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I am a member of Nuneaton Moviemakers, a club in the West Midlands. Our meetings are held in a room in a local school so we had an ideal ready made location for 'The Lecture'.
The story was my idea and I directed, edited it and did some of the filming. Other club members were on other cameras and microphone. Gerry Bishop, who played the main character, is normally to be found behind a camera but he was happy to oblige and act, on this occasion. I was very pleased with his perfomance and the bow tie that he wore added an extra touch to create the very convincing character that he played.
The first shoot took place during one of the club's evening meetings. My intention was to shoot all the various shots that I thought would be required, edit them, find out was missing, shoot them and re-take the exact edited shots again. Having the benefit of being able to re shoot again at another time this was not a problem.
When the first footage was edited it was apparent where mistakes had been made. The odd camera man and microphone in shot and ' verticals ' not vertical due to a badly set up tripod. "Who took this rubbish ? " After checking the various tapes I realised that I did.
The second shoot went according to plan and due to suggestions from club members some different camera angle shots were taken that were not taken the first time. These were more interesting. My thoughts are that when directing a film if you get stuck for an idea about a particular shot don't be too proud to ask for member's ideas. If you don't like them don't use them but at least you will hopefully get a few to choose from.
You may ask why was it necessary to retake all the footage again. In a school classroom things get moved around. Books, chairs etc.and also the light level changes. I didn't want any continuity problems. When you know the exact shots that you require it's straight forward to get these again quickly.
The second edit was better than the first, but two or three close ups were still necessary. After a very quick third shoot I'd got all that was wanted. The edited footage was about twelve minutes but I had realised from the start that this would be far too long. Various ways of re editing it were employed without affecting the story line and it was finally shortened to about four minutes.
It was entered into a competition where it won an award. Three very experienced judges said some complimentary things about it. Regarding the music used in the film one judge said, and I quote, "I wondered really if the music was appropriate. It didn't seem to fit the general mood of the fiim." A second judge said "I thought the choice of music fitted well." The third judge said "I would like to query the period music, was this really appropriate, nice as it was?" Three judges, one against the music, one for, and one don't know . The moral of this story is if you think that a piece of music fits your film, don't be swayed by others.
The last thing that I would like to say is , thank you to Gerry for acting with conviction and being word perfect.
- Gordon Bullock August 2004
The Lecture was one of the UK offical entries to UNICA 2004, Germany.
Click here to read more about UNICA 2004 and other UK entries.