Take a peek behind the scenes of my latest online course filming day. We were shooting Compose, Paint, Create Part 1: Let's put composition into practice painting watercolour botanicals with Natalie Martin.
A huge amount of prep work goes in before actually getting to filming day. It takes me about six months to put an online course together. I take suggestions and feedback from my students and formulate the next idea. Sometimes I have a very clear idea of what the next course should be, and sometimes I rely on suggestions and I run with it from there. After I settle on the idea I gather research and flesh out the concept. From there I roughly plan the content before testing and trialling all the projects myself. Then I do a couple of test runs in a focus group before arriving at the final curriculum.
After all this prep work for the concept is done, I have to make sure I have everything I need for the filming day. Examples to show on cue, a thorough list of materials, reference materials/images, key shot list and run sheet - a lot goes into the day itself too! I also completely rearrange my studio to sort of make it like a set, and allow room for all the camera and lighting equipment that comes in. This now includes packing up Harry's playpen and all his toys (He is slowly taking over my whole studio!)
I'm a giant ball of nervous energy by the time the actual shoot day rolls around. Being in front of the camera is not my natural habitat. Although I do settle into it, I tend to be very nervous in the lead up!! While the guys are setting up I'm jumping around and giggling and making funny faces. Once the cameras are on it takes me a moment to warm up, but once I get started I'm away!
Example nervous flapping about. I call it 'getting the goofy out', if I don't do it I end up with a mouth full of marbles.
I generally run through the course content in order, but sometimes finish on the introduction as I'm all warmed up and I've removed the marbles from my mouth by then! This time we filmed the introduction first as I wanted to harness all the nervous energy and get it out of my system. Filming this 3-5 minute video surprisingly took the most amount of time out of any video as I like to get it just right - it's the first impression anyone gets of the course! So we did quite a few takes.
From there I got into my comfort zone - talking about art materials! I really can discuss this subject allllll day so I had to keep a time check on myself. The rest of the day went really fast. It became a bit of blur really. Each video apart from the intro is a single take, there's no mucking around!
Speeding up the drying process. Not something I normally do, but necessary on these filming days.
It still surprises me when I get to the painting parts of the course (for whatever reason it doesn't sink in until that moment) that these need to be pretty good paintings! I not only need to demonstrate them well but the outcome has to be good too. Talk about pressure! Yikes!
Filming this first part of the new course in one day was a big ask, it was quite substantially more to capture than previous courses and Lessons in Layering was a stretch to get in one day - so the focus was real. We lost a bit of time during the set up at the beginning but made up for it during the day finishing just a tad later than expected.
A huge thank you goes to everyone involved in the day Thomas, Dan, Miyo, Michelle and Donna, as well as my students for being open to participating in the focus group!
Camera crew: Thomas Barnes from Colossal Films and Daniel Wieckmann
Hair and Makeup: Michelle McCubbin
Jack of all trades: Miyo Fallshaw
Photographer: Indie Lane and Miyo Fallshaw