Doc

Documentary Reporting

Project Meeting

The Director(s) of each project will have a required Zoom meeting with Valerie some time during the project’s production window. Each team should schedule those meeting times with Valerie and add them to your Production Schedule in Google sheets.

Daily Reporting

Each group must post a report in the group’s Slack channel by midnight (EST) every day from Feb 27 – Mar 18. Missing, late, or incomplete reports will result in a grade reduction for all members of the group. Directors should post on their shoot days, and anyone can post on non-shoot days.

Each day’s report should include the following information:

1. Wellness Check

  • Indicate whether everyone is feeling OK, or if anyone has any COVID symptoms, such as a fever, chills, shortness of breath, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, nausea, and loss of smell or taste.

2. What did you accomplish today?

  • A short summary of the day’s events

3. Photo of the day

  • If it was a shoot day, then include a behind-the-scenes photo demonstrating COVID protocols were utilized (e.g. camera 6 feet from interviewee).
  • If it was not a shoot day, then any photo that is indicative of the day’s events.

4. Any additional concerns

  • Any incidents, accidents, delays, equipment problems, etc.

Budget (Doc)

Each student will be allocated $140 to go toward documentary production expenses. These funds can be used in the following categories:

  • Petty Cash (which includes production design, production supplies, music or stock image licenses). You can pay for these expenses out of pocket, then get reimbursed.
  • Travel (if traveling away from Tallahassee, can include fuel, airfare, lodging, car rental, and meals). With the exception of fuel and meals, the school needs to book these expenses directly for you in advance. Do not pay out of pocket for any of these if you plan to use the school funds. You can pay for fuel and meals out of pocket, then get reimbursed.
  • Services (if you need to hire someone, like a composer). The school needs to pay for services directly, and this must be initiated at least 1 week prior to services beginning.

In order for the funds to be released to you, each student will need to submit a Budget Sheet to the Head of Production showing how you intend to use those funds. Once the budget is approved, instructions will be provided on the process for using those funds depending on which category your expenses fall within.

This is a “use-it-or-lose-it” budget.

Doc Schedule Overview

Jan 6 – Feb 26Development & Pre-Production
Feb 11-12Doc Group Production Meetings
Feb 15-19Individual Meetings
Feb 23-26Doc Group Greenlight Meetings
Feb 25-26Equipment Check-Out
Feb 27 – Mar 18Documentary Production
Mar 22Equipment Check-In
Mar 19-29Paper Edits
Mar 30 – Apr 14Post Production
Apr 18Documentary Screening

Doc Specs

General specs

Content running time:7m 30s (singles)
12m 30s (doubles)
Children:Yes
Animals:No
Weapons:No
COVID restrictions:Must follow all required planning, scouting, and daily production protocols.

Production specs

Locations per day:1 location. Approval must be attained in advance for more than one location in a given day.
Distance to location:Groups may travel outside of Leon County, but must present an approved production plan to the Head of Production.
Shooting days:A three-week window for each documentary group to complete all shooting.
Pick-up days:No
Length of workday:Maximum of 12 hours, with one hour for lunch.
Earliest call time:6AM
Latest wrap time:12AM
Night shoots:No
COVID protocols:Yes

Capture specs

Camera package:Panasonic AU-EVA1
Sensor mode:S35 MIX2.8K
Format:MOV
Resolution: 2048×1920 (2K)
Main codec:422All-Intra 100M
Frame rate:24p
Sampling:4:2:2 10-bit
Bitrate:100 Mbps (VBR)
Aspect ratio:1.37:1, 1.85:1, or 2.39:1

Editorial specs

Max. story content:7:30 (singles)
12:30 (doubles)
Max. credits:1:08
Max. TRT:8:38 (singles)
13:38 (doubles)
Post-production location:Remote, on students’ personal computers
Pic edit software:Media Composer
Sound software:Media Composer
Coloring software:Media Composer
Pic edit days:11 days
Sound days:2 days
Coloring days:1 day
Animation/visual effects:All animation and visual effects needs to be approved by faculty and cut into the timeline before coloring.

Documentary Production Plan

Instructions

Having a smart plan for production in the COVID era is essential. Each show will need to create a production plan that addresses COVID-19 safety concerns. Getting approval for production will be contingent on presenting a satisfactory production plan at the show’s green light meeting.

Part 1: Documentary Subjects

For each subject who’ll be on camera, answer the following questions. If the answer is yes for any given question, explain how you’ll mitigate the increased safety risks.

  1. Are they in an elevated-risk demographic for COVID-19?
  2. Will they need to be maskless for interviews or b-roll?
  3. Will they need to be in close proximity with other subjects or crew members?
  4. Will they need to perform any actions that require shouting, coughing, singing, or physical exertion?

Part 2: Shooting Locations

You’ll need to develop a plan for mitigating safety risks at each shooting location. The most important part of this will come later, with a tech scout at each location. For now, answer the following questions for each shooting location that you’re considering.

