La Famiglia (The Family) - A Short Film by Jawad Mir
La Famiglia (The Family) - A Short Film by Jawad Mir - Behind the Scenes
Sometimes, you capture a couple's story by laying it in the actual context of its occurrence.
Other times, we lay it out against the backdrop of a fictional setting.
This fictional backdrop lends a strange authenticity to a couple's story. For while the story in and of itself may not be uncommon, its presentation is what defines it, sets it apart. And when presented as a culturally recognized plotline, that story becomes all the more memorable, fun, and ironically--unique.
That's precisely the manner in which we approached Justin and Kajal's story, and demonstrative of their mutual love of mafia films.
When they came in, I made it clear to both Justin and Kajal that whatever we end up doing as a concept film, it will take a huge commitment on their part which will include a lot of rehearsals, travelling and a # of days of filming. Once they agreed, we decided to figure out how to approach their story. In our discussions, one thing that stood out the most was their mutual interest in mafia films. They were a fan of everything from 'The Godfather' to 'Boardwalk Empire'. Justin's bedroom is draped in classic mafia film posters. So we took their story of how they actually met through friends at a restaurant and their interests and hobby and tossed that into a fictional setting. From the beginning, I wanted to give tribute to these classic films by tying them into the story and not being cheesy.
After the scripting stage, we did at least 2-3 rehearsal sessions with the lead actors involved and 1-2 with the rest. Like any production, the idea behind rehearsals of course to get things right before the production. Believe me that makes a big difference on production day. Because on that day, there are all these unexpected problems which did happen to us. Here are few ; while filming at Kelsey's for the opening scene, there was constant background refrigerator noise and it being restaurant, that couldn't be turned off. And then on top of that, we ended up getting just 2 hours to shoot the scene as oppose to 3 hours originally planned. 2 hours are decent, if you have one set up and rehearsals. But we had at least 4 set ups for coverage purposes. For each set up, lighting and make up needed to be adjusted and then making sure timing of actors entering is dot on for continuity sake.
So all in all for Day 1, the production lasted 6 hours, with 3 hours dedicated to b-roll footage (couple hanging out together). Add another 2 hours to make up:)
Day 2 lasted 8 hours. It started with Make Up by Huma's Bridals (who btw did a fantastic job) followed by 5 scenes. Originally we were planning to do only 4 scenes. The Pie scene was planned for another day at a BMW dealership but since that wasn't 100% go, I decided that we should film it just in case we can't access to other location. And guess what, it never worked out so we saved ourselves
Day 3 consisted of two final scenes all in one location. The fact that this was the third day and actors involved were used to screen direction, it flew by. We spent 2 hours in Bombay Bhel and wrapped it all up.
A special thanks goes out to Kelsey's, Bombay Bhel Thornhill and The Vig Law Professional Corporation for providing us with some key locations.
When we decided to tell this story, we knew it would be a challenge during the production. With so many different set ups, indoor and outdoor scenes, we wanted to use the right tools but in a limited way. Thanks to 'Cinevate' and 'Small HD' we were able to do that. We used Cinevate's Atlas 10, Pegasus, Durus Follow Focus and Cyclops during this film. Our original plan was to use Pegasus quite a bit for in door scenes and Atlas FLT for outdoor scenes. However, due to time constraints we ended up using Pegasus a lot less than we had anticipated. Not because it wasn't a good enough tool to work with but more so due production hurdles. We also used Cinevate's Durus Follow Focus with 15mm rails. It's one of the most versatile Follow Focus on the market. While some may argue that Cinevate's Cyclops is not a great viewfinder due to it's size, I would disagree. For us, it has been a great tool as it allows you to give a full perspective with both of your eyes instead of one.
When deciding to use a monitor, SmallHD was the obvious choice. In my view they make the best DSLR Monitors. Again we utilized this for indoor scenes while we stuck to Cyclops for most of the outdoor scenes. SmallHD 1280x720 resolution really made our life a lot easier on the set. In the web design world, there is a term WSYWIG. What you see is What you get. And that's the bottom line for SmallHD.
Again thanks to everyone involved in the production, my crew who did a great job, Huma's Bridals for a marvellous job, the cast and of course our supporters who helped us made this film
Canon 5Ds, Canon 60Ds
35 f1.4, 50 f1.2, 85 f1.2, 135 f2.0, 70-200 f2.8
Cinevate Atlas 10 FLT
Cinevate Pegasus Table Dolly
Cinevate Durus Follow Focus
Small HD DP6