Short Film - Block (Pre Production)

So, I have finally something to update on since the last post. I have been writing a short film titled BLOCK and we are getting towards the end of post production. I say 'we' a lot when I mean 'I' as it has essentially been me lying on my bed meticulously planning each aspect and stressing out. This post is going to be about each of these aspects and how I did them, I'm not sure if is was the best way of doing it but it seemed logical to me.

SCRIPTING

The first thing I did was obviously write the story out. This started at around the end of the last project (sometime in August) and is still evolving as I think of new ideas to better tell the story. It would probably help if I gave a little synopsis of what the story is actually about...

BLOCK is a short film following the life of Will Miller who is a fictional author who is suffering with writers block (ey hence the name how clever). After becoming interested in some crime news in his area, he starts involving himself in minor crimes to get inspiration. Over time, this becomes an addiction and the benefits he gained start to bring nasty consequences too... Check out this video we made for the crowd funding campaign which summaries the story in some more depth.

This segways nicely into out crowd funding campaign.

CROWD FUNDING AND BUDGETING

I felt quite embarrassed creating a crowdfunding campaign. I think there is something strange about asking your friends for money when it isn't going to charity but I told myself to look as it as selling cinema tickets to fund the project and it seemed justifiable. 

For the remainder of the budget, I am going to just pump my savings into it if needed. It's not exactly going to be Paramount Studios budget but there will be food, water and equipment which is all we really need.

LOCATIONS

As it stands, all of the locations are based within a few miles of my house. This is because of contacts and ease of access. The majority of the places have been provided by friends or mutual friends and the remainder were found by asking around my local area. The good thing about locations are, even though they are hard to find most of the time, once they are secured, they're rarely drop out. This is a nice point to segway onto actors...

ACTORS

As this project is tainted with the 'expenses only' tag, it is always hard to secure actors as usually, if a paying project comes along, they go for it, which is completely fair enough. However, because of this, theres been a few points throughout pre-production where someone has dropped out and I've had a mini heart-attack and scramble to find someone else which would suit the role nicely. Currently though, things seem to be fairly secure and I think I have a very strong team to get the job done.

Shot Listing

Above, you can see the general structure for the shot listing process. The way I did it was to copy out each action or plot point from the script and put it into a new line on a spreadsheet. The I went through again and added the shots, lens, lighting, whether it needed slow-motion etc. I also added a scene-shot code so when editing, we can easily see which shot is which and speed up the whole process.

That then helped us work out timings for scenes etc and we could build shoot schedules which were ambitious but not too crazy (hopefully).

future plans

That is pretty much all I can think of in terms of whats been prepared before the shoot dates, which are happening throughout January 2017. After that, I am hoping to do a post-production review covering each of the shoot days and the pros and cons of each shoot.

Thanks for reading.

Aaron Wheeler