Henry M Green
Through my documentary I wanted to showcase what students really thought about climate change and the environment, but also sustainable and fast fashion. I feel I have partly been successful in presenting this idea in my documentary. Throughout the project I was heavily inspired by music. I started to show this in my pre-production by planning the narrative I wanted to follow. The narrative I followed was split into four sections, spring, summer, autumn, and winter. This was after the famous Four Seasons, by Vivaldi. I also found the narrative linked to the fashion world as the usual calendar is Spring/Summer and then Autumn/Winter, however fast fashion operates on a much regular basis of every four to six weeks. So I thought it was quite ironic to base my documentary on this idea, but also show a purposeful sense of chaos throughout the documentary, to portray that of which happens in the fast fashion industry. Through my research I was able to gain valuable knowledge that I could use to create my questions. However it also helped so that I could use the correct b-roll footage in post-production. I was also able to prompt my interviewees with facts I had gained, in order of trying to get a much clearer understanding of what they were saying and what they thought was most relevant.
I ran into some difficulties whilst in the production and post production of Fresher Fashion. It was challenging, but still an experience that I have learned deeply from. I have been able to gain new important skills, such as organising work, setting deadlines, arranging and managing a strict diary, and creatively producing a documentary to a style and theme. Throughout the whole process I think the most important skill I have learnt is to stick to the clear theme and subject matter. I noticed it was easy to stray from the main concept of the documentary, which in post-production had detrimental effects to final outcome I also found it reflected not only on the final product but the rest of the project. If I was going to produce another documentary, I would produce a subject and theme that is more distinct. I feel being more clear in the subject matter would allow the audience to understand not only the aims of the documentary better but why what it is saying is important and worth their time. It also ensures the rest of the production and the overall project follows a consistent theme. I found the production of my documentary to be particularly tricky, however when being put on the spot with a short window of time, I was able to recover and make a documentary that was both informative and educational. However, I feel that it lacks the level of entertainment inherent in professional documentaries.
Post-production was both challenging and enjoyable. Starting my post production at first was easy because I could organise and cut down all my interviews into the most relevant sections. However, I found it difficult to connect the interviews together. This aspect of the post production allowed me to understand how difficult it is to gain a good answer that will make good content and not be too general. Much of the time, the answers I would get to questions, would contain the words ‘Thing’, and ‘it’ rather specifically referring to the subject. This meant it was difficult in post-production to match the interviews together because the audience wouldn’t understand what the interviewees were discussing. I also found throughout my documentary the emotion does not change, it all stays consistent in tone, which seemed to be a problem. Doing the interviews for my documentary. I feel if I could get more interviews and asked more direct questions it would have built answers that were more relevant to the subject matter and more interesting allowing my post-production process to become a lot easier.
In post production I tried to keep in line with the expository mode of documentaries. I feel this style would best suit my subject matter and theme. I also thought it would be more engaging to an audience who is either unfamiliar on the subject, or is knowledgeable but wants to see opinions from other people on the matter, in this case, students. However, I wanted to also create my documentary in the style of a poetic mode. I feel in some aspects this would help to establish a dreamlike sense that many people see fashion as, which in effect is a false representation. I thought it would be interesting to represent high fashion with this effect, but also tie in the fast fashion element to draw the audience back into the reality of the fashion industry and the impact it has on the environment. This was also enforced my choice of using classical music throughout my documentary which was a big influence to me when creating the narrative for my documentary. Using classical music also allowed me to try and build tension and anticipation wherever I could. However, I feel I could have done more to build on this effect.
Overall the biggest problem I encountered throughout the whole production process was the management of time. Because of technical difficulties in the production of my documentary it meant that a lot of b-roll and/or interviews I conducted where with bad quality or unusable for my documentary. This meant I had to restructure my documentary leaving little to no time to produce the same shots again, resulting in not enough time to focus on the post-production. I feel if I had managed my time more efficiently this problem would have been solved so that it would not have affected the post-production meaning I could have made a product that is of better quality and professional.
I feel the project went reasonably well, however I can identify many areas that I would like to improve on. I feel the quality of my final product is what let me down. I feel when planning my documentary I needed to do more interviews with students on a much broader scale. All the students I interviewed were studying or had studied more of the creative subjects and all had relatively the same opinions of climate change and fast fashion. However, I feel it would have made my documentary much more interesting If I could have gained more interviews with students studying a broader range of subjects or have little to no knowledge on the topic. I definitely feel through this project, I have learned the value of time and the importance of planning every detail of the production. There are some parts of the documentary that with a bit more time or better planning, would have elevated the quality of the final product dramatically. Finally, I feel I have gained valuable skills and methods of conducting my whole project. More importantly I feel I have improved massively on my ability when editing so that I am more efficient but also, being able to take influence from professional documentaries on TV and in Cinemas, and embedding the styles, modes, and techniques that are used in those, to influence my own product so that it is more professional.
In conclusion while I have faced many challenges in the making of Fresher Fashion, through overcoming them I have able to gain crucial skills and techniques that I can take with me into the future.