Friday, January 14, 2011

FML Film Club - Films Zero and One

At the start of this year, I joined a local film club. I wrote a bit about it over on the Moviestorm blog. In short, the idea is that every member has to make a short film every month, based on stories from It's to get us all making movies instead of just talking about making movies, which is what I've done for the last three years.

The first meeting was on January 4th. The morning of the meeting, I decided to make a movie and take it with me. It's still rough in places. I thought about tidying it up before posting it here, but decided to show it exactly as it stands. Here it is. The Table (based on an allegedly true story). Enjoy.

So there we have it. My first actual movie in I don't know how long. Not a tech demo, not a tutorial, just a little story for the hell of it. It's not great, but at least I made it. Showing it to people was scary, but they seemed to like it.

Anyway, a few hours later, I found myself part of a movie crew by the simple expedient of sitting at a table with a bunch of random people. We had Zak (director), Paul (audio & lights), Dan (editing) and Steve (cameras), which pretty much covers all the necessary bases. Since I have absolutely no experience with live action film, I volunteered to write the script.

We volunteered Paul as producer, and fairly soon worked out that because of our schedules, we needed to shoot the movie on the weekend of 15/16 Jan, which would give Dan a week for editing & post-production to have it ready for the start of February. That meant I needed to get the script out by Jan 9 in order to give everyone else a week for pre-production. Since we had a Friday Ferox show on Jan 7, the pressure was on from day one.

We thought about filming my movie as live action, but decided against it, partly because we weren't sure we could find enough actors in time, and partly because I got all shy and suggested we chose another story. Everyone except me got their iPhones out. Within about 10 minutes we'd found our plot, about a guy proposing to his girlfriend.

(On a side note, there was one story I really liked, but the rest of the team vetoed it. The denouement called for a bus, and that added a whole level of complication that we weren't ready for. Ah, the world of live action filming. So different to animation.)

As luck would have it, that weekend we lost our Internet, so I ended up sitting at my brother-in-law's house writing the script on Celtx and frantically trying to get it out to the team before the Sunday evening production meeting on Skype. However, in the end, everything went off pretty smoothly, and we assigned people to find cast, props, and equipment, and planned for the shoot at my house on the afternoon of Sunday 16th.

As always, it's gone down to the wire. By mid-afternoon today, we still didn't have our cast, but with a bit of last-minute scrambling around, we finally found a couple of people willing to step forward. So it looks like we're good to go. Let's just hope the weather holds.

I'm really looking forward to this. I haven't been on a film set since I went to one of Phil South's shoots at the Bristol Old Vic. I'm not sure exactly what I'll be doing, but hey - someone's got to handle the catering. I can do that.

In closing, there's one thing that makes me smile. We haven't even started production yet, and already The Proposal has taken considerably more time than The Table. Next month, hopefully things won't be so rushed, and I'll have time to do an animatic. It'll be interesting to see what difference that makes to the way we work.


Richard Grove said...

Enjoyable film, Matt. Like the twist ending. It's a bit rough here and there, but no bad at all. Congrats and good luck on the other film, too. I hope you have a lot of fun!

Matt Kelland said...

Thanks, Ricky!

Matt Kelland said...

There's a followup on the Moviestorm blog about the actual shoot.