These last months have been something to write about - so thats where I’ll start this 2010. Last year I worked on some small projects, short films if you will.
The first was the 1minutetosavethesworld shorts. Done under the Sandbox Collective umbrella,we produced two projects and one of them did very well and ultimately went on to show at the Copenhagen Climate Change conference. The project was Justine’s idea and was directed by Louw.
The Sandbox Collective is a group initiated by Zaheer Goodman who is exec producer at Spier Films. This “collective” has a aim to collaborate and create interesting, creative and impact-full media. Coming together and choosing a project of the cuff was a very intuitive process and there wasn’t a moment when we sat down to determine what the pro’s and con’s would be and who would do what on these films. The outcome was thus both very exhilarating and excruciating. We created a project that went on to show in Copenhagen and also made a project that didn’t make its way out of the post facility. This is the bias of intuitive only production. It either felt right or not - but when it did it felt real good.
When the project was completed we had to have a little de-briefing with exec - Ultimately we should have just done one project and done it well. HAving this second project on our minds messed up the full potential of the group. alas.. Hopefully that will not be our last as the Sandbox Collective still has a lot of potential to make great stuff!
Moving on, I produced a short film with Daniel Wilner. He is predominantly a theatre director that wanted to make movies. What I liked about Dan was his attitude toward making this film. It was a “I will do anything to make it happened” attitude. After asking me to produce it he quickly produced the script, I liked it and it took us one week to organize (although the evening before we had to recast our major players thanks to some external issues) and it cost us in total R2000 (thats about $280). We shot with a tiny crew of 5 people (thats Director, AD, DOP, Sound & PM) and three actors. Our cost went into Camera hire (Take2 Films always supporting!), catering, petrol and a parks release. Right now the tapes are in Canada waiting to be transferred and edited.
This project was great because the roles where clear. Everyone bought into the execution strategy and was was part of the planning process. Dan was open to ideas and given the small, but very talented crew, the ideas where of high quality and all added to the making of the film. The shooting day was relaxed and although we had to drop an establishing shot (which we got the next day) we got all the footage and then some.
Finally I produced a 3minute montage about ideas. This project was financed by a consulting firm who deal with futures consulting and wanted something to show clients that would “open their minds to new ideas”. The brief was short and time was shorter so within literally 4 days this project had to be out. Richard Lackey became the editor/sfx guy and I was researcher, director, producer. With so little time there was not much time for concept approvals and cut approvals but we did manage to get out three versions and the clients where very accommodating regarding feedback. This was a tremendous help to both me and richard who become very wrapped up in what we where doing.
Because the project needed to be viewed globally I uploaded it Vimeo for future showing as well as dropping a version onto DropIO which is a free service and works like a bomb! This way the clients where able to download any of the versions, watch and then just mail me concerns or ideas. The workflow was a bit sketchy but if we do another project with this company I think it will be 100% smoother.
Looking forward, working with small crews has its pro’s. Being malleable, sharing high quality ideas, and being able to pull of projects within a small amount of time. However the small team needs to be people you know, people who you (preferably) have worked with before and absolutely respect their ideas and execution. Without this prior knowledge I find it hard to communicate succinctly and ultimately either the relationship or the project suffers.
Keep in touch this year. READ/WRITE PLAY.