All that nervousness about shooting my short scene was unnecessary, but was probably going to happen anyway. My film shoot went really well, and it was a lot of fun. The set looked great (especially given that my original ideas for the set kind of went wrong early on, especially concerning the bed) and the actors were fantastic and everyone was relaxed. Including me, surprisingly. Once it got going, it rolled along smoothly and we finished on time to enjoy the nice spring day.
Here are some set photos to show how the space was transformed between my shoot and the shoot the next day. The same exact space was used, as was the same bed. Here’s my set:
I’ve never seen a professional cuddler’s bedroom. Originally I wanted a double bed, but the only bed available from the props department was a hospital bed. So, we did a LOT of covering up with blankets and pillows and somehow managed to make it look like a coherent bedroom. Our props department has a lot of mismatched stuff, so I’m still amazed that we got stuff that matches somewhat.
The next day, I got to be camera (or, director of photography if you want to be fancy about it) for another fellow screenwriters’ shoot. This shoot also went smoothly, which was great. I actually really liked being camera, probably because I love photography and the two are similar. The first set we had was a trashed bedroom that belonged to a male musician:
This was for the first scene of that shoot. For the second, the room became a hospital room.We changed from the trashed bedroom set to the hospital room set in half an hour.
Props has a surprising (disturbing?) amount of hospital/medical equipment. Which isn’t really obvious in this picture, but we did manage to get the dingy hospital feeling across. I have seen some hospitals in the Bronx that would rival this set’s dinginess, so for me at least, it was convincing.
So, it’s surprising what you can do with a set. This space was meant for two different shoots, and stood in as three different locations. I was a bit wary of the space because, as a room, it’s pretty grim. But as you can see above, I think it turned out well.
I’m really happy my directing experience worked out so well. I don’t know that I would want to be a writer-director. I definitely wouldn’t want to only be a director; I like writing too much to ever stop doing it. But if I got to direct my own writing, I don’t know if it would be stressful or a nice extra bit of control. This experience was really relaxing, but I know they’re not all like that, especially on a full-fledged production rather than just the production of a short scene. After our short day of shooting, I was exhausted. So I won’t write it off completely, but we’ll see.
I also have no idea if I’m any good at it. My team helped a LOT. They were awesome.
I did like doing camera on the shoot the next day. Working to make images that look interesting is a lot of fun. I also really like pull-focus shots, but some cameras are better at it than others.
And somehow, I always end up on shoots where the camera is in a position that’s quite a bit taller than I am. But it’s okay, because the shots we got from those positions were really good.
I’m looking forward to getting back to writing. But we have two weeks to edit our short scenes, so I think it’s going to be awhile before I’m back to the thing I’m actually studying.