Watch ‘I Seek Refuge’ here:


Final Cut & Editing

Since October when I started scribbling down ideas in my notepad, on my phone, the back of my hand at one point, I’ve been worried about editing. 

After countless filming fails, I was happy with my footage. If it were up to me, I would have travelled to Syria to get footage from Aleppo but speaking to Syrian refugees living in the UK was the more appropriate choice. 

Editing has been stressful. There’s no sugarcoating it. I’ve had sleepless nights where I can’t rest until I’ve selected the right clip from my seven hours worth of footage. Editing isn’t my strongest skill. I’ve always struggled because I can’t keep up with all the steps. 

My notes are full of detailed steps that sometimes take me a while to put into context:


Ripple and roll –

Nest – makes several clips into one sequence as individual bits – control and see and drag onto master (cmd & m)

Presets – check folder on SD – AVCDH

HDV – high def 

4K – ultra definition 

To continue editing and close premiere:

Open new project – Adobe – all software is there – all projects are there – if default”

I had to let go of some of my more unrealistic ideas because it ended up being far more difficult than I realised. Editing audio to remove hisses or where I say “umm” took longer than I expected. It took all my patience and willpower to remain focused and continue pushing to edit the footage into a seamless story – all on my own.  

Finding parts of each story and piecing them together was so important as a documentarian in order to engage with viewers, to really make them think about the way they are influenced by the media to view refugees, to understand the situation better, and to question why they come to Europe without belittling their struggles. 

I’ve worked so hard, harder than I thought I could, and I’ve laughed in the face of programme malfunctions, when my laptop has crashed mid-edit and lost almost an hours worth of editing.

Rendering, exporting and uploading has taken 48 hours at a time. I’ve exported a total of 4 times and it’s been emotional. But now that it’s done, I’m so pleased with the documentary as a whole. The characters, music, and narrative sets it apart from conventional news reports on refugees. 

To all my friends and family, thank you for your patience. 

The link will be posted on Friday, I hope you all enjoy watching it. 

Filming Fails #1

I organised a meeting with Carriers of Hope for their Tuesday meeting (08/03/16) where up to a hundred migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are welcome to donations including food, bedding, toys and clothing.

I booked out a Canon 700D to film extra footage of the volunteers and when I arrived at the location, I noticed that my camera was dead. And there was no charger or replaceable battery. I panicked for about 10 minutes then I realised since I was already there, I should get a feel of the location so I’m better prepared for next week. I filmed on my iPhone and took pictures for my blog but it was disheartening to know that I could have been gathering vital footage instead of wandering around.

The following week (15/03/16), I took my friend with me to help me film. I didn’t need to spend time introducing myself since I had already done that last week and I went straight to filming. The location itself was made up of around three separate rooms, a kitchen and the Church and the footage was a brilliant reflection of the preparation that goes into organising donations for such a large turnout. After securing interviews with two asylum seekers, I was pleased with how the filming was going. However, the sound failed me this time instead of the camera so one of my interviews was completely muffled and irreparable. I don’t know what went wrong this time as I used a reporters microphone but in hindsight, the lighting could have been better and we had far too many interruptions since it was a busy morning. I also don’t think I would have used the footage in my documentary anyway as the interviewee had lived in the UK past the time period that I’m researching and interested in.

As a journalist, I try to look at various angles and try to think about what the viewers would like to see and I strive to set the perfect shot with great lighting and high-quality audio but it’s easier said than done.

Since overcoming these technical difficulties, I have taken time to book out equipment, practice and ensure I am comfortable with the kit before going to any filming locations. Advanced technology is great but also gives more room for error so I know that it’s inevitable that I’ll still face a few problems but I’ve handled both filming and sound issues already.

Documentary Timeline

The following is the projected production schedule for the documentary.

Stages Date Action
Pre-Production January 1st – mid February ·      Research

·      Data Collection

·      Scheduling appointments

·      Identify main characters and professionals

·      Planning interview questions

·      Identify main concepts and themes to be conveyed

Production 15th March – 8th April ·      Conducting interviews

·      Location scouting

.      Consent Forms

·      Gathering footage

·      Writing script

Post-Production April 4th – May 1st



May 1st

·      Transcribing interviews

·      Editing

·      Rough cut

·      Corrections

·      Final mix

·      Upload footage

·      Share on blog, Twitter and Facebook