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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Next Gen

I've been driving myself nuts all week, I dread opening my mailbox and clicking through my email has become a guerilla tactic all its own.

It's quiet. Too quiet.

And so, with still no word from the CFC folks I've decided to try and kickstart things in another way. I'm going to do something I've been wanting to do for quite some time:

Make one of my short films.

I've really got no excuse, what am I really doing with my spare time? Writing, sure, but hey - the weather's nice, I've got a story I want to tell and a script that is long done.

It's time.

Of course, the interesting part of this whole idea is that I've never actually 'made' a short film before - well, unless you count some very, very bad films I attempted back in High School (let's not... please).

I've been going over my options, reading up on what I'm getting myself into and, you know, I figure there are really only two ways to do something like this and they end up creating a sliding scale with two extremes: you can grab a camera and hit the streets, using whatever footage you happen to get, or you can methodically plan out every step and shot, every whisper and grunt and zoom.

I'm not sure what category I fall into here - a part of me just wants to get out there and shoot it but I know that planning this thing out right is what'll make it sing (or scream?) in the end.

And, like any proud parent-to-be, I want only the best for my lil' tyke.

So, it's new goal time: I will have my short film "Next Gen" shot (at the minimum) by September 15th - the supposed first day of the CFC Prime-Time Program (keeping fingers crossed that I actually get in).

What are the chances of that success? Well, let's break it down a bit:

I have a 7 page script which should turn out to be a decent (I hope) 5 min horror. I have little-to-no money - everything's being saved up on the chance that I actually get into the CFC - and not a whole hell of a lot of experience.

Yeah, 'interesting' is definitely a word I'd use to describe the next few months.

Okay, let's break it down further: What do I need?

Keeping this thing as pared down as possible I need:

Characters:
3 guys - One tall, chiseled, hard-ass lookin' mofo (villain), One 18 yr-old-ish geeky everyman (Hero), one tech-savvy computer-tech type (Best friend)
1 gal - Main character's girlfriend (same age range)

Best friend and Girlfriend characters have short screen time but will have a good presence in voice-overs.

A few extras for one scene.

Locations:
1 Pub/Eatery scene threaded through the short.
Various night-time locations in Toronto, not downtown, more urban-rural - just outside of downtown-ish area (think Dundas/Palmerston-ish).

Crew:
1 Lighting
1 Sound
1 Director of Photography
1 Producer (or at the very least someone to help guide me along as I try and figure this out, which forms I need for location shoots, etc.)

I'm questioning if I should get a director or not as I have a really good idea of what I want already inside my head - of course, not to discount the many technical skills that a good Director brings to the table... maybe an Assistant Director?? Hrmmm...

Am I forgetting anything important in regards to needed crew? (I probably am, don't be shy now!)

Props:
1 Lead Pipe - preferrably jagged and rusty
1 Garbage Can - for slamming into (of course)
1 Big Freakin' Knife - for stabbing
1 Dumpster - well-filled (for hiding in)
1 Laptop - with 'clicky' keys
1 Birthday Cake - 19 candles
1 Large poorly-giftwrapped Box
1 Small rectangular, poorly-giftwrapped Box
1 Plate of Fried Chicken

Beer
Blood

Total shoot time: 2 nights on a weekend (at the very most) starting from 8pm-ish onward.

I own a DV-cam (Panasonic PV-GS250) and a tripod which I was considering using for this but I've done some test shots at night and it doesn't hold up well without a decent amount of light. I've also been thinking about maybe shooting it in HD because I've heard that Film is just waaay too expensive (and 'cause I love the crispness of HD).

As for Audio, I want to get a good mix of ambient city noise (as opposed to a score, maybe subtle, ominous music) and pavement-pounding, wheezing, shrieks and groans. Low key and real, with a one good auditory kick in the pants when it's needed (and it will be needed).

Lighting-wise, it's street-level gritty yet cold and otherworldly. An ominous faux-dreamlike/nightmarish quality for most of the outdoors shots contrasted with the warm, inclusive tones of the Eatery/Bar scene.

Is that everything? Hrmmm I think so... for now...

Again, this is probably as pared down as I can think of - I'm not exactly sure how cheaply this thing can be made but one thing I can guarantee is that anyone who helps me out with this short will eat like a king/queen (I think I'm not too bad a cook :P).

Soooo... anyone wanna help me make a short film? :D

Cheers!
Brandon

1 comment:

Elize said...

I've experience doing craft if you need it :) I'm also willing to help out in other ways, because hey all experience is good experience.

And also! Yes! I am jumping every. single. time. Looking at my e-mail has been... hellish to say the least.