Producing a risk assessment

As part of the planning process we needed to produce a risk assessment. We used this template to think of all the possible risks that could occur when filming on location.

risk assess 2 risk assess

Planning Autumn Veil

During the script making process we decided that we needed 3 locations in total, all based near the main one: the greenhouse. We needed a house and somewhere outside where James had supposedly slept for the night.  This took a lot of planning, especially with the outside locations because we needed to know where we were going to get out electricity and how we were going to work if the weather conditions were bad.

Once we had a decent plan, we worked more on creating a shot list that the crew would need to stick to on set. This helped us to help picture the film without actually shooting. It took a long time to do this as a lot of people had conflicting ideas about how they wanted the scene to look e.g. mid shot of close up and from what angle etc. I personally found this really hard because I had my own ideas about how I wanted specific scenes to look like, and as one of the Directors, I just wanted to use my own ideas rather than take someone else’s. However, the film was supposed to be a team effort and so I took other people’s ideas and included them because a good working relationship between everyone is really important. Furthermore, some people had some really good ideas which would have worked better than mine and so it is was really helpful and productive to hear their ideas.

Shot list

I met mainly with people working in the cinematography and camera departments and with the other directors in order to create the best shot list. I had never thought of doing a ‘master shot’ where the shot was done in aerial view until someone mentioned it. Although this was a good idea, it would have been really hard to do on out budget and we had to stick to a specific time schedule, which meant that a shot that complex would have meant the sacrifice of time on other equally important scenes.

Planning shots

We also needed to talk about how the characters looked, as well as the film in general. We decided in another meeting that we wanted the old man (Hobie, 70) to look confused and innocent, so we thought about putting him in the greenhouse in nightwear to highlight his confusion. We also talked about James and how we wanted him to wear a hoodie as a metaphorical mask in order to ‘hide’ his troubles and vulnerable side, which we eventually see later in the film when he no longer wears his hoodie.

We went on several casting agency websites to look at potential actors to play James and Hobie. When looking at the actors on the website’s we were looking for someone who reminded us of the nature and personality of the characters we had created together in our minds. We needed a convincing actor who looked like we wanted our character to look like as we wanted the audience to be able to empathize with them we wanted to make the characters believable.

Agree production requirements within the film production team

In the production meetings we had before the shoot, we discussed several things that needed to be addressed and agreed between everyone: Location, actors, camera shots, roles, costumes.

The location was the one thing that took us a while to decide on because the location needed to help bring our story to life- it is arguably one of the most important factors in the film. We eventually decided on a location in Ulverston at a community garden where we agreed looked like where we would want our film to take place.

Location BFI

In another meeting, we decided on what we wanted in our script.

We also discussed character:  Here, we decided on James (17) and Hobie (70) to be our two characters. After this we spent a lot of time deciding on the specifics on the characters e.g. what they wear, what their personality is like etc.

character development

We also debated on the actual structure of the film- do we work chronologically in a linear narrative or do we do something different e.g. flashbacks. We thought that it would be a good idea to have flashbacks to highlight the confusion of both the characters- James has been drinking and so flashbacks would help create a muddled up story, like James’ memory.


The final thing we needed to discuss was the script and our roles. We Facetimed Matt in one of our sessions to talk about how we felt about the first draft of the script as a group. We had lots of feedback to give e.g. the dialogue at the beginning, which we wanted to change.

We then discussed which roles we wanted to do on set. I wanted to be the director because I wanted to have an input in all of the departments and I wanted to experience having control over the shoot. I am also interested in behind the scenes as I really like doing things independently with a camera, and so I wanted to do some behind the scenes shooting. I also like asking people interview questions, which is something you can do behind the scenes.

FACT Liverpool

After we had finished editing the film, we met up with the other BFI members to view each other’s films in FACT Liverpool.

My favorite film was called ‘Perfect’ where the story was about a male who tried to create the ideal woman. In doing so, he created a someone so far from the woman he once knew that we could barely recognize her. He managed to change her hair color, her clothes etc by a scrap book where he put different pictures of girls in magazines. He combined the pictures to make a ‘perfect’ woman, to which he included his new girlfriend. When he realized he wanted to change her back, he couldn’t find the right pieces again.

