As I eluded to in my post which published by documentary here – I certainly feel as if I have learnt a lot during the process of putting together my documentary. Many areas have been challenging, but all of the areas that I’ve delved into have been enjoyable and rewarding.
Firstly – the interview process. If you ask anyone on a course similar to mine, arranging interviews are always a bit of a challenge. Not only is identifying an appropriate interviewee sometimes difficult, but the process of arranging the interview itself is frequently a minefield of things that can trip you up. However, I was very pleased in the process of this documentary the response I had from those I interviewed. I think the somewhat unique manner of it, exploring the media’s representation of Brexit, may in all truth played a part in it. I wanted to give those who’s voice had somewhat been disrespected or unfairly stereotypes a chance to put the record straight so to speak. The fact that I managed to do this is one of the most pleasing aspects of the production process.
In the process of filming and presenting the documentary, I was again reasonably pleased with my own performance so to. Having had some feedback following my first draft of the documentary, I made the decision to redesign and re-film my introduction. It was a bit weak looking back on it, whereas my second attempt was a lot cleaner, a lot nicer looking in the edit and featured substantially more balance than my initial effort. Given the hours that had already gone in to making my first draft it was not an easy decision. I do believe the final introduction sets the narrative well for the rest of the piece. I certainly feel the graphics and the editing when I introduce my interviewees is a lot stronger than how I originally designed it, which is very nice to look back upon.
I’ll definitely acknowledge that my own strengths lie in the filming and presenting of a piece – as opposed to the eventual editing. I’ve always been competent when it comes to the cutting room but I do not think that my own skills prior to the documentary were of the standard needed to produce an engaging seven minute piece on my own. I worked hard and I’m delighted with some aspects of my editing. In particular how I’ve designed my interviewee introduction screens, the blur effect used on a letter and the cuts during the interviews look a lot more professional than they would’ve done six months ago. This is all due to the hours I spent learning these skills and then putting them into practice – so it’s been a very rewarding challenge for me, with results I’m proud of.
There are perhaps a couple of areas that were weak and I wanted to acknowledge this in this piece. I think perhaps my introduction could’ve been recorded in a more politically relevant area (for example, outside of Parliament would’ve looked great in hindsight.) I also think the transitions between interviews could’ve been a bit stronger looking back upon them. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing to acknowledge these shortcomings publicly. I am always aiming to learn as a journalist and do things to the best of my ability. If I had a bit more time with this project for example these are definitely the areas I’d be looking to focus on to improve my final piece.
It’s definitely been a long old road this documentary. It’s been hard, it’s taken a lot of time and it’s fair to say has been quite stressful getting it to the point where it is now. I can look back it with great pride however. I’ve done the best I could on this piece – and I hope the feedback I get from anyone who watches this will reflect this.