Well I suppose I should bite the bullet and post our actual entry for ReelMad 2008. Still debating wether to put this on YouTube as I’m sure a lot more people will see it there than here. But as emabarrasing as it is for me (I’m basically jumping about in my underwear at one point) I suppose I’ll just have to get over it.
Some things about this movie. Number one is the time frame. The ReelMad competition stipulates that the movie must be filmed within a 24 hour period, starting 3pm Friday and finishing 6pm Saturday. Yes I know that’s actually 27 hours but humour me okay? The other stipulation is that they give a list of ten items and you have to incorporate five of these in your movie. It’s not easy getting all ten in, in fact the winner of “Best Use Of List” only managed eight but we crammed all ten in. Here’s the list.
You also have to incorporate one of the event sponsors.
I’ll tell you the sponsor we chose was The Noosa Journal (paper) but the list items you will have to work out for yourself. We did mange to incorporate all of them though.
Now I mentioned the time frame, and in an earlier post I told you about how our original script fell over after our camera died. This movie was a barely a concept at 9:00 pm on the Friday night so we basically started at 8:00am Saturday and finished converting to DVD at 4pm the same day. So in 8 hours we scripted, staged, shot and edited this movie.
And it shows.
So here it is, I wanna Go ReelMad. The premise is this; It’s ReelMad time again and our hero is keen to get into it, but his partner remembers the failure of last year and wants nothing to do with it. What follows is his attempt to persuade her to make another attempt at ReelMad glory.
And we’re reely, reely sorry about the whole thing.
I think I can describe our ReelMad experience this year in one word, Disaster.
Things started out pretty well. We were prepared with our script, The Root of all Evil, we had story boards, props, costumes, sound gear, lighting, the works really. We lodged our entry at just after 3pm on the Friday after doing some last minute rehearsals then headed back to Cloud Nine Noosa to get started.
Our opening shot was a scene with our heroine walking up to the office past the swimming pool. As soon as we were ready to shoot the pool filled with guests and their kids. Okay, not that big a deal, the sounds of kids yelling “Marco” and “Polo” added a bit of ambiance. We then setup in the office to shoot the intro sequence for Leigh and Laurie. A quick equipment check showed that the microphone battery was flat. No problem as I had grabbed some new ones just in case. On to the shooting and all was going well until Laurie started saying “Bruce” instead of “Brian”. It was getting that bad we were considering changing the character’s name to Bruce but Laurie managed to get it together and we were away again.
A quick check of the shots revealed that the audio was ominously quite. That’s right, after changing the battery in the mic yours truley forgot to turn the mic back on. So start again with the shots, this time with sound. I chose to think of the previous shots as extra rehearsal time.
Eventually we managed to finish the office scenes and moved up to the apartment for the rest of the shooting. We couldn’t shoot the carpark scene because we had lost the light and I didn’t have enough lights with me to illuminate a carpark to make it look like day time. No worries, a quick change to the script and we moved on.
We started to setup the apartment and after I threw down some pain killers (my back had been out for over a week, just what you need when you have to shoot and act in a thriller) we commenced with the shooting. Once again things were going well. The lights were working great and I had even remembered to turn the mic on. I got dressed up as the killer in what turned out to be a quite heavy costume and so we could shoot the “Coming out of the dark” sequence which went well. The next scene required Leigh to fake a trip and fall, except I forgot to tell her it was supposed to be a fake so she did it for real. The out takes show her disappearing from camera view, closely followed by a loud “Ow”. I like an actor that really throws herself into her work.
We then shot the caught sequence, which went well with one of the items on the list, but when I reached down to stop the recording the camera quit on us. No lights, no power, nothing. We couldn’t even get the tape to eject. We tried changing batteries, plugging in the mains power but nothing worked. We had effectively lost 5 hours of shooting in an instant and with no back up camera handy and no way to reshoot the scenes we were stuffed.
Leigh and I just sat down and looked at each other, months of hard work and effort gone in an instant. We were absolutely shattered.
So we packed up our gear and drove home to Nambour, about 30 minutes drive.
The next morning we shot four and a half minutes of footage with a borrowed camera about one mans quest to enter ReelMad and his obviously reluctant partner. It was really little more than an extended music video but we were desperate to enter something. We even put an apology at the end of the credits, it was that bad.
To top off the loss when I tried to turn on our dead camera it fired straight up. I couldn’t trust it however so I took out the tape from Friday Night’s shoot then put the camera away. Maybe it’s time we bought a new one.
Anyway, I took some of the footage and made a sort of trailer for The Root of all Evil. You will find it below. Hopefully we will finish shooting this short movie as it’s a pretty cool story.
Well it’s nearly that time of year again. Reelmad is just around the corner so things are starting to gear up here at DaLeigh Productions in preparation.
One thing we learned last year is that you can’t leave it till the actual day of the competition, you have to be prepared. With that in mind we have a completed the script overview and today we did some location scouting and test shooting around Doonan.
The script, or should I say scripts, will require specific outdoor terrain so we were planning on a bit of driving about. Fortunately however the first place we looked was pretty much ideal, so that’s a good start.
I should expand on the scripts comment above. When we started on the script it was set 30% interior, 70% exterior. However, with the Reelmad festival being in July the chance of rain is pretty good, so a rethink was in order. So now we’re working on two scripts, one based mainly on exterior settings and the other based mainly on interior. The stories themselves are essentially the same with some minor differences with regard to location.
We’re also working on some extra kit. The first one is fairly well known, the Steadicam. Of course budget is a concern so a professional version is out of the question. A quick scan of Youtube showed same interesting concepts of varying budgets. Speaking of budgets, you have to be careful of those claims that their Steadicam or whatever costs $2.50 in parts to build. Then they go through a whole pile of bits and pieces they had “lying around” so those were classified as free. That’s nice if you have the same junk as them but if not then you have to go out and buy it. We haven’t started on the Steadicam yet but we’ll keep you posted.
The second piece of kit is a SnorriCam. A SnorriCam, for those that have never heard of it, is a camera that points directly at the head of one person and moves to keep there head in the centre of frame. If you have ever seen Lock Stock and Two Smoking barrels think of the scene just after the poker game when one of the heroes is leaving the boxing ring. Things are progressing well on our SnorriCam with just a more flexible mounting system being needed. We’ll post some footage of the SnorriCam in action soon.
Okay, that’ll do for now, more news in the near future.