Thursday, 20 December 2012

Weekly CE Projects Sync

Due to our working together for One Door Opened, our second year assessed short film, Matt, Tish and myself have banded together to assist each other with our Creative Enterprise Projects. As such,  I have insisted thatt each week we meet up to have a meeting, no matter what!

An extract of the one of the meeting agendas I prepared.

I call these meetings our Weekly CE Projects Sync as it gives each of us an opportunity to discuss the progress of our projects and for the other members to make suggestions. I've found these meetings to be really useful because of their general support and, more importantly, for the feedback they generate. 

The Agendas and Minutes I wrote for these meetings can be viewed here.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Time Invested: 01/11/2012 - 27/11/2012.

Here I record the amount of time I have invested into my CE Project so far.

In my Money and Time post I said that I was going to start keeping track of the time I invest in my project. 

Thus far, between 01/11/2012 - 27/11/2012, I have invested a whopping:

89.7 hours!

However, this figure is only representative of what I was able to deduce from my Google Calendar, I know I have invested a lot more besides. Therefore, to avoid losing track of the time I am investing I have created a Time Invested Google Docs spreadsheet that I'm going to update daily from now on.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

My 366 Project: Day 332

My 366 Project: Day 332 by theNonIrishJazzman
27/11/2012. I learnt a new trick today. If you have work to do: do it standing up. You get SO much more done, it's unbelievable!

This was originally posted on my blog: 366 FRAMES 2012.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

My 366 Project: Day 329

My 366 Project: Day 329 by theNonIrishJazzman
24/11/2012. This is what my life has come to, I'm so busy these days If I want to watch a film I have to do it while I'm working. Tonight's work-film combination is EYES Pilot script draft 2 and 'Blade Runner' workprint.

This was originally posted on my blog: 366 FRAMES 2012.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

First Impressions: The Science of Meeting People

First Impressions: The Science of Meeting People

A strong handshake and assertive greeting may not be the best way to make a good first impression. New research suggests that people respond more positively to someone who comes across as trustworthy rather than confident.

This is a very informative and reassuring article. Definitely worth a read if you want to learn how to more accurately read people and create better first impressions.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

My 366 Project: Day 325

My 366 Project: Day 325 by theNonIrishJazzman
20/11/2012. Mike Johnston lent me this book; he didn't say why but I suspect he had good reason to.

This was originally posted on my blog: 366 FRAMES 2012.

My Land of Puddings

Here is a short montage that I had to produce for a Documentary assignment, the aim of which was to use Clara Butt's recording of Land of Hope and Glory and juxtaposition to create an alternative ironic reality. I was in a very black mood when I put this together and I like to think it conveys some of the darker elements of the EYES Pilot script that I was writing at the same time. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

My 366 Project: Day 323

My 366 Project: Day 323 by theNonIrishJazzman
18/11/2012. Nearly have the episode 1 script ready for the core production team.

This was originally posted on my blog: 366 FRAMES 2012.

7 reasons you WON’T get a first - Challenge Accepted!

7 reasons you WON’T get a first

Check out of list of seven things you're doing that will stop you from getting that coveted first class degree...

Article, when I have been awarded a first - you have my permission to die!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

My 366 Project: Day 319

My 366 Project: Day 319 by theNonIrishJazzman
14/11/2012. Filming a new video diary in between auditions for Remember This.

This was originally posted on my blog: 366 FRAMES 2012.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

My 366 Project: Day 318

My 366 Project: Day 318 by theNonIrishJazzman
13/11/2012. Today has all been about my Creative Enterprise Project.

This was originally posted on my blog: 366 FRAMES 2012.

Photo of a Draining Sink Looks Like an Eye

Photo of a Draining Sink Looks Like an Eye

I was filled with joy when this showed up in my Facebook newsfeed! Random elements that come to together to represent something else vastly more meaningful - this is exactly what EYES is about.

It's even got the black and white tone I've been going for in the EYES promotional material I've already created.

I love it how there are similar things out there that creep popping it. It's like EYES is really out there and keeps finding me to inspire and motivate me to continue with the project.

