The Story Beyond The Still

Now that you're done w Chapter 2 TELL US YOUR STORIES...

Vincent Laforet

Vincent Laforet PRO

I'd like to call on the VIMEO community to SHARE THEIR STORIES with us - give us a taste of the Behind the Scenes of your Chapter 2 Submissions!

I KNOW YOU ALL HAVE SOME PRETTY DARN GOOD STORIES TO SHARE!!!

I can tell you that every one of the initial videos I shot with the new Canon cameras (Reverie, Nocturne, The Cabbie, and a few since that will show up shortly in various forms) were part of a wild set of circumstances and usually had a fair amount of high and low points. Trials and tribulations. Small disasters and wonderful discoveries with this news series of HDDSLR Cameras! When you work by yourself as a photographer - you have your stories. When you work with 4, 10, 20 other people on a short film - the stories, jokes, friendships, mishaps abound!

SO PLEASE SHARE YOUR STORIES - the HIGH points... the LOW Points... of your shoots - I know you all have over 100 stories to share that we'd all love to hear! Not just the near misses - but the good times too ;)

As I've said before - for "Reverie" I found at I could get the camera at 4 p.m. on a Friday - and was shooting the very next day at 4 p.m. The shoot was fun and smooth and we did it all with existing gear (all still gear + one lite panel and the modeling lamps on my Profoto 7B battery strobe pack!) + one fluid head... all else was old school - no filters... no monitors - no scouting, no permits - NADDA. NO STRESS either - Canon wasn't expecting me to shoot a video - they just wanted some initial feedback on the camera that Monday via e-mail... but I had an itch I guess.... one I'm happy I scratched... We ran into the NYPD 3-4 times - and they never hassled us... one in fact asked us if were shooting an X-Rated movie half-jokingly... we didn't look like a video / big crew - so we literally got away with "film permit murder" (total lack thereof) - even with the 5D MKII mounted to the hood of my car in Times Square ... those were the days!

Also -the week that followed (getting approval from Japan and posting the video) was unforgettable - I don't think I slept for 7 days straight as each night we were given the go ahead to launch... and then asked to hold... and a go...and hold... for SEVEN DAYS STRAIGHT!!!! And then - there was the deluge of response to Reverie and the year that followed. What many of you may not know - is that on several occasions - Reverie was never going to get to see the light of day - BY ANYONE - because it was not an "approved" project and the footage was shot under NDA with a prototype camera. Therefore had Canon Inc. told me not to release it - I could NEVER have shown it to ANYONE. Period... those were a very interesting set of days let me tell you... very big LOWS amazing HIGHS.

With Nocturne - we had 72 hours of pre-pro time. Unfortunately - we had no time to get the permits stamped in time - we wanted to get it done officially - but by the time we had decided on a location - it was too late to get it approved by the city... so we had to do it on the fly which is nerve-wrecking in LA. Every single person on the crew was working a day job. So we all worked our day jobs- and worked together through the night on Friday... back to work on Sat to our day jobs w/ no sleep - and then miraculously - everyone came back jazzed for the Sat night shoot (ALL NIGHT 'TIL SUNRISE!) and then everyone went BACK to work on Sunday!!!! I'll never forget Sully our security guard excusing himself at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning - asking if he could leave ... because he was 30 minutes late to his job THAT MORNING !!!! AMAZING CREW - Can't say enough.

Another unknown tidbit: we lost 50% of what we had shot on the main camera for the first night. This was DEADLY. I assumed the card had been lost after checking every single card in our possession several times over... KEY FOOTAGE was missing!!!! So I drove out after the first full night's shoot to each location at the crack of dawn and spent 4 hours combing for a missing card...

Finally in a last bit of desperation - I ran every single card that I have through a pretty exhaustive disk recovery software - this took close to 8 hours... AND I FOUND THE FOOTAGE!!! Turns out - someone formatted the card at the end of the first night... luckily we didn't overwrite the good takes the following day and it saved the day. It still made the shoot hell for the directors etc. But we managed to keep it together... so ALWAYS BACK YOUR DATA UP on the scene - and don't put too much footage on any ONE card... a 16GB card is DANGEROUS... we shot 1/2 an evening with just that ONE CARD... NEVER AGAIN.

The Cabbie was interesting in so many other ways as is pretty much every shoot given the size of the crew and the way we like to push boundaries etc... I could go on and on - but the point here is to have YOU you to share... so please do.

So kindly share you stories - your adventures - your mishaps - your epic mistakes - your incredible discoveries - dumb luck - epiphanies - your mad dash to finish the edit and upload...

SHARE

(YOUR TURN NOW...)

Abe Duenas

Abe Duenas Plus

Had to borrow trunk, had it for four hours, my actor almost could'nt finish the shoot and I edited half my movie holding my 8mo. old bay :) and didnt know exactly how to render it properly for vimeo, Thanks Simon, next big buy will be a z finder

Phillip Jackson

Phillip Jackson

Hm the hardest thing for us was writing a story that was shootable with all our schedules. My whole cast (besides our only human character) are students. So we were always meeting at odd hours coming up with ideas and rewrites. We lucked out that the writer's aunt lived pretty close to the city and the place looked great. I honestly could make a short film about the house, the lighting was just so great there. Of course Chicago winters weren't kind and both of our shoot days were below freezing. Which wouldn't be too bad until we had to do the stop motion. I found out stop motion isn't easy and when your hands can barley function, that doesn't help at all.

But besides the weather, everything came together great in post. The sound track was done in under 12 hours and we had several rough cuts that we play tested. The only thing that I wish I had more time with was some more color correction. I'm still quite new to that part of post production so I'll go back after this is done and touch up the coloring.

But I did learn that I don't like producing, I'll always let someone else do it if I can. Just give me my camera and some lights and I'm happy.

Khoa Le

Khoa Le Plus

Interesting story Vincent =) Well before I go into my story, a brief background info on me. I'm a professional record producer/songwriter/composer and I tell my stories through my music usually. But with all these great technologies coming out, I was so compelled about making music videos and film. To bring my songs to life and seen visually was a new challenge that I wanted to take on. Started with an HV20, then a 5d2. Started about 6 months ago and having a photography camera with ZERO knowledge of photography from aperture, shutter, iso, exposure, equipment, color temp, lighting, and all sorts of accessories. I had no clue where to start. I could tell you everything about music and equipment, but not this! As the result, I studied on my own reading forums, tutorials, and practiced until I got the understanding. Within 2 months after getting that perception and understanding down, I started on the script. Shot my first film called "Denial" which was accepted into the New York Internation film festival, and now this "Spirit of Hoboken".

So on with the behind the scenes story. A few months ago, I saw this alleyway that compelled me to want to take some real nice pictures. So when this contest came up, I knew exactly where I wanted to shoot this film.

