End of Nights is the biggest production that I have ever created, worked on or even witnessed, it is a controversial and satirical film, showing certain aspects of contemporary society that affect me personally. Focussing on the subject of confidence, this story shows how a lack of confidence can have negative influences on a person’s social life.
I put a great deal of effort into making this film and vastly increased my experience within the area of filmmaking. We really dived into the deep end in pursuing this project and at times it even felt like we were being too ambitious making a film of this magnitude. Working with numerous actors, some of whom were character actors who play tough guy roles, I had to put my lack of confidence behind me and try and interact with these people to the best of my ability. I had to know exactly what they were doing and have a thorough knowledge of the characters assigned to each actor.
Being on set could at times be stressful and draining. However, I used the pressures of producing and the nerves I felt on the day prior of filming to my advantage by taking the initiative in certain situations. For example, upon filming the nightclub scene when our makeup artist failed to show up, I had to think of an appropriate solution, and decided to take the actresses to a department store where luckily one of the employees was kind enough to do the makeup. This further fuelled my determination to get as good an end result as possible.
One area I need to improve in is planning for shoots, and in particular organising people to act as extras. An example of this would be the first attempt at shooting the nightclub scene, where we had to work with an unhelpful assistant owner of a nightclub, and none of our extras had turned up. I put this down to poor planning and did not try hard enough to entice extras. Many people in and around the project insisted that this was an easy task, and that we didn’t have to pay them, they should just turn up anyway. This isn’t the case though and if anything, we would have had to pay the extras more than the actors themselves, due to the extras not being able to have anything for their portfolio. Next time we will know how to organise this sort of thing better, just grateful that Roger Payne helped us with this.
Money is very important when it comes to filmmaking. If one does not already have a good relationship with a real professional, no matter what, it will always cost to use the best people. If somebody wishes to create good work, they will have to spend, if people are hired for free, they are not going to do a good job. For this reason, I decided to pay actors, crew, director of photography, makeup artists and runners. In fact, during periods of down-time, or when waiting for late crew members, I kept actors and crew occupied by making sure they were fed, well rested, and confident about their role.
In terms of my writing role, I really think that I have excelled myself compared to other scripts that I have done in previous years. This is the most genuine story that I have ever created, taking a lot of inspiration from films, research and my own experience. It is completely original in terms of student films in terms of the dark content, the concept of the story and also the fact that a nightclub is the setting for the last half of the film. I feel that some of the characters and the scenarios in my story are very creative and they constantly focus on the theme of confidence. My issues with my script were that perhaps some of the characters turn up a bit randomly and they may be a bit over the top. But this could also be because my film is an over exaggeration as well. The story also complex and was very ambitious in terms of logistics. It was also meant to be feature length while being on a low budget and feedback had convinced me to make the film shorter, however because of this the nightclub scene towards the end may seem rushed.
I had passion whilst on set. My role was assistant director, working with actors and giving advice to the main director, and my production assistant role where I was constantly on my feet helping people and working close with the location manager. I just feel that I lack confidence whilst on set, although I did still do the job, I needed to be a bit more assertive in order for others to have faith in me.
As Co-Producer, I assigned myself the role of selecting the correct actors to portray my characters. This involved making judgements on an actor’s ability to portray a character, by doing nothing more than seeing a photograph and an online profile. Just by this I could tell that Laura McDyer (Toilet Girl), Sean Hudspeth (Pervert) and Tudor (Alpha Male) were going to be very convincing in their roles. I also had a big part in securing The Dog as our second nightclub location. I contacted the events manager Kate Walters and gained a good relationship with her, she was very passionate about my film (and also desperate to finish) and she ended up letting me use the location.
My contribution to the editing process, was to cut together the assemble edit. I wanted to make the edited flow of the story resemble the flow of the script. This means I worked closely with my editor and put together the edits in order to both tell the story, and do some extra cinematic edits such as L-Cuts, J-Cuts, Continuity, Montage cuts and so on. My favourite scene that I worked on, would be Scene 1, where I displayed the interaction strongly and it had a flow resembling that of a comedy scene. There is good timing in the back and forth between actors, showing the weak character of Ted, and the dismissive character of the Counsellor. My editor did more in terms of making the film look great, but only I could do the very first edit, which I feel I did as well as I possibly could have based on the footage we had.
Although I have never been as exhausted as I was working on this project, this was one of the greatest achievements of my life so far. The stress of being on set was a nightmare at the time, but it had a fantastic after taste. The script I wrote was my way of bringing out into the open my lack of confidence. However, this experience has taught me that this problem I have is perhaps a problem that only I can address. I feel the film is well crafted and is a story that I can be proud of, acting as a reflection of the world around me as well as a testament to the way I used to be.
Filmmaking is not only what I want to do in the future, it is what I need to do in the future. I am too passionate and too talented to not get in to filmmaking.
Writer, Assistant Director & Editor of “End of Nights”
For the past few years, I have been working with a like-minded partner named George Leon. Me and him are on the same wavelength in terms of our film interests, and also in terms of what films that we want to make. He invented our current production company, Kraken Film. This was a homage to the film ‘Clash of the Titans’ which featured the mythical creature, the Kraken, a type of giant octopus. Although I do like this logo and company name, I don’t feel that it personifies enough about what me and George are truly like when it comes to the types of films we like.
