Saturday 1st March 2014
So our first day of filming with our first class of students got off to a great start, despite a number of "hitches".
We finally managed to secure a primary school in Islington, after our initial location fell through at the last minute.
We were then blighted by sound problems, including a helicopter, which was circling us for a good half an hour.
Problems aside, we were extremely pleased with the day's filming. On Wednesday I saw the rushes and it's all looking amazing.
Totally Lit uses a unique programme of work, to enable the students, some of who have never acted for camera before, to understand the technical requirements of 'acting on film'.
In deconstructing the process into a series of games and exercises, we end up with a generic set of "tools" which the actors can refer to, given specific situations. This allows them to understand what is required technically, so that they can then concentrate on their performance.
Saturday 1st March represented the first opportunity for our students to apply their newly acquired skills on a professional set.
The results were amazing. The two students who featured heavily in the scenes filmed on Saturday, were magnificent. They displayed a maturity beyond their years and their attitude, focus and stamina, for dealing with the long session was just one pleasing element of how much they have learned and grown in the 16 weeks that they have worked with us.
It is often easier to explain with a sporting analogy:
We've done the training and we've honed in the technical skills, but can we deliver when the pressure is on?
The answer in this case was a resounding "yes!"
We didn't do anything to take the pressure away from the students as we wanted them to experience the responsibility of carrying the project. We had to try to recreate, or simulate the nerves and anxiety that they may feel on their first day on set, in order to see how they responded. We then asked them to accept the pressure and attempt to deal with it and not let it affect their performances- the danger is that they can end up rushing through the scene and losing the detail in the process.
Our students didn't take much time to adjust. There was not one moment of "drying", or a wrong word, or line in sight.
It was an incredibly satisfying conclusion to the process that started in September. A process which has seen these students develop beyond recognition!
The filming process continues this weekend. The bar has been set quite high. Let's see what happens.
This is our company Blog, re-capping previous weeks sessions.