For the month of December, I decided to do a holiday movie. Also, a few months ago, my friend Allison had challenged me with the idea of doing one of my short films in one complete take from start to finish. So I decided for this last film to try and do shoot the whole thing in one shot.
So this last Saturday I got together with Blake and Allison (who have been in number of my short films) along with Jenna and Derek, who served as production crew, to shoot it. We spent around two hours rehearsing the scene, getting all of the timing and everybody’s placement down so that when it came time to shoot, we wouldn’t have to do multiple takes. When you watch the film or look at the pictures on Flickr here, you’ll see that multiple full takes were very nearly impossible. That tree was dry and dropping needles like crazy and I knew that it only had so many drops and falls before it would be unusable. I knew that the tree could handle a couple falls, but I wasn’t so sure that it would survive being thrown out the door more then once. So the whole time we rolled, I was ready to call, “cut” at the slightest problem before we got to the point of no return that was the toss out the door.
In the end, both Blake and Allison did fantastic. We had to stop our first take about halfway through after the tree fell on Blake; but then once we got going on our second take, they played it to the end and that’s the one that you’ll see in the film.