A Treatment

16mm Film ReelsA treatment is usually an initial document that film-makers present to financiers or commissioners. It sets out some of the basic information about the film. An expanded treatment including photos, CVs etc can be used once there is some initial interest in the film. A treatment is also a nice way to give an easily digestible chunk of info about the film, and this one has been created just so that everyone can see where we are with the film so far:

Production Title: Chewing the Cud

Duration: 1 hour

Audience: People interested in local history, agriculture, local & regional films, archive & 16mm film

Budget: Heritage Lottery funded provided £71K for entire project

Production Company: Catcher Media Social Community Interest Company

Premise: This entertaining and warm-hearted new film, produced by Hereford-based Catcher Media Social and their talented trainees, portrays the showmanship and characters that gave the market it’s vibrancy, and includes anecdotes galore.

Outline: There are tales of romance and conflict, triumph and sadness, with traders juggling china, market stalls losing their roofs, livestock drovers, visits by The Queen, children playing in the market after hours, Miners Fortnight and missing pigs. The film revisits the past in interviews with farmers, auctioneers, townspeople, breeders, traders, hauliers and council workers, and is complemented with archive film footage and photographs – “You don’t want people in 20 years’ time asking for memories of the livestock market. It has to be done now. It’s not too late.”

Creative: The film will present interviews as a chorus of voices examining the life of the old market. Overlaying these interviews, shots and montages including poses of the interviewees, cutaways of interviewees (both of a prosaic but also a more poetic associative nature) archive photographs and film, imagery of the present-day livestock market (both during a bustling and busy working day and also whilst empty, suggesting voices from the past and also an important continuity with the present). Change has happened, things aren’t the same but things move on – some things are better, some are not – we are all prone to nostalgia, but the market is an institution that reflects social change and is of it’s time.

Much of the ‘action’ of the film will take place within the new market – a slightly risky conceit perhaps. There will also be a parallel with the building work going on in Hereford town, and occasional visits out of the market to people’s houses or farms. The film will not be judgmental or sentimental but will strive to show people’s lives as honestly and as evocatively as possible.

Rick is responsible for the creative or directorial side of the film and is actively encouraging volunteers to feed in their ideas, and to think about the project in directorial manner.

Technical: Crew will be made up from experienced crew and the volunteers. The volunteers will have opportunities to become more involved as the project progresses, but usually supported by at least one mentor.

Panasonic AF101 and GH2 are the two main cameras on this film, with some footage from a Sony PMW200. Sennheiser & Audio Technica mics will be used. Tripods, jibs and tracking will be used. Lilliput, LED and 2K light will be utilised to obtain (in most cases) a naturalistic and yet sometimes a subtly stylised ‘cinematic’ look. Local composers will be approached for the music.

Logistics: Two producers are involved on the project. Jo is in charge of project management overall whilst Julia has a particular eye on delivering the film – well in theory – their roles are constantly overlapping. Julia is in charge of the budget and much of the scheduling of the film. Marsha is also playing an active role in orchestrating research & interviews.

Marketing & Screening: The film will have a premiere at the Borderline film festival with accompanying regional screenings with Flicks in the Sticks. Wider screening are planned e.g. the Hay Festival. Each screening will include opportunities for people to share their stories and to upload these to the website. Social media will promote the project – episodes of the film will screen from Jan 2014. A social media strategy is being rolled out. FaceBook group is active. Website and blog are set-up.

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