Tuesday, 25 October 2011

All Tied Up

We have just finished our latest comedy short 'All Tied Up'. You can see it here.

A couple of weeks ago, Cal came forward with a simple 2 page script. The idea was of Ant's character getting tied up and gagged in the cupboard under the stairs in the midst of a robbery.
Originally, the film would not contain any scenes of Cal's character confronting the burglar. Instead, it was going to cut straight from Cal's character leaving to confront the burglar to both of them tied up together in the cupboard. However, after discussing the idea between the three of us, we decided it would be better to show some form of confrontation. We thought about showing how Cal's character got there, before coming up with the idea of preceding it with a fantasy sequence of how he wished the confrontation had gone.

In terms of production crew we often work as a team, rather than your typical film crew with specific roles on set. This doesn't work for everyone or for every video we shoot, but for this one, the team dynamic worked well.

In order to credit people for their efforts, we gave brief titles:
       Directed by and Starring: Ant Richardson and Cal Thomson
       Written and Edited by: Cal Thomson
       Camera Operators/ DPs: Daniel Kenyon and Mouine Omari
       Sound Recordist: Everyone

This was very much a guideline as there were times when Cal was sound recordist, Ant was diffusing lights and Dan was even acting. The key to short film production is being flexible and adaptable and to ultimately enjoy it.

Dan and Mo brought some of their own kit to aid the production. Dan brought his Canon 60D, 17-70mm f2.8 lens and Zoom H4N Handy Recorder. Dan is also featured as the hooded robber marvelling at the 'Hitachi' kettle. Mo brought two 800W Ari lights, a Manfrotto tripod and his Canon 60D.

Cal, Dan and Ant watching back a take.
Ah the wonders of digital technology
The lighting was very much fill light or diffused to create a more natural looking image. We always strive to keep the images looking clean as opposed to harsh directional shadows often seen in horror and thriller films.

The shoot took about 4 hours in total with plenty of laughter and coffee breaks in between.

After Ant synchronised the external sound to the footage, Cal was able to put together a basic edit within a couple of hours and do some grading. Once again, we used royalty-free music from Kevin MacLeod for the soundtrack. His website is http://incompetech.com/ is one of the greatest discoveries for a poor indie film-maker. You can search by genre, feel and keywords. All he asks if for a simple credit and a link to his website. Definitely worth checking out.

We were planning on ending the film with an exterior shot over the final line of dialogue. However, looking over the footage that accompanied the dialogue we decided an exterior shot at the end of the film wasn't necessary, as the delivery of the lines was funnier on camera.

Production Crew:
Daniel Kenyon, Mouine Omari, Cal Thomson and Ant Richardson

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