Category Archives: SFPC

TGIF

Never have I been more grateful for a Friday. For the weekend. For a chance to breathe, sleep, and rejuvenate.

I’ve been dragging through this week, accomplishing the bare minimum, neglecting emails and phone calls and other important communications that really should have gotten done this week rather than next. Usually I’m not this bad. I can usually kick myself in the butt at some point, after days of dragging my feet, and force myself to get it done (even though that normally happens at 3 a.m. after a couple hours of blogging, web surfing, and other time-wasters).

But not this week. Nothing could compel me to check off those to-do items.

I’m losing motivation and quickly. Except for CCEW, I’m feeling remarkably uninspired. SFPC is becoming frustrating, since it doesn’t seem like people are wanting to take the initiative on production. Okay, that’s not true. There are at least three film shoots this weekend that I know of. That’s exciting. But somehow I feel like the club itself is losing its interesting edge, and I don’t know what to do about that.

And my motivation for school is officially zero. With the things that I’m applying for right now, none of them look at Fall 2010 grades. They’re all looking at previous grades. So maybe getting another B isn’t going to kill me… while clocking in less than 4 hours a night for an entire week probably will.

Things need to change. I need to get better at managing my time. And I need to prioritize. I need to sleep.

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Filed under CCEW, College Survival Guide, Senior Year, SFPC

Preparing for AFF

I leave for the Austin Film Festival TOMORROW! Tomorrow morning at 4 a.m., to be exact. Craziness.

My life is in chaos as I am trying to get everything done (papers, presentations, etc) before I leave town. I have three papers, a test, and a giant presentation on the Tuesday when I get back, but since I’ll be gone Thursday through Sunday (a HUGE chunk of my study/prep time), I’ve been trying to do as much work as possible before leaving.

All that work hasn’t left me a lot of time to get excited about the Austin Film Festival. But as soon as Thursday morning rolls around, I am whipping out that conference and film schedule and going to town with a highlighter. I heard that Blue Valentine will be playing (!!!!!), which I’m stoked about (note previous exclamation points) and definitely want to see again (was lucky enough to see it in Cannes).

Other films I’d love to see:
Black Swan
Conviction

And to me, the best part of the Austin Film Festival isn’t even the watching movies part (though that’s awesome). The best part is the conference element, which is screenwriting focused. Even though I don’t have any particular interest in screenwriting, I most definitely want to write in my future (be it novels, magazine articles, or short stories). So I’m really looking forward to going and feeling inspired to write more (fiction, that is).

Can’t wait!

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Filed under College Survival Guide, Senior Year, SFPC

Tuesday = Crazy

Today’s schedule is insane. I hope to still be alive when 10 p.m. rolls around. Wish me luck!

8:30-9:45 a.m. —  Finish editing short film (adjust audio levels). Burn to DVD.

9:45-10:30 a.m. — Revive tired, fuzzy brain with coffee. Cram last minute for test.

10:30-11:45 a.m. — Shakespeare Comedies and Histories Exam. Try not to die.

12:00-1:15 p.m. — Independent Cinema. Four page response paper due. Try not to fall asleep as mid-morning exhaustion sets in.

1:15-2:00 p.m. — Lunch. Breathe. Walk all the way across campus. Change into interview clothes.

2:00-2:30 p.m. — Luce Scholars Interview

2:30-3:00 p.m. — Put normal clothes back on. Walk all the way back across campus.

3:00-5:45 p.m. — Advanced Film Production. Short film due. Watch films in class and listen to comments from classmates.

6:00-8:00 p.m. — CCEW class. Be inspired by speaker.

8:00-10:00 p.m. — Inspiration replaced with discouragement. Struggle to hold head above water during team meeting. Wish I had had more time this weekend to work on PR strategy. Hope team doesn’t hate me for my lack of preparation. Promise to work really hard before Thursday’s meeting.

10:00-11:00 p.m. — Go home. Answer SFPC emails. Fill out SFPC paperwork for upcoming Austin trip.

11:00 p.m. — Pass out and never wake up again. Ever.

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Filed under CCEW, College Survival Guide, Senior Year, SFPC

SFPC in the OUDaily

The Student Film Production Club hosted a 24-Hour Film Blitz this weekend, and an article about the event was written for the OU Daily, our campus paper.

Check it out!
http://oudaily.com/news/2010/oct/11/film-blitz-requires-fast-paced-filmmaking/

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Filed under Filmmaking, SFPC

That’s a Wrap!

Today was the last day of filming. Overall, I think we logged about eight hours of filming for a seven minute short film… not bad!

We filmed outside on my back “patio” (the empty space where there should be a fire pit… the one and only time I’ve been grateful that our landlord hasn’t built it yet), where I set up a garage sale using things pulled from my house. I borrowed a clothing rack from a friend (so random and perfect that they had one), and I put my bike and my roommate’s grill up “for sale.” I also used a couple old boxes of clothes that need to go to Goodwill, and a ton of odds and ends from around the house. It probably took me collectively half an hour to find all that stuff (and then put it away later). But in the end, I think it was a pretty good-looking garage sale.

Filming outside is always a challenge, because the weather can be so temperamental (especially in Oklahoma). At one point, there were ominous rain clouds rolling in from the northwest, and I thought we might have to finish shooting for the day. But things went our way, and the clouds continued on their merry way to the north of us.

We did, however, get a couple of those spontaneous rain sprinkles where it is sunny and warm, but still raining. The first time it happened, we grabbed the camera in a panic and ran for cover. After a hurried minute of putting away all our garage sale items, however, the clouds cleared. So much for that. It happened a couple more times, but when it happened again, we were ready to protect the camera with an umbrella (so we just sat there and waited the 30 seconds for the sky to clear again).

On top of the filming challenges, today was also the most intense day for the actors as far as performances go. There was some yelling and crying and throwing things around, and I couldn’t be happier with their performances. So happy.

I am going to edit a rough draft of the film tonight and then let it simmer. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll look over it again and tweak it, and then it’s burn time. Then class on Tuesday, where I’ll turn in the film, storyboard, script, shot list, production log, and a short paper explaining a bunch of stuff. Lots to do (and remember to bring to class).

But overall, I’m really happy with the way everything went. I don’t how the footage looks yet (still hunting around for a mini-USB to transfer the footage), but I’m optimistic.

Mid-action shot, knocking over the dollhouse.
Kaleb blocking out the sunlight on Kyndal’s face (our garage sale owner)…
“You’re gonna have to pay for that.”
Some more action shots
Waiting for the train to pass. SO. LOUD.
There were so many different shots in this scene.
(Also, please admire the pretty camera)

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Filed under Filmmaking, Senior Year, SFPC

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

Sooooo Funny

I think the Student Film Production Club needs to start a YouTube channel and start uploading our short films, like Vancouver Film School does. Most of us don’t do animation (I know of only one who does), but the idea of having one place for all our projects is such a great idea.
Oh, and this video is hilarious.

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