Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Principal Photography Has Begun!

Still Frames from "Rise and Shine"

In a nutshell, the film is about a girl who has been studying all night and has slept through her alarm. In an attempt to get her ready, things within her home begin animating themselves to get this girl to her test on time. A relatively simple story that focuses heavily on style, specifically stop-frame animation.

I made it a point to get started early on my short film for my Film 172 class. I'm doing a stop frame that will require countless hours and sleepless nights of post work, so I can't afford to leave it until the last minute. This past weekend I was able to shoot about 2/5 of my film. Arguably the harder chunk of the film. At least it's in the past, and the footage looks great.

My actress Kat Brown was kind enough to let me use her house as our location. This worked perfectly because I was going for the anti-dorm room look. Kat has obviously spent a good amount of time decorating her shelves and walls with vintage posters and knick knacks. Because of this, I had to do barely any set decking. Thanks Kat! I think the appeal of the room translates well to film.

On friday, we shot a quick bathroom segment. Then on Saturday and Sunday we did all the bedroom stuff. Luckily, there were a lot of shots that Kat didn't need to be in so she could relax while we animated things. For the stuff Kat was in, she did great, especially considering this is her fist time working on a stop-frame. There was one sequence where she had to stay completely still for forty-five minutes. I felt so bad. Unlike live-action where you just record, stop-frame forces you to slow down and break up ordinary, everyday actions into specific, exaggerated movements. It almost feels like slow motion when you're capturing the images.

Overall, I am very happy with the way our first shoot went. Obviously, there were times when we were all getting frusturated, but we worked through it. Thanks to my amazing girlfriend Jenny, the animation sequences look stunning. I don't know how she does it sometimes, but when you play the images back it looks perfect!

I can't wait to keep the ball rolling and shoot some more stuff. I plan to resume shooting on Sunday, Februray 20th. Fingers crossed for another successful shoot!

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