In the making of Deathbed I came to realize a couple of things I hadn’t really noticed before. Because of t.v and popular cinema the expectations for fictional films are with such high standards. But as a student filmmaker working around a tight/ low budget it is very difficult, especially when making commercial fictional films to making them look good. I find that with avant garde approaches, tight close ups, hand held cameras, fast cuts etc you have a better chance of making something aesthetically pleasing. Because I enjoy more and usually like to make documentaries that also explore fictional conventions in order to create a poetic approach of the subject matter there are not that many limitations. I pay close attention to form but in a more experimental kind of approach. If I was the cinematographer for Deathbed I would definitely have made everything darker, more shadows and weird almost uncomfortable camera angles. Although after the crit I was very disappointed that we didn’t receive enough credit and positive feedback for all the hard work we put into this project. First of all we were possibly the only group that used a complicated light plan and played with tones and color significance. Our set design was probably the best one. I spent hours some days planning out the set lay out and trying to work around what the director and cinematographer wanted. I got Shelter in Tollcross and Clerk St. to give us clothes for the film with a refundable deposit. I don’t think any other groups did that or even tried to collaborate with outside agents. (aka not the university). Finally, we were the only group that had to struggle working pretty much without a director. Most importantly an absent director with extreme health issues. Even when Dawn was on set 2 out of the 4 days of shooting, she wasn’t in the position to direct…because of hard medication like morphine. I did lights, helped the actors get dressed but also had to direct with Johanna. None of this was even regarded in the crit which I found completely unfair. Although I now realize how important rehearsals are for the actors but also for the director! Perhaps if we had more time with the actors and more rehearsals on set and with Dawn absent everything would be a bit smoother…

Lastly I would like to add that another comment was made that I found inappropriate. In a patronizing manner we were called up against the fact that we filmed really late in comparison with the other groups. That was not because we weren’t ready or prepared…that was because the actors were not available. For future reference I would like to raise the fact that if you want the film students to use actors from the university, a larger number of actors should be provided. Therefore the groups won’t have to all share 3 actors thus the films can be made faster.

Overall I found the whole experience enjoyable and had the opportunity to grow creatively but also work with my colleagues in a professional matter. Also, I believe that I created a network for future projects and know that I work better with some over others. It was enlightening that I got to really comprehend what is expected from each head of department when making a film, aka the individual roles you undertake in commercial/ conventional films.


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