guide2campus: reflections

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When we first met up to discuss Guide to Campus I had no real idea how much i would learn and how much fun we would have. Although I had worked on several short films as part of my Media Production degree I had not worked on anything for the university before and felt a real sense of pride producing something that would be shown abroad to encourage Chinese students to attend our university.

To start with I researched other Guide to Campus’s for international students from other universities around the UK. All took the form of short leaflets but they gave me some great ideas of the kind of things we should include. We discussed these ideas together at our second meeting and included some additional ideas of our own:

  • Reassurance, who will meet me when I arrive at the university?
  • Friends/societies/ideas on instant ways to make friends
  • Things that make you feel at home. Knowing you can get home comforts.
  • Help with translation/additional language courses you can take and how to find out about them
  • Doctors/ health centre/counselling
  • Gym facilities
  • Night life and things to do in cov
  • proximity to airport so easy for friends relatives to visit

We then divide the film up into four sections; The William Morris building, Singer Hall accommodation, The Hub and The Library. In groups we worked on a building each, making storyboards and writing scripts. The tours of each building would conclude with each of us telling the viewer a bit about our roles in making the film while posing outside the cathedral.

Filming was difficult on occasion, particularly with the usual rainy British weather, and trying to get everyone together when we had free time from lectures, but we all pulled together and I’m really pleased with what we have produced.

If I had to do things over and make any changes I would have liked to reshoot some of the footage at Singer Hall as the bedroom lighting is quite dark and makes the scene rather grainy. If we’d had more time we could have hired some LED lights from the media loan shop and this would have solved that problem. Also the sound in the launderette isn’t as clear as it could be because of the sound of the tumble dryers. I think we could have rectified this by using a personal mic rather than the boom which picks up more background noise. But overall I am really happy with the piece and can’t wait for the premiere this Friday. I particularly enjoyed the bloopers sequence of outtakes that I have made as an added extra to show after the screening, Esme’s idea. It shows just how much fun we all had working together as a team.

I have really enjoyed working on Guide to campus. I’ve made a great group of new friends, learnt a lot more about filming and have gained confidence in my own technical skills.

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