Senior Short Action Film - Advice Needed at

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Old March 27th, 2009, 11:59 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Knoxville, TN
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Senior Short Action Film - Advice Needed

Afternoon Guys,

An opportunity just arose for me to work with a great team of Airsoft guys here in Johnson City. At first it was a chance for me to go and shoot B-Roll to use in any future projects, but after a continuous discussion, we decided to take the chance on trying a short. The airsoft team has a great core group of guys who have a passion for their sport (and a ton of realistic equipment). We were also blessed in obtaining two fantastic location. Location #1 is a 75 acre paint ball wooded field with trails, bunkers, and all the military goodies. For this location, we are hoping to have at least two difference camera crews for the fighting sequence. Location #2 is a 1,500 sq ft abandon and vintage old school house with 4 different classrooms. Our shoot is one week and two days (Sunday the 5th) from today.

Our problem is that we could only reserve the field from 9am to 12pm and the school room from 2:30pm to 6pm. I do have some experience and running and gunning, but I feel this will be the biggest challenge for all of us.

The other challenge is that I have never filmed an action sequence. The closest project (that we have created) to that genre is a promotional video for a water tag game, called Gotcha (Gotcha 09 on Vimeo). I seek to add cinematic value to anything I produce - for what the equipment we have. I know it's entirely a different monster, but I know my crew is ready for anything.

Our equipment is pretty poor considering we're still college students. We have two hv20's, tripods, and one glide cam (no vest or arm), one ME66, one MKE 400 (small hot shoe mic). I own one lowel pro light and one arri 150.

I guess my question is, is there any suggestions, ideas or techniques I need to know about this genre or anyone with past experience to lend some advice. Or is this even doable within our short time frame, or advice from other's experience with running and gunning.
Cinematographer & Film Director @ FPC
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Old March 27th, 2009, 10:09 PM   #2
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Real or staged game ?


My first thought is, if this is a real game, you'll be giving away player positions as the cameraman follows players while they try to sneak up on the enemy. I don't know how you're going to get around that. Maybe just shoot in open areas where everyone already knows where everyone is?

My second thought is that you don't have much lighting equipment. You might consider going to the hardware store and picking up several reflector floodlights, then put 75 watt bulbs in them and point them at the ceilings, to establish a base level of illumination. I'm assuming there is AC power at this location, right?

One more thought; is this a dusty environment, and will you be recording to tape? If so, you might try wrapping the camcorder in plastic, to keep dust from getting into the tape transport mechanism. In any case, be sure to put a UV filter over the lens, to protect it from stray paintballs.

Other than that, have a blast!
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Old March 27th, 2009, 11:29 PM   #3
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We were able to reserve the field before they start the games. So we will be controlling all the action and setting up the shots. We plan on rehearsing the first battle scene and then shooting it from American's POV and finally running it again while shooting from the Terrorist POV. After that, we have the ending scene which we plan on doing the same pattern.

Our second location does have AC outlets and fluorescent lights for ceiling lights, they are old and I really don't know what color temperature they are (actually, I don't even know how to find out). If I can get that information, I would be able to buy a color temp gel to even out my two tungsten lights (if needed be). Another light that we are using in the film is two work lights on a construction stand. It's kinda the typical terrorist holding a hostage and reading to the camera. To keep this effect, we are going to show these lights beside the camera. Would I need to color balance these halogen lights.

The environment is rather clean, so I believe we should be fine shooting at is. The building is part of our cafeteria, so it's reasonable well kept, just unused.

Thanks for your input.
Cinematographer & Film Director @ FPC
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