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.