Monday, 17 November 2014

film school

Recently I went to film school.. because I could.

I love films - not as much as my classmates, but more than my other friends - and I love taking classes, which is how I found myself at my teacher's/colleague's home on a Saturday, ready to make my acting debut in a non-speaking role as 'last night's one night stand'.

Having been on set to film a commercial for work, I know how much time it takes, even just to film a one-minute video.

First there's the master shot, where a scene is filmed from a wide angle.

Then there's the closeups, when the actors are encouraged to stick to the script so the editor doesn't die when trying to cut the video in post production.

It sounds easy, but it's not.

So I'm happy with my part which requires nothing more than sitting around despite having no experience with one night stands.

And if one is not used to being in front of the camera, people tend to tense up.

At first I tried to help out with the boom/microphone, but my arms were shaking so madly I feared I was going to drop the bloody mike onto the talents' heads.

Then I stuck to marker/clapper work because I'm an organisation freak and actually enjoyed marking each scene and taking notes obsessively.

For scene 4 we took 3 takes. The first one was ok - well, until I looked at the other people on set (a major no-no). Do you know how difficult it is to stare at stranger in a moony fashion while everybody is watching you two? The classmates also requested we move closer together, because a comfortable distance in real life translates into an ocean apart onscreen.

'You guys had a one night stand! Get into character!'

Yeah, but I'm worried I might scare him! I mean, he's in his undies, might be feeling vulnerable. I countered.

The group laughed, even my acting partner laughed, and said he won't be scared. Like, he was probably thinking, Are you for real? I'm a guy!

So for the second take I leaned in close. So close my acting partner actually shrank back from me. I almost laughed, and the second the director yelled 'Cut!' the laughter on set was probably the loudest all day. An Asian girl freaked a white guy out!

Still, at least my performance wasn't the reason why we required another take. But my poor acting partner was sweating so profusely we could see damp patches on his shirt under his arms.

Last take was good, though I did get a bit cross eyed from leaning in so close to somebody's face. In the end I gave up looking into his eyes and looked towards the left of his head instead.

At the end of the day we all professed newfound respect for actors.

We'll be getting the footage to edit next week. Haha can't wait to see take 2.

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