Production Documentation and Project Managment.

Outline

Johnny is struggling to come to terms with the recent loss of his grandmother when he discovers a way to travel back in time to 1975 to say his final goodbye.

Treatment

Imagine that you’re a young man in your late teens. You’ve just started University and right now your biggest concerns are coursework, girls, and spots.

These were your biggest concerns until last week when your grandmother suddenly past away. Your Granddad is moving out of his old house as it has ‘too many memories’ and you (being the kind person you are) offer to help. You’re up in the attic picking up cobweb filled boxes of old records and photo albums when something catches your eye; an old leather bound case tucked away neatly in the corner. You walk towards it, brush off the dust with the palm of your hand and open it up. Inside you find an old super eight film camera.

Fascinated by the device, you run down from the attic clutching it in your hands and thrust it upon your granddad. He says it was your grandmothers. She was infatuated with it when she first got it, couldn’t put it down. But after a year or so new distractions came into her life and she’s never used it since. Your Granddad says you can keep it as he has no use for it now.

You take it home. Sitting cross legged on your bed you begin tinkering with your new discovery when suddenly a hatch pings open and you discover that there’s a used tape inside. It must be at least forty years old.

You get it developed and watch it with an old projector you borrowed. You see clips of a field during a hot summers day, close ups on flowers and insects and someone in the distance; far in the distance getting closer and closer. A young man, you think you recognise him but you’re not sure. then suddenly you realise…it’s you! You’re watching yourself on a forty year old piece of film and you look exactly the same as you do now…. and what’s even stranger yet is you’re dressed in exactly the same clothes too!

This could mean one of two things. Number one, you’ve finally lost the plot, gone mad, crazy…or number two, this is real. You’re about to travel back in time and see your grandmother one more time and by looking at your clothes you know it’s going to happen today.

Script

Storyboarding

  • Click HERE to see the storyboards.

Recce notes and photos

  • Click HERE to see the recce notes from the meadow location.
  • Click HERE to see the recce notes from the meadow location (part 2)
  • Click Wildflower Meadow Map to see the recce notes from the meadow location (part 3)
  • Click HERE to see the recce notes from the graveyard location.
  • Click HERE to see the recce note from the granddad’s living room.

Production Schedules/Call Sheets and Shot Lists.

  • Click HERE to see shot lists and schedules for all the major days of shooting.

Budget list

Risk assessments

  • Click HERE to see all of the completed risk assessment forms for The Girl in the Meadow.

Completed Log Sheets

  • Click HERE to see all of the completed log sheets for The Girl in the Meadow.

Release Forms, Information Sheets, and Contracts

  • Click HERE to see all of the completed forms for The Girl in the Meadow

Scoring the Film Part 2: Making the Music.

I have been using Skype to communicate with the composer for the film in Cyprus during all stages of production discussing the tone and style of music needed for the film. It is very important to find someone that is on the same page as you but also is creative and talented to bring something new to the table. Josh Woods is all of these things. At the very beginning of stages of making the film,  myself and Josh (who was living in England at the time) started informal meetings discussing the narrative of the film and what style of music would be best suited to it. We talked about different films such as ‘Submarine’ which was scored by the the award winning band, Arctic Monkey’s front man, Alex Turner. Turner takes a subtle approach when scoring the film, using minimal instruments creating an ‘unplugged/indie’ feel to the film. We were both inspired to create a similar vibe for The Girl in the Meadow’.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23:  Musician Alex Turner attends the "Submarine" press conference at the Crosby Street Hotel on May 23, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 23: Musician Alex Turner attends the “Submarine” press conference at the Crosby Street Hotel on May 23, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Josh is currently living in Cyprus and so communication has been a slight issue. We have a arranged numerous meetings on Skype, Facebook and other social networking sites. This works well when discussing different ideas but when sharing music if can be difficult to truly picture what it would sound like. This recording (below) is from a meeting in the very early stages of pre-production.

Later on we used different formats such as Soundcloud to send over tests and demos through a private link. I would listen to these and then talk over Skype with feedback. I feel this worked much better as I could clearly hear the piece and make a better judgement of my thoughts on it. Here is a test to one of the demos I am particularly fond of.

Josh is very passionate about the film and has already produced 14 demo tracks experimenting with different instruments and tempos to create the certain timbre we are after for the film.

Later on this year we aim to release a Soundtrack CD alongside DVD copies of the film. In the CD we aim to include the full soundtrack of the film as well as the tests and demos josh has worked on. The money made from these will go towards paying entry fees for film festivals as well as paying Josh for his hard work.photo 2

We are currently finalising the eight tracks that will feature in the film and will be finished within the next few days.

Editing the Film: Colour-grading

I have been using Final Cut Pro X to edit the The Girl in the Meadow. I found it’s simple, minimalistic layout design beneficial as it gently eased me into learning the technicalities of editing and then allowed me to gradually progress onto more advanced processes.

Editing the film has been a very long process. The rough cut of the film has a total total running time of 30 minutes. Ideally, I would like to cut this down to approximately 25 minutes. This rough cut has been used as a guide to develop different stages of the film such as Foley design and  Scoring the film.

Colour-grading

Colour grading is a very important part of the editing process. It can completely change the mood and feel on a piece. Every scene of The Girl in the Meadow required some sort of colour grading.  Most scenes needed a basic tweaking of exposure and colour levels. The screen shot below is a good example of this.

Colour Grading

This is the type of grading I did for the majority of the film. However, there were some scenes that required a lot more work. When Johnny goes back in time to the meadow he is supposed to be in a beautiful vibrant world that is very utopian in nature.  On the filming day the weather wasn’t perfect and resulted in the shots looking a little dull. I researched different ways to improve the shots in post and came across this tutorial video (below).

I found this very beneficial and used it as a guide to help me improve the meadow scenes. After a lot of tinkering, I ended up with the following results in the image below.

CG meadowAlthough there are a few dodgy areas of white around the trees, this has dramatically changed the image from from it’s initial dullness to a vibrant and beautiful meadow. I will continue to experiment with this technique until I think I have achieved the look I want.

Log Sheets

Being well organised is vital to filmmaking.

All of the major filming days were properly logged to help make the editing process in post production run smoother.

Log Sheets

The Attic 28/03/14

The Meadow 30/03/14

Bathroom and Hallway Scenes 31/03/14

Johnny’s Bedroom Scenes 04/04/14

Granddad’s House (Night) 05/04/14

Granddad’s House (Day) and Graveyard 06/04/14

Foley Log Sheets

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