Part A: Exploring the arts as a participant

Arts activity
I want to develop my skills in producing/directing as this an area of film-making that I want to get more confident in. My arts activity therefore consists of me producing/directing a 1 minute film focussing on a young person who lives in the London Borough of Waltham Forest as it is where I grew up.

Working with Eelyn Lee Productions and A New Direction as part of the Headstart programme, over the course of the year I will attend weekly sessions learning about different aspects of film-making. I am excited about being part of the group and putting my creative ideas into practice.

Pre production
I started to look for participants for my film and I was fortunate to meet a film producer who came from the estate that I came from. I got to know him and got an insight into his past and I found that he and his cousins from the local area were perfect for my film.

Once I had found my subject I wanted to engage in more depth conversation and I had a few different meetings learning more about his past to enable me to build up a rough storyline. From there I went back to the executive producer and went through different stages of many different ideas. After a month I finalised two simple but creative ideas that were quite similar. Once I had refined my ideas, I pitched them to my group who supported my plans. Then I contacted some music producers to source the music to accompany my film. I then recruited crew and casts members who were best suited for the project.

Production

Production started in early February 2012 and I contacted my cameraman and facilitator, Winstan Whitter who gave me advice on the equipment needed to get my ideas across. Once I had sourced the equipment I met with all the crew to tell them my one shot idea. They liked my idea and we got to filming in mid February. We rehearsed for 2 hours and recorded for an hour. Before editing started I wanted to retrieve recorded interviews from the lead subject of my film to make my story complete.

Post-production

I went to meet the editor to have a conversation about how I wanted to edit the film. I explained my ideas to him and then we started to do some tests, playing around with graphics and colour grade. We also experimented with the sound, testing the interview as a backdrop to the film.

We decided to use the interview in the film so viewers could understand the background of the subject and his story. Once I was happy with the editing we cut to film and sent it over to the executive producer for feedback.

Evaluation

Through this process I learnt about the difficulties of managing a cast, and being prepared when things don’t run to plan. I enjoyed directing the cast and crew and making a good finished product. I got better and communicating and explaining myself through both verbal and written channels. I’d like to do more directing because I have a genuine passion for it and it is something I want to persue as a career in the future. I achieved my challenge because I created a meaningful well shot film, keeping to my original artistic vision and timeframe.

Nij & Kash – A Waltham Forest Story from Eelyn Lee Productions on Vimeo.

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