Back for another year even bigger and better! The inspiring and engaging event located at London’s Olympia is The Media Production Show. I attended on the first of the two days (13th June) and saw some fantastic exhibitors and seminars. Below are highlights information that I took from the day.
Location Planning for Feature Films
David Broder (Supervising Location Manager – Lost in London)
Charlie Hayes (Location Manager – working on Mission Impossible 6)
Chaired by: James Waller
Most Famously known for shooting in one take is the Lost in London Film. What kind of planning is required to pull off the one take shot in Trafalgar Sq London? Working with the police and the council to get permission and guidance is important. Simple things like what day & time to film so the filming doesn’t interrupt with business needs to be considered. Also helps to get authorities on board such as TFL.
The most challenging project Charlie has worked on is Atomic Bomb and Mary Poppins, which was a job. It’s an unusual privilege to work in an environment, in a place where the film crew has no place being. David’s most challenging project was The BFG, which occupied 18 months of his life. He had the opportunity to influence the look of the film and do location research on Northern Europe and London. An absolute highlight for him was flying out to San Francisco to see Steven Spielberg who asked, “so what do you think David?” Priceless.
* Plans can change last minute so build level of flexibility. Your job is to grant the wish of the film or be firm to say no because…..
* Be bold, strong & have a thick skin
* Extract information to be able to comprehensively complete paperwork
* Be responsible for production company to abide by rules and H&S regulations
Business, Buildings and Brexit – The Big Post Production Debate
Cara Kotschy – Managing Director, Fifty Fifty PP
Julie Parmenter – MD, Molinare
Neil Hatton – Chief Executive, UK Screen
Will Cohen – CEO, Milk
Chaired by: Will Strauss
– Has hanged on post production and visual effects
– Loss of non EU skills – migrants + visual effects 20% workforce + 31% from EU countries skills charge
– Visa is an expense to production. It’s advantageous to have a mix of cultures not just British so it’s a disincentive to get overseas and invest more in homegrown talent
– UK benefits to film = knowledge transfer of people from abroad, diversity of cultures and thoughts, giving creativity edge
– Less global competitive edge and makes it difficult for continual growth overseas
– Global footprint companies have offices not only in U.K, but in Canada and abroad
– Getting the best talent is a positive!
Planet 2 Earth Showcase
Elizabeth White (Producer – Snakes vs Iguanas sequence)
Kate Hopkins (Sound Editor)
Rob Drewett (DoP – Locust sequence)
Tim Hugh-Jones (Series Producer)
Chaired by: George Panayiotou
The second series of Planet Earth captured 12.2million viewers in the 1st episode. Following in from the first series, the producer wanted to include the digital revolution. To use technology in a way so the focus is to immerse the viewer in an experience. So the focus is on bringing the viewers in rather than the viewer simply observing like in Series 1. The DOP looked for opportunities to film close to the animal and follow them to give the viewers the feeling like we are one of them. The RED Digital camera was used to capture animal behaviour. This is compelling material to watch as a viewer. Drones were used to capture invaluable shots.
Challenges were finding new stories and new locations and getting access. Another is the difficulties in planning for a shot. You can have an idea of what you want to shoot for the day but due to the spontaneity of wildlife nature, sometimes you can’t deliver to expectations. Each day is costly and there may be no second chances to get a particular shot. Crews are hired on the basis of their skill, interests and specialties. An animal lover may have a natural instinct to spot opportunities and can be ready to move accordingly for example. Wildlife shows cost £million per episode and if it doesn’t work, it’s a big part of the budget.
They looked for opportunities to film close to the animals and follow them from the animals point of view.
Check out this classic moment from the snakes vs iguanas clip: Watch YouTube Clip
The music and score of the programme is a collaborative process and the sound editors were asked to get involved early on in the process. They can ask the sound recordist to film atmosphere rather than download from a library. They think imaginatively to create the soundscape for the clips – what are the pictures doing, the speed, the pace? The structure of the story comes together and the music drives it.
New Kings of Content
Alex Morris (Creative Director, Barcroft Media)
Chris Bonney (CEO, Cineflix Media
Richard Chambers (Head of Zoomin Studios)
Chaired by Peter Cowley
There are new forms of commissioning and platforms e.g. Amazon and Netflix compared to TV broadcaster to consider. We are living in very exciting times where there are many platforms of content to choose from.
In terms of production, needs and budget are matched. The online video forms are less involved in editorial process. Much of that is left to Producer which allows more freedom for the creative process and less cost. Their approach is more assessing the content and seeing if it’s a good fit for them and leave the producers to get on with it. Deal is you give more rights away to e.g Amazon – Global Rights. You can sell the format internationally.
What background are you coming from? Life experience, journalism (real stories) – storytelling via different platforms. Captivate and engage in first 10 seconds (online media). To make money you could monetise content, licence content, add advert selling, bespoke add, brand sponsor content or commissioned content.
TV is a format not a device sitting in the corner if your room. Incubate that to share with the world. Some videos thrive in the YouTube domain. Think what makes it good for TV is upscaling and presenting to broadcaster. Social media strategy is all about engagement.
Lateral Thinking: Psychological Techniques – The Craft of Editing
Inside the edit suite – Paddy Bird
What is lateral thinking? Solving a problem in a new light. Solving with constraints of time pressure, meeting deadlines, fixing and moving in, less resources and making everything work in harmony. A bit like driving your car in different situations, you can train your brain to deal with problems quickly and become used to it like it’s second nature.
Consider are clients and commissioners happy? Tips on how to creatively edit: Watch the raw footage, visualise the scene, cut the scene, ask a what if question, visualise the new version, re-cut the scene and repeat.
Be a storyteller! Practice telling stories in the edit.
Emmerdale’s Winning Streak
Iain McLeod – Series Producer
Maxine Alderton – Writer
Michelle Hardwick – Actor
Zoe Henry – Actor
Producers have a responsibility to tell the story properly. This can help people to tell their story. At the end of sensitive soap episode there is information on the (helpline to call if affected by the issue.
Research is very important. It’s about having that level of care and detail. Usually a story is pitched then lots of research goes into it. Producers have to think about giving the right story to a particular character so it’s fitting. So story + character match with issue – its organic and character driven. Good research: visit places, speak to organisations, get the right information so the right message is coming out of it. With soup there is greater scoop to show characters journey (how they became something). Thinking of stories, producers will think about what journey they want character to go through and how other characters will respond to that and be part of the story.
Directing Factual – Fixed Rig
John Douglas – Producer/Director
Paddy Wivell – Producer/Director
Sophie Jones – Producer/Director
Chaired by: Stu Bernard
– 24 Hours in A + E observational documentary filmed using fixed rig. 111 cameras rigged but filming 7 cameras at once.
– An Opportunity to have access to a world like never seen before. See in rare natural form as you get intimacy from the fixed rig camera. An unobtrusive way to ‘witness me at my most vulnerable.’
– With telling the story you need narrative + camera. The moments you achieve with a rig. Technology allows for you to capture that.
– The production team works different 8-hour shift patterns. Logs are kept 24/7 and are used to help decide the best bits. narratives are created as the filming goes on. Building Trust and nurturing relationship between producers, staff and contributors is important.
– The format is sell-able and has made money internationally including in Australia