mockumentary, directed and co-written by Rob Reiner. Spinal Tap was one of the first mockumentaries and was very well-known, it helped popularise the mockumentary genre.

Brief overview of Spinal Tap:

When Guns ‘n’ Roses took the stage in Melbourne this February, announcer ‘McBob’ made a fatal error – throatily screaming out “Sydney” – which was met by vehement booing from the audience. Not an ideal way to begin the concert, especially when the band was already an hour late.

Early morning the following day, Slash apologised in a tweet saying: “Melbourne, thank you for an awesome fucking evening! Apologies for the Spinal Tap intro!”

The moment was indeed reminiscent of the accident-prone, idiotically unaware, and foolishly incompetent fictional band Spinal Tap. In particular, it was a moment where reality and the mockumentary film coalesced into something wonderful and absurd.
Bugeja, n.d)
The film showcases the wild personal behaviour and musical pretensions of hard rock and heavy metal bands, with a relation to rock documentaries at the time. There are three main members of Spinal Tap, they play their musical instruments and speak with mock English accents throughout the movie.

Rob Reiner modeled this film on serious documentaries such as the Maysles Brothers' Gimme Shelter (1970). The film also shows the influence of Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains the Same (1976) and The Bands The Last waltz (1978). Reiner and the three main characters are credited as the writers because they ad-libbed so much of the dialogue, creating several hours of footage. 

Actors were given outlines indicating where scenes would begin and end and character information necessary to avoid contradictions, but everything else came from the actors. Very often, the first take was used in the film to capture natural reactions, because these couldn't be repeated as well as the initial reactions.

During the post production stage, Christopher Guest (band member Nigel Tufnel in Spinal Tap) was very concerned with the continuity of the finger positions on the band's instruments during the concert scenes, and even re-shot some footage after the movie was edited to ensure their hands were in sync with the music. 

In 2011, Time Out London named This is Spinal Tap the Best Comedy of All Time, noting that “It’s sublimely funny and sharp—a comedy built for the long haul which matures with each viewing.” (Wood, 2014)

Come Fly With Me (2010) is a more recent mockumentary from the Little Britain team. The series parodies the various types of characters you might find at an airport / during a flight, including flight and ground staff from regular to low budget airlines, as well as officials from customs and immigration, and some interesting passengers up to no good.

Come Fly With Me is a spoof of the British documentaries Airport and Airline, the series follows the activity at London Stansted Airport and three fictional airlines, FlyLo (a low-cost airline), Our Lady Air (an Irish low-cost airline) and Great British Air (a major international British airline). Starring David Walliams and Matt Lucas who play most of the airline staff and customers, the film is filmed as a 'fly on the wall' documentary. 

Editing techniques:
I have seen Come Fly With Me when it aired in 2010 but I re-watched some episodes to get an idea of their editing techniques.

- Slower cutting - holding the camera shots on the comedy and then hold reaction shots
- Regular interviews with the employees and passengers
- Shot with very little cameras, mainly handheld. Some short scenes are shot on just the one camera, only cut to another one if needed (e.g. actor moves)

Come Fly With Me was the second highest performing show over the Christmas holiday period in 2010 with 12.4 million / 43.2 percent - the highest comedy launch on BBC One.

The Office (2001) is a British mockumentary sitcom created, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. The programme is about the day-to-day lives of office employees in the Slough branch of the fictitious Wernham Hogg Paper Company. Ricky Gervais also stars in the series, playing the main character, David Brent. 

When it was first shown on BBC Two, it was nearly cancelled due to low ratings, but it has since become one of the most successful of all British comedy exports.

The show centres on themes of social clumsiness, the trivialities of human behaviour, self importance and conceit, frustration, desperation and fame. 

Laurel and Hardy
Laurel and Hardy were a comedy double act during the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema. Stan Laurel was the English 'thin man' and Oliver Hardy was the American 'fat man'. They became well known during the late 1920s through the mid 1940s for their slapstick comedy, with Laurel playing the clumsy and childlike friend of the proud bully Hardy. 

