Have you ever wanted to know what it was like to work on a film (/B2B video) set? Well we sent our work experience assistant project manager Elliot Brooker, to help out on the set of our latest video project:
Upon arrival at UBM I understood I was entering on “work experience”, however after two and a half months of “data building” I was beginning to question whether I could keep up with the versatility of this role. So when the opportunity arose to be a member of the filming crew I grasped it with both hands. Whatever the job entailed.
After a conversation with the producer I understood that my job title for the day would be crew spotter/runner. The details of which I was accustomed to, with experience in stewarding at the London Olympic Games and at events back in Manchester I was used to “dealing” with the public (I have also found the bespoke illuminous finish of a hi-viz jacket to be rather becoming). However the assumed position of knowledge that comes with the jacket is troublesome at best. With flustered members of the public at St Pancras frequently walking through shots and requesting information as to the whereabouts of platforms and ticket offices. The international finger… of silence, accompanied with a bemused shrug was my cryptic response.
Throughout the day I had a number of tasks to complete including set security; ensuring equipment remained in the hands of the owners. With one of the cases containing a number of lenses collectively worth over £10,000 (image below) – the pressure was on.
The complexity of tasks varied throughout the day, kicking off as a human light stand. This surprisingly enough involved holding an LED panel over my head for an unspecified amount of time, manifesting itself in an unsavoury burning sensation in my shoulders.
However arguably the most important task of the day was keeping cast and crew hydrated and at an optimum caffeine level. The most ego bruising of tasks on the other hand was not my sterling interpretation of a pole, but pretending to play the pink piano at St Pancras in order to ‘occupy the space in the background shot’, with onlookers waiting eagerly at the peripheries for me to burst into the latest jazz number.
Noise pollution was a massive issue (not including my lack of ambidextrous ability) disrupting filming more than those radical free-thinkers who decorate the background of shots with displays of “imagination”. The tannoy announcements in St Pancras and the clanking of heels on the back streets of Angel promptly halted filming.
However professional the end product is guaranteed to be the equipment (bar the £7,000 camera and array of lenses, gadgets and gismos) had an effective but rudimental feel, using a sheet of “Xtratherm” wall insulating as a reflector (images right) and tracing paper as a light diffuser was not what I had envisaged when walking on set, I am sure they are the best kept secrets in film making.
All in all the day was long, the tasks possibly reprehensible and they never did remove the yellow M&M’s from my rider! Having said this, the experience has proved invaluable with an element of networking and a real insight into the preparation and procedures that goes into making a professional moving image.
I would recommend the experience to anyone who enjoys long periods of standing, taking orders and has a knack for making tea. Would I do it again… YES, in a flash!
If you would like a professional video profile for your brand or an individual please contact Donna Wright on the Client Solutions team at email@example.com.
Written by Elliot Brooker, Assistant Project Manager
Stay up to date with Elliot on Twitter @Brooker627