Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Post Mortem - Half A Glass

As mentioned previously, now that the videos are published it's time to look back and see what went right and what went wrong, to help me learn what I need to do next time!!

Half A Glass:
What went right

  • I spent a whole day with the camera before shooting and learned everything I could about it, which meant there was no fiddling around on the day of the shoot.
  • We divided the days up by location and worked out a basic timeframe which made things much easier to organise
  • I got some very talented friends on board to help with some special effects which are the highlight of the video. Their work was better than anything I could have ever done alone.
  • We did a test run which helped us gauge how long each shot needed to be.
  • When it was fun, it was very fun.
  • The dead band scene looked great and was a joy to shoot, even though I was nervous as hell having that many people in the room.
  • This was the first time I'd worked with others on a video besides the artists. Everyone was on time, helpful, and eager. I could not have asked for more!
  • Pot.

What went wrong

  • Pot. (only on the first day!)
  • I completely underestimated how long everything would take, and tried to get far too much done each day. I became stressed and lost sleep and things began to feel like they were falling apart.
  • I didn't communicate effectively and failed to take charge of the proceedings. I became stressed and angry on the day but bottled everything up until I wanted to smash the camera to pieces. Everyone was waiting on me for advice but I didn't feel it was my place to give it, and as such I failed as a director. I couldn't direct!
  • I forgot the storyboards on the biggest day of the whole shoot.
  • I failed to check the white balance yet again, and also I failed to check the gain so some scenes are grainy and blurred.
  • I misunderstood the aperture settings on the new camera and the first half day of shooting was unusable.
  • I relied too heavily on autofocus and the opening scenes are out of focus because of this.
  • Special effects and bloody explosions almost entirely failed to adhere to my plans.
  • A last minute reshuffle of the available rooms for shooting meant we had to set dress a room I wasn't prepared for.
  • The paper on the walls was designed to protect the walls from blood spatter and look like standard wallpaper but it looked awful and obvious
  • Blood was running pink and thin by the end of the day. I ran out of ingredients twice.
  • The days were too long and tiring on everyone involved.
  • We tried to do too much with too little time and experience
  • The rehearsal fight scenes were practiced only for an hour or two and the storyboarding went right out the window. The lighting in the small room was hard to manage and by this shoot I was at breaking point. I rushed the whole scene and it shows. It looks shoddy and amateur and messy. We should have rehearsed for longer and I should have taken so much longer. I think this scene deserved an entire day and I gave it barely an hour.
  • I failed to organise the shoot properly and ended up with far too much footage and shots that went on for too long. Editing it all down was difficult and the final result suffers a little.
  • We didn't make the most of lighting. Lighting was a disaster.
  • The story for the video wasn't clear enough once put together and required re-jigging.
  • I didn't film any live footage so there was never any chance for cutaways. Also the video feels somehow weaker for it, whereas the live footage really worked with Grenade.

  • Take time, things will always ALWAYS take longer than you think.
  • Never rush things. I should have shot one scene a day. Not six a day.
  • Be prepared. Don't "forget" your storyboards like an arsehole.
  • Communicate clearly and ASK people to do things for you. They are not mind readers.
  • Check your white balance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Don't trust autofocus, or auto anything.
  • Watch footage back on a monitor several times a day to make sure you are getting what you think you are getting.
  • Spend time getting the lighting right. It really can make all the difference!
  • Thank the people who spend so much time helping you, especially if they are doing it for free. Ryan, I have some vodka for you!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Make sure you have fun!

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