It was about 20 degrees below, 3 layers of pants, 4 layers on the top, and my car nearby to warm my actors up. Cops came by and we had to tell them we were NYU students shooting a project that must be completed in 2 days. They took a look at the camera and said to just "keep it down" and to try to finish it within an hr. Well we rushed the whole thing and did mostly 1-2 takes of every shot. What I hate most is being rushed, but what can we do. We didn't get to finish that night so we had to resume 2 nights later. Again freezing cold below 30. This time smaller crew of 4 people.

The only real accessory is my DvTec shoulder rigg. I had a 4" screwed into my lens and tied down with a ziptie and rubberband as my follow focus. (Imagine someone pulling focus with his elbows in my face....good times lol). My zacuto z-finder couldn't hack it because I didn't have a fog protector. So it was impossible to use that night.
I also had a Indislidermini (bad build) where I had to use text books to lay on it. I had to hold the minislider with my knees. Not only that, the pole light flicked on and off. We ended up having to time it. It was every 30 seconds before it flicks off and 60 seconds to flicker back on. So within that 30 seconds, we had to shoot it lol. Keep in mind, the pole lights were our only lights. So that one night to do just that Radio Scene took approximately 3 hrs to do. Of course, the cops came in around 3:00 am and asked us questions. My friend who held the boom was dressed almost like an Arab with his scarf covered and a hoody. The funny thing was that he was holding a flashlight. The flashlight had a round box in front of it for a spotlight effect. The cop asked him what that was while his hand was on the GUN strap. My friend had to "slowly" bring it up and show them it was a flashlight. We ended up laughing going home.

Anyways, so that week with 2 or 3 hrs of sleep per night for 5 days, I ended up editing, sound designing, scoring, mixing, color grading, syncing, and organizing everything. This is on top of my 9-5 job where I had to get up at 7:30 am. I think the biggest challenge is organizing and knowing where the clips are located.

So that's my story on how this film was created. Not much of anything and I do hope to get better accessories to not have an elbow in my face as the guy pulls focus =)

Khoa D. Le
kvibe.com

Layla

Layla Plus

wow, I can't believe you're relatively new to filming etc.. Your work has quality of someone working much longer in the industry! (I really like your film)

I'm quite new to filming, so I hope to pick up things quickly like you too :)

thesteelshark

thesteelshark

started off with me going to big 5 and getting fishing line. used my video camera and thats it really. I don't have anything else to help me make something with insane production values but I'm not known to let something stop me.

alright lets see, I asked my dad if he had a trunk some some kind and asked if I can use it for a video and we cool with it. got armadillo. used safety pin to tie line to and hook on it and moved it around.

alright the driving, for the shot just outside the car I was on my rollerblades trying to keep up in speed and stability. later after I was done I realized I could of sat on the hood of the car and did that, oh well. she also almost ran me over too, HAHA, good times. oh and the person that popped his head out of the car saying bye was me.

went around the subways here in LA and recorded all the moving around. and the zoom out of the earth thing, that I did in after effects and the globe I made in cinema 4D.

I did all the voice work, and I wanted to do music too but my guitar is badly out of tune and I lost my tuner a long time ago. edit together in iMovie and success! I have now made the most bizarre video ever and it makes no sense.

simon

simon

But it was fun to watch. I have a new respect for armadillos now... :-)

Manny Nomikos

Manny Nomikos

Hmmm... Well, I saw the ad for the contest just a week before the deadline so we used Andréas new Canon Hg21 and put together this little fun movie. I really liked the idea of going on the 'picture is worth 1000 words" tangent and not having dialogue.
(Chaplin is an obvious hero of ours) We wanted it to be fun, charming, and moving at the same time.
I guess the funniest aspect was Andréa and I had to carry the chest from the subway onto the Brooklyn bridge and having everyone really uncomfortably stare at us as if we had some kind of WMD in the chest. I was almost certain we'd be stopped... but we weren't.. in fact some cops saw us and just looked at us like we were loons.

But the cops did stop us while filming at an abandoned warehouse in Jersey. I suppose the safety of Americas abandoned warehouses are our greatest concern :P (and that was without chest or any crew or anything else.)

It was fun overall and no matter what, I'm glad we were a part of it. It was just the two of us after all with the HG21. We did have one lens.. it was from a broken telephoto camera lens that we scotch taped onto the camera for the early flashback scenes in the beginning.

Good luck to all, and please send us any feedback. Im really impressed by the other videos Ive seen so far..

Charles Frisby

Charles Frisby PRO

I got interrogated for having a tripod in NYC when I was there... even though it was a monopod. The po are always messin with us. Whats up with that?

Manny Nomikos

Manny Nomikos

Gov Patterson's got it out for the filmmakers! Cops laughed at us on the bridge.

Kris Koster

Kris Koster

I was really excited by the contest from the start. I make commercials, corporate and the odd music video for a living, but would drop it all in a second to make TV drama/feature films. So this is a bit of a practice run!

I make a living from writing/directing, so coming up with the story was the easy bit. Producing was the tough bit! Regarding the story continuation... For me, telling people what was inside the trunk was not an option. A story has a beginning, a middle and an end and thought it too early in the chapters to give that away. Because my piece solved the puzzle as to the owner of the lost bear, I see that as ‘stealing’ a plot element away from the story, so had to give one back in the form of the ancient book.

The challenge for me was producing – getting everyone together for this, actors, props, vehicles, locations was tough and made me appreciate the efforts producers go to as part of their job. It took two weeks hard slog to get everything and everyone together.

Getting the talent was fun. I knew of a famous actor, Michael Redfern, living in my neighbourhood (check him out on IMDB). Managed to track him down, he liked my script and he was up for the part. I was thrilled at securing him for this piece – He’s one of these actors that has a marvellous face where an expression can tell 1000 words. Next, a producer friend of mine knew another famous guy in the area, Ricky Valance (had a number 1 hit in the 60s). I found Ricky more of a challenge to direct because he’s not an actor, he’s a singing performer, but he still came out trumps for me.

I was going to shoot the whole thing on my XH A1 and Casio EX-F1, but a local newspaper ran a story on what I was doing and from that I got a call out of the blue from another production company who wanted to be involved. They had a RED one and offered it to me free of charge. In the end, I did have to pay 100 for the prime lenses and also for the RED hard drive, rented from somewhere else. But it was a first shooting with the RED for me (we did end up shooting a few clips on the XH A1).

My best find was an abandoned construction site where, just before sundown, light floods inside creating these beautiful long shadows from the columns. It was a perfect warehouse exit from Vincent’s still image with the mob emerging into the morning sunrise.

I thought I might get it all into a one-day shoot, but it turned into two full days. Sunlight and setting was important and it had to strictly follow the timeline of Vincent’s piece (set in current time).

Principle photography went smoothly (although we got thrown out of the construction site location after the owner was tipped off! – But not before I got my beautiful money shot!!) – The little boy I chose for the role had the most perfect face as a mob boss’s grandson. He’s actually the son of an airline pilot friend of mine! Ahh, so he was the one that lost the bear with the key!!

Post production didn’t go as smoothly. First, it was getting the raw footage off the RED and into a format my PC could handle. Obviously I had no need for the massive 4K or even 2K footage, and the Quicktime files work much better in FCP than Adobe CS4. Nevertheless, I finally managed it.

Editing in CS4 was a nightmare. It kept crashing on me and after coloring it, couldn’t render the 4 minutes properly... I had to do it in lossless pieces, put them back together and re-render in H.264.

I barely made the upload in time for submission date. Took a lot of time, but we all enjoyed the effort.

Charles Frisby

Charles Frisby PRO

Yeah, your acting crew and picture quality rocked in your video. Cool seeing how it all happened!

Scott & Lisa

Scott & Lisa Plus

I'm all fresh and new at this...camera, editing, writing, and even vimeo. I wanted to jump in with both feet and do it. As I started coming up with ideas of how and what I wanted things started to become more difficult....mainly the actors. I don't know about you guys but my "friends" came up with so many excuses of why they couldn't. So I decided to do it all myself.

Fast forward to the idea, I wanted someone not stuck in a trunk but rather stuck in their head. Yes Yes I know, I could have done more story telling...so I needed a dark place and since I do not have audio equipment, I needed a place that did well acoustically.....ah ha! The closet. I darkened that bad boy up, threw a nightlight in there (cuz ipods suck for lighting) noticed the nightlight was highlighting me too much so I stuck it in a t-shirt. Heck I even had to tape myself up (damn friends). I then went to town hoping to make it believable having done no acting in the past.

So this was my first, I'm happy with it, happy I submitted it, and thankful for the opportunity.

Charles Frisby

Charles Frisby PRO

SCRIPT
I saw Vincent's story and decided not to brainstorm immediately or to dig through the pile of material I already had. I figured the story would come to me. The first line I wrote ended up being the last line in the short, "I'd like that." I knew what actors I wanted to use instantly. I wrote my first treatment, then revised it. I wrote 2 pages worth of character bio's and then wrote what I call my "Ghetto Script". I sent it to my script guy, (and actor in the the short) David Suto. He converted it to a proper script and I passed it on to my wife Kristin, the actress in the short. David, Kristin and I met up, revised the script and got a second draft ironed out. A few lines changed on the day, but working with actors who you know and trust is always a joy.

REHEARSALS
I never did rehearsals for a movie/short. I've worked on plays, so I understand how and why, but rehearsals for film seemed so silly to me before. Now, I will refuse NOT to do them. I told my actors that I wanted to do each shot in one take. I wanted them to preform the entire scene from begining to end for each take, and they did. During the last rehersal, each of us added or changed something small, but the scene was better for it. It's the most scencire scene I've ever written/directed. And I have about 10 takes of it from beginning to end. I strongly recommend rehearsals to everyone who has dialogue.

ART WORK
Obviously, the artwork in the story was very important, as it played as the driver of the dialogue. I can draw, but I am not the best and I learned long ago that if you do not delegate work as Write/Director/Producer/Editor... your dooming yourself to fail. I contacted a few people about doing the artwork, but I got no response. I decided to head over to the near by University and spoke with a few professors in the Art Department. They introduced me to Josh Muller. I had 6 screen grabs from The Cabbie, all converted to greyscale and put into the brightness and contrast. Josh agreed to do 5 of the 6, leaving the trunk, the most important shot, for someone else in case he did not have time. After seeing his work I had faith in him and he delivered swiftly. I gave him the printout of the trunk. I offered him double and he said if he had time he would deliver. Luckily a snow storm hit that week and canceled everything. I had my artwork. I had a few extra drawings needed, so I drew a few pictures of my wife and drew a few keys on a piece of paper.

LOCATION
My wife and I have been supporting a local homeless shelter in our area for our third year now. The place is actually an old Rail Road hotel from the 1910. The moment I walked into the place 2 and a half years ago, I knew I would film there some day. After the first draft, I secured a room to use. It got filled by mistake, but since I was checking in often we had the person moved to a better room just in time. The room, like the artwork, was a character of it's own, and had to be perfect.

ORIGAMI
Rehab is typically sentenced to you by a judge after doing jail time. Others admit themselves, but typically rehab is full of former inmates. I met my wife while we were working as jailers, so knowing inmates was a major advantage. What we call "Inmate Art" is usually found in rehabilitation clinics as well. These are bracelets, rings and origami typically made of sting from blankets or Oranges/Blues (the uniforms they wear) and sometimes chip bags and other things. That being the case, Kristin wears inmate art in the short. She wears a ring and a hair tie made from string. The origami we had a friend Cricket make for use. He did various flowers in various sizes. The flower used was perfect and we used it at every rehearsal.

MUSIC
I found Herman's work on YouLicense.com and have since then been trying to use him in a project of mine. After writing the first draft I went though his catalogue and found his song Buried Memories. It was perfect. I drew a few story boards to it and would constantly listen to the piece when writing. After I explained what I wanted to use the piece for, he created a remixed version of the Cabbie's final theme and sent it with the AIFF. I plan to work with Herman in many more projects to come.

SETTING THE SET
The Oaks was great to work with. They set the room up with the desk we needed as well as cleaned it up pretty good. We set the up the artwork and then set up the desk the way an artist would. David had never drawn before so I was showing him how artists work in small areas, why they have so many pencils and so on. We got a hygiene stuff very similar to what inmates have in jail and dressed the sink. We placed the book "Until We Have Faces" on the desk because my wife felt that's a book that David's character would read while in rehab.

FILMING
We Set up a 6x6 reflector in the room, but not the legs because room was tight. Having dodged using sound on a DSLR thus far, I did not have a proper sound recorder... so I used my XHA1 for the shoot as my Mic needed phantom power. I've since ordered an H4n. I mounted my shotgun mic onto my camera since I was the only crew member... so sound somewhat suffered. I bought a Glidetrack Slider for this project and was worried I would not have it in time. I needed it for 3 shots. 2 of which I could have faked in post, one that I could not. The slider showed up just in time, so I got the opening shots I wanted. The reflector we used added a lot of light, but we had a small 2x3 foam core with cut out handles to light David's close up shots. It looks ghetto, but I've used it for 2 years and it is very valuable... for $15 foam core. We propped it on the desk to get good light on his face. After every few takes, I'd dump the files onto my MacBook and let the cast watch their takes. They were very happy with the look, but had changes they wanted to add to their deliveries. This "Dailies as you go" approach is very valuable (if you have time) and really aided the production. After we wrapped we had our traditional "Chinese Food Wrap Up Feast".

FILMING MISHAPS
This is what you came for right? At the Oaks, there were children staying. The kind of children that... if you asked them to be quiet, they would scream louder. So we had to stop constantly for their shenanigans. The actors did not blow one take. Those kids blew so many. Patience is a virtue. The biggest mishap was my sitting through the window. I was setting up my shot on the opposite side of the desk and as I was positioning my Mono Pod, SMASH! We all watched as a window older than my parents crashed to the ground in pieces. Luckily, there was a second window behind this one, so we closed it and shoved the glass aside until we could do something with it. The show must go on! Other than the kids, the window and a few "Clear the background" moments, there was not too much that went wrong. We planed on paying to have the glass replaced, but the glass place in town donated a new pane. Shave that form the budget!

"Do you have a bed?"
Every shoot has a catch phrase. When my wife was in the hallway, preparing for her entrance, one of the kids was interrogating her. He asked in his curious 6 year old voice "Do you have a bed?". I guess he asked this because the bunk had a huge reflector in front of it. Just before starting a take, I'd ask the actor if they had a bed and it was always comical and set the mood great.

POST
I cut this the same day. David stayed behind and watch the Super Bowl while I converted, synced and cut everything with headphones on. The first cut was great, but I worked on sound for the next 3 days. I uploaded the day before the contest ended and am now working on another project. It was revitalizing to work on a project with actors again. The Post Production Blues is not all of the work you have to do after a shoot, but coming back to real life after shooting on location. I plan to work on every chapter I have time for and to do a different Genre each time. I feel very grateful to Vincent, Vimeo and Canon, not for giving out prizes, but for giving people projects to work on and for offerening exposure to those who need it!

Kris Koster

Kris Koster PRO

Charles, that's really interesting! It's inspiring to see how other filmmakers work. Regarding rehearsals... Yes, I see the need for them where a piece is dialogue heavy (such as your excellent piece)... They absolutely cut valuable production time. However, if dialogue is short and snappy, I MUCH prefer NOT to rehearse at all. Reason being, there's too much to be gained from a natural first take.

Talent ask me on set, 'How do you want me to play this?' and I just reply, 'However you feel like it.' because you know the guy has read the script quite a few times already and has his own idea of how the role should be played (which very often is the most natural performance you can get). I'm not the actor, he is, so let him act!

Sure, it's going to be different to the way you envisaged it, but then you can always change it for 2nd take and make him do it your way. So many times I can't count the talent's surprised me with a totally different presentation that was far better than my own idea.

Shame about the kids spoiling your shoot. I'd have struck a deal with them and coaxed them with some reward if they hush... Probably not the right way of dealing with unruly kids, but then I know what's more important when the camera's rolling!!

Blake Johnson

Blake Johnson

Well i was on a music video shoot in AC when the first camera assistant told me about the contest, so i checked it out and watched the first chapter. Then i looked at the due date and was like damn i got a week to think of a story and get the ball rolling. I got everything pretty quick but i couldnt find an older man or a warehouse that i could film in. I ended up having my friend play the part and as for the warehouse i found one but it was abandoned and i really didnt have permission to shoot there. The day of the shoot everything went pretty well until i had set up my light and got 2 shots in and my friend noticed a light shinning through a side window and it wasnt our lights, it was the cops. They where nice and all but the owner of the place wasnt so nice and wanted us out asap. So the cops gave us 30 minutes to pack up and get all our shit out. Needless to say i got all the shots that i could get within 30min and got out of there. When i got home i realized that i missed a few key shots, but i made the best of what i got. On top of all that i never used a DSLR before and they are tricky to use if your used to a HVX. All in all i had a great time with this contest. You'll be seeing me for the next chapter!

Tuck

Tuck

The biggest challenge for us was showing the secret tunnel inside the trunk. I wanted an "Alice in Wonderland" type of effect - a long tunnel receding into darkness. Only thing I could think of was the garbage chute in our apartment complex. It turned out to be the perfect size and texture.

Now, came the tricky part....filming it. Our biggest fear was being ambushed by a fast moving piece of trash while filming, so we shot from the top floor. But we also needed light and the trash door barely allowed me to squeeze in with the camera. No room for anything else.

So my wife went down a few floors, and shined a light back up towards me. This created a nice reflection, but the light didn't recede into darkness anymore. We'll fix it in post, I said, which I usually say when someone else is doing post.

To achieve the final effect, we took a still shot of the shaft and made it darker at the end with Photoshop. Then we used the vanishing point filter to map the image onto a 3D tube, which we imported into After Effects. Now I could physically move down the shaft, which we rendered into a movie. This was then composited into the movie of the trunk to create the final effect. If we had more time we'd polish it a bit more, but considering the limitations, I think it turned out pretty well. Amazing the power of film - one can turn ordinary objects like a trash chute into a magical gateway.

Ruben Latre

Ruben Latre PRO

... not sure if we've the right to post in here...

?

Considering we aren't officially in the competition, although we went through the whole process...

vimeo.com/9395344

... and before the tears we had the fun...

On set.

4 days of shooting, exteriors at the Brooklyn Navy Yard with temperatures below freezing, an impressive hangar full of old glories from aviation history (also with temperatures below 32 and no heaters !!), a more relaxed day in an interior apartment and one last day shooting in an ambulance...

as I said, a lot of fun...

A little anecdote... We still remember that angry ranger yelling - "get off of my wing" (referring to one of the airplanes), what she didn't see is that we weren't on the wing but behind the wing on top of a ladder !!!

... and then we went into post, a combination of Final Cut and Color

till there everything was alright....

... and as I said, then we got the tears...

we never thought compressor could take so long, so by the time the video was done we were already 20 minutes late...

we had successfully uploaded an earlier version, but for some reason it has yet to be posted...

In any case, the competition was a great inspiration to force ourselves to shoot something, a perfect excuse to keep playing with one of the best toys we could ever have !!! thank you Canon, thank you Vimeo...

If you guys want to have a look

vimeo.com/9395344

shoot on a Canon 5D Mark II with a few Canon primes

thank you for reading and watching...

the 'never' crew

Daniel Hernandez-Stumpfhauser

Daniel Hernandez-Stumpfhauser

A piece of glass fell inside the ear of my brother Manuel (the director and photographer), vimeo.com/user2590027 while we were shooting the action sequence at the end of the movie. He still has the small piece of glass inside his ear and says it will probably stay there forever. What a wacko!

