Graduating BSc Film Technology Production 1st Class Hons

13715985_10153764680873017_1445032360225340966_nThe time finally arrived for me to graduate. My four years at uni were not the easiest due to personal reason. Losing both my Nana and Grandad during 2nd and 3rd year only pushed me forward and determined me more to make them proud.

Placement year had been interesting and I’d learnt more about the industry I was running towards. Staffs had also assisted with setting up my Business through the Speed Plus program.

I’d made new life long friends on my course and through my social activities. Netball became a huge part of my life by spending three years on committee. I’d been involved with the Film society and got to go to the Berlin Film Festival.

I’d been working for the union for the past 3 years and enjoyed every moment. I also represented my course as an academic rep which involved attending meetings with course lecturers to make those changes for new students and be ready for the Stafford move to Stoke.

But the biggest change and difference has been my confidence. I am no longer the shy girl scared to ask a question or speak up. Now I will happily express what I want changed and why. I will jump in to any role and put myself forward to make those connections to get ready for the next step in life.

Now the time was here. I’d passed with flying colours even with the hiccup of having my appendix removed in the middle of final year. I’d made it and achieved my degree and a whole lot more. Thanks to Staffordshire University, the Students’ Union, the Netball team, my course, and family and friends I am now a Staffordshrie University Graduate.

The day was beautiful. The sun was shining and the venue looked beautiful. I was proud. Proud of myself and proud  to be Staffs. It was a day to celebrate with my friends and family.

Then the moment came after all the speeches and photos to cross that stage. I could see my goal. A final handshake with the Vice Chancellor. It was in my sight and I crossed that finish line.

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It was done. A whole stage of my life over. But I felt that achievement and it will push me froward in everything I do now.

‘The Mines’ – Coming Soon

As part of my dissertation project I focused on creating a distribution and marketing campaign for the feature film ‘The Mines’. The film is set in 1980’s England during the mining strikes and follows Joseph Cole and Ernest Mills, two miners struggling to survive the impact of the strikes. The story is a powerful tale with a number of characters reacting to the situation they now find themselves in.

As part of the campaign I had to create a series of posters and a trailers that were then reviewed by the public. It is hoped that the film will be made in 2017 as part of a Master’s project.

The Posters:

The posters were designed by investigating a number of other films within the same era or style of project and reproducing them.

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It was important that the posters reflected the style of the film and gave enough information away for an audience to want to view the film and find out more information. Research identified important areas that must be included on a poster such as Title, Director, Actors, Release date, Production company. Audience members had different opinions on what had to be included. A survey of 51 people showed that 45% looked at the images of a movie poster first. 56% were more interested in the story shown in the trailer and 74% would look fro the trailer 1st when trying to find more information about a film.

 

The Trailer:

View the trailer here.

The trailer was designed from achieve footage of the time and present day production footage of the characters. The present day footage was shot at Apedale Heritage center in Newcastle-under-lyme which has a real working mine and museum.

The trailer was accepted well and circulated on social media as a teaser trailer for the actual film so audience members can view the style and story.

More information can be found on the twitter page @theminesfilm

Underwater Music Video Test Shoots.

When: 27th February 2015

To begin the new year I was asked to assist with a final year student’s FYP (Final Year Project). He had chosen to create two music videos and asked if I would be project manager. Of course I accepted happily and found myself as the test doll to test the underwater scenes.

Filming underwater proved to be a challenge. This was due to the technology we had at hand because of budget and availability but also the practicality of the shoot. We hired out the local swimming pool for an hour to practice. Our main concern was the lighting. We did not want the pool visible as it was supposed to look like she was swimming in a lake. Armed with a go pro, reflector and so heavy duty torches we headed to the swimming pool.

