Work experience is a huge part of improving your understanding the mechanics of the industry. I wanted to get involved in as much camera work as possible over summer so as to maintain my muscle memory for setting up kit.
I went London with Dave Turner and Steve Waytt to help film a promotional video for UCL promoting female mathematicians. We arrived on the Sunday and stayed in a youth hostel over night. The next day we awoke at 5.30am and had breakfast with Steve and Dave before heading off to UCL. We carried the kit up the 6th floor and began setting up. Conor and I set up the two c300s and the Canon 5d mark II while Jordan and Laurence blacked out the windows. I then helped Dave set up the lights. He had to two chairs against the book shelves and a silk on a c-stand just in front of them both. There was a 800w light top bouncing through the silk illuminating the chairs. The kino flow was then attached to the book shelve with tungsten bulbs also directed at the chairs from the opposite angle. We then set up two China balls at either end of the room providing a back light for the two subjects while also illuminating the back walls. 2.8 light meter setting. 35mm lens.
We set one c300 either side of the subjects and the 5D also pointing at the interviewee from a slightly wider angle. Once set up, it was relatively straightforwards. However, the man funding the promo wanted us to ‘mix it up a bit’ but changing the angle which actually complicated things a bit. Although we managed to pull it off my getting both cameras to cross the line so it only appears as if the room has changed although in reality it hadn’t. There was a bit of an issue with the house lights as we were unable to turn them off as they are motion sensor, however we used some black wrap and gaffer tape to cover it and after about 10 mins the lights eventually went off.
It was a very interesting interview and Hannah Fry is completely lovely and engaging. A lot of what the interviewees said about why they thought less women are continuing with further maths was very interesting and actually very eye opening and similar to some of the reasons why there are fewer females in filmmaking. One very passionate mathematician said felt she was always too embarrassed to put her hand up in lectures and ask questions incase she said something silly, however she had been in a lecture recently with a really famous male mathematician and when he asked a very silly, simple maths question. She was sure he would blush and feel embarrassed but he didn’t even bat an eye lid. She couldn’t believe it, why did he not care? She came to the conclusion that perhaps females, for whatever reason, are more ashamed of making mistakes and looking a fool in class. She thought a contributing factor for this may be because there are less female role models for her and other females to look up to within their subject area…
I felt very passionately about this statement and wanted to get in touch with some of my female filmmakers and see how they felt about getting involved in an all female crew – to see how we would work with one another.
Here was my message:
I have been thinking about potentially getting an all female crew together for our third year films. Yesterday I went on work experience in London to film a promo video for female mathematicians at UCL. We filmed a group of women participating in an interview where a few of them expressed the opinion that they thought a possible reason less girls go in to further maths, amongst other factors, is because they are more embarrassed about making mistakes than males. They also said there are less female role models and lecturers within their industry and thus its harder for the girls to feel supported and they feel more uncomfortable when making mistakes. I can see similarities within the film industry and think that maybe getting a group of girls together over summer in prep for our third year films would be a really good idea.
Obviously we might just not get on well as filmmakers which is why I’ve suggested we try and make something together over summer to see how well we work together, I think it would be a really good experience for us all.
This is not an anti male group! I just think it will be a really interesting experience and one many of us might never experience again. If your at all interested just message back if your not don’t worry just leave the message, no pressure!