In preparation for our short film, Rob, Mason, and I went out to scout the location twice before we brought our actress and film crew out to the woods. We wanted to make sure we knew what we would be doing before we had to use the time to film, and both days were very valuable. The first day involved location scouting; we had to find the best set of trees where we could hook up our wires. Mason scouted a field we wanted to use (but didn't due to bug-related reasons.) We also wandered around back in the woods, finding a lot of cool locations, but none of them were very accessible from the house where we would be staging a lot of our activity. So we had to keep looking, and we eventually found a great set of trees near a relatively well-kept path. The lawnmower and the saw cleared out a lot of our space, and we were ready to start the rehearsals for the wires.
We headed out to the local hardware store to pick up some chains and wires and the other stuff we'd need, as well as the burgers and dogs for our BBQ dinner, and then we headed back to do some work on the actual rigging. It took some work to figure out how to rig up some stunts, and on the first day we got two of our rigs fully operational. Here is a photo of Mason, stunt coordinator, rigged up in a harness with his fall mat beneath him. If you look really carefully, and I mean really carefully, you can see the two wires coming off his hips and stretching into the rope over him (out of camera.)
Each rig that we set up is for a specific action sequence. And not only that, but each sequence requires a different harness on the stunt man, and different padding to keep him safe. Unlike theatre, where everything has to be designed to be strung together, film stunt work relies on different setups for each individual stunt or camera angle. That's going to take up some time on the day, but that kind of time is not something that can be avoided. We also set up two cameras while we were out this day, both to check some camera angles for the actual shoot, as well as to record some behind-the-scenes footage for any bonus features that may be on the disc.
This first work day was productive and satisfying. We managed to set up two different rigs that we are going to use for several different stunts, and we got some test footage that looks great. The schedule gives us another rehearsal day before we go to the filming days, and I have more stories and photos from that too. Stay tuned.