Wednesday, 27 March 2019

MAJOR PROJECT: Development of Post-Production Schedule

Post-production schedule:

During the pre-production unit I created a post-production schedule. This was difficult to create as I had to try and predict what would happen 4 months in advance, obviously we didn't know whether we would have to re-shoot or schedule any new filming days. I carried out research on how to create a post-production schedule as I wasn't even sure on how to lay it out or what to include in it at the time. I initially scheduled the rough cut to only take a week without taking into consideration the time it takes to sync the audio. Immediately, this made me 2 days behind the first schedule. However, at the time of creating the post-production schedule, I stated that I would start the edit a week after we wrapped filming. I did this with the intention of giving us all a weeks break, however, when it actually came to finishing filming on the 22nd February, I realised I wanted to get into the edit as soon as possible to start the post-production process. As a result of this, I started syncing the audio on the 25th February rather than the 4th March like I had scheduled. To start with, the time it took to sync the audio and then starting the edit a week early seemed to match up as I was behind but ahead. However, shortly after this we realised we needed to re-shoot and hold a voiceover day and it made sense for me to keep hold of the rough cut while organising the re-shoot. As a result of this, we were then behind schedule. The fine cut was supposed to start on the week commencing 15th March, but as it can be seen below, I had the rough cut for a while after this throughout the voiceover and re-shoot days.  

Updated post-production schedule

In the re-shoot we shot scenes 4 & 6, so before this I had continued working on the other scenes so after the re-shoot I would be able to work just on the new footage. Relating back to Simon's feedback on editing the film as a whole rather than in sections, means that it worked well for me to keep the rough cut until after the re-shoot and voiceover day. This prevented me from constantly passing it to Katie to do a bit of the fine cut and then getting it passed back to me to do the rough cut on the new footage. I wanted to get the film to a good standard and as close as the final film as possible before passing it on. 

I also scheduled separate days to have viewings with the director, Alex. However, he attended the studios on most of the same days that I did so he was there to oversee the edit in many stages rather than setting a date for him to see it has a whole. This was beneficial for me as there were sections of the edit where I didn't know how he wanted them to look. Therefore, having him sat next to me most days meant that I could ask questions and get his advice on the edit. This also sped up the creation of the rough cut as I was able to ask as I edited, rather than spending time creating an edit for him to say a lot needed changing. We solved problems together, such as continuity or what to do due to lack of coverage, which worked really well. 

I amended the audio as I went, however, any specific audio like getting atmos from online or any serious sound editing was scheduled for the fine cut. Therefore, the audio is constantly being worked on from rough to fine cut. 

I finally came to a point in the edit where I felt that the footage was in the correct places and it was a case of refining some of the scenes and concentrating on audio and sound effects. I made sure to do this before our viewings with Beth and Simon on the 26th March with the intention of them agreeing that it was a case of refining and sound work. In Beth's feedback, she said that it would be beneficial for me to get someone to watch it who hasn't been staring at it for weeks so they could tell whether they are watching something that isn't that funny / doesn't add to the story. As both Simon and Beth said that it was a case of refining the edit now, I decided that it would be a good time to pass the edit onto Katie as she hasn't been involved with the rough cut and therefore, would work on it with a fresh mind. We also agreed to swap films with Aimee and Will's group to watch each others objectively. As a result of this, I handed the edit over to Katie on the 26th March with the intention of her attempting some of the sound design before we see Aimee and Will's group. I scheduled a short viewing with the other group on the following Friday 29th March.

From rough cut to fine cut

Fine cut schedule

The schedule below starts from the first full week after the fine cut was handed over. As I did  for the rough cut part of the schedule, I had included our timetabled sessions, such as edit viewings and the studio production. In the fine cut, Katie will be focusing on the audio, sound effects and after this, the colour grade. I thought I would start by scheduling just the audio and sound effects for the first full week of the fine cut, until the next viewing on the 9th April. From this viewing was a good place to start the colour grade because, ideally, the audio and sound effects would have improved for the viewing with Beth and Simon, giving Katie the opportunity to start the colour grade after this. 

First full 2 weeks of fine cut

As a group, we decided to come into the studios to edit in the Easter break. As a result of this, I continued the edit into these two weeks. The area is covered in a shade of grey as we are not scheduled to be in over these weeks. However, I have continued the fine cut, audio, sound effects and grade into these weeks due to the fact that we have decided to come in. Although I have scheduled the fine cut throughout the whole of the Easter break, we won't be attending the studios for the duration of these two weeks, only a few days for each week. I felt it was necessary to include the bank holidays as we won't be attending the studios on these days.

Now we are in the final week of the project. Katie has amended the audio for scenes 7 and 9 (academy car park) and added in the final sound effects and music. We are on track with finishing and handing in the edit on the 10th May. 

What went well?
- Creating the post-production schedule in the Pre-Production Unit was beneficial as I had something to compare the real edit process to. 

By updating the post-production schedule as we go through the project, I have been able to be more detailed for when Katie and I started specific aspects of editing. For example in the first post-production schedule I simply had a title of fine cut and that was it. However, as we've progressed through the edit stage, I have been able to add in more refined headings such as sound effects and colour grade. In addition to this, I have been able to document where each of these parts started from. This means I will be able to reflect on the schedule with the correct details on it.

- The post-production schedule has been beneficial in terms of seeing where we are in our project. About 3 weeks away from the hand in, I knew the deadline was approaching but I didn't realise actually how close it was. I informed Katie and Alex of the limited amount of time we had left and we all become more focused on the edit to try to make it the best it can be before the hand in. If I didn't keep referring back to the schedule or hadn't made one at all, then I may not have realised how close we were to the deadline, and we may have fallen behind with the edit and then possibly struggled to finish it on time. 

What didn't go so well?
 - At the time of creating the post-production schedule, I didn't take into consideration every part of the process which meant we weren't on schedule during the rough cut. In particular I didn't consider the syncing the audio and how long this would take. However, with the fine cut being finished when we hand in the project in May, meant that we didn't have a third section of the edit to keep on schedule with. As a result of this, as soon as I handed over the edit to Katie we were back on schedule with the fine cut. 

What have I learnt?
- I have learnt to research thoroughly into something which is going to be done in the future. If I had researched at the time of making the schedule every single thing which needed to be done in the post-production stage, such as syncing the audio and planning for re-shoots, then we may have been on schedule more than what we were. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

MAJOR PROJECT: Creating Rough Cut 4

I had completed Rough Cut 3 ready for the viewing with Simon and Beth and I planned to create Rough Cut 4 for any changes they suggested for the rough cut before I could pass it on to the fine cut.

Final changes include:

Tighter shot on “I’m VET-MAN” 

- I agreed with this piece of advice within scene 1 as it is an important and comedic part of the story. This could also be the place in which the titles appear which would bring more significance to it. Due to this, I understood that it required a more focused, close-up shot. I changed this accordingly, however, we didn't have the coverage for the close up that I pictured in my head when I received this feedback, but we had a mid shot (shown in the second photo below). The first photo below shows the shot that Tim initially says "I'm VET-MAN" in, and the second photo, shows the mid shot that I changed it to. Although this is a mid shot and not a close up, it focuses on just Tim instead of Tess and Tim which is the point that the feedback was referring to. As the line "I'm VET-MAN" is important to the story and adds to the comedy, we really needed to see that line come from a shot of just Tim, which I understand. Obviously the shot is very dark but it will be corrected during the fine cut.

I held the shot until he knocks the vase off the table by the door, before cutting back to see Tess's reaction, instead of cutting back to the two shot, I felt that this would be too much cutting around and the mid shot was sufficient enough to continue until I needed to cut back to Tess.

