View Full Version : Defence Mechanism
Egg Born Son
05-08-2012, 08:26 AM
With trepidation I open my thread...
...if I am to fail let it be publicly with copious egg on my face!
In the aftermath of a war that destroyed civilisation a lonely civilian comes upon a
cybernetic soldier, still standing his post decades on. After permitting the civilian onto
its territory the soldier finds its routines interrupted by the new stimulus. Over time an
unlikely bond forms between the pair, each finding something they are missing in the
other. As its defences are penetrated physically and psychologically the soldier ultimately
finds some humanity in itself.
Egg Born Son
05-08-2012, 08:26 AM
This will be my first scripted film, my first attempt at editing with FCP, and operating a camera I'm only just getting to grips with. My people resources are limited (cash too for that matter) so I will have probably have to perform more roles than humanly possible. Worst case scenario I'll have to act - ugh!
For the first time I have a SCRIPT.
I have a POSTER (half the battle?).
I have one of my two leads (a man mountain keen to play my soldier)
Have sourced most my locations (permissions just need rubber stamping)
Should have all the equipment I need (the basics: camera, lenses, lights, audio)
I know a few musicians so hope to get a score done for beer
Have a couple of leads on make up artists: one will need to be paid (properly), the other is still learning
I have someone wanting to do the lighting (really wanted to do it myself but have to take the help offered)
Have half the script-essential props either in hand or on the way
Already have the materials to build any set required (this fest was announced the day I was about to start construction of a set for something else I was working on - lucky!)
For someone who couldn't organise their way out of a wet paper bag I'm already much further along than I thought I would be. So time to put it all on the line and start a thread!
If there is anyone in Perth who wants to get involved with this project, shoot me a PM. As it stands I'll be taking on more roles than I could expect to do well, even if I had unlimited time. But no matter how it turns out, as long as I turn something in I'll finally be able to call myself filmmaker! Still in pre-production, need to finalise the shooting schedule but aiming to get it done in two weekends with a third for pickups if required. Then I've got to cross my fingers and hope that the editing goes smoothly (not aiming to do anything fancy). The time for reading about it and doing endless camera tests is over! Time to see what I have learnt...
05-08-2012, 06:17 PM
Welcome aboard. THis is what the fests are all about - getting people to make something and if you can do that - good, bad or ugly, you're doing and not talking making you already a winner in my book.
Start looking around for local film group meet ups etc to get some crew. Any local facebook groups in your area? Get yourself some crew. Try starnow.com.au for some local actors - dont cast based on look alone, can this guy act? Thats going to go along way to what your end result is.
And, if you want someone to review your script drop me a message firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll give it a review for you.
05-09-2012, 01:12 AM
if you can pull it off, it sounds great!
But will say this because I have been through it, dont bight off more then you can chew. Short films dont have to be miniature feature films :)
Egg Born Son
05-13-2012, 03:54 AM
Thanks for the responses. It's starting to dawn on me that yes, maybe I have tried to take on too much. With the passage of another week all of a sudden 3 months doesn't seem like such a long time. Still haven't found my second actor, unsure of whether to use my locations or build sets. And a shaving motif I used in my script because it is a simple idea is beginning to prove logistically bothersome but is too critical now to remove. A couple of essential items I bought on ebay don't seem to be too concerned about my schedule and I may be giving myself only 2-3 weeks of post production in the end, argh! I don't think I'll ever have the right to criticise a bad movie again as long as its finished! I've read that it's the hardest thing you can do, making a movie. I'm believing it right now.
I will take you up on your kind offer Noel, just trying to adjust the script to meet my new set of limitations. Mustn't lose sight of the fact that the end goal isn't to make a good film, it's to make a finished film that I can learn from.
05-13-2012, 09:38 AM
what I would do, is make a "piece" of said film. Use all the resources you have and just take a small portion of it to complete it.
05-13-2012, 07:18 PM
Mustn't lose sight of the fact that the end goal isn't to make a good film, it's to make a finished film that I can learn from.
