Sunday, 9 January 2011

Some tasks for week beginning Mon.10th

A few specific tasks to work on through this week:
READ COURSEWORK GUIDE: make sure you have a browse at the post below, with the cwk guide from last year; an updated version will shortly be printed for you
BROWSE/REVIEW PREVIOUS BLOGS: you've all done this in class, but have another look to remind and refresh yourselves, noting the range of content you see
FULLY UPDATE YOUR BLOGS!!!: quite a few of you aren't yet in the habit of blogging as you do specific tasks. Your blog (several do) should by now include some or all of the following:
  • a wide range of openings analysed - including use of media language, embedded images/videos + hyperlinks, and clear links made to your own ideas (which can include early, but ultimately rejected ideas); 
  • a breakdown of the group, including a photo of each and their media/technology/culture interests and skills; 
  • your individual idea and info on how the pitch went + footage of the pitch
  • the initial group idea and any subsequent changes/revsions/additions or even entirely new ideas; 
  • specific research into your genre including a range of books, journal articles and web sources - you should add a separate links list or two from this; 
  • links lists below your blog archive (look at the various themed links lists I include on blogs such as this and think of appropriate subjects for yours - a useful way to both generate multimedia content AND showcase research skills - hyperlinks to amazon entries for books you've used is one idea); 
  • shots/footage of your location scouting; 
  • an initial summary of which film/s most influence your idea, and how (be very specific); 
  • initial storyboards - doesn't matter how rough; and feel free to add lots of handwritten notes - scan these in, and keep new posts with new storyboards; 
  • casting - clear links to 'existing texts' through shots of relevant characters in other films that are close to the type your are hoping for, + footage of any casting session - add shots of actual cast once sorted!;
  • swedes - most didn't in the end get this done because of the weather, but you can reflect on the pitching process, your research, and the planning that went into it;
  • microdramas - embed and reflect on the evolution of your learning on media language, technology, planning, working in a group etc;
  • prelims - embedded, and needs to be analysed in some detail - look at the Evaluation questions; tackle this in depth now and one of them will be a lot easier in a few weeks time!;
  • target audience - who is your production aimed at; how can you justify this? There are several blog posts on this, and several pages in the coursework guide about this;
  • test/sample footage - everyone is to have been on location, with or without final cast, and shot some sample scenes, not least to test out feasibility but also to see if any new ideas emerge whilst on location with a camera; embed and reflect, then add new posts on updated narrative/storyboard as necessary;
  • schedule - do you now have a shooting schedule, written/typed into a call sheet, to share? Remember, you are partially assessed on 'time management'!;
So, does your blog include most of these features?

Having uploaded, edited, reviewed and blogged on your sample footage, plus any new storyboards/narrative synopsis, look to tackle the following during this week:
  1. UPDATE BLOG: simply, bring your blog up to date!!!
  2. PODCAST 1: No later than Friday of each week every group will add at least one podcast - which is a remarkably simple process! We'll discuss this in class.
  3. PRODUCTION CO + DISTRIBUTION CO: at minimum come up with names + a concept for your company idents; look again at the idents showreel of past students' work for inspiration! Each group will work with John to master the specific software required for this; all need to be completed by Thursday 20th
  4. FINAL IDEA: don't panic if you're still struggling to pin down the idea, but do ensure its 100% worked through and storyboarded by Friday at the latest. If you are still unsure, alert me at the start of the lesson and we'll go through it until sorted! This leads into a...
  5. TREATMENT: partly to help with casting a 'treatment', a 1 or 2 page doc briefly summarising key points about your production (with prominent visuals!), is required by Friday (details below)
  6. CASTING: Again, no later than Thursday 20th, but preferrably sooner than that, casting needs to be finalised - you need to leave at least 3 weeks for editing and Evaluations, so shooting must take place in the next 2-3 weeks! By the end of this week make sure your blog has a detailed post on cast + characters, with clear visual links made to existing films - this can include shots of binary opposites of what you're going for if you hope to use countertypes.
  7. VIDEO IDEA1: Don't always use the written word for your posts!!! To access the marks for 'excellent' your blog MUST feature a range of videos made by yourself/group: eg film yourselves in a pseudo-studio set up discussing your genre in general, 1 aspect of it (killers, locations, teens, editing styles, use of sound etc), important + influential genre films, films which have most influenced your work etc etc etc Critically, you'd then edit in stills and/or clips (you can use the VLC Media Player, which is freeware, to capture short specific scenes or sequences from a DVD) so your audience isn't solely staring at your visages! 2-5 mins (or shorter) is the ideal. See and the other links included in that post. So, for Friday, have at least a plan for one such vid, either individually or as a group.

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