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Blood Actually

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Scott Roberts
Blood Actually
on Oct 6, 2016 at 12:35:27 am

I don't know why I forgot to post this here...?! Probably because it felt like a blur and time flew by, but last month I was on a 48 Hour Film Project team, and I got to try my hand at some actual narrative storytelling. I co-wrote and edited this short film that was created from concept to completion in less than 48 hours! It was a lot of fun, and the director John and I played around with genres and we *think* we did an alright job!

We won (Chicago) awards for best use of a required prop (a cassette tape), and best use of a required character (Ian Burrmon, a treasurer).

There's things that could have been done a little better, but that's the challenge of making a short in film in 48 hours, right?!

It has NSFW audio, for sure, so don't watch it at the office. But I'm always reviewing movies on this forum, and now I finally helped make a (short) movie.

Enjoy, if you feel like watching!

Team Unsolicited Advice - Blood Actually 2016 Chicago 48 Hour Film Project. from John Kim on Vimeo.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Blood Actually
on Oct 7, 2016 at 4:47:51 pm

Hey, that's awesome that you got to work on that project! I wish I had that opportunity some day. It's not too bad - a predictable ending, but, you know, you guys hit on something interesting with the concept that the serial killers are all in touch with each other in a casual "bro"-like network, like ex- college buddies. "Whazzzuuupppp????/"

I was expecting something to happen with the double mirror reflections, guess it was a misdirection.

Hopefully you can write up some more detailed behind the scenes about this experience, what you learned about the process, etc. I'd like to read that.

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Scott Roberts
Re: Blood Actually
on Oct 11, 2016 at 4:05:06 pm

Thanks Mark! It definitely had room for improvement, but we kind of (mildly) rushed through the script (because we had to). Another team that we met at a mixer before the event told us to keep the writers to a minimum, or else there will be too many cooks in the kitchen. And we definitely noticed that at first when the whole team of 6 core people were throwing out whatever ideas we could. But once we started to narrow it down, the director John and I tried to just hammer out the rest of it ourselves.

There was a Q&A at the screening with all the team leaders, and based on what most of the other teams said (including a few that didn't enter their's in on time), we might have had one of the the smoothest operations out of any of the teams.

-Friday night at 7pm, all the teams met at a production studio and we all watched each other draw two genres we could choose from out of a literal hat (we got Horror or Family Film). Then after everyone drew genres, the organizers told us the three required elements (a cassette tape, a treasurer, and the line "It can't be that difficult"), and then said "GO!" and we all scattered out of the building.

-We went back to the director's apartment and came up with ideas and worked out a script probably by 10pm, maybe? I lost track of time. We knew we had access to a pretty big house location if we wanted to use it, and we tried to not kill ourselves with complexity, so we kind of came up with ideas that we knew we could shoot in this house. And then John called two of the actors he had previously found on some actor website. Luckily we also knew Brad, who played the serial killer's bro pig friend (and the dead Ian Burrmon), and he had access to makeup, costumes, and things we'd need for the bloody leg because he works at a professional haunted house! So he was also our prop guy.

-Saturday morning was a pretty easy for me! Everyone else got up and left to go to the shoot, while I just slept in at the director's apartment until maybe 11 am or something (so I'd be well rested!). We had a pretty good system planned out, where my wife (who was a production assistant and did catering) would run me back camera cards from across the city whenever they would finish a scene or two, and then I'd import them and start editing them until she would come back with more camera cards, and I'd pretty much be editing the project simultaneously while they filmed it. Which was ALSO nice because there were a couple of shots outside that needed better audio, so I was able to call them at the shoot and tell them to re-shoot some stuff, and also about some extra shots that we needed based on the footage that I know we had. Which was huge!

-The workflow with running the camera cards back to an editor worked out great, and was probably infinitely times less stressful than the teams who just shot everything all day and then had to stay up all night editing as well. In fact, one of the things I was probably most proud of as the editor of the movie was the fact that by the time the crew had gotten back to the apartment after wrapping and cleaning up the set around 9:30 pm, I had a rough cut loaded up and ready for them to watch right when they got back! How cool is it to spend all day shooting stuff, and then come home and immediately get to see the fruits of your labor?! So, that was neat.

-We tweaked the rough cut a little more, but it was close-ish, and got the timing exactly as we planned on turning it in. Then we sent the entire fine cut to our composer, Garrett, at about midnight via Dropbox.

-Sunday morning was spent pretty much only doing color correction and sound design tweaks, and then in the late morning, Garrett sent us a score that was timed to the cut we gave him, so all we literally had to do was drop it in the timeline and it matched up perfectly. Once we felt like it had enough tweaks, we put it on a thumb drive and John drove it over to the place where you turn it in (probably in about 44 hours total), and my wife and I went home!

Pretty fun weekend! At least for me, because I'm sure it was much more chaotic for the people on the set!

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