Just wanted to update you on the progress of our little film, A Thousand Moments Later as the main chunk of principal photography is now complete, and I’m back at home beginning the larger task of sorting the footage and putting together an assembly cut from which I will begin to mold the piece into a proper movie—adding music, sound design, and of course, finessing the edit itself.
Here’s what has happened thus far:
We started in a little apartment owned by a friend to do the opening scenes when Gemma (Lily Hall) and Ryan (Chris Farrell) appear on screen together for the first time. This was early in the month and we were there for two days. We used black plastic to cover all the windows of the apartment so we could shoot during the day and have it appear as if night. Strangely, after a few hours inside the blackedout apartment it really did feel like night time.
After this we had a travel day to get to the coast and setup for the coming two weeks—food shopping, sort out who got the best rooms etc. We all lived together in one house. It was fun! Like a little family. And yes we also argued like a family at times. But the feeling of going through something together bonded the small group beautifully.
So this beach house was base camp and each day we’d travel to the location for that days shoot. This meant a lot of 4:00am starts. It was both exhausting and exhilarating as I would often not finish the day before 10:00pm or so.
Now I had always seen the film with lots of sun and clear skies but the weather was not kind to us. Not kind at all! But rather than fight this I rewrote sections of the film and used the weather to add to the drama.
Much of my background interests are clearly marked in the thematic scheme and voice-over of the film. But I am keenly interested in the film having a dark(-ish) edge as I believe this contrast between light and shade, between the theme and the images used to convey said theme will go someway to adding complexity to the story.
But when I say “dark” I do not mean negative or emotionally destructive. I simply mean “real.” Real life. Real people. That is the goal.
The late great Anthony Minghella (The English Patient, Cold Mountain) believed that cinema had a moral function. By moral function he simply meant a way of showing us how to be in the world in such a way as to make it a better place. I agree with him. Thus by putting “real” characters in pseudo-real circumstances and having them display their own potential as sentient beings is what I am interested in.
If you have not seen this bookmark it and make time, some time, to watch the master discuss his process — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ihVndJm_yM
So there are sections of the film that are very quiet and almost European arthouse in aesthetic. While other sections of the film are jump-cutty with lots of camera shake as I felt this reflected the inner emotions of the situation.
I hope my choices were correct because I cannot edit around these choices now! 🙂
So…below are a couple of screengrabs and behind the scenes pictures (if you follow me on instagram you may have seen a couple of these already).