Negotiated Specialist ProjectDevelopment Folder


In this Development Folder, I will explain what steps I have taken in working as a freelance producer/director. These will include how I have researched and developed the initial idea for this assignment into a potential business. I will also talk about how found the initial client briefs and how I developed these into completed professional quality films that will be delivered to the clients.

Professional Development

To transition from student to professional freelance filmmaker several things need to happen: I need to gain the skills, knowledge and experience to work as a producer/director, I need to have a readily accessible portfolio of pertinent work and be available to potential clients and I need to follow industrial and legal standards for the work I create and how I maintain my business.
The updated version of my website

Throughout my time as a student, I have shared much of my work online on, on my website and on social media. the idea has been to share the work I am proud of but also attract constructive criticism that I can learn from.

While this has proven good enough to get clients as a student, in the real world, my best work needs to be readily viewable by potential clients and those clients must be able to get in touch with me. With this in mind, I have updated my own website to be a place to showcase my work and be the main point of contact between myself and potential clients.

I also made better use of social media, joining Instagram and creating posts tailored for that platform. Videos on Instagram need to be square, less than 50MB in size and less than 1 minute long. Instagram currently uses a maximum resolution on 640 x 640 pixels but I have posted videos at 1080 x 1080 that still fit there specifications.

A selection of Instagram posts that were also shared on Facebook and Twitter to gain a wider audience.

I have also made use of LinkedIn, showcasing my best work and skills and making connections with people I have worked with.

In order to create effective pitches for my film ideas and treatments, I have learned to structure my pitches more effectively. To sell my idea to a client, my pitch needs to be simple and effective. I need to say what I am doing and express that with a single top line that grabs a clients interest. I need to say who is in each film, whether it be presenters, interviewees or other main characters, and explain how my film will work in the form of an effective and logical story structure (BBC Academy, 2018).

Public Liability Insurance
Proof of Public Liability Insurance 2017-18
(click to view larger version)

I obtained Public Liability Insurance through the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU). This means that if an accident were to happen while I was filming, I would be insured. It is worth noting that due to meticulous planning, script writing, call sheets and risk assessments, I am greatly minimising the chances of an accident happening.

Being a member of BECTU has many advantages. They have a great deal of useful information and resources for freelance filmmakers (BECTU, 2018e).

I will be taking advantage of home insurance obtained through BECTU that I will need as a professional freelance filmmaker.

As a freelance, I will be working as a sole trader. I do not need to register my business, unless I make more than £18,500 in profits or I want to trademark my name. I will, however, need to keep records of all my transactions as a business, such as what I am paid by clients and my expenses. I need to keep a record of the tax and National Insurance I need to pay. Since my business starts trading in the 2018-19 tax year, I will have to register for self-assessment by 5th October 2018 (GOV.UK, 2018).

BECTU Creative Industries Safety Passport
BECTU Creative Industries Safety Passport
course confirmation

I will be attending the BECTU Creative Industries Safety Passport course at MediaCityUK in May. This is a one day health and safety course for people working in the creative industries. It will be a useful tool to learn more about health and safety in the workplace but essential for anyone wanting to work in the broadcast (BECTU, 2018a).

I have attended the Marketing: Strategy, Tactics on a Shoestring run by One Manchester, the housing association run by Manchester City Council of which I am a tenant. This gave me several useful tips about building and keeping a customer base, including getting quotes and recommendations from customers, networking with cutomers and other businesses and making good use of social media (One Manchester, 2018a). One Manchester run a range of free courses for people who run their own businesses. I will be attending Social Media for Business to build my social media skills to benefit my business (One Manchester, 2018b).

Production Standards

As a freelance producer/director, my work must meet professional standards.

The films I produce will be rendered in the industry standard Rec 709 colour space (ITU, 2015). My own Lumix GH4 will record in Cine D rather than V-log. I have found the results from colour grading Cine D footage have more scope for change and have been more successful than V-log footage. I colour grade with a LUT designed escpecially for Cine D to Rec709. I will record in S-Log2 when using the Sony FS7. Again, I have found this to be more useful than other settings on the FS7 when it comes to grading footage.

Rendering footage for use online in Adobe Premiere Pro is made more user-friendly with the inclusion of rendering presets for YouTube and Vimeo. For these projects, all films will be rendered at 1080HD, 25p. The Arbee nusic promo will be 24p so I can use the footage, shot at 96 fps, for both the music promo and for the behind the scenes film, where I can speed up the slow motion footage to 400%. Using 25p for this project would make syncing the audio and slow motion footage almost impossible. Footage rendered for use on Instagram, will be rendered on the Twitter 640 x 640 preset but at a resolution of 1080 x 1080 which is the current maximum resolution for Instagram. Instagram videos muct be under 60 seconds and are recommended to be 50MB or less (Schedugram, 2018).

I have made use of Philip Bloom's Cinematic Masterclass. The video masterclass has served to underline many of the skills I have learned over the past four years. It was useful to see many things I have been taught once again and all together. From simpler things like the rule of thirds and a story having a beginning middle and end but also making sure there is a reason for every shot and that each shot should also have a beginning middle and end (Bloom, 2017). There were also useful tips about slow motion and timelapse filming.

Night sky timelapse, Manchester, 7th March 2018

I have taken every possible opportunity to film and improve my skills. This includes experimenting with timelaspe and slow motion video.

To capture as many stars as possible in a night sky timelapse in a light polluted sky, I used the expose to the right (ETTR) method. Essentially, this film is a series of RAW photographs. Normally, you want to see a peak in the middle of your camera's histogram. With the ETTR method, the peaks are to the right of the histogram, so each image collects more light, without clipping, and gives me more scope to edit in Adobe Lightroom.

Advertising Standards

As I will be producing promotional films, and one that is specifically an advert, In that regard, I have researched and followed the guidelines set out by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and overseen by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). My films must be truthful and must not exaggerate or be misleading. For example, there is a shot of coffee being prepared in my Second City Coffee commercial. It shows coffee pouring out of the machine in to the cup. I would have preferred it too look different but what is shown is how a cup of coffee is actually made. In the two films for ALL FM, any claims that are made about the station are either opinions and stated as such or are facts that can be backed up if need be (ASA | CAP, 2018).