Week 6 - Developing and Pitching

This week, we developed on the principal idea that we decided on during week 5 and the reading week, which was focused around a motorcycle shop on Aberystwyth’s seafront. There were a few tasks still left to do before we could pitch our film idea, such as checking if the business had any restrictions regarding customer limits, etc. We obtained most of this information from the in-person meeting the Saturday previous and were then able to start planning a production schedule. We decided we would need three key production dates – one for ‘reccy’, one for observational filming, and one for filming the interview.

As a team, we created an initial treatment, with the focus being primarily on the shop itself. However, we left the treatment quite open-ended, also mentioning a sub-focus on the local biking community and the owners. Within our meetings, we also brainstormed what communities and individuals would likely need to be interviewed or involved in our project, with a key lead for us being the Aberystwyth University Motorcycle Society. We decided not to make contact to potential interviewees at this stage as we were still solidifying the film idea.

One problem that arose was that Dan was absent for our first meeting the week previous and requested a different role to ‘sound’. However, I fairly allocated roles based on the technical skills of the team, and it was not possible to swap roles around. I am confident that the roles allocated to each team member were of ‘best fit’.

We held a meeting the day before our pitch to create a PowerPoint presentation, highlighting the location of our film, what questions we wanted to ask, and why we chose this location and story. I included historical images of the building with the hopes of touching on the history of the building and business within the film.

Whilst our pitch was well received, Dr Greg Bevan noted that we could face potential conflicts within the film, or the backlash the film could face if we don’t make the film balanced to show both sides of an argument. This is particularly in reference to the view some locals have towards the biking community, and the competition the business has to other local businesses. Dr Bevan’s main issue was that the idea seemed too much like an advert, and this is an issue that we will continue to work on. He also suggested that we question the role of interviews within documentaries, however we realised that to allow the story of the shop to be told, interviews would be necessary to keep production straightforward.

As a group, we planned to meet at the location for our next production meeting, to conduct a ‘recce’ check, and to make sure that everyone on the production team was happy with the idea and location. This allowed me to complete risk assessments in preparation for filming week. I also used this opportunity to ask Oliver, the shop manager, about their involvement with the business, and he gave me contact details for the motorcycle society, who we had identified as a possible contributor previously. From there, I was able to start to build a more refined schedule now that we had more information about the business and its staff.

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