The D+CFilm Show’s very own Alex White has premiered his latest flick In the Garden of Terrible Delights. We caught up with the making of his first film, Deadly Illusions, and shooting doesn’t go as smoothly -or as quickly -as he hoped.
One of the first problems we hit on the day was my inexperience. The first scene we shot was number two in the script, which was the magician and assistant talking face to face. Hey! I thought we’ll knock this out in an hour. Not a chance!!
My DP told me we needed to do wide shots for establishing and cut aways. So we started to set up for the wide shot only to find the house lights were way too dark, so it was over to the lighting camera man to spread about 4KW of light into a dark auditorium to give enough light so that we didn’t have to use the gain on the cameras. This took most of the morning then after lunch we went into the dressing room to film another “quick” scene.
At this time we didn’t know but one of the white balances of the cameras were off and we couldn’t get an HD monitor for the shoot. I didn’t realise how important monitoring was, my DP was continually looking over the shoulder of the camera men.
It was an early start the next day, I wanted to use the early morning for dusk to film the assistant and her lover arriving, but it wasn’t until the sun was fully up that there will be enough light for the HVX200s.
I’d seen the knife throwing scenes in A Girl on a Bridge, which where clever edits for the knife throwing. In my movie though, I wanted a pull focus to the knife after impact to see the worry on the assistant’s face so we’d have to see the knife hit the board. I had an offer from Jack Dagger -the chap who threw the knives for the Adam Sandler film Zohan -but the cost of a trans-atlantic flight was a little prohibitive!
When we got to the end of the second day, I had to increase the speed we were doing things and we went into a hustle, which was about reading what we’re supposed to shoot and then deciding what we actually could shoot in the amount of time we had. This was where I was glad I had a DP, who became a second unit director. There were a number of inserts shot to do so we each took a camera op and got the shots in the bag.
And slow mo was where we picked up on day three, we need an eye candy shot that people would remember -after all this is my first film, what better than a knife thrown in slow motion? We started Sunday with around nine pages to film and about seven hours in which to do it. On the shooting schedule, Sunday afternoon was DVD extras time, but in the back of my mind I knew that we would be using this time and by then I think we’d actually gelled and were working well as a crew.
We pushed on and got all the shots in the bag by being strict with the schedule.
With the shots done, the lighting camera man finished transferring the raw P2 data onto my Maxtor 1tb hard drive, and created Quick Time movies of the shots so I could review the footage -or so I thought.
This is an edited version of the blog post from the D+CFilm social network
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