One of our goals at 12a Productions was to finish two short films in 2014. In film festival terms a short film is one which is typically less than 40 minutes in total length. Though there is no standard as to that length so each film festival may be different.
Jeff had a great idea last year for a script involving Arizona. A really good romantic love story. And some day that may be filmed. But that’s not the story we went with.
We did stick with the romance, something Jeff and I believe we know a thing or two about even though we are more comedic entertainers at heart. I couldn’t recall to you the exact developmental process but the end result for our story is that of two people who find each other at random. Entirely online. The world today is online. Social media, Skype, eHarmony, etc. etc. We wanted to show an entire relationship in this medium.
We wanted a person stuck in this world. Oblivious to the ‘real’ world around him. Maybe to a love right in front of him. The vision I believe Jeff and I had in our heads was the film ending with the camera pulling away from the view of the webcam to show our main actor behind a laptop. Then further showing his house. Maybe someone there. Then the neighborhood. And so on.
We also like to challenge ourselves. Our idea was to film this entirely using Google Hangouts. By creating a Hangout On Air we could record the entire thing directly to YouTube. Download it for editing then re-upload the finished project. Jeff and I were excited about this direction. You would truly feel like you were watching someone else’s love life happening. Giving the film an almost voyeuristic feel.
Jeff already knew who he wanted to cast. Himself as the lead and Courtney as the love interest. I would be involved in the technical side. At this point I was really chosen because I was the Google fan and would figure out the interaction of a Hangout with YouTube and post production. Karly was brought it in to help in create the characters and to build their story but also to direct Jeff and Courtney.
Jeff and Courtney met once for coffee and to discuss their characters. I wasn’t involved there so Jeff will have to tell that story.
About 10 days before our film date it was decided to do a test run. Attempting the Google Hangout with Karly and I watching it while Jeff and Courtney acted a scene out. It would give something for me to attempt an edit on and an idea on what to expect for the audio and video.
This is the result of our test.
It failed. Not miserably but it still failed. Technical issues. Which is why you have a rehearsal. There was a mic issue on my end with the laptop. Courtney’s phone had a weak signal which dropped video randomly. And the sound delay was disruptive with Jeff and Courtney being in the same area. I was able to edit a short scene from the first rehearsal which was sent to Karly to view.
Her initial thoughts were not favorable of the end turnout. I think her exact words were, “I need to sleep on this.” It was not what she had originally imagined.
The week leading to the actual shoot we had two rehearsals scheduled. We needed to get these characters developed and get passed our technical hurdles quickly. We all began to question the feasibility of what we started.
… to be continued …