The Induction Week in a Nutshell (1 Oct – 5 Oct)

Because of the in medias res-manner of the induction week, I should begin this post in the same way. I say in medias res because after having a 1-hour-long introduction lecture in the school, they (the teachers, Helen Bendon and David Heinemann in particular) immediately put us into groups of four with the purpose of making a “short film” (video) about London. Or to be precise: about the Spirit of London, which was the title given by the aforementioned teachers to the assignment. So this is how I met Patryk, Sadaf and Jamie, who were of course complete strangers to me at the time. In fact, we all were strangers to each other. But – we had to meet up the other day in Central London to make this film. And so we did.

Wednesday, the Third of October, if I remember well, Trafalgar Square. Such a beautiful place in the city! When I first arrived in London at the end of September, I spent at least 4 days just wandering around in Central London exploring these wonderful places and streets. I remember first seeing the Nelson “memorial” (I hope it’s the right term) – it was this tall, utterly tall statue in the middle of Trafalgar Square, surrounded by other huge pieces of art. The whole Square just looks epic in every meaning of the word. So, that’s where we had to meet up on Wednesday. In fact, that’s where every group had to meet up that morning, so there were like 70 people on Trafalgar Square just waiting to begin filming.

After a while we were told to begin working on the short video, and we were also told that we had 2 hours to make it. Yeah. Meet up with three other strangers, quickly think of an idea and actually film the whole thing in no more than 2 hours. Quite the challenge. But luckily it didn’t feel it was such a hard task to accomplish. After we got the idea, and got the beginning, we progressed pretty well. I have to be honest, we didn’t know how to finish the whole thing. When making such videos or short films, be it a semi-documentary like this or a fictional story, I’m always thinking about a beginning, a middle and an end. Of course that’s no surprise, but I felt really uncomfortable until we’ve finally figured out what the ending should be.

We were moving from Trafalgar Square towards Waterloo Bridge, and we filmed a lot of stuff. You’ll see it when I post the link to the video later that we had a lot of walking stages, the fictional protagonist of our film just walking around the city endlessly. That was, of course, the whole point of the film, but still. We recorded a decent amount of walking. And other footage, too. In fact, we had too much footage, which was interesting to find out. When we were doing it, I thought we’ve had just enough footage, but when I was editing it I realized that we filmed at least 3 or 4 minutes of a movie. So I had to choose which scenes I should throw out and which scenes I should put in the final “product”.

Yeah, we figured the whole video should consist of scenes, you know. The basis for the whole film would be the walking stages, and these stages would be interrupted by these episodes (like when the Protagonist goes up to Jamie on the street, or when he buys a Red Bull, as you will see later). Yes, the whole thing is quite “episodic”, one could say that it’s an easy way to edit a film together, maybe even call it a lazy solution, but for me it’s just the most comfortable way to put a movie together. Thinking in episodes. I think it’s close to my personal “style” (if I have any, of course), but who knows what future may bring. I’m sure not every project is “compatible” with this kind of narrative.

Anyway, we filmed it, I edited it and uploaded it, and yesterday (I mean on 16 October) it was screened for the teachers and our classmates, and I think it’s quite a decent job. Not perfect, but to me it’s entertaining.

You know, the title of this post is “The Induction Week in a Nutshell”, but I didn’t want to write down anything other than working on this Spirit of London-video. Of course there were other events on this week, but I find the making of this video the most exciting among them. There was the Fresher’s Fayre/Fair, which was another great experience, but that’s more of a personal thing, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the course itself, so I’ll maybe talk about it later in another post. But for now, that’s it. Oh, and of course I shouldn’t forget about the actual film The Spirit of London, but I cannot figure out the way I could insert a video in this post… so I’ll just have it linked in the next post 😀

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