Looking Up

After my little outburst yesterday at the mumbo jumbo hooey that is Year 2 a little 'ping' in my inbox cheered me up and gave me hope.

Mark has left a comment on your post - "I got used to this around the time of 2nd year - keep at your lectures when in doubt and you'll get through fine"

Relief. A fellow sufferer. This comment gave me enough of a boost to sit up, despite the flu and take stock.

One of the assignments that has been looming over me is The Pitch.

In February we have to pitch our 3rd Year Project Idea. And we are assessed by Sir Tom Gutteridge (No, he is not a sir but he may as well be)

The trouble is, I feel I have been swayed too much by the Film and TV department's sudden hype around the big "T" (Transmedia) and making flashy, clever projects that link into websites and phones and pop up in your alarm clock while sending related spin-off stories to your wrist watch.

I liked the idea I pitched in 1st Year. I was passionate about it and I loved the story. Unfortunately not too many people like musicals these days.

I went to see the recent film production of Les Miserable at the IMAX cinema in Kingston over the weekend and I was astounded. They hadn't even bothered to disguise the musical as a film! It was a musical that had been filmed! And it worked! I kept looking round at the audience to find discontented figures quietly leaving - but no! They stayed. Hooked in fact. And at the end - they clapped!

It reminded me that I should make what I want to make. Not what everyone else thinks will work.

I mean, looking at Les Mis I wonder how Tom Hooper's pitch would have gone...

Tom: "I am planning to make Les Miserable the musical into a feature film, starring Hugh Jackman as Jean ValJean and filming all the performances live."

Producer: "Live?" *raises eyebrows*

Tom: "Yes, live."

Producer: "So what will happen during the scenes where the characters are singing their solos?"

Tom: "The camera will stay on them. Quite close mostly."

Producer: "The camera will stay on the character?" *nervous glance toward financier*

Tom: "Yes."

Producer: "And how will this musical film version differ from the live musical?"

*dramatic pause*

Tom: "Well...this will be a film." *rolls eyes*

When I think about the pitch I want to do, the one I did in first year, I get excited at the thought of making it into a film. When I think of it as simply a pitch I get cold feet. Same old same old, they've heard it before, nothing special...

All these assignments we do - are they to see how far fetched we can be and how much we can experiment - or are they to see us produce good work and train us in what we want to do in the first place?

The other module I have been so worried about I finally made a start on:

Production Contexts: The Essay

If anyone in power is reading this can I just say that (a) 'Production Contexts' is the most uninspiring name ever thought up and (b) Audience Behaviour, Participatory Culture, Fan Fiction and Transmedia are not topics that send anyone's mind racing beyond the boundaries of inspiration and excitement. Nor do they strengthen your skill as a storyteller or filmmaker.

In fact, analysing how an audience works is the grizzly monster that eat storytellers alive. Rework this module. For the sake of those to come. Please.

Despite my indifference I finally found an essay question and resources that may help me on the way to writing 2,500 words about the most uninteresting subject on the face of the planet.

At least I get to read a book by Sugata Mitra. Sugata Mitra is awesome.