Reflective Summary

We set out to handle the audio services for 5 films. We have done the location recording for 4 of them, and the post-production and composition for all 5 of them. We have indeed achieved that part of our goal.

However, we had to manage all of this, and create soundtracks all of the same high-standard. I believe we did this also. We have all seen each of the films, all worked on each of the films, and all delivered each of the films.

It has been a very long, difficult and a times laborious process. But I for one have loved it every step of the way. My opinions towards certain aspects of film sound have been changed along the way, and whilst I may have started out on this project really wanting to get stuck into location recording, by the time all the shoots had finished, I can honestly say I wanted nothing more to do with it. It is fun at times, and I do feel that I have developed my skills for location recording, and in fact – created – my skills for location recording since I’ve never done it before, but it’s not for me. I’m much more at home getting stuck in in the studio.

So, my original objectives were as follows:

(Shortened for the sake of this post)

Learning objectives:

  • To successfully manage the company‚Äôs interaction with Remember’s film team and deliver work on time and to a good standard. [LO1]
  • Main consistency of the overall tone of our audio and make sure this fits with the directors vision. [LO2]
  • To develop a better understanding of what is required when mixing a film. In particular, drama. [LO3]
  • To further my knowledge of the use of original compositions in film. [LO4]

Personal objectives:

  • To be able to describe how a post-production company functions within the film industry. [PO1]
  • To describe how the role of the composer fits into such a company, and how this can be applied to finding work in the real-world. [PO2]
  • To research and employ techniques for location recording, as well as post-production processes, particularly mixing multiple elements such as dialogue and sound design. [PO3]
  • To be able to create music compositions that successfully accompany my client’s film and also illustrate a development from my earlier work. [PO4]

Starting with the learning objectives, I have tried my absolute best to meet these as I feel these were more important to the project whilst being part of a group, rather than individually.

LO1 has been achieved because of my constant dialogue with the director of Remember, and the audio we delivered was of as high a quality we could manage with their sudden changes limiting the time we could spend on it. Our final mix that has been handed in is of a better quality, and will be delivered to the director at a later stage.

LO2 has been achieved through our weekly meetings to ensure that everybody understand what needs to be done, and by checking that the work completed matches that which has already been completed. Working on this film together, as well as all attending meetings with the director has meant that we all understand what has been required of the sound.

LO3 has perhaps not been fully achieved as more research into mixing film could have been done. Whilst I have done some mixing in the past, the feedback gained then was used to inform the decisions I made this time around. Making sure things are panned correctly, and that most importantly there is a good balance between all the elements was key and I did my best to make sure that this is the case.

LO4 has been achieved as I have now had first hand experience working with a director to produce original music for the film. Whilst the process I went through differs greatly from the other composers in the group, I have created the music he wanted and delivered it on time. This is totally different to how I have delivered before, as I usually pull pieces from my own library of compositions and allow for their use in, and only in the particular film they’re delivered for.

My personal objectives reflect the group objectives, and I have still tried my best to meet these.

PO1 arguably hasn’t been met directly. There is a bit of a lacking in my blog research in terms of how a company such as the one we ran fits into the industry. A lot of what I know has been informed from our R&D module where we visited a post-production facility and experienced firsthand how to deal with clients, how studio sessions operate and how that particular company was created and developed.

PO2 has been achieved as I have posted previously about my experience of composing for film compared to others within the group. As we ran this project as a company, and I am an in-house composer, I feel I have an understanding of how I could potentially fit into a real company in the future.

PO3 has definitely been achieved, as this is a very hands-on objective. I have helped to provide the location sound for two of the five films, both recording/mixing as well as boom operation. I have researched and developed techniques to ensure I did this to the best of my ability. I have also researched (albeit only a little) how to mix to R128 and feel I have an understanding of the basics. The overall mix for Remember is balanced very well, and to me this is the most important thing.

PO4 has also definitely been achieved, however I am not a fan of the music that I have created. This however was not the point, as the music needed only to fit the picture, and in the eyes, (or ears?) of the director, it does. I personally feel as though I haven’t been able to create the music that I think the film needed, however as I was employed to create the music the director wanted, this is irrelevant.

On the whole, the objectives have been met. If I were to undergo this process again, there are a couple of things that I think should be done differently. Firstly, I think it needed to be clear exactly who was doing what for each film. Whilst we have all had plenty of a hand in each others films, at times it has felt as though it has been five people working on the films by themselves. I think that a more objective position should have been taken from each of the supervisors, having less input in the actual production and post-production of the film that we supervised. This would allow for more concentration on the other films, ensuring more so that you don’t just end up working solely on the film you’re in charge of.

I also think we should have been more clear to the film groups what we are providing, and whilst in some cases contracts were created, I think they should have been essential from us to ensure that the film groups know exactly what they have to deliver and when by. This should hopefully eliminate the chance of any changes down the line after picture lock.

Other that that, the project has been an absolute success in my eyes as we were all able to work together efficiently and professionally and were able to deliver exactly what we said we would.

Project Management

This project requires a lot of managing. Whether this is managing people on-set, managing the director in post or managing other people within the group, a hands-on approach has been needed at all times.

Making sure that everybody knows what they’re doing at all times has been absolutely essential, and will be as the project continues. Each week we have been meeting between ourselves and planning out the week ahead. This has been extremely beneficial as we have been able to go through each film one-by-one and discuss what has been done, and what needs to be done. In the early days of the project it was mostly about finding out where the films themselves are at, their progress in planning, in terms of locations, dates, requirements, for example. Then as the location dates started coming in we often discussed who would take on each shoot, who was booking the equipment, meeting times and locations. And now, as we’re moving into post-production with each of the films, it’s a been a constant discussion as to who is doing what on what day.

Booking facilities and equipment has been a bit of a struggle at times, as there are many people working on films outside of our project. whilst we have five films covered, they aren’t the only five films being produced by students this semester, so getting to grips with who has what booked and when has been difficult, but manageable. The amount of location recording and post-production we’ve done and and have been doing has meant a near constant use of some of the equipment and facilities. This hasn’t been helped by issues such as dates being changed for location work, or when picture lock is missed, or edits need to be made to correct errors that have been missed.

One of the key parts of managing this project is making sure the communication between director and the manager at our end is as clear as possible. Fortunately, being able to get a text message to the director for Remember has been absolutely no issue, especially when there have been problems with the actual filming. Whilst the communication from our side has been as clear as we could make it, there have been times when the director hasn’t communicated information with us. Such as springing random location dates on us for example. This could be put down to poor management on their part, however it is likely just a bit of missed information.

On top of this, emails between each of us and the film groups are forwarded and shared between us so that we’re all kept in the loop with each others films, opposed to only knowing about our own.

[LO1] [PO1]