Tighter in owl academy car park

- I was advised to make scene 7 tighter in the car park of The Kent Owl Academy. I agreed with this point too, I felt that the sequence leading up to Tim and Luke talking was quite long compared to the rest of the film. In order to shorten it slightly I first took out the shot of the van where we watch Luke get the bag out of the bag of the van. This shot is quite long and all we are doing is watching Luke get the bag out and meet Tim at the front of the van. I decided that this shot wasn't working and wasn't necessary. I didn't think twice about whether I should keep the shot in or not as I thought back to my research with Anthony Boys  and he advised to take a shot out if it's simply not working or adding anything to the story. With this in mind, I didn't hesitate to take it out. My feedback was to make the scene shorter and this was the perfect shot to remove without taking anything away from the story. The audience know how important the bag is from the first scene, and it's inevitable that they would take it with them. As a result of this, I didn't think we needed to see Luke getting the bag out of the van. 

The new sequence of when they arrive at the academy are the two shots below:

New sequence for arriving at the academy

“...besides, I need to get changed” 

- I was reminded that I had accidentally cut out one of Tim's lines "besides, I need to get changed" in scene 4, and because this highlights the reason as to why Tim changes clothes half way through the film, it was necessary to be kept in the edit. To rectify this, I just searched through the synced audio for the clip which included this line and replaced it. 

Once I had completed these changes I exported the film into rough cut 4, we had all agreed that we were happy with the placement of the footage, and it was time for it to be passed onto Katie for the fine cut. She will now be able to refine the film even further by adding sound effects and working on the audio. 

Rough cut 4


Although I haven't exported each video in relation to the different stages of the rough cut that I researched into, I have still followed the stages in order to end on the final rough cut. I initially researched into rough cuts and the stages an editor needs to go through to do create a successful edit, and I have followed these, but I haven't exported the video after each stage was complete. For example, I logged and synced the footage and audio as I found in my research. Then the assembly cut was essentially rough cut 1, however, it had a bit of refinement in it, such as preventing the audio from peaking. This meant that rough cut 1 was an assembly cut leading into a rough cut. Rough cut 2 was simply a more developed rough cut, and rough cut 3 was the edit that I focused on with Alex, which makes this the directors cut. Alex had a say in each of the rough cuts as I didn't want Alex to dislike something I had spent time editing, but his focus was on rough cut 3, helping me get it ready for another viewing and ready to be passed onto Katie. Rough cut 4 was the final changes from feedback I received on my final viewing, so it was up-to-date for Katie. I felt this made more sense because the majority of changes were happening within the rough cut, and if I had exported the video after making all the changes that I've spoken about in my blog posts for rough cuts 1 - 4, then I wouldn't have had the videos showing the improvements from each rough cut. 

- One of Simons first bit of advice when it came to the edit was to work on the edit as a whole, rather than sections. I took this to mean that there shouldn't be sections of the edit that are better than the others, the edit should be the same quality throughout on each rough cut. I believe I followed this through each of my rough cuts, apart from just before the re-shoot. I wanted to work on the other scenes to avoid wasting time on the edit, and then my focus was only on the re-shoot and GVs when I got back into the edit. Although, I was advised to work on it as a whole, I believed I was using my initiative here by not wasting time before the re-shoots. I didn't change the other scenes a lot, only refined them slightly. It would be a different case if I had passed the edit onto Katie to work on the audio and colour grade it while leaving the re-shoot scenes until last. As a result of this, I only refined the rest of the scenes slightly while waiting for the re-shoot so I believe that I did work on the edit as a whole and I am very impressed at what I have achieved over the past month in my part of the post-production stage. 

Friday, 22 March 2019

MAJOR PROJECT: Creating Rough Cut 3 & Feedback

Following my feedback from Alex and Simon of rough cut 2, I continued to improve and create the third rough cut. This is the first rough cut after our re-shoot and GV pickups have been filmed, so this cut should look most like the final film. Apart from this new footage Alex is happy with the rest of the visuals and once I have placed the new footage into the timeline, it'll be time to start shortening the footage and making it quicker to add to the comedic tone. 

One piece of feedback we received was to cut up the conversation in the car in scene 2, and maybe discover and discuss the drugs once we have got to the owl academy. This referred me back to my research from the stages of the rough cut. Now all the footage is down, it will be clearer to see if any of the lines or scenes need changing around. This is the stage in which I can start asking myself questions as Brad Schwartz suggested, such as how can I enhance the story? Can I restructure elements in order to make the story more powerful? So far I have been quite confident that the edit is making sense in the same order as the script, however, when the advice about the drugs came to light, it made me re-think the edit. I liaised with Alex about the drugs conversation and he said that he would rather the drugs reveal before they reverse off the drive, as Alex aimed to show Tim exploring the van as soon as he gets in it. If he had driven off, hit the dog, met Sheila and then arrived at the academy, it would be odd if Tim started looking around the van after everything has happened. Alex and I established the idea of keeping the drugs conversation in the same place when the van is on the drive, however, this got me thinking of the rest of the story and whether any other sections of the story would be better rearranged.

New footage for Rough Cut 3

As a group we decided to re-shoot scenes 4 and 6 and collect additional footage of the Vet Van. I scheduled the re-shoot with our cast and crew relatively soon after we decided to go ahead with it so we could keep progressing in the edit, and so I wouldn't have to leave it on rough cut 2 for too long. During the two weeks between deciding the re-shoot date and the actual shoot, I improved the scenes that we were happy with in the edit, therefore, by the time we re-shoot, I will be ready to import the new footage on the timeline. This should be the only thing I need to work on as the rest I had continued with while arranging the re-shoot and GV day. 

Similarly to when I started the edit a few weeks ago, I had to sync the audio on the new footage in the re-shoot. For the GV's we had the microphone on top of the camera to get atmos next to the roads, therefore, this audio didn't need to be synced. We didn't have as many takes for the re-shoot in Margate as we did last time. Possibly because we were more focused on the shots we knew we needed to re-shoot. However, this made syncing the audio for the new footage take less time than it did during the main shoot week which was beneficial to me. As I mentioned in the Re-Shoot, GV Pickups & Dog Shot blog post, I tried to stay in the mindset of an editor in order to improve shots and audio which didn't quite work in the edit, making the most of the time we had with the cast and equipment. As a result of this, I remembered to ask to use the clapperboard in the surgery scene as this is where I struggled to sync the audio the first time round.

Syncing audio

From the first edit, I knew that Alex wanted the surgery scene to be choppy and fast-paced as at this point in the story we are in Tim's mind where he believes he is being a successful vet (similarly to the first scene of Tim searching through Tess's living room drawers, and setting up the printer to print his fake diploma). As a result of re-shooting and getting more coverage I was able to use a number of different shots to cut together quickly showing the build up of the surgery on the dog. We had enough footage so I was able to make the shots quick, without making the scene go by too quickly.

While I was creating Rough Cut 3 after the re-shoot, I noticed a continuity issue. In the mid shots of Luke getting the tools and stethoscope out of the bag and running round the van to give them to Tim. When he does this he stays there and keeps his head poked into the van, however, when we shot the preparation for the surgery scene we didn't think about Luke's head having to stay in the top left corner, we instead told him that he wouldn't be needed for these shots. As a result of this, the footage shot from inside the back of the van, which pans to meet Luke and Tim, shows Luke's head near Tim's watching what he's doing with the gloves and syringe. But then I cut to Tim prepping the surgery and Luke isn't there. To add to the lack of continuity, once Sheila notices them and walks over, we see Luke jump and look away from the inside of the van and towards Sheila. To put this more simply, in the current edit Luke is there, then he's not and then he's there again. However, we didn't get any footage of prepping the surgery with Luke's face in the corner so I am unable to make these shots flow well as they are. In order to work around this, I liaised with Alex and we agreed to crop into the footage with just Tim prepping the surgery, making the shot closer to his face with the intention of cropping out Luke's face in the top left corner. 