Social Media is One Big Coctail Party

Social Media is One Big Coctail Party

Apply the same skills that you might use to work the room of a cocktail party to build the right relationship with your followers and fans.

This made for a good read; especially in regards to online advertising. The article was comprised of five key points:

- Listen first and never stop listening.
- Tell don't sell.
- Be authentic and transparent.
- Respond to everybody.
- Be valuable. 

It certainly makes for a good argument to treat online networking more like real life social interaction and less like a business transaction. I will follow this advice while promoting EYES and Remember This.

Monday, 12 November 2012

EYES Overview - Postive Feedback

Feedback like this is always welcome.
As I wanted to get preproduction on the Pilot episode moving I put together a brief overview of EYES so that Matt (my Producer) and Tish (Production Manager) would know what it was all about and if they wanted a part of it. I think the screen capture speaks for itself. 

My 366 Project: Day 317

My 366 Project: Day 317 by theNonIrishJazzman
12/11/2012. From today's makeup test for Remember This.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

My 366 Project: Day 315

My 366 Project: Day 315 by theNonIrishJazzman
10/11/2012. "That gum you like is going to come back in style."

Twin Peaks.

This was originally posted on my blog: 366 FRAMES 2012.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

H+ The Digital Series

Here is a web series that has some serious money and ideas behind it. I won't lie there are a lot of parallels between this and EYES. I'm letting it be known now that I thought up EYES before watching this. I've also become hooked to this series - it's AMAZING! I will certainly endeavour to top it with EYES.

EYES - A Panic and a Breakthrough

Here I'll discuss the progress of my web series EYES.

I already discussed a great deal about my the orignal idea for the EYES short film, then about whether I should do it as a mockumentary or fiction short film and then how I considered developing the EYES proto-idea into a web series.

Well, now I have decided to develop the EYES idea into a web series - this is 99.9% what I want to do! However, the nature of a web series is it tells an ongoing story and I have been having some toruble developing the EYES idea beyond its intial proto-idea state. By this, I mean it was not presenting broad enough ideas to satify an ongoing narrative.

Suffice to say that when everyone had to present their ideas to the the module group in this week's seminar, I was in a state of panic. A state of panic that was helped by Mimi telling us that he if we wanted to change our projects then now was the time. 

I presented my idea, pretty much the same as I had presented it the week before. I also added in that I was looking to get Creative Writing students on board to write some of the episodes.

In hindsight, I'm glad I kept to my guns because that night my brain kicked itself into gear.

Love a breakthrough.
Not only do I now have a story for a season, but for two more seasons besides and a vision of the whole universe that these stories opperate in. 

I see you
Watch this space, things are going to start getting very strange.

Email Signature

My email signature.

I used the wisestamp app to make this today. This will now appear at the bottom of any email I send and will allow any reader of my emails to access my online profiles and projects. Once I've got an appropriate link up and running I'll also add that I'm the "Creator of EYES". Hopefully, this will enable my online content to reach further afield; as well as making me look very professional.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Web Series to End All Web Series

This is a fan made series that bridges the gap between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. It's also further proof of the potential of the web series format and how it is allowing the user to get involved in the storytelling proces.

Money and Time

Here I'll discuss the financial considerations of my Creative Enterprise Project and the time I'm going to invest into it.

Yesterday's CEP preparation session was on financial considerations. I've never been one for Maths so it was pretty dull. However, some good points were offered in regards to maintaining a good hold on the finances of our CE projects.  

Good points raised:
  • Keep a balance sheet. Record the project income and expenditure.
  • Record all finances, no matter how small.
  • If you gain a resource for free find out how much it would have cost and add that cost to money the project income.  
  • Work out the millage, not the amount of petrol purchased. 
  • Increasing my contacts is an investment.
  • Establish speculative profits.
  • Good catering always brings people back. I'm in charge of the catering for Remember This
  • My time is valuable! I would argue that my time is more valuable than money, seeing how I don't actually have any money.
  • Maths is very painful! The finance seminar backed up an argument I read about the day before: Maths problems Can Be Physically Painful.
These things are just as rare as those things you invest your time in and then get paid for.

