Today I had to resort to filming the interrogation scene in my basement at my house because I didn’t have any more time available in the studio from prioritising my experimental film. I was lucky enough to continue using the Canon C300 for this as it has a high dynamic range and it’s good in low light environments, if I was to use my Sony HX300 it would not be able to pick up the image properly and it would be really noisy and bad quality.
- Canon C300
- C-stands x2
- Matte Box x1
- Follow Focus x1
- Boom Mic
- Sound Mixer
- Dedolight x2
- Light stand x2
- Sandbags x5
- Italian Clamp x1
- Gaffer Tape
- Photograph of mum and dad
- Mobile Phone
- Duck tape
- Chairs x2
- Car door shutting
- Locks unbolted and re-bolted
- Door creaks open
- Door shuts
- Fast paced footsteps
- Regular paced footsteps
- Tapping finger
- Fist clenching tighter
- Slamming both fists down
- Aaron moaning under duck tape
- Aaron screaming under duck tape
- The barrel rolling
- Duck tape taking tension
- Ringing phone
- Paper being teared into small pieces
- A keg smashing sound being recorded through a phone
- Tape being removed
The crew I had to help me are:
- Joe Fowler – Camera Operator
- Chris Black – Gaffer
- Preston Williams – Sound Operator
The 3 actors:
- Juri Sodero – Butch
- Johan Shay – Aaron
- Chris Black – Grunt
The interrogation scene takes up the most part of the script so all the planning and preparation was for this day. I put together a shot list and foley list for what I needed and I managed to capture everything possible.
I had previously met up with Johan to see if he would be interested in helping me out for the film and I briefed him up on what he role would consist of by acting as Aidan’s character. Johan has previously studied being an actor in the past and he has also had some experience acting in short films and he knew exactly what I was wanting from him. I showed him a couple of clips from my inspiration such as the James Bond scene. I told him to use this for the atmosphere and way of the character, being trapped in a dark underground cellar underneath the city and it’s a life or death situation.
Juri also did a good job acting as Butch, it was a lot easier for him because his face wasn’t being shown, so he more confidence in the role of being aggressive, dominant and scary.
As I was filming in my basement, I was restricted to filming from distances and using different lenses, the room was quite small and couldn’t get a wide enough shot to shoot 5 shots from my shot list. To replace the wide angle shots, I decided to use Aaron’s point of view for when Butch places the photograph and phone down on the table, and I actually preferred this outcome a lot better than I originally planned.
Whilst setting up the lights according to my lighting plan, I had these images in mind and I aimed to construct an atmosphere which is darker, but with a very similar lighting style especially with the contrast ratios on Aaron’s face.
Guy Ritchie has certainly been an influence in my work, I have used the poker scene from ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ for a very similar approach I’m undertook, but I was aiming to go darker than this scene with my film. I want to apply a soundtrack that is very similar, it helps to build the tension and understand what the character is experiencing and thinking through the lyrics, not only this, it also attracts the audiences attention to associate with the character, the story and the soundtrack.
I shot all of the point of view shots first, this is just whilst Johan was arriving at the location. At the beginning of this scene I planned to replicate the hand gestures and sound on a wide angle lens form a point of view shot of Aaron, this is something I think I achieved well enough, however, I would have planned to shoot more point of view shots in my shot list, now that I know how useful they are to my film, this is because I have heavily focused on sound for my film and more point of view shots would have definitely worked well for the style I’m going for. If I have time to pick up on shots and the actors are available, I will try and shoot more point of views to emphasise on butch’s intimidating hands on a wide angle lens.
I’m also planning to apply a similar colour grade to my film, slightly over exposed and to bring the yellows and tungsten colours out in the frame, this is so then I can pass over a warm effect and an uncomfortable atmosphere making the Aaron look as if he’s sweeting.
I think this shoot day went according to my plans, I’m very happy with the footage I shot, but if I was to do this again I would shoot it in Prime Studios where I have freedom and space to build a set and apply some production design around the background to help the location seem more believable and distinctively dangerous.
The following shots that include dialogue and when the tape is removed from Aaron’s mouth are the shots I particular planned to achieve well. This film need an actor with a believable performance and with Johan being the victim, this worked exactly how I expected and I couldn’t have planned for it to be any better with no budget. One thing that would have helped to make this performance better is if I could have somehow been able to make him seem as though he was fighting more in pain and maybe make him cry towards the end, however, I didn’t have any onions.
The dark lighting that I planned for my scene worked as I planned, I wanted to in some way replicate the victim in this scene above, making him look over-exposed, sweeting and warm from the security light, I wanted this to be clear visible light so the audience can see ever little change in emotion the actor feels from the shadows on their face. I think the help from my cinematography specialism this year has enabled me to create different atmospheres and feeling through lighting. Again, if I was to make the lighting any better I would have used the studio where it’s safer to operate and more feasible with space.
In regards to the sound that I recorded, I would have sourced more ways of recording a number of sounds I needed from the foley list, for example, I would have recorded more separate sounds of:
- The chair creaking
- Legs kicking
- Aarons screaming
- The tape being pealed from his mouth
- My back door locks being unbolted and then bolted again (This is something I forgot)
- Moans under the tape
- The sound of the tape taking tension
- The sound of paper being slid across the table
- A clicking finger (I also forgot to get this shot from the shot list, if I can possible pick up on this shot, I will do as it’s essential)
I would have also recorded more of the moans, grunts, crying for help and frustration coming from Aaron, this would have given me more freedom to use more sound in the edit, instead this took me slightly longer to achieve to a good enough standard.