I just finished a 15 minute film in September but I decided I wanted to make another one ASAP.
Here’s a breakdown of how it went down:
I tweeted a joke and wrote a script based on the tweet.
Crew: Me, the AD, the AC and one PA.
Lighting package: A lamp with a bright bulb and no shade (pictured above). The outdoors seen through the double glass doors were filled with the existing practicals and a set of purple and orange holiday lights. I decided I only wanted to light with practicals to see what the camera could do. I wasn't disappointed.
Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
Lenses: 2 primes and an L-series zoom.
Sound: Rode shotgun mic mounted on the camera because someone (me) forgot to buy an XLR adapter to attach to the boom.
The script was 4 pages and the shooting schedule was from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. There were no rehearsals and I decided to withhold the script from the nonprofessional child actor until an hour before the shoot to keep her performance fresh and authentic. She surprised me when she learned her lines after going through the script only two times. I let her change her lines so that they could roll off her tongue more easily. The grown up role was played by a professional.
We didn’t actually start shooting until around 8:00 p.m. but we kept on going until 12:30 with no breaks. It wasn’t intentional. It just happened that way. I was afraid the kid would get cranky and give me a hard time, but surprisingly the crew deflated and she kept on going.
Post production lasted two weeks but it was mostly me thinking and trying to make editing and sound decisions and taking long, long breaks. The total running time is 5 minutes.
From inception to realization, the film took a month. I have never made a decision to shoot a film this fast. Once you decide to go, you must go go go and don’t stop. Make it work.
You can watch the film tomorrow here, on Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo.