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Working Title

A group of uninitiated filmmakers attempt to make a short film... it doesn't go to plan.

11 MAY 2022


A group of students are attempting to shoot a film when everything that could go wrong does. Starting with an incorrect line delivery the crew soon realise that they are vastly underprepared for the shoot, they've got different versions of the script, no actors and eventually, no equipment to film with! They call one final crew meeting where they decide to do the one thing they know will save the production, which also happens to be the one thing they don't want to do... go to 'HIM'


Where do I even start with this production... By far the most stressful but equally educational production I've been a part of, Working Title is also the film I'm most proud of, primarily because of what I learnt about myself and what I'm capable of during its production. March 23rd is when everything changed about this production, but there are some important things to note about the early stages too.

We were given our assignment brief on January 31st 2022 and had a deadline set for May 11th 2022

On February 2nd, we formed our group of 6 crew members and by February 10th, had to pitch 3 ideas for our film in a seminar. The rest of our peers would then vote on which idea they liked best, and while we didn't HAVE to, we were encouraged to make the idea that was voted best. I suggested that we split off into groups of 2 and come up with ideas to pitch as pairs, to avoid coming up with 3 similar ideas. 

In the seminar on the 10th, we brought one more person into our group, making us a group of 7. We also pitched our ideas, and the idea that was chosen was 'Locked in', a film about Zack, a man who finds himself stuck in a bathroom before an important date and has to enlist the help of his taxi driver to get out of his predicament. We went from this seminar straight into a production meeting, we spoke about the feasibility of shooting almost half the film from inside a bathroom and 'Locked In' quickly became 'Locked Out'. The same premise, except now Zack was locked outside of his flat rather than stuck in his bathroom. The writers, myself being one of them, went away and wrote the first draft of a script. We had our second meeting two weeks later where went over the first draft and began creating a production timeline.

Unfortunately, our crew failed to coordinate and collaborate effectively and therefore over the next few weeks, hardly anything got done. It was clear that the majority of the group had lost their passion for the project and became disinterested in attending meetings or contributing towards the production. 

On March 23rd, I began thinking of what to do as the production had come to a standstill, I had the idea of making a 'mockumentary' about our production and frankly, how terribly it was going... one major factor of our assignment brief was exploring genre and style, so while at first the idea was a joke, it quickly became something I saw potential in and at our next meeting, on the 26th, I suggested the 'mockumentary' idea and also offered to take over as director, and from that meeting onward... pre-production on 'Working Title' began, with me as the director.

The first thing I did as director (besides panicking as I had never directed a film before and had to start from scratch 46 days before it had to be completed) was telling everyone to take the weekend off to de-stress and prepare for the new project, we'd kickstart production on Monday the 28th. The one thing I asked everyone to do, was to add the dates they were away over April to a shared calendar, as of course people needed time off for the easter break. After taking into account the days on which people were away, our 46 days of production became 19! And factoring in that I didn't really want to be shooting in April as I wanted a decent amount of time for post-production, which left us with 10 days to wrap production.

From here on out, as much as pre-production wasn't exactly smooth, it was fast... it had to be. We had a full first draft script by Tuesday,  meaning that we could work out a shot list, shooting schedule and production window before people left for the easter break at the end of the week, so that as soon as we were all back, we could then begin preparing for the shoot itself. There was only a period of 5 days in April when we were all available to shoot (23rd - 27th). We scheduled our production window to be the final 3 days of this period, leaving us 2 days beforehand to prep for the shoot itself. And with that... We went our separate ways for the easter break.

I coordinated with my cinematographer so that we had a shot list, and I asked my producer to secure our locations and complete a risk assessment. Unfortunately, my producer was unable to complete the risk assessment but told me they had secured location agreements. I instead asked one of my production designers to complete the risk assessment, which they happily did (He had prior experience with risk assessments).

Over the easter break, I reached out to people other than the core 'Working Title' production team (by that, I mean the 7 people whose assignment grade depended on 'Working Title') to bring on external talent to increase the likelihood we could pull off our shoot with our tight production window. I reached out to people from other productions I had been involved with in the past such as 'Moving On' and 'The WolfMan' and thankfully they agreed to help out.

As the easter break ended, unfortunately, my assistant director was unable to make the shooting schedule and call sheets. So I handled the creation of these documents myself, that now left us ready to shoot. Thanks to 

After some people turned up late to set, equipment issues, shot list changes, as well as some last-minute production design. The first day of shooting went relatively well, as did the second and third days. Thanks to the hard work and dedication from some of the core 'Working Title' production team, as well as some help from external collaborators. We wrapped production on time!

After the shoot, a couple of people went away again for a few days and when our editor was back, post-production began on May 1st... Exactly as I wanted! We had a first draft shortly after, the only issue being that it came to 04:09 in runtime. we needed the film to have a runtime of 05:00-07:00. And so I started planning extra scenes we could add, I wrote 4 more pages to add to the script over the next day and immediately began planning to shoot these extra scenes. We had a FINISHED script on May 5th and spent the 6th planning for the extra day of shooting for the 7th.

The shoot on the 7th went well, we got everything we needed to finish the film. Ryan and I then spent the next day editing the additional few scenes into the film. this was a lot harder than it should have been given that the computer we were editing on (which had very high specs, seriously, this was not a bad build) decided to break on us, the screen kept flickering and our edits kept undoing themselves... if we didn't already think this production was haunted and cursed, we did now.

We spent the 9th writing an essay we needed to hand in alongside the film. We were supposed to write this essay as a group, however, in keeping with the production so far, only a few people contributed. We were handing in the assignment the next day (To be one day ahead of the actual deadline). with all the work done, I went out with some friends to celebrate that within 24 hours, we'd have submitted our assignment.  But... Later that night I received a call from our producer asking me what a PAC form was. This was something we needed to hand in the next day. After explaining what it was my producer asked if I could do it, so Ii went home and spent my evening creating that document.

We had arranged with some other film groups to meet on campus the next day to hand in our submissions. (We often do this so that we can all check each other's work and ensure we all hand in the right files.) and so on the 10th of may 2022, we did something I was worried we would never do... We handed in working title!


A few days after the deadline, the entire film course (including the years above us) and some lecturers were invited to a screening where we watched all of the films submitted that semester. There were some good films shown, but by far the one that received the most laughs and the loudest round of applause was 'Working Title'. This came with such a good feeling, seeing people genuinely enjoy and respond to something I worked so hard towards was incredible. After the screening, a handful of lecturers and students came over to me to tell me how much they enjoyed the film. The film went on to receive the highest grade awarded in our second semester. Which also happened to be the highest grade given to any film that year... Well, a tied highest grade... tied with 'Crossroads' my film from semester 1!


Working on this production taught me more than I could've ever known going into it. As stressful and difficult as it was it really showed me how much I am capable of doing when I really push myself to the limit. while 'Working Title' will likely not be the most impressive film I ever make, It will remain the one I'm most proud of for a long time to come.


Here are some of the artefacts from this production:

'Working Title' Script:

The script for 'Working Title'.

'Locked in' Script:

The script for 'Locked In'. Despite this film not being made, it still has a script.

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