During the last 10 weeks it was expected that a further and deeper understanding of the three concepts of Power, Spectacle and Memory would be developed. The emphasis was on theory and practice within contemporary mediated culture and with a strong focus on producing original work inspired and informed by those ideas. In addition, these tasks were designed to help in improving skills in Research and Development and to demonstrate the significance of having a strong idea combined with good preparation and timely execution.
The most important lesson here is that simple, straightforward ideas, when pursued properly, work much better than too ambitious but not well developed ones. These tasks also helped identify interesting directions for further research, both academic and within professional practice and production. What is more, they were extremely helpful in creating the mindset of coming up with an idea, developing it and producing a final piece within a defined, short time scale. The process, though repetitive in terms of time and basic outline, would always be different; the short time between the three similar tasks meant that lessons learned while producing the first piece would be applied in producing the next one; and mistakes made in the second one would be easier to avoid in the last artifact. The exercise also helped move from overthinking to ‘just doing it’.
A very good part of the process was the chance to receive interim feedback, along with indicative grade and the opportunity to improve the piece based on comments from tutors and peers. It helped understand and focus on being creative on demand, work towards a specific brief, respond to feedback and finalise a product ready for screening. The fact deadlines were clearly defined helped focus the efforts within a time frame, and making sure all deadlines were met (even if that sometimes meant submitting at the last minute, but still not later), was a good exercise in delivering a product.
It seems much more clear now what the process of developing the FMP idea into a film would involve, what needs to be put in place, and what problems might come up that would need addressing. Going through the Power, Spectacle and Memory exercises helped identify areas of strength and weakness, in terms of technical, organisational, motivational and creative ability. It helped figure out where it would be beneficial to ask for help, and to get comfortable with the idea of receiving help.
A big takeaway was that it is not about the author or their ego – it is about the brief, the idea, making the piece work and delivering it in an appropriate form. This definitely helps in thinking about developing and producing a Final Project – you can’t be good at everything, but if you are good at identifying who is good at what, and what the project needs, you can end up with a good project. For example, having found out you have good Producer skills and good technical knowledge, but can’t always hold the creative vision, means you can identify who can help with directing and still know this would be your project – you can just appoint someone who can bring their additional skills to the project. It wouldn’t mean this is not your project anymore – it most certainly is.