Analysis of a range of drama productions
We have been asked by dovetail studios that have been awarded a grant by the lottery commission to develop young talent in the arts arena and wishes to allocate a major part of this funding to the production of several televised short story dramas dealing with issues of particular interest to our target audience of 16 – 19 year old. Channel 4 will be airing the programme, from 10:30 – 11pm, on sat Feb12th as part of a whole evening’s entertainment devoted to young adult audiences, programme length has been asked to be approximately 5-7 minutes.
They have already commissioned a diversity of screenplays from youth theatre groups, and are now writing several video production companies, giving each the opportunity to develop one of these screenplays (enclosed) for transmission. Our project development will include details of our proposed production management, schedule and budget breakdown. The budget given to us is approximately i??25,000 plus vat. We began this drama production by being put into production groups, these groups consisted of two groups one part was the drama students who were to act in the production and the other was my part which was to be the media production team.
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We as the production group had to rely on the drama group, as they were the ones to be responsible for the writing the script. It was then our task to re structure this script into a workable shooting script, which could be, followed by the director and in turn the editor. This script will also be given to the client. As soon as the script was sorted we started looking up patterns on twin behaviour so that we could try and understand their frame of mind, their similarities and how closely one is connected to the other.
Research into working with actors We had the opportunity of the drama teacher coming into our side to explain and to make us aware of what was accepted from us, as we are the production team. We also had the advantage of the drama teacher coming in and holding a workshop where in he made us understand and realize what the script demanded of us. He even went to the extent in telling us how their roles were going to fall into place and what we should expect as the final material.
Following this in our media class with Ray being around gave us the opportunity in enacting different roles i. e. director / cinematography / actors, which gave us the understanding of what each area deals with and we got the feel of these different areas. Here I’d like to point out that I had the opportunity in doing a bit of the acting part and I feel that I was self conscious of the camera on me which affected in the way I spoke and this just goes to prove that when the lights are on you and the camera is rolling it’s a totally different ball game.
Another thing that I had realized was that I was amongst my class mates and when I had the chance of doing a little bit of camera work I again became rather self conscious and shy which to and extent affected my work I did in that particular workshop. The reason for feeling this is I feel because the pressure is on me to perform. I am confident in myself of my capabilities but somehow I realized that under these circumstances I become another person as I feel that I am expected to achieve the best.
But as I had done this workshop I had a feel of how it would be when it comes down to shooting, as in if the actors felt a bit uncomfortable with us at first because we are new faces to them and it is not like they are working in their classroom with their class mates. So if they feel uneasy at first it would be understandable. We had one more workshop in which we enacted a scene from the movie ‘The American Beauty’ where by we all got a chance to do all the different roles of movie making. Most importunately we all got a hand in trying out bits and bobs of editing also, which was a very good experience.
One another area that we touched was the finalization of roles for all the group members and each one knew what part they were playing. The director was Chris, producer Mikaela, production manager Kate, cameraperson Amica and the editor Me Renisa. The production process Project Management I would like to start here with our strengths, as we were a group united in our effort to be able to produce something of substance. Unfortunately we had quite a bit of weaknesses also which I would like to state. Our biggest drawback was that we could never stick to schedule.
The drama group always left us in the lurch, as they would never turn on the day and time given, making it impossible for us to stick to our schedule. The area’s we could have improved upon was getting a firmer commitment from the actors, enabling us to finish shooting the movie on time where by giving us enough time to do our editing / paperwork. If all this could have been done at the appropriate time I would not be stressing to this extent as I feel I still have a lot of lose ends to tie up before handing in my work. The clock is ticking and I have only 12 more hours to go before I hand in my work.
To improve all of this firstly it would have been better if we had a good communication with the drama group as this was lacking from the beginning. We at first didn’t see eye to eye as we had changed their script and we had a lot of disagreements about little tings. To avoid all of this in the future it would be better to feel at ease and not bottle things up till the very end. Also if our paperwork was done from the beginning we would not be running all over the place to try and get everything done as it causes to much hassle not only for us a group but also the teacher who has to mark our work.
