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Community Channel UK360 final piece

I was really pleased with the feedback from the Community Channel on my rough cut!  Yipeeee!  The changes I was asked to make were the ones I expected to have if any so it was nice to see that I was thinking along the right lines!

The main achievement was they liked the script so I didn’t have to make any major changes to the piece.  This was a relief as it did not take long at all to make the small changes requested.

The final piece is submitted and just awaiting being aired on national TV now….keep your eyes peeled for the date which will be announced soon!

In the meantime you can watch the following short clips to get a feel for VisAbility.

Read about how the project came about here.

Read about day 1 filming here.

Read about day 2 and 3 filming here.

Read about editing here.

Community Channel UK360 editing

So with a lot of footage I took to the editing suite to produce a two minute package for the production team at UK360!

  • Step one – selecting clips from the interviews – this was the hardest part of the project as I had so much great material and way more interviews than I needed!  This was good though as it meant I had choice and I had kept questioning until I got material I wanted to use.
  • Step two – luckily I had an image in my mind of how the piece would look, so after finding some statistics and facts that would put the topic into context nationally I wrote the script for the piece.
  • Step three – recording the voiceover and importing it to the timeline around the interview clips.
  • Step four – this was straightforward as I had a good mix of shots to illustrate the story.  I wanted to show as many of the activities and faces as I could as I felt the footage really spoke for itself a lot.
  • Step five – I added a few effects and did the audio mixing and sent it off for feedback from the channel!

The rough cut was 30 seconds over but I decided to send it and give them the option of me cutting some.

Read about how the project came about here.

Read about day 1 filming here.

Read about day 2 and 3 filming here.

Read about the final piece here.

Community Channel UK360 filming day 2+3

The second day of filming for the VisAbility piece was at Gweek village hall, opposite the National Seal Sanctuary.  This was another transport challenge as I took 2 buses which took about 1 1/2 hours each way!  (for what in the car is about 20 minutes!)  This in itself highlights the further isolation for the VisAbility members who come from as far as Lands End and Truro.

I had another successful filming session and was greeted by many friendly people who were great fun.  I filmed the bowls session and conducted a few interviews. I had less time and there were many more people than on the first day in Redruth. The main challenge here was a suitable place to do the interviews.

Also I was unable to have time to set up the position of the chair and framing of the shots as some of the interviewees were helped in by a volunteer and being totally blind I didn’t want to totally move them around the room after just meeting them and didn’t really have the time to do this.  Sound again was tricky as the sound carried from the main hall and kitchen but we got by!

The final filming session was back at The Elms in Redruth and was with a smaller group who are doing a radio project which is part of a Media Trust project.  It really was fantastic to see and learn about this and the members were having lots of laughs and fun with it.  I managed to capture some great scenes from the radio drama which I will be using in the final piece for the Community Channel!

One of the members of VisAbility was really interesting and great to chat to and told me about all of his activities and achievements.  Ruben Daniel is totally blind and as well as having written a book and helping on the radio script he has written a number of poems.  I managed to capture one on film which I thought was really lovely for summing up some of the challenges and feelings of someone who has no sight.  I have included the poem below with some images of the different VisAbility groups in action.

Read about how the project came about here.

Read about day 1 filming here.

Read about editing here.

Read about the final piece here.

Community Channel UK360 filming

Once contact had been made with VisAbility it was all go!  The channel wanted the piece turned around within 1-2 weeks and I had just returned to university to start new modules after a week’s work experience.  Things were busy!

Luckily the charity were fantastic to work for as they were really quick to respond and organise for me to visit and film.  I arranged to go to a couple of the different clubs so that I could see the variety of services they offered and interview some of the staff, volunteers and members.

The first day I went along to The Elms building in Redruth where they run a few of their sessions.  The building is a fantastic place for the charity to use and the group consisted of about 12 women the day I attended.  It had such a lovely feel and I came away from my first day filming absolutely buzzing!  It was so great to be spending time with the people I was going to be making a short package on rather than rushing in, doing a few interviews and shots and rushing out.  Also the people themselves were just amazing, so lovely and both happy for me to be there and that I was doing the film project.

