Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Moving Day

'Moving Day', our latest short comedy film, has just been completed:

The whole film was based on the simple idea of Cal's character getting a sofa dropped onto him and getting stuck underneath it.

The main source of comedy in the script hinged around the montage sequence, which was meant to illustrate how long Cal's character was stuck under the sofa. However, we decided it would be funny to shatter that illusion by revealing that he has only been there for "20 minutes".

There was much discussion regarding how to end the film, with several different endings being talked about: One involved a dodgy calendar fooling the audience into thinking that Cal had been stuck there for days on end. Another slightly darker ending involved Cal's character discovering he was paralysed.

On Sunday 6th November the three of us shot the script. We used our Canon 550D with an 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 lens to shoot the film, with the help of Mo's two 800W Arri lights and Zoom H4N recorder that he kindly lent us. We had the option of using Cal's new 50mm f1.8 lens, but the hallway we shot in was too small to fully utilise the lens.

Recording dialogue proved to be the most challenging part of the shoot, due to the fact that there were only three of us, two of whom were often in shot. As a result, we often had to stash the sound recorder somewhere the camera wouldn't see it for the wide shots, and have Ant or Cal record each other's dialogue for mid shots and close-ups. Regardless, using the Zoom H4N provided far better results than if we had used the on-board mic.

As with our other comedy films, we lit Moving Day using only fill. Our belief is that, for comedy films, the lighting should look natural and unobtrusive, like ambient lighting. So we avoid spot lights, which would cast strong shadows and highlights and potentially distract from the narrative.

So after a few hours, the shoot was completed with no major injuries to Cal and only minor damage to the sofa and staircase!

Post Production:
Moving Day was edited on Final Cut Pro on Paddy's MacBook. A rough visual edit was done by Monday afternoon, but syncing the audio took a lot longer, due to the fact that it was all done manually. Next time, we'll use Plural Eyes - an audio syncing tool - which would have done it in seconds!

A few shots were left on the cutting room floor in order to cut down on time and maintain pace, but the mood of the piece remained the same. We did have a shot in the montage sequence were Ant extracts a bottle of yellow liquid from under the sofa, while himself and Cal look very uncomfortable, but it made the montage drag out too long, so we had to cut it.

For additional sound, we recorded some foley sound effects to sell the idea of the sofa falling downstairs onto Cal, and for music, we used royalty-free music from and

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