recap: saturday, day 1

i woke up at 5 and got to the location at 6. here was my strategy for shooting: my script was 8 pages long, and i was shooting for one weekend so that’s 4 pages a day. the script has 5 scenes. scene 1 and 5 take place in cubicles, scene 2 is in the lobby, scene 3 is in the HR manager’s office, and scene 4 is in the doctor’s office.

i had decided a while ago that i wanted to start with the most complicated scene first, scene 2. it’s kind of risky to try to shoot a difficult scene first, because if things go bad, it can bring down the morale of the cast and crew. ideally i wanted to finish scene 2 by lunch, but if something happened and it took longer than i thought, i could always move the HR office and doctor’s office to another location and day.

another reason for wanting to shoot scene 2 first was that it had 11 cast members. i wanted to shoot them first and then send half of them home. i tried to minimize the time actors would have to wait around.

by the time all the cast was in wardrobe and makeup, and all the crew was ready with the sound, the lights, and the camera, it was 10 o’clock.

it took a while to figure out the timing of the actors to the dolly, but we got it near the end. we finished up all of the dolly stuff for the scene before lunch around 1pm, but i wanted to shoot the whole scene from another angle on a tripod just in case i needed another angle to cut to.

there was an injury on set that could have been much worse. someone was bending down and then stood up quickly, and scraped his head along the end of a c-stand pole. they taped empty water bottles to the end of the rest of the poles to prevent that from happening again. he hit himself right near his eye so it could have been much worse, but that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. safety needs to be a priority at all times, so please take the necessary precautions on set.

after lunch, we grabbed that shot and then sent half of the cast home. we moved the lights around from the lobby to the cubicles, and we started with scene 1. i was planning on shooting scene 1 and 5 simultaneously and having the actors switch between their day 1 and day 2 costumes, but instead we ended up shooting all of scene 1. shooting simultaneously would have been more efficient because the lights would already have been set up, but it would have been more difficult from a performance and continuity perspective.

we finished shooting all of scene 1 by 7pm. when i saw the script supervisor’s daily report, i saw that we got 20 shots using 9 set ups, and we shot 4 7/8 pages. so we shot over half of the movie.

before the shoot the next morning, there were a couple props i needed to make in photoshop. i had an art director and production designer helping me, but these props i had to make myself because i had a very specific vision in mind, and i work as a designer for my day job so i know photoshop very well.

i tried to go to bed around 1am, and was ready for the next day.

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