How is you comin’ along, man? I’m taking advantage of your message asking about how shootingtheshortwent, so that I try to put in writing some thoughts about the whole experience before I fuggedaboutit.
So, let it be noted that this was the first time I shot a film and not held the camera myself. I worked with a professional DoP, which is to say a fellow who understands film grammar. I had a team of non-professional actors and production guys (producer, sound recordist, camera assistant).
Started to develop the story in January with the clear goal of writing a 15 minute film, located in my grandparents’ village in Romania. Without noticing at first, I actually starting pouring my own self over the plot: not-so-young-drifter-guy returns to his village after working for 3 years abroad with no plan on what to do next. Yet, neither his family nor the villagers know this and the guy’s not keen at all into breaking out the truth and shatter the people’s preconception about him: he’s loaded with money, back on a short vacation. The film’s called “Oneweekmaximumtwo” (cheekily spelled with no spaces) referring to the Guy’s random lies when asked how long will he be staying home.
Here’s some screenshots:
Trivia facts: all actors were on their first job. Youngest was 14, eldest was my grandma - 89. We shot for 3 and a half days. From 8 in the morning, till sunset, around 7. Here’s some pics from the shooting days:
What I’ve learned:
- Confidence is the key word. Actors, team, villagers, everybody asks questions. Even when I don’t know the answer, I have to say this with a calm clear confidence.
- I should have shot “glue shots”. I don’t know what “glue shots” are (calm clear confidence), but in retrospect, I feel that they are the shots between the shots, the sticky marmalade, the vibration that makes the illusion believable.
- I should have asked the actors to learn their lines by heart. My strategy was to calm their anxiety by telling them the exact opposite: “don’t worry, you only need to know the main idea, otherwise you can say whatever, you can improvise”.
- A classic: I should have cut the dialogue in half throughout the whole thing, and come-up with images that speak the lines.
Other than that, I’ve succesfully managed to pull an Indiegogo campaign, and managed to raise 1700 $ which helped with everything from food, to gas, to some salaries.
BONUS: we’ve made the regional newspaper, dude! 😀