Shooting Diary

This is an example of the width of the garage we were shooting in:

This is an example of the length of the garage (and where I stand is where the room ends):


This visual representations of the space we had to shoot in gives one a clearer idea of how little said space we had. However, although space was not exactly capacious we only shot in one corner of the garage, which is all we needed, and the lighting and cameras fitted well into the adjacent corner. Here is a picture of the set before creation:












Here is during:

And here is our completed set:

Whilst we were preparing to shoot, an old friend – Steve (above left) – promised us he’d visit our set since he was holidaying in the UK (up at a hotel in Norfolk). He only stayed for a while but said “A lot of the films I’ve made probably could have worked just as well 50 years ago, and that’s just because I have a lot of old-fashion values.” After that he said “Stevey phone home.“, and then he left. 

We had the set completed half an hour before we were to meet the actor – Henry Saker Clarke – down the road at the supermarket. Our actions were time-conscious but not rushed. We were able to build the set with the desired quality as well as being swift enough to meet Henry at the agreed time; we stayed on top of things because we all new the time constraints and what needed to be done at what time.

12.30 to 2pm = Building the set.

– 2pm to 2.30 = Meeting actor and running through basic instructions.

– 2.30 to 3pm = Shooting obscure, teasing shots which wouldn’t fully allow the viewer to fathom what was being shown.

– 3pm to 3.20 = Shooting the set without Harry and Henry. These are panning shots which allow the viewer to know that the shot is of a dark and dilapidated room.

– 3.20 to 3.45 = Shooting the set with the actors present. This included a variety of panning shots, pull focuses, and dolly shots which was now fully explicit and allowed the viewer to completely see what is in the room. These are the climatic shots.

12.30 to 2pm

After clearing the garage we took two mattresses from my house and walked them to Andy’s and set them up according to the Location Plan (see post named “Planning”). We took tissues too. We scrunched them up and placed them around the set to appear like these were perhaps the captives’ only washing utilities. We brought with us the metal bowls noted in our prop list as well, and placed them next to the mattresses like they are the captives’ water holder. (This is a direct reference to the captives being treated subhumanly.) We changed the concoction for our fake vomit; instead we used a mix of rice pudding and red wine; this we placed on the floor near to the corner mattress. We took with us the handcuffs too which we obtained from my father whom is a police officer. (These, on inspection, were rusted steel and archaic compared to handcuffs of today. They were neglected antiques of my father but were the only pair he was permitted to issue us with. So this prop is contextually incorrect and not an appropriate version of suitably contemporary handcuffs. In editing we only showed the handcuffs in the darkest shots making them indistinguishable and appear only as generic metal handcuffs.)
We then set up the lighting tripod and the camera tripod; we accordingly adjusted them until they were facing how we wanted them. Then we rushed to Budgens supermarket on foot to rendezvouz with Henry Saker Clarke, our actor.

2pm – 2.30

We agreed to meet Henry at Budgens because it is a well known locale, and thus the chances of his parents/driver getting lost trying to find us are greatly minimised. This decision was made because, in doing this, the event of them spending time to find Andy’s house wasn’t applicable and so our schedule was still on track. We told Henry what we wanted to create in our opening 2 minutes; visually, stylistically, and artistically, and we helped him to understand what we needed from him. Henry is all skin and bones, and holds the perfect physique for a malnourished young man! Considering most of his shots were semi-nude we instructed him to bring a dressing gown for warmth between cuts. The last thing we wanted was poor old Henry getting a cold! After we felt the on-set of coldness in the garage we took a transportable radiator from Andy’s inner sanctum and fired it up in the garage behind the camera.

2.30 – 3pm

These shots did not involve the actors. We took extreme close-ups of various props – the water bowl, the mattresses etc. Andy took the manual pull focus shots here whilst I operated the lighting and used the reflector. Because the shots we were taken here were not designed to fully show the viewer the scene we only used close-ups and didn’t use the dolly at this point.

3pm – 3.20

We took panning shots of the rooms here and finally used the dolly. These were wide, establishing shots which we planned to edit in after the teasing shots we shot before this. The panning shots were good and smooth but quite bland but we made these more interesting by using the reflector to light up wherever the camera was facing. This maintained the candle-light, eerie feel. The dolly shots were dynamic and very pleasing but the only problem was that the floor of the garage was not completely smooth and meant there were some bumps in the footage. We edited these out later though.

3.30 – 3.45

We repeated all the panning and dolly shots this time with the actors on set. We then did a zoom shot of Henry in handcuffs for variety although we were advised to use a dolly rather than a zoom for focus reasons. We also took an extreme closeup of his cuffed hands and operated the light so it flashed at random intervals. Later we edited these shots with a blend of colours to give a surreal effect. We did some more extreme closeups of the actors body. Some of these shots were pull focuses. These obscure, extrem close ups of the actors would be eloped into the teasing shots we took between 2.30 and 3pm in the editing. We finished with one long dolly shot of the entire set with the actors present.

3.45 – 4pm

Henry headed off home and we cleared up the set.


About elmercqegs

I am 16 years old and studying at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Horncastle, Lincolnshire.
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