I forgot to mention producing…..urgggh…it is all enjoyable, but it is work! And somebody has to do it! I found myself running around for the last 24 hours straight before my first short film shoot of the year, making sure everything was in place. And even then Murphy reared his ugly head!
Antonio Nunes, son of TV Talk Show host Bibo Nunes (Porto Alegre, Brazil) and I have been talking about making a short film together all the way back since I was in Brazil last year. (Met Antonio because I appeared on his father’s talk show talking about the documentary I’m working on, Chariot Men). So the other week, Antonio and his girlfriend Stef (they both are filmmakers, having gone to film school in Brazil) came to visit Utah of all places. They are awesome people, so it was great hanging out, but when Antonio told me they were leaving in less than a week, I was like…crap!! We need put together a shoot, and quick!!
So I took an idea I had thought up a week or two previously, sat down one night and wrote the script, with the working title “Eternal Question” (we’ll see if that changes or stays as is). It’s about two European nuclear physicists who travel the world going to conferences, etc. and they are chilling in a pool hall in the U.S. after one of their conferences, and they make a wager to prove which is more important to girls: brains or brawn. I won’t explain the rest, so you’ll just have to watch it when it’s done. We plan on submitting it to film festivals.
Since everything was last minute (I wrote the script on a Wednesday and had to find actors and locations etc by Saturday), it was an extreme challenge getting everybody together and aligning people’s schedules. (And that’s an understatement!) I was blessed to have Jonathan Rogers, a very talented British actor living in Utah, play the part of the British physicist. And I played the part of the German physicist. Couldn’t find a German actor. Doh! But luckily we shot my close-ups first and did a lot of takes, which I think will be the only thing that will save me. Jonathan did most of his stuff on the first take flawlessly. (If every actor was like that, filmmaking would be a piece of cake!)
This is my first speaking role. I’ve been an extra before, but extra-schmextra… However, seems like practically all I did all day when I was a child was act…my brothers and I were star performers of scenes from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, The Three Amigos, and Ed Grimley! One of the things that motivated me to start acting was watching films made in Utah and thinking….really? In my opinion horrible acting is very high on the list of things that kill a film. I watched those films and thought, I can do better than that. (Most people think thoughts like this to themselves, but how many of us actually act on them? I decided to act on those thoughts…)
Here are a few still shots from the production. We still have one tiny scene we need to shoot at a different location. Hopefully film will be done soon…
By the way, did I mention what a task it is to direct and act at the same time? It was definitely a learning experience. I stayed up until 3 in the morning the night before re-writing the script, and didn’t have time to do a shot list. Next time doing a shot list for sure… and maybe even a story board!
My new year resolution is to write and direct a feature film. Making these shorts is a stepping stone in that direction.
Please guys, leave comments. If nobody comments, I figure nobody is reading this stuff and I’m less prone to post stuff
***UPDATE: Forgot to mention Antonio Nunes was the Director of Photography, so he is the one who made these awesome images.
****UPDATE: Gear: Canon T3i, Canon 50mm f/1.2L, Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L, Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS, Rode NTG-2 Shotgun Mic, Tascam DR-100, my Impact 3-Light Kit, Manfrotto Tripod, white balance card…did I miss anything?
*********UPDATE: Very special thanks to the talented cast and crew:
Jonathan Rogers as “Roger”
Daniel Bean as “Emil”
Kira Peacock as “Jessica”
Director of Photography: Antonio Nunes
Unit Production Manager: Stefania Curti
Sound Recordist: Kagan Eden
Jack of All Trades: Matheus Oliveira