I really liked the story line because it the meaning was really personal to me as a woman. It made you think about what the word ‘perfect’ really means.

When we watched our film, it was the first time we’d seen it as a group. I really enjoyed seeing it, especially when I saw all of our names roll on the credits. The only time I’d seen bits of it before was when we were viewing the rushes and viewing the first draft without sound. Being on the big screen with the surround sound made it a really special experience to properly view our film for the first time.


British Film review- Skyfall


Synopsis: When James Bond’s (Daniel Craig) latest assignment goes terribly wrong, it leads to a huge turn of events: Undercover agents around the world are exposed, and MI6 is attacked, forcing M (Judi Dench) to relocate the agency. With MI6 now compromised inside and out, M turns to the one man she can trust: Bond. Aided by only a field agent (Naomie Harris), Bond takes to the shadows and follows a trail to Silva (Javier Bardem), a man from M’s past who wants to settle an old score.

Intro:  The film begins with a blurry figure, presumably Bond, walking towards the camera with a stealth stance, holding a gun. When he gets near to the camera, he comes into focus with the only strip of light shining on his eyes. I think this scene is really cleverly directed as it gives the feel that not everything is what it seems- sometimes a little light needs to come in to make things clear again.

Next, we see that Bond is actually on a mission to receive a pen drive holding the information of agents in MI6. M and male character are talking to bond through his headset from different locations, suggesting the complexity of the mission. When M tells bond to “leave” one of the wounded agents, it further highlights the complexity of the mission and brings home the nature of working for a secret government agency.

The film them progresses into the first chase, involving Bond and a female agent perusing the enemy down narrow streets in a car chase. This then progresses into a bike sequence where Bond and the enemy are riding over rooftops; a sequence typical of bond films- highly unrealistic, but nonetheless still full of adrenaline.

The bike scene ends up with Bond chasing the enemy with the pen drive onto a train where Bond must use his skill and wit to move from one carriage to the other whilst using no weapon. So, naturally, Bond uses his environment and utilities the on-board digger  to work his way to his target. After making it onto the roof and fighting for some time with the enemy, the female agent is ordered by M to “take the shot”. When she tells M it isn’t a “clean” shot, M tells her to take it anyway; resulting in the shooting of Bond, rather than the intended target.

Here, the title sequences come onto the screen performed by Adele.

Title sequence:  The title sequence of the bond films are one of their most iconic traits, with symmetry and limited color schemes being the key features. This particular sequences has the theme of water, a mansion and the shooting of Bond in it, some of the coming themes of the film.

Favorite Scene: My favorite scene in the film is the court scene in which Silva tries to attack M in court. The line which kicks it off is when M says “How safe do you feel”, followed by the poem:

We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield

Whilst M is reciting this to the court in order to make her point, we see Bond running down the streets of London, clearly trying to get to her as quickly as he can. The music helps to raise the tension of the scene until we see Silva walk into the lobby of the building, shooting the security guard, and we realize that M is in danger.  The constant switching of the three events: M reciting, Bond running through London, and Silva marching (dressed as a police officer) through the building, really created tension and anticipation for the viewer.

This scene shortly results in Silva storming into the court room and shooting the first person he sees, insinuating to the audience that he is out for blood. When M stands up to face him, we see Silva hesitate until we see that he isn’t so ready to pull the trigger on her yet. Instead, he shoots her body guard as he reaches to touch M.

As the shootout continues, Bond reaches the building and is precariously searching to find the room where the action is taking place. The uplifting Bond music begins to play and we get a sense that things could be okay. Quickly, Bond begins to shoot at Silva, realizing that he needs to get everyone out. So, he shoots the fire extinguisher, whilst winking at the officer he just saved. This really makes this scene an iconic one for Bond as he uses his unique thinking skills to get out of danger, rather than just bullet power. As the extinguishers are going off, it creates a cover for Bond and the female agent to get everybody out and away from Silva.