Something in the can!

It was a crazy weekend!

After location scouting for a scene involving a crashed vehicle, the limited nature of Inuvik's road system became all too apparent.

We couldn't find a good a location to film what was needed, without extensive compositing, and there just isn't time left before deadline to get into anymore of that. So Saturday night we sat down and did a brainstorming session for alternate scenes. We eventually settled, thanks to our friend Adrienne, on a completely different opening scene to shoot. It's less deep of a scene, but it serves two important purposes. While advancing the plot, it also is much shorter to shoot and will help keep the end film under the 10 minute mark required by Dead North.

So armed with a few pages of quickly scribbled up story-boards that were hacked together the night before, we got ready to shoot in the early afternoon. I was too beat to write the previous night, so we went in with no script, and no re-written dialogue. We totally winged it.

Unfortunate circumstances also left us without a main actress, and we were forced to grab one of the crew and promote her to lead (Sorry Charmaine, but we tried!). We hadn't gotten any usable footage on the previous shoots due to multiple audio issues, so we were pretty much starting over at this point anyway. Fortunately, our stand in Kristen Lavoie knocked it outta the park! (I promise not to underestimate you again Kristen!)

As we continued the shoot, things continued to come up Millhouse (Leave a comment below if you get the reference! ;-P) for the most part, we achieved some beautiful footage, most of it has usable audio as well (yeah, bonus!). The shoot wasn't without problems however, but at least they were few, and fixable in post (I hope). I have given up on lavalier mics, as we can't figure out any way to get audio from them that isn't filled with crunches, pops and the gritty woosh-woosh of clothing rubbing together. I even tried clipping them into my actresses hair, but no dice. The only luck I have achieved with them is sitting quietly in a chair not moving. Moving around? Even walking dialogue? forget it!

Finally rigging up my shotgun mic, and affixing it to a broom-pole ('old-mop-handle') is working a treat. The only issue left is to use an EQ to try and isolate out the ever-present drone of Power Corp thrumming away in the background. Sigh.

We are playing catch-up all this week, shooting every few days to get enough footage to hack together the final film. At least that's the plan. It's been really difficult with our outdoor scenes, as the sun is only allowing us maybe 4 hours of usable daylight, although more each day as we head toward summer.

Working a full time job means I can only shoot on Saturdays & Sundays. And so far due to scheduling we have had to pick from one of those two every week to do an outdoors shoot. Then we have to get lucky with weather, as my mic doesn't seem to last more than 2 mins in -20c or worse conditions.

We had to break off the outdoor shoot, hopefully it warms up next weekend or I'm going to end up doing more green-screen composites to complete some of the scenes. At least there are only a small handful of outdoor scenes left to film, the rest takes place mostly in a cozy living room location.

After retreating to warm cold-toes and thaw out all the gear, we managed to knock out a whole bunch of green screen shots for one of the sequences mid-film. These turned out really good so far!

A while ago I managed to put together a decent studio room with a green screen and I'm amazed how well it functions even if it is really cramped to shoot in.

So things are finally coming together. I'll keep you posted on further developments. and hopefully a few behind-the-scenes photos.



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