Monday, March 29, 2010

'A Conversation' - Aftermath

It's over! Our shoot yesterday mostly went better than I'd hoped. Mostly.

On our last movie only 10% of the footage was 'useable'. I reviewed the transfer this morning and I'm happy to say that at least 80% of the footage from yesterday's shoot is 'useable' and half of it is good enough that I won't cringe when I show it to people.

We all had a really good time, lots of laughs, more food than we needed... and ladybugs. Hundreds of ladybugs. I guess they liked all the lights.

Here's some pictures!

Pretending to play Texas Hold'em, No Limit.

"It was like a huge bird, man!" - Ed cracks up.

"You mean a REAL UFO?" - Scott can't keep a straight face.

Ed and Scott trying to be serious... and failing.

Me giving Garrett direction.

Me not realizing the picture behind me is crooked... till we're finished.

"I've got to call my husband... I mean my wife!" - Garrett on zero sleep.

I've got a lot of footage to organize so give me some time. I'm going to cut the gag reel first because it's easier and it'll help me familiarize myself with all the clips.

Rehearsing two weeks before the shoot made a huge difference in the quality. Also the lighting is better than on our last shoot, though I still need a lot of practice before I win any awards hehe.

It's a shame the set started falling apart midway through the shoot. Also we blew the sound on about 4 lines of dialogue and several inserts of the cards being played ended up being the wrong angle. Other than that and my really bad hairstyle, everything else went pretty well!

Thanks very much to everyone who participated, I look forward to working with you all again someday. Sooner than you think actually. I'm planning another movie for June if my financial arrangements work out.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Crunch

We're on track for Sunday.

I'm not finished the Flats, the Poker Table and the Shot List. I think everything else is ready. I have all the materials for the table and the flats now so it's just a matter of assembling them.

The hall is paid for. We have food, drinks and coffee. We have lights and spare bulbs, extension cords, tape, batteries, DV tapes, and bounce boards. We have all the props except the dartboard. I got chairs and sound blankets. We have camera, microphone, cables, a monitor and at long last a tripod.

Really looking forward to the shoot. I'll post some stills when it's over!

PS A dartboard would be nice if someone comes across one, thanks.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Here's where we are at.

We will be meeting on Monday March 15th at 6 pm for a Pre-Production Meeting and Script reading. The meeting will be held at a East Side Marios, 750 Queenston Road, Hamilton, east of the LINC, and dinner is on me.

Ed Grainger has filled the role of John. Thank you Ed.

Unfortunately James Harris and Martin Birthelmer will be unable to participate in our current project. So Garrett Taylor has generously filled the role of Syd. Thank you Garrett.

If I am unable to find someone suitable to play Luke before our March 28th shoot date, I will fill the role myself.

Yesterday I completed 13 lighting setups in my basement, to pick a visual style for 'Conversation'. Here are some stills from the test.

#1 is the natural lighting of the room, practical lights only. Effective but boring.

#9 is a standard Hollywood 4 light Studio setup. Much better detail.

#8 is the same as 9 but with less light on the background. I like this one.

#10 is the same as 9 but with no fill light. Terrific contrast but muted colour.

I'll show everyone all 13 setups at our pre-production meeting, but I am pretty sure we're going to end up using some variation of 8, or 10.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Where we are

It's now one month to go till our shoot date, Sun March 28th at 10 am at Caistor Community Centre.

A snag: Our hopes are with Anson Martin who has just suddenly lost his job and may have to move. He may be understandably unable to fill his role of playing 'John'. Best of luck Anson!

If anyone wants to be Anson's understudy, let me know please.

We will be meeting on Monday March 15th at 6 pm for a Pre-Production Meeting and Script reading. The meeting will be held at a restaurant and dinner is on me. I'm still hunting for the best deal on a private room.

This meeting will give everyone a chance to suggest script changes and contribute creatively to the project. We will also get a feel for how the script sounds and iron out any bugs.

What we still need:


Poker Table

Empty Booze Bottle

If anyone has one of these please let me know, thanks.

I now have a tripod and I think I have all the lights we'll need. I'll be running lighting tests this week to set a visual style for the film.

After that the only thing left is to build the flats, for the set. I've put it off to last because it's expensive and I'm still figuring out the best approach.

One month!