The Shoot


Tuesday – Day 1

Tuesday was the first day of my shoot. I planned Tuesday to every detail, so I could be prepared. I learnt that it was important to be organized from my last couple films, especially from the multi camera  project. Also, having a schedule that was sent out to everyone was important because it meant that cast members and crew knew exactly when to come and what we were doing. Also, having them meet up with us later seemed important because my nephew Jake was meeting us at the first location. I knew if he met everyone at once he would be overwhelmed and wouldn’t perform to his best. Meeting people one by one, or in smaller groups seemed the best option. Furthermore, in the morning I made the decision to film scene 10 at college instead. Also to cut scene 8 as I thought it was too similar too scene five. I also don’t think it adds anything to the story.

In the morning, I had already put all the stuff in the car so there wasn’t much to do apart from check over notes and make sure everything was ready. I went to the first location, which was my friends house, with the camera, tripod and sound equipment. This meant I could get set up and the rest of the things, like costumes and props could be brought later. Once I got there, I began to set up. The first thing I was going to do was film the first shot of scene 1. This is the shot of the TV report. I had burned a DVD with it on, so I could play it on the TV. However, it didn’t work annoyingly. The DVD player wasn’t recognising the DVD. I made the decision to do it another day. I don’t think the shot was really important to be filmed at the location. That when Jake arrived, my nephew who was playing Oliver. I let him sit and eat biscuits while I set up. The first scene we filmed was scene 6, the scene where Oliver (the character) is surrounded by candles. setting up was easy, but lighting the scene was hard. I found it difficult because the candles alone weren’t enough to light Jake. I used my LEDs to light the scene.

I then filmed scene 1, shot 2. I started setting it up before Stef arrived, who was playing Malcolm the families Dad. When he arrived we got started straight away. I let him sit with Jake and Izzy, and they got to know each other. With this scene I found that it was hard to light again. The window was casting a lot of light over Jake, and not over Stef and Izzy. It also meant that half there faces were in shadow. I decided to close the window slightly, then turn on the LEDs on the other side. This meant it evened out the lighting, so they didn’t have shadows on their faces. It also softened the light on them, making it look more natural.

After this I filmed scene 9. This is the contrasting shot of scene 1, where the family are in the same place but only the dad is awake. The scene was easy to set up because I was in the same camera position. Izzy and Jake destroyed the flowers to make it look like time had passed. While they were doing that, I set up the lighting. I closed the curtain, and added an extra layer of thick curtain to make it darker. With the lights, I thought they were too bright and over powered the shot. I decided to drape blue material over the top, which made it look softer and less artificial. Once they were set up, I did Stef makeup, like how I practiced when exploring character design. I created bags under his eyes and made him look dirtier. This makes him look tired and more stressed. I also made his beard look thicker so it looked like he hasn’t shaved in a while.

Here’s a video of me lighting and setting the scene:

Once we finished, we were done at the fist location. We quickly packed up while everyone waited in the other room, so we could do it quickly and effectively. Other people started to arrive while we were still packing up as were slightly behind schedule. Once we packed up, everyone got a bag and we set off to the next location which was the sugar house.

Once we got there we began to set up. For this scene, James needed a lot of makeup. Iris Atherton, who was helping me with makeup did the base while I set up the camera and Olly set up the sound equipment. Other people stuck up the posters for me and made sure the set was set up correctly. The first problem that occurred was the sound. There was a huge fan that was going off so all the sound had a loud noise in the background. This was very annoying but there was no way around it. If I was going to do it again I would of filmed in a different place or used Lavalier mics. I should of thought about this before filming, and it was a big mistake on my part. However, we kept filming. I filmed the scene 2 different ways. As a tracking camera and a still wide shot. I wanted to try it in 2 different ways because I felt like the still shot wasn’t as effective. But didn’t want to just do the tracking in case it went wrong as I didn’t have a steady cam.

Once we finished filming this scene, we went to the car park to meet everyone else.

When we got to the car park, this is when the main issue happened. There was a lot of traffic, and I mean a lot. Lancaster was at a stand still, which meant Mathew Tucker, who had the van, was stuck. We ran half an hour over schedule waiting for him to turn up. But this did mean we had time to set up without a rush and do makeup. We also ate and chilled out for a bit. Happy cast, better film.

Once Tucker arrived, we got started straight away. We did the shots in order of the film. I did this because it made more sense makeup and costume wise. The first shot we filmed was the shot of the family paying the van driver. This was a pretty simple shot to film in total.

The next shot was of Malcolm saying goodbye to Oliver and Emma, while the other characters are in the van. This shot was harder to film. I wanted to make sure the angle was showing the people inside the can, but without making the camera too high or too low. I made the camera head height with Izzy, and lit to inside of the van with the LEDs.

The next shot was of Malcolm looking into the van and the doors being shut on him. The problem I had with this shot was making sure the doors closed at the same speed and time. One of the doors was stiff, and it was quite hard to close. We filmed this scene a few times, as it was hard to get right. Stef (the actor playing Malcolm) suggested that his character might wave at the children instead of just blankly staring. I thought this was a very good suggestion, so we tried it with him waving and it looked much better.

We then went on to film the shots in the van, which is where a lot of the lighting problems came. I wanted the van to look in closed and dark, as most of the time in real stories it is pitch black when they travel by van. I tried pointing the lights at the people in the van, but it was too strong, but I also tried bouncing it off the wall and white paper, and then it was too dim. In the end I decided that Emma the character could have a torch with her, therefor the scene could be lit without it looking fake. If I was going to do this scene again, I would of brought some LED  filters with me. If I used a blue it might of softened the light out but still made it look dark but with the characters features highlighted. I found out you could do this when I was researching lighting.

