I was originally going to make a short documentary for Blue but the man I was going to shoot backed out of the project last minute. So, I embarked on my incredible filming journey just 4 days before due date. I had no clue what I was about to be in for. I worked nonstop and finished two hours before it was due.
Here’s how it went:
I walked around the city contemplating the project listening to film scores on my iPhone. I started seeing images of a man holding his breath until he turned blue! I knew I had something but didn’t quite know what to make of it. I started writing the story and found myself struggling with connecting the dots. Didn’t want it to be an abstract nightmare for people to comprehend. I debated with the actor of the film until we came to a mutual agreement on how the story should unfold.
Planned a three hour shoot in the city with the actor and a one hour shoot at a park for the second scene. The actor showed up with ideas about how the film should have been shot which, by the way, was not in our original discussion. He wanted to bring surfing gear and a gift wrapped watch to the shoot and incorporate them into the film. “Kev…when did we talk about a watch?”,”well…it will help me emotionalize the script better.” At that point we were losing daylight and my blood sugar was low. We had yet to pick up my rented lenses from Glazers and rush hour was about to ensue. Plus…I had to meet my client 3 hours later. “Fine…let’s wrap the watch and hit the road. But you have to wear a suit!”
So, we picked up the lenses and reflector stand and went downtown to scout locations. Found the right street, set up the shot, and relief! First shot of the day in the can. I can now relax into the shoot and have fun. Too much fun, that is. I get every angle possible in slow motion and regular speed and forget I have a whole other scene to shoot.
So, I Make it to the park with the reflector. Wait…the lady at glazers forgot to pack it. Rush the shoot! Light is going down. Kevin is freezing and was about to pass out after holding his breath for an hour. Wrapped! We had hot coffee and burgers and headed home for an all night edit. Have to make the morning deadline of a rough cut for the composer and our recording session.
How did that go? Perfectionist editor equals a night of instant Foldger’s and donuts, cakes and pizza. Somewhere around 4am I was satisfied. One second over two minutes.
Woke up to a power strawberry smoothie and cheeseburgers and enjoyed the sun outside the recording studio for ten min before Sierra showed up, (a young talented violin player), ready to play for the next 4 hours. I showed her the rough cut in the studio and she didn’t know what to say. And “abstract nightmare” came to mind. The sounds that came out of her instrument as she watched the film were ominous- a subtle mix of classic and horror. I loved it! Sushi welcomed us after our session. Friday night was a “sound extravaganza”. I kept kevin up for hours recording sound effects and his gasping sounds (yes, he held his breath again for an hour).
Went to bed at 4am.
Woke up early to color grade. Colored for the entire day.
Coffee and pizza and pastries.
Rendering. Exporting. Finally finished! Minutes later I emailed the link to a wonderful Sarah Ferrier.
Thoughts? I abandoned my need to tell a story to explore. Trying to be “good” all the time can lead you into a corner. Always trying to impress people with the same old picture. I like these minute films because you can allow yourself to experiment and go way out there. Can always pull yourself back if you go too far. And you’ll have discovered a new landscape of awareness and understanding of humans and film you never had before. Great adventure 🙂