Feedback and Marks

12 Apr

Hi All

All of you should now have received your individual feedback sheet for 264MC: Short Film Production with has been e-mailed to you by the person who marked it. If you have not received it, please e-mail Steve ( and I will send it by return. University guidelines state that we should get feedback to you within three weeks: you received yours within two weeks at the verbal feedback sessions last week: this is your permanent record of tjhat feedback. You should make sure that you really read and understand the feedback. If you do, it will improve your marks significantly in future modules.

In addition to your individual feedback, there is some generic feedback that we would give you. This is feedback that applies to almost all groups so, even if there is one item that does not apply to you or your group, the majority of it will. So, again, you must take really good notice of this and act upon it in future assignments. The generic feedback points are as follows:

  • Most groups did not read the brief properly. The brief required you to produce a film that was “ready for distribution”. What that meant was a video ready for uploading to the internet and a DVD. Many groups provided CD’s with no film on or films that did not play and DVDs with scrawled titles (or no titles) on the disc and in cases with none of the professional information on (such as running time, aspect ratio etc.) at all. This is not professional and, strictly speaking, should have meant that all but one group failed the module. You must read the brief and understand what is being asked of you.
  • Poor presentation of folders. A related problem was that the presentation of the group folders was poor. You were asked to clearly label them with  the name of your group, group members, your group blog address and the URL of your video. Again, only one group provided all the required information. This is important: if our first impression of your work is that it is shoddy, then we approach the marking of it in a negative frame of mind rather than a positive one. Professionally too, if the presentation is poor, it will not be taken seriously by anyone in the industry.
  • Content of folders. We gave you clear guidance on the blog of what production documentation you needed to provide (drafts of outline, treatment, script, storyboard, risk assessment and recce sheets, shoting schedules, edit logs etc.). Only two groups provided all the documentation, no groups provided drafts of those documents (so that we could see how they had changed from draft to draft) and some groups provided none of the documentation. Some people lost quite a few marks here.
  • Poor research. The learning outcomes of the module required you to provide evidence of contextual research to show that you understood the filed of media production that you were working within. Most groups did this quite poorly. The research was too brief (often poor reviews of only one or two films), too generic (it was not related in any way to your own ideas), too descriptive (there was no analysis or reflection as required) and was too web-based (there were no books read or cited at all). This was where lots of people lost lots of marks.
  • Blogs. It was clear from the dates on the blog posts that many people had completed all of their blogs (both group and individual) at the end of the module. The point about blogs is that they are on on-going, reflexive  record of the process that you went through and allow other people to see, and comment upon, that process. If you do your blogs at the end, then the blog does neither of those things and so is almost a waste of your time. It is impossible at the end of a long and difficult process to remember exactly what went on eight or nine weeks ago and so your learning is seriously compromised and you get lower marks. Most of the blogs tended to be much too descriptive, rather than reflexive or analytical as required.
  • Felt like student films. The brief was a professional one but many of the films and the production folders felt like student work. By that, we mean that there was little attempt to professionally brand your film and production documentation with a production company and logo. It makes a massive difference to people’s perception of your work if it looks professional from the off with a nice ident at the front of the film which is repeated on each piece of documentation. More importantly, they did not feel like there was any future to the film: by that, we mean that it did not feel that you ever expected your film to be seen outside the University. Many had no credits (or insufficient ones) and there was no press kit as would be required of a film going to a professional destination such as a festival. You must keep polishing your film until it shines, even if it is a turd (see You Can Polish a Turd on YouTube).

This was a good year on this module. There were no really duff ideas, some very good ideas and some great ones but, like most years, the realization of those ideas was the thing that let them down. If you are really serious about film-making, you should either carry on polishing your films so they are ready to have a professional future even though the module has now finished or, especially if you are stuck for something to do for Professional Experience next term, shoot the films again but this time properly.

Good luck with your Professional Experience, whatever it is, and see you in May for the final module of the year: 202MC: Rethink, React, Respond.


Short Films I Have Loved

13 Jan

Start sharing the good examples of shorts that you have found here. Post a link and a brief description of the film as a comment to this post. The more stuff here the better: honestly!