I'm a student and (this year in particular) I've got used to surviving on next to no money. Not for one second do I ever think my project will make any money. That is not what I'm concerned with, I just want to improve my skills and put together a good portfolio. However, the financial considerations are part of the module criteria and I know I'll get a higher mark if I do include them, so that is exactly what I'm going to do! I will keep a record of the money going in and out of my project.

Another thing I'm going to start keeping a record of is the time I invest into my project; as I've already said, I consider my time more valuable than money. To this end, at the end of each week, I'm going to post on this blog how much time I invested into my project over each week. I'll also go back through my Google calendar and work out how much time I've already invested.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

My 366 Project: Day 311

My 366 Project: Day 311 by theNonIrishJazzman
06/11/2012. Today, I had some major breakthroughs with the story for my creative enterprise project web series. It is developing into a very, very, VERY strange tale!

This was originally posted on my blog: 366 FRAMES 2012.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Time Management, Part 1

Here I discuss how good time management has been making my life more enjoyable.

Time management was the only area in my skills survey that Mimi identified as needing improving upon. I’ve never really been one for schedules; I’m more for completely disregarding everything else until I’ve got what I’m working on done. To this end, she suggested that I book myself onto the time management workshop offered by the University’s Academic Writing and Learning Centre. However, the time management workshop was not in the list of the upcoming workshops, so I switched to my tried and tested approach of teaching myself.

Naturally, I started with Google and the first link that came up was: 20 Quick Tips for Better Time Management. I had a good look through it and the links it suggests to look at. Overall, I’ve been attempting to integrate all of the
article's tips into my life, but I won’t bore you by going through all them. Instead I will just discuss on the one’s that are having the most impact.

Google Calendar

I absolutely love Google and the whole array of free services they offer: Gmail, Google+, Google Drive, Picasa Web Albums, You
Tube, Blogger, Google Chrome, Google Dictionary, Google Reader, Google Scholar, etc (see Google Products).

The Google Products I use most often.

But Google Calendar is something I have always shied away from. Last year I used it to record the deadlines of my assignments, but that was it. 

My year 2 Google Calnedar. Bleak isn't it.

However, now that I’ve started using it to plan my days out thoroughly my life has completely changed! Now it feels like someone else is in charge of this busy life I occupy. Google Calendar is my new best friend!  
My year 3 Google Calendar.

Since using it:
  • I feel less stressed. 
  • I feel more in control of my life.  
  • I feel like I’ve achieved more at the end of the day.  
  • I feel like I’ve achieved more at the end of the week. 
  • It allows me to put other people in their place and for me not to give away my time too freely. 
  • I don’t forget appointments. 
  • It allows me to see what commitments are not getting enough of my time. 
  • It allows me to see which commitments are taking up too much of my time.  
  • I feel like I might actually make it through this final year, just as long as I stick to my Google Calendar! 

Google Tasks/To-Do list

My Google Tasks.

Google Calendar comes packaged with a to-do list function and after I started to get more comfortable with using Google Calendar I started to use Google Tasks.

On a more minute and mangaeble level, a to-do list allows you to break down a task into its basic required actions. So to write this blog post, I didn't just put "write blog post" on my Creative Enterprise Project to-do list (left). Instead I broke it down into four tasks:

  1. Identify specific areas to talk about.  
  2. Write post. 
  3. Proofread post.  
  4. Publish post.
By breaking the task up I was able to make it more manageble because I assigned different parts of the task to different days. I did "identify specific areas to talk about" on Saturday 3rd November and the other three tasks on Sunday 4th November. This allowed me to avoid doing the two biggest parts of the post: planning it and writing it, one after the other. It proved a lot less stressful that way.

Google Tasks allows you to assign specific tasks on to specifc days of your Google Calendar.

I've started to break down all of my University related tasks in this way. Although, because my single to-do list was getting very overcrowded, it has meant that I've had to assign a to-do list to each of my modules, which is taking a bit of getting use to.


