Roles

One of the most important jobs we had to do before the shoot was decide our roles. With five of us working on this piece we had to make absolutely sure we were clear on our roles so that during the shoot especially there was little confusion and no lack of professionalism.

We decided the five roles to be taken were Director, Camera Op, 1st AD, D.O.P and Sound technician.

Here are the roles as we decided them:

Director – Mick Le Mare
1st AD – Adam Davies
DOP – Alex Hacking
Cam Op – Jake Humbles
Sound – Rich Neal
Editors – Rich Neal and Alex Hacking
Post Production – Jake Humbles, Mick Le Mare and Adam Davies

I am particularly interested in directing and was therefore pleased to be chosen for this role, whilst it carries much responsibility it also gives plenty of scope for artistic creation and I enjoy taking a front seat on occasions such as this. I am really happy with each of the roles that we have allocated and feel that everyone is in a position of responsibility and one that they can handle really well.

I have also included in the above role call the post shoot roles. Rich and Alex will edit our film whilst the rest of us collate all the necessary documents, permissions etc ready for the final submission.

I have been doing some reading up on the role of the director in a couple of books. One excellent book is ‘Making Short Films’ by Clifford Thurlow (2008) and in it he uses a simple phrase that was first said by Cedric Behrel, a director himself – “On a short film a Director needs to be persistent but flexible, ambitious but realistic”. During the shoot I really tried to stick to this. When I thought something was right and it should be done in that way I tried to make sure it went exactly like that and everybody knew how to acheive it but when suggestions were made or time constraints had to be met I was willing to listen and and adjust accordingly. An example from the day of the shoot would be when the pub we initially wanted to shoot Pete’s telephone scene in was made unavailable and another plan had to be made. I sent off the actors and the rest of the crew to grab some lunch whilst I quickly made other plans, I found that just around the corner there was an excellent place for an exterior shot looking at a pub that fit the bill just right. This flexibility is something I will try and continue when working on other projects whether it be as a director or in another role.

Here we can see the two actors in this scene, Charlie and Pete practising their lines outside the exterior inner city location that had to be found on the go.

I also feel that as a whole group we were very ambitious and therefore as the director I had to carry that ambition whilst remaining realistic. The balance that we struck was particularly good in terms of this – to shoot a short like ours in one weekend was quite an undertaking but not an undertaking that we thought was impossible, everything was so well planned that we feel that we remained grounded and realistic throughout our very ambitious project.

Another quote, this time taken from ‘Video Production’ by Dawkins and Wynd (2010), with regards to the role of the director further emphasises the reasons why we wanted to be so clear “Many student groups fail to work well together because some members of the crew find it difficult being told what to do by another student. They feel that the production should be a democratic process and that, when filming under a director, this democracy is being challenged” Never once during the shoot did we have to address this problem and I am proud of all of us for this.

I am so glad that we all fulfilled the roles we were given so well because the weekend could never have run as smoothly as it did.

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