FoSho Flashback – Student projects from our crew | FROM THE FIELD E07
We’ve all gotta start somewhere, right?
Individuals with an ambition to work in the creative industries are faced with a variety of challenges. We all work hard to develop the skills that will make us employable in the future.
Sometimes this is done within the confines of an educational system, a safe space for us to experiment through trial and error, learning from our mistakes and having lots of fun along the way. Other times this is done independently, but the journey is the same – we learn by doing; by challenging ourselves to try something new, developing our craft and then folding this into our future projects.
Adult themes within…
One of the joys of audio-visual content is working with others, people who can both expand and push back on our ideas. Working collaboratively and creating something more than the sum of its parts.
As professionals within the creative industries, our daily endeavour is learning and explorating what creativity is and how we put our stamp on content.. We work with brands on a daily basis and are the conduit between their objectives and the audience. It is our role to bridge this gap in the most engaging way possible – within budget of course.
Where did we learn this craft? How did we start out down this path? And what projects crafted who we are today as working creatives?
As our team was learning their craft, each of us explored genre, theme, character, style and countless other aspects in vastly different ways. Crafting work we dreamed of and bringing it into reality was fundamental in our development as creative practitioners.
A fair warning that there are some adult themes across this work, reflecting the broad landscape of content, both long and short form, that we as a society engage with. Tackling challenging subject matter with audio-visual content is a way for us to explore the world we find ourselves in and to reflect this in a way that elicits a response. The response elicited by these works will differ from person to person, and as the creators, ours may well have changed since their inception into the world.
We hope you enjoy seeing some of our early work, created as we were learning the craft of audio-visual storytelling.
The Bone Her Supremacy (Comedy/Mockumentary)
When the Boom Operator on an adult film set doesn’t show up for work, the production assistant on work experience takes on the job, unfortunately she’s only 4 ft 10. It just so happens that this adult film titled ‘The Bone Her Supremacy’ was being filmed for an upcoming documentary about the adult industry in Scotland.
The project itself was created in response to the RODE Rockumentary competition which provided the simple task: Create a 2 minute short film that featured a Rode Microphone.
W ended up being shortlisted into the worldwide top ten list and received a private message saying that due to the themes explored in the short film we would not be taken any further. They did however gift us with a Rode Video Mic Pro.
Fynn devised the scenario so that it could be developed, filmed and edited within 2 weeks. The idea was devised over a few days and filmed in one afternoon using two continuous takes where we aimed to hit a few key plot points.
The plan was to give some talented folk a situation, a character, some back story and hit record. Oh and get a Rode microphone in shot of course.
The dialogue and specific actions were 100% improvised by the Improv Dogs: Stephen McCole, Karen Fraser, Vince Docherty andStephanie Robinson. Filmmaker and now successful DOP Gavin Hopkins jumped behind the camera and in front of the lens.
Filmed on a Sony Z7 using minDV tape… that’s right, tape, it was one of the last projects I would film using tape based media… I still have the tape in storage somewhere. The sound was obviously recorded using a Rode microphone, a Rode NTG2 shotgun.
All of the editing, colour grade, audio mix and graphics were completed in Final Cut 7… yup. FCP7.
Collaborations (Documentary / Artist insight)
This video was the end-of-year project to finish up my time at the Glasgow School of Art. There were many things within videography that I wanted to experiment with and explore. For example, in this video I had my brother make a DIY dolly to get smooth tracking shots from behind the drummer Alex Palmer.
I set up a Multicam pickup of the performance, and we recorded a solo and collaborative piece as well as an interview with Alex himself. The main purpose of the video was to dive into the processes Alex goes through in music-making. Additionally, I wanted to practice interview techniques and form a narrative arc that carried the viewer through alongside the visuals in an enticing way. I wanted to experiment with various speeds and quality of video and audio as well as the speed and tempo of certain cuts.
As I required help from other people from university and work, finding the perfect time to shoot was paramount. It also boiled down to the space we were filming in. If this was indoors we had to hire and book this in advance. If outdoors, the time of day affects the outcome drastically – especially if I need light or dry conditions.
After finishing university and taking part in more productions at FoSho, I learned the importance of controlling a scene and how crucial it isfor the end product. To have a well balanced shot in post-production is really helpful and often doesn’t need much work. For this project I only used one back light in scenes most of the time, and relied on atmospheric conditions. In post, this required a lot more work than I originally thought.
Doctor Steve (Comedy)
This short film was part of my second year project at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Towards the end of the year we were tasked to each write, produce and submit a short film of any subject, as long as it was shot in 2 days within a budget of £100.
In classic fashion, I left mine to the last minute. I wrote the script the night before and submitted the first and final draft by the deadline.
I had a couple weeks to prepare actors, crew, locations, kit and props.
The day before filming, I crammed various odd-looking props into my car; books, skulls, clocks, typewriters and other weird ornaments – borrowed from the uni prop store. I also convinced one of the client services team to drive two chairs and a globe drinks cabinet to the filming location.
We shot the film in my DoPs flat after dressing it to look more like a weird office, mostly in one day, with the second morning left for some pickups.
The entire budget was spent on snacks and cleaning my car after one of the crew spewed in it from another shoots’ wrap party the night before.
The shoot day itself was fairly loose and great fun – allowing Amir and Leo to workshop around the dodgy lines I’d scuffed together and gave us some opportunities to improvise the physical blocking. One of the improvised shots was the tremendous penis drawing, sketched expertly by Morven, our MUA.
The film was lit almost entirely from practical lamps from my flat, with the exception of one dedo lamp shining through a Coco Pops box with window frame cut-outs to add a bit of depth to the back wall.
The film was shot on the uni’s RED Epic with my trusty Sigma 18-35mm lens. The camera was sat on a single dolly track for the entire shoot, which allowed freedom of movement throughout the day.
Hilariously, the film ended up being screened in the Glasgow Film Theatre in front of my peers across three years – I’m not sure why, but had I known I’d probably have omitted the giant schlong.
Spare Parts (Drama)
This is a film I made as part of my final year studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
The initial inspiration for the story came from my father, who was a Firefighter with the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service for many years. After retiring from the service, he worked in non-emergency services jobs, and I always wondered what it would be like if he encountered a person during a working day whose life he had profoundly touched in some way as a Firefighter. With this as the jumping-off point for the story, I developed the script across several drafts into the final shooting script, eventually settling on a romance between the characters to drive the plot. As a nod to the initial inspiration, I cast my dad in a small role as one of the mechanics in the film.
Stylistically, the film takes inspiration from the works of Krzysztof Kieslowski, whose wonderful films often feature ordinary people facing complex moral dilemmas, and the films of Nicolas Roeg, who used sound, image and associative editing in much of his work to marry past and present as one. Visually, the film borrows from the paintings of Edward Hopper, inspiring the framing of many of the shots that visually communicate Gerry’s loneliness and outsider status.
The film has had a life since its first screening in July 2019, winning Best Drama and Best Screenplay at the RTS Scotland Student Awards 2020, Best Director at the Indie Clips Festival in 2021 and screening at multiple film festivals since.
The production was challenging, as it ambitiously encompassed multiple locations and therefore multiple unit moves, something which eats away at the time you have available to shoot. Luckily, we had a brilliant team on the shoot (including FoSho’s own Martin MacLeod as DoP), and so by working together we were able to get the production over the line.
Through the process of making Spare Parts, I developed my understanding of the importance of collaboration – the hard work of the crew, the cast and the support of the mentors at the Conservatoire all played a vital role in making this film what it is.
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