Timeboxing is where you assign a specific amount of time to a task. I was slightly wary of this one, becasue I hate leaving anything unfinished.

What I've found, though, is as long a I don't allow myself to be distracted while doing a task, my subconious forces me to stick to the time limit and pushes me to finish what I need to get finished in the time limit. I'm amazed how easily I have taken to this concept and how much it has already benefitted my work flow.


This is one I've alwasy been guilty of; for me a task is never done, even when it is done. Being a perfectionist is time consuming work and one of the aims I had for this year was to become less of a perfectionist, so it was just as well when it popped up in the article (see this Perftionist article).

This I want to achieve because it will reduce the amount of time I spend on one task and increase my overal workflow. This is especially important to me because on top of my CE Project and this blog I have numerous other things that demand an equal amount of my time in the final year. 

The perils of being a perfectionsit.
In regards to this, I've been following the example I've set in my writing - just getting it done! There was a time when I would spend hours writing something that was truly minute in the grand scheme of things. Now, though, I write almost completely stream-of-conciousness all the time (which is hell of a lot faster) and then I edit it later.

If I stand any chance this yeat then my attitude has to be: let's just get the job done!

Learning to say "No"

One of the annoying things about the final year of University is this when you start getting offers for things all the things you want to do. The only problem is you get them from left, right, center and all at the same time! 

Stress relief.
I learnt this one the hard way when I agreed to make one final video for my Video Producing job at the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering. I filmed four hours of footage and then realised I didn't have enough free time to edit my through it, so I had to drop the assignment. Really, I should have looked ahead and said "no" when they first sent the task my way. I am glad I said "no" when I realised I had bitten off more than I could chew, opposed to just doing it and stressing out. 

I'm not Superman (I'm Batman).

Certainly, this is a good skill to nature and one I plan to continue doing so. However, I have to be equally careful not to say "no" to something that might actually benefit me and/or something I'm working on in the log run. Thinking things through is the key here and not to feel always obliged to say "yes".

An Inforgraphic on Time Management.

In Conclusion

The five items I have outlined here are not the only areas that I have taken from the 20 Quick Tips for Better Time Management article, but they are the ones which have proven to be used most prominantly in my life, so far.

What I have gained from maintaining good time management is a less stressful and more stable lifestyle. Therefore, it is something that I'm going to keep doing with the aim of improving further.

As I've already had slight instances of it, the one major factor I feel I need to be very careful of is not to let organising my time become my new form of procrastination! It I allow this to happen then I'm sunk.

Web Series Channel

Web Series Channel

Web Series Channel was created to answer a simple question? Where can I watch web series? Our mission is to provide a one stop shop to watch the latest and most popular web series online.

I think I'll be spending quite a bit of time on here doing research. It's good that there is a place which exists just to host online web series, this is very promising.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Escape My Life - Web Series

This is a very clever little web series designed to advertise "the all-new 2013 Ford Escape". This it does do, while also telling a very engaging and entertaining story. It reminds me of the BT commercials where each new advert is the next episode in the life of the BT family (now it's been spun-off to focus on the Son). I hope more commercials adopt this format, because I can't stand commercials as they are - a complete waste of my time.

This is a real gem!

My 366 Project: Day 308

My 366 Project: Day 308 by theNonIrishJazzman
The eye motif continues.

03/11/2012. The world's worst tumble dryer! You never know, three or four more spin cycles and my clothes might be dry.

This was originally posted on my blog: 366 FRAMES 2012.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Boost Your Writing Creativity with a Camera

Boost Your Writing Creativity with a Camera

As adults, we live busy lives. But if we are constantly busy, we will miss out on all the story ideas around us. And if we don’t write them down, we do forget them.

Some of us also find ourselves stuck for story ideas because, instead of looking to the world we live in for inspiration, we see the rushed, unromantic lives we’re living.

But it all depends on the point of view. Look at your life through the lens of a camera, and then suddenly things will start to look different.

