Sunday, January 30, 2011

Post #2b: A Summary

Ok, so after publishing the last post I realized that it really was insanely long and contained a daunting amount of text. So here is a brief summary of what it contains for those operating on a limited budget of time (although I assure you the original is quite charming in it's own right.)

Today we had our first official group meeting. We came up with a timeline of deadlines for the project and decided to create a piece made up of a series of mini-episodes all tied together 'somehow.' Each group member will take a leading role on at least two episodes and rotate roles on others. More info soon.

Well, there you go. Want more details and a healthy smattering of dry humor? - Read the original. Content with this brief missive?- Stay tuned for more.

Now here's a pretty picture to alleviate all this text.


Post #2: Group Meeting No. 1

   Today Grant, Adam, and I met to discuss our goals for the project and set some preliminary deadlines. Over the course of the meeting we pinpointed, more or less, the "essence" of what we will aim to accomplish over the course of the semester. First, however, a list of the proposed schedule (which of course is subject to change as any form of minor, or drastic, 'developments' arise)

          Writing and Preproduction: Present - Spring Break
          Production: Begins NO LATER than the week following
             Spring Break (probably earlier) - Mid- April
          Fine Cut/Final Deadline: End of April
          Publicity/Festival Entries: First week of May
             (if applicable)

   Alright, so that's the schedule give-or-take. Now for the exciting bit. So, here's the idea: rather than create a  typical, narrative short (not that I have anything against a well told story) we've decided to create a project composed of mini-episodes, or chapters, that tie into a central theme. (I find myself objecting to the use of the word 'theme,' and am using it here simply for clarity's sake. In this context, 'theme' should be taken to mean some sort of loose, connecting thread(s) between episodes rather than any sort of 'cliched,' moral drive behind the work.)
   I guess the question that pops up next is what this film will 'be about.' (Another least favorite question of mine, however one which all writers/filmmakers must eventually come to recognize as a generally inevitable part of the process of making one's work accessible to the public, while occasionally the question can serve as a useful tool to employ when searching for direction in a script or series of artistic choices.) Unfortunately,  I cannot explain at this point what our film will 'be about.' While I am not displeased to have a few more days to scramble around for the adequate words to convey the meaning of this piece, the simple fact is that we haven't yet developed anything close to a storyline or plot, and are still searching for that elusive 'theme' from which to draw some inspiration, or at the very least some form of constraints.
   However, what I can tell you is what we hope to achieve by attempting a project of this nature. Constructing the film around this episodic structure will create, we feel, a great forum to showcase a variety of different filmmaking styles. Within this structure we will allow ourselves the creativity to jump from episodes that are more narrative in nature to others that border on the experimental. Shooting styles can range anywhere from naturalistic to stylized, and editing choices can be tailored to each episode. Through this process, we will be able to showcase the full extent of our creativity and technical skills, while on a more practical level the process of shooting multiple mini-films at once (while more complicated on a scheduling level) will allow us to keep momentum through the project even if there are delays with permits, cast availability, conflicts, etc. In other words, we will be plenty busy and always have something to work on.
   While the exact number of episodes is still undetermined (and will probably continue to vary until we finish the final cut) we are expecting to have a minimum of 6 episodes/chapters. In order to assure that each group member has equal participation in the project, we have decided to rotate roles for each episode (i.e. Director, Cinematographer, Sound). With a minimum of six episodes, each group member can take a leading role in at least two small projects, and better pinpoint their role when citing the work in a resume/reel. At this point, the final editing process is still undetermined, but will most likely be completed in collaboration.
   Alright, well that's it for now. This week we plan to meet several more times to begin writing, and will be spending some time individually researching topics, characters, styles and more to try to bring more of a shape to the project. Thanks for bearing with me through this rather long post! I'll try to make them more manageable in the future, but no promises. ;-)


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Post #1: Hello

Welcome to my first blog! This blog will be used as a type of e-journal for my senior seminar film project.  The goal of this project is to create a 15-20 minute narrative film in collaboration with fellow filmmakers Grant and Adam. Subsequent entries will detail our progress through the writing, pre-production, production, and post-production stages. Future posts will also include notes, ideas, storyboards, location photos, and more about the project.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for more posts soon!