Gloucester Cathedral

This is the first documentary that I’ve made. Whilst I did shoot my first film Brave Story like a documentary, it was in fact a fictional film.

I wrote the documentary and did the sound for it. These were originally my only two roles on the film. However, after the director turned out to not have a clue what he was doing and literally was just standing still doing absolutely nothing a lot of the time. I ended up as the unofficial director.

This is the first film where I’ve had to work with someone who doesn’t know how to do there job. If I were a studio executive then I would have fired the person whom was supposed to be our director on the spot for some of the stuff that they did, or didn’t, do.

A word of advise to anyone who wants to be a director, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Why do you want to direct the film? And most importantly why do you want to be a director? If you don’t know, then you shouldn’t be doing it. And even if you know the answers to these questions, you have to be honest with yourself and say, do I have the creative vision for this film? If you don’t know what you want to do with the film then either take it away and think about what you want to do until your sure about everything; or pass the role to somebody else, even if it means taking on a different role or not working on the film altogether. The most important thing is the film, not yourself.

We filmed this on mini-DV, using Canon XM2’s. These are digital film cameras which proved quite challenging to work with inside the cathedral. With digital cameras you need to white balance the camera for the light source that illuminates the space you are in. If you get the white balance wrong then your image can look blue or red. Most of the time this happens only slightly, however if when you come to edit the footage together you have a slightly blue shot followed by a slightly red shot (or the other way round) then you can easily see the change.

This is the reason the cathedral proved such a challenging location to film in, because there were several different light sources illuminating the inside of the building. There was the sun light shining through the windows, as well as two different types of lights used inside. In the main room, the ceiling was lit with one type of light, whilst the rest of the room was lit with another. This meant that we were unable to get a wide shot of the interior of the cathedral that had an accurate colour representation. Either the ceiling ended up very red, or the windows ended up very blue. As a result we tried to film the cathedral in sections.

Saying that, the cathedral is a very beautiful building. However, if you wish to capture the true beauty of such a building, I would recommend filming on actual film stock, instead of using digital film. Whilst digital film does have many advantages, this is one of the areas where film stock shines through.

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