I came across this article today. It seemed relevant to EYES so I've posted it on here.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

My 366 Project: Day 306

My 366 Project: Day 306 by theNonIrishJazzman
01/11/2012. I started reading this today: the companion book to the documentary series. The subject matter sums up what I'm doing for my three final year modules - this is my new bible.

This was originally posted on my blog: 366 FRAMES 2012.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Failure is my Friend

In the seminar we had today, Mimi told us we were all going to fail. However, we should not fear this, but embrace it. It is fortune that I know my project will largely be a failure as I only really care about producing a piece of filmmaking However, I will endeavour to fail as gracefully and intelligently as I possibly can. 

This is one of those cases where it is okay to fail, as long as I demonstrate how what I have learnt from that failure.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Ways of Seeing

Mike Johnston encouraged us to look at this for Short Docs and Suman Ghosh has also encouraged me to take a look at it for my dissertation. I'm so glad I followed both of their advice because this is amazing! It has really opened my eyes to just how brilliant and complex human sight can be. This is definitely going to rub off onto EYES!

This Sounds Familiar

An Interview With the Creators of the web series Glitch.

Much of this sounds familiar, apart the published part.

Choosing Your Own Adventure

The writer's guide was developed through the Australia Council's Story of the Future project to explore the craft and business of writing in the digital era. It includes case studies from Australia's rising generation of poets, novelists, screenwriters, games writers and producers who are embracing new media and contains audio and video content from seminars and workshops, as well as extensive references to resources in Australia and beyond. 

Mike J. gave me this. It is definitely worth a look!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

My 366 Project: Day 301

My 366 Project: Day 301 by theNonIrishJazzman
27/10/2012. Doing some touching up on the banner for my Creative Enterprise Project blog.

This was originally posted on my blog: 366 FRAMES 2012.

Friday, 26 October 2012


Tom, Dave, Dan and Ben are four twenty-something geeks living in Manchester. Together, they exist in a world of comics, coffee, sci-fi and miniature golf. Realising the days between university and becoming a 'real person' are flying by, they ask themselves the question: "Did the Rebel Alliance send a medical frigate to the battle against the second Death Star as a propaganda stunt?"

No money. No responsibility. No problem.

Tish posted the Ramblers Facebook page link in my Facebook group. She knows the people who made it, which may come in handy in future! For the time being, though, I'm just going to watch it and start taking notes on the web series form.

Friday, 19 October 2012

My POV: A Montage

A montage demonstrating my point of view. This was made for a final year documentary assignment. The mood and style of this is what I was going for in the A&B short film idea, it's funny how the brain recycles things. This is also relevant to the EYES idea because the montage is about looking/seeing/point of view and I was very consciously aware of the EYES idea while putting this together.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

My 366 Project: Day 292

My 366 Project: Day 292 by theNonIrishJazzman
18/10/2012. Creating a self-portrait for my POV video that I have to make for documentary making.

This was originally posted on my blog: 366 FRAMES 2012.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

My 366 Project: Day 291

My 366 Project: Day 291 by theNonIrishJazzman
17/10/2012. Doing some research for my dissertation and inadvertently for documentary making as well (this is one of the docs recommended to watch).

This was originally posted on my blog: 366 FRAMES 2012.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

My 366 Project: Day 290

My 366 Project: Day 291 by theNonIrishJazzman
16/10/2012. It's all been about eyes today.

This was originally posted on my blog: 366 FRAMES 2012.

People and Pitches

Here I discuss dealing with other people, elevator pitches and three project proposals. 
The focus of today’s seminar was 'dealing with people' and how, whether we like it or not, we would have to deal with them at some point during our CE projects. It’s was all pretty obvious and I have no problem working with other people (as long as their not lazy). However, the profiling we did of ourselves (I was green) was very useful in allowing us to see how different mentalities can actually complement each other! We also touched upon CVs and, while there were some good pointers on layout, it was mostly stuff I’ve already covered.

The main point I was hoping/dreading we would touch upon was creating loglines (elevator pitches) for our projects. I’m fully aware that I am useless at explaining anything constructive to a stranger, if I have not prepared it in advance. Certainly, this exercise was designed to allow us to compile a succinct synopsis of our projects, which we could then present to other people.

