Posted tagged ‘Car Scene’

Reviewing the Car Scene

February 5, 2009

This week’s class began with a prayer as always. Professor Scoggins screened last week’s assignment, which was a short film on the logline: “A woman going into labor on her way to the hospital.” What makes this class great is the hands-on feedback. Professor Scoggins gives initial feedback after the first screening and then plays our film over and over; pausing, rewinding, and playing it back to guide us through it.

I found these to be extremely helpful, even listening to the feedback he gave on other people’s work. I find myself watching my movies with a different eye now. I analyze each scene and imagine myself making it. As a result, it is actually improving my own filmmaking. Nathan thoroughly loved my car scene. I needed to work on the opening, however, since it was a little disconnected from the rest.

In the second half of class, we broke off for 20 minutes to think of a new short film idea. The rule this time was that it had to be in a kitchen. Some of us drove down the road to Starbucks where we could grab some energy and rack our brains. I couldn’t think of anything. Twenty minutes later I still had an empty notepad with no ideas. And it was almost time to pitch. I thought hard. Kitchen. Kitchen… nothing was coming.

Since Professor Scoggins liked the comedic element in my car scene, I finally decided to try comedy again. At the last second I thought of my kitchen idea: “It’s the middle of the night. A robber breaks in the kitchen window, heading for the laptop on the other side of the room. But before he can get there, he runs into a sleepwalker. From there it just gets funny… I haven’t thought of an end yet.”

Professor Scoggins liked that idea, and had some suggestions. What if it ended with the robber accidentally bumping the light switch on his way out the window, waking up the sleepwalker, ending on a humorously awkward note? He had me map out the kitchen, and I showed him where I planned on filming different shots from. For each of our films he repeated this process. He made suggestions, and we would make suggestions to each other.

Now I am ready to go out and film the kitchen scene. Also, Professor Scoggins told us that next week he wants us to pitch three ideas for our final project for the quarter, and in class we will decide which one to go for. I am looking forward to filming the kitchen scene.

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Making the Car Scene

February 5, 2009

It was the first field project of the quarter, and my logline was “A woman going into labor on her way to the hospital.” On Saturday I wrote the script and did my shot list. I decided to have my protagonist get pulled over by a cop on her way to the hospital. But to give it a satisfying resolution, I made the cop her husband, who drives her the rest of the way to the hospital. With this resolution in mind, the person driving her would be her brother, and to give it a comedic element, I gave them some funny banter over her screaming before getting pulled over.

After I wrote the script and shot list, I re-ordered the shot list in the ideal shooting order, according to car location and camera position. That way I hoped to finish shooting in the quickest way possible. Then I storyboarded the shots in order of shooting. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been able to check out any of the cameras from school, so I had to borrow my roommate’s for a couple hours.

Sunday afternoon rolled around, and I realized I still had to find a cast. I made some quick phone calls and was able to find a guy and a girl. I told them to find their own costumes. She used a bike helmet to look pregnant. My roommate was the cop. I filmed as fast as I could. My actors were very easy to work with, and even though we were working in a cramped, hot car, and the takes were rather bothersome, the jokes about pretending to be pregnant kept us laughing, and we finished in just over an hour. I even added a few unplanned shots.

When you finish shooting, the tape is your most prized possession. I have seen people misplace tapes, and all the hard work has to be redone. I held on to the tape for dear life, and the next day in our editing lab I captured the footage onto my external hard drive.

The next two days consisted of heavy editing. Many of the shots were more out of focus, the sound was different from shot to shot, and there was a lot of glare and dust on the lens. Also, for some technical reasons, some of the footage didn’t capture, and so I had to edit around that.
But I love editing. I love digging into Soundtrack Pro and finding music, color correcting the footage and watching the finished product. But in this case I was nervous. I wasn’t too happy with the finished product. I put it in the instructor’s folder where we submit our films to, and hoped for the best.

(To be concluded later…)