Redfield – Final Draft Submission

Redfield [Pilot] [Final Draft]

I’m very pleased with the way the final draft of my script has turned out. It seems that most people from my cohort, my tutors and my friends and family outside university who have read my script respond positively towards it and that its something that is definitely worth showing to employers looking for screenwriters as a testament to what I can do.

I very much enjoyed the writing process behind this script. It was a huge challange for me to write a story set in a time period I don’t have much knowledge about and its definitely something I’ll be doing a lot more often, writing stories with a subject matter or setting I don’t know much about which would require me to do extensive research.

In future I’m definitely thinking of extending the length of this screenplay so that it could fit an hour’s runtime on television as I feel that this type of television pilot would be best suited to the hour long format rather than a half hour one.

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Personal Development Portfolio (PDP) – My Creative Journey

Personal Development Portfolio

My creative journey started when I was in the final years of secondary school. Back then I had the ambition to be an author as I used to write short stories when I was younger for fun and felt that it seemed like a profession I would like to get into. However, after I picked Film Studies to study at college, I was introduced to the craft of screenwriting and found that I much rather preferred telling stories through a visual medium rather than through prose.

During my time at college, I attended the BFI Regional Film Academy in Hackney with the Eastside Educational Trust, I attended it because my film studies teacher recommended it to me and I found that it was an extremely invaluable experience. I met and networked with a vast array of different people and ended up making my first ever short film with them. In hindsight, the film I made wasn’t the best it could be but I enjoyed the process immensely.

During my time at the BFI Film Academy I applied to attend a two week residential course at the NFTS (National Film & Television School) where the 54 of the best and brightest young filmmakers around the country were invited to spend two weeks at the NFTS to engage in masterclasses, workshops, screenings and trips. We were split into six groups of nine and each group made a film using the NFTS’s equipment and resources. I was the co-writer and sound recordist for my group and the writing process behind the script for our film Cha Cha Cha really boosted my confidence in terms of my writing ability. The whole process was one of the best I had ever experienced and really invigorated my interest in film and I felt more determined than ever to pursue a career in the industry.

That fall, I attended the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University where I studied Film & TV Production. It was there that I learned all the basic technical aspects of filmmaking such as cinematography, editing and sound recording. It was there I also learned about visual storytelling and not relying on dialogue as a screenwriter which was my first challenge in the short film I wrote and produced called The Parcel in which I was only allowed to write three lines of dialogue. This really challenged me to write specifically for the screen, an aspect of screenwriting I hadn’t really explored in depth before. Nevertheless I believe the final product we produced was a good and solid short film that was simple in premise but well executed.

I didn’t finish my higher education at Anglia Ruskin as over the course of my first year, I grew dissatisfied with the city I was living in and didn’t feel that a course that covered both film and television was suited to my career aspects as the television part of the course focused specifically on the corporate side of television such as factual programming and television studio production. Whilst having experience with these different formats of filmmaking was appreciated, it wasn’t what I was really interested in doing in the industry. Considering all those factors, I decided to change universities for my second year and out of all the universities I applied to with prospect of transferring I ended up deciding to transfer to Middlesex University.

I knew transferring to a new university would be a daunting experience as I knew I would have to assimilate into a cohort that already knew each other. Luckily however, the music video and book trailer productions helped me meet and familiarise myself with everyone on the course as I crewed on as many productions as I could just for that sole purpose. In the first term of second year, I directed my own music video and produced a book trailer. I felt pretty happy with the way my music video turned out but I did not enjoy producing my book trailer which I found a struggle. I feel that producing doesn’t really fall naturally to me so I elected to direct in the second term.

I ended up directing a film called Lamentation that was based off a script someone on my course had written although I did do a few rewrites. At the time, I had rather positive feelings about this film but now I feel that I selected the wrong subject matter to direct as I had no personal investment in the story. This experience really taught me about having a point of view on a story in order to tell it truthfully.

