A304MC Pass it on – Mentoring Session 3
Today’s session was a little more challenging than anticipated as everyone had now been given their roles and so we decided to scrap the talk back test and just get them straight into their roles, after going round the room and getting them to tells us what roles they had been given. They hadn’t come with a short script prepared like we had advised them to, however, they had a template they could work from which they had developed in their class. Unfortunately as it was written in celtx it could not be read by the autocue even when it was copy and pasted into word. We tried many ways but as it was copied from celtx it would just simply not work, this happened to be something both I and the mentees learnt and can now use for future reference, so when it comes for them to write a script they now know it has to be written originally in word and saved as a word document.
The group were a bit rowdy today making lots of noise and distracting each other to the point where I had to tell them to be quiet and listen quite a few times, as their director and pa were trying to concentrate. The director was a little flustered as there is so much to think about and he had only done this role one before. He also got a little frustrated with one of the camera operators not listening or knowing what to do when asked, and with the vision mixer not paying attention to his cues and taking them too early.
Jess and I decided to suggest a role swap, so I took the producer and director aside and explained to them that they have someone who is more than capable when operating the camera stuck on camera 2 which is pretty limited, and someone who is not listening to instructions on camera 3 which has more flexibility. I suggested that they think about swapping these two people as it will be less frustrating for the director. They took this on board and agreed that this should happen but they will think about it. Jess, Alex and I later had a further discussion with them this time strongly advising the swap to help the flow of things, they took this on board and we left it in their hands to take the two people aside and talk to them, but offered our support should they need it. I also asked them if it was ok if I stepped in for one run through as director just to show them how it should be and get them with a smooth run through, showing the director just to be switched on but also to stay calm and collected.
At the end of the session we had some feedback to give which was mainly for them to get their heads down now. They have to concentrate and pay more attention to what they are doing and what the director is telling them to do. We re-enforced the fact that no one should be doing anything unless the director has told them to, as we had lights flickering, shots being taken, cameras moving when being taken etc.
Rather than advising them to have a script ready for the next session we told them to absolutely have one as everyone was frustrated with the running of things and with each other because they couldn’t do their job properly. However, this week they have done very well for being in their roles for the first time.
It is clear that many people are doing their roles for the first time and so it will take time for them to really know what they are doing and be comfortable with it, in light of this we have again offered extra sessions if want us to come along and help them practise.
I also had a talk with the director who approached me with some worries and doubts, but I assured him that it will take time for everyone to get comfortable in their role and that it would get easier once they know their show and running order etc. but also that should he or the producer feel someone is not up to their job role they have the power to swap then with someone who is showing potential, however, they need to give everyone a chance first.
I think this session has given the group a lot to think about and they need to go away and thoroughly research their given role now and learn exactly what it is they are responsible for doing. It was very frustrating at times today to the point where we could have lost it but we all managed to keep our cool and there were no arguments or shouting at each other, we just got on and got the job done.