Day Three of Principle Photography (OCD and your Brother Short Film) 7th March 2015

by weslar

It really started yesterday. To save a lot of time I unloaded my gear into the living room, I guess that’s what it’s there for. Anyway everything from camera gear, sound & lighting as well as rigs and other goodies are ready for the next day shooting.



At this time I have one and a half hours to set up the lights in the kitchen, frame up the majority of shots that I want to get and move the ornaments to where I put them the night before. Pretty fast with the set up I have time to spare, so I check my notes, the script, the storyboard. Anything that I need to nail down and know inside out, It does;t usually go to plan because I want to be sure that continuity is aced.

So in the room I have my work station with my lenses, batteries, chargers. Only does it become obsolete when we start shooting. Most of the gear is just placed wherever I am at the time when changing something. Which happened a lot. Since it was a one man shoot, I was going with the flow not getting distracted, not stressing myself out with orders in which to shoot, I just placed the camera whilst directing my actor and that worked a treat.

12:10pm – 5:10pm

Tomm Houghton (My Actor) arrives, we chat, I offer him a cup of tea and a biscuit(s). I’m friendly. Concerned about the comfort of my actor than just getting straight on with filming (Not that I mind getting stuck into the filming, I love it, so I’d do it all the time). But you gotta ease into it, so we talked, I gave him direction to the beats of the scene (Set in my kitchen) a sort of days and confused sequence that the character Jeremy is distracted, lost in his daydream.

Unusually I filmed in order of storyboard panels, instead of through process of elimination (Filming all tripod shots first > Rig > ETC). I felt it was right to go with the flow and film in sequential order, since I am doing all the jobs at the same time, the biggest concern was continuity. I didn’t want to think about everything, make everything as perfect as possible for what I need and forget some small detail, creating chaos in the edit with continuity mistakes galore. But none of that, I had everything in order.


Moving on from the first scene. I needed to record a take of a scene we shot 2 weeks ago. The audio wasn’t great, dubbing ensues. After waiting for wind noise to stop we did take after take matching the footage, and to much success. After a few tries for each line, everything matched up. The only problem we had was the pacing, Tomm just was out a second, too fast or too slow but we got there in the end.

The next scene we shot on my staircase, I placed a light at the bottom, and one at the top.



Tomm was sat half way on the staircase, taking a phone call from his onscreen (V.O.) brother ‘Kale’. Like the Kitchen scene I shot it in chronological order. What’s cool about the light’s I’m using (50x70cm Softbox’) is that they light up a room pretty well, an added bonus, I can shoot on 400 ISO, the low F. Stop helps that too, but either way it’s badass lighting.

For the scene I called my house phone, and became ‘Kale’ for the moment, letting Tomm act to something other than me talking to him, telling him what’s happening and expecting him to suddenly emote. We recorded to audio after everything else was finished.

Moving on the the final section of shooting. There is 3 scenes that last just a shot but is significant to the story, Jeremy as a character and what could be going on inside his mind. I won’t say anything about it other than it was a pretty unique shoot (Slightly unique, I’m probably exaggerating). He has to switch lights on and off, doing this didn’t light up him at all, it looked pretty ugly (an Oxymoron in the blog, cool). But he wasn’t showing up, the orange light wasn’t what I wanted. So, I have an idea in the moment. I grab one of my lights, bring it into the room, set it up next to me angling the light as if it’s light from the ceiling light.

He counts to four. 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4. On each number flicking the switch I would do the same on the light I was using creating a lighter shot, working in my favour it looks great. +1 for ingenuity.

So we do this a few times, in different circumstances in the film. There’s a particular shot, I’m not going to describe. But here’s the image, I’ll let you decide for yourself what happened, in the playback good times where had, a lot of fun, a lot of humour.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 19.15.40

It’s not graded. (But edited slightly in Photoshop so you can see it better).