I thought that a good and hip type of alias was needed for us both, just to show what we are about. Due to our willingness to make dark and quite unsavoury stories, I felt that a good alias for us both as a team would be, Outlaws Inc.
This alias does justice to our fearless nature when it comes to filmmaking. We wanted to make a film that was powerful and masculine, using tough characters and displaying the female anatomy in certain ways, something that barely any student do. This is sort of an ironic name for me and George also, as in person we appear to be shy but also friendly and harmless. However when it comes to films, a different side of us comes out, the seedy nature of what goes through our minds is put forward through film.
Gasper Noe – Director
Stuart Manashil (Talent Agent)
Dawn Coulson – Producer/Script Editor for BBC
Daniel Beckett – Director/Writer
Ben Wheatley – Director
Philip d’Amecourt (Talent Agent) Phone: 1 310 248 2000
HND Digital Film and Video Lecturer – Warwickshire College (Leamington Spa)
Dylan Cozens – Media Professional
Julian Gilbey – Director – Eigerwand Pictures
Phone: 020 7317 4885 – email@example.com
I have always had a keen interest in Writing, Directing and Editing. These roles have the upmost importance in terms of the visual creation of a story. Subconsciously, I always knew that these roles were the ones that I was most interested in, even before I began making films.
I have tried to research how I could go about becoming a writer, but most websites show that I would have to prove myself first. I need to master the art of constructing a good screenplays, characters and dialogue. The About website tells readers how they can become screenwriters.
According to this website, in order to become recognised as a writer, it still requires a lot of hard work. There is a craft to writing a film that does not come easy to just anyone. One must take from experience and educate themselves about the mechanisms of script writing. It requires a great deal of research in order to either gain an understanding of what I am writing, as well as make certain ideas make sense.
It helps to read books in order to gain knowledge of how a story is structured, in terms of beginning, middle and end. As books describe everything in as much detail as possible in order to physically bring the reader into the story, this sort of skill would be good for setting scenes in films. Therefore this makes the film more slow-paced, setting the scene and location that is portrayed, hence making the film stronger and less rushed.
The most important part of screen writing is of course networking, or actually getting my script out there to the right people who can be beneficial to making the film. This means pitching my ideas and presenting my script to Agents, Film Companies and Producers. I must be proud of the work that I have created and sell my scripts to the best of my ability, so that I can be taken seriously and get noticed. It helps to be very active, so that means I must visit many events that benefit writers, as well as being confident with my work and attempt to sell my stories passionately.
Unlike many other aspects of film making, I feel that writing is the one particular role that one has to be naturally good at. I believe that I learnt how to get as good as I am through constantly watching loads of different types of films. It’s not something technical that one can learn with training and knowledge of equipment. It takes a great deal of imagination, mixed with intelligence and life experience.
This would be a very challenging area of work to get in to as there is a lot of competition and I would have to get noticed by the right people. However I believe that my unique personality, mind-set and interests, would allow me to get far within this particular industry, so long as I keep improving.
It is the different experiences I have had, and how they have affected me, that make me a unique individual. I consider myself to be fearless and dedicated when it comes to making stories. I like to see myself as a sort of contemporary Sociologist who notices certain aspects of society and how that particular aspect is flawed.
I am different from my competitors as they do not think the same as I do. From what I have seen in even the most professional British films, they are the more or less the same old costume dramas and silly comedies starring people like Johnny Vegas. With me, one gets gritty and devastating stories that are real and powerful, that are not afraid to poke fun at society or unsettle the viewer. However this may serve as a reason for why I may not be suitable as a writer, guess this all depends on the tolerance of those I am trying to sell too and how easily offended they are. My lack of confidence when talking to people would also be a factor that would make employers less likely to employ me. My modesty and slight lack of self-belief may cause me to have trouble when selling myself or pitching my idea to an employer. Although the meanings for why I am like this is what I think make me creative. But saying this, I would need to still be able to sell my ideas and show I am more professional then I think I am.
The theme of my latest film is male confidence and its influences on sexual selection. Basically a socially awkward young man is convinced into trying to establish a relationship with a woman named Grace. However to do this, he must overcome the obstacles and competition that surrounds him. The supporting male characters in this film all display their own different masculine traits that make them either desirable to women or help them to take what they desire themselves. ‘End of Nights’ explores the notion that a person needs to assert their dominance, or they themselves will be dominated.
The Unique Selling Point, a weak man trying to find love in an intimidating atmosphere. It is a very contemporary story that explores the flaws in the social, racial and sexual norms of modern Britain. Without the writer there is no story, if the film looks amazing with all the best professional colour grading, lighting, sound etc, if the story is not very good, people will not like the film as a whole.
I believe that I will keep on improving in this area of work. I have a lot more experiences that I am yet to discover, there are more fads and flaws with culture that can be exploited. The more I practice, the better I will become. With the right kind of research and a good style of film-making, I feel that my abilities will make me a promising candidate for major projects in the future.