For my final year at university, I wrestled between choosing either screenwriting or directing as my dissertation pathway. I ultimately ended up choosing screenwriting as I wanted to improve my storytelling skills before I seriously direct anything else in future as I learned from my experience directing in the second year. In all of my previous projects I have either written or co-written them, however all the stories I have written were always London-based so I was always writing from what I knew. For my dissertation project I wanted to challenge myself and write something that I don’t know anything about as in the industry as a screenwriter, I know you won’t always be writing stories in settings you readily know so I thought this would be good practice and experience for me to be industry-ready. Although I know that the pilot I wrote is a big-budget project and isn’t suitable subject matter for an emerging writer such as myself to write as a calling card to the industry, I still wanted to challenge myself to write something on this scale. I never intended for this screenplay from the beginning to be my calling card into the industry; I merely wanted to write a story that interested me.

My plan for the future is to secure paid work as a freelance film editor whilst I continue to write scripts on the side to get them produced. I’m already slated to work with two of my classmates as their editor for their production company they are starting up and have already worked with them previously on a corporate editing job. Will also be looking for any screenwriting competitions or schemes I can be part of to break into the industry.

Word count – 1,058

Online Profile – http://asemanda.wix.com/alex-semanda

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Film Theory Essay – Defining an Auteur: A Consistent Visual and Cinematic Style

Focus: Auteur Theory
Theme: Discuss the shifting historical and theoretical approaches to auteur theory

Question:
To what extent does a consistent visual style contribute to a filmmaker being classed as an auteur?

Auteur theory or authorship is one of the most widely debated and discussed topics in film theory. The theory proposes that the director is considered the single creative voice behind the making of a film. There are many different factors one takes into account when determining whether or not a director qualifies as an auteur or not, such as consistent critical acclaim or regular thematic links across films. However in this essay, while examining the works of David Fincher, Michael Bay, Stanley Kubrick and Christopher Nolan, the argument will be put forward that the consistent visual style of the director across their filmography is the key factor in whether or not to classify them as an auteur.

In order to identify why the visual style of a director is the most important, the definition of the word “auteur” in this context must be addressed. In Understanding Film Theory, Etherington-Wright and Doughty define the word auteur as being “a film director whose personal influence and artistic control over his or her films are so great that he or she may be regarded as their author, and whose films may be regarded collectively as a body of work sharing common themes or techniques and expressing an individual style or vision.”(2011:3). This implies that Etherington-Wright and Doughty consider the degree of overall creative influence a director has over one of their films is one of the key factors in classifying a filmmaker as an auteur.

Alexandre Austruc, one of the key initiators of the debate around auteur theory in the mid-20th century, devised the term “caméra-stylo” which translates from French as ‘camera pen’. His article, The Birth of a New Avant-Garde: La Caméra-Stylo which is available online (New Wave Film, 2015) argues that cinema can be used as a form of expression by an artist similar to how an author or a painter uses literature and paintings to express their own individual voice. By utilising the camera as the filmmaker’s tool, a director can use it to express themselves whichever way they want, evoking their own visual language through the movement of the camera.

Throughout his career, David Fincher has evolved from a music video director for hire to one of the most respected and admired directors working in Hollywood today. Whilst his visual style is not overtly obvious in aesthetic like a Wes Anderson or a Quentin Tarantino film, Fincher’s approach to filmmaking neatly ties in with Austruc’s caméra-stylo argument in the way Fincher uses the properties of cinematography to adhere to his own visual style and creative sensibilities. Fincher’s cinematic style is deftly examined in the visual essay David Fincher – And the Other Way is Wrong (Every Frame a Painting, 2014) where Tony Zhou identifies key cinematic techniques that Fincher employs or refrains from doing consistently throughout his body of work in both film and television. Some of the techniques Fincher uses that are explored in the essay are his minimal use of handheld camera work, minimal use of close-ups and no unmotivated camera movement. These techniques seem simple and rarely straightforward but the way Fincher designs his scenes around these self-imposed restrictions, help to establish his own visual style that is subtle but nevertheless consistent throughout his body of work. It is without a doubt, a prime example of a director utilising the camera as a pen to express themselves in a way that observes their own creative sensibilities and sets them apart from their contemporaries.

