The shoot on Tuesday turned out well. But wow, it’s been a while since I’ve produced and directed anything completely from scratch. As I mentioned, writing the script wasn’t exactly a quick and disciplined process. Nor was it done with much time to really plan the shoot as well as I would have liked. No, I finished writing the final draft of the script at around 7:30am the morning of the shoot. I spent the next hour storyboarding as much as I could (which ended up being about half the script), and then charged through getting the apartment and equipment set up for the shoot. And by equipment, I mean camera and tri-pod; and a couple of old work lights…this is a no-budget production after all.
At 9:30am, my brother Blake (the lead in the film) arrived, followed by my friend, Chris who offered to help out any way he could. When I went to actually print out the script, my printer decided to stop working. It printed out one page of the script, followed by a page missing random lines and half-lines of text, followed by white sheets of paper. I switched cartridges, but it did nothing. The cartridge had ink, the printer head was moving across the page, but all I received was blank paper. Not wanted to waste too much time, I decided to shoot off of my storyboards (which as you’ll recall is only half complete).
We got off to something of a slow start (which was entirely my fault – a result of not being in the habit of running a shoot), but eventually we got a good pace going. Chris had to leave halfway through the shoot; but just before he left, my friend Allison was able to come over to help out. Their help was indispensable. Of course the fun part of the shoot came when I ran out of storyboards. I would periodically check the script on my computer to make sure I was still on track, but for the most part the second half of the film was shot completely from the hip. You’ll have to let me know if you can tell.
I’ve already logged and imported all of the footage and I’m really excited about how some of the shots turned out. If nothing else, I know I’ve got a few good-looking shots that I’m proud of. I’ve got a lot of work to do on the sound as well as color-grading. Light was hard through most of the shoot. My apartment does not fill with natural light well (which is what I had been counting on) so I was constantly using a mixture of natural and tungsten light and only really felt like I got it right a couple of times. So, I’m counting on my ability to fix it in post (which is never a good thing to count on…seriously). I’m planning on shooting the title sequence this weekend as well as some foley sound; and then it’s all about the editing.
All in all, the day went well. I was able to shoot the script with a fair amount of coverage, dive head-first back into production, and have fun at the same time. Shooting this film gave me a lot to think about and remember going into the production of the next one. Namely, how I plan and organize the schedule and shoot beforehand.
Stay tuned for the completed film in just under a week.