Our film ‘Always Watching’ was put together by Juanita Alvarez, Anqi Li, and Ayla Gray. We really enjoyed making this film, and we did encounter some challenges, but it gave us the chance to be a little creative.
Our video explores the concepts and problems all our favourite Celebrities face, stalking. We all had a very keen interest in surveillance in celebrity culture. All we did for the brainstorming aspect of this project was think of some ways we can showcase and talk about the examples of situations where either fans or paparazzi invaded privacy, took things too far and how attached they can be because of the nature of a celebrity. We talked about recent stories and well-known celebrities that have been involved in these kinds of situations which started giving us some ideas about what kind of story we want to tell.
We discussed the option of doing a TMZ inspired report on celebrity news. Where we are all reporters sharing our thoughts on recent footage that has gone viral. We really liked this idea and decided to stick with it and develop the message of the story. When planning the video and discussing the direction we wanted to go we found the most difficult task would be filming and editing the whole thing. This was because we all had very different schedules and found that we couldn’t do what we originally had in mind and film some of the scenes together. We then had to think a little bit more creatively regarding the script so we could avoid having scenes filming together. Writing the script was really easy for us we all had a section each and decided we would come up with a story based on a real celebrity but change name and some other facts for copyright purposes. The only issue we found when writing the script was coming up with a title for our show. Always Watching was one of the last things we had decided on, and we felt it would be a fitting title as our show was about analyzing footage of celebrities.
The story within this gossip show is an excellent way to display how reporters critique fans and paparazzi on stalking when what they are doing themselves are a form of celebrity stalking and surveillance. The aim of the show is to keep the audience updated with the latest celebrity news, meaning we are the reporters are also stalking and searching for the quality stories. One of the lines in the script that actually delivers the irony of the show is ‘that’s an invasion of privacy.’ which we think really conveys the concept of how much celebrities lives are monitored and that the monitoring of celebrities lives is also monitored.
We initially wanted to create more of a comedy, but the final product looks more like a mocking of reporters and also a story that makes you realise how focused society is on knowing all you possibly can about celebrities. I think this is because of how we decided to film it. In a meeting we had we discussed the possibility of filming as if we are all corresponding from a different location. Just like a skype or google hangout. We thought why not create a webcam-style so it would cut in and out to each reporter as we discuss each story. We also suggested maybe having all screens on at once so it looks like a live chat. But because we all have moderate editing skills we were going to see what we could do. The finished video product was more of a cutaway-style interview due to time constraints and editing program limitations, but the effect remained the same.
Filming separately also raised some challenges, we discussed that we would have to also film time after we speak to look like we are actively listening while the other person talks if it would be multiple cameras on the screen. We also had to create a deadline for all the material to be done so we could experiment on editing and see if we had to re-film or add more. It also meant we needed to keep a constant form of communication to make sure we had all of the footage for the film. The benefit of filming separately was delegating jobs evenly and making sure we all have an appearance in the video. We also had to create consent forms for people who were acting in our film as our celebrities in the footage, these people ended up being most of our friends that we could rally at any time.
We also had to think of music for our show, we had a list of songs that would potentially work, the choices ranged from heavy metal to slow jazz. Surprisingly they all had great potential and could actually work. But we had to make sure the one that we picked set the right tone for the story. We made the decision to use a heavy instrumental rock piece that would be used in the intro and credits. We thought It works well as our intro is going to be a little montage of celebrities reacting to in your face cameras. So the loud rock music would help highlight the aggression in the footage.
We had all the elements for our film, and we had developed the concept to make it work for our schedule, as previously mentioned we knew editing would be a big job. So we decided they Ayla would edit it all together. To make it a little easier, we all edited our own sections that we sent in. So cut it where it’s useful and only send clips that can be put straight into the video. We were quite happy with this arrangement as it would be the most productive way to work considering how pushed for time we were.
We are extremely proud of our final product and also our efforts as we did overcome some challenging obstacles. We hope you enjoy our video!