Social Connections Alliance: Call to Action

Summary of client and their needs

The social connections alliance is a group of organisations that work together to bring the Gold Coast community together which included Brett Lush from Benevolent Society (who acted as our main person of contact), Kevin Dando from Multicultural Communities Council Gold Coast, and Kelly Whittington from FSG Australia with additional support from university students doing a community engagement subject from the Gold Coast.

In our first meeting, the client gave us broad ideas to work around for their video but essentially they wanted something that talks about social isolation and facilitating community whilst redefining how we approach talking to strangers and making a connect. It’s about making a new social norm where people reach out to strangers to make a connection

In the earlier meetings they specified that they wanted ideally isolated people and well networked people on the gold coast that do not reach out to isolated persons watch this that leads to the call to action; to act and make a connection.

From these early meetings it was pretty general the direction where they wanted us to go, but with that also gave us creative freedom.

Initially we played with the idea of the butterfly effect, where by someone simply giving another a smile, profoundly affects their day. This simple social transaction was a way to connect and could be a general call to action. But we new essentially they wanted something that talks about social isolation that leads into an emotional story from isolation to connection and a call to action for the community to get involved.

Initially they were keen on humour being a major part of the story, a light-hearted approach that still got the message across, but this is difficult to convey.

They also were wanting 30 – 60 second stories but were happy for them to be extended where they were to be used on social media.

Additionally, the Gold Coast was to play a character, where the location could easily be identified as a Gold Coast location, but also be relate able to people outside of the Gold Coast community.

They also specified Duality and understanding at the end where two people-  like in a Heineken ad share a beer- and accept each others complete opposite views.

They also said it would be a good idea to use a Gold Coast community base whilst also challenging the preconception of what the Gold Coast is (not just Surfers Paradise and party life) and re-framing the Gold Coast story.

Additionally they wanted this to be a community based campaign as a foundation for a larger campaign to expand. Originally they gave the idea of shooting at the tram station, but this would have been almost impossible to achieve.

They also listed the various demographics begin targeted by organizations that would possibly have an element in the short film; Benevolent society – single parent, Red cross – broad in demographic with elderly.

The client was very pleased with final cut, only requesting a few small changes in regards to logos (which was required and delayed on delivery on their part). They were also fine with the cuts being significantly longer than the suggested 30 – 60 seconds.

Consideration of resources

Technical

Sound was a bit windy but was negated by the fact that this is more of  silent film with music used to convey emotion rather than dialogue. This aspect turned out fine in the final product as areas where there is dialogue was clean and any undesirable sounds were covered by the sound track. The boom was in shot in a couple one take shot takes.. Simply solved by scaling in a little bit. Also, most of the shots were outside for the old man shoot, which was fine but it had to be done well and at the right time to give the believability that all the events in the ~140 second film happened on different days, which was achieved.

Material

For the second shoot inside the house, we had lighting troubles. Additionally there was no split for previews which could have prevented multiple continuity errors (BTS camera in shot for 1st story in the house, boom being in shot) . Also, originally the script had a sub story about the old man fixing the boys bike after they become familiar. This was scrapped in the edit because it took too long but additionally we didn’t know how to put chain off bike.

Financial

Low crew budget pretty much for catering and small prod design.

Clients didn’t want to spend any money .

Locations supplied by local government were for free because we are students we got approval and housing done through group members Sammie and I.

Human

Really windy on both sets, which you can see especially in camera in the old man film. Additionally the Pram pushers dropping out previously mentioned. Additionally we had actor drop outs in the morning for the old man shoot. .

Timeframe

We had to shoot two videos, The old man on Friday and pram pushers on Monday. Personally it was a very hectic time for me as I had POC for Drama Production on Wednesday and 14 hour shoots during the weekend for an indie. Luckily, set life was very comfortable and friendly and a stress free environment.

Reflection on individual role

My role on set was quite varied, including data wrangling, gripping, continuity and unit. In terms of on set role reflection, I could have been more prepared with data wrangling by establishing a naming convention for the edit and in having a split for continuity.

I enjoyed the process of the actual edit; sending in cuts to Jess and Nico and making changes with their feedback as their response was quick and changes could be made swiftly.

If I could go back in time and change things, this is what I would do. I would consult with Jess and Marty as soon as possible when the shot list / storyboard was completed to ensure that the shots planned actually work and that we have enough coverage for various scenes. Because the problem of lack of coverage and whether shots worked was solved in the edit, it meant more time solving these issues which could have been avoided or at least mitigated in pre-production.

I also would have attached composer as personally I am not 100% happy with the music chosen. In retrospect I could have also had done a rough cut earlier. I also came into the edit with not that much colour grading experience, and enjoyed the process of refining my craft.

Reflection on team performance

Overall, I am pleased with my group and look forward to working with them in the future. However I would do things differently as a group in the future. Firstly, I would have had a quicker turnover for script and shot list / storyboard to plan edit to see if it works. The shot list was completed between the director and DOP in the week of shooting which made the job of me (editor) harder because I would have to trust on their instincts that the short film will cut together. Additionally our problem of having actor drop outs would have been mitigated at least if we had actual auditions for the actors (we left stuff to the last minute and just invited whoever looked best on star now).

Analysis of final product

Overall I am quite pleased with the final product. However one drawback I think is the music. Although it being royalty free and free to use with credits, the music is generic and not subtle.

Some of the cuts in the old man story are rushed, especially at the start. This was down to if you held too long, he did a seedy face etc. Also, we have some shots that only have one take, which is hard when you want a different performance in the edit that doesn’t pay attention to itself. An example of this is the old man eating the lasagne; which looks over-dramatic. This could have been rectified by not just wanting to leave as soon as possible and getting multiple takes with different performances or checking if that performance works in a POC shot on a phone or something just to see if what is planned actually works in the edit room.

In the pram pushers story, the lighting looks too blue and face lighting is off in the house and additionally there is the BTS camera in shot.

Performances in both were adequate but would have been better with rehearsals and professional actors.

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