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When you are working on an audiovisual project there are a lot of overlapping issues, interdependent decisions to take, and this makes things difficult. While we are looking for actors, we are also looking for a studio to shoot the video. This is not easy. We have to remember we will need a green background, for the chroma keys, or an infinity cove, to get that white non-discernable atmosphere. We must also decide how many days we will need, where the studios are, which further services they offer, any possible discounts we may get…

Let’s take it step by step and just grab the telephone- a producer’s best friend. We have to be down-to-earth: our English can be a handicap, and our lack of experience doesn’t help. The best thing to do is to know what information we need to get:

  • Hiring price
  • Dimensions
  • Is it possible to paint it green? How much will they charge for this?
  • Is it available in the shooting days?
  • How many days in advance do we need to book it? Do we have to pay a deposit?
  • Discounts

Eventually we have a list of studios scattered all over the city. As we have a very tight budget we have to focus on to the most affordables ones. Once again we are working with words, suggestions, ideas… everything is too abstract. We need to go and see the studio and decide if it fits our requirements (if we really know which our requirements are!).

Oyster Card is popped in the pocket and we set off to Norh London. There we meet the CGI specialist. Coffees, decisions progressing, decisions going back, redesign of some shots… “We should shoot this with a chroma key. No, this one is better with a white background”. Scribbles, deletions, drafts… This video is constantly changing and sometimes it is one step forward and fifty steps back.

It is midday and we head off to the first studio hoping to find the answer to all our questions.

Its too small! Sometimes it seems that we will never shoot this project and all that we are doing is wasting our time, but we cannot get demoralized.

Hopeful, we go to another nearby studio We haven’t made an appointment, but the studio are professional and friendly and answer our questions.

Things pick up, it seems that we have a place to shoot our video. On our way home we write down which shots will need chroma key and which won’t, so we can make the shooting schedule and give them a time and date. We must take the right decisions in order to optimize time and money. We don’t want 13 actors strolling in the studio for 2 days when most of them can do their role in one single morning.

So, what else do we need? Yeah, right, the glass of course…

If you want to get more information about the project “Speak out against discrimination”, click here.

For more information about Spectacle, click here.

Seeking actors. The Audition at Battersea Art Center.

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After  making the storyboard, all of us have a clear idea of what we are looking for. We have decided the shots, the camera angles, the atmosphere, the sound and the characters all we need to make the project real. Now we need to choose the real actors and we start thinking about the casting.

After publishing the advert on the internet, we receive lots of emails from people from different backgrounds and nationalities interested in coming to the casting. We went through all the applicants and decide the day the audition will be held.

Battersea Art Center.

Actors waiting in the entrance. We give them the script and the treatment and the audition starts. Different people in the same room moving all around, falling in different ways, showing different expressions in front of a camera, trying to be someone they are not..difficult task! Everybody seems to be having fun and enjoying the audition. That is good!

After the audition, there is only one more difficult thing to do…Choose the actors and be chosen from them…

If you want to get more information about the project “Speak out against discrimination”, click here.

For more information about Spectacle, click here.

Shoulders to the wheel!

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So now that we all know what we are doing, we need to know how to do it, and that can be a whole other kettle of fish.

Talking is easy, but putting it all together and making it work on the screen is completely different. We all understand what we’ve been talking about, but we’re interpreting the visual concept in a different way. If we want to work as a team we need to visualise the project, so we all know what we need and what is our aim. Some storyboarding would be useful…

Ok, so we need a lot of people (mental note: have an audition!), and we need a studio (start making phone calls), AND we need a big glass ceiling (Do we need a greenhouse?). This starts to look difficult, but we love challenges, don’t we?

The storyboard has been an important step forward for the project. We’ve realised how important the CGI (Computer Generated Images) will be and our meetings with the specialist in computer graphics have revolved around the storyboard. Meetings… this reminds me that evening in March when the director said: “Welcome to the night shift!” Long evenings in the office and early coffees in Camden around a table plenty of drafts… The best thing about this is that no one loses their optimism, there’s always someone able to put a smile in your face even when everything goes wrong.

Eventually, we’ve realised that we need to make some changes. How can something that we created to help us turn against us? We’ve been too obsessed with reproducing an accurate version of the storyboard, and that’s the problem. We can adapt the storyboard to our necessities, so let’s try to start with the creative thinking and redefine the shoots.

First of all, we still have some problems visualising the proposed video. We’re used to moving pictures, and a piece of paper doesn’t help too much.

Lets move it!

Making this has helped us notice that we’re missing some really important stuff, the sound!

Now it’s time for some decision making. First of all our actors. But that’s a different problem…

If you want to get more information about the project “Speak out against discrimination”, click here.

For more information about Spectacle, click here.

“Speak out against discrimination” Council of Europe Campaign

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Our interest in this campaign started some time ago. We still remember our first meeting that first week of February. London was covered by snow and transport was at a stand still. Even that didn’t stop us having a meeting to discuss our different ideas.

The Project comes from  the Council of Europe and is aimed at highlighting the problem of discrimination in society. In order to meet this objective, we are going to produce a public information video against discrimination which will be shown in different countries around Europe. It should serve as a call to action to “Speak out against discrimination”.

Under this premise, we worked out an idea and we decided to write a treatment…

The  treatment is called “The Glass Ceiling”. There are two levels split by a glass floor/ceiling. The people on the top level are walking fast. Oblivious, self involved, anonymous. They do not interact with each other and they do not look around them.

The people below the glass are the same as the people above, but they cannot get through the barrier. They bang on the glass, they shout, they push.

The people above do not hear, see or acknowledge the people below.

An event occurs to reveal the existence of the other reality:

An individual from above falls and finds themself under the glass floor. Suddenly, more people from the upper level appear below the glass. They are all taken aback.

People  trapped beneath the glass start banging, everybody above joins in until they break through.


The call to action cuts across the scene.

Everybody is now together, interacting, laughing, enjoying their coexistence.

After hearing all different points of view, we chose the idea of the Glass Ceiling because it matches best with the concept we are trying to portray.

We started working in the script and started building the visual concept for the project to send it to the Council of Europe and waited for their approval.

After a few weeks, we had some good news from the Council of Europe, we got a positive answer from them. We are all excited about starting this new project. Next step: the story board!

If you want to get more information about the project “Speak out against discrimination”, click here.

For more information about Spectacle, click here.