After a busy month of prep, I’ve just finished shooting ‘We Need To Talk’.
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This film did not exist a month ago. Knowing that I needed to have a film shot and edited by April 16th, I looked through my list of scripts in the works and tried to find the most straightforward one to produce. Sci fi drama on the lack of rehabilitation in prisons? Not easy to turn around quickly. So I settled on making my split-screen breakup drama, featuring POV flashbacks and fantasy sequences.
Last weekend Kaitlyn and I auditioned about 20 actors in Manchester. Stephen Beard was cast as Aidan and Achara Kirk as Skye – the couple. Kate Forrest and David Wills featured in supporting roles.
The format of the short is that Skye is one side of the screen, and Aidan on the other. Each has their own flashbacks and memories – sometimes conflicting with each other. To accomodate a split screen format I wanted to shoot in anamorphic. Rather than crop in post, I hired in a set of Lomo anamorphic prime lenses. They’re really huge, old russian things that flare like crazy. But hey, I thought it looked cool on the new Star Trek movie so went with that for the look. The hazier and more distorted the memories the better.
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An example of flare
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Myself, Andy and Will working with a 35mm lens on the Red
Whilst giving a nice hazy image, the lenses presented a ton of practical problems. Minimum focal length was about 3ft, so not useful for closeups. We had a tape a diopter on the front of the lens to pull off a lot of the shots.
Also, they did not play nice with the remote follow focus gears we’d hired in for the steadicam. This meant we couldn’t really pull focus on any of the steadicam shots. Blocking had to be adjusted to keep subjects at a fixed distance.
One of the most challenging shots to get was a fantasy sequence of Aidan dreaming he’s playing a concert on stage. Our filming location for this? A flat.
Thanks to a huge black backdrop, some smoke and good lighting by Andy, I think we pulled it off…
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Some more behind the scenes pics: