BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Final Major Project: Scripting amendments

Spent 20 minutes today running through my ideas and gauging the opinion of a planning professional who has experience of work in local government. We put together a structure for the script, Setting a context through Dr Wiltshire: Why is there such a long waiting list for allotments? Why is there a growing demand for allotments? [Case study, Chatham] Are there alternative growing spaces available for those on long waiting lists? 1) Alternative Gardening projects (social enterprise) Urban areas 2) Local Authority improves methodology for identifying land (government-led funding?) Rural 3) Education before committing to allotments (reducing time wasters!)

Friday, 28 September 2012

Final Major Project: Identifying the "question"

Through research I am looking to set up the "through question" in order to tie up the story. I will be putting questions to our newest contributor, Dr. Richard Wiltshire:
Research Interests urban horticulture labour mobility in large organisations employer provided housing Japanese economy and environment Biography Richard Wiltshire obtained a BSc from King’s College London before completing an MA at York University (Toronto) and a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He taught at the University of Washington and Tohoku University (Japan) before joining the Geography Department at SOAS, which merged with the King’s Department in 2001. A Japan specialist, working on urban and environmental issues, he is also internationally known for research and advocacy on community gardening. Looking for the “through question” • There is a current demand with spare land in short supply, growing waiting lists and limited funding. • Estimates of waiting lists exceeding 100,000 are widely reported • In most areas, waiting lists have not been a focus of concern since the oil crisis temporarily boosted demand in the 1970s. • “The need for allotments, community gardens and urban farms is likely to rise with the growth of interest in organic farming and as a result of rising housing densities and the consequential reduction in the size of many gardens. The number of allotments required in any area is a function of demand and therefore it will be appropriate to use a demand-led methodology, based on local authority records. It is obviously desirable for local authorities not only to provide and rent allotments, but also to keep a waiting list as this helps to identify the level of unmet demand and its spatial distribution. Accordingly there is likely to be a need for a population-based provision standard, coupled with an accessibility standard or distance threshold.” • Solutions can be found in “cross-boundary” working: “The London Borough of Camden, for example, has been able to bring some relief to applicants who might otherwise wait several years for a plot by encouraging them to apply for plots in Barnet, Haringey and Brent, with the active support of the allotment officers and managers of devolved sites in both boroughs.” • The sign of a successful allotment is being oversubscribed eg: Thurrock - only seven of the 30 allotment plots were occupied. Now all the plots have been taken and there is a waiting list. Bury - In just two years the site has been transformed: all plots have been filled and the waiting list has grown to over 60. Some plots have been split in half to make it easier for plotholders to keep them well cultivated. • Some blame recent media attention which can sometimes create unrealistic expectations about the time and effort required to keep a plot in good condition. • Examples of a typical waiting list are starting to be published online. E.G Prior Street Gardens (Greenwich) has a waiting time of 14 years. • The only realistic hope for aspiring growers in the short term lies with alternative gardening projects. These are currently attracting a great deal of popular attention. The Womens’ Environmental Network ( has for years supported food growing within areas of social housing in London’s East End. The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens ( provides similar support to urban farms and gardens throughout Great Britain. The Capital Growth project ( aims to create 2012 new growing spaces in time for the London Olympics, and the Landshare project (http://landshare.channel4. com/), a national initiative to match aspiring growers with landowners, has already attracted many thousands of inquiries.

Final Major Project: Checklist

Post group crit Targets Sept Oct 2nd Architecting Film Exact content of the film and how it will brake down, a script. Research into the context – what else is out there, like this – before this? Production schedule Superseed A tight script with the “through question” outlined. A picture script, think images – what will we see. Work with Cat. With contributors assigned to “characters”. Production schedule in place for shoot. Research the context – what else is out there, before this. Will, while I can see all the research is coming together, you must make sure this doesn’t all fall through because of lack of contributors firmed up, and/or a clear through line with your story question. Don’t let your hard work in the planning/idea stage stumble in the production phase (as has happened before abit with Pete:Hack)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Final Major Project: Tutorial

- Spent the first hour today with Dylan just going through our ideas and agreed in our collaboration to log rushes during the shot just in order to template and experiment with logging and compiling footage after each shoot. - After this we had our group tutorial which proved to be a really helpful exercise:
- I established that my script structure is there but there is a strong need to develop a question. - This question could be the form of a 'fact' - Need to find an inside route that links the story together
- Worked out that me and Cat would share the roles of camera op during the shoot Looked through the assessment criteria in detail:
- 'Advanced' - an understanding of what your project is and where it fits in the industry - Demonstrated in FMP report on how it is delivered outside the university screening. - The context: whats the competition/audience? - 'Cultural Knowledge' - understanding of it's contemporaries with accompanying research. All evident in the FMP report. - Have I tried something new/original? - Being abled to CRITICALLY REFLECT and develop work/time management/ meeting deadlines. Clearly defined ideas

Friday, 21 September 2012

Final Major Project: Recce and Feedback

Having shown my script order/structure to Helen she has come back to me with the following advise: Remember to structure your film in the following ways:
WHAT PEOPLE TALK ABOUT – STRUCTURE BY LOGICAL PROGRESSION THROUGH ISSUES/THOUGHTS RELATING TO THE SUBJECT OF ALLOTMENTS. WHAT YOU SEE – STRUCTURE LOGICALLY, CREATING A VISUAL NARRATIVE THROUGH EVENTS EITHER CHRONOLOGICALLY AND/OR BY BUILDING TENSION AS KEY EVENTS APPROACH AND UNFOLD. When you script this more fully also consider HOW you are going to illustrate each point you make through sequences and/or actuality. Each thought should logically tee-up each sequence/actuality moment. Each interviewee will need set up sequences – think creatively as to what these could be. Summarise in the shooting script what each person is going to tell us. Think about a good opening sequence and a good ending.
And now I've organised a recce at the allotment I asked what I should do whilst out meeting plot owners, she advised,
If you are going to meet people, I would suggest you just talk to them and start to suss-out who are your potential characters (just take notes). In terms of pictures stills are fine for the recce - but remember to start thinking about your filming opportunities - what are the sequences and actuality possibilities there. You will need to start asking them questions which will inform your script and provide the information you need to structure it - go with the flow, but know your subject so that you can ascertain who can represent different aspects of your story (you need to know the 'bigger picture' re: allotments - what are the current issues etc). Definitely need to get people on-side and make them feel at easel, but also stay in control of the direction of your film. Use the people you meet for their expertise on the subject, but you are the expert in terms of making a film.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Final Major Project (Professional Practice): Primary Research

After tutorials with Simon yesterday I have now established my Final Major Project will now be split in two and my blog posts will entitled the following: Final Major Project Final Major Project (Professional Practice) Professional Practice will essentially be a showcase of my research/development and general "workings" whilst working within a corporate video environment as Director. With a deadline to establish a Title, overall theme and format I began by brainstorming keywords and phrases:
Corporate video production, Director/Producer, story of business, creative and technical director, Creative concept, Output/distribution, Video content for the web
I then came up with the theme of Drawing board to finished product This is the amalgamation of my thoughts, it essentially a stylish making-of film making use of the b-roll from the main shoot with an accompanying document to compliment each section of the film - Architecting Film Idea Proposal

Monday, 17 September 2012

Final Major Project: Online Delivery

Looking forward to the broadcast platform I am thinking of producing a slick online package similar to that produced by Keo Digital's Landshare website (a sister site to Hugh Feranley Whittingstall) The reason I am thinking about this now is that Im not sure how this could be split between the group/myself or do I commission a different course to do it? This is an example of Hugh's Landshare website

Final Major Project: Contributors

Left a message with Clare Devereux:
Victoria Williams and her colleague Clare Devereux run Food Matters, a Brighton-based not-for-profit organisation that offers support and expertise to organisations and individuals working towards creating more sustainable and equitable local, national and global food systems. Food Matters has worked with the Food Partnership since its inception and holds a co-opted place on the Board due to their expertise on issues such as organic production, sustainability, GM crops, consumer attitudes, local food systems and food poverty. Victoria represents Food Matters on the Board where she continues to lend her expertise to the FP.
I left her an email explain our intentions,
Dear Clare, I have been recommended you maybe interested in a project I am producing by my sister who attended a presentation to South Coast young planners on food and social planning. I am a student at the University for the Creative Arts (Maidstone) studying Broadcast Media writing/producing a documentary about allotments in Chatham (Kent) and we are looking to have a expert opinion on the social and environmental impacts of allotments and I wondered if you wanted to take part in an interview with us? Our shooting period runs from 1st October to around 14th October. So far we have contributors from Great South and Street End Allotments in Chatham and potentially have River Cottage head Chef Sam Rom cooking produce from the allotments and it would be great to have your informed opinion to give perspective to the piece. I look forward to hearing from you, Will (Producer)

Final Major Project: Contributors

Been researching potential chefs to attend a BBQ at the allotments for the conclusion of the documentary. I began by listing down the main chefs I wanted to contribute: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - This proved a challenge and I was bounced around his agents firm Greenebeaton, but discovered a lead after calling Keo Films (HFW production company) It was suggested I ring River Cottage Canteen directly and managed very simply (before lunch orders!) to be passed over to head chef Sam Rom-
I followed up this conversation with an email as Sam sounded very positive:
Hi Sam, Following our recent phone conversation, here is a brief overview of what we are looking to film: Scheduled Production Period: Monday 1st October - Sunday 14th October for University for the Creative Arts (Maidstone) BA (Hons) Final Major Project Super-seed: The Story of Street End and Great South Allotments 15 minute documentary featuring community gardeners and allotment owners from Chatham (Kent). Focusing on the story of plot owners with expert contributors looking into the impact self-growing can make on urban communities. Concluded with a BBQ of plot owners produce by a top chef, with question for the chef and concluding thoughts from plot owners. I can send you a more detailed synopsis if required. I understand you have a hectic schedule with filming and at River Cottage, and we are more than happy to be flexible with dates and cover your travel costs. If it for any reason does not suit your schedule feel free to pass on this information to anyone else you feel maybe interested. Thanks for taking time out to talk to me and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Kind Regards, Will

