Sonic Cinema

Sounds, Visions and Insights by Brian Skutle

OK, this may not be the best way to shoot a film- days spread out over months- but I think we’ve made considerable progress over the four days of shooting we’ve had on this film since we began back in late February. We have one- maybe two- more days of shooting before “Movement I” of this “Thriller in Two Movements” is completed. We didn’t get quite as much as I wanted done today, but we did get about half of it completed. What we did get done, though, was pretty good, however, and that’s the biggest thing to realize. Without a budget, without a set timeline to get things done, what you do get is the freedom to work through the material at your own pace (while slow to some) and get the best results in the process. There will be continuity questions that arise, there will be revelations that manifest (That flashback mentioned in my “Day 3” blog? I wouldn’t expect it in the final film. It will be edited together for a bonus scene, though, ’cause it is pretty funny.), and there will be wonders of “when is this gonna get done?” by some of those nearest you. But in the end, what you’ll get is a finished product that may not be great art, but will hopefully be good fun for everyone to watch, reflecting the fun had in making it.

And this has been really fun to make, applying some of the knowledge learned from over 2000 films seen in a lifetime and hours of behind-the-scenes material sifted through on DVDs into a film that will reflect (with luck) the passion of its’ creator(s) for the medium. I could go into specifics of what exactly we worked on today, but it would be retreading previously-written-about territory. The method of rehearsing slices of scenes before we roll the camera worked even better- and more efficiently- than it did back in the second day in April. Having Chris back behind the camera, setting up shots, and being experienced enough via his own short films to tell you what worked and what didn’t was a definite benefit in speeding up the process (after a late start) this time around…I think we’ll keep him. Sometimes uncontrollable laughter at mistakes made, and thoughts of real-life ideas playing out onscreen made things a bit silly and take longer than expected, but I can honestly say that today was a very good day for everyone involved on this shoot to have, capped off by a dinner at Wendy’s (yes, I know how to treat my actors…when they have to pay for it), Dave installing the new computer he built me for my birthday (it’s very video and audio-friendly), and Ron, Dave and I taking in “Snakes on a Plane” (it’s great fun if you aren’t a film snob; folks, the title tells you what you’re gonna get…in spades).

In other “Unwinnable Hand” news, I think we finally have enough to create a teaser/trailer for the film. As the writer-director, the thought of trying to boil this film down into a 30 second-1 minute teaser frightens me given the dialogue-heavy nature of the story, but I would expect an attempt in the near future (with music, which it’s getting about time to think about). Also, it’s as official as it’s ever gonna be- the name of our “production company” that is making this film is going to be Cinema Nouveau Films (expect a Filmmaker page on MySpace once we have something to share). It- and the subtitle of this blog- is inspired by a line in “Bowfinger,” one of my personal favorite movies ever about making movies (and particularly inspiring for someone without much in the way of means to make a film), and a couple of weeks ago I came up with a logo for the company to go at the head of the film. In addition to the company name, it will also read the following, “Filmmakers inspired by the past…films created for the future.” A bit pretentious I know, but indicative of my goal to never forget the legacy of cinema past as I use modern means to create movies that will be- hopefully- enjoyed by fans of the art form in the future. This is one of my goals as a filmmaker, and one that I think we’re meeting with each passing day on this film. Thank you very much to Ron, Dave, Mike, and Chris for their work today and on shooting days past (to Jeff B., I hope you’ll be able to make it in the future, and that we’ll find something for you to do). Thank you to Ron’s parents for allowing us to film in your home; I know it’s an inconvenience, and your patience is most appreciated. To all of you- this will be worth it in the end.

Thanks for listening,

Brian Skutle

Click here to download or watch Brian’s first video diary after the first day of shooting.
Click here to read my third “Unwinnable Hand” Production Diary.
Click here to read my second “Unwinnable Hand” Production Diary.
Click here to read my first “Unwinnable Hand” Production Diary.

Categories: News, News - General

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