So week three on my MA and we've been given what I see as an enormous task - we have been asked in groups of four to create five minute films for a program which will be airing on The Community Channel in January! Three weeks experience... do we really has what it takes to make a film for real tv?
The program is called 'Brilliant Britain' and will have several episodes hosted in different cities across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. My fellow students and myself have been asked to contribute to the Bristol episode and will each create a five minute piece about a certain subject. My group is concentrating on a place called "The Island" which is an arts centre based in the middle of the city! It used to be the old police station but has been turned into a place for artists, circus performers, dancers and a huge range of other practices that you can barely image! I'm going to be a researcher on the project so have a lot of work to do over the next couple of weeks.
I also took the chance this week to take out a camera and get a bit of practice out in the wild! I went with my coursemate, housemate and Brazilian blog translator Cesar Leite, who is helping me with some camera techniques (he's also very useful for carrying the camera which is pretty heavy)! We practised on the fallow deer of Ashton Court who very kindly stayed around longer than most wildlife does which gave us a great opportunity to get the hang of focussing, framing and a little bit of slow motion.
Our speaker for this week was BBC Springwatch producer Susie Painter who's background is in the history of human's relationship with nature. She gave us an insight into how people's view of wildlife has changed, and that 250- 300 years ago people didn't see wildlife as something to wonder at but something to fear and stay away from. Over the course of time that has changed and since wildlife films began to hit our screens we have an entirely different view of nature. However we also have to be aware that different cultures have different views of wildlife, and whilst British people may enjoy a film about the beauty of wolves many people in parts of America would see it differently. We also looked at how wildlife filmmaking has changed over the past 100 years - from films about hunting safaris to some of the most recent programs we have come a very long way!
During this weeks workshop we learnt about sound. Wow. Sound involves a huge amount more than simply pointing a microphone at something and picking up noise. Firstly you have a range of different microphones to choose from, you have to decide how you are going to record it, set all the settings correctly and avoid interference! I think I have a long way to go before I am a confident sound-woman, but as with the camera it is all about practice!