So next time to be on top of things it would be sensible to start at the very beginning. Group dynamics I now would like to state a few pondering lines on our group dynamics. Our strength was that we were able to choose whom we wanted to group up with, but it went a bit pear shaped towards the end. Our main strength was that we always reached on time at our said location and waited endlessly, sometimes two hours for the actors to turn up. We did stick together till the end but I feel that we had a bit of a misunderstanding and one major argument, which have now been cleared out.
To avoid this and to improve group work it would be better to have it all out in the open from the very beginning, by doing that it will not build up the tension between group members and we will be able to work in a better and easy environment. At every stage I felt that I was under pressure as I had an exam to attend whilst the group was booked in to the editing suite, nobody knew what to do except myself, which caused a lot of heart, burn and a massive argument.
I had no choice as I could not be at two places at one time and at that moment my presence at the examination hall was my top most priority. I was able to clear the air with my group, as they finally realized why I could not be by their side when we were booked in for the editing. I realize now that my reaction was spontaneous as I was quite stressed as I had to very shortly go and appear for an examination, and I did apologize for my behaviour, as in my mind I still feel as I am not to blame as I had informed them about my exam. This was a huge deal as in my group it was not just the first argument.
So I feel this could have easily been avoided if my group members had listened to me when I did tell them. This arises an issue of communicating within the group, which clearly at this moment shows a lack of. In our last years music video Chris so very much wanted to direct it and hence this year I made it a point to give him that role of being a director but unfortunately he let me down as he really did not do his job to my expectations. He was full of it when we were talking about the direction but when it came to the actual shot he was not able to put into practice.
He is a good director where as in showing the actor how to do a particular role, but when it came to the final matter it wasn’t the way I thought it would turn out. The plus points for our director are many; he actually had a spare house in which we were able to use for our shooting. At the on set of the shooting the camera did not work and we were given a faulty tripod. Chris called his father who, very kindly let us borrow their camera and tripod, but unfortunately that tripod did not work. Chris with his own initiative repaired the college tripod and somehow we were able to progress with our shot.
This was a downfall to the group because not only we were waiting continuously for the actors to show up, but also even our equipment was not working at it’s best. This was a major set back, so to improve this next time I feel to make a difference to the group before taking any equipment out of college we should check it out completely, so that if there are any faults it can be rectified. Amica, a great camera lady, did her very best to understand Chris’s direction and put it on film. Amica tried to get the shots, which would please me, the editor, as the final product would be in my hands.
However the way Chris would explain it to her it would be totally lopsided, and Amica would end up getting all frustrated. We defiantly had a major draw back with the tripod being broken and Amica was defiantly not to blame as she was shooting with people holding the tripod for her, which made it a bit shaky. The commitment was there but the direction lacking as Chris would say something and would expect something different. So to improve this the best thing is to have a clear idea of what is wanted so that while filming the scene people don’t get annoyed or aggravated.
Production manager was Kate and she was by far the most amicable and forever willing to do anything for the team. She is a capable and a very committed person to work with, and in future would be a great pleasure to work with again, as with her there was no problem what so ever. The work set to her was done and there was no misunderstanding when it came down to her and her work. Producer being Mikaela could have been more organised and systematic. It is the producer’s job to get points 1 – 12 in the portfolio checklist done and kept ready.
Mikaela and I go back a whole year in which we made the music video where she was the director. She would have liked to be the director once again but having seen the interest that Chris had produced last year we thought that Mikaela should take on the producer’s job. She is a lovely person to work with but she wants thinks done her way!!! Who wouldn’t??? I would too!!! But the world does not work that way. My particular role Me, the editor. I am well aware of the job, responsibility and awareness of an editor. My job as an editor is to: –
Evaluate and select scenes in terms of dramatic and entertainment value and story continuity. Trim film segments to specified lengths and reassemble segments in sequence that presents story with maximum effect. Use editing equipment to insert music, dialogue, and sound effects. Review assembled film on the computer to make corrections. Work with sound effects and music. During the shooting though as an editor my presence was not that required, I made it a point to be present for most of the shots, giving Chris any kind of help and suggestion.
