Five hour night shoot. One primary service light. One handcam. No external audio. No camera operator. Total time of footage actually used after editing: 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
Just me and my BFF Katie Payne and for the sake of not having better words or enough sleep to think of any, We banged it Baby, totally banged it!
It was 10:30 PM yesterday when my long time friend/aspiring film actress KP and I plunged headlong into a dark and slightly nippy night shoot for the opening scene of one my feature films, Serial 65. I finally got to put into practice and try out some of the new techniques I've learned over the past couple months of hitting the film books hard and watching every tutorial and vlog about filmmaking posted on twitter and the like.
The shoot was a new and challenging experience for the both us, space in our location was tight and our crew was very limited, so we took on the roles of Director, DoP, gaffer, script supervisor (curse you hard to achieve continuity!) And oh yeah we acted in the dang thing too. :) I had a wrestling match with our lawn mower to achieve a much needed Medium Long Shot, lost a vital prop, only to find it 20 minutes later, recharged my video camera 3 times after it died and dropped the BattleStar Galactica F-bomb way more then I needed to after whacking my thumb on accident with a hammer. I gotta give Katie some props for sticking with me even after I tried without a whole lot of success to get a decent MS profile shot with both us in it. Needless to say without having a wide angle lens, couple with that fact that Katie is at least 4 inches shorter then I am it didn't work out all that well...but the funny thing is, I don't regret a single minute of that time we spent in my cramped tool shed.
It was crazy, it was long and we had zero caffeine (I know, shockhorror!), but that didn't stop us from yucking up a storm and enjoying all that we managed to accomplish. The highlight of my evening was those few precious moments when I looked over at the LCD screen on my camera and grinned like an idiot because I couldn't help but be proud of the way I had just framed the shot. Its those times that make the long process all worth it. When artist takes a glance at his work and realizes, "Wow, I did that with my own hands and it looks fantastic" Magic, pure magic my friends.
By the time 2:30 in the morning rolled around we were blitzed but still managing to smile below heavy eyelids. As we collapsed on the couch, too exhausted to even think about pulling out the two M. Knight movies I had set aside I'm pretty sure we shared the same thoughts. This is what its all about, indie filmmaking, you just do it. Love it. Lay all you've learned out on the table, shoot the darn thing well, and by golly, it might suck, but you take notes, learn from your mistakes, and the next go around will be even better. Nothing can be a more helpful teacher then experience.
I should be posting the rough cut of the scene either today or tomorrow, along with a pretty hilarious blooper reel and behind the scenes vid(which ended up being longer then the actual filmed scene, go figure)
My journey continues, with last night only being a small step toward my Senior Project and beyond, but every step counts, carrying me ever closer to my goal.
Not half bad for 2 minutes and 20 seconds.