Innovative film project reveals production process
Image: Example of publicity material for Ginger & Rosa
The BluRay and DVD of the film Ginger and Rosa has just been released and includes a special feature about the innovative research carried out by Faculty of Arts researcher in media Dr Sarah Atkinson. Describing the content Dr Atkinson said: "The crew interviews are a featurette called Anatomy of a Film (55:03). This describes the stages of the film's making from scriptwriting and pre-production to completion, over two years and includes interviews with many members of the film's crew, including personnel never normally heard of in extras, such as the unit publicist.
"The interview footage is in a small box to the left, with relevant documents on display in the centre and to the right, or with scenes from the film playing to the right. Each interviewee describes his or her job and how that related to this particular feature. For any aspirant filmmakers out there, this will be invaluable as an indepth look at how this kind of film is made – not a major-studio production and not on a huge budget but still professionally made and funded."
Dr Atkinson was given unique access to the film production team during the making of Ginger & Rosa, which is written and directed by Sally Potter, enabling her to document the entire production process.
Set in London in 1962, the film focuses on a close friendship between two teenage girls and stars Christina Hendricks, Elle Fanning and Annette Bening. An exclusive preview at the Duke of Yorks Cinema attended by film and media students took place earlier this week only two days after the film's premier at the London Film Festival, and in association with the film's distributor Artificial Eye. Dr Atkinson gave an introductory talk and a question and answer session followed the screening. Ginger & Rosa opens to the public, including at the Odeon Cinema, Brighton, from 19 October.In the project, a collaboration between Dr Atkinson and Adventure Pictures, entitled The Anatomy of a Film, the collected materials will be used to expand upon Potter’s own online archive SP-ARK to create an open educational resource which can be made available for public audiences as well as scholars.
Dr Atkinson plans to conduct an investigation into the impact of the digital revolution upon feature film making by analysing the processes of filmmaking, arguably the most multi-disciplinary of all art-forms, whilst exploring ways to open up, reveal and communicate those processes to a wider audience. Her investigation will move the theory of filmmaking in line with current developments providing a holistic view previously unavailable to the industry and will facilitate the review of processes currently embedded as common practice since the early time of analogue production.
Her eight-month documentation of the film's production process included filmed interviews with everyone involved, from ‘runners’ through to director Sally Potter, and contributions from high-profile practitioners such as the editor, Anders Refn and casting director, Irene Lamb. Details of financing, publicity, distribution, production paperwork, communications and still photographs were also included.
The project is a further example of ongoing research into the provision of Open Educational Resources within the faculty.