Just Like High School
This week we’ve thrown a production together super fast and it feels so much like shooting videos in high school. Part of it probably has to do with the truncated pre-production. The two-week entry period for this contest started on the 24th and on the 25th I finally felt like I had a good idea for an under 3-minute short. I wrote the script and hated it. Scrapped it. Back to square one. I woke up on the 26th with an idea for a short little visual story. I’ve always heard filmmakers talk about waking up with an idea, but this is the first time it’s ever happened to me. I was rolling out of bed just before 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning with Eliza saying, “Where are you going,” and me saying, “I think I’ve got the short.” Made some coffee, wrote the thing, and liked it. I printed it, 3-and-a-half pages of mostly blocks of action and scene description, and handed it to Eliza. She liked it. I sent it to Craig, who’s been the most vocal about making a unique, contained story for this contest instead of using a sequence from PoPS. He said: “I think it’s really cool. Definitely give you good opportunity to show your skills. It doesn’t have a lot of that trademark Jake dialogue, but I’d say if you can pull it off in time it might be the one.” I just had my email open so I thought I’d throw in the verbatim exchange here. I shotlisted it, we quickly grabbed some props, cast it from our regulars and folks we’ve met during the web series, and decided to shoot it over two nights in a really cool public location I knew of but didn’t ask permission to use. That’s what probably made it feel the most like high school. Just heading into an public area and shooting with your friends.
Three nights later we were out piecing it together. It’s all outside in this beautiful ravine and we only had work days available to shoot it. So, I left work a little early for two days and we’d have from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., when it would just get too dark to shoot, to get everything we needed. So about 6 hours total. Last night we wrapped four of the five actors. I’m going to have to meet with the remaining actor tomorrow night to get the last half page of stuff. Tonight, I start editing and I can’t wait to see this thing come together. It all just looked so gorgeous in playback.
Every once in a awhile it’s nice to get out there and shoot something super quickly that has nothing to do with complicated pre-pro or large overarching stories. It really felt like one of those dash-and-grab chase movies we used to make after school. Just with way better equipment at our disposal.
Thanks for reading.