MDA3400 Secondary Roles

As part of my dissertation assessment critiera I am required to participate in at least two of my cohort’s productions in a secondary role. I have managed to attach myself to five projects this year, each of them requiring me to adopt a different creative approach to filmmaking.

The five projects I am a part of are as following:

Screenwriter on “Cellular”
Co-writer & 1st AC on “Tony”
1st AC on “Cigarettes & Alcohol”
Editor on “Dancing out the Dark”
Gaffer on “Hand in Hand”

For the short film Cellular (directed by Mantas Beginskas and produced by Andre Meehan), I’ll be writing the screenplay from a story devised by Mantas. This ties in with my pathway for my dissertation as it would allow me to improve upon my screenwriting skills. Mantas is a filmmaker with a very strong visual sensibility, so his direction would be a key learning experience for me to write the screenplay for his film in a very visual way. In the past, I’ve had the tendency to overwrite dialogue and not focus on the visuals that much but with this project, I’ll be setting a challenge for myself to overcome this habit.

For the short film Tony (directed by Killiesha Bancroft and produced by Amnah Pervaiz), I’m attached as co-writer along with Killiesha. This film is a social realist drama focusing on the effects of mental health. This project would challenge me to write a mentally ill character as realistically as possible, therefore I would need to conduct research around the mental illness that would be portrayed in the script in order to represent it as accurately as I can. This links to my dissertation script in the amount of research I would have to do; most screenwriters working in the industry today have to conduct research to write about topics they are unfamiliar with so this would be a valuable experience for me.

On both Tony and Cigarettes & Alcohol (directed by Nick Toth and produced by Andre Meehan) I’m attached as 1st assistant camera. I have never been a 1st AC before so this would be a valuable experience for me to learn what it’s like for camera operators to work under a DP.

For the documentary Dancing out the Dark (directed by James Land and produced by Emily Mitchell) I’m attached as editor for this entire project. I’ve always enjoyed editing and it was one of the pathways for my dissertation I was considering along with directing and screenwriting, but ultimately chose screenwriting as I could not figure out how to pitch myself as an editor the best way I could. Dancing out the Dark follows the story of how transgender man Kay J Browning uses his art (poetry, hip hop, dance) to express his lifestory and experiences. This documentary isn’t a conventional one in the sense that it isn’t just talking heads with intermittent footage. This project would involve me trying to construct a story using an assortment of archive footage, photo stills and captured footage centred around Kay’s aforementioned artistic outlets. I’m very much looking forward to cutting this film together as I’ve only ever edited one documentary before in my first year at my prior university which was more straightforard than this one. I feel that this project would help me grow as an editor as I would have to approach cutting this film with a different sensibility as opposed to cutting a narrative film together of which I have a good amount of experience.

On the music video “Hand in Hand” (directed by Fred Iyeh and produced by Amnah Pervaiz), I’ve been attached as gaffer. During second year, I had a fair amount of experience lighting different projects (Tremors, Ordeal etc.) so I feel confident about lighting the different scenes required for this music video. Drawing on what I learnt from Ian Liggett’s lighting workshop last week, I’m looking forward to trying out the different techniques and theories that was covered during that workshop.

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Filed under MDA3400 - Film Dissertation Project

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