Using twenty words, we had to write out what our project was and make it sound as exciting as possible. Using project proposal 1 (My blog that investigates the work of industry established filmmakers) I found it increasingly hard to put down its purpose in twenty, exciting words (which may be an indication to drop the project). Therefore, I tried my hand with project proposal 3 (Transmedia web series) and this is what I came up with:

“Through planning out an overall web series and producing the pilot episode, my project is an exploration of transmedia storytelling.”

I don’t think it sounds terribly exciting, but it is only twenty words! Although, when I presented it to the class, the response I got was very positive. They said it did sound exciting, but I think that is mainly because they didn’t know what ‘transmedia’ meant (I didn’t). I was quite struck by just how positive people were towards proposal 3. In addition to this, when I discussed all three of my proposals with the table I was sat at there responses were much more positive towards proposal 3, opposed to proposals 1 and 2 (Making a short film to investigate what is required of a director, packaged together as a means of application for postgraduate study).

Out of the three, I would be lying if I said 3 wasn’t the most promising proposal and, following on from the positive reactions I’ve had to it, I’m thinking this could very well be the project I end up doing. I don’t want to entirely rule out the other two, because there may still be life in them. However, In terms of pushing myself academically towards a career and delivering a project that meets the criteria of the module I couldn’t go wrong with proposal 3.

For next week I have to create a ‘background context report’ and I’m going to have to do it for all three proposals (I’ve shot myself in the foot here). However, by establishing what the contexts my projects can work in I’ll be closer to deciding which one I want to do. I also suspect proposal 3 will operate in the most contexts and, therefore, be the best project to pursue. I won’t give up on the other two quite yet, though (Although, subconsciously, I think I already have).

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Short Film is Dead!

The Short Film is Dead: Time for the Emerging Filmmaker to Get a New Calling Card - NoFilmSchool

Filmmaking is full of traditions. These traditions are the “way things are done,” they are what is “expected,” they are “industry standard,” they are “default” and “accepted.” This is all fine and dandy until we recognise the innate implication of such Traditions is to imply Right and Wrong – that there is a correct way to do things and deviations are “incorrect,” not “acceptable” or, worse still, not “professional.”

This is a very interesting and eye opening article which follows on from what I was saying about Transmedia and my meeting with Mike Johnston

Friday, 12 October 2012

Transmedia and Web Series

Here I discuss the storytelling possibilities of Transmedia and my meeting with Mike Johnston 12/10/2012.
I wanted to discuss my Creative Enterprise Project proposals with Mike Johnston because, being the tutor who assessed me for Planning and Making a Film, I knew he would provide some good advice. Boy, did he! I sat there talking with him for an hour (he did most of the talking).

I started off telling him what I had said to Mimi, in regards, to what I wanted to do after Uni – that I just want to tell stories through filmmaking and that I want to make a short film for my CE project. I also told him about my concern over being marked for making a short film again and how this could clash with Planning and Making a Film, but he said not to worry too much.

The key point he made - he has no doubt that I am capable of making an engaging short film (which was immensely reassuring to me). However, if I wanted to tell stories there are other ways in which I could do it and in areas that would allow me to branch out and explore the industry, which is what the CEP module criteria encourages.

He introduced me to a phrase I had never heard before: Transmedia Storytelling, which, if you want an example, is what the modern series of Doctor Who is doing. Doctor Who is transmedia storytelling because it tells its stories not just through the television episodes, but through novels, webisodes, comics, etc. You also have vast amounts of content detailing the behind the scenes information, toys, merchandise, conventions, fan fiction, podcasts, blogs, websites and the Doctor Who Experience. Transmedia storytelling is your basic exploitation of a franchise by its overseers and by its fans to tell stories across multiple platforms. I mean, I’m doing it now! If I do make a short film it would link to what I’m writing now, because I’m writing the story of how it came about, right now. Blimey, that makes my head hurt!