Sometimes, their comedy bordered on the surreal, in a style that Stan Laurel called 'white magic'. E.g. in the 1937 film Way Out West, Laurel clenches his fist and pours tobacco into it as if it were a pipe. He then flicks his thumb upward as if working a lighter. His thumb ignites and he lights his 'pipe'. The amazed Hardy, seeing this, would unsuccessfully attempt to repeat this trick throughout the film. He finally succeeds, only to be terrified when his thumb actually catches fire. Laurel repeats the pipe trick in the 1938 film Block-Heads, again to Hardy's bemusement. The jokes ends this time with a match Laurel was using, relighting itself, which Hardy then throws in the fireplace, where it explodes with a loud bang.

Instead of seeing Hardy suffering the pain of a disaster, such as falling down the stairs or being beaten up, banging and crashing sound effects were often used so the audience could visualise the scene for themselves.

Hardy has two trademarks during his films, the first being his 'tie-twiddle' when he is embarrassed and the second being his 'camera look' where he breaks the fourth wall. The fourth wall is when an actor breaks that imaginary wall between them and the audience by looking at the camera and addressing the audience. Hardy uses this when he has to feel exasperated, so he just looks straight at the camera and shows his disgust. 

The idea of breaking the fourth wall is usually seen on mockumentary sitcoms, including The Office. Mockumentaries which break the fourth wall mock the documentary genre with the intention of increasing the sarcastic / mocking tone of the show. Characters in The Office directly speak to the audience during interview sequences. These characters are removed from the rest of the group to reflect of their own experiences - this is a standard documentary technique where we break up the actuality with related interviews with the specific characters. The person behind the camera becomes the interviewer but stays silent, the answers are supposed to answer the questions without having to hear the questions. This technique can help heighten the comic tone of shows.

Cunk On Britain (2018) is a spin off show from Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe. It is about an investigative reporter called Philomena Cunk, traveling through British history. She asks professional real people questions about their speciality in order to learn about Britain. 

Cunk On started with a special episode about Shakespeare. When this was successful they created Cunk On Britain. 

Unlike Come Fly With Me and The Office where everyone involved is an actor and know whats going on, in Cunk On Philomena Cunk interviews real people who aren't actors. This is a good way to get peoples real reactions, because they aren't in on the show. It's Philomena's interviewing style which brings the humour for the show. She throws questions that make no sense at experts, particularly British history academics. Their politeness and patience adds to the ridiculousness of the show. 

The main editing technique in this show is the reaction shots of the experts which maintain the humour, as well as Philomena's questioning. The editor holds the shots of Philomena when she's asking a question. This shows the interest and seriousness in her face about her own question. Then they cut to the expert's confused face and they attempt to answer the question. 

Tips for making mockumentaries (Maher, 2015)
Even though I am the editor of this project I looked into ways to create mockumentaries so I can have some input into the production side of the film. 

- Find an odd subject
Mockumentaries are fun and can be made from any subject so the weirder the better the funnier.

- Don't use more than two cameras 
One camera will work but two will allow the editor to cut to and from dull parts in the film. Also, if an improv scene drags on, I can cut to a reaction shot or another angle to remove any unnecessary dialogue. More than two cameras can ruin the feel of the film. Alex and Katie both have DSLR's so we will be able to set up two cameras, one for the main character and one for reaction shots in the conversation scenes. 

Handheld or shaky footage is fine
A mockumentary keeps the feel of a standard documentary, in which the DoP is normally using an over-the-shoulder camera to follow the subject. Alex has a shoulder rig so we should be able to get the appropriate over-the-shoulder documentary shots.

- Using natural or minimal lighting
We want a traditional feel to the shots, nothing too perfect with the lighting, therefore minimal lighting is best. We will look for a location with a lot of natural lighting so we shouldn't need to work too much on the lighting, but Katie has some soft boxes we can use if we need them.

- Improvise
Improvisation is a good way to get comedy as the character may think of something funny while repeating the script. Depending on who we cast, we may say that can improvise if they're experienced and comfortable in doing that.

