First discussion of the final ‘film essai’ on staging

After some editing of  last week’s steadycam/tracking shot practice (including a revelatory film experiment with and without boom-enabled sound), the boys get into a circle for an initial discussion on the final brief – the film essai – which is as follows:

Make a film which includes 2 scenes filmed in the same space: once with 2 characters, another time with the same two characters plus 1 or 2 others. The situation and the issues will be different between these 2 scenes, with a different mise en scène.
These two scenes should be in a constrained space, whereas the other scenes making up the rest of the film should be in open spaces.

There is logistic chat on possible groupings of boys and democratic editing strategies, also: how many films it would be possible to make, the possible consequences of making 2 instead of 1, time constraints having a bearing on plot structures, who’s to be in front of the camera, the need to conform to the European art film genre rather than any Hollywood genres, any music to be ‘self-penned’, the extent to which open/enclosed spaces can be controlled, scouting for locations – should narrative come before decisions on setting? might the different ‘shades of London’ feature? should landmarks feature?

Throughout Chris and Sam remind the boys that any decisions made need somehow to reflect the brief and be defensible when it comes to the Paris Q & A. Chris is mindful of the cultural nature of the project and the need to respect the French vision, but also the right for the boys to exercise their creativity. Any nascent plot ideas or photos of locations are to be posted on the boys’ project blog.

As Mark points out at the end of the session, the circle makes for a democratically structured discussion, every person having their turn to speak, if they so wish. There is also a short exercise in on-the-spot précis … with the boys having to summarise what the previous boy has just said. Such is the high level of speaking and listening that it’s suggested that the next ’round discussion’ be filmed.

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