The reason why Mike flagged it up to me is because this is still a new, emerging area that is crying out for people to produce content. If I could somehow plug my CE project into this area it would bring in the marks and act as a good springboard for employment.

However, he voiced the same anxiety I have strolling around the back of my head – is making a short film going to push my skills enough to get a good mark for the module, get me the employment I want after Uni or act as a good application for postgraduate study?

Making a short film would be an incredibly inward way of approaching the module because, on it’s own, it doesn’t really allow me to explore outside the module in to the wider arena of the Creative Media Industry. Mike, quite rightly, said that no one has made a career out of just making short films. They’ll make one or two short films as their stylistic calling cards and then go on to other things, such as feature filmmaking, documentary making or television production, etc. These are not bad outcomes but the way in which stories are told is changing and the short film format on it’s own is becoming old fashioned. The way stories are told will change even more once television and the internet are the same thing (it’s going to happen), let’s not even move onto what’s going to happen to cinema (hopefully, IMAX will still be around once the multiplexes have vanished).

Mike argued, by doing a CE project that is concerned with transmedia storytelling, such as producing a pilot webisode for a short web series and promoting it on line, I would be demonstrating real forward-thinking and would be employing all the skills he has already seen me demonstrate. Mike has also supplied me with some links and resources, which I’m going to have a look at.

At the moment Eyes is still only a proto-idea, it is not a full-fledge plot for either a fiction short film or a mockumentary short film. Therefore, there is no reason why it can’t be developed for another format; even if it is across multiple formats.

The fact of the matter is, I’m betting everything I have on this final year and going all in! This year will probably break me but it also needs to make me and the CEP is my opportunity to really demonstrate what I can do. The question is do I do something that may not push me far enough, such as making a short film?

Mike even said it’s possible for me to use the Uni’s resources after (if) I graduate. I have already considered using the May/June period to make a short film, so that is also possibility. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make a short film, but actually the options I have available to me are vast and varied. All I know is I have to make something for this module – it’s inside me and it’s crying out to be made!

However, I am not saying that I have abandoned the short film; I may even be able to combine aspects of the transmedia option with it. As I said to Mike: “I need ideas to make new ideas”. Therefore, I’m going to keep developing the story of Eyes and keep acquiring new suggestions for other roads I could take my CE project down. The initial proposal isn’t due until just before Christmas and even then it can be altered. For the time being, I’m just going to keep feeding my brain new ideas and options and see what wonderful new combinations it can make from them.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Fiction vs. Mockumentary

Here I discuss my dilemma on whether to do a fiction film or a mockumentary short film.
I think the only way I’m going to decide which road to take is to go down both roads and then pick the one which provides the more interesting views.

I was part of a similar problem last year when my housemate asked me to write a short film script for his final year CMP project. In the end, he decided not to make a short film. However, from the process of working from his original idea – something based around video gaming – and trying to produce a script he liked, I wrote one short fiction script, Xbox Junkie, and one short mockumentary treatment, The Gaming Complex. Two different stories and approaches but both based around video gaming. I’m glad that I ended up trying the two different approaches back then because it demonstrates the advantages of doing it now with Eyes. I think I’ll also have another look at the gaming stories to see if there are any ideas that can be recycled.

Certainly, I think my subconscious has already started to pinch ideas from the gaming scripts! The theme of obsession, that was present in The Gaming Complex, is migrating into Eyes. I’m also suspecting that Boris uses his eye obsession as a means of procrastination; in Xbox Junkie video gaming was the main character’s means of procrastination.

From the thought I've already given to the two different approaches, I can see that the two roads go in two different directions.

If I go with the mockumentary - the direction will be backwards. The film would start with Boris and his eye obsession. Then the film would move backwards and explore the story of where Boris’ eye obsession comes from.

Whereas, if I go with the fiction film - the direction will be forwards. The film would start with Boris and his eye obsession. Then, through a conflict arising from his eye obsession which creates a complication, the story would go forward into a wider playing field, where the eye obsession would be only one element.

