Production Diary

Production Journal

Before the starting date – written (27/02/17):

Before our FMP brief was shown to us, me and another student Ben decided we wanted to work together on our FMP as we have a shared interest in storytelling and our corporate video brief taught us that we work well together.

After some thought we concluded that we wanted to try and adapt a section from a chapter from Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince book. This focused on a wizard boy reaching his turning point into becoming one of the biggest dark wizards of all time.

We both found interest in this and not only thought it would be a really good story to tell but we suddenly had a bunch of ideas of how to tell it. We set up an account on Celtx and began collaborating on a script. Although Ben did the most of the first draft, I did a break down and then worked on the second draft. We are now at the stage where we need to read it together, and go through it in person; reading it out loud.

For this we also looked at a number of locations that would be suitable and were thinking about actors, however there still needs to be a lot more thought involved with these things and it needs to be formally documented. For this I have now created a production schedule and it shows when all of this will be done. We are now at the stage of continuing with pre production work, and preparing to start filming at the beginning of April.

Monday (27/02/17):

NOTE: Unfortunately today Ben is having an interview for an apprenticeship, this does interfere with the production schedule but it doesn’t really affect our progress as I can do work that only requires myself to complete, and prepare stuff for when we meet again on Thursday.


Today I am going to start by formally analysing the chapter that we are adapting and writing notes on it, this will then help us write the third draft of the script together and pick up anything we may have missed. For me my main aim of analysing this chapter is looking at how the characters are portrayed, in this short film characters are going to be a massive part, and we need a complete understanding of them and their motives so we can pass this on to the actors.


I also found time to start doing the script resource breakdown. This involves me going through the script that we have already reviewed and taking note on location, props, cast, crew and equipment needed for each scene. Once this is complete it will give a clear and brief breakdown on what is needed on that day in regards to the filming side, however it will also help us start to source stuff that we need. I presume that these scenes will be filmed on different days, which means this document will help with the call sheets that will need to be sent out to everyone, not to mention setting a brief guideline for creating risk assessments, shooting schedules and just generally important pre-production documents.

Tuesday (28/02/17):

NOTE: Today I was not able to make it into college due to a compulsory training course at work, as Ben is not in either today this doesn’t matter too much as I have got on with work at home.


So this afternoon I was able to finish off the script resource breakdown. We now have a quite conclusive and comprehensive list of what we need in regards from putting script to film. This will be really helpful and we can use it as a checklist now if we correspond with the production schedule to kickstart us in preparation for our pre-production. Or simply getting everything else out the way, sourcing actors e.c.t. so we can continue to work on the development of our shirt film.

Wednesday (01/03/17):

NOTE: Today is the day that we don’t have to go into college. Since we don’t have to go into college, you would think that I would be able to get more done, however this isn’t the case because most of the time I am not at college I spend at work, that is one of the perks of working where I do, as I can get hours on very short notice.


At this point I am ahead of my production schedule and the last thing to do this week is the final draft of the script which I am doing with Ben on Thursday and Friday.

Thursday (02/03/17):

NOTE: Unfortunately Ben is not in today, so we will have to save the final draft for tomorrow.


Since it was just me today I decided that it would be best for me to get ahead with some other aspects. We need to start casting soon so today I created a casting call poster – it was just a simple design with the crucial information on it: estimated times/ estimated dates/ and the features of the people we are looking to cast. I also mentioned on the posters that we are asking people to come forward even if they don’t think they will be able to make them times as they are nowhere near final since it’s hard to estimate a date so far in time.

Friday (03/03/17):

Morning & Afternoon:

Me and Ben both sat down together, we looked quite a lot into the script and really looked into each scene and thought about the best way of doing things. Another thing we looked at was the tone and the pacing – and we basically spent today looking at how we could improve the script. Eventually we had a final draft, we both agreed on everything in this draft and could visualise it very well. We have said that we will look at it over the weekend for any very final changes or ideas that we think could be included into the script but overall today has been a quite productive day.