I decided to do a series of interviews where I framed the ladies in the centre of the screen on a white wall in the same place.  I wanted to create an intense focussed shot on each character and highlight their isolation through the framing.  I also thought it would seem like they were speaking directly to the audience this way and be more intimate rather than using the typical rule of thirds to frame the shot and have them talking off screen.

It was really rewarding to feel like the work I’m doing is actually having a positive impact on those involved.

Challenges

The filming was not straight forward though and I learnt a lot from this first day filming.

  • Sensitivity – filming with a group of people who were partially sighted and blind meant that I needed to gain trust by spending time with the group before just diving straight in to interviews.  I spent some time before the filming just chatting with the members about them, the club and myself.  This definitely paid off as I was able to get the interviewees to open up by spending the time and showing an interest. (I also really enjoyed sitting and chatting too!)
  • Working alone – is a challenge!  Especially when you have a lot to do in a short space of time!
  • Sound is key! – the building we were in was a fantastic location for the club, however in terms of interviewing people it was quite difficult as the building was very echoey and so everyone that walked past the room could be picked up very clearly by the mic.  We didn’t have the time or option to close off the corridor outside the interview room so I had to make do.
  • Lack of personal transport – especially when working on a project in rural Cornwall is tough as lugging heavy equipment around on public transport and foot is hard work and time consuming!

Here is a short snippet of some of the ladies I met which shows the positive impact of the VisAbility club in their lives.

Read about how the project came about here.

Read about day 2 and 3 filming here.

Read about editing here.

Read about the final piece here.

Community Channel UK360 project

I have recently completed a TV package for the Community Channel’s UK 360 magazine show which is broadcast fortnightly on the free view channel.

How the project came about

I noticed through Facebook that the Community Channel was looking for content for its magazine show UK360 and so gave them a call to enquire.  I figured it could be a good way to practice my video skills alone on a project outside of the course.  It is also a great opportunity to develop my portfolio and to find out about the work of a community group or charity within Cornwall.

I was amazed and quite surprised to find out that the channel had in fact been looking for a film maker in Cornwall to partner with a charity who had expressed an interest in being featured on the show!  What a coincidence and perfect situation!

The project

Imagine: You’re 70 or 80 years old. Your spouse passed away sometime ago. You don’t hear from your friends, they’ve died too or moved into nursing homes. Your children don’t live in the county, they all moved away to get jobs. You’ve a niece, but she’s twenty miles away and besides she’s always busy with work and the kids. You’re struggling with mobility and perhaps hearing problems common to someone your age, but you’re managing on your own, you remember the war, you’re a fighter. You live in an isolated hamlet in rural Cornwall, you really need a car if you want to get anywhere, but they took away your licence when you started to lose your sight. You can see still see shapes, make out light and dark. You manage, you’re a fighter. But you’re desperately lonely. You’re doing less and less each day. You worry. What if you had a fall? Who’d know?

If only there was somewhere you could go, somewhere you could meet and make friends. Something to do when you get there, you know get your bones moving and your mind working again. But how you gonna get there? There’s no buses, who’d come all the way out to the sticks to pick you up? You’ll manage, you’re a fighter.

This is a introduction to the charity looking for a filmmaker.  VisAbility is part of Cornwall Community Volunteer Services (CCVS) and was set up to provide services to blind and partially sighted people across the rural county of Cornwall. They run a range of activities from radio and bowls clubs, to crafts. They also provide transport and support with tasks that are difficult for their members.

I was really pleased when I found out about their work as it sounded really worthwhile and interesting to learn about.  I was excited to meet the team and get started on the film which I’m sure will be fantastic for helping them promote their services.

Lessons learnt so far

  • Keep your eyes open for opportunities all around you
  • Call and speak to organisation’s that interest you and offer your skills – you never know they might have been looking for someone just like you!

Read about day 1 filming here.

Read about day 2 and 3 filming here.

Read about editing here.

Read about the final piece here.

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