With Austruc’s argument however, it can be applied to other directors whose works are not as revered or praised as Fincher’s. If all a filmmaker has to do is consistently craft a film in a way that sticks to their own creative sensibilities, then can filmmakers whose works are derided by both critics and audiences alike but maintain a consistent visual style, be considered auteurs as well? If a filmmaker’s films are analysed strictly on the technical aspects of the filmmaking rather than the quality of the films then the answer would be yes.

For instance, Michael Bay is a director whose films have been consistently scorned by critics and some audiences but he nevertheless remains one of the most commercially successful directors working in Hollywood today. His films, like Fincher’s, adheres to Austruc’s notion of caméra-stylo in the sense that Bay consistently communicates his own visual language to his audiences in ways that are now readily apparent in the perception of the public. Zhou analyses Bay’s filmmaking in another visual essay on his channel, Michael Bay – What is Bayhem? (Every Frame a Painting, 2014) where he breaks down Bay’s visual language across his filmography. Zhou coins Bay’s filmmaking style as “Bayhem” and describes it as Bay utilising camera movement, shot composition and fast editing to create a sense of epic scale. Nearly every shot in a Michael Bay-directed film is designed for maximum visual impact which results in sometimes Bay using certain types of shots that run contrary to the emotion of a scene or even to the theme of the entire film. The fact that Bay continually uses shots that are incoherent or contradictory to the scene he is filming, suggests that there is deliberate intent behind the way he crafts a scene, even if that intent may be perceived as mistaken on his part.

André Bazin, in his essay De la Politique des Auteurs states that “…the worst of them [films] will always be in the image of their creator.” (Grant, 2008:20). So regardless of whether or not Michael Bay’s films are any good or not, regardless of whether critics praise his films or constantly deride him as a talentless filmmaker, Bay consistently sticks to his own creative sensibilities and visual style, which is what the most revered directors in the history of cinema have done for all of their careers. Henceforth, it is completely reasonable to argue that Bay is an auteur in his own right. A filmmaker who constructs his films to adhere to his own creative tastes and cinematic style consistently throughout his films.

But what about a filmmaker who has not got a consistent visual style akin to Fincher’s or Bay’s but who once was regarded as “the greatest living film director.”? (LoBrutto, 1998:2). Indeed, Stanley Kubrick is considered by many critics and film aficionados as being one of the greatest and most influential film directors of the 20th century but his films are drastically different in terms of visual style and tone. From a Cold War satire, to a deep space epic to a psychological horror, Kubrick has explored and defined many different film genres throughout his illustrious career. For each genre that Kubrick tackles, his approach to filmmaking changes. From the slow and deliberate pace of 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968) to the over the top melodrama from A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick, 1971), Kubrick stood as a filmmaker whose cinematic style adapted to each project he worked on. In his essay Authorship, Design and Execution, Bruce Kawin argues that “Critically, the conventional test of an auteur is that a pattern emerges when all of his or her pictures are viewed together or are considered in relation to each other.” (2008:193). Likewise, in Notes on the Auteur Theory Andrew Sarris opined that to classify a filmmaker as an auteur they would have to satisfy three criteria presented as three concentric circles: the outer circle is technique, the middle circle is personal style and the inner circle is interior meaning (2008:43). Sarris believed that if a filmmaker did not satisfy all three then they could not be considered an auteur. But there are no discernible visual patterns or thematic links prevalent across Kubrick’s films, so if he had no consistent visual style or interior meaning to his films due to his approach to the diverse amount of projects he worked on, could he really be considered an auteur?

Perhaps he can, since Kubrick made it a point not to repeat himself in his work throughout his career stating “…there is no deliberate pattern to the stories that I have chosen to make into films. About the only factor at work each time is that I try not to repeat myself.” (Ciment, 1980:153). So it can be argued that Kubrick’s visual style is that he had no style, that he was a true master of cinema who could expertly craft a film to play to the strengths of whatever genre he tackled, a working practice that he was always conscious of in the projects he chose to direct.

If one were to try and identify a common pattern or thread that ties all of Kubrick’s films, then it would not be anything filmic that can be identified in the aesthetics of his films but rather in his approach to filmmaking as a director. Kubrick was renowned for his obsessive attention to detail, the authoritarian control he exhibited on his shoots and the creative ambition he showcased on nearly all of his productions with which many were fascinated with. Such ambitions include his acquisition of super-fast 50mm Zeiss lenses from NASA to shoot the interiors in Barry Lyndon (Kubrick, 1975) that were only lit by candlelight (Robey, 2009) and his ambition to acquire up to fifty thousand armed forces troops to use as extras in the big battle sequences he had planned for his unrealised Napoleon Bonaparte biopic (1998:325).

Christopher Nolan is arguably the only filmmaker in contemporary cinema who exhibits the degree of creative control over his films the way Kubrick did. Nolan also, unlike Kubrick, has a consistent visual style and tone to all of his films which help audiences distinguish his films from others. Film critics shower Nolan’s films with praise and consistently use words like “auteur” to describe him as a filmmaker (2015:17); but critical praise aside, Nolan satisfies all of Sarris’ criteria of what is considered essential to be an auteur: he is well-versed in different cinematic techniques, he has his own visual style that is prevalent amongst his films and regular themes and ideas can be identified in his filmography that give his body of work an interior meaning. Whilst a regular thematic link across one’s films are important and help audiences and scholars analyse what themes a director likes to explore, it is not essential criteria when assessing a director as a filmmaker. A director’s ability as an artist, to write with his camera as a painter paints with his brush, can only be fully assessed when one pays attention to a director’s cinematic style. The ability to manipulate the rules and possibilities of the technical aspects of film to communicate to the audience is the single key skill where a director’s worth is measured. Nolan achieves this with his cinematic techniques that he often utilises such as framing dialogue scenes in wide close ups with a shallow depth of field, cross-cutting different scenes to build to a climax and unconventional editing in the sense of cutting away quickly from the money shot (Bevan, 2014). All of these techniques he utilises to communicate to the audience in a way that makes sense to him. The same way Fincher rarely uses handheld camera work, the same way Bay rarely has his camera static and the same way Kubrick approaches shooting different genres, these filmmakers approach their craft in different ways to communicate stories and ideas to an audience in a way that is consistent with their own personal styles.

This essay has given an account of how a consistent visual style is the key factor in defining whether a filmmaker is an auteur or not. The word ‘auteur’ is French for the word ‘author’ and an author can write both good and bad novels but they are still the single author of that novel. If a filmmaker is an auteur, then it stands to reason that they can produce good and bad films also in terms of quality. Through examining the cinematic styles of David Fincher, Michael Bay, Stanley Kubrick and Christopher Nolan, it can be determined that the quality of films a director produces irrespective of general critical and audience opinion, is inconsequential when classifying a director as an auteur.

 

Word count: 1,894

 

Bibliography

2001: A Space Odyssey. 1968. [Film] Directed by Stanley Kubrick. US-UK. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Barry Lyndon. 1975 [Film] Directed by Stanley Kubrick. US-UK. Warner Bros.

Bevan, J. 2014. Christopher Nolan: escape artist. [Online] Available at: http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/features/christopher-nolan-escape-artist [Accessed 28 April 2016]

Ciment, Michel. 1980. Kubrick: The Definitive Edition. London. Faber and Faber

A Clockwork Orange. 1971. [Film] Directed by Stanley Kubrick. US-UK. Warner Bros.

Etherington-Wright, C. and Doughty, R. 2011. Understanding Film Theory: Theoretical and Critical Perspectives. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan

Every Frame a Painting. 2014. David Fincher – And the Other Way is Wrong. [Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPAloq5MCUA [Accessed 28 April 2016]

Every Frame a Painting. 2014. Michael Bay – What is Bayhem? [Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2THVvshvq0Q [Accessed 28 April 2016]

Furby, J. and Joy, S. (eds.) 2015. The Cinema of Christopher Nolan: Imagining the Impossible. United States: Wallflower Press.