The difference in the shots before and after the crop is shown below.


Cropping into shots due to a lack of continuity 

Cropping the photo improves the continuity, but ideally, we should have had Luke's face in the corner. As I am making this part of the scene short and choppy, I imagine the fact that we are missing Luke's face won't be noticeable, as hopefully the action and quick cuts will take the concentration off the lack of continuity and onto the surgery scene. By thinking of the scene in a different way, if the idea of the audience being in Tim's mind with the quick jump cuts works well, then it may make sense to just see Tim as at this point in the scene we are focusing on how he believes he is being a good, successful vet. With this perspective, the fact that Luke isn't there works well. 

While I was editing this sequence together, Alex suggested seeing Sheila calling for Sooty in between seeing the build up to the surgery. This made sense as it's her who makes Tim slip and kill the dog, therefore, from the audience's point of view it may make more sense to see her beforehand to set up the idea of an elderly woman looking for her pet. This also allows me to extend the quick cuts, keeping the build up to the blood splatter at a good length and allows the pace of the film to stay the same throughout. 

I followed the same method of using jump cuts with the new footage in the same way I used them in the first rough cut. This sequence looked a lot better purely for the fact that we captured better footage in the re-shoot. The surgery scene with the old footage was only made up of 6 shots, whereas this new sequence with the new footage is made from 9 shots. I believe that this has improved the pacing of the film and it is slightly longer which helps build the tension leading up to the blood splatter. The sequence could still be refined, however, I think I have used the shots correctly creating a successful and tension-building sequence. 

Sequence of surgery scene in jump cuts

Comparison from Transitions to Major Project

Discussing the idea of changing the pace of the film by using jump cuts led me onto reflecting back on the Transitions unit. The aim of creating another VET-MAN film in the Major Project unit was to try and improve the film we submitted for the Transitions unit. We liked the concept of the film and felt that we could do it again but improve it. 

As I am reflecting on the previous film and that we are creating a film with a similar comedic tone, it may be beneficial for me to compare what I felt didn't work well in that film, so I can improve on it for this unit. I was the sole editor for the Transitions film but in this project I am one of the editors, however as I am creating the rough cut, I am in the same position within the edit role that I was previously. In the Transitions film I was unhappy with the surgery scene. We filmed everything separately like normal and like we have for this unit, but I knew that it would be down to the editing which would help build the tension and create the gory part of the vet butchering the dog. Obviously we had to pretend to kill the dog, therefore, I had to make this look real in the edit. The sequence I am describing is shown below:

The video starts at 2:40 which is the first time we see the vet prepping for the surgery, and although the video above continues, the actual surgery scenes ends at around 3:00. The sequence shown in the video above is what I was unhappy with the most. The main problem I felt with this sequence was that the timing didn't match the rest of the film. The film was only short in the first place, with the requirements being 2-3 minutes long, but I felt that the sequence showing the preparation of the surgery was very brief and then the rest of the sequence was made up of cutaways of the animals' owner with overlays of dialogue from the vet. This part of the film may have felt like it was over quite quickly because I was using jump cuts. Looking back at the film, I have learnt that jump cuts are ideal to build the tension however I need enough of them to maintain the pace of the film. The pace of the film may have also seemed quicker because this was the only time I used jump cuts. Due to the length of the film I only needed to use the jump cut technique once. There were also only a couple of shots of the surgery happening that I was able to use in the previous film until I had to cut away for the audience to hear the vet butchering the dog, which may have also added to the quickness of it. 

By re-watching the film, I have decided that I wanted to improve this with similar jump cuts to help build the tension for the blood splatter, but I want to use more of them to keep in time with the pace of the film. I believe that a part of the reason why I wasn't happy with the surgery scene in the previous film may be because of the smaller amount of coverage we had. If I had more shots to work from I may have been able to make the jump cuts go on for longer. I believe that jump cuts are ideal, but they just didn't quite work in the previous film. 

Current edit of VET-MAN - prep for surgery scene:

The short video above is my current edit of VET-MAN just after they hit the dog. The video starts at 5:00 where the surgery scene begins, similarly to the comparison video, and the surgery scene ends at around 5:25. This is only 5 seconds longer than the Transitions film but I believe that those 5 seconds make all the difference in terms of matching the pace of the rest of the film. I feel that we gained more coverage in these shoot days allowing me to use more jump cuts which fit with the pace of the film. In addition to this, I believe that the jump cuts feel more natural here to build up the tension because I've used them in earlier in the film when Tim is looking through Tess's living room drawers. In the Transitions unit, I felt that the jump cuts were slightly out of place due to not using them more than once, whereas, I believe that I have tackled this in the current edit by using them more than once.

I created rough cut 3 after the re-shoot which happened to be of the surgery scene that I wasn't initially happy with. By watching back the Transitions film, I understand where I went wrong from the editors perspective and what I wanted to improve on - creating quick jumps cuts which don't speed up the film too much. I want the tension to build and then end appropriately on the blood splatter with the same timing as the rest of the film. During this shoot we shot a lot more footage and focused a lot more on the surgery scene as this is such a vital part of the film. Since this has happened, I was able to create the sequence above (current edit of VET-MAN - prep for surgery scene), which includes a few more jump cuts, which was all that was needed, and I was able to split it up a bit by cutting away to Sheila looking for her dog. Although I used cutaways to the animals' owner in the Transitions film, the dialogue was on top of these shots which didn't help the quick paced scene, whereas in the current video, I prolonged the surgery scene entirely when I cut away to Sheila, and then cut back to the surgery scene after, lengthening it. 

By reviewing my most recent edit from this unit, it is clear that with more coverage I was able to create quick jump cuts, but the pace of the film still matches throughout.

Improving the dog hit scene

The sequence after Sheila has walked away also needed work. We re-shot this as well in order to improve the amount of coverage we needed for the edit. In rough cut 1 and 2 this sequence is mainly made up of two shots, rather than cutting between the characters talking. Now we have re-shot and have more coverage, I am able to do quick cuts between the characters, highlighting their reactions. For example, Luke's reaction when Tim says the dog situation is all his fault. As you can see from the edit timeline below, there are quite a few cuts for a short section of the scene (about 30 seconds long). 

Improving the sequence after Sheila

Importing the GVs into the edit

The idea of getting the GVs was to be used with the voice overs we got previously. We got a lot of GVs and relatively long voice overs, which meant that they needed to be cut down quite a lot. I started with putting in the GVs to see which scenery looked the most aesthetic. I started with a couple of GVs in between scenes 6 and 7 to get the audience to the owl academy, with a voice over combination of the different clips we got on the voice over day, but this seemed to drag slightly and for a fast paced comedy, didn't fit very well. 

To work around this, Alex suggested just using one clip of the van turning a corner and using the voiceover of Luke saying - "it's up here on the left". We originally had a longer conversation of Luke and Tim getting lost, however, we felt that it would be better left shorter for this scene transition and I cut the voice over and GV's apart from that one line and the one van shot. We can always add to it later in the fine cut, but for now it seemed to fit better. Now I have the GV in place with the small piece of dialogue, I can see how it helps the transition from Sheila's house to finding the owl academy. The other scene transitions just cut to black, but I believe this one adds to the story more. In addition to this, I didn't want each scene to end in black as the film would be cut into sections, I much prefer combining scenes with something as simple as watching the van drive to the next location. I understand that this can't happen with all the scene transitions but I am pleased with this transition in particular.

