When the options were given for the vast array of different Self Directed Projects available there were a few that struck my interest. However, the one project that I knew instantly that I wanted to do was Paintings for Inspiration. My main interests (outside of Costume) are History and Art History and this project encompassed both in a way that I would never have dream could be a project for me to work on.
The brief we were given split the project into two, the styling and the filming which allowed me to split my time up quite effectively right from the beginning as the filming section was a very chaotic but in a short space of time. The styling element however was spread across the entire term and called for much better individual time management, otherwise it would never have got done. I have always kept a diary, however I found that by pre-planning my life during this project as much as possible at the beginning on a Excel spreadsheet I could plan in my free time as well as working time much more effectively. I will use this method again in the future to plan my time.
What I was not anticipating from this project was just how much I would enjoy the filming unit. I was looking forward to it a lot as I wanted to try a new pathway from theatre designing as i felt that the work dynamics would be very different and I was right! I found that working on a film was almost exactly as I expected but unlike anything I have experienced. There was a chaotic feeling the whole way through and I learnt that scripts can change sporadically along with periods in which the film may be set, actors that are used and even crew members. While this was frustrating at times and daunting, I found that this part of the project went incredibly fast. I feel that I achieve more when under, a healthy amount of, pressure and that filming provides this! I feel that I have learnt many valuable lessons about working in a team as part of the two film crews especially that being patient is possibly the best trait to have. Another element of the filming unit that I enjoyed a lot but was not expecting was the networking and how many people I would meet, I feel that going into working on films next year with the film students has been made far more relaxed now that I have already had the chance to meet and get to know them.
I feel that before this project, my confidence was an issue both in my work and in myself, however since taking part in both the filming and the styling units, it has grown considerably and I feel ready to move on into level 6 next year!
One element within this project which I would criticise myself is how late I left it to sort out a suitable location for my styling photograph. I had been so good with planning my time and getting costumes and models sorted but had taken it for granted that I would find a location. It had not occurred to me that certain locations may cost money or not allow photography of this kind. I had just a week to prepare for the shoot once I had booked it, which, in retrospect, was a great deal of time and I did feel ready but not having a location booked until then way weighing on my mind. In the future I would sort this out a lot earlier.
With regards to what I will take forward from the self directed project, I would have to say the main things I have learnt are, time management, the importance of working in a team but also keeping your individuality and standing you ground with crew members and also how researching and planning at a steady rate is far better than rushing everything. I feel that this has been my favourite project so far at uni and that I have gained a great deal of valuable knowledge.