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  • Safy Abecasis

It's been a busy month!

The last month has been one of the busiest months of my life, I've taken on 7 major productions as well as fund a trip abroad for 35 people... Not to mention, somehow managing to find the time to eat and sleep too!

Production Management:

In my last post, I mentioned that I requested to move to the Production Management unit of my University course... I was denied! Unfortunately, due to software limitations, there was an upper limit to how many people could take the unit. I'll be honest I was gutted... But a couple of days later I was accepted! Another student switched units and I was at the top of the waiting list, and I'm so pleased that I was, even though I've only had one lecture for this unit so far, I can tell it's going to be a very valuable unit.

Speaking of managing productions, I mentioned that I'm currently involved in 7! I'm more heavily involved in some compared to others but they all require my time nonetheless:

1. Unnamed film:

The film I will be directing as part of my Directing unit this semester, I've been so busy working on other film projects that I've not even had time to come up with a name for it yet, but I do have a story and I plan on starting a script as soon I get the chance.

2. Quarter-Life Crisis:

A feature film that serves as a case study of the impact meeting the right person at the wrong time can have on one’s life. I've been involved in the creation of this story but may have to take a step back from the actual writing of the script to focus on producing the feature. As this project is a feature film, we're working with one of the largest crews I've ever worked with (on a film project). I've also been single-handedly responsible for the implementation and management of collaborative resources such as the projects Google Drive and the accompanying WhatsApp community.

2.5. Quarter-Life Crisis (Short):

A short film that serves as a taster for 'Quarter-Life Crisis', we'll likely use it as part of our crowdfunding campaign for the feature. I've taken on the same role for those products as I have for the feature itself. All the work I do for this production pays off for the feature in some form or another and vice versa which makes my life somewhat easier.

3. Hold It Together:

I'm more involved in the pre-production of this project than I am in the actual production or post-production stages. My primary involvement regards the crowdfunding stage, I've been a leading voice in the formulation of crowdfunding pledge tiers as well as how these tiers are marketed to potential backers.

Funnily enough, the day I'm writing this blog post is the same day that the crowdfunding campaign video was filmed, I couldn't be there myself as I was being beaten by a revolving door for the production of 'Revolver' (2023)... I wish I was joking. (to make matters even stranger, 'Revolver' and the crowdfunding video were filmed in the same building at roughly the same time by complete coincidence.) But, despite my inability to be at the crowdfunding video shoot in person, I did give ample feedback on the script and I have more than enough faith in the team behind the video to trust that it is of sufficient quality.

4. The Teacher:

To be honest, this is a very fresh production, there's not even been a single meeting about it yet. I've read the script, which was the first script I've read from this writer and I really enjoyed it, so I've agreed to come on as producer and help bring this film to life.

5. Sanctuary:

In all fairness, I currently know very little about this film, I've been asked to come on as the project's financial advisor and help with the budgeting, to which I said yes, but until there's a final script there's not too much I can do.

6. Folklore:

A folk horror short, preceding a potential feature film somewhere down the line. This film is one we've been speaking about for nearly a year now, so it's really nice to see it begin to come to fruition, I was originally supposed to be the production manager for this film but due to how many projects I'm already involved in, I wouldn't have had the time to dedicate this project will require. I am still however a 'backup producer' of sorts and I'm sure I'll find myself on the set of this film.

7. E-MOT:

Episode 1 of a science fiction limited series, I'm not too heavily involved in this production (for now) besides setting up the Google Drive. I've been told I may be able to cameo in the film or even have a small role in it, which would be fun.

So it's safe to say I've been pretty busy recently, I've been in and out of meetings at all hours of the day, every day. The longest meeting lasted fourteen hours! from midday till 2am. But I've got to admit, I do love being this busy!

Here's a picture of me arriving at a meeting at an unearthly hour caught on a ring doorbell; clearly experiencing some bizarre combination of sleep deprivation and motivation:

I've noticed that I've become the go-to person for setting up and managing production Google Drives, which I'm fine with, it makes my life a whole lot easier if all of the Google Drives I'm working with are uniform.

It's also been really nice to see people using and liking my custom templates for documents, there've actually been a handful of instances where people have asked me where I get my templates from and they have been genuinely surprised when I tell them I've made them all from scratch!

Berlin Trip:

As the treasurer of the university's Film Society, it's been my responsibility to handle the financial aspects of the society's trip to the Berlinale Film festival. To put it plainly, this process should've been significantly easier than it was. The trip is now less than a week away (We leave this coming Wednesday) and when it's over, I have no doubt that I'll make a full blog post about the trip and the nightmare it was to organise.

Directing unit, weekly films:

As part of our Directing unit, we have to produce a short film each week. Yes, that's right, EACH WEEK. Including all the paperwork, risk assessments and everything else. Thankfully we are allowed to work in groups with others in the class and produce one film that counts for all of us for that week (So even if I don't direct a film each week, as long as I'm involved in the production in some capacity it counted).

We've formed a group of 8 people and have somewhat agreed that each week someone else will direct, as there are only 8 weeks of lectures this means that everyone will get a chance to direct, but only have to do it once (unless people swap their weeks) this stops us having to assemble a whole new crew each week and pull off another 8 productions amongst the ones were already all working on.

We have spoken to our lecturer and told her about the number of projects that some of us are working on. She told us that as these films are not part of the actual units assessment and do not actually go towards anything, not to worry if we can't make a film each week and if we wanted to do one every two or even three weeks, that's fine too.

I'm assuming from how I've heard our lecturer talk about these weekly film tasks, that they exist to make sure we're actually working on projects, so I can imagine that if we can't do them because we're too busy with other projects then it won't be an issue at all... but, I do like the sound of the challenge of pulling off 8 films in 8 weeks while managing other productions too!

This week, we produced a short film called 'Revolver' I acted in the film as I didn't really have the time to dedicate to a major creative lead this week and while it was fun to shoot, the film feels fundamentally flawed, it's essentially an action comedy sketch about two people stuck in a revolving door, one trying to enter a building and the other trying to leave. The main conflict of the film makes no sense, Ted (My character) was standing on one side of the door trying to leave, while Fred tries to enter on the other side... EXACTLY HOW REVOLVING DOORS WORK!

There was no script, (which to be fair is fine, this type of film doesn't really need a script) only a shot list, which I wasn't given a copy of. Overall, it's safe to say that I'm interested to watch 'Revolver' as, despite the fact that I'm in the film, I actually have no idea how the action plays out.

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