So in a sense the fiction film is sort of the sequel to the mockumentary. I realise, with the mocumentary you could tell a much wider story (like the fiction film counterpart), but my thinking is a short mocumentary needs to be like a short documentary - the focus has to be simple. If the focus is simple it enables the film to much more thoroughly and satisfactorily explore the essence of its focus in the limited running time it has.

In my mind, these are the ways I would want to do the two approaches. Therefore, it makes sense for me to start with the mockumentary: find out who Boris is and where his eye obsession comes from. Then move onto the fiction film and see how his eye obsession can put him at odds with other forces in the world.

Although, now that I've written this reflection, I’m about 70% certain I’m going to do a fiction film. I know a mockumentary still has a lot of potential and artistically a mockumentary would make for a nice middle ground between Matt’s fiction film and Tish’s documentary (which I hope to end up working on). However, in the end, I would probably be more satisfied with a fiction film. Therefore, In order to satisfy myself that the mockumentary is a no-goer, I will develop a treatment for it. That way it removes the “what if” from my mind.

In terms of developing the fiction counterpart, I believe it makes more sense for me to first figure out who Boris is and where the hell is eye obsession comes from, which I can do by creating a treatment for the mockumentary. Once I know him and his obsession I’ll know what types of people and situations Boris is likely to come in to conflict with. This is the information I need to make the fiction script have a really compelling story. If there’s no conflict – there’s no story!

CEP: The Module Criteria

Here I discuss marking criteria and my meeting with Mimi 09/10/2012.
One of the problems I have which is hampering the script’s development - I don’t quite know how to make a short film project work within the module’s criteria.

When I met with Mini on Tuesday, she suggested an alternative idea which would fulfill my wish to do a project concerned with filmmaking. As I don’t know what area of filmmaking I want to specialise in (I want to do all of them) she suggested my project could be an investigation to determine which area would suit me best. For this she suggested that I could shadow already established industry professionals in the areas of cinematography, editing, lighting, etc and then write up my experiences and my conclusions on a blog. While this is a tantalising idea and one which would build up my industry contacts – it’s not the idea I want to do. But I’m wondering if there isn’t some way I can combine aspects of it with my desire to make a short film. 
Me: doing the clapperboard on the set of One Door Opened.

Another potential idea comes from my desire to shadow Matt with a video camera so that I can document the making of Remember This. Matt has agreed to this but I don’t really have any definite plans to make a documentary from the footage, it's just something I've always wanted to try. I figured it would also make for an interesting experiment; as well as some good practice for documentary making. It’s also a back-up project if things go tits-up with my short film. However, even this idea I am now questioning whether I should do. Now that I have agreed to be Matt’s producer, I’m wondering how feasible is it for me to be both involved in the process of making the film and outside observing it? 

Tailing Matt while he films for SpaLife TV.
Another factor that has to be considered is to be very careful with how my project is marked. I've already been marked on my contribution to a short film in Planning and Making a Film so I have to be careful not to be marked on the same areas in CEP. Likewise, I’ll be making a documentary in Short Form Documentary Making so I can’t really be marked for making a documentary for CEP.

If I’m serious about doing a short film, my thinking is to concentrate on my role as the Director, as that is a role I didn’t do or get marked on in Planning and Making a Film. I could present my project as a means to focus on and develop my skills as a director by making a short film. 
Me: on the set of One Door Opened.
Then using the reflections I would have written on the process of directing (perhaps even doing some investigations of other directors) together with the short film that would have been produced I could package them together as a means of application for postgraduate study. Therefore, this directing/short film/postgraduate “super-package” could be my Creative Enterprise Project! 
I just hope I don’t actually have to apply for postgraduate study! Not that I’m adverse to it, I just don’t have the money. But I’m meeting with Mike J tomorrow so I’ll listen to what he has to say to my ideas.
Me: after I hit a brick wall in my Uni work.

I’m beginning to see that CEP is like wrapping presents. I hate wrapping presents and I don’t want to have to wrap my short film up in all the unneeded stress the module criteria demands! I just hope it gets me a good mark (without killing me). Matt, quite rightly, says I need to stop worrying. If I’m worrying my brain isn’t creating!