Sunday, July 16, 2017

Part 1 is Done (aka: Who Knew Kids Had Short Attention Spans?)

Part one of the craziest shoot I've ever done is in the can!
We managed to get nearly every shot needed -- some things had to get cut, however. But that's just  the way things go when time is ticking and you've got no budget.

We were on a 4 day schedule that went something like this:
Day 1) 9am-4pm.  Set-up the room. Hang posters, arrange chairs, check light levels... sharpen pencils with the worst pencil sharpener in Ohio.

(of course I didn't sharpen them, I'm the director, my job is to delegate, not sharpen pencils)

Day 2 & 3) 10-4pm approx.  Shooting, panicking, shooting some more.
Day 4) 10-3.  Clean-up: put the room back as we found it, leave no evidence!

Our first actual shoot day went by like a breeze. We were even a little ahead of schedule. 

That should've been a red flag.

Because once day 2 came, all bets were off!
Basically, we ran into all the same issues that any indie filmmaker does: No time, light changes, various things breaking or just going wrong, etc. 
However, all this was made 5 times worse by the fact that we were only able to shoot 6 hours for both days.
Why... KIDS, that's why. 

With such limited time (and of course, limited crew) I was forced to move as quickly as possible, only grabbing the most essential parts needed to tell the story.
So, in the end, I'm saddled with two extremes: shots that are absolute gems, and others that just don't work.
Naturally, I'm going to have to do the best with what I've got, and if it's one thing I've learned over the years of doing things by myself, it's how to "polish the poos." (-- insert image of super shiny bear of very little brain.)

Anyway, I'm working hard in post -- color correcting, compositing, all the usual.
But there's one new trick to add to my bag this time around: Split-Comping.
If you're not familiar with this concept, check out this link here.
I think it's going to be an incredibly useful, if not incredibly difficult, technique that I'll employ to try and fine-tune the performances of my child actors & extras.

I'll be moving forward with part 2 next month. Which means rehearsals, casting, a whole new location, and set decoration are all in the process as we speak.
So, it'll be another whirlwind week, and then a long, tedious time in After Effects for the rest of the month.


Monday, July 10, 2017

One Day Away From The Big Shoot & Teeth

Hey hey, everybody (I say this as though thousands read these ramblings).
Got some big news!
I'm going on location tomorrow to setup for the new short being filmed this Wednesday and Thursday!
And yes, I can even tell you what the title is:

This will be -- and I am aware that I say this every time, but it's always true -- the biggest thing I've tried to do to date.
Now, "big," I realize is a relative term. When I say 'big,' I don't mean big as in this kind of big. 
What I really mean is, 'big' in terms of how many people are involved, how much work it's been/going to be, and how many new things I'm having to learn just to make this happen.
This will be the first time I've every had to shoot with synch sound. 
It will be the first time I've ever had to shoot with child actors, or shoot a location that wasn't my house (or a friend's). 
Just like last time, this production will stretch the limits of what a few people and a shoestring budget can do -- maybe to the breaking point, who knows! Everyone keeps telling me they can't wait to see it, and frankly, neither can I.  It'll be just as much a surprise to me in the end.

It's interesting, well, I find it interesting -- that one could call this my No-Film-School-Film-School-Blog, as I've been chronicling my adventures in independent filmmaking for the past 8 years now.

Honestly... I don't really know where I was going with that tangent.... maybe I was going here.

Anyway, this film is gonna be (hopefully) really cool when it's done, and the date for release is most likely going to fall... somewhere in the fall. 
So, keep an eye out for it.
I will try to post as much as I can, without spoiling too much.
But in the meantime, here's some teeth!