Sunday, 13 July 2014

Lights, camera, action!

It's been a very big week. As usual, I was doing many different things for many different people, but this week included something out of the ordinary. I was making two films and my role was behind the camera.

I'm collaborating with a university in the field of clinical supervision and my partner and I pitched that we would make some films as a catalyst for discussion in the workshops that we will design and deliver.

We had two films to make and two days in which to make them. I wrote the script which was more like a blueprint for the narrative of each scene around which the actors would improvise. We had a director, camera operator and audio engineer. My partner was the clinical adviser on set, teaching the actors how to look like they were taking blood pressure and other vital signs and props master. That left me as producer, assistant director and floor manager. After two days, I was exhausted and gained a real appreciation for what it takes to make even a simple film. My job was all-consuming because I was flicking from creative story-telling to manager of the set, people and time frames.

At one point, I heard my name called by four different people. All I could do was take a breath and deal with each person.

Even my broadcast journalism skills had a workout. We did some vox pop interviews of students to get their stories and perspectives about clinical supervision and feedback. I stood beside the camera and chatted with four young men to get them to relax in front of the camera and to incorporate my question into their answer. I remembered the appeal that interviewing had for me all those years ago.

My next task is post-production. I'll sit with the editor and we'll use all the footage we took to tell the story that I wrote. I'm really excited to see how it turns out.

One of my lessons from this experience is that everything takes three times longer than you think and you just have to keep going until you're finished.

The other great thing I noticed was the need to have complete trust in the team you've assembled. Everyone must be doing their job and you must trust that everyone is doing their job. I had no capacity to step in and take over anyone else's job. If I had, that would have left a big gap where I was supposed to be. It's a great leadership experience, because everyone is required and no one can give less than 100% every time and all the time.

My partner took a photo on set which you can see on Instagram. He appeared as an extra, but I was too busy doing all of the things I've mentioned, that I missed taking a photo.

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