I’ll do some shooting evaluations later on; the official poster will be up sometime tomorrow!
So, yesterday we shot for a good two hours and we’re pretty proud of the footage we got. We explored a creepy abandoned area and it was perfect for me to get in the right mindset for the scenes.
Today, me, the boys and Josh are heading over to Ridley Creek to shoot a couple of location shots, a few smalls scenes, and re-shoot one scene for the sake of continuity (because attention to detail is nice whenever you can get it).
There should be some pictures up sometime soon, along with maybe a video and hopefully the poster.
Niko is sending me different color schemes attached to one of the opening shots and it’s super exciting! Choices, choices.
P.S. The first official poster/still may be out soon!
So, Sunday marked our first official day of shooting! We shot from about 10 in the morning to around 8 at night, with a small lunch break in between. Natalie (Girl), Gnat (#2), Josh (#1), and Nora (Makeup/Costumes) graciously accompanied us as we dragged them to two main locations where we subsequently explored, planned, and shot for about ten hours (including travel time). There had been a chance of showers all day, but the weather was actually quite permitting throughout, with a little rain in the early hours giving the scenery a fittingly gloomy look.
Trying to focus on everything that you must take into account while setting up a shot or scene, let alone trying to keep everything else for the movie in mind, is quite tasking; it was extremely difficult to focus on every single scene when we knew we had so much to do. We had some battery problems later into the shoot, along with the eventual and inevitable issue of fading sunlight.
With all that being said, about more than half of the film was shot and I believe we are overall happy with what we have so far.
From an acting standpoint, it felt quite challenging for me to try to vary my facial expressions and body language over the ten-hour shoot when it came to shooting scenes of somewhat similar impact on my character. Shooting out of chronological order also caused some psychological challenges for me as an amateur actor when it came to trying to put myself in the right mindset for a scene. Thankfully, Josh, Natalie, and Gnat all held strong, which hopefully boosted my performance to some extent. Acting can be a very self-conscious activity, and I’m trying my best not to be the weak leak of the project. At the same time, I’m having loads and loads of fun working in front of, and behind, the camera and I look forward to continuing to try and improve my acting. Hearing the words, “Camera 1 ready, Camera 2?” “Camera 2, ready.” “Action!” make me both extremely happy and excited. It feels great just to be out there shooting something, especially something we’ve worked towards for months and months.
We are also extremely proud of how the costumes and makeup have come out. I won’t go into specifics for the sake of ambiguity, but they are pretty dang spooky and cool.
Overall, challenges were met, hours were spent, about eight Monster energy drinks were consumed, and it was a pretty good day of shooting.
P.S. I’ll be uploading some behind the scenes pictures from the shoot soon!
So, shooting was scheduled to begin Saturday but had to be pushed back for one simple yet crucial reason: costumes. As we drew closer to the day of shooting, we realized that all of the costumes needed were not, in fact, ready to go. So, we took Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as days to fully prepare costumes both conceptually and literally. We made a lot of progress and most, if not all should be ready for shooting next weekend. Though having to scratch previously made filming plans feels like a sort of defeat at first, devoting time to making the costumes much more satisfactory to our vision ultimately feels like a worthwhile venture. The plan, as of now, is still to shoot over two weekends, just spaced out differently than before.
We also finally purchased a steadycam on Amazon which Niko should hopefully have a few days to get used to before filming begins.
In the mean time, Niko should be uploading a video-log/behind the scenes ‘featurette’ of sorts sometime soon, along with some photographs, so look out for those!
Since our film is one without dialogue, there are certain shooting and acting techniques we will be looking to engage to achieve the same level of storytelling as—or at least a level running parallel to—our counterparts with dialogue.
For inspiration, I’ve been trying to watch films in my spare time which have a certain lack of dialogue, along with films that cleverly use music as a means of telling their story (see admittedly brief list below). Naturally, many films use music as a way of accompanying scenes, but there are certain films which do it in just a way that it really sticks. I’ve also asked the Director of Education at Bryn Mawr Film Institute (where I intern) to compile a list of suggested films, both silent and not, for me to study.
Additionally, I’ve been reading A History of Narrative Filmabout Sergei Eisenstein’s editing technique for his 1925 classic Battleship Potemkin, focusing on how editing can drastically change the emotional impact of a film on its viewers.
The first three films that come to mind are:
If you have any suggestions for other films I could watch, please feel free to shoot me an Ask!