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Look who’s back!!!

Hello everyone!

I apologize for my absence the past month but I thought that I was done with my senior film except for a few minor things like color correction and lighting. But, a few weeks ago one of my teachers Jim Horitz asked if he could see my film, not knowing at all what it is about. After he got done watching it he offered some suggestions to improve the story. Just when I thought the story was done…..SO, for the past week I have been working on a new opening to my film. An opening that offers some stylistic creativity and enters in the middle of the story. Jim and I sat and worked on it one class period and it is something that I am really excited about. I am also trying to give Jack and Lindsey more of an alternate voice in my story. As of right now, my story begins with Lindsey, moves towards Jack in the middle and then ends with Lindsey. Multiple people have suggested to me to try and intertwine their stories a bit more, so I am going to try and do it! As a continuing effort, I am also still cutting each section tighter and tighter to better have viewers feel the chaos of the restaurant. Hopefully by the end of Monday I will have a youtube clip to be able to show you all of my progress!

I am going to try and make my posts more regular again as I continue to make progress. My film will be done for good on December 1st! Coming up quick, so I have a lot of work to do :)

Stuck Staring

For the past two weeks, I have literally had NO thoughts on how to move forward with “Eat Now, Pay Waiter”. I am stuck trying to figure out how find a climatic rise in my film, stuck trying to figure out how to rearrange the order of events and stuck trying to figure out where to place b-roll! I feel like all I am doing is sitting in front of my computer with my headphones on staring! Now I am not even sure I like the ending that I have shot. Eek! I have less than a week to arrive at a conclusion for my film and I am nervous to say the least! ¬†Hopefully I will accomplish more today and feel better about where the film will end :/

The End is Nearing….

Rough Cut #3

Last Thursday I presented my “Final” picture lockdown of my senior film, “Eat Now, Pay Waiter“. Let me just say that it IRKS to watch my own work in front of other people. My head was down underneath the desk the entire time and I was “pretending” to fumble with my shoes, hoping that would help to pass the time as my nerves just couldn’t wait for it to be over!!!!

That said,

I made quite a bit of progress from the last cut, as that one did not have any b-roll in it to help transition from scene to scene. After presenting, (and watching as much of it as I could stand), I was told that while my b-roll works, I need to move some of it around to better add to the story. So, that is what I have been working on for the past few days. I also learned a new trick today in Final Cut from my instructor Jenny Hanson. There is a chance that it may greatly help out with my sound and be able to save me from having to do a lot of ADR. I don’t want to brag too much before actually knowing that it will work so we’ll just have to wait and see on that.

Other than that, I am just trying to push through and continue refining my edit so that it is worthy of my “senior” status. Stay tuned for an update hopefully within the next few days :)

Added B-Roll

UPDATE!

Last Thursday night I showed up at Houlihan’s with me, myself and a tripod. I was on a mission to shoot some b-roll footage that I did not get while shooting and following my script. Now that I have completed two rough cuts, and am on my way to my final lock down, I realized that I need more footage.

SO, I set up a camera in different corners of the entry way and got people walking into the restaurant. One of my favorite shots that I got was an idea that I stole from my New Orleans documentary. I set up the camera on the floor and captured a few different takes of just people’s feet walking in the door.

I think that this is going to help add to the ambience that there are actually a lot of people in the restaurant at the time I was filming.

 

IN ADDITION to these shots, I basically traveled around the restaurant with my camera and got on film whatever I could. I hung out in the kitchen and got my fellow employees hard at work! I also got some exterior shots of the restaurant, without getting the Houlihan’s name in there of course, and then a bit of footage from the bar. Unfortunately, we were not very busy so I got the best footage that I could. I think that in the end it is going to contribute greatly to tying my senior film together!

For the past few weeks I have been doing nothing but EDITING! By now I have edited two rough cuts of my film and am currently working on my lock down edit. This will be the final edit that I will “hopefully” be using for my final product. The scenes are in a nice order and I think I almost have everything the way that I want it. SOUND is going to be my biggest issue. Early on in the shooting, I had multiple problems with my mics cutting in and out and as a result gave off some static. I thought that I might be able to get lucky by picking up the sound from the other actors microphone, but NOT SO MUCH! I am going to see how much I actually have to ADR. I am hoping that it is not as bad as it feels right now.

After watching my last rough cut, I have realized that I need to shoot more b-roll footage to use as transitions in between the scenes. Right now that is one of my biggest problems in changing from Jack to Lindsey and continuing to tell their separate stories. If possible, I may try to mix up a few of the incidents just to see how they play out and change the pace of the story.

BUSY BUSY BUSY! I have a lot to do in only 5.5 weeks time so let’s just say I am nervous to say the least! ¬†Hopefully by the end of next week I will have a link up so that you all can view my final rough cut before I start working on sound. Until then, I am going to continue to be a sleep walking zombie and wonder how I stay awake each day with coffee or caffeine :)

It’s a Wrap

Last Wednesday night was my official last night of filming “Eat Now, Pay Waiter”. Everything went well for the most part…..there are always glitches, but we were able to finish the last two sections of filming! The patio scene, all of the conversations at the host stand and the computer scenes are all done.

Last Thursday night I presented my first rough cut of my film to other students in my post production class. I had some scenes missing from the shoot the night before, but overall I got a lot of good feedback. I also have a long ways to go yet before it starts coming together. So far, I have noticed that my continuity with lighting is a bit different throughout and my sound also needs work. I am going to work with a program called Pluralize to help sync my sound, and I am going to work with stabilizer in After Effects to help the shakyness of a few of my beginning shots, before I decided to always use the track.