Creating stories is my most preferred area in terms of Media Production. Whether it is Writing or Editing, I get satisfaction from bringing my own vision and ideas to life.
I am a unique individual in terms of my moods and feelings. Each film I create portrays my own personality, views or experiences, which are what makes them so powerful, as the subject matter that I am putting forward are the types of things that affect me first hand.
The creativity behind my most recent film is what will give my views strength, thus making me an interesting individual with a profound story to tell. My aim is to show how difficult certain aspects of life can be, whether it’s a lack of good experiences, or numerous bad ones.
With a bit more experience and training, I believe that society will respect the types of film that I want to make, harsh, but relevant.
After 2 years of HND, I had written, edited and directed only short films such as Snag and Troll. Until then, the biggest project was Snag, which I did not produce. The film was set in a house, a couple of outdoor locations and a room in Warwickshire College. As we were entering Media Production during the 3rd year, it would be difficult to work on other projects as we did not know other people in the group particularly well on a creative level. I and my director George Leon decided that we had to make a large scale production, far bigger than any we had done before. This would hopefully make up for our lack of experience and thus we would be more marketable.
Developing the idea for my FMP was a difficult task. I began by thinking of ideas that were elaborate, but proved to be optimistic to the point of being absurdly over-budget, such as ‘Breeder’, about a deadly female humanoid maternal alien who mates with a warship full of Alpha Male Marines. Although I still like this strange idea for a film, I will have to return to this project when I can gain better funding.
My co-producer George Leon came up with the idea of making a Sci-Fi film about Cloning featuring 3 stories. Most of this idea was scrapped, again due to budget problems, but also duration and the amount of plot holes. Avoiding the Cloning aspect of my 1 business man story, my script actually improved as we began scrapping more scenes. I had come up with impressive scenarios that deal with confidence, male dominance, sexual attraction etc. Due to this, we were able to scrap the Cloning idea and settle with the story we have now.
When my director pitched the film idea to me, this was when I came up with the idea to make a woman one of the main leads. Making films about the pain of rejection, has always been an aim of mine. The subject of rejection, lack of confidence and emasculation are themes that are very close to my heart. I feel that they are the main cause of male violence, but while it is a tedious problem that affects me perhaps a little more it should, I feel it provides me with a negative energy which helps when telling stories that contain a dark subject matter.
Taking inspiration from my own experiences, with the help of some secondary research, I feel that I have come up with a story that could be considered highly original when it comes to student films. I purposely aimed to pull no punches with the content in my film, with some very dark and sometimes offensive scenes. My dialogue is crammed full of swear words along with racial and sexual overtones. I feel this is important in trying to establish a modern, dystopian environment for our characters to inhabit.
All in all I have successfully come up with numerous interesting characters, all with their own individual, dominant male persona. There is an attractive black DJ, a rowdy loud-mouth, a verbally abusive male, a good dancer, a sex-mad thug and a large, shameless, homosexual pervert. With all of these strong male characters, I have managed to make the least interesting and pathetic character the centre of attention. Along with some interesting scenarios that display Ted’s lack of masculinity, I have also came up with a solid and also devastating ending that I feel is a clever twist, showing that the only person that is interested in Ted, is the gay pervert.
Although I am overall proud of my script, I do still think that I have a lot to learn if I am to make my stories more solid and dark in a way that is clever but less offensive to certain groups. There are still numerous flaws with the story, such as the actions of the councillor, why Ted keeps moaning, the meaning for the toilet scene etc. Some of the scenarios in the Nightclub scene are quite clever in my opinion, but could still be considered a bit too random and hysterical. The logistics of my script was also very ambitious in the way that it would need a big cast, a good lighting team and a crew that understood the story. In order to truly do the meaning of the film justice, I would have needed a bigger budget and far more specific extras, so that I could explore more themes to do with sexual selection.
Working with my director throughout this process, I had a good laugh writing this story with him. It was our way of venting our frustration about the culture around us and we were constantly on the same wavelength. Although I can not give him a lot of credit for the material in my script, his open mind and the fact that he had similar interests to me, gave me the incentive and the confidence to be laid back about what I was writing.
I was not keen on producing this film and attempted to find a suitable person for this role. I put up an advert for the position on Shooting People and also attempted to recruit somebody from my course. I had no luck in doing this, I don’t know whether it was the nature of my film that put them off, the ambitious story of the film, or whether it was just too short notice, or the idea did not sound interesting enough. Therefore I would have to produce this film alongside my co-producer and director. A lot of the time I spent working with my co-producer either helping him with emailing potential cast as well as getting in touch with owners of locations such as Nightclubs and Office spaces. The
We began the producing process by putting up Starnow adverts to recruit actors and crew members, as well as finding suitable locations. The very first advert we put up was for our 3 main characters, Ted, Grace and Levis. The very first person to apply for the role was Lamin Tamba, an inexperienced African-born actor. He expressed his love for Sci-Fi and put forward a strong interest in playing the role of Levis. The thing is the way he expressed his interest in this genre, suggested that he thought he was going to be in a film full of spaceships and aliens. We saw his Showreel and did not think that he would be capable of fulfilling the role of a hardened black-British man. The only other person to apply for our first advert was the actress we would end up using as our main female lead. It was Laura Wilson who went on to play Grace. After meeting her, we felt that she would be decent for the role as she had a good work ethic, was very friendly and had a strong Mancunian accent, which is good seeing as I wanted my film to be set in a working class environment.
