The Malta Mobility Project has been a success for all involved. I think the general group consensus is that it truly was a once in a lifetime experience. Of course there were mistakes that were made and lessons that could have been learnt, however that is to be expected from a project of this scale. However, I personally am fairly satisfied with the way that the experience went.
Our preproduction got underway on the 21/01/14 and our last meeting was 11/02/14, however pre-production was not finished until the day before we left for Malta. Generally, our pre-production work was tight. Our research manager Ellie, took charge of delegating who research which topics and although at first I was concerned with the amount of research that she had given herself, she managed to do it all in an extremely swift manner. It felt to me, however, that our research didn’t really need to be that in-depth. Many of the things that we had gone away and researched we then learned about on the tours that we went on. Whilst it was useful to have some contextual knowledge, and to be able to show that were not ignorant of Malta, and that we were trying to show how to correctly work in the industry, I feel as though going as deep with our research as we did was a waste of time.
We finally got to Malta on the 21/02/14 and we were greeted by Charles Theuma, the principal of St. Martin’s Institute and the first day was a free day to familiarise ourselves with the island and our hostel.
On 22/02/14, we went to St. Martin’s Institute and met the Maltese students that we would be working with for the next two weeks or so. In hindsight, connecting with the Maltese students earlier in the project via email, or even Skype would have made for a much better project. We could have identified which areas the students wanted to develop skills in and made sure that there were things for them to do in that area. Another issue was that some of the students were not fully informed what the project was going to be. This felt as though it was more of a miscommunication, however it led to the Maltese students sometimes not having anything to do. We also had all of our lectures on this day too. I feel as though this was good as it would have been much easier as opposed to having the lectures spread across the days.
The next two days were purely tours that took us to some of the best places in Malta. These included the ancient temples of Malta, where there is a deep history of man dating back to around 5200BC. Probably the most impressive place that we went to was the Grandmaster’s Palace. Not many people get to go to this place and so for this to be organised is quite incredible and is a testament to the organisation of the MarBOA project. We also got our brief from a representative from the MTA. I feel as though as a group we would have been better prepared if we had gotten the brief earlier. An earlier brief would have been better as we could have gotten a better idea of some of the things that should be in the final product. Having the brief when we started would also have been significantly better as we could have honed in our research instead of having it so broad. Our first production meeting with our new Maltese team members also went extremely well.
Over the next couple of days we experienced different aspects of Malta, including getting meeting the mayor of Valletta, probably one of the biggest honours on the trip.
I think one of the biggest problems with the Mobility Project was the effective use of the Maltese students. At times it the students had very little to do and it felt like they were fed up with waiting around. I think this was partly because the timing of the trip was wrong as they had their exams the following week. It is also partly because it felt as though the students weren’t that interested in film.
The trip to Gozo was an interesting experience and one that I fully enjoyed. It was odd as it felt as though Gozo was a break away from doing the production work in Malta, however it was an incredible experience. I think in the future a trip to Gozo or even Comino can be viewed as a chance to create a secondary product about the island itself. One of the problems was that at the time we visited Gozo, we had already decided and mapped out our product, so at times it felt as though the trip was more for recreation. However in terms of the cultural exchange, it was immeasurably valuable.
After we came back from Gozo we got into typical production mode, which unfortunately was a slight issue. During a production, the whole crew will not be involved in the actual filming of the product. This left the issue of that sometimes the rest of the crew had very little to do, which in turn is probably the reason as to why the Maltese students felt frustrated. This was rectified as Mr Dodzo began to find projects and other things for us to do, which, on reflection, should have been the initiative that the students took. However, for many of us, we did not consider branching out as we had the task at hand. If I could do it again, I would put more emphasis on doing secondary projects and exploring other avenues.
In terms of my group I think that we all worked extremely well. Our director, Connor Hickey was a very efficient director. He was sure and firm in what he wanted and took suggestions when necessary. Although at times he was overbearing and his decisions felt slightly brash, I feel that these actions were completely justified by his role as a director.
Our camera operator and editor, Laythan Jones, was also extremely efficient at his job. He is an extremely skilled camera operator and highly professional.
I believe I worked well with the fellow production manager, Jodie Hadley. When there was a job that was needed to be done, she would complete it with an incredible level of professionalism and with the level of urgency required. At times, there was not enough of work for the both of us, however Jodie managed to find another project to keep herself busy with.
Our project researcher, Eleanor Jordan, also worked very hard. During our time in England before we left for Malta, she led the researching very well, directing the areas that we should research, as well as taking in suggestions from the rest of the group. At times, however it felt as though she was giving herself too much work to do, although she managed to complete it on time.
In conclusion, the Malta Mobility Project can be regarded as a success. The Project was not without its flaws, however as Mr Dodzo said before we left, it truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity. For more information, please visit the Marboa blog: