Sometimes, when folks are down down down down down in the dumps, and none of the things they loved before can bring them up, and returning to a neutral state seems impossible, they release their stress by slowly destroying themselves and the people around them. Or they get a good nights rest, or pop a pill and everything’s fine.
I’d like to make a film about the former.
MUBI, baby, YOU GOT ME OR WHAT?!
WELL— the film is finally being shot. It’s been about 6 months since getting funded, about 2 months since being casted, and almost a month since principal photography was supposed to begin. We just finished our first day this past Tuesday, and will be getting the schedule for the rest of the shoot by tonight.
There is 7 more days left, and I plan to keep a journal going for each day. I’ve already posted to my site, but thought I could maybe get some feedback as to what sort of things people like to have addressed in production diaries. Any suggestions? There is a production photographer taking photos and videos on the side, so there’ll be more of that to come.
Is anyone interested in that? Or should I just keep to my site?
No, this is really cool information to know. I do not remember this thread from before, but go ahead and share your experiences.
Since the last post, I’ve been struggling to assemble a solid schedule. At first I thought I could lock a solid 8 day shoot, which proved to be too difficult/time consuming. Then I thought I could cut the days in half, and shoot over a slightly longer schedule (by about 2-3 days), which seemed to have made no difference. So I’ve settled on shooting ANYTHING I can, WHENEVER I can.
My main problem with scheduling this film is the sheer number of people who’s schedule need to work together. For a seven page script, there are 14 cast members and 12 locations. Beside the main character, the rest of the roles last between 1/8 to half a page. 6 of the locations are being shot at friends places, so those scenes need to abide by someones schedule as well (whereas the rest are going to be ‘stolen’).
Another factor preventing a smooth scheduling process is that everyone working on the film is doing this for free. Unless of course you count the copy/credit/meal the actors receive. Since folks have bills to pay, this film is very low on the list of priorities, and therefore rescheduling has been commonplace.
So with all this conflict I have been very prone to getting burnt out by the end of the day. I end up with all these people I have to reschedule, and end up putting it off until the next morning. I try not to do this, because of course it’s biting myself in the ass in the long run.
Thankfully there are other things I have on my plate that aren’t such…. horse work. I managed to get a make-up test done the other day, which really served as motivational fuel. Here’s a couple of pictures I took while Grace (the make-up artist) was working on Kylie (supporting character), prior to some slight changes.
@Stephen I love hearing stories about people trying their best to get their films made and showing them to people. Keep us updated. I took forward to your progress on your film and good luck.
We had our second day of shooting yesterday, and I’d say all went well. It was a wrap for one of the actors, and now the “opening sequence” is finished. I’ve been cutting the footage as we go, so the first 4 scenes of the film have equated to about 7 minutes. Now, I know that the rest of the scenes aren’t paced out the same way, and of course there is no absolute translation between script measurements and time on screen, BUT if this rate keeps up I’m going to have a 3 hour film on my hands. There are 25 scenes left, and I have NO idea how long they’re going to be. The script is only 7 pages, but I’ve realized there are a lot of classic “THE INDIANS TAKE THE FORT” scenes. Scenes that are described in a single sentence, that could take multiple days to shoot and end up as minutes on screen. And trust me, I’ve been extremely quick to cut things out. My last film went from a 25 minute cut to a 12 minute cut, so maybe it’s because I haven’t seen the full picture yet. I don’t know, this run time is becoming a strange looming notion. This is supposed to be a short film.
Because of time constraints, and generally just a means of being more clean, I avoided using make-up for a corpse. Instead I chose to do a digital make-up job to give the actor a dead look, which only requires masking and desaturation. Thankfully it’s a very subtle effect so I’m sure it will sell, it’s just going to be hell on my nerves when I’m rotoscoping those frames for hours on end. Here are some quick, sloppy tests I did in Photoshop this morning:
I’ve made a pocket-sized production diary that I can scribble my thoughts in and it’s helped a lot in deciding what I should include in these posts and on my blog. It’s easier to quickly write down these rough abstract thoughts and then type them out in a slightly more coherent way later. It’s also been a good motivational tool to see it’s pages being filled up, and it makes me think about the production more often.
We just shot again on Monday and Tuesday. Both days went really well, even though we were behind schedule for the most part. This is the first production I’ve done where the schedule was this loose. It’s worked out well though, and everyone is able to get right to work when we get together anyhow.
Both Monday and Tuesday had very intense scenes that made being on set very stressful. That definitely served as motivational fuel. I had to shake hands and hug at one point, just to relieve myself from the anxiety. It was a good anxiety, but it definitely proved to be a challenge to work through. I don’t wanna say exactly what happened in the scenes because I’d rather you just see it.
Again, I’ve already edited everything. I even managed to make the first teaser. Wish I had a bunch of production photos to share, but the sets have been tight and quick so I only have a couple on my phone. I can’t believe how close we are to finishing. I’d put my money on finishing before March, but there’s ONE scene that might need to wait. Otherwise, this film might be ready to ship to festivals by April.
