With life coming at me from every direction progress has definitely slowed on Changelings, buuuuuuuut, I have been pressing forward and the shot list is now complete! It’s also much more ambitious than had originally anticipated.
Here’s a small sampling of The List!
At 211 shots, Changelings is shaping up to be visually complex and too large to do over a single weekend. I think I’m looking at four straight days with maybe a weekend of pickups or perhaps I shoot this over three weekends. I could trim things down, but why would I do that!? That would be prudent.
One way or the other, the way the aesthetic is shaping up, this is the story I want to tell. That said, doing this shot list and going through the breakdown has also led to a script that vastly improved.
When going through each scene and trying to decide how to make each moment resonate emotionally, I discovered a lot of missed opportunities for deepening the story, awkward dialogue and discovered new ways of expanding the world.
Just by asking the question “Where should the camera go and why?” for each moment made me rethink everything about the scene? Did the moment call for a close up or a two shot? Maybe it was a continuous master shot that served the scene well. By having to justify each shot, I had to look back through the story and determine if the story called for the shot.
There aren’t many things I can’t stand when watching a film than a shot that doesn’t belong or feels arbitrary. Everyone has seen that shot in a film or on TV where the camera is moving laterally just to move. The camera isn’t revealing anything, asking us to look at anything, emotionally telegraphing, establishing an aesthetic or energy, or… anything really. It’s just moving from one side to the next and then back to its starting point. That is some lazy, lazy filmmaking.
Now that I’ve gone through each moment and had to justify each composition, the world is better and the characters stronger, which makes the story more compelling. Each moment has to be justified, and I’ve done my very best to justify each decision, preparing myself for the inevitable production.
Preparation is the spice of success!
All of this work has produced a script that I am excited to send out for the first time. I don’t feel I need to levy and caveats when sharing the story. I feel very confident about this version. It’s led me to a place that I can finally start fleshing out the feature version for when the short is complete.
CREATIVE PARTNER SEARCH
In more frustrating news, I’ve been searching for a producer to help my co-producer out and have found bupkis. The first person who was interested in the role of producer was late for our first meeting, and after promising to never be late again, he flaked on our second meeting. I told him to hit the road, Jack!
The second producer, who was much more seasoned, had to turn down the project due to her busy schedule. She would have been a great addition to the team as she produces for one of the largest film trailer companies in Hollywood.
So the search continues for someone to help bring this project to life. I’m thinking someone extremely muscular and sweaty.
More to come.
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WHO DIS IS
If you want to know who I am and what Distant Signal is, check this out. It’s sort of a manifesto. The TL;DR is that I’ve won an award for producing, make a lot of reality TV, live in LA and think that artist and media incentives are misaligned and serve large corporations and not independent artists.