Crisis, Re-working and Learning to Work with Others…
Well – been a while since I last blogged… been keeping up the commission jobs and still doing the stock photography. I have started outsourcing cleaning images to a company based in Bangladesh. They found me on Linkedin and after a process of tests and trials I am happy with the output. I found it hard to let go though of doing it myself – even with stock – as many photographers will testify – I am extremely fussy how my pics are cleaned. Allowing others to do that I have found hard and have been putting off the decision to do it for a while. Given the volume of pics though and the time it would take to do, it was def a wise decision and prices were reasonable when compared to potential returns.
I am still looking for someone to keyword the images – and given its importance I want to be careful with it… I’m sure though – just as with digital cleaning – I will prevaricate for a while before giving in finally and outsourcing.
I find it strange working with people who I have never met, but in this brave, new world it really is becoming the norm – my entire website has been developed and has evolved with 1 designer over 10 years who I have never met in person.
And on that note it brings me back to my short film.
July and August proved to be a nightmare with it as it became evident I had def taken on more than I could chew as 1 person. I started having dissent from frontline staff who would be intimately involved in the piece. While permission were sought and cleared at the top of each Government body and organisation – the actual people on the frontline of child protection services were not included in the process and properly informed. When I started appearing they rightly demanded to know what was going on.
The main gripe was where this piece would eventually end up. I was originally hoping to make it a multimedia piece for an online section of an international publication. On that front, I have been in contact and there has been interest. As the piece grew, I started to broaden my scope and hoped to make it into a longer TV or cinematic doccie. Frontline staff were simply not happy with this.
After a series of further consultations – and a couple of very helpful meetings with internationally-recognised local film production companies, I decided it would be best to scale back the scope initially and make a simple short 10min piece that would be uploaded online and attention would be garnered independently rather than through mainstream media. By doing this, it would ease the concerns of many frontline staff who would be involved and – if successful – open the door to make a longer piece. In this way the process got back off the ground.
I was always worried about working with film production companies – or even experienced film crew who I felt – given the budget limitations would have to be personally invested in the project and therefore would want a say in the central ideas and concepts behind the doccie – something I was extremely unwilling to do at first. I have now found an audio and camera peeps nearly out of a top film school in Cape Town. They are technically great and are both invested in the ideas behind the short film. I have also found it has helped a great deal for me to start understanding better the whole process of filming by divulging responsibility and learning from those around me.
I hate feeling even slightly out of my comfort zone when it comes to the technical side of things and the whole filming process has been a massive step outside it and has taken a lot more time than I had hoped for to bring the project to fruition.
I’ve attached the doccie treatment I put together for it here if it may help others. I again asked a local director to have a look at some of his treatments to get basic ideas on how they should be structured. As a pre-shoot script, it is a bit general compared to say a film treatment. But given that you never know what content exactly you will get it is always better to leave it more general and then write a far more detailed post-shoot script once you have more of an idea of how the piece will ultimately look like. If it is of interest to anyone, I can wetransfer the entire treatment with the photographs used as visual aids the finished document contains.
I am finally starting shooting again on 1st October. This time I am far more confident and am actually excited. The prospects of the short film look far better than they did a couple of months ago… and what was important to achieve this as a photographer was learning to let go of my babies and put them into the more than capable hands of those around me…