My knee hurts.
Somehow in all the running to and fro between the location and our “trailer” (Steve’s house) I did something to it, and now it’s a bit swollen and painful to bend it. It’s particularly ironic since our volunteer stunt team spent two solid hours hurling each other into walls, kicking each other, lying in freezing puddles and – in one case – getting kicked in the head. And they all went home unscathed, I hope. They were fantastic, and we have some really brutal-looking footage for our fight scene. So much so that we’re planning to re-edit the mini-pilot to include this fight, because it won’t all fit in the trailer and it would be a travesty for no-one to see the whole choreographed sequence.
Our make-up artist Donna did an amazing job, travelling from London on short notice to do fairly extensive facial prosthetics. These were required for very brief shots, but ones which were wholly dependent on makeup for their impact. She had obviously spent some time working on these before the shoot and had even prepared some additional pieces just in case we needed them!
Our Director of Photography was forced to pull out a week before the shoot (one of the hazards of expenses-only projects) but we were saved by John, who stepped in with about 48 hours notice. I’m very glad he did, as his eye was invaluable, and his camerawork far better than mine.
So a big thank you to the entire cast and crew – everyone was enthusiastic, even though some spent most of their time waiting for something to do. And finally…thanks to Steve for producing this shoot himself.
Time to get cracking on the edit…
I’ve just spent half-an-hour going through the settings on the 5D we’ve hired for our Monsters pickup shoot. I had hoped to use the lenses from my wife’s 350D, but they don’t fit – the 5D has a monster mirror to go with the monster sensor, and EFS lenses are too deep to allow it to flip up!
So I had to hire a lens from their limited selection – most of the primes were out. I’ve got a 16-35, which goes from awesomely wide to…still pretty wide. I’ll have to get within a foot of the cast to get any close-ups, but the centrepiece of today’s shoot is a fight scene, which I’ll be shooting handheld, so the wide lens will minimise wobble. DSLRs are notoriously hard to hold still, but I’m used to a camcorder that weighs even less, so I have a few tricks that will help. I’m gonna be holding it out in front of me all day though, so by tonight my arms are going to be screaming. How I suffer for my art!
It’s a great camera though. Just tinkering indoors I can get a lovely soft bokeh behind the cats…if only they’d keep still. Looking forward to blocking out today’s shots. Spotted a couple of nice wide angles I want to use in an X-Files repeat last night, which was serendipitous.
I’d hoped to catch up with my making-of posts by now – particularly the previous Monsters shoot – but what the hell. I’ll post a report and some stills tomorrow anyway.
Under a week now to our Monsters pickup shoot on Saturday, and we’ve just lost our DoP, which is unfortunate. We’re just filming a handful of action scenes and dramatic reveals of characters who didn’t make the mini-pilot, which I’m looking forward to – should have time to experiment a bit with the blocking and framing, which is a nice luxury.
I’ll post more regularly in the run-up to and aftermath of this shoot. Not long to the deadline for the Trailer Festival!