Blair Dog

Blair Dog Plus

This was definitely a learning experience in spreading yourself too thin. I was grateful that a lot of my friends volunteered to put up with my BS and long hours to be in a 3 minute film. I found out that being the director, cinematographer, lighting, sound, editor during the entire process was a beast to take on. It's really hard to focus on what I wanted from my actors while i've got five other things to set up and take care of before I shoot one scene. I definitely was overly stressed. It would have been nice to have at least one if not more people who knew how to light or do sound or anything on the production side. I think that me doing it all by myself is what held back my short the most. How I's love to have a big production crew at my disposal, but I don't so for the next one I'll plan accordingly. All the stress aside I really had fun and learned a lot doing this. I shot the whole thing in one day from 6 to 11 at night in my aunts warehouse. We didn't even get rolling until about 7:30 or 8 because of outlets that didn't work and just setting up lighting and trying to direct the big opening sequence that I wanted so badly. Unfortunately due to the rushed shoot and freezing cold I shot a lot of the scenes haphazardly and flew by the seat of my pants and got into the editing the next day only to hate myself for.ha. I'm glad I could get 3 of my friends the next weekend (4 days before the deadline) to come out and act like some thugs and change my entire opening sequence. In the end I was much happier ho halfassing w everything turned out. They always say don't work with animals or children in show business but I think that my brother was the least stressful part of the process. Thank God!

Leslie Gamero

Leslie Gamero

Well.... Pretty much getting people to help behind and in front of the camera or camcorder I should say. I had to teach/tell my friend what shots I wanted or what I was going for. Make sure she got that, then make sure my actor got his lines right and then the mood of the character. After that, make sure sound was okay. Then get into character myself, after all that... Yell Action! Only to be interrupted by either plane, boom-box, or a scream from another location.

Call my other friend and BEG him to be available for a shoot. Suppose to meet him at 12:00pm at the family arcade. Only to find out he was a no show. This was a day before the contest ends so I had to get him that day or change the story dramatically which I did not want because I already shot for a specific story.

Come to find out he decided to get a haircut and that took about 3 hours just to wait for him. Took him to an empty parking lot, gave him few instructions ( base on his acting skills ) fed him the lines. Took 2 takes and call it a day.

Rush to edit.

Find out I need to shoot myself saying a couple of lines. This is at night before the contest ends. Set up the camera, mic myself up, focus, go to position, obviously not forgetting to press record, get into character, do my take, go back to camera to stop recording, change position of camera, and start all over again.

Editing I kind of knew what I wanted.

However ENCODING on a laptop took foooooorrrrreeeeeevvvveeerrrr!!!!!!!

I barely made it to the contest because as you well guess it.

Uploading took foooooorrrrreeeeeevvvveeerrrr!!!!!!!

Pheewww.... Thank God is over.... I would be having kittens if I went thru all that and did not make it... : )

Alexander Fox

Alexander Fox

A quick behind-the-scenes video here: vimeo.com/9494295

As soon as I heard about this contest, I decided to try to put a team together. From several humbling experiences over the years, I've learned not to try to do everything myself, so I hoped that some of my the folks I work with on my commercial/corporate jobs would be up for the opportunity.

I was very fortunate; aside from a couple of scheduling conflicts, almost everyone I asked to be a part of the project - cast and crew - accepted! This was crucial. Without the great actors and my co-producers/writers Len Spears and Doug Hall, this project would never have gotten off the ground.

Throughout the process of creating "The Warehouse," obstacles turned into blessings. A few examples:

1) The original script called for Jeremy's character to be outside the warehouse, on the phone, when the decoy operative in the red dress staggers up to him, to distract him. However, the day before the shoot, the weather forecast called for heavy rain. Frantically, I rejiggered the script to take place largely inside the warehouse. As it turns out, the shot with the girl coming in the door is now one of my favorite parts of the piece!

2) I originally asked a friend of mine to compose the music. He got off to a great start, but then got so bogged down in "real" work that, with 18 hours until the deadline, all he could give me was basically 2 minutes of ambient background tones. I knew I would have to do it all myself, from scratch, at the last minute. So, never having used Garageband before, I sat down to play composer. Fortunately, my officemate is a guitar & drums teacher, and he was able to jump in and perform the most crucial part of the score: the Marvin Gaye-inspired soul music that accompanies the Operative in the red dress. By trial and error, I was able to get a reasonably functional score for the rest of the piece. It was very stressful, and my wife was not happy that I stayed out until 4 am working on it, but ultimately I'm very happy with the music.

3) The weather wound up working perfectly. It rained earlier in the day, giving us nice wet pavement for the drive-by shot, and then during the shoot it was windy, which worked for the breathless entrance of the operative. It drizzled a bit during the driving scenes, so we had to bag and cover the camera, but the actual rain held off until we were putting the last pieces of gear into our cars! I really can't complain at all.

AMADEO

AMADEO

As a first time Director, I experienced an adventure like no other through the thrill, rush, and detail that goes into a production. I must confess that I was so nervous I thought I was going to hurl.

We filmed on Super Bowl Sunday. It was a day after it stopped raining in Southern California, one of the actors had flaked on us like 2 days prior, we got the location through a friend days before, and we literally edited and uploaded the video within the last hour of the competition deadline. Its insane how everything worked out in the end!

ricky montalvo

ricky montalvo Plus

I have to say, I'm impressed by the lengths fellow directors & crew took to produce their films. Fight scenes, parkour, jibs, props, locations, graphics and stunts seem to be a key ingredient in some of the best films within this competition. Our original production was derailed the minute our actor called 15mins prior to say he "was running late" - this was the catalyst that prevented us from shooting our original script on Sunday Feb. 7th. We ended up doing a complete re-write that night, found a new actor and story, shot on that following Wed. and edited it the day of the deadline. Our props: a $14 Teddy Bear, a $5 key. No Jibs, tripods, stunts or special graphics. Our goal was to keep our story aligned w/ the original chapter: simple yet visually rich scenes with subtle clues and hints (the radio, the phone) that would lure the viewer in. Is our movie perfect? No way. Did we succeed in doing the best we could under the circumstances? Probably. Would we have done this story different? Not at all.

Landis Fields

Landis Fields Plus

HANGAR 7:
vimeo.com/groups/beyondthestill/videos/9391181

Im sure the other 3 members of the "HANGAR 7" team have stories to add but for me a couple situations come to mind. First off our movie is a bit creepy so the mood would reflect that at times on set. We had the payphone mysteriously ring even though it didnt recieve incoming calls. We heard some freekishly scary sounds coming from the trees on our playground night shoot. I think we all just went to our happy place and pretended it wasnt that big of a deal so we could just muscle through it but you could tell we qll wanted to get out of there. Last but not least we had a yard full of blalck crows on the first day of our edit...and Im not just saying a few...a yard full. That about sums up the creepy stuff (other than shooting in a random warehouse in the city which is scary even if nothing happens). Other than that I guess our big story would be the fact that the parent of the child in the main photo didnt feel comfortable having it front and center. The original plan was to use our friends children for background photos on the board of keys. So when the parent pulled out, you guessed it, we were forced to replace that photo in 2 shots which we had 2 of our 4 guy team soley dedicated to those 2 shots for 3 days. Hopefully you all didnt notice which would be a testiment to how good of a job they did.