Monday (06/03/17):


Today we drafted the email we was going to send to Sharpem House – this was the location our tutor recommended to us as it was appropriate to our location. And we both agreed that it is the perfect location – most of the our short film could be filmed in this location and it would be a really great help. We did have a lot of trouble writing this, I felt like since we was asking for the location for free over a weekend, it was hard to ask for so much without sounding like it wasn’t any benefit to them. So we came up with the idea of saying that we would film a corporate video for them after if they allowed us to use this location. Eventually our tutor Emily sent the email to them so now we are waiting for a reply. We mention the corporate video thing because it would be a win win for us, we get even more experience with clients and can build our portfolio as well as being fair and hopefully helping them out like they hopefully help us out.


Later on today I also started my research to stay on schedule. I decided to look at my practitioner first, Alfonso Cuarón, he directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (probably one of my favourite out of the eight films). I really liked his use of camera movement to heighten dramatic moments and think this will translate well through our short film if we can utilise the technique. Especially since we want minimal dialogue; using visual storytelling as a big element of the film.

Tuesday (07/03/17):


So today I finished my research on Alfonso Cuarón. My next and final practitioner I am going to look at is Andrew Stanton mainly because he is the director of Wall-E. And the first 30 minutes of the animation has no dialogue, yet a great deal of things happen during this time – his use of visual storytelling is great and this is what I wanted to look at primarily.

Thursday (09/03/17):


Today I carried out the rest of my outstanding research: Ethical issues, concepts ideas & topics. Technical Requirements. And just started budget and production costs if this was a real film production with a serious budget.

Friday (10/03/17):


Just a quick update on the email we sent to Sharpem house; we have not yet seen a reply, as this is the time we are looking for locations there are a few other locations we found on the AirBnB website. They will be posted on the blog.


I finished looking at the production costs and everything else related to this.

Monday (13/03/17):


So after some extensive research into location; we have decided that the AirBnB locations are too expensive and Sharpem House have not yet replied which is quite worrying.

Me and ben met up today and we needed to have a plan of action for the FMP. Location was very difficult to find and we didn’t want to spend too much on the location since we would also need to buy some other things. During our meeting we both decided that this would most likely not work as an FMP not only was it extremely ambitious but location is a very important aspect of this project and without that it would surely fail. However we did have an idea to fall back on. And we are starting to work on it straight away. We also represented our idea to the class as this new idea so we had to outline that before presenting.

Tuesday (14/03/17):


I have started some very early pre-production. Planning out ideas in my booklet and talking with Ben to develop these ideas. We knew it was going to be based in a supermarket on a Night Shift and we already had a location in mind. Fortunately Ben works in Morrisons so he is going to ask for permission to film for a few hours after 10pm till around 3am for two or three days to film our FMP. We have said that we want to aim to film at the beginning of April and early May latest. This is what we will propose to them.

Thursday (16/03/17):


Today I researched some more practitioners. Since the genre was horror comedy we started looking at Edgar Wrights style of doing this. And needless to say I think this is the perfect practitioner as it fits to well to what we have in mind. Me and Ben are both researching the practitioners and putting our work together.

Friday (17/03/17):


Me and Ben both agreed that over the weekend we would work on ideas and maybe even start a first draft of the script. The second practitioner I did work on today was Stanley Kubrick; as I think no one does horror quite like him and also I think it would be interesting to see how the two practitioners work end up like a after being mixed styles in a project.

Monday (20/03/17):


Today we both have our own versions of a short script for this film. It is very rough and is more like a list of ideas and events rather than a script so we decided to create a sort of timeline of this which we could use as a sort of template of events to help write our real first draft of the script. We will both write our own drafts and then come back to each other to see what we like from each others script.


This evening I spent working on my first draft of my version of the script for our short film: Night Shift (which is what we have decided to call it due to lack of a better name).

Tuesday (21/03/17):


Our draft of the script is going through good progress today. We have done the same thing that Edgar wright did when looking at summarising and developing the characters. We drew a rough image of the character in the middle then branched out ideas and characteristics about them – this was extremely helpful for creating the characters and being able to introduce real depth and conflict within the script. We are quite proud of this.

Thursday (23/03/17):


Yesterday (Wednesday 22/03/17) we got the really good news that Morrisons would let us use their store for a couple of nights to film, they were happy with our rough ideas that we said we would be shooting and they agree with the dates too (although they said they will give us exact dates closer to the time).


