For this practical project we were asked to produce four short educational films for Passenger Service Vehicles Driver CPD, which has the potential to be seen by drivers who work on bus and coach school services UK wide. CPD is a training scheme that drivers have to complete over five years. The current training scheme is dated and Passenger Service Vehicles Driver CPD wanted new and contemporary looking educational films for the drivers.
The focus of the short films was to be bullying. One of the key speakers taking part is Paul Vodden whose son committed suicide as a result of bullying on school transport. Storyboards and a basic outline of each film was provided, except for my groups scenario where less had been provided. The client had also organised the use of a coach and driver. The deadline for the films was the last week of December so they could be enrolled to the trainers in January.
I was placed into a group with Joe Hughes and Brett O’Brian. We decided that Brett would be the director, Joe would be the Cinematographer and I would be Sound and Editing. We were given scenario D which tells about three girls who travel to and from school via coach, one of the girls gets a crush on the new bus driver and then texts him to indicate some kind of relationship. The three of us worked together to plan out the plot and narrative of the piece based off the storyboard and bullet points provided by the client, then I wrote the script which we developed as a group and with feedback from the client we changed that the girls text the driver to they find him on facebook.
We chose to film all of the short film in one location, that location being the Cardiff and Vale college sports centre in Leckworth. Joe and myself worked out which areas of the location would be used for each part of the script and put together a filming map while Brett worked on the storyboard and shots.
From the storyboard and filming map I composed a shot list that we could use on the day to help us keep track of what had been filmed and what order to film in. However on the day this was ignored and we worked off the storyboard.
Joe completed a location report, grabbing images off Google Maps to show where we would be film. I then completed a risk assessment of the location so that we knew of the risks that there would be.
Next I produced a breakdown sheet for each of the scenes in the script, stating what props, makeup, hair, sound effects, vehicles, etcetera would be needed in each.
Brett and myself then went to cast the film from the BTEC Performing Arts class, we both agreed on the same three girls as we believed they had the look and feel of the characters I had written.
After this I produced a call sheet to send out to the actors so they know what times they were needed, where and when they were needed.
On the day of filming, we were slightly delayed due to Arriva Trains Wales having a break down on the line that Joe and myself use to travel to Cardiff and Vale College and Emma, the course leader was stuck in traffic, however we were not delayed by that long and were able to catch up on time.
We were the second group to film on the day which meant it was a rush against time to film due to limited time of day light left. We also had a problem in that the actor who was playing the father of the main character Kelly in the film had to leave at 14:00 due to this we filmed the last scene first and didn’t follow the shot list and worked off the storyboard as the director found this easier.
As a group we worked together to ensure we were all fulfilling our roles and supported each other.
Due to the lighting one of our scenes on the bus came out extremely dark due to the tinted windows. We as a group decided to use an LED light to lighten the scene, however I believe it has made the scene seem even more like it’s set during the night rather than the afternoon. The director also decided to cut some shots so that we could finish on time, we all agreed on this.
Myself and Joe worked on the editing together to ensure we were both happy with the result, we then sent the first draft to Brett; who was not in due to being ill; so that we could still get his opinions.
We decided that we needed a visual shot of the driver texting Kelly to fully put across what was happening as you don’t need or want mystery in an education film. Joe sorted this out and as it was an over the shoulder shot of someone texting, it didn’t matter that it wasn’t Wayne (the bus driver) as you couldn’t see this on screen.
We edited a second draft together which we then sent to the client to feed back on. Passenger Service Vehicles Driver CPD responded that they were happy with the product but needed credits to be added. Because their Logos were very pixelated we recreated them on Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator so that the credits were the best quality possible. Instead of listing all the cast and crew, as they were all students at Cardiff and Vale College, we listed them as such.
The video was saved on my hard drive which sadly became corrupt and I thought I had lost all my work, however I luckily found that I had backed up the project on my Mac Book Pro and were able to finish the project on time. I had some issues with uploading the video to google drive to send to Emma as when I would upload after twenty four hours it was still uploading, however I managed to fix this and was able to upload and send it to Emma to be forwarded to Passenger Service Vehicles Driver CPD.
If I were able to go back and change how we did things I would have changed how we worked on the day, the shots were cut to quickly so that there was no leeway for editing, which resulted in an abrupt ending to our film. I would have also tried to film all interior bus scenes while it was sunny so that the shots would link together, I would also ensure that all the shots were in focus as a few were out of focus, however this was not too noticeable. I would also ensure that we directed the actors better as they kept coming to me asking what they were doing as there was cross communications between the cast and the crew and it wasn’t always clear what we were filming at certain times.
I would have also tried to get the group to work together outside of college hours so that we could ensure that all pre-production paperwork was completed by everyone, which it wasn’t due to illness. Besides this I believe as a group we worked very well together and performed to our best ability while producing the first film we had made. Our group had a lot more work to do than the rest of the groups due to not having been sent a basic script outline and only a few bullet points, we had to write our script from scratch and we resulted in a longer script than the other groups as well. Overall I am happy with the film we produced and believe we have produced a high quality film that the full fills the client’s brief.
The client had given us several feedbacks throughout the project to ensure we gave them the films they were looking for and were happy with the final result. The actors also gave some feedback and also were happy with the films and their own performance.