Ross Gerbasi

Ross Gerbasi Plus

I love reading all the stories, honestly I am more excited to read all this then watch the movies :) There is something inspiring about hearing from people all around with the same motivation, love and desire for just making movies. Its awesome.

THE GIRL: vimeo.com/groups/beyondthestill/videos/9394725

Our production started with a bit of dumb luck. I had a Red Chest I used to keep all my He-Men in when I was a kid. It has been with me for as long as I can really remember. When I opened it it still had some bebe pellets in the bottom from when me and my friends would have way to much fun trying to blow them up with a bebe gun, my parents were not pleased :)

Red (director) wrote up a draft, and pitched it to the 3 of us. At first we were all a bit intimidated, there was a lot to accomplish in a very little amount of time. We are just 4 dudes from Chicago with no budget and very little gear so its not like we have access to a crew to help us build this key room he had imagined. We went back and forth a few times on script ideas. The deadline was only a week and a half away.

Finally we all sat down and had a conversation about why we were doing this in the first place. We do this stuff because making movies is fun. We all love it. Everyone got really excited again. We decided to concentrate on what would be the most challenging for us, to continue the story. We felt the first movie had a nice slow pace to it, leading up to something important and meaningful. We wanted to take that feel, and build on it using the energy it left us with. We wanted to "grow" the story because the concept of a community working together to create ONE amazing movie really excited us. Our goal was also to leave things as open as possible for the next group creatively if they decided to continue the thread.

By the time it all was ready we had a week to make the movie. A friend of a friend happened to have a warehouse, another happened to have a friend that wanted to act. That's pretty much how everything came together, through friends of friends.

Luckily the warehouse worked amazingly, for Josh (cinematographer), the most important thing was matching the previous still image - especially the light and the windows in the background - as best as possible. There were security cameras on location, so we didn't have to fake those. The actress, Arica, was totally perfect for the part and really help sell our story. Arica is claustrophobic so we couldn't stick her in the box too long. So a lot of the box jumping around and being knocked is me stuck in the box, i didn't mind it too much :) I started texting people from inside, letting them know i was stuck in a box...

Shooting on the 5D was a lifesaver, we could move so quickly from shot to shot, with little setup. We could move from inside to outside, to hallways with less worry about rigging a ton of lights and prepping everything.

Another friend had a "creepy laundry room" which we really didn't know what we were getting into until we showed up. Josh and Stuart had spent a few nights painting up Styrofoam from some boxes we had laying around to be panels. We Velcroed those to the pillars in the room. Stu then painted up some light switch panels to be key holes, then those got stuck in there also.

The best part of the Key Room was Josh's gas rig. We bought some of that silver bendy pipe from home depot and the plan was to push the fog from the fog machine through it. A quick test proved that this was not going to work at all. So Josh rigged our leaf blower onto the piping, all with duct tape of course. Placed the fog machine next to the intake on the leaf blower. You start the fog, hit the blower, and volla, a fog shooting tube. Amazing stuff, and it really worked out well for the shot.

Another neat trick was the reflector mirrors. The day before shooting, Red and Josh chatted about giving the key room an organic feel. We took an old clear plastic bin, and filled it about half way with water. Bought a pack of mirrors from home depot (this really was a home depot movie). Red and Stu are superstitious :) so I smashed the mirrors and we put the pieces in the water. We shined a light into the water then had Stu and Brittany, hold mirrors and shake the bucket to cause that watery caustic look all over the keyroom. So as you watch the movie just know there are two people dropping a bucket and holding mirrors just off to the side, creating that water effect. The "creepy laundry room" turned out to be an "old meat locker" with apartments built above it!!!! There were drainage channels cut in the floor. We ran water through them to give everything an even stranger effect.

i couldn't write this without including this story, though I am sure Josh would rather me avoid it. It was a late night of shooting as we tried to get everything together for the edit. We needed to film the hallway security camera scenes. The plan was to have Josh throw on a steady cam rig, and follow Arica through the hallways down the stairs and all the way to the basement. I must point out it is about 2am at this time and Josh is definitely showing some fatigue. Me and Red are upstairs with the two of them preparing for the run. Red yells action and away they go. About 10 seconds later the room was filled with the sounds of crashing yelling and screaming. Me and Red exchange a quick glance of total fear, thinking not only is this film done, we probably destroyed our camera, and now need to take our friend to the hospital. We ran after them to find Josh laying at the bottom step and Arica trying to balance with the camera crashed onto her arm. Josh is constantly saying "are you ok?!" followed by a lot of curse words. After a moment of silence for Josh to regain himself, we were relieved to see him get up on his own feet. We walked upstairs to tend to his wounds. "I'm done." He said from the bathroom. We wrapped for the night. I grabbed up all the gear and took it upstairs to inspect the damage i was sure was going to end this film. To our complete surprise all that broke was a small plastic brace under the monitor on the steady cam. This was easily glued back on and everything was back up and working by the next day. It certainly was a moment of complete terror for us, and if you look over the behind the scenes pictures you can truly see Josh's blood and sweat went into this film!

After all that the final piece to shoot was our "LED Machine", we searched around for something with 7 LED's we could film switching from Red to Green, but nothing worked. So Stu and I went to radio shack picked up some wires, LED's and batteries and ran back home to assemble something. I had an old metal box laying around we drilled holes into and hot glued LED's into. Soldered some wires to the end and then using tin foil we ran the wires and the batteries into a foil holder. We would wire up all the lights we needed turned on leaving 2 wires out for the 2 LED's that needed to switch. Stu and I stood out of the camera and did a 3,2,1 countdown. One of us would lift a wire and the other would touch it down to the foil. Thats how you get the LED's switching for our machine. Can't get much more indie then that! :)

The final piece was all on Red again, as he was in charge of editing this monster together and doing the crazy sound design. As he was editing I was using the macro on the computer screen shooting the text conversations between the girl and Bear. We could of done this all in after effects but we really wanted to do everything for this film practically. Its was more about what the camera could do, a test for us.

The final export was madness! Red was finishing up polishing his edit, as I was waiting patiently to get the video for compression. Time was ticking away, but we just had all these little parts we wanted to get into the film, finally it got to drop dead time, and Red exported out his final edit. We didn't even have time to watch it. I tossed it into turbo and compressed this thing, we started uploading and got the thing in at about 11:35 Thursday night. Then it started in the "conversion process". Forgot about that part. It was estimated to take 45 minutes in the queue, I got really worried so I bought a Vimeo account and pushed it up to the front. The video was up and in just before the deadline. We stayed up all night refreshing the page waiting to see our video on the group site. When it finally did popup, around 3 am I think, we were so relieved and started calling everyone who was in it telling them to go watch it.

