Dan Hume's Blog


Profession Project Report
May 4, 2011, 9:19 pm
Filed under: Professional Project

The aim of this project was to get us to work for a client and produce a piece of work for them. This is a step up from everything I’ve done before, because I’m now forced into thinking and acting like a professional in the creative industry. It’s all about meeting deadlines, making schedules and prioritizing work effectively. I’d like to think of myself as organized person, so I’ve used this project as an opportunity to see how effective my organizational skills are.

At the start, I had to find a client to work for; one of which was the BBC, to do some promotional work for Radio 1’s Big Weekend. Although I didn’t get that opportunity, I did know at that point that whoever I was going to work for, I’d want to be able to make a short promotional video as the final outcome. I feel this is the area I want to specialize in and using DSLR cameras as the main tool.

However, after a grueling couple of weeks I managed to secure myself a client. My client is, Andy Glyde, who is the senior campaigner for the Don’t Lose Music Campaign that’s in conjunction with the RNID charity (Royal National Institute For Deaf). It took roughly a week of discussion about doing a video project for them, because the campaign already had a number of videos projects on the go. I wasn’t disclosed any information about the other projects, but I had to try and offer something a bit different if I was going to make a video. After talking with another campaigner, Rebecca, it was clear that I should integrate some form of my own experience with tinnitus, to make my video different. I felt that the video should be conveyed in the style of a documentary, which is something I’ve wanted to do.

Once I was set on this idea, I spent a couple of weeks visualizing and sketching out specific shot ideas for the video. I started reflecting on how my tinnitus developed and how I dealt with it. It was vital that I had my own personal view embedded in the video. My initial idea started out with the video not having any dialogue, but after I had feedback from Andy, it was clear that there needed to be some. He was concerned that visually the video might give out the wrong message about the campaign’s aim. It wasn’t until I had written a script, that the video became easier to visualize. I was able to work out roughly what sort of shots I needed at certain places within the dialogue.

I then started to look for locations to film at and work out what the shots would look like. I’m not the conventional story boarder where I can sit down and draw shot by shot, the entire video. I needed to be on location to do that. One of the places where I wanted to film was London. Unfortunately, due to financial difficulty and not enough time, I had to abandon London and use Bournemouth as my primary location.

Hiring out equipment was a bit of an issue, due to the stock not being available when I needed it. For example, the lens that I needed for handheld shooting was booked up for a two-week period, even though I was booking well in advance. This left me with no choice but to use an alternative lens that wasn’t really suitable for handheld filming. However, since the alternative lens had a nice aperture, it turned out to be good for interviewing, so I used it to film the narrator shots. Once I filmed the narrator shots, I began the editing. I like to start editing the footage as soon as I can, to avoid being overwhelmed with hundreds of un-edited clips.

I liked spending a lot of time on the post-production work, as I really wanted to make this video look as professional as I could. I used a plugin called, Denoiser, which helped to reduce the noise in one of the low light shots. I did encounter a big problem with the second shoot of the dialogue, when I was using a boom microphone. There were a few shots that didn’t pick up any sound, which was an error on my part for forgetting to press record on the Fostex audio recorder. Fortunately, I did a previous shoot of the dialogue, using the Rode Videomic, so I reverted back to using it instead. Although it contains a lot of background noise, the narrators voice is more dominant and the background noise does justify the message in the video. I’ve done some research on my blog about converting the Rode Videomic into a reliable boom microphone, along with the very versatile Zoom H1 sound recorder. This will be something I’ll experiment with on future projects.

I also did some extra post-production video work for a group of Bournemouth University students. I worked on the colour grading and compositing aspects, using After Effects. The colour grading was a bit of tedious process, as it was hard to make every shot consistent in terms of the overall look. This was due to having many different exposures to each shot. However, after many hours of tweaking it all came out really well.

Overall this project has made me question everything I do, because the work I’m producing is for a client, rather than for myself. I’ve been constantly thinking about meeting the client’s requirements. There have been a few moments where things haven’t gone according to plan, but that’s not a bad thing as you learn from those mistakes. I’ve also learned a bit about financing, as it’s an important aspect of being a freelance worker or working for a company. You need to make sure you keep a record of time and evidence of added expenses such as travel, so you can implement it into the fee you’re charging for the work. Although I haven’t had feedback from my client about the final edit of the video yet, he has sounded very positive about the whole thing throughout the project. Looking back, if I had to do anything different, I think I would have liked to add a bit more content about the struggle of coping with tinnitus and it’s effects on people’s lives. All in all I’m pleased with the final outcome of the video.

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