For the role of Ted, I wanted to find somebody who looked innocent and harmless. I had two people in mind for this role. We found Tom Woods on Starnow, a tall, skinny ginger haired young man who I felt had a good look for the role. Another hopeful candidate was Darryl Hughes, acquaintance who works with my brother at school, who is also a Theatre School graduate. He also had the suitable innocent characteristics that would be good for the role of Ted. Despite never seeing him act, I felt that he was the stronger candidate as he was short in stature, only moderately taller than Laura Wilson, also meaning that everyone around him can appear more dominant, as they are most likely larger than Darryl.
Sackie Osakanor was by far our favourite application for our film. We were hoping that he would play the role of Levis. He was tall, black and had a muscular-lean physique. He looked like a model, with a great smile, but also had the ability to appear dangerous. Although I needed this person to be a working class, reformed criminal character, he still had the type of look that would be able to be a convincing boss at a workplace.
Two days before the shoot, Sackie declined from working with us because his mother had just died. Now we had to find a new actor to play the role of Levis. We were so desperate that we began sending emails, quoting £100 for 2 days filming, to the most intimidating looking black males from the Birmingham area. Eventually Kyle Simpson (Euro Dollaz) agreed to help us out after reading the script and we now had a new Levis. Kyle actually turned out to be a better choice than Sackie. Considering we were no longer using the office scenes, this means there is not much need to make Levis appear like the workplace boss type. Kyle was also more authentic than the slightly more middle class looking Sackie. Kyle appeared more like the reformed criminal type and was bigger built and looked more intimidating.
The most difficult element of producing was finding professional crew to work with us on our project. Our film inspirations and narrative attracted the attentions of Sam Goldwater, a London based Cinematographer, educated in Berlin, Germany. He was new talent but was still a professional and owned a Red camera. He checked his past work and he has got a lot of nice looking work that still looked professional despite the lack of quality the camera he used was. Although he appeared interested in the role, he did mostly try to get me and my co-producer to do most of the work. He gave us a list of lights that we needed to get for him, and also told us that we needed to pay hundreds of pounds to get him battery packs. We were willing to do this for him, but our current work load made us less eager. Sam eventually pulled out of our project a couple of weeks before shooting, saying that he was offered paid work on the dates we were filming. We were let down by him pulling out, but this was a blessing in disguise as it would of cost us a lot to accommodate him in a hotel, pay for his equipment and assemble his lighting team.
After Sam had let us down, we then turned to Jak Uddin, a renowned, up and coming DoP from our year group, who had access to the Red. His work is popular and has done a lot of paid work making music videos for talented musicians and singers. He quoted us £250 per day to use the red camera, but he also said that he will provide his own lighting team, and will make a shot list.
The first nightclub we found was Club M, formerly Blok, and infamous club where a rape took place years ago. It was revamped and improved, with the aim of improving the reputation of that particular establishment. We got in contact with Rob Hall, the assistant owner of Club M. Before we began filming, Rob was happy to help us and allowed us to use his club to film, with access to the club lights and music. He expressed a will to help others, a trait that is a pleasant surprise compared to what I am used to. We took recces of the location and despite the space being quite large, the lighting and atmosphere in the club was very attractive. The walls in the toilet were coloured red, this would give our film a similar look to the most memorable scene in ‘Irreversible’ (Gasper Noe, 2002), a big inspiration. There were also problems with this club as well, mostly due to Rob Hall. He said yes to all of our requests when we were visiting the club, however all of these requests were denied by him on the day, for instance not being allowed to use certain rooms as well as having very limited bar staff, all things he said yes to us having.
The events manager of the Dog was similar in the way she said yes to us using the club at 9am for the second nightclub shoot, but when we turned up at that time, she said she was unaware that we wanted the club this early. She told me that I can use the back entrance to the clubs where all of the bins were. I took certain cast and crew members with me, but I still did not gain access in to the club. I feel that this slightly ruined my credibility as I began to lose my temper a little, seeing as I had already been messed around too much.
Other locations that we looked for was the office space. This was a very difficult choice to make as unlike the nightclub, the owners who would be willing to let us use an office space would expect a fee. One office that we looked to rent out was priced at £400 for the day, a very large amount, which costs on comparison, much more than it would cost to rent out for the month. We became preoccupied with other things so we didn’t get much chance to look for other possible locations. However the changes in our script meant that eventually we would not have to use an office space anyway.
In terms of outdoor locations for my gang scene in park, my main interest began with using the pathways underneath the Aston Expressway. I thought this would make my film look like a concrete jungle with chaotic distractions in the background. Looking at this location on the bird’s eye view on Bing Maps, but then actually visiting the location, the place did not live up to my expectations. There was a lot of construction taking place, far too much noise and were not very good parking areas. We then decided to settle with using Stoke Aldermoor Park due to its bleak landscape and infamous reputation.
