Week 9: Preparing for Hollywood

Lights…camera…action…

Having written an action-packed and rather suspenseful script, now came the hard part – filming it! We booked the Swinburne camera gear and jotted “film shoot, 9am Saturday” into our diaries, and soon enough the big day arrived.

The location for the shoot was a dream for me because it was at my apartment (a good suggestion on my part I thought!)…not so good for Rob who had to travel all the way from Traralgon (well, he did choose to live there!), and Bird made his way across town to Footscray by the allotted time. I’d had a slight glitch the day before when arriving at Swinburne to collect the camera gear because the AV chaps had shot through. Jonathan went above and beyond when responding to my distress call and came back to uni to help me out, but alas I’d also shot through by then having decided to use my new DSLR for the job. Rob was bringing his Sony pro-cam that he’d never used before, so the question was would we sink or would we swim?

We loosely followed the script with a fair amount of creative licence, and spent a highly enjoyable three or four hours creating our masterpiece. Rob shot a few scenes with his Sony but for the most part was acting, plus his camera weighed a ton so I wasn’t keen to use it. Plus I love my Nikon so shot the lion’s share of the footage with that. I was very glad of my experience making another short film, “The Medusa Syndrome”, last year because it had taught me the importance of doing numerous takes of critical scenes from different angles to aid the editing process.

Bird and Rob seemed to enjoy their brief stints as Hollywood leading men and got nicely into character as assassin and prey respectively. They were responsive to direction and happy to repeat scenes when Lady Spielberg demanded it! I thought I was quite generous only making them run up and down the stairs a few times, but suspect they may have been spared by the arrival of our building cleaner to check that Rob wasn’t having a heart attack (he was panting like a champion and it echoed quite alarmingly in the stairwell!).

After all scenes had been shot I left the chaps to download the footage onto their various hard drives and memory sticks while I raced around the building grabbing sound effects on a digital sound recorder.

As I waved them off we all felt we’d had a great day and had some good footage to work with. Next steps – I’d cut the film into a cohesive piece on Premiere and they’d start working on some effects in AE.

Here we are shooting scene 2 in the hallway…

Rob filming scene 2
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