I feel that reflecting back on my FMP shoot, there have been a lot of highlights throughout the production process! Things such as coming together as a team on aspects, working on Thursday with John Fry on Steadicam Op, stopping in the same small accommodation, ect.
Highlights of the FMP shoot are
– Improv! Through improv with the actors, most of the dialogue scenes had a lot of opportunity to embellish and improv around what little was there already, giving them room to develop and establish a personality and backstory for their character more, which was something I loved and thought gelled well, and wasn’t originally included in the script.
– Location and Weather! We found some fabulous places during our location scout and my original extensive internet trawling for sites, and they really pay off in the final picture. The best part is that some locations were only coincidental or not even planned or not going to be utilised. On top of that, the weather for the whole shoot was grey for the first 2 days then incredibly sunny and blue for all the exterior shots on Thursday so we were very lucky in that respect. I can’t be more happier with how the weather and locations panned out to bring the mental image from script to screen.
– Actors! I had two great actors who not only understood the characters, but also took them and made them their own, adding themselves into the characters and putting a profile to the name instead of just reading the scripted version. They were incredibly professional and accommodating for all the short fallings including lack of space and sound problems, and I would love to work with them again.
– Movement! It sounds bizarre, but the best scenes we shot consisted of the steadicam and 2nd unit shooting simultaneously. I enjoyed the steadicam a lot as it brought a sense of movement and depth to The Brother Code that was definitely needed, especially with all the walking and locations that are featured in the film, so that needed to be brought to life through the camera movement to represent that sense of scale and grandeur in the location. Scenes such as the finale and the opening really reflect the good use of the steadicam to this effect, and I would definitely utilise one in the future as I love this sense of movement that is added to the production. It’s something I feel that i’ve learnt from and benefitted greatly.
– The Experience! It was a harrowing time. Spending weeks planning and preparing, buying things and getting boxes prepared over the weekend to ship in cars, buying food for people and sorting out props and miscellaneous stuff such as extension cables and gaffer tape. I played a lot of ‘roles’ throughout pre&production, and this all played into gaining experience working in a large production, and also as the producer of a crew, however having to fulfil all these roles myself meant that I didn’t have enough time to devote to other areas! On the whole however, the 7am starts and 1am finishes, the crew coordination and seeing the vision come to life on-screen was what made it count, and gave me the confidence and inspiration to realise that what I actually think of on script can be realised in real life.
Overall I feel that working on The Brother Code has had both good parts and bad parts. I spent a lot of money, I got up far too early, we didn’t get all the equipment we wanted and had problems with crew or actors, however the vision came full circle and was realised from the dream of 8 months ago. I’ve grown a lot as a professional in my experience and knowledge, and I’ve gained a lot of skills that are transferable to my own professional development and future career progression. It’s been a large learning curve however it was the most fun I’ve had whilst at University, so there is that.