Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Short film diary - Week 12...

I realise it's not the end of the week yet but as I'm going away for a few days tomorrow I'm pretty sure there won't be any further developments this week.

So last night was theoretically the very last shoot. There are a couple of pick-ups and effects shots still to be done, but we don't need any actors or a full crew for that. We filmed it here:

We'd kept it separate for a couple of reasons - 1) it needed to be shot in a location that wasn't anywhere near the other locations and 2) it needed a few extras. When I say a few extras, I'd kind of pictured having two. We ended up with ten. Eleven if you include the dog. Having that many people was ace and made it look more like a Manson family gathering than a Wiccan retreat, which was kind of the point.

There were two very simple scenes to shoot and they went really smoothly. The only potential issue was the light at the time of the evening as by the time we moved onto the second scene it was starting to get dark. In the end even that didn't prove to be too much of a problem and we shot more than enough footage to cover the scene.

So there's not much to write about really. There were no issues, the general public stayed out of our way for a change, the battery didn't run out at a crucial moment and the monkey was nowhere in sight (which he shouldn't have been).

I had mixed feelings about finishing the shoot. Part of me wanted to shout 'It's a wrap!' at the top of my voice and do a little dance while everyone cheered and fireworks went off. Then a title card reads 'Three months later...' and we cut to the screening and everyone talking about how awesome it is. Fade out, then captions appear one by one, explaining how we all went onto bigger and better things as a result.

I didn't say it. Not properly. It didn't feel right. I don't know if that's because I was worried about those next three months or however long we'll be in post production for. And I'm thinking it's not really finished yet and don't want to tempt fate so maybe that's why I didn't really want to officially declare it wrapped. But that's not it.

Reading this blog you would maybe think I would feel at least a little bit relieved that it was finally over. The shoot has been hard work and has completely taken over my life for the last four weeks. I'm definitely out of my comfort zone and am not used to organising that many people or being the person who is supposed to have all the answers (although most of the time I did have some kind of answer - I surprised myself there). I've not dealt particularly well with things not going the way they were supposed to, and though I think I've only ever taken it out on myself rather than other people that comes with its own problems. Attempting something like this while working full time has also been tough and it's kind of felt like being constantly stuck in traffic - there have been days when there has been so much I needed to get on with and all I've been able to do is make huge 'to do' lists to tackle in the evening. So I suppose it is a relief to be finished, but I was still reluctant to call it a wrap.

Despite the odd problem (and to be fair it's actually gone pretty smoothly compared to other shoots I've been involved with) I've never once regretted deciding to do it and for the most part I have really enjoyed the process. I've learnt a lot from the experience and worked with some amazingly talented people. My favourite moments have been the times I've looked over the camera to see a scene played out in real time that a few months ago only existed in my head. There have also been moments, mostly as a result of the two lead performances from Rosie and Lukas, when scenes have turned out so much better than I imagined them. And there have been moments where we've pulled off the insanely ambitious stuff like the dance sequence and the creature effects - things that I thought we'd end up compromising on. But those moments are on film now, and I'm looking forward to discovering more surprises in the editing. Hopefully they will mostly be good surprises. Not evil monkey surprises.

There are also a lot of things I'm going to miss. I'll miss the moment first thing in the morning when everyone has turned up and we've got the whole day ahead of us. I'll miss seeing the same people every week, because they are all awesome and cool people to spend time with. I'll miss the times I had a full cast and crew and it felt like a much bigger and more expensive production than it actually is. But I'll miss the quieter moments too, where we've been down to one or two actors and a couple of crew. I'll miss the moment a couple of days after the shoot when I stop stressing about monkeys in shot and things that may not have worked and realise that everyone did a really fantastic job and we got some great shots. I'll even miss writing about the filming here - I'm going to keep the diary up until we're done, but I can't promise it will be as interesting or will have as many photos. Unless you want to see photos of various people staring at a computer screen. Which I'm guessing you don't.

I suppose the real reason I was reluctant to declare it a wrap was that I didn't really want it to be over. But it has to be over. We need to move on, to editing and sound mixing and all that fun stuff. That way I might even get a finished film out of all this, which was the point to begin with. So I'm going to let myself say it.

It's a wrap.


Aut0pS33 said...

Looks like I tuned in at the right time?

Having lived in Brighton for 12 months from Dec 1996.

It was great to see some memorable sights.

It looks and reads at times like there was fun to be had.

Is that a 7D? I couldn't quite see.

Anyway, filmmaker to filmmaker.

Call it a wrap.

The Frequent Scribbler
Trying to build a habit of writing 22 days to go.

Chris Regan said...


Glad you enjoyed the blog and I'm happy to have reminded you of Brighton. Thanks for reading.

The camera is 5D.