Friday, 4 November 2011

Behind the scenes producing The Icing on the Cake

Prepping for the interview
Before I start I better introduce you to Hourglass Productions, our newly named and formed production group.
I say newly formed but we worked together last year for our PTSD project. We worked well together, had our arguments and we now know what we all expect from each other, so there was no doubt we’d work again together this year. So there’s me, Amber, Luke and Michael – although we all produce our films together, I pretty much that on the producer/director role, I’m incredibly organised and strong-headed so I seem to naturally take on the role. Amber works closely with me on this, meeting contributors with me and making creative decisions with me. All four of us dabble with the cameras, some of us enjoy this more than others, I’d say me and Amber do the most, I’ve found this huge passion for beautiful camera work since being back from Glastonbury. Luke, in my opinion, is very much a writer and creative thinker, although he didn’t really enjoy working scripts for documentary. He likes to sit back with me and analyse things, he’s great at this and it gives me a great double to bounce ideas off of, or even argue my case for ideas. This is great for me, it’s nice to have people challenge ideas and give you food for thought. Michael is our editor and post production co-ordinator and as much as I hate to admit it, he’s the man for the job! He’s absolutely fantastic and I don’t think I’d have anyone else edit our work!

For Hourglass Productions latest project we filmed a two-minute documentary on a cake designer, Cath Mitchell from Chandlers Ford. She’s been making cakes for several years now as well as running her hugely successful business Wish Cakes. I think we’ve been very lucky and we’re all incredibly proud with the outcome.

Cath at work
Our idea for our two-minute documentary came along came along pretty quickly, I think me and Amber had our hearts set on a cake maker pretty much straight away, and with most things the boys were on board pretty quickly! I was very lucky to find our contributor, Cath was absolutely fantastic. She went out of her way to make things happen and was so willing to help us! Even with the travel to and from her house, we all really can’t thank her enough! She luckily had a beautiful story to tell, a history of family tradition and a family who have supported her through everything she does. I managed to befriend Cath quite quickly which really allowed me to dig the surface, even if most of the really dishy stuff we ended up discarding from the interview.

Classic glitter cup cakes
Filming day approached pretty quickly, Amber and I were really, really excited! We had high hopes for the shoot. We really wanted to create a really beautiful girly film, with some lovely shots of the cakes and Cath at work. We started with the interview piece which went really well, it took us a while to light and set up, which really highlighted how out of practice we’d become over the summer. However, once the cameras started rolling the conversation flowed and the interview was lovely! We had lunch, which was this amazing spread that Cath laid on for us, she really was just lovely. The team had brought Cath a few presents to say thank you for all she’d done which we gave her and she seemed to love them!

Cookie Monster Muffins
After lunch it was time to crack on with some filming of the best bit – the cake designing! Cath put together a variety of things for us! From classic cupcakes, to novelty characters, to airbrushing and finally classic cake decorating and they were all fantastic and lovely to film! She even gave me and Amber some cupcakes to take home – I can confirm that they were absolutely divine!

The DVD Cover
The edit went really well, we quickly were able to narrow done what we wanted and were able to select the best cut-a-ways. We ended up creating two edits as our lecturer wanted more of the cakes and less of the interview in the way of footage. We were a little reserved to do this at first but I think we all agree now that we much prefer the second version of the film, it just seems to flow better!

Now the final edit has been handed in, along with our production folder! I even created a DVD case and cover for the piece, which I was (lamely) proud of! We’re all really hopeful for the grade, fingers crossed!

Here's the finished film;

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