On The Door Step

Comparison

My First film to be shot was On The Door Step. In this film I felt like I was allowed as much creative input as I wanted. I was able to make a lot of the decisions, making most of the pre production more organised. I was calm throughout the whole process for this group and had so much fun taking part in it. I didn’t feel nervous, stressed or constricted because the Director trusted my work strongly. She let me have input in most things and even asked for my opinion on things that weren’t in my department. I didn’t have a section which I enjoyed the most because I enjoyed the whole journey of pre production and film day.

The pre production for me, was the hardest bit of the project for this group. This was because, the Director I was working with was very specific and precise about what it was she wanted. She was challenging to work for as she kept changing her mind continuously throughout and more towards the day of the shoot. She even made some last minute decisions on the day of the shoot. However, the shooting went by so smoothly as it was extremely organised and everyone was prepared for it. We managed to finish half an hour earlier than the actual wrap time.

The difference between the two was that one was that my first film was more laid back, prepared but less strict with specific rules whereas my second film was not. This made me feel very unprepared and startled as I was not used to the working level of my second film HUMDRUM. Everything was more strict and every decision had to be put by the Director first. My first film was ok with times and didn’t ask for us to come in until 9.30 whereas my second film I had to be there for 8am which was extremely early. I arrived 10 minutes late and I got into serious talks with the Director as I couldn’t get the make up all ready in time for the time she requested. This changed everything and I felt like I lost all opportunity of impressing my Director. If  I knew that all Directors worked differently and you need to be able to adapt to every type, I would have rushed when making my way in the morning.

If I had to choose one which I preferred, I would pick On The Door Step. I felt like it could be both professional as well as fun. It should always be about the experience and learning new things which you were enjoying. The first production On The Door Step gave me that opportunity. I was not afraid of asking questions and I was able to be as creative as I wanted to be. Although the other production was very organised, I felt like the Director was doing all the work and I was more of a runner. I didn’t get to experience my role as  much as I did on my other production.

If I could change one thing about these two, it would be the preparation of the both. I spent more time in meetings with HUMDRUM because there was a mix up in all the groups and I didn’t realise I was assigned to three groups. Also, I didn’t meet with the ‘On The Door Step’ group until the week of filming which meant I had to work very quick but I didn’t mind. I would have just wanted more meetings and prep with them as they seemed very active and fun to work around.

Overall, I really enjoyed both productions. I have learnt many different things from both of the productions and how different people work when organised and laid back. This has given me a different experience in group work too. Sometimes you will have to work with people you do not get on with but somehow it is ok. It all works out better because you want to prove your place on a production and show how good you can work and when you both are able to do this, it makes the team stronger and work well together. You are a good example to the rest of the team.

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Script by Alice Murgia

On the doorstep Draft N.2 28/01/2014

by

Alice Murgia

Based on “A cupboard full of Coats” by Yvvette Edwards

murgialice@gmail.com a.murgia2@arts.ac.uk

EVEN. INT. KITCHEN

It is dark, noises of crockery and running water.A teenage girl, JINX, opens a the door of a cupboard, turns on the light inside it; several colored long coats are hanging, the hanger just in the middle of the cupboard is empty. She closes the cupboard and walks with hesitation in the hallway; a yellow light comes from a door wide open. Jinx looks through it. The kitchen is neat and tidy.

A tall man in his late 30s, BERRIS, stands in front of the sink washing dishes; he blocks the direct neon lights creating an intimidating dark silhouette. He wears smart cloths and shoes. Jinx stands silently on the door step looking at him. He keeps on cleaning the same pan, then he straightens, turns towards the door and looks at Jinx; he doesn’t look into her eyes. She holds her breath and jumps in surprise.

BERRIS

Is your mum coming back anytime soon?

JINX I don’t know.

Berris places down the pan with a loud noise, looks out of the window, takes two plates from the three that are next to him and two glasses of water on the dining table; each on the opposite side of it.

It is grilled salmon fillet. He sits down and starts eating, tapping his fingers on the table. She looks a the other plate and at his tapping fingers.

BERRIS

Hurry up, eat it while it’s still warm.

The girl looks confused nods and goes to sit at the table.

He is eating slowly, he has big red eyes, his shirt is stained with oil she notices it and looks at him for a while. She takes a small bite, then she smiles, she starts eating eagerly. Berris looks at her for a moment and snickers.

BERRIS.

Behave yourself kid, will you?

She blushes and straightens on her chair, she leans on the seat back.

2.

JINX.

This salmon is great! I didn’t know you could cook.

Stops and steals a glance at him, he seems relaxed.

BERRIS Of course I can.

JINX

(looks down and raise her

voice)

Mum doesn’t like fish, you know? she never cooks it!

BEAT.

Berris stops eating and looks at Jinx in the eyes, invasive glare. Jinx adjust herself on the chair.

BERRIS.

(raises his voice, authoritative)

What was your mother wearing when she went out?

JINX.

(stuttering)

The green and yellow dress.. the one with flo…

BERRIS.