I now have the first draft of my version of the script complete.

Friday (24/03/17):


This morning I showed my version of the script to Ben and he showed his version to me – we both spoked about the best bits of each others script and now we are going to try and merge the events together to get the best part of each others script.

Monday (27/03/17):


Over the weekend we have collaboratively worked on another version of our script putting our best ideas together so I suppose that makes it draft two. We spent most of today talking through it and thinking about camera movements: and how the shots were going to play out.

Friday (31/03/17):


To summarise for the last week we now have a script which we are happy with and plan on developing it further during meeting up with actors and just as ideas develop in general. I am constantly plotting down ideas that I think and hope could be funny in my diary as well as doing anymore research I think is relevant to this idea. Now we have the idea we started to look at things like the props we need, any possible special effects, props, costume e.c.t. and this will cary into next week. This week we have made a lot of progress but still have a while to go until we are ready to film. Talking about film we are aiming to be ready in about a weeks time and Morrisons have agreed to give us filming time in April.

Friday (7/04/17)

Once we had everything listed looking at all of the resources we would need for the script we have now thought about where we would get them and now we are ready to film next week as we have already started to gather these resources. Since we have had some spare time this week just getting everything ready to film, we have developed the idea a bit more, ditched and gained some ideas within the film and have met with both actors Mike and Dan to do a script read-through. Needless to say this was extremely helpful, they voice their opinions and we really got somewhere so me and Ben again rewrote the script in some areas making more changes than other but I have to say I am feeling really positive and am enjoying the process, I really cannot wait to film as i have never done anything quite like this before.

Friday (14/04/17)

So this week after doing final tests of camera and getting equipment ready we’re happy with the script, actors are waiting on the dates and know most of their lines. We are now waiting for Morrisons with dates, Ben have contacted them this week but are sure we can film next week. So this week we have just been catching up on odd ends that needed to be complete but other than that it seems all good.

Friday (21/04/17)

Met with the actors again this week, and made some good progress overall. Just waiting

on Morrisons to give us actual dates.

Friday (28/04/17)

Not much has happened this week, besides me and Ben working on script and developing the idea, we focused on looking at character development this week as well as build ups and pay offs, we’re glad we have this time to be able to do this. Morrisons have said that we will be given three nights dates to film before the second week of May. It is slightly concerning me that they have left it this late and I really don’t know why there is a delay but they have assured us so I am happy.

Friday (05/05/17)

Unfortunately haven’t been given an official date yet from Morrisons however I have voiced my concerns with Ben although he is extremely certain we will be able to film, he spoke with the second manager and she said that we will definitely be able to film but he will need to speak to Mike the main manager. So I have high hopes for filming next week as that is that last week they said they would give us dates for. In the mean time I have continued to jot down in my diary just ideas and dialogue was a big focus this week, we wanted to try and make it feel real.

Friday (12/05/17)

Ok so it has come to the end of the week and Morrisons have not given us a date, this is extremely disappointing and I feel like we will have to move on. Ben went to speak to the manager and he said he will come and find him at the end of his shift, yet he didn’t. I would rather them tell us no if they didn’t want us to film yet I am quite angry it took them all this time, they have wasted our time and jeopardised our grade unfortunately. Me and ben have been hard at work at ideas just as a last resort which I think we will have to take, we have this idea set on a beach which should be easy enough to do and look good since we have very minimal time and need to redo all of our paperwork if Morrisons do not come through.

Friday (19/05/17)

At this stage, Morrisons is very out of the question, I have redone my proposal and a lot of research to suit the new idea. However after speaking to Caroline (our teacher) she thinks the idea is too simplistic and won’t achieve us a very high grade so we set to work on a new idea and redid all the appropriate paperwork again however it will leak over into next week. On top of all his we’ve had minimal development a rough script and actors that don’t know what they’re doing.

Friday (26/05/17)

In the end everything was quite minimal and disappointing. Although we did work really hard, most of the work we have done about three times and with the final product which just ended up being a short film in the woods does not reflect everything that we have been working on for the past few months and that is extremely frustrating. I am glad that the FMP is over and we can now move on, I do definitely want to finish the other two films at some point.



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