Yolanda Idehen talks us through the skills she picked up while on the Creativity Works: Rushes course earlier this year, and how she put them to use

Yolanda says...

I am a recent Graphic Design graduate, but I’m more passionate about film, so when I found out about the Creativity Works: Rushes course I applied without question. This programme was the first time that I feel I’ve been given the space, support and encouragement to express my creativity. It was shocking to see the lack of BAME and women represented in a growing industry. I am grateful that programmes like Create Jobs are trying to open doors, and that I’m a part of that movement.

Post Production 101, The Brief, My Response

Our first trip was to Framestore, to learn about all the different roles and processes within post production and VFX; roles that I didn’t know existed. The following day, we were invited to the newly established Untold Studios to be given our brief: “What Do Young Londoners Care About?”. When I did a mind-map, the words that kept reappearing were ‘music’ and ‘identity’. As a music enthusiast, I’ve recently noticed the lack of documentation on British music genres that are referred to as Urban, such as Grime, Afro Swing and Afro Bashment. This separates the music from the culture it derives from, one of the consequences being the erasure of the genres’ origins. For instance: Grime and its link to Jamaican Toasting culture. Also, being born and bred in London with Nigerian (Benin) heritage, I felt this would be a good way to explore how dual identity has influenced music, and vice versa.

Pre Production

This week started off with learning how to storyboard, with Rosie and Tommy from Blackshuck Films. This process helped me navigate my narrative and turn it into an actual story. We did an exercise where we had to analyse our favourite music videos, assessing how they were edited, shot and graded. Understanding the elements that made the visuals engaging, gave me a better idea on finalising my key frames. The next workshop with Naana Orleans-Amissah was amazing because she not only educated us on the importance of storytelling & why we tell stories, but of the power it holds. An aspect of her advice was to make sure we use the following as guidelines:

  1. tell the story differently
  2. evoke emotions
  3. mood
  4. pace
  5. authenticity
  6. music
  7. an uncomfortable element
  8. surprise element

She also got us to dive deeper into our connection with the topic which would inevitably form the basis for our story. My topic being music and dual identity, I realised my connection to it was that music helped me cope and enjoy my dual identity. I used this connection as the basis for my interview questions. And then, Gus Hurdle Head of Production from Red Bull Media. He spoke to us about the importance of adapting to unplanned circumstances, for big things as he did such as a career change due (you turn from footballer to a production runner), or the weather (which matters on a shoot!)

Production

Production week was challenging due to sharing two gimbals and two audio recorders amongst 17 people, however it taught me the importance of being resourceful. Whilst spending two days at Tim & Barry TV, we were given the opportunity to edit one of their ‘The Lift’ freestyle sessions. This was my introduction into the world of sound mixing and audio editing on Premiere Pro, which was amazing to see because my project is based on music. Understanding technical terms such as rushes, montage, stills and so on gave me an idea on how I would shoot.

I went to Brixton Market (due to its historic cultural importance in African-Caribbean culture) to shoot visuals for my montage as well as to set the scene. My aim was to capture cultural references such as the Rasta colours, Ankara (West African prints), yams, plantains and so on. I applied Dubheasa and Ayumi’s advice on how to use the gimbal, angling and framing in order to capture the essence when I filmed my sister dancing.

Post Production

During the final week, I focused on grading, sound mixing and editing techniques. Using lessons from Tim & Barry TV, I was able to find a balance with the audio and soundtrack, making sure that one didn’t overwhelm the other. I have always loved visuals that encompass a homemade element due to the grading - so I applied this to my visuals using Premiere Pro, with the help of Rosie & Tommie from Blackshuck Films.

Screening

I couldn’t believe that the first screening I would attend would be mine! Hosted at Untold Studios, it was amazing to see professionals in the industry take the time to watch and give feedback on our trailers. I was able to stand up and present a summary for my trailer due to the prep session by Will Worsdell from The Park.

I’m grateful for the Create Jobs team, especially Fran, for providing this opportunity and taking us to spaces we wouldn’t normally have had access to.

Follow Yolanda on Instagram here at @yolanda.osas, and on Vimeo here. And watch all of the Rushes films below:


Photography by Aidan Isik

You can read more about the Creativity Works: Rushes course here.