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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Feeding the frame not hugging the skeleton

Mood: Calm and Curious

When you write a script you give birth. Like a kid you don't know if you will like it very much or at all but you will love it till the day you die.

I see a screenplay as a skeleton that we hold on to during the rehearsals. To teach each other about the world we are about to populate. But once the actors become the characters I loose sight of the skeleton. Muscle and tissue begin to form around it and a living entity becomes clear.

What's hard is that other writers and directors live and die by the script. That means that most actors are used to that style of directing. It takes a bit of effort to free actors to live in the moment, outside of the script. Now though I have learned a different problem. Sometime, for some actors...the moments aren't the same. That's great for theatre but you have to edit film. In fifteen years you would have thought I would have had this problem already but I haven't. I had to learn how to keep a stallion wild but to only run on the track. I'm finding right now for actors like this coverage is the key. You have a much better chance to match them up if you have multiple cameras, lol.

I have turned the shoot into a one camera shoot because it was speeding up the shoots. Now I am bouncing between. Tomorrow I shoot the big dramatic end to the film and it needs to be one of these scenes. Perfect cuts but full emotional range. I'm confident that this is working. The answer to every problem I come across as a director is "Be like water." If you don't bend you will break and take a bunch of people and a feature film with you....and what a disaster that would be.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

1 hour and 11 mins...I think it's gonna be done :)

Mood: Tired Optimization

So, on April 30th, I made what seemed like a rash decision to people around me and started another feature film. The year before I had written a screenplay for the sole purpose of being cost effective and create something between major budgets. Somehow after the first rehearsal for that screenplay an agent/manager found me and decided that they could could get budgets for not only that screenplay but multiple screenplays. I gave them a year.
Back to April 30th. I went ahead and cast the film. Started securing locations and on April 30th started shooting the 90 minute Horror feature,

"Ghost Hunted".

In a basement in Brooklyn, the cast of the hit show "Urban Ghost Hunters" are investigating reports of violent possessions and ghostly sightings. Barely settled in they quickly realize they are in trouble when their own personal demons start to show up. Will this team make it out of this lock up?

The shoot has been wild because I'm the only crew member who is on every shoot lol. That means they're days where I set up lights, do make up, set the cameras and check the sound. All before I have rehearsed the actors. It's been a trip. Also as I think I wrote before this cast would NEVER natural cross paths lol. Their schedules are amazingly opposite.

Some how though...we are almost done. 1 hour and 11 minutes out of 90 ain't to shabby. I'll take that for less than two months of shooting this. Let's see how long the last 19 mins will take lol.

Friday, June 3, 2011

1/3 ain't too shaby...still have an hour left though lol

So my new film has passed the 30 min mark or usable final footage. Not bad for about a month of shooting. Granted, shot in tiny, sparse moments. In two weeks there is a huge chunk about to be shot and that may bring us very close to the hour mark. At that point I will feel like their is no way we won't finish. That would be a great moment. I have never wanted to finish shooting so quickly. Not because I don't enjoy it and love this cast. But because with no budget there is a HUGE chance of not finishing this thing in a reasonable time.
Luckily we seem to be on pace and the footage looks great. I'll let out a small's a horror movie :)