So... despite working two 14+ hour days, we still didn't get everything filmed. We're probably about 70-75% there, which is going to require some creative editing. We could've done with a week or more, to be honest, but I'll find a way to stitch it together. Maybe. Potentially. No - I will. I already have a plan.
Anyway... you know how film people in interviews talk in really gushing terms about the people they worked with, and how it always seems fake. Well, in this instance... believe it. From the crew to the extras, to the cast - who gave up their time for free and went for take after take - we were blessed with an amazing, talented, hard-working, lovely, lovely bunch of people.
What we captured on camera was better than I could've hoped for... but I thought I'd share - by way of attempting to process the last couple of days - what I think I've learned from it, and what I'd do differently if I ever get this chance again.
2. Get a bigger crew. Bare minimum, I really needed a line producer to keep the budget in check, a first assistant director to keep us to schedule, and a gaffer to handle the lighting. Also: a bigger crew would've helped us do more in the time we had.
3. Get more money. Almost everyone on the finale worked for free, we made three-and-a-half grand on Indiegogo... and yet over the last couple of days I still somehow ended up spending £1,000 or more of my own overdraft on unexpected expenses. I don't like that some people worked for free, not least because of how much work they did. It's fine if I don't make any money out of it - it's my project. I can't ask others to do the same. And that includes the tireless and brilliant Steve "Horsenburger" Horsley, my other half Sanya, and the horde of lovely extras and helping hands - especially Joe, Oliver, Nick and David - who gave us their time and energy for nothing.
4. Work with people who want to be there because they're passionate about the project. I'm sure this is why it was such a happy set; because everyone wanted to be there, for the most part. Even though we worked two 14 hour days - in a dark, smelly, damp, inhospitable environment - there was never a cross word, never any barbed comments. Almost everyone kept laughing, smiling and doing their best work, and didn't make any awkward demands - huge thanks especially to the cast, Andy, Violet and Jesse - for going for take after take with a smile on their faces. They all understood this was a low-budget short film that was being made - essentially - for fun.
5. Work with mates, as much as possible. Again, part of why this worked is because most of those we didn't know well beforehand - Chris the cameraman and his assistants Ash and Harrison, Chris the sound recordist, and Andy (you might know him better as Nam Rood) - felt like mates. They were all willing to stay as long as it took to get what we needed, without a word of complaint. Sound Chris had a four hour drive to get home afterwards, and yet still she stayed. I'd work with all these people again in a shot. I am forever in their debt.
6. Always go the extra mile with the art design. I've spent months working on the set dressing, costumes and props, and my house has looked like some mad, eccentric, hoarder's hovel. But... I think it pays off on screen. That might be my proudest achievement in the whole thing.
7. Location, location, location. We were lucky to find somewhere relatively affordable, but it was worth every penny for how it'll look on screen. Also, Sid - the owner of the place - was incredibly patient with us, despite being kept waiting to go to bed... So, we lucked out there.
8. That's it for now! Goodbye! Thanks, everyone. I'm going to do some more sleeping. Bye. Bye now!