Love Eclectic

The story behind Love Eclectic – #2

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This is the second in a series of blogs journaling the steps it took to make the indie film Love Eclectic. Preproduction on the film took about three months but before anything could be started something needed to be done about the script.

The original script would have been impossible to do on such a small budget. It needed to be adjusted — not in length, but in overall complexity. There were scenes calling for big cinematic feats; like crane shots, walking & talking shots, shots involving special effects and special equipment. These things would have eaten up our budget very quickly. The script was also moving around to too many locations, some of which were unattainable.   And there were too many characters. All of this made it too costly for us to do.  The script needed to be trimmed and consolidated.

There was no way we could have competed with big films on a technical basis anyway. But we could adjust the script to maximize things we could do well — like basic cinematography — camera angles, continuity, composition, lighting.

Our close-ups could look just as good as bigger films if the characters didn’t move around too much. And we could completely cover the scenes with multiple angles if we limited ourselves to using a simple tripod or handheld camera.

We took a cold ruthless eye to the script. All the characters and lines and locations that didn’t really need to be there were deleted.  But often the best lines from those deleted characters were able to be added back into the mouths of remaining characters. The nice thing about consolidating a script is that it makes all the remaining elements that much more weighty.

In the end, we had over half of the action happening in just one location and most of the lines were now between just three characters.   The script finally felt ready to go.   It was mostly “talking scenes” that didn’t require any technically difficult feats. But the script still had enough action scenes to feel “big” and enough outdoor shots to feel expansive.

We now needed only six total locations and all of them were easily attainable.  The top three accounted for over 80% of the script — one of which served three different “script locations” (Sophie’s Bedroom, The Russian Party, and The Wedding Reception) by using different areas of the same house.

Another area in which we could compete with bigger films was acting.  A lot of the quality of the film would be riding on those performances so it was going to be very important for us to fully capture them.

Of course once we started shooting there were surprises and obstacles, and we didn’t get all the shots.

The first scene on opening day was showing a character (Sophie) entering the store. The shot list called for a long view down the street but there would have been copyright issues and lots of bystanders in the shot, so we settled for a more limited framing.

Also, there was suppose to be a tracking shot with multiple angles creating mystery about who the woman was, including a close-up of the wheels of her shopping cart, but since this was our first day and we had no idea how smoothly the rest of the day would go, we decided to eliminate those shots and instead move inside and get going on all the other scenes there.

During production there really wasn’t enough time to stop and examine the footage, or take home dailies to watch at night, so we just had to cross our fingers and trust ourselves.

More later on the production days…

*photo: Alysse Fozmark (Mo) holds ukulele (in the shop location).

See Blog #1 here.

Love Eclectic

The story behind Love Eclectic – #1

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This series of blogs journals the steps it took to make the film Love Eclectic, a full-length feature done on an extremely low budget.   We had 97 pages of script to shoot.  How did this all get done?

The film was shot by a crew of four people, in twelve and a half days, using a tiny Panasonic G4 camera, on a production budget of $25,000.

Not a standard studio shoot.  However we did follow many standard procedures, like having formal contracts, insurance, and a detailed shooting schedule and shot list.

Everyone was paid. No freebies. Days usually wrapped within 9 – 10 hours. Only one day did we exceed this — going to almost 11 hours due to weather. Rain really helped the “look” of the film, but it also created some big complications. More on that later.

For actors we paid the ultra-low SAG rate of $125 per day and followed all the other rules. But we eliminated entire departments like hair, make-up, costume. Talent did their own hair and makeup and kept track of their own costumes.   Because we were shooting on such a condensed schedule there were less issues of continuity — that is, we rarely revisited a “script day” and had to match outfits.

The crew consisted of Director, AD, DP, and Sound, but each had multiple duties beyond those titles.

The DP set up his own lights, and camera, and then operated the camera.

The AD kept the shot log, did set dressing, and helped out wherever else needed in addition to typical AD duties.

The sound person was a true one-man-show — he did it all — boom, lavaliere, mix, and record.

And finally, the director, was also producer, production manager, location manager, accountant, and took care of all the back office details.

Locations were generally used “as is” except for a few extra details — like taping mail boxes near the door of a big house to make it look like an apartment building — or borrowing vintage items (from our location store) to use in other locations.

That store, The Urban Eccentric in Vancouver WA, come perfect just the way it was. We costumed our lead characters there (sent in on a “shopping spree” to select outfits).   And later we often went back to grab extra pieces.   It was a great resource for the look we were going for.

But what about those 97 pages? How did that all get covered?

That comes next…

*photo: AD Adam Michaels does slate with actors Brendan Quinlan and Melanie Meijer.

*the budget mentioned above was for everything up to the last day of filming.  Cost for post-production was assumed to be zero at this point.  And producer (Bill Brown) did not have any budgeted compensation but was the sole owner of the film.

SEE BLOG #2 HERE

indie films

A BIG thanks to Karl Lind Films for doing the new opening titles on our film Love Eclectic!

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Click for preview!   And JOIN for FREE online screening events starting Mid-June.

Spread the word.  The more the merrier.  Love is good.  

 

New opening titles on our film Love Eclectic!

A BIG thanks to Karl Lind Films for doing the new titles on our film Love Eclectic! Karl Lind and John Bacone are incredible! Check out the motion graphics. They also did our official trailer — see Trailer at www.MightyRoseFilms.comLove Eclectic will be in theaters this Fall — but JOIN for a FREE online screening this Summer at www.MightyRoseFilms.com JOIN now!Spread the word. The more the merrier. Love is good.*free online screening events start Mid-June.#indiefilms, #indie, #oregonfilm, #oregonmediaproductionassociation, #filmindependent, #backstage, #castingcallsportland, #portlandcastinghub

Posted by Love Eclectic on Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Love Eclectic

Enter drawing! Gift certificates to URBAN ECCENTRIC store.

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Retro fashions live on! 

Costuming for the indie feature film LOVE ECLECTIC was supplied by the actual store the film was shot in — THE URBAN ECCENTRIC  in Uptown Vancouver, WA.   Check it out!   www.facebook.com/UrbanEccentric/

We’re giving away four $20 gift certificates between June-Sept 2018.    Enter drawing by replying to:  bill@MightyRoseFilms.com   Say “GIFT DRAWING” in subject bar

*Free!  No purchase required.    *Must be redeemed in-store

When & where is the film is screening?   See our schedule here.