So just recently I learned that the hand in for my FMP is to be done using a portfolio of paperwork. I knew the hand-in was physical, but I had no idea that I was being graded on how ‘official’ the shoot had been. Having been working with lecturers and industry professionals throughout the course of the last year, I know that in practice they are just a formality that are often buried at the bottom of the ‘important stuff’ and not really used.
However, if my grade is going to suffer through having not done paperwork, this puts me at a disadvantage. To clarify:
- This was a two-actor film, predominantly focused on two main characters. The three recruited for the flashbacks were paid £10 each, and the two main actors were paid according to hours spent and makeup used. To ensure they could not accuse me of not paying them, I had all actors sign a release form, allowing me to use a film that had them acting in, and confirming they had received payment.
- All locations were public-access areas. There were only three locations in the film – Wainbody Wood, Priory Place, and my house at Starley Road. My house is what I am living in for this academic year, I therefore have the right to film on my own property. Wainbody Wood was owned by the council, and therefore I asked for permission from the council to film there (which I got upon producing Public Liability Insurance from the university and my risk assessment). Priory Place is located in Coventry city centre, and is open to the public. I did not include anyone other than my actress in the shot framing, and therefore as far as I’m aware no paperwork regarding this location was needed.
- Public Liability Insurance was needed to confirm the legality of shooting in Wainbody Wood. I am covered by university insurance, as I am a ‘media producer in training’. I have this documentation and will hand it in as part of the portfolio.
- The flashback sequences required little in the way of crew or gear, and were much more informal than the main shoots in Wainbody Wood. A risk assessment was carried out in the wood as this was the most dangerous location of the three, featuring the most crew, the most equipment, and the longest working hours. The two flashback sequences did not have risk assessments, as they were shot within thirty minutes each time. Both the bench in front of the waterfall and my own living room were deemed safe areas where no additional crew other than myself and my camera were needed to finish the shoot successfully.
- A call sheet ‘thing’ was made and handed to the crew via Facebook. This was not printed out on the day, as I wanted to remain largely flexible regarding how the script progressed (and a good job I did too!). This call sheet was rendered useless in the final production – it was based upon a principal of shooting fourteen pages of script in a day, which I have since realised was quite a tall order!
- No log sheet was used during the filming. This made my job more difficult in the editing suite, and having been on projects since my shoot that have used them, I can understand their importance and will use them in future. However, critically, the lack of a log sheet has not affected the final cut of my film in any way.
- Storyboards were completed by the storyboard artist and handed to me mere hours before the shoot. They were largely incorrect (but we had no time to change them), and as a result we could not use them on the day. Again, I will include these storyboards in the portfolio, and again, the lack of storyboards did not affect the quality of the final piece.
Out of all the things missing, I think the log sheet and the call sheet are perhaps what need to be acknowledged. What I am wondering about is whether to make this ‘post-dated’ paperwork as I would have originally done them (i.e. based on one day), or how I would do them now (i.e. probably based over three days). I may do both, if only purely to demonstrate what I have learned from this project.