- Interview real people and not actors
We already have an idea to do a version of Cunk On. In this, Philimena Cunk interviews real people and their reactions are where the humour comes from. We will attempt to talk to real people who specialise in the subject matter we choose. This will also work well with Spinal Tap's method of using the first take to get the natural reactions. We shall work with the actor who is chosen to be our presenter so they are ready and hopefully we'll be able to get a good shot first time with the real interviewees. 

What have I learnt?
- It was very useful finding tips on how to shoot mockumentaries because I now know the basic traditional ways in which a mockumentary is created. This will help us in the pre-production and production stages. 

- I was finding similarities by looking at different mockumentaries and comedic actors because they're the same genre, such as the fact that one of Laurel and Hardy's techniques to break the fourth wall is featured in The Office. 

- It was interesting to find that ad-libbing was common amongst mockumentaries. This may work if we cast someone who is able to do this well.

- 'Fly-on-the-wall' filming technique is very popular within the production of mockumentaries, we have already spoke about this and have agreed we want our film to have this feel to it.

- Everything I have research and watched have held reaction shots to maintain the comedy. I've found that this is an essential editing technique for comedy and will be using it during the edit of our film. I will ensure Katie remembers to film reaction shots and hold them for me to edit with. 

Garner, W. (2003). mockumentary. Available: Last accessed 22nd March 2018.

Bugeja, N. (n/d). This is Spinal Tap: a seminal staple of the mockumentary. Available: Last accessed 22nd March 2018.

Wood, J. (2014). 15 Things You Might Not Know About This Is Spinal Tap. Available: Last accessed 22nd March 2018.

Maher, M. (2015). 11 Tips for Making a Mockumentary. Available: Last accessed 22nd March 2018.



TRANSITION: Research into Editing & Comedy Editing

The week after the Easter holidays, Katie, Alex and I have to present our idea for the transition unit and hopefully for what we want to work on in the third year. As I am the editor for our project, I researched into the workflow of an editor and how documentaries and comedy is edited in preparation for the presentation. As mockumentaries are relatively new, there isn't a lot information online about how to edit them, this is why I had to look at documentary and comedy editing separately.  

Responsibilities / workflow of an editor
In the television and film industry nowadays, there are a few people working within the post-production section, "there may now be a whole special effects team, an audio department, a colourist, and a number of assistant editors keeping track of all the footage" (Final Cut Pro Help, n/d), however, for our project we won't have this and I will be doing all these individual parts myself. 

Editing workflow process

There are different stages during the post-production process:
Stage 1: Planning
- Planning for the editing process primarily means preparing for each part within the post-production process
- Choosing input and output formats
- Acquiring your original footage, music, graphics
- Choosing an editing strategy
- Planning the effects you'll be adding so you can find out how much time is needed

Stage 2: Setting up
- Connecting the computer to the camera in order to receive the shots onto the editing software

Stage 3: Ingesting
- Importing the shots onto the computer
- Logging the shots you want to ingest for editing, while doing this scene and shot descriptions, notes and markers can be added 
- This step helps you become more familiar with the footage
- You can log and ingest footage in different ways - you can log all or most clips before batch ingesting (automated way) or you can ingest each clip individually. You can also log clips after ingesting the footage to a hard disk
- Once all the shots are on the software, you are able to separate the footage into different bins and label them so finding particular shots is slightly easier

Stage 4: Editing
- This stage involves taking the footage, music and graphics and arranging them into a final edited sequence of clips
- Start with a rough cut, where all shots are arranged quickly in a sequence
- Fine tuning is next, subtly adjusting the edit points between clips and refining the pace of each cut - creating a fine cut
- Basic audio editing and synchronising are also part of this process, as well as adding transitions
- Sometimes, the type of project determines the method of editing. E.g. in documentary editing the script evolves in parallel with the editing. In commercial television and film editing, there is already a finished script to provide an order for clips

Stage 5: Mixing audio
- Once the footage is edited and put together the picture is 'locked', meaning the duration of the movie is fixed and you no longer mean to change any of the edits
- This stage is mainly about fixing / adding the audio, involving - cleaning up dialogue, balancing audio levels and applying equalisation, adding sound effects, music, voiceover and mixing the levels of all the different clips together to create a balanced sound mix

