Production Diaries –  Week 4. 

20th March.

Originally I wanted to start my pre production today however I still had unfinished research and decided to give myself another week to complete it. Although this limits the time I will have to complete my pre production I think that my research is more important as it will shape and change the way I make my film. As of yet, non of the organisations I have contacted about my primary research have gotten back to me even though I had contacted them earlier in the project. This is frustrating as I contacted the first organisation multiple times via email and once over the phone where they promised they would reply via email and didn’t. The second organisation I contacted hasn’t gotten in touch with me again either. I am frustrated as I feel like this will cause a lack of primary research as I currently only have the survey I have made and the technical workshops I will attend and information or interviews from these organisations could have been used as contextual research.

I decided to contact Blackburn College’s safeguarding team via to see if they had any information to give me or if they could direct me to any local organisations that deal with domestic abuse and violence. I am currently waiting for a reply.

21st March.

I am continuing with my primary and secondary research, although most of what I am working on is secondary research in the form of analysing films / books / tv shows,  this research will be ongoing up until I have finished my pre production work.

I also attended a camera and lighting workshop with another student, Emma Newell today as she needed to test her lighting on me. Although the lighting workshop wasn’t helpful for me, the camera one was as Graham went over the settings and features of the Canon 700D which is the camera I want to film with. We also experimented with two different lenses for the camera, the baby lens (also known as the tilt turner) and the pancake lens, neither of which I have used before.


The baby lens was interesting for me to experiment with as it gives the camera operator the ability to move the lens and shift focus smoothly, giving the image a distorted and blurry effect which could be useful in my film as it will reflect my main characters mental state – distressed, distorted and dissociated. I will speak to Graham about wether or not I would need to use this lens to create such an effect at a later date.

22nd March.

I have started a new piece of secondary research which is analysing a storyline in BBC1’s Holby City (1999-present.) I have chosen to do this because of a developing abuse storyline between a gay couple, both characters are doctors in Holby. The trailer for the upcoming storyline was aired after last night’s episode, Holby City is aired every Tuesday at 9pm. This storyline is interesting to me because domestic abuse is usually portrayed through heterosexual couples in soaps, this shows that it can happen in any type of relationship and raises awareness of the subject. I am also interested in the storyline because it has not yet been aired, however there have been clues leading up to it which I have recognised throughout the episodes, something I think my research for my short film has helped with. I will first analyse the trailer for the abuse storyline as it is the most recent and then work backwards, looking at how the characters met and what they were like, how their relationship developed into a romantic relationship and into what it is now as well as examples of manipulation, control etc (the clues I have noticed before) from the abusive character. This research will be ongoing as I will be analysing the episodes as they are aired. Even though there are a lot of differences between my short film idea and this storyline, it will be helpful for me to look at it because it will give me ideas on how to write my script – the locations I could use and the dialogue between characters, it will also give me ideas for camera angles and what kind of body language my characters should use. I can also compare how domestic abuse is portrayed in soaps – tv shows that are dramatic in nature and have an ever – changing plot to how it is portrayed in films, especially short films as that is what I am making.

In the afternoon I had a short tutorial with Jo where I showed her the work I have done so far and we discussed what I would do next. Jo had some concerns about my art analysis research as I have started off with an unknown artist and piece from a Twitter and she wanted me to look at more well – known, famous artists and pieces. She was unable to think of any at the time, but recommended that I look on Pinterest at the hashtag #domesticabuse as different projects may show up. This is what I found:

Domestic Violence – Secondary Research Board

I particularly like the images with dark backgrounds because it reflects on the dark nature of the subject and of my short drama film. 

I have also found my female actress through a friend who also acts, I have spoken to her and she seems to fit the role and is eager to work with me. This is a relief as I had been struggling with finding a good actress and wasn’t sure about my options.

23rd March.

I first had a tutorial with Jamie where he looked at the work I had done and said he liked my research and that is was very thorough. He was interested in my vis comm work and wanted to see how I could develop it, however I explained that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to add anything to it but that it had given me a new idea for a flashback scene in my film and that I might use this piece as part of my story boarding. We arranged to have another tutorial next week to look at the pre production work I will have done. Even though he didn’t give me anything to improve on getting Jamie’s opinion on my work was helpful for me because it reassured me that I am on the right track with my work and including lots of relevant research.

I then had a conversation with Peter, another tutor on my course, who asked me about myself in general and the type of work I have done before and what I am doing now. I explained my FMP idea and he mentioned that I am good at visualising things and using different shot types in order to communicate what has happened in the scene before, what is happening now and what will happen next. Peter said that an example of this is my short horror film The Uninvited, however he could see that I have already attempted to do the same in the description of the narrative for my FMP short film. Although this is an unintentional skill I am glad Peter has pointed it out as I can now use it to do the same with my current short film. A helpful suggestion he made is filming or taking stills during the auditions with my cast just to test how they can use facial expressions and body language to convey emtions as this will be important in my film, I have since contacted my actors about coming in for auditions. He has also arranged another talk with me for next week or the week after to see where I am up to with work.

In the afternoon I researched how to make a fake brick to use as a prop in my film and found a helpful article that included a step – by – step YouTube tutorial. I have included a seperate post about this research on my blog. My next step will be to speak to my tutors about when I can make my props and the materials I will need.

The safeguarding team at Blackburn College also responded to my email and recommended I speak to organisations who deal directly with domestic violence however the first one, Changing Lives, is the organisation who did not respond to my emails or phone call. I rang the second organisation, the WISH centre and the receptionist said she would get a member of staff who deals directly with this to get back to me via phone or email later on in the day. Unfortunately this didn’t happen. However I understand that they may be busy and will try contacting them again at a later date.

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