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Techniques for Independent Production
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Old October 24th, 2005, 09:48 AM   #1
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The diem has been carped

Well, yesterday I finished principal photography on my first film. This was a one day shoot. My challenges were:

The lead actor called late the night before to say he would be late due to a re-shoot on a feature he had done at Universal (which is about an hours drive from our location).

One of the other actors had to leave the set by 1:00 PM.

After shooting around the lead actor we reached a point where we could do no more wouthout the lead. So after about an hour waiting, milling around, telling jokes, eating etc. someone suggested that one of the crew try their hand at the role. The person in question very clearly had the look - And as it turns out could act to boot.

So we jumped back in with both feet and got all of the shots for the actor that had to leave by 1:00 PM at which time the catered lunch arrived.

After lunch was done, we finished the day and got all of our shots before we lost the light (this was all exteriors).

What did I learn from this shoot as my first experience?

I was prepared and it paid off in spades. I was actually over prepared. I brought grip equipment that would handle any contingency and ended up using very little of it as the light was mostly in our favor. But I was ready had it not been.

All of the numerous rehearsals that I did with my sound guy and my DP made a huge difference as did the single day full crew rehearsal. Setups were fast, people knew what to do and where to be.

I had NO surprises on the set other then the issue with the lead actor. All of the equipment performed flawlessly even though I brought backups of everything in case of a failure.

We were able to move from setup to setup very quickly. It was well organized and well planned and that is to be blamed in large part on my producer.

Everyone had a great time. It was a very relaxed atmosphere on the set and at times we had to make a concerted effort to settle and get everyone to stop laughing so that we could get a take.

Today, I am tired, but pleased. 3 months after starting down this road, I now find myself in post. Having read all of the horror stories about people not being prepared I was making an effort to ensure that I learned from their mistakes.

Special thanks to all of the folks on here who have answered all of my dumb questions. You all have contributed to the success of this day as well.
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Old October 30th, 2005, 11:14 AM   #2
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Well, I have a rough cut of my 3 minute short. If anyone would like to see it, PM me and I will link you to it. I have a number of shots I am going to re-do, and the music is not done (so I have some temp music in it), but I would like to hear opinions. Bearing in mind this is my very first time doing this :)

I can't link to it here because:

A. It's on my server and 50 people DLing it will choke my DSL

B. I do not have the rights to the temp music.
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Old October 30th, 2005, 12:17 PM   #3
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Ahh, the first shoot, I remember mine. It was hectic, disorganized, nightmarish, but fun overall. That was 10 years ago (!) and it seems pretty universal for all first-time filmmakers.

heath
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Old October 30th, 2005, 07:55 PM   #4
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"Nightmarish but fun", yep, that sums it up for mine just finished editing last friday. :D
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Old October 30th, 2005, 08:01 PM   #5
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It took me a while, but I finally realized one of the most important things of all with making movies: organization and extensive planning and scheduling. Be organized, plan ahead and have a good, flexible schedule.

heath
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Old October 30th, 2005, 08:34 PM   #6
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I'll host it for you. And I'd like to see it too! Email me a link for me to download it.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 07:30 AM   #7
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Congrats on your first!

Now it's time to enjoy the relatively less stressfull post production.
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