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Old 03-25-2014, 04:22 PM   #1
MicroFilmmaker
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Question 3 day feature shoot impossible?

Hello Fellow Filmmakers,

I'm producing my first indie feature myself. I have a VERY limited budget, as do most of us. My script is 80 pages with LOTS of action sequences (no dialogue) (not action/fighting). 75% of the script takes place in one location and I can only afford that location for 2 days. The other location will have a lot of dialogue and I feel it can be shot in 1 day. A few exterior street shoots with minimal dialogue. 2-3 locations total.

I'm going for staged lighting so we can film without light setups. LOTS of handheld and maybe a doorway dolly and jib. Looking for a 2 camera setup with DSLR's with ONE fast zoom lens so no changing out lenses.

Is this impossible or INSANE to do in 3 days?

Last edited by MicroFilmmaker; 03-25-2014 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:30 PM   #2
Tony Fiction
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Absolutely possible. Absolutely insane. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Get to the point where you can flow through the entire production like a theatrical piece. Rent three cameras, and shoot it from three angles.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:30 PM   #3
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I'd say it depends entirely on you and your crew. How many pages of similar material do you find you are typically able to get through in a day? If you don't have an answer for that, I'd say it may not be possible.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:32 PM   #4
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Its impossible for ME. I would struggle with a 10 page shoot in 3 days
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:49 PM   #5
MicroFilmmaker
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That is exactly what I had in mind, a theatrical performance. The movie "SILENT HOUSE" starring Elizabeth Olsen was shot as 'one take'.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicroFilmmaker View Post
That is exactly what I had in mind, a theatrical performance. The movie "SILENT HOUSE" starring Elizabeth Olsen was shot as 'one take'.
Did they get it right on the first try?
How many failed takes did they do before they got the 'one take' that they used

If you just want to film a theatre performance sure you can do that in a day, but it sounds boring to me to watch on a tv.. even if it's one take you should be reframing within the camera. mise en scene or however it's spelled
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:59 PM   #7
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It's impossible to know without knowing both your script and your plan to shoot the movie.

The best way is to determine that question yourself. Break the script down, determine what you want to shoot, your shot list, and then ask your DOP/Grips/Gaffer if this is possible.

While it may be possible (though unlikely), I don't see a way that you'll end up with a quality production.
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:04 PM   #8
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Which is why you need to rehearse everything before you get to your shoot days. You don't need to rehearse on set, rehearse outside even - there is plenty of space there. You also need more than one camera. Get one for a master, and two off to the sides. Before anyone says it's impossible to light, it's how they shoot Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Fiction View Post
Before anyone says it's impossible to light, it's how they shoot Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
It's certainly not impossible to light, but it may be just as much work or more than shooting one cam. You'll also always be making a compromise between either having the right lighting for each shot, or getting the best angles for each one.
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:22 PM   #10
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Possible to do, but wouldn't expect that great a quality even if all the actors had all their lines memorized. Would need to be flawless in their actions, plus the audio and camera work would need to be flawless. Still would need several takes for coverage.
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Fiction View Post
Before anyone says it's impossible to light, it's how they shoot Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Ive seen the gear and the crew they use on 'It's always sunny'. We're talking multi-year veterans and a budget for as much gear as they need.


It's not necessarily impossible, but it's incredibly difficult and entirely depends on te way you and your crew work. Any amount of lighting, and especially the use of jobs and dollies starts to sound like it's getting very hard - unless of course you make everyone work 24-hour days.......
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetie View Post
It's impossible to know without knowing both your script and your plan to shoot the movie.

The best way is to determine that question yourself. Break the script down, determine what you want to shoot, your shot list, and then ask your DOP/Grips/Gaffer if this is possible.

While it may be possible (though unlikely), I don't see a way that you'll end up with a quality production.
I've been on at least two shows (as a Guest-Star actor) where we shot an entire 30min episode in one day. Not a soap. Then I've also done shows where it took 6 days to shot a 30 min show and also a 60min show. Do they have a problem with 'quality production' one a one day shot vs 3?
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicroFilmmaker View Post
I've been on at least two shows (as a Guest-Star actor) where we shot an entire 30min episode in one day. Not a soap. Then I've also done shows where it took 6 days to shot a 30 min show and also a 60min show. Do they have a problem with 'quality production' one a one day shot vs 3?
It really depends on what the show was and how the show is shot. Also keep in mind that shooting on a stage thats been pre-built, pre-rigged and pre-lit speeds things up exponentially. And when you can change location by spinning the camera around, it saves astronomical amounts of time.
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jax_rox View Post
It really depends on what the show was and how the show is shot. Also keep in mind that shooting on a stage thats been pre-built, pre-rigged and pre-lit speeds things up exponentially. And when you can change location by spinning the camera around, it saves astronomical amounts of time.
Understood. Of course that is the premise of how I want to shoot, pre-lit etc. Also on one of the 30min shows I was in 3 different locations, not a stage. This show is in its 4th season.

But thanks for your insight. I take all this advice into considerations ;-)
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:28 PM   #15
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It's been done before. I believe I've heard of features being shot in two days. But yeah, it's kinda crazy. I wouldn't want to do it. I feel like even if you're able to get it done, you'd be seriously compromising the overall quality, in more ways than one. If it were me, I'd do some re-writes or find a way to get the locations for longer periods of time.

But hey, it's been done. No reason why you can't do it. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Not just lines, but blocking. Might also help if the shots are intricately planned out, to allow you to shoot for minimum coverage.

Regardless of your decision, I wish you the best of luck!
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