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Thread: One Sunny Morning

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    Default One Sunny Morning

    This film is still a work in progress. Currently just starting editing.

    Brief for the project was for a Studio Drama Production with some location scenes. Studio set given to us was a flat /bed-sit. Pics below of how we got the set. [December 2006]


    Grotty bed-sit set as we had it handed to us in December


    Who picked that green paint?

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    Default Script

    [December 2006]

    So we needed a script that fitted the criteria of main body of piece to be based in studio, approx 7 minutes in duration, cast of up to 4 actors, with a theme of Celebration.

    I wanted something simple in action terms that would give me freedom to explore working closely with actors on their performance and creation of the characters. Ideally with just 2 characters in the film.

    Inspired by a news story from late last year about a man in Cork who murdered his ex-girlfriend. I thought it would be interesting if the dead woman and the man had a conversation after the murder.

    Vincent Kearney, the writer, took this concept and made it his own. Reversing the gender and developing the relationship between the characters. We then reworked the script over a number of drafts until we were both happy. Each time concentrating on the core of the story and removing any confusing or extraneous storylines.

    Script editing continued right up until the day before shooting.

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    Default Casting

    Just before Christmas myself and the producer Angela Senior then looked at preliminary casting. We'd decided on a shoot date of 17th and 18th of January and so needed to get the actors in place asap.

    We looked through a lot of audition clips of actors and picked a few that we'd like to have come in and read.

    We held the audition / reading sessions in the first week of Jan. It was great watching the actors perform the script and discussing the characters with them.

    Casting can be difficult especially if you have to choose between two equally good but different performances - like in this case for the female role.

    It was a tougher call for the male part as some actors were unavailable at such short notice but in the end we went with someone I've known a long time and had worked with before. Don't know why I didn't think of him sooner! And because I knew he'd be great I didn't need to get him in to audition.

    One week to shooting and both actors in place. Regan O'Brien and Ciaran Kenny.

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    Default Set design

    The weekend before shooting I went around picking up things to help dress the set - net curtains, a wardrobe from Oxfam Home. Other furniture and set dressing would come from my own house or my Mum's. We needed things like a double bed, a small chest of drawers, shelving, pictures for the walls, curtains and loads of books, CDs, clothes etc...

    Most importantly we had to get rid of that awful green paint. Started painting on Monday for shoot on Wednesday. Set was ready on Tuesday night but not looking very good or real, bit too sparse and empty. Bit too set like. Plus the curtains were wrong. Would have Wednesday morning to finish it off.

    As you may see we decided not to have the story take place in a bed-sit. I preferred a more suburban or middle class bedroom - so we decided not to show the kitchen area and added a half wall to help close in the space.


    Getting there - paint colour is from my girlfriend's sisters house.


    Set as it looked on Tuesday night - night before shooting.

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    Default Rehearsals

    On night before shooting (Tuesday) we got the actors in for a full rehearsal on set.

    We spent a lot of time just discussing and questioning the characters and the script. The actors then ran through the script several times and we blocked out the action and developed the performances together. I found this really fun and extremely interesting. To be able to properly work with the actors in a pressure free environment and on set was immeasurably beneficial. By the end of rehearsals we felt we'd got it, the actors had got a handle on their parts and we were all really looking forward to the shoot.

    Unfortunately the D.O.P. Daragh McCarthy was unable to watch the blocking of the scene and as he was working. And what with the rehearsals being the night before shooting it didn't give us time to sit down and write up a solid shot list. Daragh did one of his own from the script at 2am to keep himself, and us, covered.

    It was my decision as director to not get too involved with the shot list or what the camera was doing and leave as much of that to Daragh so I could properly focus on the actors' performances. I find it's all too easy to be bothered with all the tech stuff and leave the actors out there on there own and end up lost at sea.

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    Default The shoot - day 1 - 17th Jan

    All cast & crew on set for 9.
    Final set dressing and initial lighting took til about 11:30. Meanwhile actors were in make-up and getting in costume. Regan brought along a several costume options from which we picked the most suitable and added a dowdy brown cardigan from my girlfriend. Ciaran was made up to look dead (very pale) and needed a stab wound to the heart so an €8 white shirt from Dunnes was picked up by Angela.

