Final Scene – 10-19-20

mic in shot (full)

If you look closely you might just find something here that doesn’t belong.

This Tuesday marks the 5th week since I experienced the horror that was my first attempt at filming my short film’s climax. I will have my opportunity to redo the entire scene.

If you read my post regarding my first attempt, you will see I entered the shoot unprepared and ambitious. I spent the morning at Home Depot searching for a part they didn’t sell in order to get my “squib”, or air-propelled blood squirt contraption, to work. I spent the next 3 hours getting coverage on a scene that has little value and only features the character of Leo speaking to a computer screen.

squib 1

How ’bout that CO2 powered spray? Magnificent.

We arrived at the hill in mid afternoon, and overheating issues plagued us from the beginning. The entire sequence was shot with my kit lens at 16-20mm, so I didn’t have a single close shot or even a true mid.

confrontation too wide

Example of a shot that is too wide for the intensity of the moment.

Framing was non-existent – each time we were able to turn the camera on, I told Brad to hit record and we began the scene. On top of all this, I hadn’t read my lines prior to filming. Despite this seeming like the greatest evidence of my unpreparedness, the reality is that making your own short film involves so much prep work with regards to equipment, set design, props, cash on hand, and shooting order, that this has been a consistent issue for me. I’m highly interested in directing a short film I do not act in so that I can be behind the camera for a change.

confrontation (zoomed)

Here is that same shot with digital zoom applied. See how pixelated we are? That is why a) I will never use the kit lens again b) I prefer prime lenses

After 4 straight graveyard shift, I will finally have a day to myself to hammer down my prep work as good as possible. There will be a sequence where Michael fires a shot at me that misses, I charge him, overpower his knife, and stab him. After tending to his wound, my character will be shot. Choreographing this sequence with proper camera angles will be my primary focus today. I will also make sure my fake blood appears authentic, measure the appropriate amount for blood spatter, and test my device at least once. I have tested it with water and it works.

After filming tomorrow’s sequence, I believe it will take me 2 more weeks to have the entire episode fully edited. I have a lot of scenes already pieced together, but the still have to go clip by clip to adjust audio levels and apply color correction.


If the script requires your character to be dragged out of frame along rock, thistles and dirt, make sure your camera operator actually has a tight shot when he gives you the thumbs up.

I’m thinking of recording a few of these editing sessions and posting them on a youtube channel. I’m a stanch believer in reserving the tmwproductions to finished stories only, but feel it could be a good way to grow viewership for the films release.

smiling dirt 2

At this point I was bleeding with road rash and was still in the shot.

Part of me is considering releasing the film for a contest entry. My hesitancy is caused by these contests reluctance to allow entry of a project that is already available online. I don’t have the patience to send it out to places only to sit on my hands and wait to hear back. On top of that, my character is an asshole. Especially in the film’s opening. I feel he will turn off a lot of viewers and support, but it is what it is. I’m not going to be able to reshoot the opening so that’s just something I’ve got to accept. I asked my buddy what he thought of it and he was furious about how I drank my beer – “Bro who the fuck sips a beer like that?” It’s crucial notes like these that always help me improve (lol).

beer throw

He agreed that I did have a great beer throw, however.

The sun is rising and it’s 6:41. At this time tomorrow, I will be saying “action”. I’ve got from now until then to get things in order. I’ll be getting an update out later on this week, I hope you have a wonderful day.