Filming: The story so far…

Posted: December 11, 2010 in Media

Well so far I have sorted out a few roles within my trailer and some filming has taken place…so I’ll just summarise the previous few days and how the filming has been doing

Day 1

Well it unfortunately got off to a slow start. As previously mentioned I did ask a close friend to play the lead role (or one of them) In my trailer and she agreed. I chose her specifically because I think her personality is much suited to the character of Alice and I see her often at sixth form, which is useful because we can use spare time such as free lessons we share together to get some filming done.

Unfortunately with this character I have only one shot of so far…which is a bit disappointing as I need to get more shots of her done as soon as possible. I tried to start filming from this character from the beginning of the trailer (the first shot she’s in) and then will hopefully work my way through the rest of the shots she is required in. This way she will be able to get more enthusiastic and connected to my character as she will be able to see the journey the character goes through in the trailer (and to an extent the film itself).

Day 2

Well I took a camera home and decided I would get any shots done that didn’t require any specific characters or actresses/actors. I was quite happy with a lot of these shots as I managed to complete two possible POV shots of Jack’s house (my brother’s house) in the dark which I think looks quite effective and as my house and my brother’s is situated in the middle of nowhere (quite literally) I thought it looked nice surrounded by trees and overgrown plants/bushes and so I think, was a good location choice. Especially for a character who is as strange as Jack, as it represents to the audience how he distances himself from the people in the village within the film itself and therefore raises suspicion in the characters and the audience to some extent.

At home I also managed to persuade my mother to let my younger sister play the role as Ray (the young boy who is actually Jack’s lost innocence) as although I know she is the wrong gender, I think that because the shots required for Ray in the trailer are mostly extreme close-ups or POV shots this does not really matter. So, this was good news and meant that I was able to film most of the shots she was required for. I used my mother to be Jack (well Jack’s hand) and then my younger sister to be Ray (well Ray’s hand) and then filmed the shot that was supposed to be that of Jack saying goodbye to Ray and letting go of him which occurs later on in the film.

I also used my mother’s hand for Jack again in another shot, which is the one when he holds a lighter and lights it, which is later on at the end of the trailer as well.

I also achieved many different POV shots from when Kitty is being ‘inj*cted’ by dr*gs while being tortured by Jack. I did lots of shots and made the actor put red paint over their hands in some shots to try and connote the bloodshed within the film and make the audience wonder what is going on.

As I needed no actors/actresses for the final shot of the trailer I went outside and simply filmed it myself: I made sure there was enough natural light so as to see the object properly and pushed the swing in my back garden and filmed it. I think this looked very effective and rather creepy (also helping to represent how Jack’s childhood and innocence was lost) and I am considering putting this shot into black and white to make it appear more haunting and help show the audience it is part of or links to a character’s (Jack’s) past

Day 3

As I had the camera on my possession while actually at school, I had a free lesson and seized the opportunity to try and get some filming done. This day went very well as I asked a close friend (chosen because she also does Media and therefore understands how important the filming is for the subject) to play the role of Kitty within my trailer. In this day I got all of the shots I needed of her finished within the school- and having the location different to Jack’s house and other places I had filmed I think helps convey to the audience that the film itself takes place in more than one location (which most films do– and therefore makes it look more realistic and professional). I also made sure that the shots of Kitty actually located in the school didn’t give away that is was actually filmed within a school (such as temporarily taking down posters and making sure no teachers/pupils were in the shot) and therefore I think the shots worked well and made the shots look overall, less amateur.

(The highlighted pieces and arrows on the photo on the right shows where previously, school posters were up, but I took them down to make it look more professional)

I also got her to do lots of different trials of dialogue for each piece I wanted her to provide for my trailer. I explained what her character was going through, her motives for saying things etc so as to get the dialogue which would be most effective to put in my trailer.

Day 4

Well after asking my brother to provide the shots of Jack he finally did, and I managed to get one shot of his character, which was a POV shot (from Ray’s POV) as Jack walked towards his hiding place with a weapon in his hand.

Using innovative this I developed from the original picture I had in my mind and drew on my storyboard- which was that the character was looking through a crack in the door of the room they were hiding from Jack in. They’d spot Jack with a hammer, who’d in turn see the hiding character and walk slowly towards them. But upon filming I thought it might be a bit more interesting to change the weapon and location. So I instead placed the camera in a wardrobe and to be put at an angle so that it looks as though the character from whose POV it is lying down. Overall I thought this slight change of shot worked more as it looked more realistic and darker than just hiding in a room. I changed the weapon from what was originally a hammer to a screwdriver. I don’t know exactly why, but I think it was because hammers are quite conventional and I wanted to widen the boundaries a bit. I also thought the screwdriver could not only appear more menacing but also could be easily interpreted as something else- maybe the character who is hiding is paranoid that a character is going to kill them when in reality they are just doing some DIY? I know it’s quite a silly thought, but audiences could perhaps perceive it in this way so I need to keep an open mind…

Oh and here I also got a chance to pay an homage to a film 🙂 which I was very happy about. After reading the article ‘Creative filmmaking for the creatively challenged’ I was eager to try and include hints to films that have influenced me through objects such as posters etc in the background of my trailer. Luckily for me I have about five canvas’ containing pop-art style paintings of stills from the iconic film ‘Pulp Fiction’ which I deliberately placed in the background of this shot to show my love for the film itself as well as to get the audience’s attention and influence the mood (the fact the piece has a character holding a gun towards whoever looks at it could connote that the character who is hiding is about to become a victim and possibly get killed).

Day 5

We have a problem.

Well I have a problem and that is the fact that I am having difficulties with a certain and quite important actress who seems to not be taking my work seriously enough so as to take the time out to get the filming I need done. This is a very serious and irritating problem so I am left with two different resolutions: either have a talk with the actress and get her to see how important her role is within the trailer and why she needs to start taking it all a bit more seriously or the more drastic option: delete the shots she’s already included in  (well I say shots, but we have only gotten one of her done so far, which is why I initially was concerned at her attitude towards my work) and get another more willing actress to play her.

I’ll try and work this out as soon as possible as I believe this problem is really making my filming and work overall, suffer.

Will keep you posted.

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