Sunday, 1 December 2013

BFI Film Academy - November 30th 2013 (SHOOTING DAY!)

In the week before the shoot, I had finished 2 more drafts of the script, and received a lot of feedback from Rebecca through email. I'd spent a lot of time, and I was thrilled with my script.

So, quite understandably in my opinion, it was a bit disheartening when I arrived on the shooting day to find that nobody in the group had got chance to read the last draft. There wasn't a printer either. But, thanks to the magic of the internet, everyone could get Google Drive up on their smartphone and read it. Technology, eh?

We planned out how we were going to do things, and then the cast arrived and they were ... Noticeably different from the script. In the script, the two main characters had been middle-aged, and the actors were in their mid-teens. So, the group quickly got together a plot that made sense with the actors that we had available, which sort of completely changed the point of the script, but also sort of worked too. It was a bit of a shame that the story I'd written ended being changed so much, so I'm going to hold onto the script and hopefully make it one day.

Will had made a very rough shot-list, and we decided to first film the scenes with the car. This was my first time as cinematographer, and I think I did quite well. We struggled with the radio microphones, but eventually worked them out. Once this was done, we went to the Element office, and set to work shooting the rest of the film. And, would you believe it, they'd just started decorating. It seemed like someone was intentionally making the shoot difficult! We worked round this though, and filmed some good shots. We did film a lot of shots though. Probably a few too many for one person to edit in a day.

I learnt a fair bit about both writing and cinematography from this shoot. I learnt about the beauty of lens flares (Which are my new favourite thing. I'll just have to try and not get to the level of JJ Abrams!), and I learnt a trick for getting a good shot of a moving car - film it reversing away from the camera, and then reverse the footage! About writing, I learned the hard lesson that your script will inevitably get altered during shooting. Which is a shame. In future, I will make sure to be more vocal with things that I want in the film, and to discuss the story with the director in detail.

Whilst I enjoyed using the camera, I think that my heart lies with writing. Despite the end product being so vastly different to my original story, I still got to help create a story from scratch. And that was a good feeling.

Filmmaking rules!

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