My job was easy, I had to swim around in a dance like style, waving my arms and legs, floating and flipping my body. The hard work was left to the camera man who had to follow me around while struggling for breath. This could be seen as slowing down the production but it turned out to be a viable method as we paused to discuss new methods and ways to film more effectively and teach our actress what we wanted.

test swim 1

This is the result. The images have been darkened slightly to remove the stark whiteness of the pool. By using torches and dispersing the light it allowed the bubbles to appear as flecks of light floating upwards. We tested with clothes on to see the movement of the fabric but found that it wasn’t thick enough so instead turned transparent in most of the shots.

test swim 2

When the light was directed and in the image we found it was less realistic looking. So decided on the main shoot to use large LEDs that would spread across a larger area of space instead of looking so concentrated.

We were also surprised at how clear the go pro footage was, especially with both parties and the surroundings moving. It also picked up a nice reflection of the waters surface making a mirror like image which would fit nicely with the symbolism of the music video.

The actual shoot will follow over the following weeks.

Time for a Change

I have decided to continue my blog in first person. This is for a few reasons, mainly it is no longer being academically marked and secondly this is somewhere to detail my personal journey to others. It will follow my daily activities and future projects not just in film but everything that furthers my development as a person.

I ask for you to join me in this adventure, following my work and those I support. This is not only a way to document myself but to network and learn more.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

Unpaid Placement Year

When?

September 2014 – September 2015

What?

Working in the industry on an unpaid placement.

Why?

To gain experience and knowledge by committing oneself to work within the UK’s film industry for a year. The placement will be in Leeds however the candidate will be living in Stafford and commuting to Leeds each week. This is a minimum of a two hour journey.

How?

Due to this being an unpaid placement, there is no payment for the work that will be undertaken. This means that the year needs to be perfectly budgeted as there is little help from student finance. What is provided by student finance only covers half the years rent. Therefor full time work was completed over the summer holidays (three months). Travelling the company to work for Jenningsbet allowed the saving of £3500 towards costs of living for the year. A job at the union shop at Staffordshire University was also secured. This meant that during term time, money could be earned to go towards travel costs.

A clear budget was written out and prepared which had to be stuck to, to survive the year.

Who?

Emma Simms

Experimental Film – Kites

When?

May 2015

What?

Tasked with creating an experimental film that experiments with surrealism.

Why?

To understand experimental films as an art form and pushing the boundaries of an unusual form of film making.

How?

The idea was created to have two people on a beach attempting to fly two kites. One person was to be more successful than the other until they both work to fly a kite at the end. The action takes place over a day at Croydon beach. Due to the nature and style of the film it was decided to improvise nearly all of the footage. Due to the low wind, it was actually a struggle to make the kites fly. The strange statues that litter the beach also give an eerie feel to the film.However they also allow for the characters to interact with them, in their attempts to fly the kites. A grainy film was applied to the edit to give that raw gritty feel, almost like a home made family video.

Who?

Emma Simms, Keylea Orme, Johnathon Wilson

Bottled Up

When?

28/03/2014

What?

To complete edit of creative film assignment which was designed to bring everything learned from semester 1 in to one video.

Why?

To successfully create a powerful short film which was accomplished by a lot of hard work from cast and crew. Colour grading was completed correctly with all shots matching. During the editing process it was decided to shorten the film and remove the ‘best friend’ due to his theatrical acting which changed the mood and style we wanted. This made the short much more powerful and focused on the relationship which is what was designed from the start.

The ending was also removed and was cut to an earlier shot which finalised the plot more. The short now feels more documentary like and following the development of there relationships without the need of outside influences. It feels more like a personal bubble the audience is peering into.

However it is obvious that some sound needs redoing. A musical score was created but due to the shortness of the feature there was no space to add it. This is a very quite short with the need for dialogue obsolete. Everything is said through posture and body language making it a more powerful film.

This film was successfully made and combined all knowledge of the previous semester, shown through the thought process of the editing stage.

Who?

Laura Humphrey, Jack Fenton, Oliver Jones and Charlotte Morgan.