Jason Lock Productions spent most of June and July 2016 producing eight films for the Museum of Science and Industry (Manchester) first ever exhibition curated by them from scratch, about Graphene (writes film editor Andrew Swarbrick). These films compliment the various displays and enhance the visitors’ experience.
Ah yes Graphene! That wonder material with so much potential. In fact the exhibition is called Wonder Materials: Graphene & Beyond, and looks at the history, the present and what the future might hold; not just for this new material but for the world it may just transform.
Below is just one of the exhibition films directed by Jason Lock called ‘From Sticky Tape to Nobel Prize”, which looks at how Graphene was first stumbled upon right here in Manchester, UK.
I won’t give much more away about the exhibition, in case you happen to find yourself at the Museum, but director Jason Lock put a lot of creative and practical hard work into ensuring that the Museum had eight films that would sit comfortably within the exhibition and have the right blend of fact and engaging visuals. There were a lot of contributors around the UK to direct, mountains of stock footage to view (along with the new raw footage) and of course deadlines!
Jason though is a good blend of director and producer. Strong on visuals he maybe but he is also organised, focused on the correct content being captured (which makes it easier for me as the editor to construct factually relevant pieces) and extremely good at working with crew, contributors and of course clients. Not something to be sniffed at and something to fill any curator with confidence. Starting as a photo-journalist and working in challenging scenarios for charities means Jason has incredibly good people skills whether those individuals be a CEO or someone socially vulnerable.
As the editor of these eight films again it was as ever a case of factual content vs creativity vs pace vs deadline. Imagine that each one of those factors is a side on a square. But you have to make that square a triangle. You have to lose one side don’t you? So one factor. You cannot have it all! So it comes back to how organised the director and producer are, how concise their idea and therefore footage is, how developed the script is (hopefully all signed off) and how onside the client is. Attention to detail, organisation and people skills.
I had to deal with a lot of stock footage on this particular film edit (From Sticky Tape to Nobel Prize), of differing sizes, formats and quality but I always found it fun creating a consistent palette of stock footage to use in the edit. As well as the interview, I had some extra special raw footage shot on 4K ,some of the original items that would be displayed in the exhibition. These were shot on a beyond 1:1 macro lens, for high magnification footage. The aim being to introduce Graphene and its associated elements as a surface of an alien world, with untold riches, before leading into the main piece. I hope that came through!
Graphene is all about the atom, so it made sense to go beyond macro! Though if you think about it by making the objects seem like landscapes you are shooting wide….go figure!
As an aside I will say this for being an editor on more factual based productions; once you have sat through a lot of interviews and footage you do get to learn a lot about the subject at hand. It really gets absorbed by the brain as you go through it over and over again. So if you want to learn something repetition is the key!
I will leave you with the trailer for the exhibition, also directed by Jason Lock and edited by myself. The exhibition will eventually go to London and then travel the world. Nice to have that exposure!