Day 1 of shooting!Â The Art Department headed by Joelle Lawton arrived at our depot location at 7:00 am, the crew and some of the actors arrived at 8:00 am, and all but a few of the remaining actors arrived at 9:00 am.Â We wrapped up shooting at 10:30 pm – a long first day, but a successful one!
New to the interns and almost all of the actors was the concept of Craft Services. Scott’s mom Marilyn spent much of the hot sunny weekend baking goodies to stock it, and Carolyn, his sister, agreed to be in charge of it for the first three days of shooting. Craft Services is the reason shooting days can routinely last 12 hours or more. Actors and crew “graze” when they can, grabbing a beverage and/or snack when they get a moment. A hot meal of spaghetti and meatballs, garlic toast and Caesar salad arrived at 2:00 pm. After a half-hour lunch break, everyone was back at work.
The biggest challenge of the day arose when the large generator wouldn’t work and had to go for repairs. Our depot location has no power or water so this was a major problem. A smaller generator was used but it was a headache for the lighting department to keep within its capacity. But it was a problem that Matt Reed and his crew of interns were able to handle.
One of the things that Scott (Director) and Scooter (DOP) are most excited about on this shoot is the look that the film will have with the anamorphic lenses that will be used on the Red One camera which Ryan Skeete brought with him and will operate.
Before shooting could start, actors went to see Charity Hudak in make-up, seen here as she works on Jordy Wiens (Doctor). She’s really looking forward to the pails of fake blood she’ll need to make before shooting wraps.
Once shooting started, the important role of Script Supervisor (AKA Continuity Supervisor) was handed to intern Mary Jo Van Order. She watches the monitor with Director Scott Belyea and DOP Scooter Corkle when camera’s rolling. As the next shot is being set up, she consults her notes.
Blair Dykes taught sound recording during the first two days with the interns. Blair is also the AD (Assistant Director). With the number of actors and crew that we have, it’s a vitally important role. He keeps everyone coordinated on their various tasks over a long shooting day.
With a great AD and the interns making a remarkably smooth transition from classroom to set, Scott could concentrate on blocking with DOP Scooter and working with the actors (seen here with Tennyson Dâ€™Onofrio who plays Son, the lead role).
The choreography of blocking camera movement with the movement of actors and background performers is amazingly intricate and a joy to watch when it all comes together. Matt’s crew definitely burned the most calories as they set up track for dolly shots and moved the dolly which took four strong men. Ryan (Camera Operator) and 1st Assistant Cameraman (AKA Focus Puller) Chris Beauchamp wait while Scott talks with actors before the next shot.
After watching thousands of short films over the six years of programming the Reel Shorts Film Festival, I learned so much about how they get made just by being on set the first day of shooting our film. It is very obvious to me that the unsung heroes are the actors who spent hours being told to sit here or stand there, or to walk from here to there, as background performers.
Thanks to everyone!