  1. Is the shooting location interior or exterior?
  2. Is the shooting location a large, open, well-ventilated space or a cramped, closed, poorly ventilated space?
  3. Is the shooting location public or private?
  4. Do you anticipate any difficulties in doing a tech scout in advance of the shooting day?

Part 3: Travel and Accommodations

How you travel with your crew poses its own safety concerns. If the answer is yes for any given question, explain how you’ll mitigate the increased safety risks.

  1. Will any crew members be traveling outside Leon County?
  2. Will any crew members be using mass transit, such as buses or planes?
  3. Will any crew members be carpooling?
  4. Will any crew members be doing any overnight stays outside of Leon County, such as Airbnbs, hotels, or parents’ houses?

Part 4: Schedule

Using the Google Sheet that Tony Ciarlariello will provide, each group will need to make a comprehensive, day-by-day schedule that outlines all tech scouts, shooting activities, travel, and accommodation for all of the group’s shows.

ASSESS THE SAFETY CONCERNS

As you work on each section of the production plan, assess the level of COVID-19 safety concerns for each answer and then change the color of the answer according to the following criteria: 

GREEN – Standard level of COVID-19 safety concerns

YELLOW – Warning of possibly elevated COVID-19 concerns

RED – Alert of definitely elevated COVID-19 concerns

Documentary Tech Scouts

Under normal circumstances, it is not uncommon for documentary filmmakers to shoot in unfamiliar or uncontrollable locations. The COVID era is of course far from normal, however, so we must pay much stricter attention to how shooting locations are scouted, prepped, and secured. One of the most important steps in this process is performing a tech scout at the location, ideally at least a day in advance of the actual shooting, so that a safety plan can be developed for how the production day will be run.

Prior to the Tech Scout

As early in the process as possible, begin to gather information about any locations you are considering. This will enable you to anticipate more things in advance of arriving at the location for the tech scout. For example:

  • If possible, visit the location in-person to scope it out, take photos, and make some preliminary notes about how you’ll use the location.
  • If it’s not possible to scope it out yourself, ask the owner or someone with access to the location to send you photos or video walkthroughs.
  • See if you can get hold of a floor plan and measurements, so that you can start mapping out the production zones. Looking up the street view and satellite view on Google Maps can also be helpful too.

At the tech scout

The tech scout should ideally be completed at least one day in advance of shooting at the location, with all crew members present. If that is not possible, you’ll need to get approval in advance from Tony to do a tech scout on the same day as production, and you’ll need to allow for at least one hour to complete the scout.

  • Treat locations as if they are infected and use PPE accordingly. Do not touch items native to the location while scouting unless absolutely necessary.
  • Have as much conversation outdoors as possible.
  • Try to maximize space and air flow when selecting spaces to shoot. Plan to film outdoors as much as possible.
  • Create a plan for maintaining a secure perimeter at the location for a controlled work area, free from outsiders to the production.
  • Create a sanitization plan for the location:
    • What surfaces need disinfecting?
    • Who will be responsible for doing this?
    • When and how frequently will it occur?
  • Map out spaces for:
    • Parking;
    • Staging equipment;
    • Green room (if needed);
    • Shooting spaces;
    • Outdoor mask-free zone – with room for physical distancing;
    • Lunch – with room for physical distancing.
  • Assess and determine:
    • If any spaces will make physical distancing difficult;
    • Access to bathrooms and hand-washing/sanitizing stations;
    • Whether any special considerations need to be made regarding air flow and/or HVAC, especially in Zone A areas.

Documentary Daily Production COVID-19 Protocols

Start of the Day

Daily Wellness Check

  • All students should monitor their own health before leaving for set, checking for any COVID symptoms, such as a fever, chills, shortness of breath, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, nausea, and loss of smell or taste.
  • Using FSU’s Daily Wellness Check app is recommended.

Transportation

  • Crew should self-drive wherever possible, especially if the crew has not formed a COVID pod for the production weeks.
  • If carpooling with anyone outside of your pod, use face-coverings.
  • If at all possible, avoid using public transit.

Prepping the Location

  • Allow for enough time to prep and secure the location at the beginning of the shoot. Be sure to address any safety concerns that were identified during the tech scout.
  • Equipment may only be handled by members of the department to which it belongs and each department is responsible for sanitizing its equipment during load in.

Morning Meeting

  • The director must confirm that everyone has a compliant mask. A disposable from the safety kit should be provided to anyone that needs one.
  • The director must take the temperature of all crew and doc subjects using the touchless forehead thermometer from the safety kit. If someone’s temperature is above 100.3°F, the individual must be sent home.
  • The director must remind all crew and doc subjects about physical distancing and mask-wearing policies:
    • Six-feet distance between individuals must be maintained wherever possible.
    • Masks must be worn indoors at all times, except for on-camera subjects while the camera is rolling.
    • Masks must be worn outdoors if physical distancing cannot be achieved at all times.
  • The director must communicate any additional COVID safety announcements for the day, as needed.

Shooting Interviews & B-Roll

Since the shooting of interviews and b-roll may involve a doc subject not wearing a mask for an extended period of time, please remember that additional safety precautions must be taken.