After the failure of the Club M shoot, we had a bit more than a week to reorganise the next shoot. I designed a template for an email and began pasting the same advertisement to numerous people from Coventry and Birmingham, hoping they would be an extra for our next shoot. I met the Events Organiser for The Dog nightclub, Kate Walters, who gave us permission to use this location. The problem with this club however was it was too different in appearance to Club M, so that meant we unfortunately had to leave out the Alpha Male scenes and start from scratch. The Dog was actually a stronger location then Club M though, due to its small size that can easily look crowded with small amounts of people.
We were also guaranteed to get one extra from Starnow named Natasha-Scarlett Reilly. We knew that just one was not enough, so me and my co-producer made a Facebook event page, inviting people to our shoot, as well as posting the event on Theatre and Professional Practice pages.
The main saviour of our Dog film shoot would be Roger Payne, who managed to bring numerous extras to the club. There were around 7 men and 4 women, which I felt was a good enough ratio, as there were still some of the female actors coming back to help out. As I mentioned in my research, I wanted to make the setting of my film dominated by black people, this is due to my love for ‘The Wire’ (David Simon, 2002) and how in Baltimore, where show is set, the population is mostly black, with few white people. We were so grateful to Roger Payne for helping us with the extras that we gave him an Executive Producer credit. If it was not for him, we would not have a film, considering that our attempts to get extras failed again.
I had a lot of faith in my director who I have worked hard with throughout this project. He had previously impressed me a lot whilst he was directing his memory artefact. He always wanted to be director of this film, as I already had a large writing role and he was worried about my temper, as I had previously been unprofessional and over aggravated whilst filming my artefacts.
He seemed to have a lot of knowledge of the script as he worked closely with me during the process. During our very first scene at Club M toilets, I did not fully notice at the time, but now that I think back, he did seem very quiet. I directed all of the actors and also positioned everyone; I assumed that George was working close with the camera operator. By the time the shoot had ended I was just happy we were finished. But the moment my director realised that we did not have any extras, even when we found enough to even attempt filming again, he was nowhere to be seen.
Again whilst filming at the Dog, my director yet again started quiet and scared. I once again ended up directing all of the actors. He just got a bit too stressed again and I think that he just needed to realise that everything was going to be ok. He did become more vocal and active later on in the day after our first break and did make up for his early crumble. He took charge of the actors more towards the end and showed a good knowledge of my script. I had a high expectation of my director and I do feel moderately let down by certain aspects of his performance whilst shooting. He just appeared far too nervous and was non-existent for small parts of it. If he can recreate what he did by the end of the last shoot we did, just needs to have more confidence and be more on the ball. I have seen him do brilliantly before, he just needs to know that he is brilliant. He did definitely make up for these small mistakes, both with the better aspects of his directing, but also his work during post production. He designed a fantastic poster along with some very professional colour grading and sound syncing. His pro-production is truely top notch, best I’ve ever seen from someone who is supposed to be a student. These aspects of his skills are not student or amateur at all, and with the right equipment and funding, can be the best.
We recruited Jack Dewar to be our Production Assistant, a first year Media Production student at Coventry. He seemed interested in helping us as well as gaining some experience of a large film shoot. He seemed very quiet, even for my standards, but I felt he should help anyway, just in case he is the type that changes his attitude when put to work. The problem is Jack did not change and remained as this overly quiet type and appeared to be scared to talk to certain people in the cast. I did not have time to really focus on what he was doing, but the fact that he is sitting down in a few of the film shoot stills just shows how much work he really did. Yes it is true that I turned out to be the main production assistant, but I didn’t even witness Jack asking me or my director if there was anything for him to do. He appeared very lazy as if he either not in the mood, or too worried to either talk to people or help out. I have decided to give him the Production Runner role instead as he did go out and get a KFC for the cast and crew.
After being let down by our original Cinematographer Sam Goldwater, we not only had to re-think our script and get rid of a large chunk of the story, but we also had to find another person for this role who had access to the Red camera. We wanted to use a 4k res camera because it was guaranteed to make the film look amazing, and it gave us the luxury of being able to crop footage without ruining the quality, in case it was not filmed correctly with the right angle or distance. We then hired Jak Uddin as our Cinematographer.
When it came to the days of filming, I did not spend very much time working with Jak Uddin, as I was busy directing the actors and assisting with the production as a whole. It was my director who spent most of the time with Jak. The only time I worked with Jak was on certain random occasions. He was at times very professional and was very determined to get the job done. He clearly had knowledge of how to get the appropriate lighting in order to get a good shot. He also had a good relationship with his lighting team and had a good memory of the script.
However on certain occasions when I spoke to him, I feel that he either seemed unprofessional or disrespectful. At the start of shooting at The Dog, the second attempt at the nightclub scene, I approached Jak and he was adjusting the zoom on the camera to get the right composition of the nightclub entrance. I thought that the way he had it was too far away so I told him to zoom in. When he did, I needed him to zoom in just a little bit more. He then got frustrated and zoomed the camera fully in too the limit rigorously. I felt that this was quite immature and quite arrogant, as I felt that he did not like taking orders from me because he felt too highly of himself. Either this or he just has a short fuse.
In terms of the editing process, I feel that there were some important emotional shots of certain characters that were missed out during filming. In Scene 9, the top half of the main bouncer’s face is cut off and the viewer can only see his mouth. I felt that this is bad because we owed the man playing this role a lot for his efforts as an Executive Producer, he now does not have good enough material for his Showreel.
He is good at what he does, he has done good work in the past and he can be professional, with a keen interest in his role. I feel that it is his attitude that has made me feel bad about him. In future I feel that he needs to be more respectful to people and take on board advice, even when that advice comes from somebody he does not respect. He is not quite a true professional yet and still needs to improve; the least he could do is handle a bit of criticism.
Pietro Giordano was the easiest to work with out of the entire crew as he was one of the few real professionals. We discovered him on Shooting People but he charged us £100, so we decided that we would look for somebody a bit cheaper. When we had no look with anybody else, we took on Pietro. Pietro, who bought his assistant Gabriel for Scene 1 and 2 shoots, was very cooperative and was always there for us, eager to get the job done properly. He had faith in us from the very start and had a keen interest in the script. He was also very easy to get along with and is the most desirable type of person to work with in my opinion. He is hard working, motivated and was respectful.
The only issue I had with Pietro was that he did not record the crowd cheering during Levis entrance. According to my director, whilst shooting at the Dog, Pietro said he did not need to record the cheering because he had already done this in the previous unsuccessful Club M shoot. Even if he had already got the sound footage from a previous shoot, he should have took more care in his work and tried to get back up. Other than this, I have no regrets that I picked Pietro as Sound Operator and Designer.
I played an assistant director role on set for End of Nights. The plan was for me to stand beside the director and whilst he organises the shots and the actors, I just give them advice in case he misses something. However on all of these days I played a bigger role. I ended up directing and advising all of the actors and extras, as well as reminding my directors of certain things he has missed out. My director mostly worked with the camera operator.
So on the very first shoot at Club M, I directed the actors with their roles and also queued the actors entrances during the toilet scene. On our second shoot at Stoke Aldermoor for Scene 2 and the Councillor in Scene 1, I only directed Theodore (Gang Leader) as I was acting in this scene, and I also directed Julie (Councillor) and gave her tips about her role whilst filming Scene 1. At the Dog I had a much bigger assistant director role where I worked closely with my director, making sure that we had the right angles from the shot list, as well as directing all of the actors as well as organising the extras into the correct positions.
This role has convinced me that directing my actors is possibly one of my strong points, possibly because I understood the story the most and knew how the people were meant to act and advising them about what small gestures and mannerisms to use in their roles in order for the characters to stand out, for example the Councillor with her phone and body language, and Theodore with his stare and how he approached Ted and Grace. But I also feel that I need to improve certain aspects of how I direct. At the end of the shoot at the Dog, I was told that I need to be more assertive with my crew and actors, be clearer when speaking, have more knowledge of my story and overall be more confident.
Due to my relentless efforts to make this shoot run properly, I ended up taking this position from Jack Dewar. This is because Jack did not have the drive to do a good job and was not helpful. I also did not always know what he could do and frankly didn’t trust him anyway. As I was always the main greeter on each set, and one of the main owners of this project who was also not the main director, people automatically felt the need to come to me with their queries. When people asked me for something, I just did it for them; I didn’t see the point in just running to find Jack whenever someone needed help.
In order to keep my extras entertained and reward them for attending my shoot, I felt that the least I could do was provide them with free drinks. I worked closely with the bartender and told him that all of the people who were at the club who were with me, were not charged for their drinks, and the bill will be put on tab. So therefore every half an hour or so, I would have to turn my attention from the film and pay the tab myself.
I tried my best to develop good relations with the bartender as he would be working a bit harder, as he had to handle a lot of customers, as well as dimming the lights whilst we were filming, as we kept it an open set, they normally have to keep the lights on.
Finishing my film, making the best film I possibly could, and my fear of letting people down, is what gave me the drive to be a dedicated production assistant. I have customer service experience when I worked as a greeter at Asda, and I feel it was these skills that made me do well in this role. I was friendly, helpful, down to earth and I feel like I almost seemed happy, a different personality to what I usually have. I believe this is because I had no time to feel self-conscious, even though I did probably still seemed that way, I had a big task ahead of me and I was aware of that. When push comes to shove, I do get worried about being on set and working with people, but I get more worried about being set and not working with people.
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As a lot of the scenes in ‘End of Nights’ may either seem offensive or unclear, here are some explanations for some of the content. A lot of these scenarios are explored in my primary research.
Scene 1 – Councillor Interview
The councillor is a beautiful and independent woman. She is a strong character and in return, she expects men to be stronger. Yes she may have some sympathy for certain extreme personalities, however Ted seems more like a weak moaner who needs to grow up and be a man.
In this scene I wanted to show women’s lack of interest and disgust for Ted’s personality, as well as how unprofessional certain people in high status roles can be.
Scene 2 – Gang in Park
The scarred girl is unhappy but still socializing with these men despite the possibility that she gets abused by them. This scene suggests that women are attracted to bad boys despite the risk.
