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Two Week Projects - April 2019

This blog excerpt is from the Easter Holidays, 2019. It details a crazy two-week period where Robin and I collaborated on five separate projects.

So much has happened. It's not been much of a holiday, as we've been working flat-out for the entire duration of the break, but I've had a tremendous amount of fun and met a lot of great people in the process. Last week (on Wednesday the 3rd and Friday the 5th) I directed several videos for SWAP West - an initiative focused on making higher education seem more accessible for mature students from lower-income areas. We had a difficult shoot on the Wednesday at Glasgow University's library (a lot of shots in a lot of different places) but we gritted it out and stuck fast to our schedule. Paula (our Producer) was pleased by the team's professionalism and work ethic. I was assisted by Robin de Vernon Ryding and Adam Lammie - both also of HND 2A. Friday's shoot was much easier, and we finished early. It was filmed entirely at Strathclyde's Mature Students Lounge: keeping the location centralised made things much easier and even though we had a lot of footage to shoot, the lack of moving around helped usher a more focused environment and we achieved some excellent footage.

On Monday of this week (the 8th), Robin and I filmed two fight scenes at Ross Priory fully in 4K - one where he directed and I DP'd and the other where the roles were reversed. It was truly a team effort: he found the stuntmen/actors (with swords to boot!) and the make-up artist while I secured location, created the plot behind the fight-scenes (including the idea to deck out the talent in Celtic make-up while wearing modern clothes: creating a dichotomy between Scotland's rich heritage and the present day) and we shared the blocking and filming responsibilities.

It was a fun and highly productive shoot; Robin's PA Kirsty Joanne Kelly, took almost a thousand photos of us in action and everyone involved had an absolute blast. I found that personally - while the footage I shot as Robin's DP turned out very well - I found the experience extremely stressful and was constantly stressed about the quality of the footage I was shooting, whereas when Robin was DP and I was directing him, I felt significantly more in my element. This has made me reconsider my job roles slightly: I still aim to fully pursue Videography work, but I may decide to apply for third AD/runner jobs instead of Camera Assistant jobs (purely for the sake of happiness and healthy levels of blood pressure!).

Tuesday saw a continuation of my Work Experience at G81 Studios (going on nearly three months now). I have now directed and edited SEVEN music videos for them, which is honestly insane if you think about it. I have produced a full portfolio for Eugene Whyte (a Pink Floyd and Neil Diamond cover artist - weird mix but he makes it work!) and it's given me over nine hours of potential footage to use in my showreel. While it's not my smoothest work, there are some very nice shots and effects within which will really showcase the versatility I can bring to different projects: where I shot in 4K at Loch Lomond, I shot the music videos with a mix of Panasonic camcorders and a GX7 DSLR. This range will serve me well in an industry where the equipment changes rapidly and personnel are expected to rapidly adapt to new technology or be made irrelevant.

From Wednesday to Friday, Robin and I filmed two commercials for AEA - an Elderly Abuse charity. James Wilson, our lecturer, brought this job to our attention and we had a great opportunity: for once, we could actually take our time with a project as we only needed to get 15-20 shots per day (instead of fifty, lol) so we could really focus on making each shot as high quality as possible. And - learning lessons from Loch Lomond - I directed the commercials while Robin was DP, and we both enjoyed the experience much more. Our client, Brian, was delighted with our process and was very positive about observing us in action.

Overall, I had a great time and got permission to use the footage from every single project - meaning that I now have hours of footage to work with for my HND showreel!

Written by Euan Brown - Head of Post Production

Photographs All Rights are reserved to Fulfilment Pictures Ltd

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