29 Jun 2009

Hard to Port. Loose All Sails.

It was some time ago that we raised the anchor, and even further back that

29 Jun 2009

It was some time ago that we raised the anchor, and even further back that we shoved off from the dock. Yet even up till several weeks ago a solid shout would reached the the ears of those on that same dock…so to say it’s been a slow beginning. Creatively and economically. But guess what…

WE STAYED ON SCHEDULE!!

Yes, the production of Wine for Three went surprisingly well. It was amazing. We got in when we were slated to get in and we were only about 10 minutes behind getting out of the restaurant when we said we would. It was a very long day on the 17th of June, but it was worthwhile. Well over 50 shots (not takes, shots) in 15 hours, and almost all of them look great. (If you’re simply one of our friends reading this blog, yes, that’s impressive).

The shoot brought together a main cast of three, a crew of seven, and ten extras. We had only rehearsed the main cast once prior to the 15 hour shoot (we intended twice, but one of the three got stuck out of town and couldn’t come). Half of the extras came from the audition process, the other half we had never met. We also hadn’t met most of the crew before that morning, and that’s generally how things roll. Until you’ve got an established group, you’ve just kinda gotta take who you can get. Post to Craigslist and hope some half-way decent folks respond, and then hope that half of those half-way decent folks show up and know how to hold a boom-pole. Until you have a network, your only options are to gamble or to simply not play the game at all. Thankfully, our gamble paid off.

HOW DID WE DO IT?

Big “P” little “l” anning. Planning. We couldn’t have planned it better. Not so say we planned it well. After all, we had 70 shots (many of which required changes in the lighting set up) planned for one day. No, not necessarily a good plan, but a plan none the less, and we knew the plan and the cast and crew could see that we had a plan and that in itself is worth gold. The biggest difficulty, the largest challenge in pulling together a group of people is convincing them that you aren’t wasting their time. Below are four links to two of the main planning resources.

Call Sheet. Shot Sheet: Page 1; Page 2; Page 3

The shot sheet referenced line numbers on the script and these things, plus a good shot log and slate, were essential so that our crew, which had no incoming knowledge of the production, could keep pace with us. It worked pretty well. In student media and true indie productions (folks getting together on weekends to make something), the pre-production leg of the pre-pro-post triforce often gets a bad wrap and pushed to the side. It’s really not fun. It’s certainly not glamorous. It is neither quick nor easy. It is, obviously, unfortunately, quite essential.

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