(interrupting her) Which coat?

Jinx looks on him, she pauses.

JINX.

The camel colored one.

He smirks and stands up leaving food on the plate. He gets a toothpick and starts cleaning his teeth nauseatingly, then he puts the toothpick on the table; it has pieces of an indistinguishable green spice on it. Jinx stops eating as well and stares at the toothpick. Her hands gripped on the table.

A noise of key turning into a lock. Heels on the parquet. A gorgeous woman is standing on the doorway smiling happily, JOY. She is taking her long camel coat off.

3.

JOY.

I’m hom…

She looks at Berris; he has an unsettling smile on his face and she stops unbuttoning her coat.

In two long steps Berris is 2 cm away from the mother’s face. He raises his arm as if he wants to beat her. Joy lowers her head and closes her eyes submissively. Jinxs instinctively stands up and moves noisily the chair. Berris freezes then he turns slightly his head towards Jinx, Jinx steps back, he stops. He looks at Joy.

BERRIS.

Do you remember why I gave you this coat?

Berris strokes the open wound on the mother’s lower lip, a strikingly violet bruise.

BERRIS.

You don’t want another coat, do you?

(flattering voice) Isn’t this one enough for you?

He let his hand off her face, she takes his hand and holds it tightly, he looks at it, and then at her, and she is gently smiling at him. He lets go of her hand and walks out of the room.

BERRIS. (O.C.)

Next time you ought to be home and have the dinner ready for when I come back home from work.

He pauses.

BERRIS. (O.C.)

There is a plate for you there. But you don’t like fish and it’s probably cold by now.

Joy is surprised and smiles happily, she lets go of her bag an runs after Berris.

JOY. (O.C.)

No, I do, I do love fish, and I’m sure it’s gonna stay warm for a long time.

Jinx sits on the floor.

4.

The cupboard is left open with the light on, the coats are colorful and the hanger left empty before had now a

Reflection on Feedback

I asked both my producer and director to give me feedback on how I worked on this project as I would like to reflect to see how I can improve my job when doing jobs like this again. I would also like to know my strengths. By having two different statements to reflect off of, there are more things to pick up on so I am able to get opinions from two different perspectives which is better for me as a learner.

After asking my director she said:

“As a wardrobe supervisor, Nada has fulfilled her duties on time and accurately, moreover she undertook the role of make up artist and hair dresser showing in this way her commitment to the project. I believe she needs a confidence boost in her work which she will eventually acquire with future experiences.” – Alice Murgia.

I agree with the statement above as I really do want to prove how much I am capable of doing. I want to show all the different skills I have, to show how much of an asset I can be when working with me. I aimed to be a good team player and I was able to prove this to my director.

In terms of my confidence, I think the only reason it came across as I didn’t have much confidence in my work is because I had to enquire everything with the Director before I changed something. I didn’t want to make any decisions without the Director’s permission as in my previous group, my other director was quite strict with discussing everything I did with her first. I completely understand where she is coming from and next time I will be more stable with whatever job role I am given and make decisions for myself.

I asked my Producer to send me feedback too and she said:

“On the House Project : On The Doorstep, Nada’s task was to take care of the costumes and make up for the actors. On set she managed to get her task done well and in time. Being very calm and friendly to everyone she even proposed to buy the actors some candies, when they had low energy. Nada was a very efficient and likeable person to work with – Anna Briand Creative Producer on “On the Doorstep”

This statement made me very happy and I am glad to have made an impression on the crew I was working with. However, when I asked if there was anything I could improve on or that I could have changed she replied with nothing. So this statement felt a little biased as it was not a healthy balance of pros and cons. I do appreciate that the BAF students were able to see my effort and work when I was working on my role and I have nothing but respect for the both of them as I felt comfortable around them and had fun on the day of filming.

Dress/Rehearsals

Today was a practice run through with the Actors, Script writer, Director, Producer and one of the camera men. Myself and Mateea (Costume) volunteered to come in because we wanted to make sure that we knew how it was going to look and also wanted to get a chance to try and get a fitting when possible. We wanted to make sure we were ready for filming in the next two days.

It was good to see the actors in action and see the type of movements they were having to do to see how the clothes would suit them. As I analysed this, I realised Berris’ character would have to have his sleeves rolled up as he didn’t look as engaged in the scene as he was suppose to. By opening up his shirt and rolling his sleeves up, it made him look more active and a little aggressive. Another thing I realised was that we would need an extra prop by the door for when Jinx takes her fur jacket off. So they added this in.

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After being the first time I’d actually met up with my team, I realised there was no log for meetings or source sheet so I took pictures and details of everything hired and made a source sheet. I’d also noticed there were no shoes for Joy, so I asked her to bring 3 different options with her when possible. After getting her to try on her dress, we realised the dress was not of a right fit. So the day before filming, I had to go out and find a perfect dress that fit.

