Archive for October, 2011

Narrative Film Updates…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2011 by trettfilms

After our lecture on Narrative analysis, for Elliott, Adam and myself  headed down to the army surplus store to look for a navy boiler suite. The cheapest one I found was on ebay was £25 and I didn’t expect to find anything cheaper in stores. I was wrong, right as you step into a shop there is a large navy boiler suite with ‘6.99’ labelled on it. As soon as we work out the talent’s sizes we’ll pick it up.

After this we headed to Caitlin’s house (our main shooting location), took some snaps to work out the geography of the film and see how it looks on the dslrs and then sorted out casting. We have three roles in our film, all of which we have a possible actor for. We are meeting up with them next week for a script read through (which we will be filming incase we need to look back) and then see where we go from there. These are the headshots for them though…

We also did a quick prop list so we could work an average budget, which came to £11.99. This included costumes, props and set decorations. Not too extreme but this doesn’t include transport and catering; that’s where the big bucks come in.

We also briefly looked into music. To avoid any copyright issues/rejections from festivals we are sticking with an original soundtrack and using music (for radios etc.) that’s in the public domain. I know Cliff Richard’s stuff is nearly there but that is not really what we’re looking for… But this has a better feel to it:

Adam stated that the use of this kind of music is very Woody Allen (as he recently introduced me to him and I’m gradually becoming a fan since seeing Midnight in Paris) but I feel its more like Fallout 3 which uses a similar soundtrack but things are looking forward! The first draft of the script is nearly done and then we can jump to things like storyboarding and shooting script.


Losing my DSLR virginity.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 17, 2011 by trettfilms

I’ve seen them in use, read a lot about them and seen plenty of footage shot with them but never used one. I had been on a shoot where one was used for interior shots but never handled it myself.  I did actually direct a short film once where I used one for a wide angle shot but I didn’t operate it personally and it was a lesser known model; the nikon d5000.The other day we were given a workshop with the canon dslrs and were shown how the interface works, we then had a run through with the sound equipment (boom and zoom mics). We were then set the task to shoot a snippet of dialogue from The Dark Knight. It went quite well and we got some cool shallow depth of field in our shots. There was some confusion with the camera but luckily, two members of the production team (Tom and Adam) own dslrs themselves and know their stuff.

Today we had a workshop on lighting; something I have a lot of interest in but barely any experience. Lighting is important in film production and in some cases, can make or break a film. You can have spot on dialogue and performances but if the lighting is off, the mood is gone. This was very interesting and we got some cool looking high-key and low-key shots using the dslr. This lead to a discussion on what kind of lighting would suite our short film and how we would arrange the lighting in the location.

I still shoot on an old-school camera; the Sony VX2000, which shoots on mini dv tapes and I use a rode videomic which attaches to the hot shoe plate. I am not yet ready to upgrade yet as it still serves me well; I shot this mindless action short over the summer with it:


The main attractions to the dslrs for me is the brilliant shallow depth of field you get with them. Of course they have their downs, there’s no XLR socket (hence the zoom mics) and there is a slight diagonal distort (rolling shutter) when you move the camera fast. This film riot episode about them is quite insightful.


I’m looking forward to shooting our short film with all this new equipment and learning how to master it along the way!

We’re making a film.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 17, 2011 by trettfilms

Well, after several team meetings discussing possible plot ideas we finally have a solid narrative for our project.

This is a different experience from previous production work I’ve done. My personal projects have no deadlines. It’s just me and my camera so I do the pre-production that I see necessary. Shoot, edit, put it online to earn poor YouTube revenue!

I never use story boards or shot logs and sometimes I do not even use a script. This is different for some college projects and professional film shoots I’ve been on as there are certain pre-production requirements that go into something like that.

Without giving too much away, we went with Caitlin’s proposed story in the end as it seems to be the most shootable with what resources and constraints we have. I had a couple of ideas. One was something I’ve been wanting to shoot for awhile and the other I had not really thought much past the basic concept. The first would be titled ‘Lucid Dreams’ and would follow a miserable office worker who is looked down by his colleagues and boss. He soon begins to have lucid dreams but they are very vivid and he does things in his dreams he couldn’t do in reality, the trouble starts when the dreams become too vivid and he can’t tell the difference between dreams and reality. (I was actually planning on shooting this one summer…then Inception came out…a similiar idea but better).  The other idea I had was basically “Groundhog day but darker”. I didn’t really think where to take this off and both ideas seemed too difficult to fit into the five minute length of the short film. Still, I’m enjoying and feeling passionate about developing Caitlin’s idea.

P.S. The sausage rolls in playhouse are too big!