King of the jungle – Dextrous
For this years Documentary task I chose to be in a group with people who I’ve worked a lot with in the past as I have found we work very well together as a team, getting the highest grades possible. Together we all put our ideas forth and decided on the best idea overall. Our First idea for a documentary was my idea, which was on a Formula 3 race team run by Mark Webber and Christian Horner. Unfortunately they where taking a long time at replying to emails so we had to abandon the idea and went to our 2nd idea which was Fred’s idea. Fred’s idea was on his girl friends dad who is suffering from MS. However couple weeks before filming Fred injured him self, putting him out of work for a while, so we went for our 3rd idea from Josh. Josh’s idea was the same as he had last year which was a documentary on his brother Errol Francis, or better known in the music world as DJ Dextrous who is an award-winner Dj / producer from London who’s worked with the biggest names in the jungle/drum and bass scene such as Dj Hype, Shut up and Dance and the Raga Twins.
For research we all watched documentary’s to inspire ways for us to create ours and how we can make ours stand out. We posted documentaries on our group Facebook wall to show one another what kind of style we think we should go for. As a group we went through all the videos we had posted. From all the videos, they all had the same style to them which was, sit down interview based documentary’s with each interview being cut to interesting shots of what the subject was talking about. We found this keeps the viewer locked in to the video as instead of them watching someone sat down speaking (which is visually boring) they are able to view some thing different which will keep them more interested.
When planning the documentary our main thoughts where on how we can make it visually interesting with a good solid story. We tried to come up as many questions as we could where we would be bale to get deep meaningfully answers to keep the viewer locked-in through his story’s, as there’s only so many shots of a studio you can use to keep the viewer entertained.
En route to London for the shoot, our train was delayed due to someone being hit on the tracks. As a result to this we where a couple of hours behind schedule meaning we lost out on valuable filming time. As Errol is a very busy person, we where told 5-7days before the shoot when he was going to be available. Because of this we didn’t know when to book the equipment till last minute. We planed several shot we wanted in our documentary such as the beginning shot with the vinyl being played. We wanted to use the slider for pan shots of the studio as it would give the documentary a nice feel to it. But when we came to booking out equipment the slider we wanted to use had already been booked out, this meant that some of the shots we had planned for the shoot were not going to be possible, so we had to plan other shots to keep the viewer interest for the shots we would have used the slider for. The shoot as an over all went very well with no major problems. How ever there where a few problems we had, the first problem was with the lighting, as while setting up one of the lights blew as we switched it on giving us one less light to use allowing us not to use 3 point lighting. We had to be very carful how we used the two lights we had as we had every thing planned out for 3 point lighting. One of the other main problems was faulty wire for the recording equipment and it didnt pick up any sound. Thankfully we also had a edirol on us which we ended up using to record all the sound for our documentary. Having trouble with dodgy cables for sound equipment before we hired out the edirol mic as back up. This came very help, and if we hadn’t of done this it would of ruined the whole documentary. After filming the sounds of the interviews we wanted to go out and shoot some of the locations Errol talks about. However when we went to go film these locations it was already dark and the lighting of each shot wouldn’t of fitted visually well to the rest of the shots so we where unable to get a few shots we wanted. As we weren’t able to film out side we decided we should have another location so the studio didn’t get visually boring for the viewer. We used Errol’s spare room which had a lot of his vinyl collection in. this gave the documentary a more personal feeling to it getting the viewer connected in what is happening.
If we where to do this video again there are a few things which we would change to make our documentary better. The main problem what we weren’t able to overcome was the lighting out side when it was dark. With it being winter it gets darker a lot earlier, and after filming the interviews it was dark by 4:30. We could have overcome this by either getting these shots before the interview, or travel to London on a different day to get them. We have decided to make sure that all cables work before we get to location and find out they don’t work last minute so we’ll be able to record sound straight to the camera rather then separately and having to sync it in post.