This scene also suggests the contemporary stereotype of interracial sexual interests. The black gang mentions how all girls love those of darker skin and also that men of white skin are less endowed.
“Yeah you know you want some of this? What never been on the dark side before?”
Gang Leader tells Levis.
“I’ll cut ya little pink ping-a-ling off”
Gang Leader says to Ted.
Girl willingly abused by gang (left), Gang Leader thinks he knows what Grace truly desires.
Scene 4 – Queue Scene
After Levis and Grace are allowed in the club for free via the VIP area, Ted is forced to wait and pay at the box office. The bouncer then sees a girl is next to Ted and asks why he does not pay for his date. When he says she is not with her, she gets offended. When he finally does pay, the girl dismisses Ted and rushes past him to hug her boyfriend.
This scene was supposed to show how the girl was faking nice to Ted so that he would pay for her to get in. This was supposed to show that girls are only nice to Ted when they want something from him. When the girl has got that something, she then forgets about Ted and just rushes off to her boyfriend, who did not pay for her to get in.
Ted being forced to pay for girl (left), Girl hugs boyfriend in front of Ted.
Scene 5 – Pawn Off
Grace then introduces Ted to an unattractive girl once he enters the club. Ted shows no interest in the girl but Grace was expecting Ted to be interested in her. Grace introduces Ted to Jasmine, but not her more attractive friend.
This suggests that Grace was trying to set him up with her despite the fact that he actually is shallow. Also shows that Grace is not attracted to Ted sexually and thinks due to his lack of confidence and personality, her friend Jasmine is the best he can hope for. There is also a chance that Jasmine is desperate as well, that is why she hangs around with attractive girls, because they can help her get men, and vice versa.
Ted not happy with who he has been introduced too (left). Jasmine is not happy with Ted as he appears uninterested.
Scene 5 – Levis Entrance
After the awkward moment between Ted and Jasmine, the announcement of Levis’ entrance begins. Upon hearing the announcement, Grace and her friends rush to the dance floor in anticipation, leaving Ted on his own. Once Levis enters, Grace goes ecstatic, gazing at him with affection. This is a sign that Grace is also shallow in a similar way to Ted, she is attracted to the most popular man in the building, rather than the gentle Ted.
Grace gazes at Levis (left), Levis absorbing the cheers.
Scene 6 – Dance-Off
Ted has his chance to impress Grace with his dance moves.
This scene will show that Ted is not comfortable dancing, either because he is not fond of the music, or he is too worried about how he looks. Women love a man that can dance, someone who is not worried about how they look on the dance floor. Everyone else is dancing, especially Levis, who is leading it. Levis is about to gain the upper hand on a nervous Ted.
Ted is too worried about dancing, whilst Levis controls the dancing.
Scene 7 – Toilet
This scene is based on two actual events. This is where Ted is in the toilet after seeing Levis flirt with Grace. A pervert enters the toilet and stands next to Ted whilst inappropriately looking at him. Then a promiscuous woman enters and is holding hands with a man. She then shouts at Ted for looking at him. Another loutish man enters the scene and the girl brings both men into the cubicle with her. When a man asks Ted if he wants to come in cubicle with them, she rejects him.
Ted is in the male toilets, where he belongs, just minding his own business. A woman walks in to the male toilets; Ted does not treat her bad, just looks at her because she doesn’t belong there. She also has a strop at Ted for no reason. It’s not like she hates men because she is about to copulate two men in the most disgustingly masculine place in the world. If even the most promiscuous women are not attracted to Ted, or better yet hate him for no reason, then who is going to be attracted to him?
Girl in toilet notices Ted looking at her, and she is not happy about it.
The line “Suck my dick whilst I take a shit” was a joke I came up with when I was telling my director about the experience I had that inspired this scene. My director liked the line so much that he told me to keep it in. He wanted there to be ‘no limits’ in our film.
Scene 8 – Penultimate Scene
When Ted witnesses Grace kissing Levis, his whole night has already been ruined. If that was not bad enough, Jasmine appears and is not happy with Ted ignoring her. She then becomes aggressive with him, but just before Ted is about to retaliate, he is tackled by the bouncer and is mistaken for a woman beater.
It is clear that when Ted was introduced to Jasmine, he was never interested. Like most men, he is too fixated on a girl’s looks, as Jasmine is overweight; he is not attracted to her. Even though his personality cannot attract the type of girl that has the luxury of choosing a mate, he still will not take anything less.
This scene also proves that Jasmine herself is not a suitable girlfriend. Ted was probably introduced to Jasmine due to her friendly personality, however her attitude in this scene just proves that just because she is less attractive, doesn’t mean she is going to be a better person.
The bouncer attacking Ted is testament to the typical ‘tough guy’s’ hatred for men who hit women. This is dedicated to a time when I saw a man being hit by a woman, and then the bouncer goes up to the man and hits him as well and drags him out of the club, leaving the women to stay in the club. I am not fully sure why this happened, but it shows that hitting a woman is out of the question, but vice versa is acceptable.
Jasmine shouting at Ted (left), Bouncer grabbing Ted.
