Reflective Writing Exercise
Reflective Writing Exercise – Specialist Project
The Specialist Project, the first unit for my final year at University was going to be the springboard for my Extended Major Project and was key to the whole year. I spent the summer break researching ideas for creating a documentary, identifying three possibilities, which included expanding upon the documentary, which I had created in partnership with Dorset County Council. I had visions of creating my own version of the BBC’s and The Open University’s series of TV programs ‘Coast’. However during the initial briefing for this unit it was made plain that this would not be an option.
I finally decided on producing a documentary in partnership with the Universities BA Acting course working with a friend Ben who was a third year student on this course just starting rehearsals for William Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, which seemed perfect for my project.
But this project did not go as planned. I completed the filming, recording interviews with Ben and filming the rehearsals for the production but it all went wrong in post-production. The elements just did not seem to fit together, the footage from the early rehearsals were good in isolation but not when combined with the footage of the interviews. The same was true with the footage taken of the full dress rehearsals. Each in isolation seemed to work well and so that is the direction I took the project. My mistake was not to renegotiate the Learning Agreement, which stated I was producing a documentary while in fact I had produced some good standalone short films of a stage play and its rehearsals, a film for a dance sequence and an interview with a cast member. All of which would have been fine but they were not put together to create a documentary. In retrospect I can now see how I could combine these elements together with some additional interview footage to create a documentary but unfortunately this too late to save the failure of this unit.
On reflection I feel I lost sight of the main goal of this unit concentrating instead on the filming processes, the quality of the footage and completely missing the real objective of the unit. Which was to produce a documentary chronicling the progress of a acting student in his final year, recording his thoughts while preparing for this play and his ambitions for the future while showing this in the context of the rehearsals and production of a stage play.
However I was pleased by the quality of the work that I produced, the experimentation I undertook by filming with mobile devices and the workflow and methods I used in post-production. But it was a wake up call and I made sure that I did not repeat these mistakes in the Extended Major Project by keeping sight of the final objective and producing work that satisfied the outcomes of the Learning Agreement and at the same time also satisfied the clients requirements, which is essential when working outside University for a commercial client and their brief.