The Halfway Mark: Short Film #5

After the script for Lingered was complete, we started with pre-production right away. We anticipated this film to be our most challenging film yet and it sure didn’t disappoint.

Casting

Our main concern was getting two actresses who could pass as sisters. Since Alyssa wanted to take the role of the older sister, we needed to find someone with tan skin and curly hair to pass as her younger sister. Well, as luck would have it, we found the perfect girl to fill the role, Kendra. We actually had people fooled into believing Alyssa and Kendra were sisters.

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Rehearsals

Once we locked down casting, we scheduled 4 rehearsals leading up to the shoot. Since Kendra is a non actor, it was easy to work with her because non actors are not overly focused on their acting like amateur actors are. Non actors tend to lack understanding of acting which in turn allows for a more natural and real performance, if directed right.

To keep things mellow during our first rehearsal, we did a simple table read. There we discussed the characters, story and overall feelings. With the next 3 rehearsals, we built up toward the overall performance. This slow build helped Alyssa and Kendra ease into the roles without being too negative on their overall performance. Even if they didn’t get a scene quite right on the earlier rehearsals, they would be encouraged and validated because of the slow build.

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Rehearsing a scene in the dark to get the mood/feel across.

During rehearsals, we used little tricks to help with the performance. For example, this short film shows a huge disconnection between two sisters so there was a rule that for rehearsals both girls could not have eye contact. Each time they talked to each other, they had to look away as if they were trying to ‘run away’ from each other.  These tricks really helped with the performance. It was great to see the girls on the first rehearsal versus the actual day of filming. They were acting like sisters and had a great dynamic on camera.

Crowdfunding

We’re happy to say that we successfully crowdfunded $1100 to make Lingered. We actually over funded as our asking amount was $800. We felt so incredibly honored that people would put their trust and money into a project that meant so much to us. However, this was a huge added pressure for us. We would never want to let anyone down or feel like they wasted their money. With having raised the necessary funds needed, we were motivated to work that much harder to make a film that could hopefully live up to expectations.

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Our first week crowdfunding.
Location & Equipment

We filmed inside a friends apartment so we didn’t have to deal with permits or fee’s. But, we did have to deal with a tiny space. With a cast and crew of 10 people, we almost didn’t have room to move. Because of spacing limitations, it was important for us to really block each shot and figure out how to make the apartment feel bigger than it was.

In addition to the small space, we had to cram in a bunch of equipment. However, thanks to the money we raised for this shoot, we were able to rent equipment that we had never been able to afford before.

Here is our equipment list:

Item no. Description
001 C100 Camera Body
002 Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens
003 Atomos Ninja Blade
004 Color Checker + BW Checker
005 Miscellaneous Accessories(c100 kit)
006 Tripod Sachtler 1001
007 Arri Softbank D3 Three‑Lighting kit
008 Cstand (4)
009 Apple Boxes (4)
010 Extension Cords/Stingers 50foot (2)
011 Monitor + HDMI Connecting cabo (50 foot)
012 35mm Lens + 85mm Lens
013 Oconnor ob-box wm
014 Shoulder Rig
015 Sound Recorder Kit
016 Boom Mic + Mount + Headphones
017 Black Fabric + Shower curtain
018 Kessler ks lite 8 ft jib with tripod
Production binder

This was the 2nd short film where we used a production binder. We got the idea to implement a binder during our 4th short film Sway and it changed the way we did production. This binder literally was our best friend during filming. Even when everything seemed to be going wrong, we knew we could rely on our production binder to have everything necessary to get us through the shoot.

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Production binder on set.

Our production binder included the following:

1. Cast and Crew Contact Sheet
2. Shooting Schedule
3. AC/Camera/Script Supervisor Logs
4. Scene Break Down
5. Script
6. Shot List
7. Storyboards

Production Day 1

Due to some unexpected turn of events, we ended up changing Lingered from a three day shoot to a day in a half shoot. It was very stressful to readjust the schedule just days before filming. The amount of stress we went through do to this change made filming almost impossible. But, because we had blocked all our shots, rehearsed 4 times, and had our production binder ready, we were able to make the adjustments to the new schedule and still know exactly what we needed to do and how.BTS29

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On the set of Lingered

However, we did fall a bit behind. It’s safe to say that things tend to lag on the first day. Everything is new and it’s the first time setting up and meeting the crew. Day 1 is bound to be a late shoot which is why we planned ahead and left extra time for delays.

Production Day 2

The second day went smoother than the first. Second days are different. People are used to the set and generally more comfortable. So, we were very productive. Since we had to completely reformat our schedule we crammed in a lot that day. However, it was a fun shoot. The team really worked together and it was one of the most efficient shoots we’ve had in this experiment. Although we were on a time restraint (meaning we had to finish filming everything before the day was over), we made it a priority to create a fun environment for our crew to be in.

Lingered_BTS1

Final Thought

Lingered was far more successful than we could have hoped. We started out wanting to have this film set the bar for the next 5 to come and we succeeded at that. We also produced the best quality thus far. I believe this goes to show that our goal in the sharpen experiment is in fact, working.

 

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