Scene 10 – End of the Night
Ted is now dazed and confused; it seems that everyone he meets either instantly, or pretty soon after, makes a fool of him or takes a dislike to him. But who’s this person hugging Ted, someone who is being friendly to him? It’s actually the Pervert from the toilet scene. He is comforting Ted, and comfort is something Ted feels he desperately needs after suffering such a devastating night. Levis and Grace then walk past together, giving the suggestion that they are going to spend the night together.
Ted’s attempt to establish a relationship with Grace, or any other girl for that matter, was so unsuccessful that he is now even more uncertain of his own attractiveness to the opposite sex than he was before. The most comfort he received all night was from the Pervert. Too add insult to injury, the girl he adores walks past with another man without seeming to notice him. Worse still, maybe she cares so little about him that she wants to be seen to ignore him.
Grace leaves with Levis, not noticing that Ted is being comforted by a man who has potentially sinister intentions.
Footnote: There were many factors that made this scene not work the way it should have. There were lighting, spatial and weather issues that became problems. The pervert was supposed to pick Ted up and carry him home with a sinister look on his face, right after Grace and Levis walk past in the distance. This was supposed to suggest that the worst of Ted’s night is not over yet, as he gets led away by this large creepy man, who is probably riddled with disease. The only intimacy he could get all night is both from the wrong gender, and also potentially bad for his health.
Ted is a neglected and tormented individual who lacks confidence when it comes to social situations. After a meeting with his psychiatrist, he is told that he needs to go out and start meeting new people, as well as establish an intimate relationship with Grace, his co-worker. However, obstacles start to elude him from her, as he begins to experience the harshness of contemporary society in England.
The film is influenced by the likes of Se7en, for its tone and portrayal of a really deprived society and a man’s will to show it to people; Irreversible, for being so incredibly violent and cruel to the point of being unwatchable; and Falling Down, for a man’s descent into complete insanity. It is also the product of a person who has lived in a city, that, unknown to many, is close to being a real life dystopia of decadence – giving the writer enough experience to write a story that has the power to bring this to light.
The majority of the film will unravel in a nightclub, as most can be seen as a vision of hell, especially with the chosen venue having a fully customisable lighting system. Principal shooting will commence on the 19th and 20th of March around Coventry, UK, with post-production to be completed in mid-April. It has already been rumoured to be the most controversial student film in recent years.
Darryl Ryan Marc Hughes (Ted) is a Theatre and Professional Practice graduate and received a first class grade from Coventry University. He is personally known by Producer Rob Morley and is said to be very good to work with. Although he has no acting experience, he has the right characteristics for the role. He appears to be shy but polite, exactly what Ted is.
Laura Wilson (Grace) is a Manchester-based actress who has experience in numerous paid speaking and acting roles, as well as modelling and dancing experience. She has a gorgeous smile, a reason for Ted to develop an interest in, as it takes him away from the harsh realities of his environment.
Kyle Simpson (Levis) is a Birmingham-based actor who has had numerous paid speaking roles in films. He is a musician and singer, going by the name of Euro Dollaz. He has also recently become a Writer and Director, receiving funding for and creating a film called ‘Rolling Steel’, a film about the production and distribution in guns in Britain.
George Leon has a HND degree from Warwickshire College and is smoothly on his way to a future first class degree from Coventry University. He is prepared to craft the film in an exceedingly dark manner, with a drive to create an unsettling and thought-provoking masterpiece. He has worked very closely with the writer in the past and always understands his vision of the final piece, allowing him to direct in a way that puts two minds into one. He believes that only the most disturbing subjects are worthy of film – something that consists purely of challenge in order to portray correctly.
I played a big part in the very beginning of the editing process. As I was the writer, I feel that only I could really do this task, as I am the one who knows the story the most.
Essentially all that I did was cut together the footage in terms of story. I aimed to make the transitions between each edit as professional as I could, using J-Cuts, L-Cuts and Continuity edits.
I believe that Scene 1 has the most impressive editing as I go back and fourth between both characters in order to show their most important expressions. I would switch from Ted to the counsellor to catch the correct body language that she displays between each of Ted’s sentences. It was important that I edited this in a way that shows her lack of patience for him.
For Scene 2, only seconds after Ted and Grace finish hugging and carry on walking, I then show an image of the gang abusing a woman on a tire swing. I show this for a split second as a warning to the viewer that the mood is about to change. After this flash I carried on with the shot of Ted and Grace walking, but then switched to a slightly extended shot of the same gang shot. A problem that I came across editing this scene was the use of ‘master shots’ during both the gang confrontation and the Levis prevention. This made the scene rushed and were unable to display the emotions of Ted.
Certain parts of the Nightclub scenes were straight forward as a few were shot with so-called ‘master shots’ (that I was again unhappy with.
Here is a slightly updated version of the rough edit that I made. The way that the film flows, is the way that I edited the film itself. https://vimeo.com/64468259 – password: eonsrough
I am happy with the edit that I did, however there are some problems I had whilst doing this. There was certain footage that was not there, like some important reactions from Ted in both during the Scene 2 and Scene 7. There are a lot of shots that were either not filmed well, so the story of that particular scene is less explained. I also have to get my co-editor to crop a lot of the footage as there are too many long shots.