Sunday, August 15, 2010

Principle Photography is a wrap

Well, we did it. A two man crew and two lead actors, we got the final key scenes in the bag. There will be a few pickups to be shot in the future, some tweaking to be done in post, but it's in the can.

Ok for a debrief, lets look at some of the problems faced. One: the production house where I hired the gear from was useless. Three times over the course of the film they failed to provide what I ordered. Mics weren't in the gear, lights used in some scenes were not on hand for the next shoot (when promised they would be), so the lighting was different, a mixture of 5.6K cold fluro banks and hot tungsten kit with CT gels thrown in to fix the problem. Workable but inefficient for the small crew requirements.

I arrived at their door at 8.55am awaiting their open time of 9am, to get the gear loaded in 10min and go straight to the shoot location (an hour away). The gear was not ready for pickup, 45 min was wasted as all bits of gear were organised, accounted for, discovered bits were missing (lights, mics) and reorganised. A discount was given, and the replacement gear was given for free also, but that was only barely acceptable, but due to time constraints, low budget, and overall exasperation, I moved on and got the job done.

Two. Communication. I missed a vital email telling me my highly experienced 1st AD was caught up in a family emergency (and it really was inescapable) and couldn't work on the film. So for that nightmare first day, I was down a crew member, no tapes, no mic. So my checklists, structure, and process was on the back foot immedietly. But we got through it. But communication needs to be improved, my own, and my checklists to minimise mistakes.

That was pretty much it, communication and getting the gear I paid for, not bad for a film that was written while I was in Shanghai, pulled together, cast, equipped and recast in under a week, and crewed by ultra minimal crew! Everyone was amazing, the way they pulled together on a film that they didn't get paid for, and worked their behinds off in freezing cold, covered in blood, gave up their weekends, filmed shot after shot, take after take, and created something amazing, well, hopefully, if I do my job right. Post production is approaching fast.

Thanks to Tim Murfin who played the upper class and insane 'Colonel' opposite Frankie, their scenes were quite disturbing and powerful!

Oh, did I mention that the day after the film had wrapped, I still had the camera gear and fresh HDV tapestock, and I drove two hours to a country town which was hosting a reunion of WWII veterans and grabbed interviews and overlay for another doco...yes, I took off and grabbed another opportunity for ANOTHER project, talked to key people, made contacts for more Department of Defence involvment, and yeah...I don't stop. Can't stop. Won't stop creating.

I've signed the contracts for Eskimo Joe's track and am now coming up with the money for the synch fee for the Redeemed trailer! Here goes!

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