Monday, July 23, 2012

More hard lessons on a micro budget shoot...

It's been quite a while since my last post. During this time I have line produced one film and executive produced another.

The film I line produced had a working title of WONDERFUL WORLD and was produced by Eleven Arts. It starred Kkobi Kim, Akihiro Kitamura, Adam LaFramboise, Julian Curtis, and Andy Maloo. This film was a hard shoot for many reasons. Mostly because everything you want to avoid in a micro-budget film we attempted. Including shooting extensive night exteriors, shooting in a location that required extensive travel and/or lodging, large cast, special effects, and crafts people who didn't quite get the idea of what is needed to stay small. We had a great group of people working with us, and for the most part we had a lot of fun, but it was harder work than it should have been. Not to mention we had to deal with snow, rain and cold. Murphy's Law is the supreme ruler of a film set, and at the outset of this project I told our producer that if we had any problems... delays, rain, car trouble, etc. it would put us over budget, as we had no room for mistakes. Of course we had all types of problems... including more car trouble than I'd ever seen on a movie... I think we had four flat tires during the shoot.

So once again PLEASE write to your budget. A film that has extensive exterior night scenes will cost you much more money. If those scenes take place somewhere that doesn't have power handy, it'll cost more to provide a generator. If you're working in the 50k range, as we were, make sure not to get too complicated.

In the photo below you see dolly track, a heavily over-tricked camera, lighting supplied by a generator, and lights on a boom lift to light the world. Not micro-guerrilla style filmmaking at all.

Crew working hard overnight. Note the lights on the upper right coming from a 9 light mounted on a boom lift.

We were working on a very tight budget, and unable to pay for a lot of gear or grip and electric... well the incredibly generous gaffer volunteered to bring his own one ton truck, but since we didn't have man power to handle all that equipment it only served to slow us down. We couldn't get the look that everyone wanted, so everyone felt like they were compromising. On a micro scale you need to have lighting equipment that will fit in the back of a sedan. Any more and you don't have the manpower. It's always better to have more people than more equipment. I'd much rather have two grip/electrics and a pickup truck of odds and ends than two grip/electrics and a one ton truck.

1 comment:

  1. hahahaha! This is my existence! 5 low budget flicks, any 2 together wouldn't add up to 50K! (almost)

    Nice blog! Good to see others being tortured in the name of low budget!