That following day, I went to Primark in Tottenham Court Rd as I knew there would be loads of different options for dresses, but realised that my director didn’t want anything with a lot of patterns nor anything above knee length. However, all the dresses I found were knee length and above. The only dress I found that went above the knee was a red floral dress, which I couldn’t pick out either as my Director gave me strict instructions to not go for anything red or orange. I later found a knee length summery yellow dress which I had bought for £13 as we had no other choice. Little did we realise, when we got to the Green room there were extra ensembles and dresses that had been brought as extra. When we had a look through, we saw a beautiful longer length green dress which was perfect for the role.

Being a part of this rehearsal and being able to sneak in a quick fitting before the shoot, made me feel so much more better about filming on the day as we had all our outfits together and sorted. All was left to do was take them home and hand wash them from the smells and all would be ready for shooting the next day.

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Film Day – Evaluation

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Today I was originally called in for 8.00am, However the actors were not due in until 9.30am so my call time changed and I arrived at 9.00am. Mateea (Costume person) and myself, had room M207 to prepare all our stuff and get the actors ready for filming. As we were doing this, the rest of the crew were setting up in the studio and preparing for filming. I also made sure to take pictures of all the clothes that were being used in the filming process. When we were done, we took the actors down along with the floor manager and were told to add little details such as staining lemon’s top and adding pins into Joy’s hair.

As my role was done for the day, I had to stay around to retouch the actors faces when they had any breaks. As we had a lot of budget left, they had bought us all breakfast and snacks to have whilst waiting around which did not have to happen so it was good that our Director looked after all of us really well. I helped were I could, wherever people needed me and watched through the Gallery at how beautifully the set was coming along. I helped set up the kitchen by moving and adjusting items and taking instructions from people.

We took it in turns of two to go into the studio and study what the BAF students were doing. I was shocked at the level of team work that was going on. Everyone was helping each other and the level of professionalism made me feel as though I was on an actual shoot of a film.

The two people that stuck out the most to me on this shoot was Freddy and Ana. Freddy was the Assistant Director. He made everyone on the set feel a part of and very important to this film. He made sure everything was under control, gave very good instruction and acted no other way but professional. I have worked on an actual film and TV set before and I saw no difference between an actual director and himself. He was very good and I made sure he was aware of it. Ana was the producer. She negotiated everything and was very firm with her choices which I liked. She was able to make difficult decisions on the spot and pulled things out of her own pocket, right after the budget had been used. She helped absolutely everyone on set and made sure everyone knew what they were doing and they were ready. A fast and hard worker, is why these two stood out to me the most. They helped everything run smoothly and ironed out all the issues that tried to get in the way.

One thing I wasn’t happy with was the props people from my film. They had been using fish on the set for approximately 6 hours and although they had been refrigerating the food and reheating, I still think this is a health and safety risk. Leaving food out for a few minutes is fine but longer than 10 minutes I’d say is a potential health risk. Especially under the studio lights which would mean that the food would have more of a chance of being contaminated.

One other thing I was not happy about was that they had left as soon as the director mentioned it was a wrap. Although the director may dismiss the filming, I know that the rules of being a part of the film was helping get rid of the set until everything was ready for the next group and then everyone was able to then help the next group prepare. Our props people lefvt fish in the Green room. Used plates, used cutlery and fish skin all over the counters. It was a complete mess. People left rubbish all over the green room and left. Being in the next group, I thought it was incredibly unfair on the next group which I was also a part of. So I volunteered to take these roles of cleaning up after the people who had made the mess as I didn’t want it to be time consuming for the next group. As everyone left, we also had to remove the set and re do the set ourselves too with no help.

 

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Upset that we have to clean after people!

The thing I most enjoyed about today was learning about the different roles in the studio. The director, Producer, Lights, Camera, AD, Sound and so much other roles. I got talking to a lot of the BAF students and they taught me a lot about their roles and how important they are. I loved working with new people and having a chance to show your skill to people who have a little more experience than yourself. I enjoyed helping people with their roles and looking at things with a different perspective. I loved being given opportunities to prove responsibility and looking after my actors and realizing how important my role is and how it could affect the rest of my team if I had not turned up on time or worked at a slow pace. I learned how much people relied on you to make sure you were ready when they expected you to be. Such as time given to prep my actors and not going over that time.

The thing I least enjoyed, was the failure to bring everyone together in the end to help out the next film group. I also was disappointed with the timing as we ran behind and the other group had to wait another 45 minutes before they could start preparing their set. This had an effect on everyone else, making everyone run behind and resulting to have to stay later than usual. This was disappointing as it started off so well and there were no problems throughout however, there were rules thereto be followed and the director did not enforce this upon anyone.

If I could change one thing about this film, it would be the organisation of it all and how we ended our film. I would make sure everyone was being pro active and that nobody left until the next group were happy for us all to leave. Overall, as my first film, I feel like I have learnt so much already. It has given me a good perspective of everything and a rough idea of what to expect when working with a crew in film. I now have something to compare my other films with and I look forward to experiencing a different group to get a different perspective.