Wish for 6
The first project I worked on was cameraman on Wish for 6, director by Andrew Coster. The filming of this consisted of about 3 or 4 days and they were long hours (being a baseball game!). But it was fun and I learnt alot about the sport. I wish I knew more going into it though because then I’d be able to predict the ball and player direction a little better (we shot most of it as a close up so predicting the game direction was important for keeping the subjects in frame).
The overall process of filming this documentary was really smooth, there weren’t any hiccups and it was a really good and reliable team to work with.
I was the director and co-writer of Rainbow Chain.
Together with Casey, who produced this film, we put in many hours into first figuring out the story. This was a challenge for me because I’m very indecisive and I work better having someone to bounce off, so it was easier having someone to help.
We spent hours coming up with the idea because there were so many alternatives and we struggled with whether it was a proper ‘story’ or not.
I felt confident with the idea that we came up with which was originally about an artist being open to the idea of god and being used by him to positively affect the community.
We were pretty confident with the idea so I didn’t even think to run it past Sean my lecturer, in hindsight that’s the first thing I should have done.
Based on the story, I planned out what footage and interview we would get. So plenty of thought went into the pre-production phase and I liaised with our main participant as to which days would be good to shoot and we had 4-5 days planned.
Tony’s multiple interviews ran fine, I even went out and followed him one day around st kilda on my DSLR because he only decided the day before to go filming for his song he made (obviously it was too late to get equipment out and organise people to come). Luckily I did go because our luck only got worse after this….
The shooting stage started to get complicated when a full day of shooting interviews at the church went to waste because the camera was set to ‘capture onto external’, I’m kicking myself for not checking the playbacks! So because we needed these interviews we had to wait another week (the church is only on Sundays). This pushed us a week back and it was hard trying to organise it because it was late notice and Easter, which meant only one of my crew was free (Rohan on camera) which left me to do audio and ask questions.
Everything was running fine, until the next day we realised the external audio set for channel 2 wasn’t switched on. Yet another technical blunder.
Being a week late, we were struggling to have something ready to show the class especially since we were in the middle of changing the story.
The day before, I couldn’t make it to uni until later to meet my editor due to a internship interview and I assumed he’d work on the outline I gave him. Somehow I completely forgot about a more thorough paper edit. Except I didn’t realise nothing would be done until I physically got there, so a day was wasted due to bad communication.
At this point my struggles were:
- Coming up with a new story by myself
- Stressing about if the paperwork would get done
- The internship interview
- Finding an audio student to clean up the sound
- learning how my editor works
- Doing a paper edit
- Trying to get a job
I didn’t think of it at the time, but trying to juggle all these issues really distracted me from doing my job, which was the creative vision of the film, i.e. the story.
Luckily my lecturer asked my editor to help me, otherwise I’m sure no one would have helped. Unfortunately I’ve learnt most people in my group work by a ‘that’s not my job’ motto which is hard to grasp seeing as I’m always ready to help, even to a flaw of negating my own titles responsibilities. Of course it crossed my mind that I could simply have that attitude, but I was scared nothing would get done and that would reflect badly on me.
So considering our lost interviews, we were forced to write a puff-piece about an artist who has another element to him that’s more important to him than art, which is of course his relationship with God. I spent the next two weeks barely leaving uni to get the paper edit done for my editor and we finally got it done.
Overall my group worked together pretty well and I’m stoked to have been able to work with most of them and learnt about their talents, vulnerabilities, thoughts and beliefs and getting to know them as individuals.
I don’t think the film worked at all, I don’t consider it a success at any stretch of the imagination and it’s quite embarrassing how much we stuffed up the interviews and I’m much too embarrassed to go back and ask them A THIRD TIME for interviews. So I’d love to work on it in the future and give it another crack because we filmed alot of good church observational footage, but without these interviews I’m not sure how we can possibly continue.
To finish on a positive note on myself, I think I coped pretty well considering the demands on my plate and am surprised at how far I can stretch without cracking. I did cry a few times, I also laughed but I didn’t crack… turns out I’m pretty good at keeping my cool especially when being told bad news. It was a great experience and I learnt to NAIL down the story first. Story always comes first.