Hey film people! Here’s an update from the 100 hour Film Race.
We started at 5pm PST on Thursday. I wrote the script. I was planning to write a comedy mostly in one location, with our actors Mateo Campos and Phil Amor as our leads. We also knew we were going to try and shoot in our little studio, so there was a number of possible locations we could configure it into.
I’m pretty sure that’s what I did. It’s tough to stay objective, but I did get 2 quick rewrites in on Friday, which makes me feel a lot better about everything.
One thing that really dictated the writing was actor availability. We had almost everybody on Saturday, but a couple of cast who were only Thursday or Friday. I tend to use every and any actor I can, so I wrote parts that could be isolated in some way for those actors. One was in a separate location, and ended up being cut anyway, and the other we did in an isolated part of our main set: a sort of stage area for an emcee and an artist.
I should say that we set things in an art gallery. We have a long wall with paintings on it in the studio, and that was a big inspiration for me. I also thought we could configure things to fake a bigger room than we actually had. Little did I know….
On Friday, with a solid draft of the script, Andrew Wade (Actor, Supporting Writer), Mateo (also Assistant Producer) and I went on a buying trip for supplies. We bought things like a guest book to use for the Required Prop Element of a book, some reception food for the Art Gallery (and for cast/crew catering), and some costume stuff.
We’ve had a crazy film set sale nearby us for the last few weekends. It’s from the TV show Batwoman. Andrew’s Emcee look, and my artist look in our film came mostly from the set sale. I also stocked up on costume pieces for future films, getting some police, security, forensics, chef, scientist, and prisoner gear.
We also got Jollibee. I like Jollibee.
We configured the studio to create the stage corner of our art gallery, but once our Director of Photography Ramiro Cuenca got a look at things, he made the decision to go green screen. For everything.
We’ve done this before, with our 72hr Horror Film Race 2021 Finalist Head Case. We won best VFX for it, but it was pretty primitive compared to what we ended up doing this time.
We filmed Friday night with the expectation that all of Saturday, including our outdoor scene, would done on green screen.
On Saturday, we had a large group of 10 cast and crew. All crew ended up being cast.
We had Mateo and Phil as our leads, Isabella Hallam (no relation to me), Kiki Faye, Jairus Pascoe, and Charlene Happy (also our Production Designer and Supporting Writer).
Ramiro brought with him Brad Balmer and Pablo Cardenas, all three with a massive wealth of VFX experience and talent. All of Ramiro, Brad and Pablo appear in the film.
While we filmed, a digital art gallery was built in Unreal by Pablo. The advantage of this is Unreal renders in real time. We can chromakey out the background of our shots, and choose an angle for the Unreal environment, and it’s available to look at and use immediately. This tech is primarily use for previsualization, but it’s a pretty new concept.
This is a filmmaking method we want to employ heavily going forward, as we can create environments and film stuff that we could never build or rent in reality.
Saturday was a massive slog. Actors started arriving at 9:30am, and our first wrapped actor was at 6:15pm. We wrapped our leads around 9pm, and wrapped our crew at around 11pm. Ramiro was up wrangling data until 1:30pm.
We are now editing. It is likely to be all day today. Tomorrow is a TBA. But we are on a good trajectory, and I expect to finish in good time.
We had the luxury of having photographer Javier Sotres on Friday night for Behind the Scenes photos. There are a lot more, and a job of mine today is to pick some good ones.
Luckily, Javier chose five for us, and I’m adding them here. His website is sotresjr-photography.com. Check out his work!
Thank you to everyone who is helping make this crazy project possible. We’re so grateful, and we hope we have something really epic to show you all when it’s all said and done!
Mateo and the shot are in agreement. You can see the name of our film!
Andrew is our Emcee! He couldn’t make it for Saturday filming because he had an… emcee gig. That’s me in the corner ‘Hollywooding’ the green screen to smooth out a crease.
Ramiro adjusts the light box we borrowed from my neighbours. It’s literally a cardboard box. We used our couch as a tripod (you may see upcoming Trouch content) by turning it on its end. You can see the wall with our regular artwork on it. We would have used that wall if we didn’t go all green screen.
I had to fix the curtain rod holding up part of the green screen, which required crawling underneath. Part of it was weighted so we couldn’t just lift it up easily.
Indie film. This is the good stuff. Live your dreams, people!