Home » Film and Filmmaking » Running Shoes

Running Shoes

Group projects are usually doomed to fail. Everybody wants something different, and when you’re grouped up with two other “leader types”, it takes more than the usual amount of compromising before decisions can be reached. When Brandon Baker, some girl whose name I can’t remember, and myself were paired up, it took us a full two weeks to decide whose idea to go with for our film 1010 project. I had an idea for a short where a guy at a call center attempts to get a girl’s attention in ever-increasing intensity… But I think it may have been too elaborate (I would eventually use that idea for a later short, “Pep Talk”.

Frustrated by the fact that we couldn’t decide whose story to go with, the girl whose name I can’t remember decided to join another group, leaving Brandon and I on our own. That’s when I decided to go ahead and let someone else take over. We were neither going with my idea, nor would I be directing (I didn’t want to if it wasn’t my idea). Brandon and I went with his idea, but only if we could work on the script together to get it in working order.

Brandon, like many other classmates of mine, had never written his own script, and his rough idea about a kid who steals shoes and keeps swapping them out needed some work. Him and I took a couple days in the school library to discuss different ways that he could make the story more compelling (the character needing some sort of goal), and then he went off to write it. It was official, I was a producer now.

As producer, I was trying to get all of the paperwork and legal considerations squared away while he worked on his script. When it came to casting, Brandon opted to take care of most of it himself (thank God) and my one casting contribution to the movie was the inclusion of Cameron as one of the shop keepers.

There was a gigantic issue when it came to the length of the movie. When Brandon had only a rough 3-page outline, that was fine. When he came back to me with a rough 15 pages, that was not fine. Our professor, Tyler Farr, had made it clear that the short could not be over 8 minutes long (each page of a script is roughly a minute of screen time). Brandon let me make some cuts, but he didn’t want to budge on some things that could have been trimmed…

Shooting this epic was a giant pain in the ass. To save time doing coverage, I suggested that we shoot with two cameras at all times to cover the scenes with less set-ups. This we did, and you can see in our final versions which camera each of us preferred, which is kinda funny to me.

Our lead Andrew Robinson was a mensch, and we had a lot of fun with him and the other actors; and besides the fact that it was December and thus fucking freezing outside when we shot, some scenes had to be shot twice, and for two scenes in this production that was way too big for only two people to take on, the shoot was a lot of fun.

Some things I learned: the two-camera method is 1, very hard to light but 2, is amazing for editing. Don’t shoot a movie that takes place half outdoors in the winter (my sympathies for the crew of “The Revanant”). Don’t tell an actor to just do something using the line “I’m the director” (this happened once, no big deal, we all have things we need to learn). Lastly, get the script down to a manageable length or else…

…You’ll be killing yourself trying to edit the movie down without ruining it. Tyler Farr had told us that each of us needed a separate edit (I still can’t fathom why), and boy when I got that footage and pulled it into a 17 minute rough ROUGH cut was I concerned… I didn’t know what Brandon was gonna do, but I had to do something drastic. I don’t know where I got the idea, but I decided to make the damn thing a silent film, which would allow me to cut all of the dialogue down to some title cards and make it stand out from Brandon’s cut.

Editing this short nearly killed me. Everything was always behind: getting the idea going, getting the script together, getting it cast, finding locations, finishing all that evil paperwork that makes the film legal–which I had never done before, of course–and lastly editing the film down 3 times in order to get it under 8 minutes. Yeah, this was a giant pain.

The day we showed them to the class, Tyler Farr decided to save them until last, given the fact that “These two guys made The Hobbit” in comparison to the rest of his students. Mine was shown first, to pretty good praise. Unfortunately, the longer, true-to-what-we-shot director’s cut came next. Not that Brandon’s version is bad, but after watching two long shorts in a row, the class was feeling a bit tired of Kit’s shoescapades. Although I would like to add that there is something cool about watching two VASTLY different cuts of the same movie in a row.

This is my blog, so mine will go first, but watch them in any order you like:

My Cut:

Brandon’s Cut:

Oh and way-to-go Brandon for sticking to his guns, I was too much of a puss to have it be over 8 minutes long.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.