Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Inner-City Filmmakers Day 40, Week Five (Shoot #5: Day 1)

Slowly but surely the shoots are coming to and end. Shoot #5 and #6 are the last shoots and I'm #6. No longer will I be on the sidelines watching others make thier films, now it's my time to go out there and do my thing, which is a bit daunting, to say the least. I got to shoot a piece of my film already last Saturday but that was a "share" day with another teammate and wasn't organized (I had to act as Director and Cinematographer). But that's another story for my shoot and another story for that blog. Now, it's about Kelsey's A Rough Day (Shoot #5, Day 1).

I will admit I was dreading today quite a bit. I had gotten a taste of the way Kelsey directs a week ago when she had her own "share" day with another teammate and she was very forceful and she didn't get her vision across in the ... right way. Instead of telling me where to go, for instance, she would pick me up and move me there which is not the way one should work. Also, there was a time she was angry with one of the crew members and she shouted at him through profanities right in front of her actors which, to me, was not entirely professional. I mean, I've heard on set there have been worse things said in front of the cast and crew but on a short student film like this you really don't want to piss of your crew or put off your cast. In any case, I was not looking forward to the day with Kelsey as the director but I was thoroughly surprised.

A few days ago Kelsey was in quite a bind. She lost her location and was missing a few actors on top of that. I couldn't do much with the actors but I could help with the location problem. As a last resort I called my grandmother to ask if we could use her house to which she said yes so I got the chance to go back to my old neighborhood today.

The shoot was fun, Kelsey's film is about teen pregnancy and the scene we were doing was a flashback of when the mother of the film got kicked out of her house. When I was filming, I discovered that some stories, some films, just need dialogue. While everyone was impressed with the actor's performances during the shoot I'm not sure that will translate as well when their dialogue would be ommitted to satisify the requirements of a non-dialogue film. I understand the exercise. It helps us to learn how to tell a story completely visually but it certainly is very limited and I can't wait to take off the shackles of non-dialogue film and be able to make, in my opinion, a full film. I know I might sound very immature about this all but really it's my opinion. Sure there are cases in films where no dialogue is much better but to be limited just to that stinks to me. But like I said, it's a wonderful exercise but some of our films will suffer from it.

We wrapped around 7:30 or 8 PM and they all left to do whatever it is they went off to do and I stayed back at my grandmothers house but I got a call soon after from my friends and I went out to Cafe 50s and came back.

When I got back though, there was a LAPD Helicopter (aka Ghetto Bird) circling the neighborhood. My friends stopped to drop me off but I seriously was too scared to get out, that spot light was rather close to us so I told them to drive around the corner and then I would rush out. So they did so and I rushed out and ran across my lawn to the front gate. All of a sudden a police car comes behind me with their lights on but no sirens and I really needed to rush to get in the house because I looked really suspicious at that point. I did eventually get inside, though, with a bit of a rush going through my veins.


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