    Ran through the script in order and I let nearly all the takes run on - sometimes all the way to the end of the script as I felt it would be counter productive to stop the actors when they were in flow so to speak. Plus we would catch extra takes of later scenes for coverage and the crew would be all familiar with the blocking and the script / story so would help the later set-ups.

    Things ran very smoothly apart from me forgetting to call action a lot and it seemed forgetting to call cut (but that was planned) and by 6:30 we had shot at least half of the script with one more full days shooting 9am to 8pm to go.


    Final set dressed - not final lighting


    Regan and Ciaran in character

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    Default The shoot - Day 2 - 18th Jan

    I looked through the rushes and pieced together a very rough assembly to make sure we had all our shots and to watch for needed re-shoots for the next day.

    Mostly we had it - just one or two pickups required.

    Shoot continued as smoothly on Thursday and we worked our way through the script at a good pace. Started with the pick ups and ended with a great tracking jib shot composed by Daragh.

    Shoot wrapped at 4:30pm - several hours before scheduled with no set panics or disasters to report at all.


    Cast and crew - from left: Daragh (DOP), Aine (Continuity/Asst. Editor), Me (Director), Angela (Producer), Richard (Boom op./grip), Michelle (Sound), Ciaran (Actor - still dead), Regan (Actor), Flynn (Cam assist./grip)

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    Well done Jason. Sounds like a very interesting project and congratulations on the successful shoot.

    The set looks amazing especially with the new coat of paint The picture of the two actors in character looked very nice - some nice shadows there. The bright light coming through the window as well looks brilliant too.

    Anyway, best of luck with the edit and I'm looking forward to seeing the final piece.

    Very informative thread too. The last hour has had me continually clicking F5 looking for another update.

    Well done dude (and the crew as well)!

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    Default Poster & Composer

    Before getting down to editing I've been toiling away on the film's poster.

    This is the image I'm basing it on which best captures the feel and mood of the project.



    Also put a call out on the ever useful FilmmakersNetwork.ie (maybe you've heard of it) for a composer for an original piece of music that also captures this haunting, sad mood. I'll let you know how we get on.

    Which takes us up to today.
    Things to do...
    • Sit down with editor (Martha Meyler) at the Avid and get moving with picture edit.
    • Shoot exterior location!
    • Mix sound.
    • Grade picture.
    • Burn DVD


    All for Cannes Cinefoundation entry (hopefully.) Delivery by deadline Feb 15th - so need to post on 11th!

  10. #10

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    Same set as used in the first Jameson entry or am I imagining it? - Vincent's one that is!
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    Well spotted. Same walls anyway. Vincent very obviously dressed it very differently with loads of period pieces and decor.

  12. #12

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    Nice looking work Jay,,

    I look forward to seeing it ( Cork Film Fest this year maybe ?)
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    3. originative; productive (usually fol. by of).
    4. Facetious. using or creating exaggerated or skewed data, information, etc.: creative bookkeeping.

    Consultant
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    Thanks for this, Jay - I love making-ofs.

    Q: Did you shoot without a 1st?

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    Angela, the producer, also served as the 1st A.D. Primarily motivated by the fact that as it was in the studio there wasn't as much to keep her busy as a producer during the shoot itself and of course she knew the project very well and she's a very good A.D.

    By the way for people that are interested in this kind of thing we shot on a Sony Z1 on DV-CAM.

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    Very interesting. Would love to see more people out up 'making of's' for the stuff they're working/might be working on ...
    I had a little complication with my complication

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paudie View Post
    Very interesting. Would love to see more people out up 'making of's' for the stuff they're working/might be working on ...
    I agree. Nice thread Jay!

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    If anyone's got questions about the production at all please just ask away. I've probably left loads out.

  18. #18

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    Hi Jason,

    nice work. Do you have a name for your film yet?

    best of luck in Cannes.

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    If we make it to Cannes!
    Title is One Sunny Morning.

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    Just curious why did you shoot on DVCAM?
    by the way very good thread!

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