So wow, this really turned into a book, but that's the story of our journey. Stress heavy...and a lot of fun. We were so happy with the result, and really proud to be part of the collection of amazing films that have been uploaded. We just wanted to throw in our thank you, as I am not sure when else we could say it. Thank to Canon, and Vimeo, Vincent and all the other contestants. No matter what happens this contest has been inspiring and awesome. We cant wait to see what is going to come next! We hope you enjoy our story as much as we enjoyed making it.

Thanks for reading our giant story!
-ross, red, josh, & stu

Stephen Poff

Stephen Poff

Vincent's short immediately sparked all kinds of ideas. I was so intrigued by the bear, not as much by the key inside, but by how it got to the airport in the first place. I felt like we had to see that story before going forward.

I also knew that I wanted to shoot in an airport, on a real plane and that I wanted to have a gunman in the terminal. I felt that no one would be expecting any of these things from a small production. This element of surprise also allowed us to keep the beginning slow and deliberate so that when you saw the gunman and the agents following him, the tension would be amped up.

So... all of that said, I knew that I was being a bit ambitious and that the chances of getting all of this approved were very slim. I figured that I'd shoot for the moon and maybe they would say no to a lot of it, but maybe they'd let me do some of it and I could write my story around what I had left. It was worth a shot.

So I called my contact at the airport and I told her my idea. She said she'd run it up the flagpole and see what she could do. I asked if she would mind me coming out to take some photos for a storyboard. She agreed and I spent an evening planning out all of my shots. I knew that I'd have limited time to shoot if at all, so I'd have to be really prepared.

After writing the script and putting together the storyboards, I sent them off for the authorities to look at. They seemed open to the idea but were a little concerned about the gun and the security implications. I told them that the gun was a prop and did not fire and asked them if I could bring it in and have a meeting with them. They agreed and soon I was sitting in front of the airport's Director, the police and TSA.

It seems that they misunderstood the script and thought the gunman was getting off of the plane. I assured them that this was not the case and that the gunman would just be walking through the front doors with it... just like I did. That fact made all of the difference. After seeing how prepared we were and the professional manner in which we approached them, they gave us the green light.

I then got help from my friends who work in the theater. Meg Lewis secured a few key props such as the trunk, the syringes and lab coat and Sayed (the gunman) helped arrange some of the actors and extras as well as the use of his Canon 7D.

We began on a Friday night with the doctor and the trunk. It was a little awkward because I was both acting and directing and wanted very specific things. Sayed worked the camera and managed to understand what I wanted and got it captured. We had a syringe filled with Mountain Dew that I felt would look great on camera... it wasn't as great as I liked though. Meg's boyfriend Travis saw that we'd need to revisit this substance for our last shot and offered to create an LED light inside of a vial that would do the trick... an offer I accepted happily.

The next night we all arrived at the airport. Sayed had done a great job rounding up extras... which really sold this whole thing... and after getting everyone to sign the releases we were on the way.

We began at 6:00. I had wanted to use mostly natural light with just a hint of backlights provided by an ARRI kit we had on hand, but I quickly realized that we were not going to make it through the night if we had to keep setting up lights. This is not the way I like to work, but I knew that I wasn't going to get another night like this. So we consulted the storyboard and pretty much stuck to it. We ripped through it as fast as we could with most thing getting 1-2 takes unless it was with dialogue... then we might have gone to 4 takes. The most time consuming thing was figuring out how to block the extras and use them to our best advantage.

But even with all of our careful planning, time began to get away from us. The lights are on an automatic timer and just after shooting on the plane and getting our shots at the gate, the lights shut off. We knew we didn't have much more time. So we abandoned the tripod and slider and shot entirely with the Glidecam for the next 30 minutes or so. In a sense that was a good thing, because I think it really made the actions scenes a lot more kinetic.

Sunday was spent capturing, converting and editing footage. I began to get excited by the way things were turning out, but became concerned when I ran into a corrupted file that contained some dialogue that we had only done 1 take of. I called our actor and explained the dillema. He told me that he was at the airport and that he'd be flying out for a week, but maybe he could record it himself and email it to me. I was frantic and would take anything at that point. A few hours later he called tell me that his flight had been delayed and that he could come back briefly and rerecord it. Of course I was relieved.

That evening we spent an evening in the freezing cold shooting (film) and shooting (guns), doing a chase scene and finishing our little film. Sayed was so gracious to spend a lot of that evening on the cold asphalt... he was a trooper. Also, Travis had come through with the green vial and had several versions of it for me to pick from. Kudos to him for being so industrious!

In the end I was running out of time and didn't want to be uploading on the last day... just in case there happened to be some problem. So I rushed through the rest of the edit... wishing I had more time to spend on the audio... but finishing it nonetheless. Turns out I was justified in sending it up early, I got disqualified for a technicality that could have killed everything... so here's to thinking ahead.

I do want to quickly comment on the fact that a couple of people have misunderstood my intent with the gunman. I do realize that Sayed's character seems to be a bit of a stereotype... and that it might have been lazy storytelling to have the man with the beard as the bad guy. But to that point, my intention was to make this more like a "multi" national threat to whomever the target is. The doctor at the beginning is clearly not the same nationality as Sayed. I wanted it to feel like there were multiple foreign entities involved in this. So could I have used Sayed as the doctor instead and made myself the gunman? No... It was one thing to direct from in front of the camera for that short scene... but it would have been a disaster trying to do it in the airport. So why me and Sayed instead of someone else? Well, the area I live is not as big a melting pot as some bigger cities like New York or Atlanta and I had to use who I knew would work... Sayed and I are both clearly not your average white American so we were the clear choice. Anyway... that's all I really have to say about that.

I hope you guys enjoyed my film, it's been a treat to see all of yours!

Stephen

vimeo.com/groups/29767/videos/9341159

The Reverie

The Reverie Plus

KEY MOVES is one of the first projects that Micah Baird and I have produced together. From concept to completion it took us about two weeks and would not have been possible if not for a series of completely unrelated and fortunate events. We're living proof that sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

Moments of Greatness

Micah's first Steadicam shot - Steadicam, separating the men from the boys since 1976. This was Micah's first Steadicam shot: moving at sprint speed riding a skateboard downhill at night, camera facing behind him, being chased by April, and me saying from behind the monitor "that's good but can you go a little faster?"

April Hutchings fighting David Lavera - David may be one of the fastest people I've ever seen. On top of that he will just climb up a wall like Spiderman in the middle of a conversation without warning. Clearly he is phenomenally athletic, he is also a trained stuntman who knows how to movie fight. April on the other hand is a lovely young actress with kickboxing experience from the gym. Not only did she go for it in rehearsal and the scene but she took some solid shots along the way. Not the least of which is when David jumps nearly 4 feet in the air and kicks April in the back and out of frame. Multiple times April was launched, ending up face down in the sand. When asked if she was alright she just smiled and said "This is nothing, I grew up with brothers. Let's go again."

