Quiet on the SET!
Just got back from my first film crew gig. I joined a team of local film makers lead by Jason Hunt to create a short for the 48 hour film project. Ten teams participated in the Kansas City event that kicked off at the Screenland in the Crown Center shopping mall.
Team leads picked genres from a hat as the event started. We initially ended up with Western or Musical, which seemed like a cool, but possibly complicated genre for the short time we had. Other teams recieved Sci Fi, Superhero and Noir to name a few. Our team lead opted to turn in our genre and take a chance with a redraw. We ended up with Family movie, a fairly broad topic.
Once genres had been selected we got the final elements, a character and a line of dialogue. The character was “Sam or Samantha Tangent, Animal Therapist. Then the line we needed to incorporate which was…”Is that clear? Any questions?” With all the elements we headed downstairs into the food court to brainstorm out ideas. In about 40 minutes we hashed out a pretty funny concept. We broke there and Jason was tasked with hammering out a script before midnight. He delivered a funny draft with memorable characters.
We had a 10 am call to the set, which was the leads house just outside Kansas City. After unloading the car and staging the gear, Jason started blocking shots and having us stage the lights. This was a great experience for me. Although a small production, many of the crew involved were very experienced and willing to teach. I learned some fun little things, for example, a “Stinger” is an extension cord and “Sticks” are what tripods are called. I helped with lighting set up, the reflector for some scenes and held the boom mic for several others.
The boom is harder than it looks, even short scenes that the actors nail can be grueling. Imagine holding a broom above your head with 2 lbs of weight on the end extended as far forward as you can without falling over for 3 minutes. Now do that 60 times with only a few seconds in between. Still I would not trade the experience, it was very fun.
Now the film is in the capable hands of Jason for editing and sound mixing. He sent us a sneak peak of a scene that had the whole crew rolling and it turned out hilarious. The final cut will be great. When I am allowed to I will post a link to the finished short.