The project has been a very long but enjoyable process, it all started at the end of November. Byll Pulman and Stephen Budd, the two very fun characters who run the Genesis Woodworks project. They came to the college one afternoon to pitch their idea with a presentation, they needed a promotional film of the Woodworks to send off to companies and government agencies, to show what the charity do and how they work, to eventually hopefully receive support.
The project works to supply placements to the long term unemployed, often people who have suffered mental, physical or life changing incidents. It gives them a chance to get back on their feet and in the mind of a work environment through working with woodwork and upholstery. Giving them responsibilities and reasons to get up in the morning.
We soon got working together, pretty much instantly narrowing down the class to make the crew who would work on the film and whole production. Byll and Stephen gave us a brief and helpful information into what they were after and left us to it. It was in the style of a fly on the wall and observational technique.
We soon worked out our roles, i took charge as Producer and eventually later, took full control as Director too, so i could focus my full attention on it, as i wanted it to be a success. I built up a working relationship with them both, communicating for emails and phone calls on numerous occasions each month, i was the first line of communication throughout. The amount of time i spent working on the project i decided to use it as my major for the course.
I met with them both many times to discuss the clients, how the project worked in more detail and bouncing ideas to them. We worked hard together to get an understanding of what was needed and how we would go about doing it.
The two were very pleased with our quick progress, the idea was to interview the clients as well as Byll and Stephen to get some information across to the viewer, at the same time use cutaways to see what goes on in the workshop form day to day. From day one the objective and end goal was to use Ken Loach, who supports charities and lives locally, to introduce the piece.
We got the ball rolling by starting the interviews with the first lot of clients. Byll and Stephen had organised a local support worker called Jan, who new a couple of the clients already. We decided to use a black background and light it through that. After watching it back, the whole set up was wrong, especially for the clients who get nervous and aren’t great with new people. We were all in the room, the lights blitzing the whole room, it seemed like an interrogation. Jan asked the wrong questions and the process didn’t seem to flow.
With all those factors, the clients were all taken back, they didn’t want to share their information in these circumstances, and that was understandable. It was a massive learning process, none of us had ever done anything like this before, so we new we had to do it right next time. We sat down with both Byll and Stephen after and they completely agreed, we discussed what needed to change.
We decided to get rid of Jan, we needed the interviews to flow more, so we can pick out parts that we needed, and also the answers would be a lot more genuine and natural.
By the next week we got the interviews going again, redoing a couple, but also doing some more. We agreed with Stephen to take charge of the interviews, and ask the questions, as he new the clients a lot better that Jan. As Byll worked in photography for a number of years, he put a few ideas into the mix, saying using a plant would add the right feel they wanted for the film. The background changed too, it now looked a lot friendlier and helped clients to get into the environment that they needed to keep calm.
This was a great success, we ended up using this set up for the rest of the interviews. They were both very happy with the look, we took more time to concentrate on the lights and lenses to improve it visually. The answers we gathered improved greatly, a lot more was said that we could use. The clients seemed to enjoy it too, they shared information that they wouldn’t and didn’t before.
The next month we concentrated on completing the client interviews and adding cut aways with the clients working in.
We ended up filming Byll in the workshop, we all felt it mixed it up a bit, and with the workshop in the background it looked great. The light form the windows gave us enough to work with and could just take along the cameras without additional lighting. We used a multiple camera set up as we could then cut to and from in the edit.
Stephen was contacted by Ken Loach’s office, and we were given a date. After shooting the cutaways and Byll’s scene in the workshop, we new this was the setting of the piece to camera intro involving Ken Loach.
Working with Ken Loach for that short time was a great experience, picking up a couple of tips on the way. We left the clients working in the background, to have some movement and sound in the background, and have it more natural. We didn’t have Ken Loach for very long but being able to direct ken Loach was fun experience. He seemed nervous on the other side of the camera but he pulled off his intro.
We were all very excited about the whole day. Byll and Stephen were ecstatic from the whole thing. They seemed very impressed with what we had produced in such a short but drawn out process, they made very positive comments throughout. I was very proud to be a part of it, and take charge of it all. I think we all adapted very quickly to what was thrown at us, sometimes in very short spaces of time. The factual film was made with purpose of being sent off and to receive funds and resources, and i hope it does. Social, Action and Community films are the hardest to make and to get spread around for the public to watch, but it just shows, without the funds, as long as you have the right resources you can make anything a success.
I think we surpassed their expectations, working with an actual client with a very worthy cause, it was very professional but fun at the same time. Putting so much time into the project, i learnt a lot about the problems they are facing and the people they are dealing with. So being able to help and knowing you are making a difference for them as well as the clients was really important and producing this film i knew it was making the two of them very happy.
I found this documentary a few months ago. It’s very unusual due to cat that stays with this man and travels around with him. It doesn’t look special and is very basic, but it gets the story across. I had it in mind as i was making the Woodworks film. The interviews he gives was the same format i wanted to use with the clients, cutting the interviewee out and just having the answers. This factual film isn’t after anything is it just showing what they both get up to from day to day and how that unusual bond between them has been popular amongst the public.
This powerful film gets the facts across about Global Warming. It shows the groups story of what they tried to do and what they weren’t granted decades ago. And the whole downfall of that decision and the consequences. The evidence is given and then examples prove the points, this was the concept i used in the Woodworks film. I also took note of having the voiceover while the clips and cutaways were shown.
Both these films have had an influence on my planning for the documentary. They both have direction that i have based it on and i think they make the film stand out from the rest.