I’ve found that film-making can be a difficult process. Not for the massive technological, financial and sanity issues, but because you need to work well with others. I’ve long known that I’m something of a control freak and like things done my way, so I consciously tried to sit back and let others get involved as much as possible for this project.
The problem with that is it’s a little like teaching someone to drive a car. Everyone needs to learn and often has their own way of doing things, but if you feel as though you’re heading for a tree, you want to grab the wheel, yelling and screaming: “this is how you’re supposed to do it!” But I digress…
We each had plans to go away during the ‘break’ (something of a misnomer, considering our workload), so we split the workable footage up into four themes and each did a rough edit over the week:
- Background of the Bus Museum
- Introduction of each person and their role at the Museum
- Why each person is interested in buses
- The future of the Museum
We spotted very early on that this documentary would be more focused on the people themselves, rather than the issues facing the museum. Over the space of a maximum 5 minutes, there was no way we could really explore a complex problem and besides, the Museum volunteers are just far more interesting.
Once we returned from the ‘break’ and put all the sections together, they needed a seriously large pair of scissors taken to them to get us under the 5 minute mark. The biggest problem we faced however, was getting the HD and regular footage to play nicely together. It was a nightmare. Final Cut has some pretty convoluted menu and window systems going on and it doesn’t take much to make the entire sequence flip out and you not notice until it’s too late.
We did of course, get there in the end. The documentary shoot is finally done. So without any further ado, here it is:
So what have I learned from this process? How to beat Final Cut into submission would be high on the list. It’s one of those programs that you find there’s 100 ways to do everything. Some of them aren’t pretty, but if they get the job done, then it’s worth a go.
Another would be paying more attention to the planning process. Pre-production is underestimated all the time. It was to our own detriment that we didn’t decide on clear roles for each person within the group at the beginning, as it resulting in a lot of looking at each other blankly and shrugging. I think if we all knew what we were responsible for, we would be much more likely to dig in and get it done.
Finally, I did actually learn to let go a little bit. Working within a group is pretty trying at times, but that’s probably more a reflection on how I like to work, rather than the members of my group, or the project in general. Here’s hoping I can get it together even more for the next one…