I kind of stumbled upon this story- a building development proposal for 7 new student flats to be erected on Commercial Road in Penryn. It was suggested as a story for The World Tonight and seeing as the assessment deadline was creeping in (and more importantly because I don’t drive) it made sense to do a story close to home. It’s not the most exciting story in the world, that I’ll grant you, however it covered a prevalent issue, particularly in Falmouth regarding housing and so that was what I ended up doing.
The first interview, in contrast to the second one; which I will explain in due course, was nice and straight forward. James (my partner in crime/chauffeur) had already arranged it before I arrived at uni, so I spent Thursday evening researching the story and compiling my questions. After becoming familiar with the story I made a list of things I needed/wanted to get shots of but didn’t quite follow through.. (*) The interview was set for 10am Friday so I took out all my camera bits Thursday evening ready for the next morning.
Gill Grant, mayor of Penryn, was really lovely; very forthcoming and obliging. She even gave us some off the record gossip about the councillors who voted against the new development (that they might be a little bit stubborn and vote against every proposal put forward to the council no matter what that proposal is… hang on if it’s off the record can I.. ?!)
Though I could tell she was getting a little impatient when I was fumbling around with the equipment pre-commencement of the interview. She said she’d give us ten minutes to set up, but then that changed to 5 minutes before she left the room. I was feeling the pressure as this was of course the first time I’d scripted/asked the questions, done the sound and filmed the interview for a package. I wasn’t really sure where the sound plug went and had to familiarise myself with the exposure/lighting switches on the camera and before the blink of an eye she was back! I felt very unprofessional faffing around with the camera whilst she was in the room.
However it was a good learning process doing it all on my own and in future I’d be a lot more confident. Though I remembered to be careful of the lighting and where the camera was facing, as it was a dark room but there was a lot of sunlight coming through the windows. There was a bit of shuffling of tables in order to get a suitable standing point. In the end I was pleased with the angle I’d got- the only thing that bothered me was that the sound could have been higher or the mike closer, though I tried my hardest and asked her more times than I care to remember to state her name and job title- problem was she said it too quickly. I think it all came down to not knowing entirely what I was doing. Also it wasn’t until after she left that I re-discovered the existence of the filter switch and that flicking it down gave more light to the picture and accurate colouring. However I did:
✔ take lighting into account when positioning my interviewee
✔ remember to do a white balance
✔ check the camera settings before leaving the house (I was so paranoid about making sure the format options were on SQUEEZE not CROP!)
✔ zoom in and focus before filming
SHOOTING IN PENRYN:
I was reaaally over zealous with my filming. It had been a long time since I’d had complete control over the camera and I ended up (being the perfectionist I am) taking loads of shots of the same thing just in case the previous one wasn’t very good. To be fair it did pay off to a point, but I probably went a bit overboard. Think Patrick Clahane thought that too when he saw how many shots I had in my Avid bin of the same things!!
Whilst out filming the shots of Commercial Road and Merchant House (which we eventually found) I tried ringing Councillor Ted Wilkes who Gill Grant recommended after I said if she knew anyone I could speak to. I did persist with him, however having told me to ring back later on, after doing so he got a bit funny and refused to do an interview. By this time it was 3.30 and after also ringing Pound & Co (the chartered surveyors) and getting an answering machine we headed back to uni to start cutting footage.
Editing is very frustrating. The first suite I went into wouldn’t read my camera so I changed rooms. The second room wouldn’t either, so I took the camera upstairs and after trying it Adam said it was because I had ‘a new camera’ … so he gave me an old model. I tried that and thankfully it connected to the usb, however then I plugged my hard drive in and that wouldn’t connect. So I ended up moving back to the original digi lab I was in with my new ‘old’ camera which connected up to the hard drive and the camera.
That was 50 minutes or so down the pan.
Not being a fan of Macs, I was slightly apprehensive about doing all the editing on my own. I say apprehensive, I felt pretty much clueless. No matter how many times you watch someone do something, in any thing in life, it’s not the same as doing it yourself. Though I already knew this. I had to get James to guide me into the programme and refresh my knowledge by explaining the basics to me. After finally getting settled with Avid and looking through my clips I realised I didn’t really have any establishing shots, and the one I did have was slightly out of focus (typical)… but I managed to get a rough layout put together, much to my disbelief and pleasure (pressing i and o and b really isn’t too difficult).