Monday, June 14, 2010

A Few Thoughts On Indy Film Making

A Friend of my girlfriend wrote a script for a web serious, which I think has a lot of potential. It's kind of like the McLovin side story in the movie Role Models, where the character plays dungeons and dragons, and a live action version of World Of Warcraft. It's not really my thing, but it's got some good one liners. In any event, I thought it would be a great chance to put some miles on my new Canon Rebel

Yesterday, I brought all my gear out to Queens, where most of the show will be shot, to do some test shooting, to figure out how we will work in the space. Here are some "Aha" moments from that experience.

It's amazing what $30 worth of clamp lights and incandecent bulbs will do for the relatively poor lighting in an apartment. It's also amazing how damn hot it gets with 3 of those suckers on at once. I think we may switch to CFLs.

Actually shooting in an NYC apartment isn't as easy as I thought. I bought a Canon EF 28-105mm lens off of Craigslist for a sweet price, but I don't think I'll get to use it much. I had to use my 18-55mm at the 18mm mark to get every one in frame.

I really think it's important for writers to let their actors rewrite lines on an indy production. Drew Bellware introduced this concept to me, and I think the production really benefits from it. Unless the writer has several successful scripts under their belt, or is Blake Schnyder, the script probably needs some help any way.

There are a few lines in this script that the actors really had trouble with yesterday, a few line changes, or a bit of improv would fix the problem, and let the actors seem more natural. However, the writer was reluctant for that to happen. I think we will have a little chat and see what we can work out, because I really don't like doing more then 2, 3 takes at most on each shot. It wears out the actors, it wears me out as the camera man, and is a pain in the ass when I take the footage back to post for editing.


  1. Yes but Drew is lazy and more than willing to have other people do his work for him. So just keep that in mind whenever you see Drew doing anything. It's more like Tom Sawyer "letting" his friends paint the fence for him.

  2. Ha, I'll keep that in mind. I have faith that you letting actors rewrite scripts isn't out of laziness, most of the time atleast.
    Actors checking for continuity however, well that might be another story.