'Common'

Dilek Osman, Creativity Works Film alumni, tells us how she helped create 'Common'

by Dilek Osman

As part of Creativity Works: Film, the participants were set the task of devising, directing and editing their own short film. ‘Common’ was one of the many fantastic films produced, and was screened at the graduation event to a room full of creative professionals.



In a world where people are quick to point out differences, we planned to show how important it is to reflect on even the smallest of thoughts, opinions and experiences we share, and focus on uniting. ‘Common’ is a short interview-style documentary celebrating these things.

We generated rough ideas for the documentary as a group, deciding on the style, amount of people interviewed, length, etc. We then decided on individual roles each of us would take.

A small amount of people in our group took the role in planning questions, keeping them quiet from the rest of the group in aim that answers would came more naturally when being interviewed. This worked well, as the breaks most interviewees took between being asked the question and answering the question, gave quite a ‘real’ sense to the short documentary. We all switched roles on the filming day to ensure everyone who wanted to, had a chance on camera’s, sound, clapper, etc.

I took the lead role in editing Common. I have always been a huge fan of the editing process as this is the part where the story is all put together and told, and I feel like I can really release my creativity. I’d never edited this kind of film before but I’m a huge fan of documentary filmmaking and wanted to take advantage of this experience. It was a lot of fun to edit, although pretty frustrating as there were so many great responses. I had to be really picky with what was included so the film wouldn’t be ridiculously long!

I firstly edited a version which was all the footage from just Camera A, looking face on to the interviewees, with no additional sound added. I then added footage from our B Cam and cut this into it. I started playing around with background music and sound effects to make the film more effective and interesting to watch. I rendered both versions so that the group could have access to both and use whichever they preferred.

I had a lot of fun editing the film and it’s definitely a style I would like to explore further in the near future. I think it came out quite well in the end and people’s responses are definitely interesting to listen to, showing a whole range of emotions being expressed as questions were being answered.