Grant, B.K. (ed.) 2008. Auteurs and Authorship: A Film Reader. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

LoBrutto, V. 1998. Stanley Kubrick: A Biography. London: Faber and Faber

New Wave Film. 2015. The Birth of a New Avant-Garde: La Camera-Stylo. [Online] Available at: http://www.newwavefilm.com/about/camera-stylo-astruc.shtml [Accessed 28 April 2016]

Robey, T. 2009. Barry Lyndon: Kubrick’s neglected masterpiece. [Online] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/4524037/Barry-Lyndon-Kubricks-neglected-masterpiece.html [Accessed 28 April 2016]

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Professionalism in Practice – Editor on “The Art of My Scars”

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The Art of My Scars is a documentary that focuses on Kay J Browning, a transgender man from Tiverton, Devon (the director’s hometown), and how he utilises various art forms as a form of expression to communicate his pain and life story.

I agreed to edit James’ documentary a few months back as I thought it would be an interesting challenge to edit a documentary as I have never really cut one together before, especially a documentary such as James’ which is quite unique and hard to categorise as far as documentaries go.

Throughout the editing process, James had a very clear idea of how he wanted to visually represent the three different period’s of Kay’s life which greatly helped me try and figure out how best to make the three segments mesh well together. The very fact that James had such a strong idea of what he wanted was invaluable to me as his editor as when I was unsure of how to cut a certain sequence together, James’ input greatly helped me figure out what I was I needed to do.

Paper edit of the film's initial structure

Paper edit of the film’s initial structure

The two most challenging sequences to cut together were the hip-hop sequence in the middle and the dance sequence at the end. Both sequences required a lot of fast editing, but that wasn’t the major problem. One of the problems I had encountered whilst cutting these scenes together was that there were either inconsistencies in the quality of the shots (some shots out of focus, shaky cam etc.) or there were inconsistencies in the performances of the subject which made match-cutting in time to the music a nightmare. This was made doubly hard in cutting the hip-hop sequence together as I had to cut that performance together whilst showing as little of Kay’s face as possible so there were other angles that were better in terms of performance and shot quality that I could not use because it showed too much of his face.

The dance sequence was tricky in that the first cut I put together of it, I used a wide angle shot of the dance routine that was shot on the Panasonic GH4 as a master, whilst intercutting it with various other angles that were all shot on the Blackmagic. The end result was a dance sequence where the colour palette of the GH4 shots were drastically different from the shots on the Blackmagic. As I am not that experienced with colour grading, we were unsure as to whether or not we could get the footage from both cameras to match visually so we decided to abandon the GH4 shots and focus on cutting together a dance sequence using only the Blackmagic shots. The end result for this was a poorer cut compared to the one with the GH4 shots as the quality of the dancer’s performances were much better and sharper in the GH4 wide shots than the Blackmagic wide ones.

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After getting some technical assistance from Anna Barsukova and conducting a colour grade test between the GH4 and Blackmagic footage, we realised that we could in fact grade it to make the shots match. This freed me up to recut the dance sequence using the GH4 shots and the final result ended up with a much faster and smoother cut of the dance sequence as I had more angles to cut to.

All in all, I am very pleased with the final outcome of the film, especially with the positive response to the film people gave at both the rough cut and fine cut screenings. I have learned a lot about editing and storytelling through editing this documentary and hope that I’ll be able to utilise the skills and experience I have gained working on this project in any future projects that I edit.

 

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Redfield – Fourth Draft Feedback

Redfield [Pilot] [Fourth Draft]

Before I turned in my fourth draft to my tutors and to my cohort I was relatively pleased with how my script was shaping up; the advice I took on board from the feedback I got previously helped immensely I was writing this draft. People liked the visual link of John West’s hat to signify the passage of time between younger William and older William, they consistently praised the dialogue scene between Tessa and Sally and they commented on how well the dialogue was written as well as how visual my script was written, helping them to visualise the story and the setting clearly.