Here’s the first teaser:
RADIOACTIVE – TEASER from Stephen_Scott_Day on Vimeo.
or the link to:
This past Tuesday and Wednesday we were scheduled to shoot. If we shot, we would have only had one last day ahead of us and principal photography would have been over. Instead, my lead text messages me a couple hours before shooting, “Stephen, I’m going to New York. I’ll be back in a week.”
Moments after hearing this, a bird shit on me.
So I have this week to kill. I should be working on a couple of things but can’t bring myself to. Though one really cool thing has happened.
Filmmaker Mdotstrange (http://mubi.com/films/we-are-the-strange) runs a pod cast with Jimmy Screamerclauz (http://mubi.com/films/where-the-dead-go-to-die) discussing “hardcore” independent film making. I was fortunate enough to be brought onto the show, and had a great time discussing the art and tech of film. It was very unreal to be interviewed by this person who I’ve known for so long only through his work. It really shook me up. ANYHOW—- I love hearing interviews with micro/no-budget filmmakers, so I know there’s gotta be someone out there who’ll dig this.
Also—- anyone here know a thing or two about film grants? I’ve looked into it a bit, but it seems like quite a few require you to be apart of some club or group.
Instead, my lead text messages me a couple hours before shooting, “Stephen, I’m going to New York. I’ll be back in a week.”
Sounds par for the course of no-budget filmmaking to me.
(although I have to say the last time I made a short movie with a cast, both non-actors were incredibly courteous and punctual about their schedule, even when I personally screwed a few things up)
Lack of punctuality being commonplace is no excuse, but I know what you’re saying—- which is why I haven’t been raving and screaming this whole time. Also I’m feeling a little more up to the work that I haven’t been able to “bring myself to”. I just needed a little time to chill.
Yes, and my past productions have gone very well as well. This is the first time I’ve had such issues with scheduling. And I admit I’ve dropped the ball once so far, so of course no one is perfect.
I think the main thing was this level of excitement I had, the anticipation of finishing a huge step in the films production. SO CLOSE.
Shooting started a little late today, but other than that everything went very well. I’ve been getting very frustrated managing the film, so shooting a physically intense scene proved to be very therapeutic for me. I had been anticipating working with this actor, Enzo Cellucci, so that was good too.
I’m pretty much done scheduling the film. It looks like there’s only 2 more days of shooting ahead of me and that’s it. I’ll be done with principal photography. Which pretty much means I’ll be done with the film. In case I didn’t already say this, I edit my footage on the day I get it. There’s always tweaking, I’ll probably sit on it for a month after it’s done before I cut the cord.
Anyhow, here’s the new, and probably last teaser:
RADIOACTIVE – TEASER #2 from Stephen_Scott_Day on Vimeo.
Can anyone tell me whats going on with the mubi garage? I’ve submitted a couple films and have yet to hear back about them, and they are not up yet. After a while I tried getting in touch with support, and haven’t heard back from them either. Has anyone had their films put up on mubi within the last couple months? I plan to put Radioactive on here, so I’d like to figure out what’s going on as soon as possible.
Films done. Been done. Submitted to a ton of festivals and will have to wait til October until I’ve heard back from all of them. I got together with the cast and some friends and we watched the film in a nice big theater, which felt like a nice ending to these past 8 or so months. Really excited to get working on something new, but it looks like my unemployed ass is going to have to join the work force before anything new can pop.
I documented a large portion of production into a little notebook I had, which I think might be interesting for some people to see. There’s still blank pages left in it, so I’ll probably refrain from putting it out until it’s “finished” (after festivals stuff). I wish there was a place where you could browse through directors notes, that’d be a very interesting and informative thing— I think.
As every film has gone, this one was no different in that I learned SO much only after completing it. I already feel about as detached from (and at same time, as one with) as I can possibly be, and am so anxious to get into the next project.
Is the GARAGE still active? As in, are new films being posted and I just don’t know where to look? Or has the content come to a halt? I can think of a few reasons why things seem so still around here, but can anyone shed some light on this?
“Or they get a good nights rest, or pop a pill and everything’s fine.”
That would also make a nice movie….
Yes, totally. And the combination of the two, and really anyone’s way of dealing with things. I’m sure this won’t be my last film about the way an individual deals with their anxiety, it’s something I’m very interested in (in the broadest sense).
To whoever lurks here—- Footage from ‘Radioactive’ is mixed into this compilation video. A look at my narrative work for the past few years.
FOLLOW THROUGH FILMS – SHOWREEL 2013 from Stephen_Scott_Day on Vimeo.
SO what in the world is going on with the Garage??
Over a year later and here it is. Played at a festival in my area, had a really shitty experience in which they delayed the screening many times, until they finally played it to an audience expecting a different film—- and then totally fucked the projection of the film up.
If you watch this, please share your thoughts, positive or negative— let’s hear it.
RADIOACTIVE from Stephen_Scott_Day on Vimeo.