Estate the documentary

So in preparation to the big release of my film ‘A bit about Angie’ and the soundtrack ‘Estate’ we decided to produce a short documentary about the making of the song and the group ‘UnkoNWn’ who put the song together. Watch the film below.

The D.O.P for the film Omar Dick and I ventured down to north west London to film the boys in action at their home studio. We documented the boys working on their verses and the chorus for the song in the studio as at that moment in time the song was not yet completed. I encouraged the boys to express themselves naturally in front of the camera because initially when we started they were over performing. We used some Cinéma vérité techniques during the shoot as we followed the boys around their area organically and gave them the freedom to talk amongst themselves as if we wasn’t there, we also kept this raw theme going by filming shots of the subjects whilst the second camera operator was in shot. Peeling back the true elements of film making, bringing the audience one step closer to the group and the production as a whole.’The modern documentary filmmaker is an inescapable participant in the on-camera events’ (All documentaries 2015) this also harbours elements of ‘participatory’ (Modes of documentary 2012) methods of documentary filmmaking. It was a relatively long day of filming which was rewarded with some good and cinematic footage.  We were encouraged by the talents of the boys when they surprised us with some exclusive footage of them free styling outside a local council estate. This helped us to capture the raw and hungry aspect of the genre which the group currently belong to, Grime/ Hip-hop.

We created this documentary to help bring awareness to the group, especially as they were so helpful when it came to aiding us in making the soundtrack for the film.  I spoke about this in  much more detail in my previous post. We also created this documentary for the marketing campaign supporting the film, as a tool to show our target audience the sorts of material we can produce. We will release this documentary on the 1st of may. Currently we are promoting this documentary on social media and amongst friends and family in the aim to create a buzz around the film. The buzz from the doc will hopefully carry through into the release of the film which will help us with the distribution of ‘A bit about Angie’. ‘Creating a buzz can valuable in terms of marketing to distribution or sales reps because if you can show them you already have an audience for the film, obviously your project is more appealing to them’ (Stacey Parks 2012: 41). We also want to get our target audience engaged with the brand in the aim to build brand loyalty before the release of my short. The positive implications of having this is immense. ‘Brand loyalty is everything. It’s what people think when they see your logo, your reputation when they hear your name and even a customer’s association when they purchase your products or services’ (Brand loyalty 2015).  Below are a few pictures of the posters and screen grabs used to promote the doc.

The style of the posters are very simple. We wanted to represent the bleak stereotypical preconceptions associated with living on an estate by using the grey/ black and white tint. This also adds a very classic and calm look which I like. It is to the point and very cinematic. The second poster of the microphone was used to hint to the audience what the documentary is about. It is also very emotive. Even though the pale colours represent the estate well this also may deter potential viewers from the post as it quite cold and not very welcoming although ‘there is no such thing as a wrong or right color, just colors that are more appropriate for the message you wish to impart’ (Colour 2015).  I just hope that the style and theme of the posters help to bring people in as opposed to acting as a deterrent. The short teasers give you a quick glimpse into what the film is about but it also leaves you wanting to see more. We used a ‘courier’ font for the posters and teaser. This font design resembles the output put strike from an old typewriter. It is a very traditional but simple font which falls in line well with some of the themes of the doc.

The edit of the film is quite fast paced, representing the tempo of the song and the grime genre. There is also a strong use of overlapping shots, which both display the local area as well as Charles Ebose, the member of the group who sings the chorus. I researched this technique in the aim to execute it effectively, without creating a messy transition. ‘The two shots dissolving together should each have compositions that overlap easily and avoid a visual “mess” – particularly at the midpoint when both images are, typically, at 50% opacity (Mastering film 2016). The editing process was both enjoyable and educational. We used various effects and cuts to help produce a quality finish.

To conclude this documentary was made predominantly for the use of the films marketing campaign. It is educational, insightful and gives it you a brief tour into the life’s of the group UnkoNWn. I enjoyed working on the project and I hope it helps to create the desired ‘buzz’ we set out for. I would also like to thank the group again for the creation of the soundtrack ‘Estate’.

References

Brody, R. (2015) All documentaries are participatory documentaries. Available at: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/all-documentaries-are-participatory-documentaries (Accessed: 3 April 2016).

RhyseHines and profile, V. my complete (2012) Modes of documentary. Available at: http://modesofdocumentaryy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/participatory-mode.html (Accessed: 3 April 2016).

Parks, S. (2012) The insider’s guide to independent film distribution. 2nd edn. Waltham, MA: Elsevier/Focal Press. Pg 41.

Johnson, Z. (2015) The importance of brand loyalty and how to improve it. Available at: https://blog.ringcentral.com/2015/05/the-importance-of-brand-loyalty-and-how-to-improve-it/ (Accessed: 3 April 2016).

empower-yourself-with-color-psychology, Color (2009) Color and marketing. Available at: http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-and-marketing.html (Accessed: 3 April 2016).

Bowen, C.J. (2013) Post production POSTS. Available at: http://www.masteringfilm.com/when-to-use-the-dissolve/ (Accessed: 3 April 2016).

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