The Work Of Shaun Jacques

Reflection – Short Film Analysis.

‘A long time ago……well about ten weeks ago, In a place not so far away, a group of 5 like-minded panthers joined forces, they vowed to create the best short film  they possibly could in less than three minutes, did they succeed in their task?’

Our group Pantherology Productions have had a lot to deal with on this module, over the course of this blog post I aim to go through all the issues that have hindered us and benefited us along the way to creating the film we will be presenting (at time of writing) in 11 hours time. What will be the public’s response to the now officially titled ‘The Only Reason?’

We should start where most good stories start, at the beginning, When we first started the short film group we had a number of different troubles with getting a story idea that we could all agree with. I had my ideas and a couple I seemed to really like, but other members of the group had their ideas that they also cling onto, I think we all wanted to be creatively involved in the piece, which was encouraging from one point of view that we were all fully committed to the group (A fact I can honestly said never diminished for everybody involved) but problematic from another as we couldn’t seem to find one idea to stick behind.

Eventually we had to present an idea for the rest of our peers to hear, we had presented our little ideas to a smaller group of peers before but it had proven in general not very helpful for getting a final idea. We presented Jambo’s Hair inspired idea of a couple on different sides of a protest. We were all not confident with the idea but decided to show it to see if we could get something from it. I honestly didn’t like it as I thought a protest scene would be too difficult to portray effectively with our budget and experience. We had a group meeting with Steve that day and together as a group we realised we really needed to start at Square one Me and sam pitched another idea which can be seen on a previous post of mine but again it was not liked by our audience. We then had a random as idea of filming in a shop, from a suggestion of using costcutters by Sam we eventually decided we wanted to film in ikea. We had a ‘test’ (in the loosest sense) shoot in ikea that afternoon before trying to see if we could film there.

‘warning!!!!!!! about as unprofessional and offensive as 40 second filming can get technically.

We knew even from our inital glee of possibly filming in ikea that two things needed to be done. 1# we would need to pester ikea a hell of a lot over the next week to get a filming time and if failing that store another one in a realistic area. 2# we would need to develop a backup idea just incase we couldn’t get the ikea shoot. This lead me to developing two characters for the sake of it and then trying to base a story around them. I eventually got help from Jambo and together we had created….Simon and Jasmin after a meeting later on we decided to edit the characters slightly and Jasmin became Elina. we started developing an idea around shooting in Costcutters and ended up with a first draft of a script.

We then had to sort out our actors, we had online ads and physical ads around coventry university however our idea to have a table for people to see what was going on proved to be our best decision, despite inital worries we would not be able to do so because of an open day at the uni. In fact our two main characters would not have had their audition if we did not have this. I was not persoanlly in the audition room as I was taking care of admin for the group and greeting potential actors, I felt this was best as offically my role of lighting/camera op was not directly involved with the audition process and felt it would make more sense for our producer and director to be there as a guarntee and for whoever else wanted involved. I was happy to take that role but obviosuly I was leaving it up to my team to sort out who were the best people for the role.

(by the way I am showing the WORST videos we have at the moment, but don’t want to embarass anybody apart from the panthers and brian)

Once we had our two main characters we had to find a Marek, this proved difficult and was only sorted properly a few days before shooting, but thankfully we found our man. Sam and G also we did aspects of the script that were lacking in mine and jambo’s draft aswell as a storyboard and shot list. We all went into our roles and were not solely alone for sorting out their end of the group deal, (i.e my camera and lighting bulbs were turned on) Giving that i was not very confident with lighting I did quite a bit of research, some of which can be seen on a previous post. We shot first on the tuesday at Jambo’s house, these shots eventually did not make it into the final piece as we decided it didn’t fit the overall mode but was still a helpful experience to have before the main shoot.

The main shoot analysis from my POV can be read here.

After all this i could rest a bit easier, I was not involved in the editing team so me and jambo went on to the marketing side of things, with jambo focusing on film fest research and I on creating the poster,etc… I did feel bad for not being there for the editing but understood that having all of us there would be nothing but problematic and would not help make a good film or keep our friendships intact.

We then had the rough draft showing. This was the point when our coursemates would see the film for the first time and offer their advice and opinions, nervous? you bet I was. I knew that there was sound issues that needed sorting out aswell as afew other little bits but we were all worried about how well the narrative would go down with everyone looking at this with fresh eyes. The feedback was mostly positive, people credited the quality of shots and lighting (YES!) aswell as aspects of the story but felt that some scenes were a bit off, for example Elina leaving at the end was interpreted as just taking a call rather than leaving Simon as we wanted people to think. but overall we felt good that not too much would need to be done…we needed to shoot one little bit again but beyond that not too much

but then……….ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!!!!!!!!!!!

G’s Hard Drive containing all the footage went. when I say went the HDD didn’t want to work anymore, I think I went through all 5 stages of grievance upon hearing that news, As far as I was aware there was no backup. Could that be it for our short film? so close to deadline and when we were all so close to finishing the film?…fortunately all hope was not lost. we in fact DID have a backup of the rough draft as well as backup of the footage shot extra. If I was a religious man I’d believe it was divine intervention or something, Never felt so happy about seeing data files in my life. Anca continued to edit with G while I got the credits done and sorted out the music for the piece giving it an AM radio feel rather than a standard recording feeling.

At this stage I know wait to see what people will think of the final piece. wish me luck readers.

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