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Final Major Project: Research

The Selby features photographs, paintings and videos by todd selby of interesting people in creative spaces.
I feel illustrations and the art side of this will bring an eclectic and bohemian feel, and a guide/map like the one below could look really nice and upkeep an interactive feel.
High/Low films produced a film about the story behind Patagonia Provisions wild caught salmon. Patagonia Provisions

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Final Major Project: Crew Focus

During our discussion with Simon it was agreed we need to clarify and split up the roles in 'Supersede" documentary. My role as Producer/Writer has now been added to the proposal: Writer/Producer – A Project Perspective from Will Tippett Conception of this particular idea was developed on visiting and experiencing the Street End allotment. Tasting the produce and speaking to the people there triggered a response and an understanding of the social importance of the allotment. In order to compose a 15-minute showcase of life on the allotment it is important to get to know our contributors “on their own turf”. Pre-production will consist of a methodic yet personal research and development period where the whole production team will conduct interviews and take in the environment by taking photos and film. Akin to this, as writer, the backbone of the story will be revealed and 1st drafts of guide scripts and interview questions will be composed, vetted and quality controlled weekly as the team discover more about our contributors. Having looked into the style of documentary filmmaker, Dorothy Fadiman, I discovered, after some initial background research, she assembles a crew, contacts interviewees, and starts filming. She watches each day’s footage, chooses the best clips, and allows the film’s story to emerge. Fadiman went on to explain, highlighting the importance of “Finding a good idea; doing background research and putting together a supportive team; then, once you start shooting, opening yourself to the direction suggested by what you see and hear. This is how you allow your footage to tell you where to go, instead of following a predetermined script.” Fadiman’s scripts develop gradually, in the editing room, as she chooses the best clips and rearranges them–all the while slowly building her movie. This is an approach, certainly worth considering working closely with Editor, Dylan Cox.

Final Major Project: Research & Recce

Having established our provisional production schedule, I'm looking to focus in on some details. Pencilled in further to the last post we have a meet and greet opportunity at a bbq next week at Great South allotment (TBC) with another bbq on 16th at Street End. Having spoken to Helen and Simon, with the collaboration of the production team, about the planning and execution of our recces, I have devised a 'hit list' of requirements and objectives. - Take 600D for research stills and potential shots. - All take notebooks (filming interviews straight away could be intimidating- essential to build and maintain a rapport). - Cat (director) can get some idea of artistic tone, shot angles (look for out establishing wides etc.) - Speak to potential contributors, obtain contact details and availabilty (as a rule, we look to find 3 major characters with some minor ones) - Find our opening and closing shots and how titles can be incorporated into it (Eg. blue sky, weather permitting, framed by allotment buildings.)
Images from Wilder Quarterly

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Final Major Project: Preliminary Scheduling

Liaising with the team we have collectively pencilled out a production schedule, it is essential we are organised from the outset and this will be the starting point for our timetabling of 'Supersede' project.

Final Major Project: Contributors

Sent the following message to Chatham & District Leisure Gardeners Association facebook page (57 members of Street End and Great South Allotments)
We are now going ahead with our research and would like to come along and meet as many allotment holders at a time that is convenient, please advise dates which would suit. If there is someone who could show us around and introduce us to everyone would be great. Please let us know your mobile number if you are keen to help. The sooner we can come to see you the better! There is also possibility we can attend the September BBQ- what time does this start and can we speak to people then to? We have also pencilled in the week ending 14th October with the BBQ for filming, this is to be confirmed. Thanks for bearing with us, we are looking forward to meeting you all! UCA BM Team
I had help with this from Helen and she also suggested: -Create a timeline -Establish 3 major characters with minor characters -Find out stories: is there a waiting list? etc.

Final Major Project: The 1st Proposal

Documentary Idea 29082012 Dylan Input During the summer break I the green light the idea with our group and curculated the proposal prior to day one of this semester. Akin to that, before our first group discussion me and Dylan met, having corresponded during the holidays and methodically went through the proposal above and had the following thoughts: Establish location - Chatham, near Maidstone It is a relevant topic and occurring theme in terrestrial programming "Breaking information" - Online broadcast Extra contributors (Food matters etc.) contextualise whats occuring "at ground level" More cross collaborations: Production stills (Danni) BA Hons Photography Illustrions to apply to presentation and After Effects (Lucy) BA Hons Illustration EXPERIMENT WITH ON-SITE EDITING