361MC: – Film crew & meeting discussion

Finding a crew to help me film my music videos was a lot easier than I initially anticipated. I have been in contact with a second year from Coventry University, who is also doing media production, called Guy Huston, who I got in touch with much earlier in the year when I was to help film Tony Iommi (lead guitarist from Black Sabbath) at the Coventry Cathedral. Guy said that he had a lot of experience in filming short film and had previously filmed a lot of live music gigs as well as a few music videos in the past. He is happy to help out on all three shoots as it will be towards his professional development and would allow him to add more things to his showreel and list of projects. He also said that he had a team that could help out as well.

I arranged a meeting with him and the other ‘members’ of his team and found that he only had one other person who works with him; Sarah Andrews, who is also a media student in her second year at Coventry University. This proves incredibly useful as my entire film crew will be in the same area as the equipment that will be booked out and all three of us can make our way to the location together. As they are also studying media production, this is incredibly useful as it means they are fully aware of the things that have to go into a production and the typical professional practices on set. As these will be the two people helping me film the three music videos, it became apparent that we’d have to use a three camera set up. A fourth camera might be able to be set up on some shoots but this would have to be for solely static shots and be set up on a tripod whilst the three of us get moving and controlled shots, with zooms, focus-pulls and camera motion. Although there are only three of us, I was immediately struck by their level of professionalism and it quickly became apparent that they had gained a lot of experience filming and helming many projects before. They were also both incredibly enthusiastic which is an imperative quality to have for every member of a production team in order to boost morale when you are eventually on set.

During this meeting we discussed things such as what kind of equipment should be booked out and was taken aback by how much equipment would never have occurred to me to take out. I was a very primitive kind of filmmaker (although I’m more focussed on editing, this refers to the times in which I’ve had to make something on my own for previous projects) and used a very simple tripod and camera set up with little concern for much else. Things like the ‘dolly’ and ‘track’ were completely new to me and it became clear to me how ambitious this shoot was actually going to be in order for it to be of good quality. We also talked about transport, accommodation for the two-day shoot and production schedules for all three music video shoots. As the first location is in Leicester, it will be difficult to get a train with masses of kit as it requires a few change of platforms which will prove even more troublesome. Also, the bus routes will not be reliable to take each of us as to where we’ll be stopping. Therefore, I decided that I’d ask one of my friends who lives in Leicester to drive to Coventry and take us from door to door, whilst paying him for petrol money. This harkens back to the research I have done on how equipment is usually driven to the location of shooting, rather than it having to be clumsily corralled by the crew. As for accommodation, Sarah’s brother conveniently lives in Leicester and so she and Guy will be able to stop there for the two nights, whilst I will be able to stop at my friend’s house as he is at Leicester University.

As I am starting my projects a lot earlier than the intended bracket of March – April for filming, I want each video to be done by the end of each month. As such, we confirmed the 25th – 26th for the two-day narrative and band segments shoot of Little Rag Doll (although we’d arrive in Leicester with the kit on the 24th to be ready for an earlier start to the shoot on Saturday the 25th). Although I already have one other band confirmed; Borderline, they still have yet to record their original song at a recording studio and so this will have to be the last shoot in order to give them time enough to prepare and ready the song. As such, I confirmed the second band’s music video for Bad Mouth Men to be filmed before the end of February. Although this will not give me a lot of time to edit and conclude Little Rag Doll for Six Broken Sticks, I’m considering having Bad Mouth Men’s video to be slightly smaller in scale to account for the limited time between the two shoots. This will then leave the final music video for Borderline to be filmed before the end of March or very early April so that I still have enough time afterwards to edit and complete the video in time for the deadline.

Now that I have a crew and a plan in place, I am a lot more confident with my upcoming projects and believe that the three of us will be able to produce the videos to the best of our ability whilst allowing me to develop my own professional skills working alongside them.

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