The next NexTV blog post
i’m a little late getting this up here. sorry. there are so many pieces to this particular puzzle–making the show, doing the updates, writing the blog posts, and then making sure to link the WordPress and the Facebook and the Youtube. it’s a lot of fun, but sometimes i forget to link something up for a few days.
Despite what I said in the video below, there are times when you need to shoot in a closed location. Mostly if one falls in your lap. When you have no money and a closed location just magically appears, you can’t say no, regardless if you have any extras or not. An example of that happens in episode 4. It’s pretty noticeable in regards to the lack of extra bodies in the background but what can you do?
If you’re a writer, your script will naturally want to take place in very few locations—it reflects your own experience. You mostly like to sit in your apartment, watch TV, read, and type. Unfortunately that’s not very dynamic. This isn’t the ‘90s anymore, Two Girls and a Guy would NOT have gotten a wide release today no matter how much Robert Downey Jr. it had. So you have to take scenes that could take place in your apartment and find a logical, visually interesting alternative. Scenes can take place pretty much anywhere as long as you can find a reason. And you’re a writer, so just make one up.
This happened to Kevin Smith when he was making Chasing Amy. Much like Clerks (pretty much just the convenience store and RST Video), and Mallrats (pretty much just the mall), Chasing Amy had a lot of screen time happening in Holden’s apartment. Miramax kept urging them to broaden their scope location-wise. During a particularly heated exchange, Scott Mosier, Kevin’s producer, exploded with the most outlandish suggestion he could think of—“Great! Why don’t we just set the big argument in a f***ing hockey rink!” At that, Kevin’s eyes glazed over in the expression directors get when their neurons are firing on all cylinders. So when Holden confronts Alyssa about her experimental past, every verbal jab is mirrored by a visual pounding courtesy of the hockey players in the rink. Scenes can be set anywhere. And if you think about it a little bit the characters’ emotional space can often be visually expressed in their physical space. That makes it badass.
The best of all possibilities is if you can have a theoretically huge location with minimal set building and a visual metaphor all wrapped into one. The only movie I can think of off the top of my head that did this was Cube and it was indescribably brilliant. Think about it. You build two cubic rooms with a variety of colored light gels to glow through the walls, one door connecting them, a series of swap-able number plates for the doors, and you have an unlimited number of moving rooms in this MASSIVE cube. That’s production value at its most frugal and brilliant. AND most of the time they’re all in one room together adding to the suffocating sense of claustrophobia—perfection.
Next week we’ll talk about gear.
anyway, back to the work that actually pays me. i’m so happy it’s friday.