Lamentation – Final Project [PRODUCTION]

The entire shoot of my project Lamentation lasted for four days. Initially, Rita scheduled a five day shoot but after looking at the scenes she scheduled to be covered on each day, I convinced her to reduce it to four as she scheduled an enitre day’s shoot for only a few shots.

The first day of the shoot was in the park and we were unfortunate to be hampered by bad weather as it rained softly in intervals throughout the early afternoon. This restricted us in the sense that we couldn’t use the sound equipment to record sound. Luckily, Erin, our runner, had an umbrella with her so we could still record with the camera (keeping the camera under the umbrella at all times of course). I knew this would potentially cause problems in the edit as when we moved in to shoot closer shots, the rain had stopped, effecting the colour temperature of the shots we were getting.

Annoyingly enough, the rest of the week had clear skies and decent weather. Had we swapped one of the shoots of the other days with when we shot on Monday, we would have been able to make our film look better by filimg outside on a bright and clear day. This made me realise how paying attention to weather forecasts is crucial especially when it comes to scheduling exterior shoots.

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Moving on to the interior house shoot. This lasted us three days as the majority of the film took place within the house. There wasn’t many problems we faced when shooting within the interior of the house. The only part of the house scenes we shot that I wasn’t entirely happy with was the bedroom.

The bedroom itself is originally a student room so it looked like this initially:

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And we had to turn it into a bedroom that would look like an elderly couples’. No easy task. But this is what we came up with.

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Luckily we do not show too much of the room in the shots we cover but I still would have liked to have shot in a location that looks more visibly appealing instead of having a large mass of white walls.

All in all, the bed itself was the major issue. Lacking a double bed, we had to make do with a blow-up bed as a substitute. At first glance, you wouldn’t notice a major difference so this was beneficial to us, but I think that in order to consider myself a professional filmmaker, I should learn when not to compromise on things like this due to budget constraints. This experience made me learn not to immediately say yes to the first location we manage to secure as if it doesn’t fit in with the type of mise-en-scene that you want for your film then that is when as a director you should step up and say so. This is something I’ll definitely take on board for future projects. If a location doesn’t suit my vision, I will say no and tell my producer, location manager etc. to find somewhere else.

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Overall, I think the shoot days went well in the house. Despite finishing late on the first two days, we wrapped production several hours early on the last shoot day which was a bonus. Also on the second day of shooting in the house, toward the end of the shoot day we ran out of card space on two of my CF cards. This was something I should have foreseen. Had I already transferred the footage onto my hard drive, we could have freed up space and had more time to shoot the last shot of the day. As a result I only had two usable takes of the last shot we shot that day. Those takes weren’t ideal as my actor David doesn’t completely leave frame in one of them making cutting to the next scene feel awkward.

Next time I will ensure that I have transferred footage at the end of each shoot day in order to free up space and not put myself in the position where I was on that Saturday.

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Filed under MDA2900 - Producing & Directing: Film Form & Practice

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