This was another TV studio where we were asked to produce a programme for the Drama students.
Our team was much smaller.
I chose to direct this time, even though I did not go in planning to.
The drama group had scripted and planned a Children's Programme.
It was beautifully planned and pretty much a gift because they had a great show to give us.
It was all there, ready to be made into the right shape for TV.
I started by talking to the actors, asking them to take me through the show, finding out what needed to be pre-shot and planning which sections were to be performed to certain cameras.
After that we filmed the VTs. There were 3 in all. One was a song which was a lot of fun to film. To make it interesting I asked them to sing a different line to each camera. The other VT was part of their drama so it took a bit more time.
One of the main problems we had was that we were filming on Green Screen. That isn't a problem in itself except the background image for the Green Screen and the VTs were coming from the same source. This meant that when a VT was punched in, it was absolutely impossible for the vision mixer to time it so there was no gap between the jump. Between every transition we ended up with a couple of frames of extra background or studio footage over the top of the new VT.
We discovered this early on but I decided the objective was to get the whole programme done and dusted in the time given, with the best look as possible and not get hung up on a major problem that could not be fixed in the time we had.
Once we had recorded the VTs we went into a couple of rehearsals of the live show, punching in VTs and images.
I think we did about 4 runs before the actual take.
Watching the programme back, apart from fixing the technical problem, creatively I think I would have worked harder at getting the actors to work to different cameras. Too often they were not looking directly at a camera and I think children need to have that 'one to one' feel in a kids show. It would have looked better and more stable visually too.
I was particularly pleased with one shot where I noticed an actor accidentally leaning towards the camera, while the rest of the cast were in the background. It created a beautiful composition which we used for the ending of the show. I just wish I had tried to get more visually striking shots like that.
The crew and the actors got a long fine and each person played their role perfectly. I was upset with myself to find out later that I had inadvertenly forced someone into a role they didn't actually want to do. I think in the adrenaline rush I forgot to be sensitive.
I got an incredible buzz out of directing.
Having the chance to direct a live drama style show was utter bliss