Filming Adventures

Today I had a film shoot to film half of my short (which is due in class on Tuesday). With two actors and four crew members (including myself), we successfully filmed three scenes in four hours. Granted, they were the shortest (and easiest) scenes in the film, but it was still a success.

The entire short film is five scenes for a total run time of about seven minutes (though I hope to shorten it up a bit with editing), and tomorrow we are filming the last two scenes. Those last two are the most dramatic, so it’s probably good that we shot the others first, since this way my actors will have had the chance to rehearse and get to know each other before we shoot the intense argument moments.

Today was actually quite fun. The heat was a bit intense at times, running around on the hot pavement, but we managed to film that entire scene in the car in only two hours.

I’m sure we looked really comical out there. I’m perched on the car holding the camera, my butt wedged into the window. Kaleb is running backward, and we’re followed by another crew member taking notes on the start and stop times of each clip, etc.

We were filming out on a newly-paved (thankfully empty) parking lot, and we would film the entire scene with the car traveling at a crawl from south to north. Then when we got to the end of the scene (and pavement), we’d drive the car back to the start and film the scene again, still going from south to north. We had to do this at least ten or twelve times, since we needed to film the entire scene again each time I changed camera angles or shot lengths (medium shot = from the chest up, close up = just the face, etc). Because even though I have already drawn out on my storyboard how I want the story to look/piece together at the end, having the entire scene available in all different camera angles and shot sizes will give me more options as an editor. It was a long process to film, but hopefully worth it.

Overall, I think today was a success. I still need to look over the footage tonight though and make sure I have everything I want in order to edit those three scenes together (which I’m sure I do).

And then, tomorrow morning, we are filming a scene which was supposed to take place at a Salvation Army or Goodwill. I just needed it to take place somewhere where people buy baby clothes. But finally, after a gazillion phone calls, leaving way too many messages with random people, and basically hounding the daylights out of both companies, I was given the “Sorry, we aren’t able to do that.” Goodwill can’t do it because it’s a liability (understandable), and Salvation Army couldn’t do it on such short notice (though I’d like to point out that if they’d actually returned my phone calls when I started calling them a week ago, it wouldn’t have been short notice).

So my alternative? We’re having a garage sale! Not really. But I am creating what would look like a garage sale (to the untrained eye) in my front yard, and I’m having the two main characters show up to the garage sale looking for baby things. It is in no way as good as a clothing/thrift store. But it will have to do. I just hope some sweet old lady out on her Saturday-morning garage-sale route doesn’t try to stop by and buy my roommate’s grill. That could be bad.

Pictures from Today

So you can’t really tell from the photo, but the car is actually moving forward.
Kaleb is running backwards and looking in the camera’s viewfinder to make
sure the actors are staying in the frame, and my butt is wedged into the car window
so I can hold the camera steady to prevent wobble. Student filmmaking at its best.

P.J. and Brynne, my awesome actors.
Kyndal in the back seat, holding the boom mic.
Reviewing my storyboard and giving the actors a few more comments.
Kaleb using the big shiny reflective circle to block out
glaring sunlight on the actors faces (while also shading me
from the sun… who completely forgot to put on sunblock
when filming for hours in the pounding sun. Nice.)
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Filed under Filmmaking, Senior Year, SFPC

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