March 30, 2010

Crazy Film Shoot - Somehow it worked

I finally took Film Production 1 from the University of Utah. I've been meaning to take this class for years but I just never got around to it. However the years of knowing that I would eventually take this class gave me a long time to think of a concept and know exactly how I wanted it to turn out.

As soon as I enrolled in the class I began pre-production. I gathered my contacts, finally wrote a script and began planning and scheduling. I blocked out three days in March to shoot in four separate locations. The first were both in Salt Lake and both took place on the same day. The second day was in Ogden and the third day was in Park City. Wow.

The story revolves around a young Soldier leaving his woman behind to fight for his country during World War One. Therefore I needed period looking locations, costumes and props, all of which were sourced from very nice people, made in my garage or in the worst case, rented. I spent two weeks before the shoot running all over the valley making sure I had everything I needed for the pivotal three days and eventually amassed a small warehouse's worth of items in my basement.

When the shooting day came I was ready. The first day went off so well that we were wrapped with our first location 2 hours early and wrapped with our second an hour early. That was especially nice because the crew and I got to go back to my house and view the rushes and make some important notes. The second day got off to a slow start but once again went completely smoothly. I ended up cutting shots from my shot list because I thought we wouldn't have enough time but we got done so early that I got to put them back in! That never happens in film. If I keep scheduling like that I'll have a job for the rest of my life.

The third day was met with and unfortunate lack of a Jib that I was supposed to rent but it turned out okay anyway. We got done 2 hours early which was good because with the reflective snow in Park City everyone got sunburned, if we had stayed any longer we'd all have cancer.

I then spent little pockets of time editing the film until finally last night I made a big push and managed to get a final version done before midnight (when it was due). I'm not completely satisfied with it yet but for purposes of the class it worked out just fine and the only real problems are very small.

Here are some screen grabs from the film. All ungraded currently but someday they'll have a look to them.

Awesome photographer extraordinaire Tom Fleming took some great behind the scenes photos. I encourage you check out his Flickr page to see them all.

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