THE DAY BEFORE OUR SHOOT:
The day before our shoot was perhaps
more stressful as we had anticipated, since
the flats that we had promised to paint for
our shoot were much bigger than initially
expected, meaning that we were pressured
massively time-wise. If I were to do this
again, or had known it was possible, the
group definitely would have gone to have a
look at the flats sooner.
We used these three Rothko
painting as inspiration for our flats,
since we thought having something
to look at for reference, whilst
painting, would be really useful.
The varied, contrasting colours of
each one, we thought, would really
make them stand out on camera,
making an effective and visually
appealing backdrop for Bea, the
When painting these flats, the group
made a bit of a conveyor belt system.
Me and Sophie would paint the bases of
these flats, covering them all in the main
colour (so blue, yellow and orange),
which then Jojo could paint the Rothko-
style colour fields over the top. I think
this was effective, as Jojo knows these
paintings best, and the bases took the
longest (so needed two people). Kitt
made sure to fix any mistakes made, as
well as washing up brushes and paint
ARRIVING AT THE SHOOT
On waking up, I would say that I felt fairly
calm, as I had packed the props/
costumes/ makeup the night before, and
so wad pretty assured I had everything.
However, that did not eliminate the stress
that I was worried the day could possibly
bring, especially since the group had to
leave early, for a theatre trip.
To eliminate this, I contacted the head of
the theatre trip to see if we could head off
later, with my dad driving us to the trip.
This was fine with Alison, and made the
group feel much better about the day
ahead! We were not so time stretched.
As well as this, I made sure to drive in
early, as well as giving the main singer
a lift into school (so she could also get
there earlier than usual). This meant
we had more than enough time to eat
breakfast, as well as talking through
the day ahead, discussing what we did
yesterday, and discussing the plans I’d
made to allow us more time shooting.
Before we started, Matt briefed us about the day.
He discussed how our work ethic was important,
and that, especially if we go onto the industry,
being late back from breaks and not cooperating
and being apart of the team won’t work, and that
everyone has to play their part. I felt like this was
a necessary and fair conversation to have.
He also told us how the day was going to work,
giving us the timings for each shoot, and how
straying from these timings is not really an
option, as this would mean taking time from
another set-up that needs it. This was definitely
listened to throughout the day, as we ended up
actually finishing half an hour early.
We also made sure to stand up the
Rothkos before we started with
the cameras and equipment.
STUDIO SET UP
We began the shot day with the Rothko set
up. Once we had stood them up, I went
outside with Bea (our main singer) to do
her makeup and get her changed. In this
first set up, she was wearing all-white, and I
put some iridescent, purply shimmer on
her cheeks and the inner corners of her
eyes so that they stood out. I also made
sure that the trousers and top were put on
correctly, and looked the way we wanted
Whilst I was doing this, the rest of
the group were inside helping set
up the camera equipment. They
used Sophie (since Bea was
outside with me) to focus the
cameras on a specific subject.
They also repositioned the Rothko
canvases, so that they were evenly
spread throughout the shot. They
looked really good in the shot-
vibrant and lively!
Once I had done Bea’s makeup, I
brought Bea in to stand in front
of the cameras. From here, the
whole group worked together
with Chris to figure out the
lighting within this set up. At
first the lighting was a slower
strobe, altering Bea from being
brightly front lit to a dark
After looking at this lighting, we decided that it was too plain,
and that it didn’t really enhance the colours of the Rothko. We
decided with Chris that flashing, coloured lights would look
really effective, especially since Bea was dressed in all white.
In this set up, I was on the iPad, playing
back the music, stopping it and starting it
when needed. I also directed Bea in what
she should be doing, often telling her to
use her facials more, or make moves that
she’s doing even more dramatic/ larger. I
also took photos for everyone’s blogs.
THE GROUP’S ROLES
The group decided our different roles in advance of the shoot
day. These weren’t entirely set in stone, as everyone ended up
moving around and swapping around our roles on the day.
However, having one role each meant that each person had at
least one role they were entirely comfortable with.
• Sophie- Director
• Phoebe- Props, costume
• Jojo- Playback
• Kitt- Camera
I predominantly made sure that Bea was ready for each set-up
(regarding her hair, makeup and any props are present). One of the
most difficult jobs I had was to sort out the dress she was wearing
in the second set up. She needed it pinning behind (as the zip was
broken). As well as this, I had to make sure she had shorts to wear
underneath, as well as having boob-tape to secure the corset part
of the dress. I also had to make sure that her costume looked okay
when she was lying on the table in the second set up, making sure
that her shorts were not in the shot.
I also had to figure out what hairstyle Bea could have in for the last set up- the blank canvas with doodles. We had planned long plaits, but they
weren’t working, as little strands of her hair kept falling out. However, when I suggested bunches, she had pulled them halfway through, and I
saw that they looked really abstract and cool like that. And so, I used some hairspray and hairbands to secure her hair in place. This looked
really effective, especially with the uniformity of the black leotard and tights.
I think the outfit I picked out for Bea was
especially effective when standing next
to Khadijah. Everyone brought a range of
red clothes in, and as the costume
designer, I had the role of picking an
outfit out of them. Everyone commented
on how trendy she looked!
I also switched roles throughout
the day. I often did the playback,
when Jojo was not around to do
it. I also directed Bea in her
movement, telling her if her
shorts were coming up (so hence
do a smaller kick) or if we
wanted the moves she was doing
to look a certain way. Below is a
shot I got when I was using the
camera. Kitt pushed me along
the track, whilst I panned to the
right in order to capture this
movement in slow motion! I also
hand-held shot some of the
MY STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES ON THE DAY
Personally, I feel that, on the day, one of my
strengths was making sure everything to do
with costume and makeup was running
smoothly. I was able to be intuitive if
something went wrong (like Bea needing
boob tape, or coming up with a new red
outfit), and make sure that it was done well.
My problem solving abilities have definitely
improved as a result of this!
I also think that I was particularly good at giving Bea
direction. This was notable in the maze set up,
where I told Bea to look into the reflective flats to
create interesting reflections. I also asked her look
into the camera whilst lip syncing, as well as having
times of her being in her own world, away from the
camera, which I think turned out really well.
An example of where I think I gave really strong
direction, asking Bea to look directly into the camera,
almost as if she was in a trance. Me and Sophie also
think we placed the pencils well, making the
composition of the shot really interesting.
However, at points, the shoot did not go as smoothly as we’d planned. The first
problem (which I mentioned earlier) was the corset top on Bea’s dress was falling down
a fair bit. To fix this, I secured some boob tape, and Sophie and Kitt went up to the
costume department to get a scarf which we could then pin to Bea’s top half.
I think the change of the
scarf made the shots look
more realistic (as if Bea
was underwater), so I
think this was a really nice
change to the costume!
MY PERSPECTIVE OF THE SHOOT
In my opinion, the most successful part of the shoot
was the process of filming the maze set up. I think
throughout the planning process we were just hoping
that this set up would work and look alright.
However, I think this set up was my favourite. The
use of the fish-eye lens made the shots look dynamic,
with the walls looking distorted and almost dream-
like, reflecting the feelings of Bea at this point.This is
what I’m most looking forward to seeing in the edit.
One part of the shoot I wish had gone better (for me) was the part where we were
shooting the rapper and Bea together in the corner of the maze. First of all, I am not keen
on the mis-en-scene of the shot (none of the colours work well together and the lighting is
fairly boring). I also think that I could have directed Bea and Khadijah a but more in this
shot, as they both seem to be doing two different things. As well as this, Khadijah was
mouthing Bea’s words- and so we probably won’t be able to add these into the final edit.
I think the doodling set-up was my favourite
part of the shoot. All of the group came
together to doodle all over the blank canvas,
and then, since we had lots of time left on our
hands, we were able to shoot what we
definitely needed (Bea lying down facing the
camera, drawing), and then shoot some cool
things we wanted to try. Out of this, we got
some of my favourite shots of the day. We used
strobe lighting as Bea moved, as well as deep
blue flood lighting!
Overall, I think that our shoot day went to plan, and that
our production group really well as a team. Everyone
seemed really comfortable and good in their roles, and if
someone wanted to have a go at something else, their
spot was easily filled! Despite someone being late to the
shoot, we managed, as a group, to gain this time back by
working efficiently and seamlessly in our roles!
There are a few things I learned today which would
make my next shoot even more successful:
- I would make sure that in the costume fittings
session we have with the singer we get them to do
all the movements in it. This would ensure that,
whilst moving, nothing slips or falls down, as we
found out today!
- I would also try and have a real go at everything. I
only shot on the camera a few times. I would have
liked to have spent more time getting to grips with
handling the camera, as I feel that sometimes I