Fiction Project – Blog 2

Post 2 should look at how the practical process of making your project has influenced the final outcome: what have you learnt about the production process that will allow you to better realise your ideas in the future?

Our production process had a few hiccups along the way, but mainly everything went according to plan. There were a few things we had to think of straight off the bat, first of all where we were going to find a tooth to use in our script. We needed to find something we could substitute for a loose tooth and not pose a choking hazard to our actor. After we decided to use clay to model a fake tooth we had to then ensure that the clay we used was non-toxic. Silvi found some non-toxic clay and fashioned two very realistic looking prop teeth, this solved one safety issue.

Another issue we had to address was the sequence in the first draft where Janette performs the Heimlich maneuver on Alex. We weren’t sure how this would work out and worried about things like the actors injuring themselves. In the final script Silvi cleverly changed this to Janette throwing her phone (we used an empty phone cover for this) at Alex’s back which avoided any potential injuries.

With these initial worries cleared up we started moving towards shooting. We scheduled nights in accordance with everyone’s availabilities and had ourselves a shooting schedule ready to go.

Shooting went well; there were some troubles we incurred with equipment, mainly with the audio kit. A few times the mixer was set differently to what we had worked with in class and since neither Silvi or I are overly familiar with the sound equipment we did initially have some troubles getting everything working. Luckily some of the crew we had were experienced with filming equipment and were able to help us out when we couldn’t figure out what was going on.

I would say in the future it’s a very important factor to ensure your equipment is all checked and ready to go when you want to start filming. We lost a little bit of time fiddling around with equipment trying to get it all set correctly, luckily we had patient cast and crew (and a very helpful crew that could help us) but on a professional filming set using any filming time to fiddle with equipment would be costing your production money.

Another valuable lesson I learned is that it’s important to try and use the same equipment for the duration of your shoot. Silvi and I encountered some troubles in editing because different scenes shot on different nights would appear darker or lighter then others, and  some of the clips had different audio levels. This would not have been a problem for us had we been able to secure the same equipment for all of our shooting nights. This does again relate back to knowing your equipment well enough, I assume the different cameras we used had different settings turned on/off and that was what may have added to the changes in picture between different shooting nights. This reiterated to me how important it is to familiarise yourself with your equipment.

The shooting process also made me realise how important floorplanning and storyboarding is to save time on a production. I had no prior experience with writing up floorplans before this semester so I struggled a little bit with this and I noticed when we came to filming that it was hard and time consuming to just envision what shots to shoot on the filming night. Silvi and I split the film up into the first half and second half for us each to storyboard/floorplan separately and hers were a lot more thought out then mine, I noticed the time it saved us when we knew exactly what shots we wanted to get for a particular scene in advance.

This is another thing I would pay a lot more attention to in the future.

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