Wednesday 15 September 2010

The Shoot - Day Three - 11.09.2010

Plenty of things to talk about - too many actually so I'll keep this strictly related to the shoot that happened Saturday just gone.

As mentioned in earlier blogs, the script is 27 pages long and 20 pages of that script was covered in the first weekend's shoot. Consequently, there's 7 pages remaining to shoot but they're all essentially stand alone scenes so they're not as easy to organise as the stuff with the leads was.

On Saturday, we shot the first of those scenes. Now, I won't go into specifics because I realise that I could just ruin the entire film (because it's hard for me to imagine that there's people that don't know this story inside out - how I'd love to see it with fresh eyes!) but this scene involved just one character who actually has a connection to the leads. Whilst I've thrown about 60 pictures from the shoot on flickr and Facebook - I've selected them carefully, we managed to take 120 photos that day. Some of them I didn't upload because they were too similar to ones that did go up, others just showed things that I didn't want people to see. So whilst a lot can be seen, there's a lot less than it might seem.

Anyway, we cast a guy called Blue Jigsaw for this character and the reason we cast him was his audition video. Apparently cameras were smashed recording it and I can totally see that! But, it was well worth it I think because the video stands out a mile. There was one other person that was under consideration for the character but I don't think this person appreciated the role for what it is and the enthusiasm wasn't there. I've asked Blue if I can get the video up on the YouTube channel - something I'll try and organise soon.

Blue went above and beyond the call of duty - he brought his own stage blood with him and a baseball bat (it was in the script before anyone wonders!) - it's nice to have actors contribute to the film. Makes me feel better about the film when others are putting their all into it and it will show in the finished product.

As also mentioned plenty of times previously, I'd storyboarded this scene as I knew it was going to be action heavy and didn't want a reprise of my mind blank that Sunday morning with the leads. You really do live and learn. We all felt that having the storyboards and following a specific shot list this time made shooting an action heavy scene very easy. So already, I'd say my ability to stage and shot an action scene has increased massively. I shot the whole scene with one camera but with the second camera just recording everything from a different angle so that I have coverage should an edit not work etc.

I mentioned storyboards though because a funny thing happened whilst shooting that affected the storyboards and indeed the script. Before we started filming a specific shot, Blue and I had a conversation about how we stage it because props could get damaged, props that we still need. After this, we went ahead and shot the scene. Blue did exactly what we'd discussed but somehow, the prop still managed to get destroyed. Destroyed in such a way that taping it up wouldn't work. When it happened, you could hear everyone go quiet as everyone came to the same realisation - we can't finish the scene now. When we looked at the situation though, it wasn't that severe, it just meant that I couldn't use two pages of storyboards now and would also have to reorder things. But there wasn't anything lost. I'd said this to Blue after the shoot, what happened could actually benefit the film as we haven't finished shooting yet. Knowing what we know now, we can go in and tweak the remaining scenes to play up what happens and make (hopefully) a good joke from it. You can totally benefit from problems!

The shoot took four and a half hours - this is for one page of script. That's how complicated it was. If I hadn't storyboarded the scene, I dread to think about what might have happened. I've started rough cutting this scene for two reasons - first reason being that as I followed the shot list in one camera, it really is just a matter of cutting the shots together and the second reason being, I wanted to see if I'd successfully translated storyboards to screen. And so far, it works. The slightly odd thing is, it's a lot longer than I thought it would be. We're a minute and a half in and probably only about a third of the way through the scene. Which is good in a way as it means there's a certain weight to it, not a blink and you'll miss it type thing.

I'm also cutting things now as I'm trying to sort a trailer out and figure it'll be a lot easier to cut one from already constructed footage. But a trailer will definitely look interesting - now that I have bits of the film cut together, its funny seeing the contrast between the stuff with the leads and now the stuff with Blue - I think it makes for a good tone. The film is definitely starting to look exactly like the kind of film I would watch - hopefully other people will want to as well!

Big thanks to Blue Jigsaw - you were great to work with and as mentioned, you really jumped into it, bringing your own stuff along, really did make me feel good knowing that you were that committed to it! It'll definitely come through in the finished product!

Again, Jenny and Wayne - we'll have this down to a fine art by the end of it (if it ever does end!).

And Paul Hart - for standing in the line of fire, almost literally - watching back the rushes I can safely say, only a f-ing brave man would sit where you sat, holding the scAIRcrow!

I'll put up a general blog in the next couple of days about where we are with things - it won't take as long as this to do, will be up Sunday at the latest. 'Til then!

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