Adding in van GVs

Using the voice overs

As well as the voice over designed to transition from scene 6 and 7, I had to insert the other two voice over clips that we deliberately recorded. Starting with scene 2 when Tim drives the van off the drive, I knew we needed a short clip to fill the shot of the van. I expressed the idea of a shorter clip to Ed and Dan when they were in the sound booth, and they did just that. Once I picked a short line about the drugs I inserted it over the top of the van driving off the drive. However, as expected Tim getting into the reverse gear and then starting to move off the drive was quite dragged out, even with the voice over on top. I didn't expect him to reverse the van to fast due to having to watch his mirrors and for safety of the two of them even though we had a runner on hand to watch the traffic. As a result of the slow movement of the van, I liaised with Alex and we decided to cut the shot of them turning the engine on and reversing. Instead, I've cut from them noticing the drugs, putting their belts on and then I cut to a short GV of the van driving down the road, without a voice over. Surprisingly this worked better as the next scene is when Tim and Luke are driving around lost before hitting the dog. The story flows better with this sequence of shots, starting with Tim turning the engine on, then seeing the van driving around, to then cutting inside the van of them using the map on the phone for directions. Rather than seeing the van drive slowly off the drive to then cutting to insight the van when they're on a stretch of road. This also adds a better transition from scene 2 to 3 than just cutting to black. This means there's now two transitions that fit well together rather than cutting them all to black.

The final deliberate voice over clip we recorded is situated at the end of the film to run over the credits. As I explained in the Voice Over Day blog post, Alex and I liked the idea of ending with the ferret comment and then completely cutting the film and credits there. This was inevitable to be the final word, so as a result of this, I just had to make a shorter conversation between the voice over clips that makes sense. Getting the mix of clips to make sense was the most difficult bit I found because as the clips were improvised there was usually a word or sentence which leaded them onto thinking of the next line. For example, the ferret clip was essential to be included, but then I had to include the story leading up until this otherwise it wouldn't make sense. As a result of this, I had to include Luke's ex-girlfriend story to bring in the ferret and the iconic "did it end amicably" line. Before the ex-girlfriend line, they are talking about small animals, so it all has to make sense even though I wanted to cut between the voice over clips. In the end the chosen dialogue I cut together:

"So, where to next?"
"The dog thing didn't go particularly well"
"No, no"
"It was a minor speed bump"
"Speed bump!!!"
"No no I'm afraid that was not a good analogy, it was a minor hiccup... and the owl thing"
"Steer clear of dogs for now, and owls"
"Owl could have gone better.... So I'm thinking maybe something slower, or bigger, or less... wingy" 
"less wingy... what about a rabbit?"
"rabbits are good"
"point is small, rabbits, ferrets... my ex-girlfriend has a ferret"
"does she"
"is it sick?"
"It might be, we could check?"
"Yeah, yeah. Did it end amicably?"
"What the ferret?"

I think this short story makes sense. There were a couple of lines I liked and wanted to keep in it, such as the - "it was a minor speed bump" - as this quite ironic as they bumped over the dog in the road, similarly to a speed bump. In one of the clips Ed says - "is it sick" - referring to another animal Dan brought up, but after this line he says - "can we make it sick?" and I really liked this line. It shows his thought process of 'oh the animal isn't sick but maybe we can do something about that'. The way in which he says it as well adds to the humour. He says it slowly - "can we.. make it.. sick?" - as if he knows its wrong but wants to see how Dan feels about it anyway. Unfortunately, I couldn't fit the second line of "can we make it sick" into the final voice over because the ferret joke was more important and Dan talks too closely together towards the end so I struggled to cut it up more. Nevertheless, the main part of the voice over that we wanted featured was the ferret line so we have a good place to finish the entire film. I showed Alex and he agreed that it makes sense and he was happy with it.

Solving the missing audio

During the first rough cut, I realised that we had lost some audio from the owl academy shoot days. Fortunately, it wasn't much but it was from the owl punch scene which is an important part of the story. When Katie was editing the shots from the owl academy, she didn't do all of it and she didn't look over the audio so we didn't notice until I synced the audio after the shooting period. We believe that there was a connection problem with the boom and tascam as our sound assistant didn't notice anything was wrong with the audio from the headphones, and it still recorded despite not actually the recording sound. As a result of this, I decided to organise an ADR session during the time when Ed and Dan were due to come in for the voiceover day. I have explained the ADR session in a previous blog post, but we didn't realise the preparation that went into ADR, despite the research I did into it. Whenever we mentioned it to a lecturer they didn't mention the fact that we'd need to prep in advance and practice. In addition to this, I only researched into the actual process of the actor watching themselves and trying to recreate the dialogue with the same expressions, rather than the preparation needed to contain ADR successfully. Due to all of this, we decided that we would recreate the audio but I would edit it so we didn't see their mouths for the audio that we had lost. Then I could put in any piece of dialogue but as we aren't seeing their mouths move, it doesn't matter whether it matches or not. 

The first part of audio that we lost was the comment Tim makes to Luke when they enter the academy. This wasn't actually in the script we used for filming (draft 8), it was decided on the day. As shown in the screenshot below, Tim turns to Luke and the audience would expect to hear some dialogue. However, unless I cut out their entrance, I needed something to go in when Tim leans in to talk to Luke. In addition to this, we also didn't get a close up of them, so the wide shot below is the one which needs to be used for their entrance. This felt odd as usually when someone talks, the camera is typically on the action with a close up. As a result of this, ideally, I would then cut to a 2-shot of Tim and Luke so we could hear what Tim said. However, as this shot wasn't written on the shot list we didn't record it, and on the shoot day I didn't think about it when we were getting the wide shot. When I realised we didn't have the coverage of the 2-shot, I liaised with Alex to see what he suggested. He said he preferred the shot on the wide as we are focusing on the owner, Mollie, and the distressed owl rather than their entrance. As Alex was happy with the shot, it just required a voiceover from Tim so we could hear what he says to Luke. As we are a distance away from Tim, it is not obvious what he says, and as a result of this, it didn't require ADR, just simply some dialogue. Due to this, on the voiceover day Alex asked Tim to say - "the game is a foot" - and I imported this onto the timeline. 

Personally I believe that, that line of dialogue doesn't sound quite right. As the characters are further away than normal, I think the dialogue should be quieter than what it is on the current edit. The voiceover is quite clear and for me, this doesn't quite match the idea of them standing away from the camera. Tim also looks as if he could be whispering the line, which again means that the dialogue should be quieter. Alex was happy with the audio once I had put it in place, but I will pass this information onto Katie to see what she thinks, we also need to import some more atmos which may muffle the dialogue slightly to make more sense in the fact that Tim's voice should be quieter as he isn't the main focus of the shot.

Importing new dialogue 

During the owl punch scene and the build up to this, we only had complete audio for the wide shots and one close up shot of Mollie. Unfortunately, we didn't have the audio for Tim or Luke's close ups. In rough cut 1 and 2, I tried my best to use the wide shots as much as I could to reduce the amount of close ups due to the missing audio. However, there are some shots that needed the close ups, such as when Luke discovers that Tim has given the owl the wrong needle. As I explained previously, as long as the mouths aren't showing, it doesn't matter whether the dialogue syncs with the faces. As a result of this, on the re-shoot day we got Ed and Dan to recite their lines from the missing audio and I aimed to use the new dialogue over shots where we didn't see their mouths. Surprisingly worked well. I tried to cut back to Mollie's close ups where I could as we had this audio, this was ideal as Simon suggested as part of the feedback to cut to her more often to show her concern for the owl when Tim is injecting it. There is one section when Tim says - "there we go, that should've done the trick" - fortunately, we had Tim injecting the owl on a shot which was focused more on the distress of the owl, and Tim's face was slightly out of shot. I simply cropped the shot to take Tim completely out of it. This meant that I was able to use the dialogue we recorded on the re-shoot to replace the missing audio. 

