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A series a unfortunate events...a nice story..


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#1 Christopher Joyce

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 04:47 PM

Right I need any help at all that you guys might be able to muster on this story...please

Long Story Short...I'm doing a T.V. Production Course. 12 students. 12 Ideas. 1 student left....11 students. 11 Ideas. 5 get picked for production and possible national TV Broadcast. Before the choice of 5 shows was made I was told to fundamentally change the nature of my program proposal. ( my show was about the life of a famous coursing greyhound, and the present day sport animal rights etc.) I was told to focus on one or the other half way through December. I decided to focus on the life of the famous greyhound. Problem one: Because of this change I had to loose some of my interviewees as they really had nothing to do with the history of it.

Back in January after the break, I learn that my show has not been picked for production. Fine says I, and I focus all my energies on trying to be a really good editor for someone elses program.
Problem two: Two weeks later one of the girls whose proposal got picked realises that she is fully unable to do her program for reasons i won't go into. The lecturers turn to me and ask me to produce my program, which on the day because I was in such a good mood agreed to...Unfortunatly I didn't realise that this would cause problems later on. i.e. I had just lost 2 weeks of prep work.

Problem 3: The Shooting Schedules are announced, 3 weeks: 1st week two shows get filmed, 2nd week another two, 3rd week the last show. My program is going to be in the first week(18/02/08) again due to excess seratonin levels, thought this was fine. and didn't cop on that in fact it was completely unfair that everyone else was getting between 2 and 4 weeks extra prep than me.

Problem four:OK this one is my fault, I took down the shooting schedules wrong. I not realised until today that in fact I am due to be shooting on the 11/02/08. Exactly one week from tomorrow. The interviews I have set up will have to be changed. Also I have found just recently that there is a big coursing competition on that week and that all the greyhounds and greyhoundy people will be unavailable. Also because of the academic nature of the course there is zero funding....and I 'm working with animals....and I had a gig scheduled that week and a funeral is also on the cards dunno when but soon i reckon god forgive me.......

Now I'm after losing all faith and motivation in an industry I loved as a kid. And everyday I see all the other projects with their props ready and great success... ugh!!


I think I'm going mad.....any words of advice before i do so...

THANKS cHRIS
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 05:17 PM

Sounds entirely normal to me.
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#3 Amin Khan

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 05:18 PM

Im sorry to hear about your pickle. Sometimes there is no easy solution, infact i imagine most shoots encounter similar problems. This is one of the fundamentals skills of producing a film: overcoming such hurdles. I work as an editor and we are always up against it, something is always going wrong and things are always clashing - if its any consolation every production is the same.

The solutins to your problem can only be worked out by you but if you want to have a future in film making than you need to be determined , take opportunities when they present themselves, and take risks and be bold. Dont be afraid to ask people favours if there is no other way. Sell yourself, fight your corner and if that fails find another way. Dont make excuses and don give up.Every problem has a solution.

Good luck.

(i suggest by firstly explaining your problem to those responsible for allocating the schedules - how you came in at the last minute etc and see if you can get rescheduled for later. If that fails-and dont write it off untill youve tried it - then you will have to have a persuasive word with your interviewees, find a time that they will be available. Maybe go coursing with them and film them on location . )
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#4 Richard Boddington

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 05:33 PM

Now I'm after losing all faith and motivation in an industry I loved as a kid. And everyday I see all the other projects with their props ready and great success... ugh!!

THANKS cHRIS


I think you pretty much summed up this business! At least you didn't spend 200K of your own money on an indie movie that every one tells you is junk. Mean while total pieces of garbage go on to get lucrative distribution deals. This scenario plays out all the time.

If you're just starting out get ready to slap your head many times with a, "that thing sold?????"

R,
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#5 Christopher Joyce

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 05:48 PM

Thanks guys, I guess you are right....maybe I'm complaining a bit too much and i had my expectations for a nice'n'smooth production set a little too high....Its just that no one else on the course seems to be encountering half the hassle and bother that I am. And if I do pull it off with all these challenges, maybe It'll work to my advantage...I just wanted to get it off my chest a bit.
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#6 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 05:51 PM

Without knowing specifics, it sounds as if you have an idea of what the perfect project should include. Keep striving for that, but accept that you may not get everything you'd like due to scheduling, resources, etc.

Now, the next thing is very important: No one at watching your show at home won't know what you didn't get.

The trick for anyone at any stage of production is to make the best of what is thrown at you. Can't get the interview you want? Have a Plan B list to attempt. Keep working your way through the list and get what you can. Maybe your A choice CAN give you an interview, but it has to be on the fly (not a formal sit-down) and will only be half as long as you'd like. Get it anyway, anyway you can whether it means a walk-and-talk while he's working or some other way.

The cameramen (like most of us) make a living having to contend with less than perfect situations. Particularly for anyone who isn't blessed with the luxury of forty foot trucks full of all the toys and plenty of help, we grow to be experts in creating something out of nothing in no time at all.

Then, using the footage that your cameraman worked hard to get, interviews and B-roll, you and the editor will make a show out of what you have trying to not be too concerned with what you wanted but couldn't achieve. A full collaboration with your cameraman, you, and the editor will help rewrite your project to find the story that is there and the one you are capable of getting within the given parameters. It isn't easy and the more experienced all of you are, the more easily you'll embrace what you have instead of lamenting what is impossible.
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#7 Buddy Greenfield

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 05:52 PM

I don?t have a surefire fix to offer, but I wonder if it?s at all possible to roll with the punch and spin your predicament AS part of your story?

Anytime the clock is ticking on something at stake, the potential for an interesting story is built right in, so sure, the greyhound angle is an interesting and worthy subject no doubt, but (In my opinion) the story of a person with only one week to make a difference in the world of grey hounds (anyway he can) trumps it by far.

Just a thought
-Buddy-
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#8 Christopher Joyce

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 05:58 PM

I don’t have a surefire fix to offer, but I wonder if it’s at all possible to roll with the punch and spin your predicament AS part of your story?

Anytime the clock is ticking on something at stake, the potential for an interesting story is built right in, so sure, the greyhound angle is an interesting and worthy subject no doubt, but (In my opinion) the story of a person with only one week to make a difference in the world of grey hounds (anyway he can) trumps it by far.

Just a thought
-Buddy-


Hmmm, that was interesting. I forgot to mention that all the whole show has to be as Gaeilge or in Irish Gaelic as you may more familiarly know it. I could do "Gonzo as Gaeilge".... I like the idea. tommorrow I'll meet with the organisers. and see what they think
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#9 Bill Totolo

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 09:12 AM

The interviews I have set up will have to be changed. Also I have found just recently that there is a big coursing competition on that week and that all the greyhounds and greyhoundy people will be unavailable. .....any words of advice before i do so...

THANKS cHRIS


Sounds like a good opportunity to me. Shoot the race, get b-roll. Be prepared for interviews at the track, which will probably end up looking a lot better than std. intvws set indoors w/ 3 pt lighting.

Always turn your weaknesses into your strengths.
What you can't fix, focus.

Good luck.
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