Industry Linked/ Personal Development Project

This last term of uni has been very challenging and a very emotional rollercoaster. At the beginning I was very motivated because I really wanted to earn a work placement in a musical production in London as assistant stage manager or costume assistant, or just any assistant role. But even after sending cover letters and CVs, and after knocking at stage doors and asking personally for experience, I had to give up because time was running out and I needed to complete at least one of the requirements of the brief.

So I have been asked to help in the art department at “The First Annual House Project Awards Night”: my job was to help building the decorations that Jan made and to help set up the Dark Room for the after party. It was a very nice evening, well planned and it looked like all the guests and the lecturers enjoyed the night. The award moment in particular, the atmosphere was very cheerful and everyone was having fun (a lot of alcohol was going around too).

This shows that not always a lot of time is required to assemble a successful event, it just needs the right planning, the right decorations and the right people.

After that Lia and Tsion came up with the idea for “The Screen School Cinema” and, at first, me and Mana have been asked to take care of the art department and to interview people after the screening. At first we wanted to have a themed night so we thought about what kind of decorations we could have, but then, since it was the first of a series of movie nights and the movie genres were quite different we discarded the idea. But for the next one, which should be around Halloween, we will definitely decorate the room.

We promoted the event everywhere: social media, email, uni… But we didn’t have many guests anyway, which is ok because we weren’t expecting a lot of people since our event was planned to be small. The next time we will surely book a smaller room so the atmosphere can be even cozier.

Interview people was very challenging for me because I’m not really comfortable with speaking my second language in front of a camera, but I actually really enjoyed it. Everyone was really nice and made jokes, and gave funny answers.

We also experienced some drama right before the start of the event: a student, who wasn’t part of our team, was asked by one of our team members to help with the risk assessment, even though he was told that if he needed help he could ask one of us. Both of them didn’t say anything about it and the day of the event we found ourselves with this risk assessment signed by both of them and with her demanding to be credited for a work that we didn’t even need. Thanks to the help of our lecturer David Clement we managed to solve the argument and go on with our plans.

Overall I can say that, even after the first disappointment, I actually had fun over the rest of the term and I have learned that communication is very important and not everyone is aware of that. Now I’m just looking forward to write my dissertation.

Collaborative Project

I have been waiting for this term since last year, when we had the chance to help last year’s second year students with their short films. I knew that it was going to be stressful and instructive, but I never thought that I would learn everything that I have learned and the difference between working with my friends and working with people I don’t really know.

 

The only thing that I knew when we started with the interviews, was that I didn’t want to be a Director or a Producer, because I thought that I wasn’t good enough and I didn’t want to expose myself too much or fail in any way. So I asked myself what I was really good at and how my personality could help me achieve a good role, and I realized that I’m actually a really organized person and that I take my responsibilities very seriously, sometimes probably too much.  That’s why I thought I could be a Production Coordinator. Unfortunately and fortunately I didn’t get the job: unfortunately because it would have been a great experience and a big thing to add to my cv; fortunately because I then realized that working directly on the films was a lot more fun.

I wasn’t sure about in how many films I wanted to participate but I was sure I wanted a Major role, so after we voted for the 12 scripts I “applied” to be Production Manager or First Assistant Director for 9 of them. During the interviews I was really nervous, but when that night five Producers called me back I was really proud of myself, because it meant that I gave a good impression and that I had the possibility of choice. At the end I chose to be Production Manager for Exposed, because it was one of the scripts that I voted for, and because Germano was the Producer so, since we are friends, we wanted to work together on one of the films; but another good thing was that he and the writer, Marta, chose me as first choice.

The day after was really fun because I was interviewing people for minor roles, but at the same time I had to be interviewed for a minor role as well. At the beginning of the day I was sure that I wanted to do just another film so I applied as Script Supervisor for the scripts that I liked most: last year in the TV Studio I learned that it’s a thing that I really enjoy and that I’m good at, in fact it’s also a job that I’m considering for the future. At the end of the day instead I found myself having two minor roles: Script Supervisor for No Limits and Assistant Producer for A Stronger Taste.

The first thing that I have done to keep everything organized was buying an agenda to write down all the meetings that we were going to plan, and, after that, everyday we had a different meeting for a different film.

For A Stronger Taste we had really short time since it was third on the shooting list, so at the beginning I was helping Mana, the Producer, with the schedule because she had some problems finding the Production Manager for her film, but after Miguel joined the crew I didn’t do much. On the shooting day I went with Mana and Miguel to buy snacks for the crew and the cast, and I had small duties like escort the actors to the toilet or help in any way I could.

Working on No Limits was more challenging even if we had more time, my job started after the casting process and it was more focused in the last days. A few days before the shooting me, Lia, Minh and Kristina met with the actors to rehears and to time their lines with the actions that they were going to make: it was beautiful to watch a script come to life and see the actors give their interpretation to it. I had to watch everything very carefully in order to remember all that they were going to perform on the shooting day, and rehearsal by rehearsal we achieved the four minutes that we needed for the film.

On the shooting day I was nervous because I didn’t want to mess up the continuity of the film but I was really concentrate, even if we had some problems because the Cinematographer wasn’t listening to the Director, and because at some point there were too many people on set chatting behind me and Lia. At the end of the day we were quite satisfied, but a lot had to be fixed in post production.

Regarding Exposed I’m not really happy about how everything went. The process started in the right way, as Production Manager I was making the schedules for the meetings, sending emails with the updates to the crew and keeping in touch with the Art Director about the expenses for the set because later on I had to make the budget sheet. Then, because he said he enjoyed it, Germano took over and started making the schedules, and he went with Aung to buy the forniture for the set when I was supposed to. It’s true that most of the meetings were about the creative part of the film but at the end I felt a bit left out: for example, at first me and Germano communicated a lot about everything and I helped him with some decisions as well, later on, I basically almost didn’t know what was happening anymore, I just had the receipts to make the budget sheet. On the shooting day I came to the set basically upset and, I’m going to be honest, I didn’t help a lot, but just because I didn’t feel like I was part of the project anymore; and also because, in that circumstance, Germano took over on other things as well, like checking the props. I know that he did it to save the film and because things weren’t going that well, because of the Director and the Cinematographer that we taught were more “qualified”, but I don’t think that’s what a Producer has to do, I think that he should have given more “orders” to the crew.

For sure it was an amazing experience that I will remember, but I learned that working with friends it’s not always the best option, because I then realized that if I took a major role on an other filmI could expose my qualities to other people who might have appreciated me more.