With me, when I come up with an idea, and start to develop it in my head, it often becomes a bit of a temporary obsession, and no matter how difficult or complicated it may be to produce, if there is the slightest possibility of me making it, then I will try. As we’ve seen already, this can often be problematic for me – let’s just look at The Paradox once again. A 14 year old trying to create a sci-fi trailer with a basic video camera – and only a basic video camera – was not a very realistic ambition. However as I discovered afterwards, there were other ways around the sci-fi problem rather than just using make-up; but because I hadn’t bothered to do any research beforehand and rushed straight into filming, the result was nowhere near as good as it could’ve been; but I learn from it, and going into this project I wasn’t going to make the same mistakes again.
Sitting in the school sixth form centre every morning, squashed on a bench with far too many people on it and surrounded by mates, I sometimes find myself thinking that actually the humour and the comedy could easily be a part of a sitcom. So when the brief I was given was to create a TV show aimed at 15-35 year olds, I instantly thought of the comedy set in a school idea that I’d had lurking in the back of my head for quite some time now. However, with recent shows such as The Inbetweeners and Big School being huge hits with the British public, my show needed an original twist on the basic school comedy formula – this is where my research kicked in. I am massive fan of the one-series-only mockumentary Come Fly with Me, and so were a lot of my friends; so one day during the planning stages of my new production piece, while I was reminiscing with them about the funniest scenes from the show, I had the idea – why not make my programme a mockumentary? When I thought about it even more, when I also consider how big school-based documentaries such as Educating Yorkshire and Educating Essex were, combining this with the school comedy codes and conventions to create almost a parody of sorts would interest a keen target audience that fits the brief given to me.
As I’m sure you’ll realise when I upload products in the future that are currently in the production pipeline, I’m am a huge fan of Pink Floyd – in my opinion they are the best band to have ever lived. At the time of making this project my infatuation with them was still only just at its beginning, and the only CD I owned at this point was a greatest hits compilation. One of the songs on there was the classic rebel anthem and their only number one hit ‘Another Brick in the Wall’. Listening to the song, it seemed like the perfect choice to use as both the theme tune and as the name of the show. This synergy effect would not only cause audiences to think of one product when they think of the other, but it would also create a nostalgia effect for the older range of the audience reminding them of their school days. It certainly struck a chord with my mum; when she heard it again she started reminiscing about the time she got the song on single in her Christmas stocking. The other reason I picked the song was because the song has a short prequel, ‘The Happiest Days of Our Lives’, which I could then use as the music for the pre-titles sequence. This would mean that the pre-titles music would flow into the opening credits music without me having to do any shoddy attempts at sound mixing (not my strong point!).
Being a student at a secondary school, it wasn’t exactly hard finding a location for filming; but trying to find people who were not only willing to be in the video but also had the time to was going to prove more difficult. Television production is all about having the right contacts – no contacts, no job – thankfully, I had the email address of every student and every member of staff at my fingertips which meant that the likelihood of finding four teachers and a couple of students interested in being filmed was now higher than it would’ve been without. After seeing multiple end of year videos that featured members of staff fooling around and being a bit silly, I was hopeful they’d be up for doing the same in mine; so after sending an email out to every staff member in school, it turned out a few of them were. Never before had I worked with so many people on one project, especially with some people who usually I’d have to listen to who were now listening to me! However it must be said that everyone put up with me and the ridiculous things I put them through really well and I am extremely grateful to them all, they were brilliant to work with. A special shoutout to my friend Amy Seymour who had particularly a lot to do, because without her I wouldn’t have been able to complete any of it. As you would’ve seen scrolling down, the magazine cover and article I made to go along with the video are there for you to read while the opening titles themselves are posted below for your enjoyment…