Setting Up

  • Avoid indoor settings if at all possible. If shooting indoors is necessary, set up in an area with as much outdoor ventilation as possible.
  • Make sure there is enough space for the crew to work while maintaining physical distancing. Crew must maintain physical distancing at all times, except for where a technical operation makes it impossible. Such moments should be kept to a bare minimum and undertaken with extreme caution.
  • Camera placement should be more than six feet away from any doc subject. Any exceptions to this need to be approved by faculty in advance.
  • The sound mixer should hand a sanitized wireless lav to each doc subject and instruct them how to secure the mic. If necessary, the sound mixer may secure the mic themselves, but the physical proximity to the doc subject should be kept to a minimum duration and an extra level of protection should be considered (such as a face-shield or a plexiglass divider).

Going For Picture

  • Any slating should be at least six feet from any doc subject. If the lens or space does not allow for that, a pan over to the slate should be used instead.
  • Immediately prior to “ACTION”, a callout for “MASKS OFF” should be added. The doc subjects should remove their own masks. If the shot doesn’t permit them to keep the mask on their person, they should put the mask into a ziploc bag with their name on it and place it in its own basket until after the setup. The director is responsible for managing the baskets.
  • Immediately after “CUT”, a callout for “MASKS ON” should be added. The director hands the ziploc bag with mask back to the doc subjects and they put their own masks back on.

Meals

  • Since masks need to be taken off for eating, extra precaution must be taken.
  • All meals should be eaten outside with a minimum of six-feet distance between each individual. Stagger the start time for meals if physical distancing is not possible at the location.
  • After lunch, the Director should make sure that high-touch surfaces at the location get a sanitizing wipe down and each department should sanitize heavily used items of equipment.

Wrap

  • Allow sufficient time (at least 60 minutes) for loading out equipment and cleaning the location. The director should not leave the location until everything has been fully wrapped, cleaned, and restored.
  • The sound mixer should instruct doc subjects on how to remove lavaliere mics. The sound mixer should then sanitize the mics.
  • Each department should clean and sanitize equipment during wrap.
  • Any Doors Down Meetings should be performed outside.

Additional Photography Request

Production Paperwork

Instructions

This form should be used by Producers to make a request for additional photography outside of the regularly scheduled shooting days on the crew grid. Since additional photography involves time and resources, requests will not be approved automatically. Approvals will only be granted if the time and resources are available and if students make a compelling case for why the footage cannot be shot during regular principal photography.

Indicate on the form the type of additional photography that is being requested:

  • ESTABLISHING SHOTS OR B-ROLL
    Check this box if the request is for 2nd Unit shots that cannot easily be scheduled during regular principal photography. Typically these would be for shots that need to be shot at a discrete location without the involvement of principal actors, such as establishing shots at an inconveniently place location or B-roll of events that are occurring outside the regular production window.
  • VFX PLATES OR ELEMENTS
    Check this box if the request is for background plates or other photographic elements that are needed to complete visual effects shots.
  • PLAYBACK CONTENT FOR SCREENS
    Check this box if the request is for video content that would need to be shot in advance of regular principal photography in order to be played back during production.
  • PICK-UPS
    Check this box if the request is for pick-up photography. Only BTH and MTH shows may request pick-ups and the need for pick-ups will be determined with the directing and editing faculty during picture editing.
  • RESHOOTS
    Check this box if the request is for the reshooting of a scene where circumstances beyond the students’ control resulted in footage becoming unusable. Typically, trying to solve the problem through editorial fixes will need to be explored before a reshoot is approved.
  • OTHER
    Check this box if the request is for something different than the above examples, and provide a brief description of the type of additional photography that’s being requested.

Requests for additional photography must also include the following information:

  • the exact nature of the subject content to be shot;
  • the reason why it cannot be shot with the first unit crew during principal photography;
  • the date, times, and location of the proposed shoot;
  • a summary of the equipment plan for the shoot, including any requests for school equipment;
  • the crew required for the proposed shoot, including names and signatures (you’ll need to determine how many crew members you need and you’ll need to recruit them).
  • any additional supporting documentation can also be attached as needed.

Finally, collect the signatures at the bottom in the prescribed sequence, starting with the director’s prep faculty, followed by the Area Heads and the the Associate Dean. Leave adequate time to collect these signatures and be prepared to make adjustments to the request if any faculty members raise concerns that need to be addressed.

Front Sequence Set-up

Download the Extras folder, which is located on frame.io inside the D1 folder.

In Media Composer, change the sequence starting time to 00:59:00:00.

Control-click on the Program Monitor – Sequence Report.

Import / link to the Bars and Tone video and add it to the timeline. It should run for exactly 30 seconds.

Add a 30-second slate with the title tool that includes: the title of the film; the names of the creative team; and the TRT of the film. Note: the TRT starts at the first frame of FSU leader and ends at the final frame of the copyright.

Import / link to the countdown and add it to timeline. This should run for exactly 8 seconds.

Import / link to the FSU Leader and add it to timeline. This should also run for 8 seconds.