Feedback on Char Wetherhill, Documentary Filming
Char approached me late March after complications with previous arrangements to aid with the creation of their film documentary for their final project based upon cosplay, gender and the differences in society from that community and the general society. I have watched them develop the idea, given them aid and guidance, as well as helped film in person on location, and out of location for Char – along with giving them some samples of my previous work from university and my cosplay conventions documentation as stock footage to use as freely they wish.
For their filming, Char filmed two events alone that I reviewed the footage of one in a meeting we had to help with their planning, and a third one which I was on location with them. The first shoot they did on-location of a local convention, had good visuals and use of the rule of thirds when filming subjects – placing them in areas to catch background movements, not in the centre of the shot ect. – but the sound quality was a weak point in the first shooting due to the environment. Without lapel microphones, or the microphone being able to record sound on separate level (something they cannot control from their chosen camera) it lead to a large amount of background noise in the interviews. They did improve on this upon the second on-location of a local gathering, which I was pleased to see as it shows they learnt and were willing to improve upon direction and again showed great understanding of the rule of thirds and how to frame a shot to appear interesting. Char has a good eye for the visualisation of a shot in static.
When we filmed together on-location with Adam, I was able to aid Char and watch them physically film and see them in motion. Their approach to dealing with Adam, as interviewee, was professional and open to help him be comfortable with the filming process. Informing him before what they wished to achieve, the process and keeping themselves accessible.
When it came to filming and their use of the camera, while Char has confidence with static shots, they have some improvements with their dynamic ones in contrast. Specifically, when interacting with a person. When filming, we would both do so separately to gather multiple shots while we had a static camera capturing, to which they were comfortable with and clearly familiar with. But the one time I truly had to help came about the dynamic shots of Adam in his costume to showcase it. Some of this, I know, comes from Char focusing mainly on photography and not on capturing a sequence of shots in motion. They did apply themselves fully however, listening and only needing some direction to help aid them and over time, I know Char can develop themselves to overcome the nerves and grow a deeper understanding of creating a sequence visually in their mind by poses. I believe that a growing in confidence will help them achieve greater, as the foundation and knowledge on filming and photography is in place though uncertainty on themselves blocks them from doing something they may have thought out, or clearly thinking of how to approach a filming situation.
Overall, Char has shown a good understanding of filming and bringing a project to life. More time and less unfortunate events that delayed filming for them could have helped them be able to achieve what they envisioned, but overall from a practical view on filming they have skills that can be honed further with confidence and practice.