First Shoot

May 14, 2018

The first day of filming went great. The actors were prepared and we actually finished early.

The shoot began at 9:00am. I got up early to prepare for the shoot. On my last movie, I would get up early and just prepare and get things read-skipping breakfast entirely. On this film, I’ve decided not to do that. I make myself a decent meal as I read through the scenes and went over my shot-list. I really enjoyed that process and I felt more prepared than if I used that time to set up more equipment.


One of my biggest concerns for the shoot was lighting. Josh was at his sister’s graduation, so he couldn’t make the shoot. I did my best to light each scene as we went. Some of it was lacking though because I was trying to focus on so many things. Kevin was there to run audio, but I still had make sure he was good to go, the lighting was acceptable, the camera work was good; all while trying to be attentive to the actors and their performance.


The actors did phenomenal. They knew their lines, but weren’t afraid to try new things—which is what I love.


The only thing I feel bad about is the soup…the stew…the stewp. I made a prop pot of hot dog soup. Cold hotdogs, ramen noodles, bread, spinach, and hot sauce all made their way into this concoction. I only intended for the actors to fake eat it and intercut with shots of them eating plain hotdogs to sell the bit. But these actors are truly dedicated. Take after take, they kept genuinely eating it. In fact, they even said it wasn’t all that bad. So if anything comes from this project, it’s gonna’ be a dope ass recipe.


I wasn’t sure what to include in this blog, but then I recalled my whole purpose of keeping it: To have complete insight. I like to think of what I would want to see in a film blog if I were following someone else’s. I would want to know the mistakes. The worries. The fuckups. So I’m going to try my best to include those.


One would be my exposure. I’m shooting on the canon t2i, which is a pretty old model. It was my first dslr and I just like the ruggedness. But it really doesn’t handle light well. I fell into the trap of believing what was showing on the LCD screen. It looked great! The colors were vibrant and the focus was awesome. But then I reviewed some of the dailies on my computer monitor. They’re not awful. They’re not even bad, they still turned out good, but they’re a bit dark. I think I will be able to correct that a bit with color correction, but that’s something I need to keep in mind. I need to “over-expose” while shooting to compensate for the LCD.


Another mistake I made was not monitoring the audio. I set up the zoom recorder, mic, and headphones the night before. It all sounded great. But when we got to shooting, I handed Kevin the gear and we started going. I should have checked the levels and the quality. I didn’t make sure the mic was turned up enough! Luckily, it was still set to a decent level from the last time I used it.


So now it’s early Monday morning. I have logged all the footage and synced all the audio and video. Now the real fun begins. We will be shooting Saturday and Sunday of this week, so I have a lot to prepare for.


I have no way of really telling who is following this, so leave a comment. Let me know what you think about the movie. What would you like to see in the next blog? More mistakes? More story elements or more gear stuff?


And if I don’t see a response, I’ll know I’m just writing to myself. Which is fine actually.



Here's some photos from the shoot. In no particular order or context: 






Annulus //an·nu·lus




  1. a ring-shaped object, structure, or region.

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