Charlie Purviance's final closeup - We shot the end fight, trunk shot and reactions at the end of the day in about 20 minutes. Charlie's CU was the last thing to get but the sun had set. We gotta have that shot. Micah runs to the truck, slips on the prime 35mm f1.2, sets it wide open, punches up ISO 3200, and shoots 2 takes before it's completely dark. That is one of my favorite shots in the film.

Things that slowed us down

Location scouting - The desert scene was originally set in snowy mountains. Seeing that neither Micah or I live in the mountains or the desert we had multiple days of location scouting to find the right place. After a day in the snow and a day in the desert we still had not found the right location for our final scene. As we drove back from the desert I was trying to rewrite the film when Micah randomly points out the window and says "Why don't we just shoot there?" Pulling off the freeway and almost immediately onto a gravel road we found exactly what we wanted… a hidden access road surrounded on all sides by sand and desert, totally by accident and chance.

Wondering drunks - The chase was shot in and around Venice Beach back alleys. Shooting around the nightlife there can be tough. In order to keep the background clear while David was jumping the car I shared my monitor with several of the "locals" who were gathering to see the show. Much better to keep them behind the camera instead of stumbling into the shot slack-jawed and mouths agape.

Opening scene - Originally there was a scene at the beginning of the film where an Unknown Man was sitting in a private library viewing the photo from the end of The Cabbie. He then crosses the room to a bookshelf where he pulls out a photo album that is full of photos of similar boxes. Thumbing through he finds an open page and places the photo into the album. I thought it would be nice to show the boxes to help tie in the keys at the end as well as open a new level of charter who might be behind the mystery. We spent more time trying to find the right props, the right location, and the right actor for that scene than any of the others. I never got any of those problems solved and was forced to write the voice over at the beginning of the film to help launch things. As it turned out I would have had to cut the scene out of the film entirely for time.

There were many more highs and lows but what's most important is we all feel we made a good film and had a lot of fun in the process.

Thank you Canon, Vimeo, and Vincent. Your contest helped bring our team together.

William Roland
Director, Key Moves

See our film here vimeo.com/9395120

Chris Allight

Chris Allight

Hey Kids,

Here is a quick anecdote about my short, The Lost Brother.

There is an old barn that I discovered a few months ago have been dying to shoot, so when this contest came up I figured it would be a fine place to add some great creepy ambience, only thing is it's not accessible by vehicle and is about an hour and half hike away. So I loaded up my camera, tripod, a few reflectors, my lead actor, (Mr. H Bear) and a few other odds and ends into a back pack and went hoofing towards where I remembered the barn to be.

FAST FORWARD 90 MINUTES ------->

I'm standing in a burned out crater and there are three of the dandiest looking extras from Deliverance giving me the hairy eyeball fingering rifles. TENSE silence ensues.

Turns out the black crater is the remains of the barn.

Turns out the local boys used to come here all the time to get there drink on.

Turns out there wondering what some stranger is doing playing with a teddy bear in there former drinkin' hole.

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock.
Mama, I'm too young to die.

Turns out, there great guys, in exchange for no barn and no shots/footage of said barn I get a few free beers, get to fire a shotgun, and learn a little local lore (read-I know whose slept with whose cousins).

So the moral of the story is beer and guns are more fun than making movies.
Wait, wait, that's not it.
Um, how about, you persevere in the face of adversity and not matter what happens you do everything you can to get your ideas out of your head and into the real world.

Much better.

See y'all next round.

Rii Schroer

Rii Schroer

Making of HEARTBEAT: vimeo.com/groups/beyondthestill/videos/9348915

Here is how our story goes.

Our Crew:

Paul (photo enthusiast), Tansy (translator), Julian (press photographer), Lucy (our actress, who is also a photographer), our brilliant fairy Ella, who we “cast” before we met her (friend of a friend’s daughter), and Stella (journalist). Fortunately Emily, Gemma, and Richard (all photographers) were able to help out and jump in on different shooting days in between their jobs. I literally found Nick (editing) on the streets of Sheffield, and Jay, my musician friend from London, promised to pull something off in a day.

We also were able to get Graham and Russ from the Flashcentre on board. They were brilliant and gave us the opportunity to try out cool equipment on this shoot – especially the Rosco light panels for the night scenes – sweet! I am a press photographer myself, having worked with the 5d2 since it came out, mostly as a still camera and first steps with two-minute documentary pieces for the newspaper industry.

Locations:

Sheffield, a stronghold during the Industrial Revolution, still boasts a lot of old factory buildings and warehouses. Perfect. Found out about 2 days before shooting in the parks that we needed permission for that, which usually takes 6 weeks to process! So we had to scale down on equipment to pretend it was a student thing – worked!

Props:

Julian located the pendant for £1 in a charity shop, Lucy, the red shoes for £10 in a vintage shop, me, the fairy’s sunglasses for £2 in a kid’s store. Sorted.

Shooting:

Started with the night scenes and were planning to get them into the box that night. Well, the fairy in the car scene took much longer than expected – reflections everywhere. Good learning curve for us photographers. If you shoot a still you just move your lights slightly, right? Well, does not work with moving pictures, the reflections are back the moment the car is moving again…ahhhrg. Only got 3 scenes in that night. Wine and fish and chips to chill out, air mattresses for the crew. Elaborate breakfast for everybody in the morning.

So, we had to shot a second night, but hey, who could have know that Sheffield United Football Club was playing? So the usually completely quite street turned into a walk-through alley of football fans. Muddled our shooting plan around: wide scenes during the game and the close-ups before and after.

The night running scenes behind motorcycle left us with laughter and tears; Lucy choking on the exhaust fumes, us going too quick, too slow, the odd drunk football fan still around, taking pictures on their cell phones.

Lucky with the weather, sun came out at the right moments, no rain or snowstorms!
As we are all professionals working in our trades during the whole project, we had to get it done by Sunday before deadline, leaving us with a through-the-night editing marathon until 8am in the morning. Exhausted but happy.

I am glad we took part in this challenge, as it left us with many experiences and thoughts for future projects. I am personally chuffed and delighted to have seen so many high-end productions on here. We are keen to step up our game, but also have to realize for the moment, that there is a knowledge gap between “photographers becoming filmmakers” and “production/videographer” teams showcasing their trade and expertise with this lovely gadget.

I am positive this gap can be closed, the knowledge and teamwork expertise for creating high-end productions can be acquired, as has been shown in this competition already (unfortunately, none of the finalists seem to come from a photography-only background, but fortunately fantastic work in the finals!).

I would highly advise every photographer out there to go for an experiment like this, as the skills learned are also easily transferable e.g. into more documentary, one man/woman or small team productions, to exploit the camera’s possibilities and photographer’s expertise as some do brilliantly already in our line of press/editorial work.

Good luck to everybody for the next round, and congratulations to the finalists and everybody who gave it a go!

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