I then filmed shot 5. Firstly, we added to the makeup of the characters, making them look skinner and dirtier. That was to show passing of time, and emphasise how little food they had. This is the shot of the 2 people arguing about food. This, again, was hard to light.

After, we filmed shot 6. This is the shot of Emma giving a drink to Oliver. We added to their makeup again, making them look very skinny, pale and tired. This made it look like even more time had passed from the shot before. The bottle is pretty much empty, the face that Emma is holding the bottle for Oliver shows how drained he is.

After we filmed shot 7. This is the shot where everyone is asleep in the van apart from Emma. I had planned to do this shot as a zoom out. However, when I practiced this, it didn’t look at effective. I think holding the shot on Emma was more effective as it meant she was the main focus. I made her the main focus by having her in centre, and her being mainly lit, while the rest of the characters are in shadow.

We then filmed shot 8. This is when the van opens and Emma opens her eyes. This took a few attempts to get right. This is when the van doors opened, I felt like it didn’t give enough light. This is I think that if she hadn’t seen natural light for along time, it would over power the shot. I can do this in post production/editing, but I wanted to get as close as I could to the effect. I worked out I could do this by turning on the lamp at the same time as the doors opening.

The next shot we filmed was shot 8, this is when Oliver and Emma walk over people’s legs. I don’t think this shot went as well as I wanted it to. This is in a perfect world I would’ve done it on a slider. Also, I couldn’t fit everyone in the van to make it look like they were walking over everyone’s legs. I think I’m going to cut tis shot in my final film.

We then filmed the last van shot which was shot 9. With this shot, I filmed it a few times from different angles. This is because I wanted the audience to be able to see the people inside the van without them being the main focus.

We then moved onto scene 5. Originally, I put on the schedule that we would film it down the quay, but in the car park there was a wall that would be completely fine to film it in front of. Also, it made more sense then walking with everyone for 15-20 minuets to get to the location. Setting up for this scene was easy, my main focus for setting up was the costumes. In this, there are some solders in uniform walking around. I chose the tallest people to be the solders because it meant they looked more over powering. I think this scene went really well. I especially think that it was pulled off by Katy’s amazing acting in this scene (the crying lady).

We then packed up, and everyone left apart from me, Stef, Izzy, Jake, Olly and Molly. We walked to the next location to film scene 11 and 12. The sound was hard to record in the location as it’s under a train bridge. This meant we had to keep stopping a redoing it every time a train went passed.


Wednesday – Day 2

Our first location we went to on Wednesday was Morecambe beach. This was so we could film the last scene, which is scene 14, shot one and two. As soon as we got there, I realized I had made a big mistake. I got the tide times the wrong way round, so the tide was very out and wouldn’t be in till 9pm. I had to work out what do instead.  I decided with shot 1, where they are in the boat, could be shot from a low angle. This meant that you didn’t actually have to see the water. Shot 2 could start with Emma dragging the boat, so it looks like she has dragged it from the water.

Firstly, we blew up the rubber dingy and I did Izzy and Jakes makeup.

I wanted Izzy to look more rough and very wind swept in this scene. To achieve this I got dark powder and covered her in it so she looked dirty, and then poured water on her.

With the filming, I made a rocking motion with the camera to make it look like it was on waves.

We then moved onto shot 2. With this shot, we made it look as if she had dragged the boat to shore. The problem with the shot was the wind, and how it kept blowing the boat away. However, we put a rock in it and that seemed to work. We did this shot in 1 take.

Later on, we went back to my house to film the last 2 scenes that we hadn’t filmed yet. Firstly we filmed scene 3, which is the lost board scene. Once I put the board up, I splattered water on it, and also tea. This made it look older and more realistic and like it wasn’t just made. I tried this from a few different distances. I planned the shot so the board was far away. But I actually preferred it when the board took up a lot of the shot. This is because you could see the details of the posters and what they were.

We then went on to film scene 7. This is the scene where there is a masked character holding the British flag. The character is meant to symbolize a protester. We did this shot a few times, then tried it with clapping flour within the shot to simulate smoke. I think it worked better without the flour, because it was hard to get the right angle to make it look like smoke.

10th of June Shoot

Today I filmed the bag packing scene. Annoyingly, I forgot to take pictures of my set up. The shot is of someone packing a bag from a birds eye view. I was inspired from my last film that I made, which has a similar shot in it.

I put down a blue sheet which was meant to look like a bed. I then used 2 LED lights the were at each side, pointing at the bag. I changed the dimness slightly because it mean the lights weren’t over powering the shot. Overall I think this shot looks good and effective.

12th of June Shoot

When I started editing my film, I noticed that first and second scene didn’t flow very well together. I wanted to film an extra shot that would going between. I chose to do a shot of Emma writing her homework.

To film this, I had to stand on a chair because my tripod didn’t go that high. However, this meant that the shot was quite shaky. I’m going to need to stabiles it during editing.


First shoot:

Overall I think the shoot went really well. I think it went so well because of all the planning and scheduling I did. We managed to stay on time, as I gave extra time incase of problems occurring.

Everyone enjoyed themselves, which made a better film as everyone had something to do. I’ll watch over my shots and edit an assembly edit, which is the next step.


I think both the extra shots I filmed, the bag shot and the desk shot, went well. If I had more time I think it would of been better to plan these more, as they both very last minuet.

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One Response to The Shoot

  1. kendalcollegefilm says:

    This is an excellent journal entry, showing a strong understanding of production workflows and priorities. I most impressed with how you made quick, clear decisions to cut and alter scenes as required, meeting the inevitable changes in your shoot with confidence and professionalism. It’s also really enlightening to see you working on set, and witnessing both the number of roles you’ve taken in your production, but also the detail to which you’re completing your work. Good.


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