I also tried a hand on the camera when Amica had to leave for work and took a few shots. My main forte being editing I hope the end product comes out to my and your satisfaction. I have spent endless hours into the evenings in the editing suite trying to put these pieces together and make it an interesting movie. The first day of our editing was unfortunately the day I had my exam and my misunderstanding with Mikaela, she on the other hand due to the editing suite being booked captured all the shots from the tape on to the computer for me to come and proceed further.
To my amazement and surprise when I actually got to the editing suite I had completely forgotten how to edit as it had been a year since I had put foot into the editing suite and really handled any piece of work. Fortunately due to some grey cells in my brain it all came rushing back and the final product that you see is the outcome of my umpteen hours of work that I have out in. My greatest thanks go out to Ian who made an effort and patiently helped me through any parts of my editing where and when I got stuck.
Ray this is for your benefit I do know that you wanted me to edit in such a way that I projected quite a few things going on at the same time, such as parallel action, but it was virtually impossible to synchronize all only because of the way in which the shots had been taken. I hope you are not too disappointed at the final product. I for one am not really very happy with the way this project has turned out. I would have still liked it to be more superior in quality but alas I am only the editor. I sincerely am disappointed in myself and I wish I had some more time to be able to give a more polished product.
I am happy yet not happy with this unit’s work. The end product Technical quality involves camerawork, editing, and special effects. Shooting script = right pacing in the script, and as a director you have to organise audition / rehearsals / shooting / meetings. If the camerawork is smooth, clear sound, good editing point. The camerawork was done to the best of Amica’s ability but because of our problems with the tripod and camera problems we had a few shoots, which were not smooth, and it was distorted like the sound, which I was not happy with as a editor because I could not edit to my best ability as the sounds were unclear.
The script was at the right space even though we changed it a lot and even while filming we changed a few lines to suite the time. Rehearsals were taken place for a few days until we had everything sorted such as the camera, lighting and location. We didn’t have that many meetings but as the drama group was always late we always use to sit and talk about our problems and what needed to be done. Also when we had a few problems with the drama group being late we were open about it and spoke to them to clear the air. Aesthetic quality involves the style of music, location, costume, and make-up.
All of these should enhance the scene and the final product must say something to the audience. Our style of music I do like a lot as it goes with the film and it is rather effective as when the twin is shown we have a slow song, which has a bit of a scary and creepy side to it just as the twin does. Also to add some humour when we had the sex scene we had Marvin Gaye’s song ‘Lets Get It On’ which complemented the scene. The location I was not very satisfied with, as we didn’t get a proper school shot, as we didn’t have much time on our hands.
Our costumes went well with our film as Daniel who was playing two characters was co- operative and bought costumes to suite both his roles. So did Bianna as being a businesswomen she had a suit and then something more comfortable for the other scenes. We did not use any make – up, as we didn’t think it was necessary. Live and learn is a saying which is day by day getting closer to my heart, for what I did last year is different from this year and in many ways better and more progressive and yet I have a lot more to learn and the best way to learn is through your own mistakes and short comings.
Audience feedback Through the forms that I have filled up from a wide range of people, the majority of the audience liked the sex scene the best. This scene has been most appreciated and liked as it brings out a turn in the film, as there is a lightness attached to it, there is also a bit of humour to this slow moving movie. Even while I was in the editing suite with other groups doing their editing I felt that the sex scene was most liked one and all, as it was totally different from the entire movie.
The questionnaire forms also asked a question about what could be improved in this video and a lot of people felt that the child looked into the camera and stared at it for maybe a split second longer but made it feel like an hour. The lighting to an extent was also another draw back, which I feel we could not do anything about as we shot during winter, days are shorter and it gets dark pretty soon. My conclusions from all these findings are that we defiantly lost out where lighting was concerned as we shot in a house in Harlesden making it quite difficult for us to commute with the lighting and camera equipment.
To make matters worse the light bulb fuse also blew making it useless having carried all the lights to Harlesden. I personally feel that the sex scene has been very well acted and has added quite a bit of humour to the movie. The music that has been used is also befitting the film. The storyline was also straightforward and easy to understand. The part, which was not particularly liked, by the audience and me was the acting of the “mum” because she was talking too fast and no matter how many takes we did it could not be improved.