Olympic Dance Festival

Me and Jack have been very lucky in finding a contact called Steve. Katie (my girlfriend at the time) worked at Stafford Sports college, I didn’t really like to ask questions about her work, because as far as I was concerned I needed to concentrate on my University work, as well as doing the typical lad thing and not really asking any questions. Ever. That being said however, there was a particular conversation about a Dance performance they were all rehearsing for at the college, and Katie was going to be in charge with running a lot of the event at a theatre in the middle of town. She knew I did film at University (obviously) and asked would it be possible to film the event. I umm’d and arrr’d about it, before she told me the last person did it for £1000…. I immediately told her to sign me up! Although this figure is a rather un-accurate number, as I shall explain later. We were introduced to her office at Stafford Sports College, where we were introduced to Steve Glover for the first time, the head of the Stafford&Stone school sports partnership, which basically means he has to look after 6-7 colleges in terms of sport (and a lot of other stuff actually). We had a meeting and said the highest he would let us film it for was £750, but wanted us to do it for around £500. he wasn’t a great negotiator and so we did it for £750. Although that is not £750 profit, far from it. He wanted 100 DVD’s created, with us buying / designing / burning the entire collection. Which seemed like it would be easy at the time.. Ended up being very time consuming and boring.

Me Jack and Richard Cullen (Richard is a proper lad, go and look at ‘working with Richard Cullen’ just to see how much of a boss he is, who offered to help out and be camera man for us, but got literally the worst footage ever so we didn’t use it, but it was nice to have him there nevertheless) had a multi-camera set up, one camera at the front, one at the back, and one in the middle, out of the view of the audience. We felt like it went well on the night! although we were tired.. and tired of trying to conserve batteries on the Panasonic 151’s too.. we didn’t miss anything and put together some really good footage. The camera at the back was set up when the lights were different to the actual performance which meant there was a lot of ‘over exposure’ which was so bad, but we think it was a camera fault as when we tried it again everything we recorded seemed faulty. Which is unfortunate but with some post production magic, and a lot of cutting to the better camera the footage was saved and eventually looked good! We met a lot of nice people on the night and it was my first experience of recording a live event. Filming, organising.. you know.. the whole thing. But the work wasn’t over then!

I searched online for good prices on a number of different things. 3 class 10 32GB SD cards. 200 printable DVDs and 200DVD cases, (decided he wanted 200 eventually), printer ink for printing on the DVD’s themselves. I designed the cover (not my strongest suit but it turned out ok in the end after a lot of tweaking) and had that printed off by a 3rd party company, which turned out to be a great addition as they came out perfect and relatively cheap. Although by this point we were £300+ in to our profits, and this was before we had been paid, which is kind of terrible, but lucky we had our student loans in allowing us to do this.

Editing the footage literally took ages, and almost all of the credit for that goes to Jack has he was bossing it out before he went to bed, and as soon as he woke up. Which was incredible, I would re-watch it, and tweak it in places but the majority of this was done by him. The exporting and getting the footage on to the DVD fell on my shoulders, and that took a lot of work trying to get 3 hours of footage of good enough quality on to a DVD, and make sure the DVD menu was designed and working perfectly. It was in my opinion an equal balance of post production, but i’m sure Jack will disagree on that one!! After all was said and done we got everything finished and handed in just over 3 weeks after recording and we were paid via cheque accordingly, but not only that gave us valuable experience doing this kind of thing, and got us a fantastic contact in Steve, who promised us more work in the future. He kept to his promise.


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