The only contstructive criticism I got around this time was that the end torture scene between Walters and Dick didn’t fit with how I wrote the previous scene between Dick and Jenkins. In that scene, Jenkins kills Albert (Dick’s father) and leaves Dick for dead with a gunshot wound. Thus, this raised the question why in the next scene between Walters and Dick when Walters is torturing him for information, why he doesn’t divulge the whereabouts of Jenkins to Walters sooner as he owed Jenkins nothing, and in fact should resent him. This made sense to me, as I didn’t notice how by including how the person who is getting tortured by Walters to appear in an earlier scene with Jenkins to determine how he knew where Jenkins was, I overlooked how important it is that these two scenes need to link coherently not just for plot reasons but for narrative reasons also.

As a result I’m considering on how I should approach rewriting the earlier scene between Jenkins and Dick to fit with Walter’s torture scene with Dick or vice versa.

Other notes of feedback consisted of not feeling enough flirty banter between Tessa and Sally and the notion on whether or not I could do more with the antique cutlass in the bank robbery scene with Patrick, Miriam and George Jenkins. At this stage I’m more inclined to take the feedback for the latter on board rather than then former. I feel that it would be dramatically unrewarding in the long run if I hint too heavy handedly at a possible romantic relationship between both Tessa and Sally in their first encounter. Reading it through, I think this scene plays more dramatically interesting because the homoerotic undertones are subtle and not too heavy handed.

However on the whole, I think this round of feedback has greatly encouraged me in my personal development as a writer as I feel that I am finally beginning to grasp the fundamental skills and aptitude toward becoming a professional screenwriter. I look forward to writing out my fifth draft with this newfound confidence.

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Professionalism in Practice – 1st Assistant Camera and Script Editor on “Cigarettes & Alcohol”

In the first term, Nick had asked me frequently to read his World War II script and offer him feedback on it and I did offer him some advice on how I think he should take his story forward. Initially, I was of the impression that Nick’s script was a story about a survival in that a Jewish man would sink so low as to masquerade as a Nazi in order to survive and I thought that would be more of interesting angle to explore it from. However, exlporing that story idea from just an interrogation scene in one room wouldn’t be enough, and to pull off a decent war film with a small budget is no easy task. Nick however was adamant about keeping it all in one room as he likened this short film to be like the end scene to a much longer film that he would like to make in the future. I was initially skeptical about this approach but decided to go along with it and help him fine tune the dialogue as much as I could.

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Approaching the shoot period, I signed on to be a gaffer, but then was immediately switched to be 1st AC as there were already three gaffers on set. For some reason, Nick was under the impression that we would be able to dress the set and leave it dressed for the three days we were shooting but I remember Andre (the producer) saying that we couldn’t. There must have been some miscommunication between the two as the time taken to dress the set every day was not taken into account in the shooting schedule so we ended up losing like 3 hours of shooting time each day. This led to Nick having to drop shots and only keep in the ones that were essential.

This crunch time shooting slowly started to affect Nick mentally as he had apparently not eaten or slept adequately enough leading up to the shoot which caused him to have some sort of breakdown on set. This eventually resulted in Andre and Sam (the DP) having to sort of backseat direct the remaining shots we had to get as we were running out of time. Needless to say, this shoot did not pan out as I hoped it would because in the weeks leading up to it, I was convinced that Nick knew exactly what he wanted and was on top of everything as there had been literally no production problems up until the actual shoot day.

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After the rough cut screening, where Nick for some reason showed a cut that barely resembled a rough cut (more like a very rough first assembly), Nick decided that he wanted to reshoot some of the film as there were some shots we couldn’t get because we obviously ran out of time. However, since the place we shot in had been redecorated since we left and the Nazi uniform that the Nazi officer Hermann wears was different the first time around, we instead had to reshoot the whole film from scratch. To make things even more difficult, we were told that we would have even less time to get into the location and shoot which would make capturing this whole film impossible.

