Since we’re all stuck in the house and have nothing better to do, my daughter and I have been joining in with the Twitter watchalongs of old* Doctor Who episodes as organised by Emily Cook (@Emily_Rosina on Twitter).
For the first one, The Day of the Doctor, we filmed a quick video about the problem of trying to find a TV to watch it on when you own a TARDIS.
No effects, no edits, just one continuous thirty-second skit. All just on a whim really, a bit of a giggle to pass the time.
But then Emily announced a second watchalong, this time of Rose. So we did a follow up:
Again we just did one take, one shot and had a bit of a laugh.
For the third one, Vincent and the Doctor, we decided to get a bit adventurous and I worked out how to film a materialisation effect:
I should explain that the portrait orientation is because I can’t get far enough away from my office door to get all of the TARDIS in a landscape shot.
By the time we got to the watchalong of The Eleventh Hour I realised this might be an opportunity to teach myself the other, non-writing parts of filmmaking. I figured it might be useful to have a rudimentary knowledge of directing and editing going forwards, so we started experimenting.
Sadly that one was too long for Twitter (I didn’t know there was a limit!) but it was a good exercise in brevity. We’ve been churning out one of these every six days or so ever since, learning how to make them as we went along. Here seems like as good a place as any to collate them all.
The Doctor’s Wife:
Heaven Sent (the most popular so far with over 7000 views!)
The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End, where I learnt how to use ChromaKey:
Human Nature/The Family of Blood, where I had a go at prop-making (the fob watch):
Dalek, where I not only had to remotely direct some guest stars (meaning I had to write down a shot list for them to film as opposed to making it all up on the day) but had to make a miniature set, figure out how to animate a bubblebath dalek and pushed my green screen (non)talents to their limit:
And the latest one for tonight’s watchalong of The Girl in the Fireplace, where I’ve finally figured out how to film a landscape view of the TARDIS taking off (even if I did cut off the lamp):
Am I looking at a new career as an all singing, all dancing hyphenate?
Probably not, anyway.
It’s been nice to have complete control over the whole process for once and to get a vague idea of what everyone else on a film set does. And you know what? As shonky as most of these are things are,I really like some of them. Most importantly it’s given my daughter and I a weekly project to do together and that’s worth more than anything else.
All in all, it’s an experience I’d recommend. If you’ve got a phone and someone to point it at (including yourself), why not give it a go? And while you’re at it, check out the Twitter watchalongs of Doctor Who: fun, informative and nice to feel you’re joining in with thousands of other people again.
* For a given value of ‘old’.
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