Monday, 26 March 2007

Yay for experience and learning and fun!

The first night of filming for Masked Man on Saturday was a great night. I had a good time and also learnt a bunch of stuff about acting for film that I've not really had to deal with before.

I discovered some of my weaknesses in terms of film craft. Continuity, for one. In one scene I had a mobile phone on the table which I then picked up and took with me. Only after a few takes did I remember that I should've been making sure the phone was in the exact same position each take. Oops! They did take quite a few angles though so even if the phone jumps around the table a bit between the different takes, they'll be able to hide it in editing.

Of course in a production with an actual budget there would be a continuity person, or at least an assistant or two who would take care of those details, but even then the actor needs to be aware of it.

Similarly, I had to be especially careful to make sure that I matched the same actions to the same line of dialogue. In the first part when leaving the table I had to ask the director to look back over the footage to remember on which word I had stood up. In another part I had to speak while walking from one room to another, and by then I was getting used to the memorisation of position/dialogue so when I got the timing wrong it felt really wrong.

The director didn't give me much feedback on my actual acting so it was hard to know how I was doing. Some moments I felt really good about and others I really wasn't sure. But every time I asked if something was okay everyone seemed happy enough so I guess I was doing okay. One moment I wasn't sure of was a sequence where I opened a door to find a gunman on the other side, who then follows me back inside and shoots me. However after the first take, the director (who was playing the gunman) told the cameraman to come round behind him to get the shot of my face reacting to the gun; he said "I need you to get Sumara's reaction, it's really good." That was very nice to hear. (I hope he was right!)

There was one part where I had to lie on the floor (having just been shot) while the gunman ran past me to chase the other girl. It was a bit of a challenge to lie there with my eyes open and staring blankly while heavy boots stomped right past my head!

Overall I really enjoyed myself. The production team (Powered Productions) are all lovely fun people who just love filming and I got along well with everyone. The screenwriter/actor Kylie made yummy dinner and we mucked around and the cameraman snuck around catching us being silly on camera. It was fun.

There's one more night of filming (this Saturday), and I get to be stabbed to death this time, so that should be fun too!

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