Sam however, suggested that instead of shooting during the day where we would have limited time and the sound would be bad (due to the traffic on the high street outside the location) we should get into the location when the bar closes and shoot throughout the night. This made all the difference in the world as we found that we were getting through shots a lot quicker and smoother than we did during the first shoot and that the sound was much cleaner although there were the odd noises of early morning traffic here and there. Nick also performed better as a director and didn’t suffer the same mental breakdown he did during the first shoot which made it all better.

All in all, this shoot was a unique experience to me in where I learned quite a bit. I learned that the flexiblity of the location you shoot in is vitally important when scouting locations and from observing Nick I learned that as a director you need to have a basic understanding of the technical side of filmmaking as you’ll annoy your technical crew if you ask for things that can’t feasibly be done.

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Redfield – Third Draft Feedback

Redfield [Pilot] [Third Draft]

With my third draft I took on the advice of my tutors to remove the character of Doggett and replace him with Wyatt. Doggett only served a functional purpose with how he was written previously. By replacing him with Wyatt, a character whom I plan for having a larger role in subsequent episodes, it provides me with more opportunities to show glimpses of his character before I decide to develop him later on.

Additionally, for how I was going to show the visual link between William at 13 years old and older William at 21,  I was deliberating on what I could do to address this. Eventually I decided on having John give William his Stetson hat with the red feather right before he gets killed and eight years later we see William with the same hat the first time we see him on the wagon. I felt this link further emphasised William’s relationship with his father and his quest to avenge him in the sense that the hat could sort of be a physical representation of William’s father.

With the bank robbery scene, I decided to rewrite this scene and add a physical altercation between Jenkins and Miriam after Jenkins rapes her and is caught by Wyatt. I added this because I felt that in the previous draft I needed a legitimate reason for Wyatt to be able to escape Jenkins in a way that felt natural. The physical altercation helped that. Furthermore, I also added in a sequence of how we see Jenkins escape the bank after he is caught by Wyatt. This was raised as an issue in the previous draft as it felt that sequence could end a lot cleaner if we see how Jenkins manages to escape.

Finally, I rewrote William and Jackson’s dialogue scene on the porch toward the end of the episode. I decided on making William be a bit more inquisitive in his questioning of Jackson and use this as an opportunity to shed some light on Jackson’s backstory. This way I could successfully establish that both William and Jackson have been through similar situations where they lost someone they care about to outlaws , giving Jackson a reason to agree to teach him.

The general response to this third draft, taking into account all of the changes above were mostly good. The main points of feedback I received was that I shouldn’t have made William too inquisitive as it gave away that power of that scene from Jackson. Also this scene ran in contrast with the previous scene between William and Jackson in that Jackson steadfastly refused him but now opens up to him with no dramatic development to warrant that. A way I was advised on how I could address this was to have Jackson have the power of that scene, and make William’s desire of learning about hunting outlaws link into his backstory that sheds sympathy from Jackson.

Additionally, I also got feedback from my tutor that the dialogue scene between Tessa and Sally needed to be a bit more flirty in order to achieve the necessary amount of romantic undertones to establish a subtle attraction between the two characters. One way I was advised on how I could tackle writing the dialogue of this scene was to write the scene from Sally’s perspective as if Sally was a man trying to chat Tessa up at the bar. This is definitely a technique that could help me nail this scene and achieve the romantic undertones I want. Also people mentioned that the way that the conversation segues into the reveal of the Nickelwood bank robbery was a bit clunky with the two men in the bar talking about it being too convenient. In response to this I’ve been thinking about ways I could get Tessa and Sally’s conversation to flow into revealing this information.

Finally my tutor recommended to me that I try and figure out a way to intercut the endings of the three running storylines (William, Tessa and Walters) in order to have a cleaner ending as the way I’ve written it now feels like there are three separate endings playing one after the other. This is something I had also been thinking about and I feel I’ll definitely address it in my fourth draft.

 

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