This week I will be heavily into editing and working on preparing my film for my second rough cut presentation which will be next Tuesday night!

Stay tuned :)

Back to Work!

I know I have not written on here in a while, but I have still been hard at work on my film- No it is not done yet. Over my short summer break, I have been compressing down all of my footage and working it into editable formats. The footage that I have so far is great! It is beyond cool to see my idea coming to life more and more as time progresses. All of my actors and extras have done a wonderful job and I am grateful to everyone that has stuck out these late nights with me.

My first week of school is almost done and it was back to filming one of my final scenes on Wednesday night. Shane and Devin helped me out to complete the confrontation between Jack and the dad out on the patio, as well as all of Jack and Lindsey’s conversations at the computer. Now there is just one more scene left to film and then it’s a WRAP! Next Wednesday I will be shooting the opening scene at the restaurant in front of the host stand, and if all goes well that will be it!

NEW HARDWARE

With all of the compressing I have been doing my 500GB Lacie hard drive filled up much faster than I had anticipated. As a result, I was at a standstill. I was no longer able to compress. EEK! So, I took a nice little afternoon trip to invest in some brand new hardware! It should be a while now before I run out of space!

G Tech 2TB Firewire Hard Drive

 

P.S. A card reader also made it on to my purchase list.

I am so TIRED!

Shooting ‘Eat Now, Pay Waiter’ is well underway and I cannot begin to tell you how stressful, fun, tiring and how much work it has been! For the most part everything has been going well. Lighting takes quite a bit of time to set up but the whole process has been going much faster with each shoot. As of Wednesday I have gotten through scenes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. That leaves scene 7, the patio scene with Jack and the dad and the conversations with Jack and Lindsey at the computers. So far I have one re-shoot that I need to do and that is the entrance to the restaurant where we see the host, Chris, on the phone. With only one actual scheduled shoot day left, which is Monday, I may have to shoot some of this, as well as any extra b-roll footage after I get back from break. At the end of the shoot Monday night, I am hoping to have scene 7 completed!

Here are some still from production on Tuesday night. Pretty fun to see so I hope you all enjoy them! I want to say thanks to all of my actors and extras who have been coming out to help me with my film. I really appreciate you all contributing to my senior project! I CANNOT wait to see the final product!

‘Eat Now, Pay Waiter’

<3 Megan

Directorial Debut!

Tonight is the night! After what seems like endless pre-production, I am finally beginning filming on my project!

Thankfully I will have Shane, Jared and Mataya all helping me out tonight so that will ease my nerves just a bit! I also put out an extras casting call the other day and have received a pretty good response! Co-workers have also been gracious enough to volunteer their time as well, which I could not be more thankful for!

With that said, tonight I will be filming the entrance scene up to the host stand, as well as the patio scene with Jack and the Dad which takes place after Jack walks out of the restaurant! After these two shots are done, I am going to have the extras sit down in the booths and do a little bit of blocking, while we also work on getting the correct lighting set-ups for that area.

Once this is complete, I should be good to go for full speed ahead tomorrow night!!

Better get going! Wish me luck!

Scene 7 Practice Footage

Hey All!

Last night I met with my actors at the shooting location around 8 p.m. and we did another read through of the script. The section of the restaurant that I am filming in was still a bit busy when we got there so we grabbed a booth to sit in until it cleared out. Jack and Don were able to meet Sarah, who is now playing Lindsey. I tried to get Sarah up to speed on the script since she only has a week to memorize lines. :/ Jared also came to the rehearsal with a Canon 5D which is what I will be shooting with. I wanted him to be able to practice with the camera while we were doing some blocking so he can get a feel for where he will be moving with the camera, as well as how much space he will have. VERY IMPORTANT (since he doesn’t really have a whole lot to work with).

After we finished reading through the script, the section of booths where I wanted to run the blocking, still had some customers in it. SO, I improvised and we had a very ROUGH blocking rehearsal in a corner of the restaurant. I mainly walked Sarah through where she will be moving and standing at each booth. Jack and Don were very patient as I was spending quite a bit of time with Sarah.

Jared and I did do a quick run through of the moment when they get into their confrontation and really found an angle with the 5D camera that we fell in love with! The camera is going to be in an XCU close up angle, and when I say extreme, I mean extreme! It looks amazing on camera! (No we didn’t take a still of it ). Next I moved them out to the patio and showed them exactly where they would be blocking their movements. It was more helpful especially since Jared, Shane and I had gone through the lighting set-ups last week.

Lastly, we were all able to finally move into the section of the restaurant where I will be filming my script! We had to wait a while for some customers to leave, but we got there! This is where I really focused on the last scene of my script that has just Lindsey acting in it. Sarah has never acted before and she really has to carry this scene. I wanted to try and make her as comfortable as possible by constantly making her run through the scene. I want this scene to have as little cuts as possible, for the sole purpose of capturing the intensity and overwhelming feeling. Jared also got his practice following her through the scene with the camera so that he will be more prepared when shooting comes!

Overall, rehearsals went very well last night. I am becoming more and more anxious as I see my script come together, but am also SUPER NERVOUS as my filming date approaches!  Here is a short clip of the footage that Jared and I captured last night. Keep in mind that we did not use lights, as it was more of a rehearsal and run through with the camera. The footage may be a little hard to see, but you get the gist of what Jared and I are thinking of doing! Hope you all enjoy it!

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