This post follows on from 2 Short Films In 4 Days With Just 3 Weeks Prep.

After a last minute weather risk assessment it was decided that Dave would have to come up with another idea for a short film and to his credit he did just that. As much as he was looking forward to directing First Kiss, he did end up agreeing with the rest of the production team that bad weather could ruin the whole project. So, he came up with a really cool idea – set indoors. He wrote the script in just one day!

Excuses only go so far. The majority of anyone’s delay in getting anything done is just procrastination and lazyness.

The working title for Dave’s new short film is The Last Job. He had to work incredibly hard to cast the film, audition actors, rehearsing with them and refining the script based on their feedback. Gemma Wasley, production designer, then had to get to work on getting everything together to deliver his vision on screen – note, Gemma is working on BOTH short films and I have lots of requirements for my short film too!! And boy, did she deliver. Side note, Gemma owns a super cool retro style furniture business on the Isle of Man, check them out here (free plug).

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Storyboards for the film by Alycia Besche

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Storyboards for the film by Alycia Besche

We knew the £2,000 budget we’d set at the start wasn’t going to go far so we had to be incredibly tight on spend. We had to go cap in hand for the most past. It was also decided that we were going to shoot both films on high end cinema cameras and that everything was going to be well lit – oh and we wanted to shoot 4K.

Here’s a great example of how important it is to build great relationships. I have a good contact at ProVision, a Leeds based hire company (owned by ITV). I’ve known Danny Howarth (Manager) for many years now, I remember pestering him back in the early days for any cameras he might have sat on a shelf that I could use to shoot little projects and he has been incredibly supportive ever since. Anyway, I arrived at ProVision with cap in hand and begged him to let us have an Arri Alexa or Sony F55 for the shoot and he said yes to the latter and at a ridiculously low price – we got very lucky!! It was a full shooting kit (with lighting and grip) for well under £1,000.

I must add another side note here, which goes back to my relationships not being one way traffic. We offered to return the favour with lots of mentions on all of our social media and blog sites as well as free sponsorship of a new technology YouTube show we’re launching soon called Post Box – more on this in a future blog post. I’d also done the odd return favour over the years so it’s not quite one way traffic. ProVision also very kindly threw in a ton of lighting and grip kit at a great price for the production.

The production budget (this is us guesstimating how much everything is going to cost us) , before the camera rolls is currently:

  • Travel = £400
  • Cast & Crew = £1,300
  • Kit = £750
  • Production Design = £300
  • Catering = £250
  • TOTAL = £3,000

As you can see, we’re already over budget!

Keeping Trello (see previous blog post) up to date was a very important part of controlling the spend on the production. Zoe (Producer) was tasked with keeping a check on this. We would also update Trello as soon as any item was paid and who paid it as we were trying to keep an even split between myself and Dave. We had to make sure that Zoe and the rest of the team understood just how important it was to stick to budget and get clearance BEFORE spending a penny!

It’s the day before I’m about to jump on a ferry and there’s still tons of work to be done – the script is written but now I need to work on camera set ups, the shot list and shooting schedule. I wrote the script using Final Draft, the shot list was aided by a super cool app called Shot Designer (I can’t recommend this high highly enough, check it out) and the shooting schedule was compiled in Microsoft Word.

In Part 3 of this blog post series the whole production almost comes crashing down, we arrive on the Island and we get nervous when working with lots of fake blood in a house valued at £1.8million. Click here to read the final part!

The most detailed behind the scenes video I’ve made to date is now available to view RIGHT HERE!!! 

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