“Tumour On His Humour” Post-Mortem

Context: Here is your final blog post for the trimester:
You have received, lecturer, industry, and public feedback on your work. Complete the following:
  1. Summarise the audience’s feedback for your documentary production
  2. Did you agree with the feedback, and why?
  3. Did you think the feedback was valid?
  4. Has the feedback changed your own views on your documentary?
  5. Outline some possible creative/technical solutions to 2 elements of critical feedback received.

My Work – Tumour On His Humour

1. Feedback – It Was Great!

The feedback was unanimously positive.

Industry Panel

They enjoy the journey of Rhys, his life and taking care his mother and his son, while being told by one of his close friend Kerri. Each panels has something that they like on the documentary. One of them really like the coverage and the other like the story or the journey of Rhys. They also enjoyed the comedy bits of the documentary.

Although there a few things they wished that I could’ve done to documentary. One of the panels wanted to see the mother’s interview and the other wanted it to be colour-graded.

Audience

The audience feedback, which were my classmates’ was great too. They were surprised that it has gotten really well since the last cut they’ve watched.

Lecturer

The lecturers were happy with it as well. It felt like the finished product feels more alive than the last cut they’ve watched. Although they suggested me to revisit the edit to make it a whole lot better.

2. I Agree With Them 100%

Positive feedbacks aside, I do agree with some criticisms they have for the film.

Needs Rhys’ Mother Interview

Throughout the production, my crew and I have been trying our utmost best to do an interview with Rhys’ mother. But due to complication of her health and the time-restraints, we were unable to do so. I firmly believe that if I have the mother’s interview in the can, the story would become a lot stronger. This is because the story essentially has always been about a son who uses humour as a coping mechanism to his mother’s disease. And by not having that interview in the can, it somewhat hurt the story that I’m trying to tell.

Needs Colour Grading

Due to catching up deadlines, my editor and I are unable to do much with color grading, since we’re trying to get the edit as tight as we could. Watching it now, the footage were a bit blue-ish and flat. It could really use color-grading to make the image stands out more. Plus, it has comedy and uplifiting feelings to it. The color has to be warmer to match the story’s tone.

Revisit The Edit

I highly, highly agree with this feedback. I feel like like the pacing could be tweaked more, to give a better of space and time for the story. Other than that, the story also could be string a lot better than it is now.

3. The Feedback that I’ve Got Was Extremely Valid

Thank you again everyone, for the feedback. Will keep working on this doco during the trimester break. Will continue to be better.

“So when you know when things are going perfectly right and you don’t really need to improve, think back the days of powdered stock(hard times). Put the shit up yourself, because there’s no one here to find a way to do that for you. Do it yourself.”

– Gordon Ramsay

4. Changed Views About Documentary Directors

Back in Malaysia. I used to do a lot of D.O.P work for documentaries. While it is fun, I always have this slight disappointment(and sometimes anger) for directors that I’ve worked over the years.

Now that I’m in their shoes, I am actually disappointed at myself for failing to understand what they’ve gone through to do their documentaries. It’s a very hard position to be on. The more personal it gets, the more all sorts of ethical manners you have to juggle with.

To all of the documentary directors that I’ve worked with back in Malaysia, I sincere apologise for not understanding your situations. I would love to work all of you again when I’m back In Malaysia.

5. More Research & Planning, And Better Time Organization

Better Time Organization

What really caught me off guard as being a director of a documentary, is the nature of it. As I’m more used to a more controlled production environments, I didn’t bother to go the extra mile of meticulously plan and organizing the production. It ended up hurting me in the long run.

More Research & Planning

This is also linked to point I made above. If I did more research & planning, I could’ve organize the time better. For example, Rhys has trouble speaking up when being recorded on camera. But, when he is talking to Kerri, despite the fact he is being recorded or not, he speaks up.

If I knew that Rhys will let go of his guard of being filmed if he is talking to Kerri due to their professional relationship as actors, I would’ve structured my story and my planning to include more of Kerri in the production. Even though I know they have worked together, I take it is and didn’t use that to my advantage.

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