You're my new favourite member. Got your email - will get through it.
06-25-2012, 10:46 AM
How's it coming?
I'm intrigued by the poster and hope the film is coming together just as nicely!
Egg Born Son
06-25-2012, 05:52 PM
It will be a miracle.
My actors let me down on Saturday and the shoot was aborted at the last minute (literally). I just got contacted by them keen to get out and have another go but I think weather will beat me. My lengthy illness pretty much hamstrung this project and I lost my preferred actors, location and ideal weather with the revised schedule. The script can no longer be fulfilled, I have some alternate ideas but it is no longer tight and I'm struggling to find a new scene to show the transition from a cautious tolerance to a co-dependent relationship between the two characters. Without that the film will be weak no matter how good the other parts. I am considering doing a playdough animation of the original script as a backup plan. Failing that I have an alternative idea I can do with the neighbours kids.
I have learnt a lot even without getting it shot yet. My initial planning was perfect, I had everything accounted for and ready to go. Had I not gotten sick I'm fairly confident things would have gone reasonably smoothly, none of the disasters I've faced would have come to pass if I'd been able to meet my schedule and I would have had a months leeway. In some respects I'm glad it's all hit the fan because I've learnt a lot and will be better prepared for the next one. But I would have liked to see the film I intended to make. I'm still determined to do something. I pretty much have to commit to a course of action by this weekend and stick to it or the deadline will sink me (if it hasn't already).
Thanks for your interest. I'm keen to see what everyone else is up to. Not a single logline has failed to pique my interest.
06-26-2012, 12:36 AM
It will be a miracle.
I understand. So many things have to fall in place for a film to come together. It sounds like a long shot, but I do hope your miracle comes to pass.
06-26-2012, 05:16 AM
Bummer. As Chris says, I hope it somehow comes together for you.
Egg Born Son
07-08-2012, 01:13 AM
I officially pulled the plug today. I could blame my first-time actors but it is my fault for not impressing upon them the time demands that were required to get this done. I don't think they appreciated the time required for post-production and that carried into their blasť attitude towards turning up when required. Due to illness production was pushed back into the only time of year that weather is unpredictable here in Perth. So I haven't been able to give more than a couple of days notice of a shooting day and my actors haven't given me the flexibility I needed. The irony is the weather is perfect today. I hope to have another crack at this script next year when the weather is right. No doubt I will have moved on by then but I'll keep it on the backburner nevertheless.
I have still learnt a lot from this process and will enter my next project with confidence. I had intended to submit no matter how far short the result fell of the vision. I thought about making a exhibition entry but in the end the best result was going to be a disappointment. So I made the economic decision to can it. Had it gone ahead this project had it would have come in under budget (an achievement in itself). I budgeted $750 and spent just over $500. While cancelling the project technically puts me over budget, I bought the military equipment bought knowing that it will be reusable in future projects. The set materials haven't been used and so can be likewise recycled. Significantly less than $100 was wasted in the end.
So ultimately I will take the lessons learnt from a full pre-production cycle (which was a success) and an aborted production cycle into my next project. I'm going to spend the next month getting familiar with my NLE (which I only got my hands on today - that played its part in my decision). I have a much better idea of my limitations and will try to cultivate some local contacts in the intervening time. I'm just disappointed to be pulling the plug (mitigated by my Alienfest result). The next scriptfest is expected to tie in with the next filmfest so I'm looking forward to that extended production schedule. I have a much better idea of my limitations and will try to cultivate some local contacts and develop my resources in the intervening time.
I'm toying with the idea for a crude playdough animation but time will surely beat me. Either way I look forward to seeing all your efforts next month. Good luck to all those still in the race and thankyou for those who have offered advice and support. Oh well, decision made now I can sit back and watch the footy. 3 points up at half-time. Go Dockers!
07-08-2012, 03:13 PM
Bummer! I'm in the middle of a mountain of CG and know how you feel. Five weeks to go and I'm still sweating blood. I'm lucky - i've worked with my actors for years. they're all pros and know what they're getting into ahead of time. If you really want to do short films, develop a good stock company - actors of all ages. it's the only way to go.
