Earlier this year, I spent three days touring the North of England with The Sharp Agency making short films in and about Best Western hotels. Here is the first film, shot in the Mount Pleasant Hotel in Doncaster:
I found myself on something of a steep learning curve. I’d just spent 6 months making one short film (Waiting). Now I was being commissioned to make 8 short films in a week and a half…
Here are some of the things I learned:
1. You should never interview quiet people in a working kitchen.
2. Keeping the microphone on top of the camera is great if you don’t want to hear the interviewee.
3. Using two cameras and an external sound recorder makes editing a complete nightmare.
4. No animal will perform for the camera.
It was, though, an immensely interesting and enjoyable experience. I stood on top of a castle looking out across the rolling northern countryside as clouds scudded past, filmed in a dungeon and a deer park, interviewed a man about a fish, watched chocolate being made, learned about Bobby Shafto and got to watch a film crew at work on the TV idents for Best Western. I met people I’d never have met otherwise and they opened up for the camera. They wanted to be interviewed, to show off their hotels and to talk about them.
And, of course, I learned more about how to edit and be brief, under the expert guidance of the guys at The Sharp Agency.