Usually behind the scenes videos show nothing more than celebrities talking about their motivation, or a director talking about his struggle to put the film together. Rarely do we honestly get to see what all of the filmmakers do on set, let alone some in depth details about those jobs. It’s been my dream to share all of my experiences on our sets with you, which take just as much work to put together as the actual film shoots do. But here’s The Nerd Writer’s version of what I want to provide everyone with….an insider’s look at what happens on a film set. Enjoy, I certainly did.
We are working on our first web series titled “123 UnderGround.” We are extremely lucky and thankful that we have a great crew and cast working for experience only. It has been quite an experience for us. First off, we offered positions to many of our friends that have never worked on a set before. I filled many of the positions myself: Producer/Co-Director/Production Manager. Definitely a way to keep me busy. Even though I explained responsibilities to the newbies on set, I should have offered more training to keep them busy. Learn for next time.
I’m not sure we would change anything on this round. We procrastinated a bit too much and ended up not being able to use a good portion of the equipment we were offered, but it turned out great. Thank you so much to our friend Mark Totten for offering his equipment.
One thing I didn’t expect….we said no budget but it ended up being a heavy chunk of a budget out of mine and Kevin’s pockets. Equipment is expensive. Luckily we had lunch donated, which is something I will have to lock down for any future shoots as well. But to keep budget down, we decided on the rule that if it’s not a full day, people will have to provide their own lunch for the next few months or until we can afford to provide it.
The great thing about indie filmmaking is that a small crew allows you to move fast! Luckily we had enough people on set that Kevin and I could direct without having to worry about minuscule bits, but next round I will teach my friends exactly what we need help with to make things move even faster. I believe that if we continue to do this often, people will learn, and we will be more efficient than I ever dreamed.
Planning was key to being efficient. We posted the broken down script on the wall to analyze scenes the week before. All props and equipment were prepped and ready during the week prior. All cast and crew were locked down several weeks beforehand…actually it was more like a month. I changed the script at least 10 times to make things easier on us to shoot. Lunch was arranged a month ahead of time. We had table readings arranged weeks ahead of time to prep the actors. We practiced with the equipment beforehand to make sure everything was in working order. We bought plenty of extras (media cards, cables, batteries etc.). We brought everything to set we could possibly think may be needed JUST IN CASE. We notified the police department. We made sure everything was arranged with the location owner as needed. And nothing went wrong.
The only bad thing out of the entire experience was the sound. We chose a location on a major roadway, and wow was it loud. I was hoping we could work while the church crowd was off the roads, but that only lasted for two hours. Sunday’s are just as busy as any other day on the road. We will have to ADR everything, build the sound from nothing. But, I don’t necessarily think that will be a bad thing. We may end up with amazing sound. Who knows…we will find out soon.
Mark Totten covered the behind-the-scenes footage for us. He will cutting it together to provide tutorials. Check back soon.
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