There was one shot where I couldn't work around the sync between dialogue and footage - when Luke realises Tim has given the owl the wrong needle and he is trying to get his attention. He says "Tim!!" twice and the first one is when we are watching Tim talking to Mollie, and we just hear Luke talk rather than see him. This is understandable as Tim is trying to ignore him which is why we are focusing on Tim and Mollie's conversation, however, Luke calls Tim again and I couldn't not focus on Luke again so I had to stay on Luke's close up. Fortunately, he only says "Tim" which is easier to sync than a sentence would be. I just had to ensure I had the word "Tim" as close as I could to look like Luke is saying it. 

The remaining shots which were missing audio I had to work around with cover ups. For example, the screenshot below is showing Luke putting the doctors bag on the table ready for Tim to get the needle out. While we are watching Luke move warily around the owl we are listening to some of Tim's dialogue.

Solving missing audio with cover ups 

Making the editing snappier

Scene 1 - Tim looking through drawers
Scene 2 - Cut Tim looking around the van
Scene 8 - making the meeting between Tim, Luke and Mollie quicker - shot reverse shot between Luke and the owl over the top of Tim and Mollie's conversation rather than in between 

Making scenes feel quicker to aid the comedy

After I had synced and imported the new footage and audio onto the timeline, I went through the film from the beginning to see if there were any bits of audio or footage which cut too early or any that cut to black, preparing for the viewing with Beth and Simon. I also finished sections of audio which were incomplete. 

Atmos which needs to be found online is part of the fine cut as the rough cut is simply working with the recorded visuals and audio, however, we recorded some pub atmos in the The Bell Inn when we filmed there for the day. As a result of this, I put this sound on the timeline underneath the footage for inside the pub.

In scene 3 we aim to make the van look as if it's moving in the edit, as we shot this while the van was stationary. Katie has more knowledge than me about the track and motion effect and as a result of this, I felt it was best for her to apply this effect in the fine cut. However, to make good use of my time during the rough cut, I started the process of making the van look as if it was moving by creating an audio track of the van engine from inside the van. Initially, I was going to use an engine sound we recorded (from outside the van) and muffle it. It would have to be muffled because the sound of a van's engine doesn't sound the same from outside to inside the van, this is the same with any vehicle. As a result of this, it wouldn't be believable to use the sound of the van's engine from outside for the sound Tim and Luke would be hearing from the inside. Another option I had was to use the audio from the GoPro footage we got during the main shoot week, on the same day as performing the scene with the dog hit. Due to the lack of back seats, we were unable to have Katie film Tim and Luke from the back of the van. To work around this, we attached a GoPro to the dashboard of the van, without getting it in Tim's view of the road. Securing a camera to the inside of the van allows the van to be driven as normal and for everyone inside to be seated and belted while it's moving. I didn't use the GoPro footage in the edit as the footage wasn't great. In addition to this, because the camera was fixed the footage didn't quite match the rest of the handheld style we wanted. As a result of this, the audio from that footage was perfect to be used inside the van before they hit the dog because it was used when the van was moving and therefore, gives the sound of the inside of the van while moving.

Vans can be quite noisy inside due to commercial equipment needed for whatever business the van is being used for. I know this from personal experience from my dad's van. Whenever he turned a corner or changed speed his work tools hung on the inside would crash around in the back. Although having noise like this is more believable  it would interrupt the dialogue and may take the focus off the characters in the scene. I felt that the focus of the characters was more important than having realistic noises from the van in this instance, especially as the characters are talking in this scene. From these reasons, I only used sections of the GoPro footage that were clean. Unfortunately, the audio wasn't clean for a large part at a time so I had to paste many sections of the audio together, creating one long piece of clean audio. If I hadn't cut around this audio track, the sound from the tools in the back of the van may have brought the quality of the film down. As a result of this, I am glad I spent the time gathering clean audio for this scene.

Starting the process of making the van feel as if it's moving

As it can be seen from the screenshot above, I had to gather a lot of clean audio to create one audio track. In order to stop the change in pitch between each individual audio clip, I added a Constant Gain audio effect to the end of each clip. This allows the sound to stay the same across each individual clip. There is dialogue on top of this audio track as well, which will also hide any pitch changes in the van engine track.  

Unfortunately we don't have a dog yet to film on the floor and in the side of the van. As we are currently struggling to find an obedient dog, I simply put in placeholders in order to signpost where the dog footage will be placed. We want to refer back to the dog a couple of times so the idea of running over a dog is more believable, therefore, I have put in two placeholders with the text 'dog' where our footage will eventually go.

Placeholder for needed footage

I included extra shots of Mark, Sheila, Tim and Luke in scene 12 (inside the pub) when Luke notices Sheila and Mark starts to walk over. I had previous feedback to focus more on Tim and his reaction to Mark walking over, however, before I added extra shots, I cut from Luke to Sheila and back to Luke while Mark walks over. I felt as if Tim needed to be involved there, so I added in Tim when he responds to Luke's "Tim" with "What?". After this I felt that I would be able to build the tension up until Tim faces Mark by adding further shots of the cast. As a result of this, I ended with a shot of Luke reacting to Tess saying his name - to Sheila noticing them - back to Luke saying "Tim" - back to Sheila pointing for Mark to walk up to Tim and Luke - to Tim responding to his name with "What?" - back to Luke saying "Sheila!" - to Tim saying "Sh*t" - back to Mark walking through the room - back to Tim gulping his drink, zipping his top, saying "I'll deal with this" before facing up to Mark. By continuously cutting between the characters, I am able to build the tension up to Tim's comedic - "You're not Sheila!" - before he gets punched in the face.

In addition to these improvements on the edit, I also refined the continuity in places. Particularly, in scene 6 when Luke is running back to the van from Sheila's house. In the re-shoot we shot more coverage inside the van of Tim and Luke panicking, getting their belts on quickly and speeding away from Sheila's house, rather than keeping it as one complete take. In an early edit of rough cut 3, the continuity didn't add up with them putting their seat belts on, however, I corrected this by playing about with the time when I cut between both characters. Simple tasks like these, making sure the shots flow smoothly and the continuity isn't disrupted unless intentional allows the quality of the edit to improve. As the rough cut editor, I want to make sure all the footage is complete to the best of my ability before passing it onto Katie for the fine cut. Due to time constraints, Katie needs to concentrate on further refinement of the film, sound design and colour and not on jobs that I should be doing in the rough cut.

Alex and I decided to get rid of the hand signals in the night scene due to the footage being so dark it's actually quite hard to see what they are doing with their hands. By removing this footage, it also shortens the film which is what I am aiming towards.