Stage 6: Adding effects
- Focus on basic edits first and work on effects when the timing of your project is finalised
- Effects include colour correction, special transitions, animation, still or motion graphics, multilayered images and titles

Stage 7: Finishing and outputting
- Once editing is finished, effects are added and the final audio mix is complete, it is time to export the sequence

Documentary editing 
A mockumentary is a comical documentary, therefore it is edited in the similar way as a documentary. You can structure a documentary in different ways such as: 
- "voice of God" narration
- interview clips to tell the story
- "day in the life" where the camera follows the subject
- the filmmaker appears on camera and guides the story as first person
- re-enactment of historical events using actors, photos and stock footage

We will be going down the route of the "voice of God", interview clips and the "day in the life" style for our mockumentary. 

Some documentaries use a "combination of these structures. It comes down to telling a complete story" (VideoUniversity, 2015). The narratives and titles can be used to knit the individual pieces together into one piece.

While editing documentaries, some editors prefer to work with a transcript of the interviews, where the jump cuts are covered by cutaways. This is the method I prefer to work by after using this way to edit our documentary unit in the first year. 

Comedy editing 
Comedy editing is very different to editing other genres, "comedic edits need to be extremely tight and specific in order to land well with an audience" (Kroll, 2015). 

Sometimes the comedic timing of a scene doesn't work - it might have taken too long to get the punchline or there isn't a long enough awkward pause after a joke has been dropped. It will be my job to be the authority on what's working and what's not - here I will need to liaise with Alex (the director) and work out whether to cut or pad out the scene. Sometimes a few extra frames added or trimmed can be the different between a joke landing or not - timing should always be sharp.

To know if the timing is working - watch other people respond to the material

Jokes might seem funny to the editor as they know they're coming, but they may not be to others. This is why testing the footage is good to see peoples reactions. Seeing when and where people laugh, which jokes they don't get, and which moments people respond to the most will be very interesting, and will let the editor know where the comedic moments really are.

Visual comedy
I watched a youtube video about Edgar Wright and how he does visual comedy and took notes:

Edgar Wright - How to do visual comedy

- You can get laughs from different shots instead of what's said
- Things popping up in frame is funny
- Zooming can give a laugh e.g. zooming in or out of a facial expression
- A laugh from a crane-up e.g. someone laying on the floor with the camera facing down onto them
- A laugh from a pan e.g. someone running away
- Think about what's in the frame rather than the talking
- Things entering the frame in funny ways e.g. a hand popping in holding a phone
- People leaving the frame in funny ways e.g. someone awkwardly side-stepping out of shot

Editors I want to look at:
- Edgar Wright’s work– he uses fast action style editing, usually of mundane tasks, including whip pans and crash zooms – editor Chris Dickens (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz)
- Damon Tai - editor of Cunk on..., 8 Out of 10 Cats and Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe
- Nigel Williams - editor of The Office, Outnumbered and Mongrels

What have I learnt from this research:
- Even after watching many comedies, I didn't realise that the key was to hold reaction shots. This is something I will keep in mind while editing as it's such an easy way of building on the humour. 

- It's a good idea to get other people to watch the edit to see how the comedy side is working, as I will be staring at this for days, this technique will really benefit me. If people do find it funny, this will boost my confidence in the edit. 

- Cutting a shot is very important, it may be the quick cut / sharp editing that brings the comedy at a certain point, e.g. cutting someone off from talking.

- Researching into the workflow of an editor was very useful. I can look back at this when editing the mockumentary and get used to the professional process of editing. 

Final Cut Pro Help. (n/d). The Post-Production Workflow. Available: Last accessed 22nd March 2018.

VideoUniversity. (2015). How To Edit and Structure Your Documentary.Available: Last accessed 22nd March 2018.

Kroll, N. (2015). How To Edit Comedy Scenes for Maximum Laughs.Available: Last accessed 22nd March 2018.

Final Cut Pro Help. (n/d). The Post-Production Workflow. Available:

- Screenshot from Edgar Wright - How to do visual comedy. 

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...