Articles, Blog

our entire short film got DELETED

February 25, 2020


it’s that kind of day today I’m going to
tell you about the time that I tried to shoot two different student films in the
span of one month spoiler alert it went badly so like I just got my BFA in film
and new media in my college when you get a fine arts degree you have to do a
capstone project which is like a thesis project so like last April or whatever I
went and talked to my advisor I got set up with a group we had meetings over the
summer we did all this shit for it and like I made a film and I graduated with
it where is this film I don’t know last I checked it’s not gonna be done until
like May so what can you do my thesis project actually went like super
smoothly like the group I had was great communication was solid nothing too huge
went wrong it all went like pretty hunky-dory we did have to do some
additional shooting we shot for like six days over two weekends so like we shot
those days and then we’re like cool we’re done and then it got into editing
and they’re like hey we need to add more days of shooting on and I’m like okay
why and they’re like oh the movie doesn’t make any sense and I watched it and it
didn’t so we had to do more shooting at the same time as that though I had kind
of agreed to be on another movie I was DPing and I was working with a friend of
mine who was a junior when you’re a junior you do this thing called an
advanced project which is basically like a smaller version of your thesis project
is supposed to prepare you for the thesis project it doesn’t matter but
basically I was doing two movies at the same time and it was very stressful that
movie got scheduled for like literally a week before the other movie I was doing
so September 2019 was a little rough for me basically with this movie every
single thing that could have gone wrong did and it was really hard okay so like
first of all this story we were telling was about a young boy who meets a fairy
in the woods some other stuff happens I will link the movie here when it’s done
and available for free but to make this idea a reality we had to shoot in the
middle of the night in nearly complete darkness in a forested area and the
location we managed to get was an hour away from where we all live so that’s a
lot of things working against us I’m gonna give a good estimate here and say
that approximately forty percent of the problems that we encountered were like
partially or entirely my fault I feel so bad because like I was in
charge of gathering all of the lighting and equipment and
gear and everything that we needed to shoot and I just didn’t do like a great
job not purposefully I really really kind of worked my ass off but I just
missed equipment on the list we needed and didn’t realize that we had forgotten
to pick up a certain thing half of the cables that we got didn’t fucking work I
had borrowed a camera from my work to shoot with and the HDMI port was broken
so we didn’t have a monitor for the entire weekend which you know when like
five people are trying to see what’s on screen that’s a little bit of a not
super great situation I needed SD cards and the school gave us c-fast cards and I did not realize until we were at location an hour away from the
city so that was great we literally had to borrow an SD card from this guy
Jordan who was supposed to be there just to do like behind-the-scenes photos
thanks Jordan really appreciate you saving my ass the week leading up to the
movie was super stressful just me failing to get all of the gear and like
trying to get everyone coordinated and trying to get everything organized was
just insane we get to the day of shooting everybody drives out there
everything is getting set up everybody’s hype we have a meeting everyone’s like
whoo meanwhile cut to Jackie it is September in Nebraska and it is around
85 degrees the place that we are shooting is kind of like in a little
valley covered in trees really beautiful happy we shot there however air flow in
this little area is almost not happening and it’s hot and it’s humid and I am
overweight and I got so sweaty so fast that people actually asked me if
I dunked my head into the stream I can’t even express to you how badly I wanted
to just die right then because I’m literally drenched the entire night I do
in fact have a photo that I’m going to show from Jordan here it is it was just
so bad I’m just so wet like so I’m just like
starting this day like sweaty and disgusting and kind of wanting to die
and previously in my life when it’s been really hot I have gotten dehydrated and
passed out so I was also kind of worried about like passing out in the fucking
forest and then it was also at that time that I was realizing how many things I
had forgotten to get for this movie I have never wanted to like evaporate into
the atmosphere more than in that moment I wanted to lay down in the dirt and let
the earth reclaim my body it was bad like somehow managed to get all of our
shit together got everything working to an extent and like I was so
frazzled I’ve literally forgot to check the camera settings for the first shot
it was in the wrong frame rate I’m mad and like I get it if people afterwards
were like hey Jackie kind of sucked I did I’m sorry I had two sophomores
working as my ACs for the weekend I don’t think I talked to them
barely at all like aside from asking them to go get me stuff which is like
fine but like not cool like you’re here to learn too I should be teaching you
so Jackie Marten um not exactly on her A game that day but I will say once we
kind of got going the rest of the night the rest of the first night went pretty
fine like we got all of our shots we got out on time I peeled off all of my damp
layers went to sleep woke up the next day found out Oh
turns out it’s gonna rain well this is a bitch we’ll probably have to do some
reshoots but you know what if we go hard tomorrow we can probably get a lot of it
done oh but turns out it rained the next day so we were literally planning on
shooting three days then two of our days got rained out everyone who was working
on it was only available for like that weekend so like half the crew had to
like drop immediately the dates we could shoot kept changing because people’s
availability kept changing and like we ended up shooting on like a Monday night
for like four hours and then like the next week we did like
a Tuesday night for four hours and I think over those two days we got like
six or seven shots like it just takes so long to like get to the location set up
the generator set up all the gear get everybody settled like it was just
impossible and then I get a call from the editor saying that the footage from
the first night that we shot had gotten deleted and everything was done to
recover the footage but it was gone we literally had nothing I can’t even
express how like beaten down I was by the whole experience cuz like you know
when you hear like pep talks and stuff and people are like oh you’re gonna fail
a lot and things are gonna be hard but you have to persevere and in the moment
you’re like yeah absolutely and then you get
to the part where you actually fail and it’s like hard like when you put your
full heart and soul and work into something and then it just all falls to
pieces around you obviously I’m not the only one who’s like suffered like my
friend Rebecca is the one who directed it and like she normally does animation
and she decided to do a live-action for this project and then she was gonna add
animation to it later so she’s not really used to like production and set
and stuff and just so many things went wrong
every time I talked to her after that first night I felt that her soul was
literally gone there was nothing inside anymore I’ve never seen someone so
hollow in my entire life and like we both definitely considered not going
forward after that like just call this a failure and quit like Rebecca actually
texted me randomly one day hey is this even worth doing and I texted her
back I don’t know but we should we had enough resources to just keep going so
we’re like fuck it we’ll finish it so we got everything scheduled for one more full
weekend it was literally like two months later we’re into October now but that
last weekend ended up going perfectly like our crew was about seven people but
the seven people were like super into it and super positive it was cold but it
didn’t like hurt to be outside so there was that since it was thirty degrees I
did not get super sweaty all of the actors were still available
we got everything shot we got everything done it’s finished like it’s done
forever yes and now that it’s done and I’ve seen the footage I am very happy that we
finished it like again it’s that stupid cliche about like you must keep going
like one of the reasons I don’t like thinking about it is because looking
back I’m like there’s so many things I did wrong there’s so many things I do
better now but that’s what we call learning everyone is now stronger for
having had this experience suffering builds character
so I guess the morals to be taken from this are to keep going no matter what
when you are stressed do not be mean to other people and the only way to get
better at something is to be bad at it and sometimes when you’re bad at it it
is large and it is public and very very sweaty so I think that’s all I got to
say about that leave me a comment down below telling me
about your biggest failure it sounds fun and I will be seeing you guys another
time goodbye

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