I added in the voiceovers we got with our characters for Tim and Luke on the voiceover day. These were quite long with each recording being around 2 minutes long. This would be a very long time to sit and watch the van driving around just listening to some dialogue, therefore I picked out the best parts of the voiceover and joined these together to make sense. I placed the voiceover when we would see the van driving around looking for the owl academy, and I put a section of the voiceover at the end of the film for the credits. We aren't completely sure on music yet, but we know we don't want too much as our inspiration The Thick Of It doesn't have any music and we want to use the least amount as possible to fit with their tone. We have established that we might need some for the titles at the beginning and during the night scene, but that's it. As a result of this, Alex and I decided to have some of the voiceover for the credits and to end the film instead of music. When we had Ed and Dan in for the voiceover day they had some good stories and we wanted to use them in the film. Due to this, the credits were the best place to put them. The voiceover I have chosen to put as the end credits also finishes with a comedic line, which would be a good place to cut off to signify the end of the film. They discuss the animals they should see next and they get onto the topic of ferrets, Luke continues by saying his ex-girlfriend had a ferret and Tim suggests meeting it. He asks if it ended well (referring to the relationship, as this would established whether or not they could visit her ferret), but Luke asks "what, the ferret?". When we listened to him say this line, Ed, Dan, Alex and I all found this quite amusing and thought it would be a good place to end the film completely. 

I changed the panning footage in the back of the van after Tim and Luke hit the dog. Instead of keeping both pans - from the side door to Luke and then from Luke to Tim - I decided to keep the one pan to Luke and then cut to Tim's reaction to the screwdrivers. I did this because Tim had a good reaction to Luke thinking he wanted screwdrivers to operate on the dog, and because of this the pan didn't quite get there in time to see it. As a result of this, I cut into the pan, but as I kept the first pan I was still replicating editing techniques that are used in our inspiration, The Thick Of It. 

While I was creating rough cut 3, Alex and I have established that we are happy with the footage and length of scenes 1 & 2. Unless we receive anymore feedback and ideas in relation to cutting the scenes down slightly, which we will take onboard as the shorter, the better with comedy. 

It is clear that I am being successful in making the scenes shorter and choppier because the length of the whole film is getting shorter on each rough cut. Rough Cut 1 was timed at 20:20, and Rough Cut 2 was timed at 20:06. Rough Cut 3 is 16:33. Although the first two rough cuts were only slight changes I knew I was going in the correct direction. The third rough cut clearly shows this as it's a lot shorter.

I made a few final tweaks so the film was further towards complete before the next viewing. Ideally, I'd like to pass the edit onto Katie soon so she can work with the sound design to see if we need to conduct an ADR day. We are hoping not to due to availability and saving the budget, however, if the sound design doesn't work as well as we are hoping, I will not hesitate to organise an additional day to bring the cast in as the quality of the film is most important. However, whether I can pass the film on or not will be determined from the feedback I'll receive from Beth and Simon.

Rough Cut 3

Beth's notes:
- work out how it could sustain - keeping the blood-stained costume on, think about future episodes,
- opening sequence a bit long - cut beginning down - 30 seconds/1 minute

- first half is funnier
- fine tune the edit - sound, colour etc
- tighten up, sound, humour
- watch After Life - Ricky Gervais
- Get someone else to look at it for tightness - are we sitting here watching something we don't need to - help with the comedy - maybe time to pass it on to Katie - fresh mind

Simon's notes:
- sound in car park scene
- light passing the car
- tighter shot on “I’m VET-MAN”
- sound effects - e.g. punch noises, printer etc
- music on night scene?
- tighter in owl academy car park

- I found it beneficial to re-watch the previous film we created in the transitions unit in order to help me improve our current film. By reviewing the old film, I was able to pick out the sections that I was unhappy with the most (just the surgery scene in this case) and to find out where I went wrong with it and how I could improve my editing techniques for this project.

- Using shots to cover dialogue in the owl punch scene actually worked quite well. There are no awkward cuts and it's not obvious that Luke's "Tim" isn't genuine. So far in the viewing, no one has noticed it and they all think it works well. As a result of this, it has shown that the ADR day wasn't essential. It would have helped with the wind in the owl academy car park scene, however, Katie is going to work on the audio for this scene. Fixing the missing audio is one problem towards the audio solved. Ideally, Katie will fix the background noise in scene 7 & 9 and then I would agree with Katie and Alex that the ADR day was not needed. 

- Beth's feedback included the idea of getting someone to watch it objectively to see whether we are spending too much time on something that isn't very funny or doesn't add anything to the story. As Katie hasn't been involved with the rough cut, I believe that it may be time to pass it to her to work on the fine cut. If she comes across something which should have been done by me, such as rearranging shots, then I can take the edit back and amend bits that need it.

- Cutting between characters in the pub worked really well I think. It helped to build the tension as the audience don't know what he's going to do, because the tension builds the audience may expect something big, and then they'll see Tim sat in the van with a bloody nose.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

MAJOR PROJECT: Re-shoot, GV Pickups & Dog Shot

RE-SHOOT - Scenes 4 & 6

The main aim for the re-shoot was to gain more coverage and better shots for the edit. We realised that some of the shots in scene 4 were overexposed and didn't match the quality of the shots we captured in other shoot days. Scene 6 also needed re-shooting as we didn't quite capture the idea of them speeding away in the van at the end. We were rushed on the first shoot day due to one of the cast members having to leave early. When organising the re-shoot it was my priority to make sure all the cast members were available for the day. Although I couldn't do anything about the cast member having to leave early on the first shoot day, I wanted to make sure we had everyone all day for the re-shoot. By doing this we will be able to take the time to get the best shots possible. 


Tim Stewart - Ed Allenby
Luke Lucas - Daniel Hemsley 
Sheila Hodges - Susan Baskerville


Producer - Melissa
Director - Alex
Director of photography - Katie
Sound assistant - Aidan Robinson-Jones
Runner - Megan Liddell
Make-up artist - Bethany Ashby

At the last minute I got a friend on board to be a runner for us. This job doesn't require a lot of filming knowledge as we only needed her to stand by the road and watch for traffic as we did in the first shoot week. Again, I helped watch for traffic when it was needed. I also wanted to act just as professionally as I did the first time, meaning that just because we were safe the first time doesn't mean we don't have to be safe the second time. Beth continued with the same job as she took on in the first shoot day. She was on hand to top up the blood on Tim's face and hands. Harriet was also taking on the same job role. She made sure the face cat was in the correct place, as we changed the location. Instead of panning across the road and under the front gate, we placed the cat just off the side of the road under a car. This meant that Katie didn't have to concentrate on panning across the road, but instead just in a diagonal direction downwards. I believe this was more suitable as we didn't waste time trying to pan across the road, instead we got to the punchline quicker of the 'dead' cat peacefully sleeping under a nearby car. Along with this, Harriet made sure the screwdrivers, doctors bag and stethoscope was in place. If these weren't in the correct places, Dan would have struggled to complete the scene. 


Scene 4 consisted of the blood splatter sequence, which is what we wanted to improve on by the end of the re-shoot day. We decided to re-shoot the whole scene as there were more problems with the initial footage. Some of the Sheila's shots were over exposed which Katie didn't like the look of and wanted to improve. The weather was also quite bright and sunny, which usually would be fine, however, after working on the edit, I realised that this day was the sunniest day and therefore, the shots don't quite fit in with the surrounding scenes. We have a bit of sunlight approaching into the shots in the final scene, however I had amended this in the edit by bringing the sunlight in gradually. Due to having scene 4 and 6 in the sun but having scene 2 / 3 and scene 7 and 8 with a dull grey sky, the continuity didn't quite match up. I wasn't able to gradually bring the sunlight in with these scenes either. As a result of these additional issues, we decided re-shooting the whole scene would be the best thing to do. If I found out in the edit that we preferred a shot we captured in the first shoot week, I may be able to use this. With a bit of colour correcting we may be able to get it to match the new footage. It is unlikely that I will want to use an old shot as we had a successful re-shoot day, however, I have that option if I need it.