07-08-2012, 06:38 PM
gah, yeah I had worried about such, it was ambitious but quite a lot to chew on it seems. :/ Its happened to me many times….. but good luck however in the future! :)
07-09-2012, 03:45 PM
I officially pulled the plug today.
I'm sorry to hear that. I know how hard it can be to mount a production and I really hope you do get to this film in the new year!
07-13-2012, 10:34 PM
Dang and rats. Really a nice concept. But even without a film, the experience has tremendous value next run.
07-29-2012, 02:07 PM
you should just quickly scramble together an action scene just so you can have something to put in the fest :p
08-08-2012, 10:47 AM
That's too bad...I loved the logline (I enjoy your writing anyway). But it sounds like you got some valuable experience that will benefit you on your next project.
I recently got my first NLE and camera, so I'll headed down the same road in the near future(hopefully).
08-08-2012, 01:34 PM
Sorry to hear about the production. But, I know these kinds of lessons are only learned from experience - I'm struggling with serious time constraints as well. Not sure I'll pull it together in time, so I may just submit the WIP.
For me, it's the feedback that's gold. There are some tremendously generous folks on here that really take the time to provide thoughtful and constructive criticism on each submitted film. That's just plain awesome.
Egg Born Son
08-08-2012, 08:45 PM
Yeah, I probably pulled the pin prematurely as it turned out. I had a lot of stuff going on at work (almost pulled the pin on that too, bit my tongue and a day later management seems to have capitulated...for the time being) and my friends who were standing in for the actors I lost were proving too unreliable. With the weather (it's winter here) we were only getting one or two days a fortnight that was usable and that had to fall on a Saturday, the only day I could get the location to myself (a WWII naval observation station with decommissioned artillery still in place). On Sundays they run tours and there's picnickers and on weekdays everyone involved works. Plus I didn't give them enough time to rehearse or prepare.
Since I pulled the pin however the weather has been clear and sunny and even warm during the day for 80% of the time. That has been pretty frustrating, I had thought to have another crack but as a one man crew even if I had got the footage I would have only been able to deliver a rough cut with no sound. My work computer went down with a virus and when IT found the editing software I installed on it they got a little...upset with me (going so far as to 'strenuously' refer me to policy) and have locked me down. My own computer died months ago and the replacement I bought hasn't been despatched yet because the seller offered paypal but didn't have a paypal account, refused to get one and paypal wouldn't release the money because the seller couldn't be contacted to say okay...blah blah blah. Paypal's great when it works, the seventh hell when it doesn't. They've now released the money but it will still take a week to clear to my account because....well who knows how paypal works. I digress.
The project is not dead however. I suspect War was the theme primarily because the northern hemisphere season is conducive to outdoor shoots. I will be revisiting this either late spring (Octoberish) this year or early august (Aprilish) next year. I have had some discussions with my actor who is still really keen and now has a better understanding of the level of commitment I need. And I am more sympathetic to the actor preparation I need to deliver. The real actors I had lined up are willing to be contacted for another go if they don't have other commitments when I'm ready and I should be able to get the location back so I might be able to reuse most of my existing preparation as it stands. Not longer being a Warfest entry I can rewrite the script back to the 8-9 minute piece it should have been.
In the meantime I'm working on something else I can make over a long period of time utilising the resources and people close to hand while waiting excitedly for the next fest. There has been suggestions the next scriptfest will be linked with the next filmfest which means extended production time for those making their own scripts so I am really looking forward to that. I'm a little disappointed in being defeated by the setbacks but even moreso because the preparation had been so good (before I got sick). I am the worst organised person in the world so my successful preproduction was a huge point of pride. I've really appreciated the support from you guys and pleasantly surprised by the buzz it generated. I'm hooked, I'm definitely submitting for the next one!
08-09-2012, 06:52 PM
Ah cool bro glad to hear that you may still be in it - well perhaps as an exhibition film?