Welcome to your Media Production blog!

9 Sep



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Feedback Times: Thursday 5th March

3 Apr

Hi Guys

The times for feedback for each group are as follows:

9.00: Violet

9.15: Size 16

9.30: Whodunnit

9.45: Remember

10.00: Road Trip

10.15: 3 Pinheads

10.30: Jonny

10.45: Lift

11.00: Engagement Ring

Please make sure that you are on time for your slot as we cannot afford to overrun.

Sorry for the dealy in putting up these times.

Final Cut Crit and hand-in

20 Mar

Hi All

Hope editing is going well and that last week’s comments were helpful in helping you decide how to polish your video for the crit on Thursday. The crit will not take long as we will simply look at the finished videos and make some comments on it.

The hand-in will be between 11-3 at ET Reception. It is a physical hand in so you will need to print off the assignment hand-in form. I will add the link here today or tomorrow.

Just so you are clear, you are handing in:

1) Your production folder that contains (as a minimum) the following: outline, treatment, casting calls and character profiles drafts of scripts and storyboards, shooting schedule, shot lists and edit logs. To improve your production folder, you could also include things like posters, DVD covers, press packs etc. This should be in a form where stuff cannot be separated: a box file is ideal. Make sure that your individual names are clearly visible on the file.

2) A blog hand-in sheet, clearly outlining the posts that you wish to be assessed on. Make sure that, on your blog, these posts are labelled with the words ‘For Assessment’: e.g. Research and Development: FOR ASSESSMENT. These can be placed in the box file.

Blog Hand-In Sheet

3) Your completed Individual Contribution Sheets and Peer Evaluation Sheets (one for each member of your group). These can be downloaded from the ‘Downloads’ page of this blog. They can be placed in the box file.

4) Your finished video: one DVD, one low-res version on CD and a link to the video on Vimeo. It would help if the Vimeo address is clearly visible on the cover of the box file.

I can’t access Moodle at the moment so if there is anything on there that I have missed from this list, make sure you add that too.

For the Spanish ladies, different hand-in procedure will happen. I will let you know what you need to do in a separate e-mail.

ANY PROBLEMS at all, let me know asap.

Once you have handed in, make sure that you upload your video to the Film Nation website. One of you WILL win: trust us.

Thursday 8th March

6 Mar

Hi All

There is no lecture this week, as per the scheme of work. There is a skills session on exporting for web delivery in the afternoon. The first four groups below will be in from 2.00 – 3.30, the last four groups will be in 3.30 – 5.00.

This week is about getting your rough cuts ready for next week’s crits so we have allocated times for each group to come in and show us their work to date (either edits or rushes). The times are as follows:

9.30 – Elite squad

10.00 – Four Deep

10.30 – Hungry Hamster

11.00 – Indomininians

11.30 – medot

12.30 – Nassshfilms

1.00 – Nu Film

1.30 – Team Funster

2.00 – 3.00 – Anyone not listed above

It is a really good idea to take up the offer to sit with us. The groups that do so will get really good critical feedback on their work that will enable them to really polish their work. It can be quite difficult to hear some of this feedback BUT the groups who attend and actually respond to the feedback are normal the groups that get firsts or 2is: the ones that don’t are normally the Dancing Shoes group! You have been warned!!

Gailene and Sammi-Leigh: do you want to send us a link to your work as it stands and we can do that via e-mail.

Cheers all. REALLY looking forward to seeing your stuff.

Thursday 1st March

28 Feb

Hi Guys,

As you are all aware there is no lecture this week and the time should be spent working on your projects. You should all be at the production stage of your projects by now.

I am available most of thursday to review footage/cuts of you videos, or have a production meeting if required. Post a reply to this if you would like help with anything.

Cheers. Spencer.

Rough Cut Crit

27 Feb

Just to confirm, the date of the Rough Cut Crit HAS NOT changed from the date published in the scheme of work (in the Schedule tab of the blog). I think any confusion may be down to me getting my dates mixed up: sorry!