Props needed for the scene:
- Fake blood
- Syringe / scalpel 
- Screwdrivers
- Stethoscope
- Mask
- Gloves

We were able to use all the props from the first shoot week as they were all in good condition. In terms of the items that got covered in blood, such as the gloves, mask and scalpel, we had a box full of masks and gloves and we just cleaned the scalpel ready for the day. 

Shooting the surgery scene (left), shooting Sheila's wide (right)


Scene 6 is a short scene consisting of Luke running back from Sheila's house. In the previous footage, the get-away from Tim isn't very quick. In the script, we paint the idea that Luke is trying to get away quickly with his run towards the van, but then we slow down when Tim starts the engine, checks his mirrors and drives off. I understand that pulling away in a vehicle requires checks to ensure it's safe before doing so, and as a result of this, I get that it must have been difficult to pull away quickly when Tim needed to check the mirrors and the front to make sure it was clear to move. However, as we have the runner on board they are part of the reason as to why we can pull away quicker in the van. The runner kept their eye on the road which gave Tim the confidence to pull away quicker. We tried this take a couple of different ways. We started with the van engine on, this idea came about before the shoot day. Ideally if the engine is already on we shouldn't need to spend time turning the ignition and then the engine on when Tim is trying to make a quick get-away. This worked well, however, we also tried it the way we did the first time where Tim had to turn the engine on. We took this opportunity to get more coverage for this short scene as well. Prior to the re-shoot day, we only had this scene in one take of Luke running down the road to the van, and then watching Tim drive it away before panning to the sleeping cat. This time we shot the characters from the inside of the van on both sides. We wanted to give off the idea of panic and hurry as they try to drive away. 


Props needed for the scene:
- Fake cat
- Vet van

Fortunately, the cat was in good condition from the first shoot day. The cat was also suitable for what we wanted so there was no need to change it in preparation for the re-shoot. This saved some of the budget as I didn't have to buy another one.


Tim - scrubs, black hoodie
Luke - grey hoodie, green top, jeans, green parka coat
Sheila - trousers, purple top, pink cardigan

Costume was the exact same as the first shoot day. However, some items of clothing, Sheila's pink cardigan and Luke's grey hoodie had a blood stained hand print on the shoulder. Fortunately, the fake blood came off in the wash and they were as good as new. This saved money in the budget as I could re-use the clothes rather than buying new ones. This was also ideal because it had been nearly a month between the main shoot week and re-shoot so I couldn't guarantee the cardigan and hoodie would still be sold in the shop. If the blood hadn't come out in the wash and the fashion had changed in the shop then we would have struggled to find the same clothing elsewhere. 


We were happy with the road in Margate that we used in the shoot week, so we were eager to use it again. Again, I contacted the Kent Film Office and gained permission to film on the road. As I said previously when I was prepping the re-shoot, I had looked back at the church timetable and the area was quite clear and was only busy during times in which we wouldn't be in the middle of filming. This is evident in blog post - Prepping the re-shoot, pickups, Voice Over Day, with ADR Research. 

On the re-shoot day, as I predicted we had no problems with any members of public or residents. I believe that the second letter I posted through the residents' doors gave all the information they needed for the day. It was slightly busier around the church than it was on the first shoot day, however, like I said previously, this was during the times that we weren't deep into filming.

Creative control

To follow my creative side of producing, I printed off the shot list again and ticked off each shot as we went through the day. I wanted to act as professionally as I did the first time, so it was essential for me to keep track of both the shot list and production schedule as we progressed throughout the day. As we have already shot these scenes once I believed that it would be a straight forward shoot day, and fortunately it was. I tried to make sure the initial vision for the film was realised through the shots we had originally planned, however, as we had already done this shoot, we knew what we liked and what we didn't like about the first shoot day. The re-shoot was mainly about capturing the same shots but doing them again to improve them. We also aimed to get more coverage. We wanted the re-shoot to resemble the first shoot but with some improvements, so as a result of this, I took the same shot list as before, the same one Katie was working off, to ensure our original vision was still coming across in the new footage. 

As I had started the edit, I was able to think properly as an editor during the re-shoot. I found it difficult to sync the sound of the surgery scene without the clapperboard, so I reminded Alex to use the board on this occasion, making the syncing easier once I come to the edit and less time-consuming than before. It was mainly when Tim put his gloves on as this was a constant squeaking sound, so I was adamant that they used the clapperboard for this shot.

I was trying to keep in the mind set of the editor during the re-shoot day and because of this I noticed a continuity error. The new blood splatter hit Ed's face, which was ideal for scene 4, however once he drives off and arrives at the academy, the blood has disappeared. I suggested finding a way to show him wiping his face which would then make sense once he leaves the van in the next scene with a clean face. I had face wipes with me on the re-shoot day for Ed to clean his face anyway, so we decided to incorporate this into the scene. As a result of this, we finished the scene by capturing a close up of Ed getting into the van, wiping his face, then starting the engine and driving off. 

Shot list for re-shoot, scene 4
Shot list for re-shoot, scene 6

RE-SHOOT schedule
We started the day by shooting the most complex scene in the re-shoot which is scene 4. This scene consists of Tim attempting to perform surgery on the dog, before getting distracted by Sheila. This scene was rushed in the first shoot week and therefore, needed to be re-shot. Only re-shooting the two scenes rather than all four scenes we filmed on this day initially, means that I was able spread out the two scenes throughout the day giving us more time to spend on them. With this in mind, I scheduled scene 4 from 10:00 until lunch, and then scene 6 from 14:00. Alex previously mentioned getting Tim and Luke to do a bit more voice over while we had them together on this shoot day. As we only had the two scenes to shoot, I was expecting us to finish slightly earlier, which would be a good opportunity to do the voice over at the end. I think it may be more ideal to do it on location rather than in a sound booth, as there's more atmos to the location voice over. In a booth the dialogue is so clear, it almost doesn't fit right unless we add atmos over the top. Due to this, we wanted to get a bit of voice over in on location. We have lost audio on the owl academy location from shoot day 1, which we would like to try and replicate here due to the ADR day not going quite to plan. 

On the day, we re-shot scene 4 up until lunch as scheduled, but fortunately, we finished shooting scene 6 slightly earlier than 16:00 as I had predicted and we recorded a bit of the missing dialogue. I had liaised with Alex before the re-shoot when he explained about recording the missing dialogue. I agreed and said that instead of doing ADR, we could just record the dialogue so I have the clips and I will play about with the edit to try and chose specific shots that don't show the characters faces when they're talking. By doing this, I will be able to add in the dialogue from today without concerning myself with the sync with their mouths. If this works then we would have solved the missing dialogue problem, if it doesn't than I will schedule a proper ADR day and set days beforehand to sit down with Ferg to practice, making myself fully prepared for the day. 

We recorded the dialogue and still managed to wrap at 16:00 which made a successful re-shoot day.

What went well
- It was beneficial for me to have already started the edit when we came to re-shooting as I was able to think properly as an editor. This was challenging in the initial shoot week as I hadn't seen it altogether at that point. As I am doing the rough cut, I was able to suggest things that will make my job easier when I get back into the edit room, such as using the clapperboard on the surgery shots. I was also able to think back to the edit and suggest any extra shots I think the film could do with. 

- The blood splatter went really well this time. We brought a new litre bottle of fake blood so it was a deep shade of red and we had enough to fill the spray bottle with, giving us a big splatter on Tim's face. Similarly to to the first shoot day, Beth finished Tim's hands off with the blood, completing the look. 

