Send and Receive was definitely the most interesting and rewarding module we have completed so far. This was because it was a project involving outside organisations and also aimed for us to help people. At the beginning of the project I was quite apprehensive about the pressures we would be under and whether I had the right skills to do well. I did not want to let SLATE or the Tetley down and knew that I had to put everything into the work.
Something which worried me was whether my lack of experience using the camera equipment would be an issue when it came to filming so I went along to Tom and Gemma’s filming session for Isabel and I began. This helped me as it gave me the opportunity to observe how to set up the camera and which settings to change, etc which gave me a bit more confidence when it came to me actually filming. The first filming day gave me a chance to practice but also gain some usable footage and then after that I think I found my feet. Looking back, there are some things I would change whilst filming like going in with a more set plan at the beginning which we began to do midway through the project. I enjoyed using the camera but know I still have a lot to learn.
I really enjoyed working with the staff and volunteers at SLATE. Although I was initially very nervous, they made us feel very welcome and helped in any way that they could. I feel that I interacted very well with everyone involved and I tried to make them feel comfortable and work around them whilst filming.
The editing process was tiring and the process of cutting down all our footage to shots that looked professional and captured the essence of SLATE was difficult. We came up with a plan to create a folder of filler footage and a folder of the main footage such as interviews. This helped as we were able to work out that we definitely had enough footage to cover the 3 minute running time. I would not say that I had a lead role in the editing process as I do not really know how to use the software well and under the pressures of a looming deadline and exhibition I thought it would be best to let others in the group take the lead to ensure a good quality documentary.
An issue we discovered during the editing process was the poor quality of the audio. When we filmed we thought that the cameras would be of a high enough quality to capture the audio however we should have used microphones as well. This meant that a lot of the audio of the interviews were poor quality with a lot of background noise. Sadly, after trying various techniques to improve the sound, we realised that there was much we could do and had to accept the sound quality would be slightly substandard. It was difficult to combat this as the only way to change it would have been to re do the interviews which were difficult to get in the first place. The SLATE shop is a busy working environment with a noisy workshop, constant customer/staff/volunteer interactions and not a lot of space to take someone to one side and get a filmed interview.
Working as part of a group was really successful during this project. It was enjoyable to learn from each other’s skills and have more than one input on every aspect of the work. Everyone in the group contributed equally to the project and brought something different to the table. We all contributed well to the group Ning blog which contained all of our work and preparation from along the way. I enjoyed using the blog and having it as a platform to post work, discuss it and get feedback.
I knew before this project even began that I was going to put everything I could into it. Especially considering my attendance during semester one was not what it should have been. I am pleased that I turned this around and brought my attendance back up, showing that I can be committed and reliable when working with the right people and on the right project. I feel that I have set a precedent for the rest of my degree and hope to keep up the levels of hard work and dedication that I have shown recently. I took on the role of main coordinator to show that I can work hard and lead people, not just sitting back and letting others do the work. I think I embraced this role and enjoyed it. The hard work is definitely all worth it when you see how you can help people and actually make a difference. The exhibition at the Tetley really showed me how worthwhile what we were doing was when the staff and volunteers from SLATE sat down and watched the documentary. They seemed really pleased with the outcome and it is their opinions that really mattered.