Weeks 1-3: Getting Started

The past few weeks have been spent discussing graduation films and forming teams. I was approached by both Emma and Harris who were interested in having me as DoP on their projects. I was intrigued by both ideas and feel they could both work well with my style. However, I ultimately decided to join Emma’s team as I have worked well with her on past projects, I have seen more of her past work as a director and I was intrigued by the folk-horror aesthetic she proposed.

Wee Wild Flowers (working title) follows Valerie, a sexual assault survivor, as the halloween party she is attending dissolves into a folk-horror nightmare. Stylistically, the film will draw on and subvert the ideas of carnival, childhood and monstrous femininity which we discussed in the Dreams and Visions theory module. I have taken this as a starting point for my film research, watching Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, The Wicker Man and Stalker as well as the TV series I May Destroy You. I have compiled a watchlist of films which I will analyse and draw stylistic inspiration from.

I have also begun researching the feasibility of shooting on 16mm. In discussions with Emma, we are both clear that we will conduct a range of tests and only pursue this option if it seems practical and will benefit the film. I have been reading The Filmmaker’s Handbook by Stephen Ascher and Edward Pincus which gives a good overview of the 16mm workflow, including scanning and editing. I have also spoken to Andrew O’Connor about technical training I may have missed in third year and have made arrangements for catch-up sessions. He will also be setting a range of camera and lighting exercises for the cinematography students which will be very useful in helping me get back into shooting after an overly-long break!

Due to the small number of producers in our year, our group has decided to co-produce our film. As we all have some experience in production, I think this will be achievable but will require a good system of organisation to keep track of task delegation and progress. I have created a task list using the the Asana project management software to help us stay organised.

Over the next week, I am aiming to get a clearer idea of the film’s structure and begin in-depth research into the different camera systems available and the best procedures for technical camera and lighting tests. I will continue watching a range of films and begin compiling these into a cinematography moodboard.

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