- We improved from the first set of footage we captured which was the aim of the re-shoot. The shots were clearer and less over-exposed. I remember in particular during the first shoot week, we had a car moving in the background of Sheila's close up, however as we were losing her early on we didn't have the time to re-do it. Fortunately, Sue was able to come for the whole day on the re-shoot. Getting the actors to Margate for the whole day was my priority when arranging the re-shoot so we could make the most of it and improve the two scenes. I believe I achieved by getting the cast in for the whole day. This led to a successful re-shoot.

- Although we re-shot these scenes, we kept to our original plans but just improved them slightly. I believe that having the original shot list helped this.

What didn't go so well
- I would have been ideal for the first shoot day to have been as successful as this one was. Apart from having to stop every now and then for passing public, this re-shoot was near perfect and we were very happy with the quality of the shots that we captured.

What did I learn
- It takes time to capture the perfect scene. Knowing we had all cast members for the whole day meant that we had enough time to go over shots multiple times. We struggled with this on the first shoot day as Sue had to go so early on. We were fortunate that we got everything we needed and in the best quality (blood splatter) on this re-shoot day otherwise I may had to re-schedule another which wouldn't have been ideal on the budget. 


No cast required

Producer - Melissa 
Director - Alex
Director of Photography - Katie
Runner - Aidan Robinson-Jones


Having GVs of the Vet Van was first suggested by Simon, and Alex and I quite liked the idea. We agreed that it may help the story progress from one location to the other. It was also a simple idea which could be created quite quickly and easily. We didn't need any cast involved as we would only be filming the van driving. As this would be at the usual speed limit of 30mph, the van would pass the camera at some speed so we shouldn't be able to see anyone in the seats. In addition to this, we aimed to shoot the back side of the van more than the front so it wasn't obvious as to who was in the front two seats. On the shoot day we found that we were correct in thinking the van would pass the camera quite fast so we worked around this by capturing a couple of pans. I realised that I couldn't advise Alex to drive slower for the camera as he would need to keep with the general speed of the other road users as driving purposefully slower may have become a hazard. 

Props needed:
- Vet Van

The only prop needed for this shoot was the van. 

Creative control

I liaised with Katie before the GV pickup day to see how she was going to shoot the van. She explained that she didn't need a shot list as we only had to capture the van moving a couple of times. Although I agreed at the fact that we only needed to shoot the van. I wanted to create a small list to make sure we had all the angles we needed. Then I could take this with me and check that we've got all of these angles for me to work with in the edit. As I am currently creating the third rough cut, I have an idea of were these GVs can go and the type of shots that would fit in well with the rest of the film. For example, we want to shoot quite shots, rather than watching the van drive along a long road and then finally pass the camera. I will be focusing on the choppier shots, which get the van to the camera quicker. 

- 3x straight roads
- 3x corners
- 2x front of van
- 4x back of van

Even if we get a couple of each of these shots I will be pleased. I think we need a variety of the shots to gain more coverage for the edit. 

While we were conducting the GV pickups I decided to upload a story to the VET-MAN Instagram page. I created a boomerang video of the van driving along the road and added a countdown until the start of May. I did it for the beginning of may because we haven't set a release date just yet so I didn't want to put one up for our followers to see. I added the words - 'wonder where we're off to? Find out in May!!'. The idea of the post was to tease a section of the story of VET-MAN. I wanted our followers to see that we were working on the production of the film at that point of the day. It also might give off the idea that the van is driving somewhere in the country, and our followers could try and look out for it.

What went well
- I believe we got a variety of coverage of the van driving around. I made sure we got a number of shots from the angles I had noted down - corners, straight roads, front and back shots. I was correct in thinking that we didn't need a sound assistant as we were able to attach the microphone to the top of the camera. This saved time and budget which benefits our project well. 

- We had no problems out on the road with the equipment. The roads and pavements were quiet as we filmed in the middle of the day when most people are at work which was beneficial for us. We wanted the GVs to focus on the van driving around and this may not have been the case if we had other cars driving in front of the van or behind it.

- We used the safe areas for the van. Alex was able to pull over in the pub car park for us to talk to him about the shots. He was also able to pull over in the street parking safely. We all wore high visibility jackets, especially as we were only a small crew out on location, we felt it was necessary to be highly visible as we have done at each location during this project.

What didn't go so well
- We didn't come across any problems during the shoot. It was simple and short, mainly focusing on the van. I made sure we captured different angles of the van driving and I am eager to put these into the edit to see how they transform the piece.

DOG SHOT - Scene 4

In one of our previous edit reviews, we were advised to film a dog laying in the road and possibility in the back of the van. Initially, we believed that this would be extremely difficult to capture due to the idea of trying to get a dog to lay still for an amount of time. We asked around for anyone who had an obedient dog, as we would struggle further if the dog we chose was really energetic and uncontrollable. I knew plenty of dogs but they are all small, energetic animals that would struggle to lay still. Eventually, one of Alex's friends allowed us to use his dog, Barney. Barney is more obedient than the other dogs we considered but obviously with new people around him, it was inevitable that he was going to be very excited. We waited until he had calmed down before we started attempting to film him. Having his owner, Dan, involved made the process easier as he could control the dog. We weren't at the location for long, but as we only had the one shot to capture, it seemed like we were there for a little while.

No cast required

Producer - Melissa
Director - Alex
Director of photography - Katie
Owner & dog - Dan & Barney


The location worked really well. The road wasn't busy as we filmed during the day when most people are at work. We also filmed in a residential area rather than a main road, due to the business of vehicles. This helped towards the health and safety aspect of capturing this shot. As it was only the one or two shots we needed, I stood on the opposite side of the road watching for traffic. It seemed unnecessary to get more crew involved with this shoot as we only wanted the one or two shots.

Creative control

I liaised with Katie before this shoot day to find out the details of the dog shoot. We agreed that it may only be the one shot we will be able to capture of the dog on the ground. Due to the size of the van, we may not be able to fit the dog, owner and Katie in such a small space in the door opening. She explained that she wasn't going to use a shot list for these shots either as it was only the couple of shots that we needed. As Barney was inevitably excited, it proved difficult to get him to lay still even after settling down with him. He would lay down nicely, but it just wasn't long enough for a good take. After a few attempts, we tried to film the animal in slow motion. This would allow us to have a longer shot of the dog laying still. This worked a lot better and the time in which Dan's hands left the frame to when the dog started moving again was a considerable amount. Long enough for us to have a good length take of the dog on the ground.

As predicted we only managed to capture the one shot of the dog. Due to only getting the one shot, I didn't need a shot list to follow. As long as we captured an appropriate take of the shot that was useable for the edit, then we were successful, which we did. 

What went well
- After a difficult start, we managed to get the shot captured which we were happy with as it is a vital part of the story. It also builds on the believability of the film, that we can actually see a dog laying on the floor as if it had been hit.

What didn't go so well
- When the idea of getting the dog shot first came around, we discussed the idea of getting two shots of the dog, one in the road and one in the side of the van. However, once we got to the shoot day it became apparent that we were only going to be able to get the one shot of the dog on the ground. It was difficult to get the dog in the van and laying down still with room for both Dan, to control the dog, and Katie to film. It would have been ideal to get a second shot of the dog in the van purely for believability. The viewer would have really believed we had hit a dog if we could include a couple of shots of him in the film. However, due to the difficulty of getting the shot in the van, we could only capture the one shot. 

What did I learn
- Although not realising that we needed the dog shot wasn't just my problem, I have learnt that when something is written in the script, the film needs to show it. If I had realised this, I may had suggested to Alex about changing the script slightly so it doesn't explain that we actually see a dog hurt on the floor. For future jobs / clients, I have learnt to deliver exactly what is detailed in the script to avoid disappointment / re-shoots.  

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...