264MC Short-film Blog post 2

“One green bottle”

 production breakdown

 I had the pleasure to work with my group on this amazing project and experience for all of us. All of the production we did I felt it like a real and professional. We ran a indiegogo campaign to raise money about the project, and the final result was surprisingly outstanding! Almost 750£ for 2 weeks, made us take this project in a different level, gave us the spirit and the motivation that we can do it very professional!

We had few issues about which script to choose, but finally we decided to go for “One Green Bottle”.

Deciding the roles was pretty easy, because we were two groups that gathered together and we had everything but Camera Operator and Director, which has to be chosen between me and Atanas. I really wanted to do Camera Operator, because this is really interesting for me and it concerns me for my future, so I said it straight away, and then the roles were settled:

  • Producer – Irina Ilisei
  • Director – Atanas Tchervenkov
  • DOP – Raluca Maria
  • Camera Operator – Dilyan Kalchev (me)
  • Editor – Harry Hickey
  • Sound mixer – Kipras Varanavicius
  • Gaffer – Alanus Boturlis
  • Production Designer – Miruna Lazar

Finding the actors was the biggest problem we faced at the beginning. The fact that we had main character a kid, gave us a lot of headache. We started looking in few websites, for child actors, and we found few very good looking ones, but there was this one that was more special than the others. This kiddo Ivo Dickenson, had 4 credits on IMdB, and he was only 10 years old, that definitely impressed us, but of course his mother said that they want £50-£60 a day. Fortunately, our indiegogo campaign was going very good, so we contracted the kid. The mother and the father, we found on Internet as well, and we offered them money as well, so they said YES, and we were ready to start.

The first task of our project was “NO SHOOTING IN COVENTRY” so we had to look for good property that can suite our script. And all of a sudden, the best offer came to us. One company offered us 4 days in one apartment for free, if we do a video for their website, of three rooms in their hotel.

So the last thing we had to think about is how to transfer all the 67 items we took from the loan shop. We struggled a lot, because 1 day before the day we were supposed to go, our driver (with van) said that he take us there, so in 10:00pm all of us texted everyone we know with car, and luckily we managed to get there, little late but we were there which was the most important thing to do.

We had a strict schedule, everyday wake up time 6:00am, breakfast time 7:00am and after this, preparing the set until 9:00am when the actors are coming.

The first day was more like learning day for me, because I wasn’t really competent with the lenses and most of the equipment which was for me. There was this Hitchcock effect that, Atanas wanted me to do, but I was really unsure what exactly he means, but then he explained to me very well, so I managed to do it. I learned a lot about when, why and what lenses to use for each scene. So we were filming until 7:00 pm and we did all the scenes from the production schedule we had. For a first day I think it was really well done.

In the second day, somehow everything was moving really slowly, because we were wasting our time with explaining too much to the actor what he needs to do, changing the set and locations. This wasn’t in our favor and we couldn’t finish all scenes for the day, so our producer decided to end the shooting day, so we can concentrate more on the last day, and to put all our effort and do it as we wanted to.

At the night we had meeting to decide how we need to proceed, because we had so much more to do and our time was limited a lot, during the session I decided to check our footage and then we saw a HUGE mistake, for the last scene we did. The fisheye lens wasn’t set properly and you can see the edge of the matte box, because the angle we used it was impossible for me to operate the camera, but at the same time it was on slider so I used a wire to operate the camera and I could see very well on the Blackmagic assistant. So we had to do even more on the last day. Before everything to start I said to Atanas that I apologize, that I will mess with his work, but when the producer wasn’t able to talk about the time I said that I will rush him myself.

We started the day, bright and ready for hard work. Everything was going really well in the morning and we were on schedule. By 3:00pm we had everything we needed so far, so we had our lunch break time, which we cut to minimum. Then the father came and we started to prepare the most important scene for the movie – the opening and the ending, which Is almost the same one. We managed to do it, everything was on time, we even had time to do the scenes from the second day that we didn’t do and the ones that were shot badly. And after 13 hours of filming we finally “WRAPED”!

What I think worked very well in our group was the team play and the communication between us. At the beginning of the project we had a lot of issues and fights on our ideas, but on the days of the production everything was working really smooth between us. We were really prepared with schedule and equipment, so we had everything that one Professional production usually have. All those meetings before the filming days were really useful at the end.

What didn’t work and what we need to really care about, next time on set is the TIME. We must be really strict and to put more attention on filming, than talking and changing the set 5 times. And we need to organize better the set, so we can shoot all the scenes with the current set, and not to reset the same scene, because we didn’t think that we will use it in other scene.

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