Thursday, 6 October 2011

Britain in a Day

‘Britain in a Day’ is a BBC Learning project that will encourage the country to film itself on Saturday 12th November 2011. We want to encourage as many people as possible to submit films. We'll then ask our audiences to upload their films to the Britain in a Day host site on YouTube.
In the run-up to the mass-film-making day, the BBC aims to inspire the nation about this project.

What you need to know:

People making films do not need to have made a film before.

There are no requirements as to what cameras are used but we’re keen for the films to be as good a quality as possible.

The films should be unedited rushes (YouTube usually limits this to 10 minutes.)

There should be no added music or commentary or graphics.

A dedicated YouTube site will become available soon to upload the films.

Some films (or clips from them) will be broadcast on BBC2 next year, within a 90 minute documentary – made by the same production company who made ‘Life in a Day’ (Scott Free.)

Further information for those who might be interested in taking part:

This is your chance to be part of an exciting film-making project, which gives you a starring role on both sides of the camera.  In partnership with YouTube and Scott Free productions, the BBC is asking you to film some of your life, on 12th November 2011.  We’re not looking for the next hi-tech blockbuster:  we want intimate, personal films which provide a real insight into your life and the life of the UK.  And you don’t need to be a master film-maker:  you can use a camcorder or even your phone to make your film.  It’s about passion, not technique.   We want thousands of films uploaded to YouTube, to create a unique portrait of modern day Britain.  When that treasure trove of personal films is up there on line, we’ll take a selection and turn them into one of the big television moments of 2012 – to help us celebrate Olympic Year.  We want people from all kinds of backgrounds to make Britain in a Day a success:  students; film-making societies; community groups and complete novices, from every part of the country.


Choose a part of your day that will make the best film – don’t film the whole of your day. If you regularly do something amazing or exciting, then film it, but make sure you stay safe*.   For most of us, our films will be about our day-to-day lives and they’ll reflect the thoughts and feelings we have along the way.


Your contribution to Britain in a Day should be your personal view.  One of the skills of storytelling is to hold the viewers’ attention and to leave them wanting more, so don’t try to make an epic. Plan your film, so you can tell your story succinctly and with real impact, but don’t script your contributors – it’s not EastEnders!  If you don’t know how to edit, don’t worry.  We would rather receive rushes than an edited final film. Our online guides will show you how to make a film – and the final editing for the documentary will be done by Scott Free for the 90 minute documentary to be screened next year.


Basic tips for inexperienced film-makers:

Get permission from the people you are filming or the parents/guardians of any contributors who are under 18 years old.

Don’t film yourself or your contributors in front of windows or other sources of bright light, unless of course you want them to appear in silhouette.

Make sure you know how to make your subject appear the right size in the frame, by having a trial run and reviewing the results.

If you are filming yourself, work out how to fix the camera in the right location, whether that’s in the palm of your hand or tied to something.

Hold your shots long enough to establish them in the viewer’s mind.  Avoid lots of panning and zooming – it will look messy and it will leave your viewer dizzy.

Don’t over-plan your film – we want spontaneity.  It’s best to have an idea of what you want to film, but practise on a different subject so your final film doesn’t look rehearsed.  

If you’re talking about something, don’t forget to film it. 


As well as the visuals, Britain in a Day is about hearing your thoughts, opinions and insights.  Have a think about what you want to say before you start filming.  Get your message across clearly:

It’s really important that we can hear you properly.  If you’re planning to move away from the camera during the filming, work out how you’re going to be heard.  You could experiment with plugging a basic microphone into your camera.

If you don’t have a separate microphone, plan a film that allows you to stay close to the one that’s built in to your camera/phone.

Check the sound levels by making a short test film and playing back the sound.  If it sounds distorted, you’re either too near the microphone or the sound-levels turned up too high on the microphone.    

Watch out for wind.  If you’re heading outdoors, stay out of the wind when you’re recording sound.  Wind noise can distort sound recordings more than you think.  You don’t have to be in a force 9 gale – a gusty day can be just as problematic.    

For some useful advice on making your own films – here are some handy hints from the BBC:

Guidelines for Uploading to YouTube will become available through the Britain in a Day website.

No comments:

Post a Comment