‘Beach Potato’ is my entry into the 2012 Virgin Media Shorts contest and i thought I would give a little run down of how we made the film.
Firstly though check out the film here. Then come back.
However instead of giving a play by play of things i thought i would create a list of things that i’ve learnt from the process instead.
1) If you ever need to take a ferry across rough seas, always look to alternative transport. Failing that travel sickness medicine is a must.
2) Carrying equipment is exhausting. Especially when it’s awkward, heavy and there are many flights of steps to the beach.
3) Crabs get stage fright. Have a few and try and use them as quickly as possible.
4) This one is fundamental. Always have a member of crew with a mum who wants to cook you hot meals and make you cups of tea. Seriously.
5) Wear sunscreen when shooting in the sun.
6) In ‘Beach Potato’ I decided to use myself as an actor. I did this because i wanted to keep the cost of travel down and needed an actor who was prepared to shoot long days, be fully emerged with the project and hang out with when not shooting. These actors do exist though so make sure you make friends with these guys and girls. So when Directing the film and directing myself. I found three things helped a great deal.
a) Reviewing each shot.
b) When giving yourself a note, say it out loud to yourself.
c) Having a good DOP you can bounce of.
7) When shooting on a beach, Know when the tide is high and low. Then keep a good eye on it. We cut our first day short because our set was invaded by the tide and then when we went back to pick up shots the tide was at its highest.
8) While you are keeping an eye on the tide keep an eye out for boats. They can ruin shots and they can be vital for the story. We grabbed ours while shooting a different set up. So be prepared to catch things spontaneously.
9) Really think about whether you want your character to only have one shoe.
10) Even locations with buildings and people can be made to look isolated through clever framing.
11) If you shout ‘Hello’ enough times from a cliff, someone will shout back.
12) Three weeks is not long enough for me to grow a beard.
13) Always see what it’s like to have a tash when shaving.
14) The editor is your best friend and brings fresh perspective to the film.
Thats it for now. I think. I’ve missed out loads and probably have.