This past weekend, I took a film cast and crew up to my parents’ house in Hazleton, and we spent most of the weekend filming a short called “No Reason.” The movie is a supernatural romance, and we spent a lot of time moving from room to room in the house. One of the fun parts of the weekend was trying to fit all of our equipment into the cars, and we actually had to use two cars instead of the one we had originally planned to use. But it was really a blessing in disguise, because it let us bring the camera dolly up to the shoot. We picked up two pieces of dolly track (aka PVC pipe) at the Lowe’s off the highway, and then we were all set to make the movie.
We didn’t have the same equipment this time around as we did for “Changing Lane,” which meant that the shoot had to be handled somewhat differently. We were using halogen work lamps to light the scenes, which meant that we had to improvise different ways to get them to the right height, and different ways to point them to get the right effect. There was also at least once that Rob had to block the light with his own body because we didn’t have shutters on the lights. We were also without the correct microphone this weekend, so we would record all the dialogue separately after the takes. We were using the mic in the camera as we filmed, hoping that it will of good enough quality to use. But I imagine that I’ll also be doing a lot of ADR on the lines I have to loop in this film. And as strange as it sounds, neither Rob nor I own a good quality tripod of our own. I borrowed one from Jeff Paris, a friend at Pella and a frequent commenter on this blog. It worked perfectly with Rob’s camera, except we found that we couldn’t really do any camera moves with it, so we split our shots between the tripod and hand-held shots.
And that’s where both Rob and I were excited that we brought the dolly. This film has a lot of dolly shots, including one where the dolly is coming down the stairs, and they all look incredible. The tripod was a godsend when it came to the dolly, because it made all of those shots possible. So without all the professional rented equipment, we had to come up with creative ways to get the shots that we wanted for the film. We actually had the chance on both shooting days to watch the dailies, which is an opportunity that I’ve never had before. The movie looks great, and some of the lighting effects are fantastic. We haven’t yet gotten together to go over the footage or a rough cut, but Rob has another project he needs to finish first. So I’m tentatively expecting this film to be finished in about 6-8 weeks, so a late-October premiere is probably in the works.
Then it’s time for the next one….