This short film brings a new meaning to the show must go on
Renee is trying to make a film with a message that love can conquer all. Unfortunately in a world that is less than perfect one wonders if it will cost her and her crew their lives.
Period Piece is a film about the power to overcome adversity with positivity. It was inspired by modern media, climate change, my own experiences filmmaking and North American politics.
I am always looking at the world around me for inspiration. This may sound strange after watching Period Piece but the idea originally was a simple one. So many people work so hard to put zombies in films. Make-up, blood work, stunts. Its hard. And yet, if there was a zombie apocalypse, the last thing you would want to watch would be a zombie film. I found this interesting. In a time of such stability in North America – we have access to fresh produce, huge tv screens, cheap clothing, we are fantasizing about the world in chaos. Having nothing and trying to survive. We come to work after watching the latest episodes of Walking Dead or Breaking Bad and talk about what we would have done in those circumstances. I imagined that the characters living in those films would be dreaming of the world we live in.
That idea became the seed for Period Piece. What films are we shooting now juxtaposed with the kinds of films they would be shooting after the apocalypse. After about thirty drafts and trying to keep it to ten minutes I ended up with a fun film that reflects on modern media, climate change and love.
I think in the end it comes across strongly. The twist at the end is so strong though that I think most people miss the ideas around energy policy and positivity. People seem to like it though.
We only had four days to shoot plus one pick up day, all in August. The whole thing was arranged through friends and included around 18 former students – I teach high school for a living. So when the clouds suddenly showed up on day two things got hairy. It rained on us four of the five days. With most people on the shoot volunteering it became quite a challenge to get people back on additional days to finish the film.
On day three we actually had to shoot two scenes at the same time about 100 meters apart from each other to catch up. That was bonkers. We were shooting the gun loading and drawing sequences and a few feet away we were shooting the showdown in the field between Renee and the nump. It was nuts. I was running back and forth between each take to set up for each shot but we got it done. It really helped to know my crew so well!
The shoot was complicated. I knew it was going to be difficult so I did a stop motion animation with mini Star Wars figures and uploaded it to youtube and sent it out to all the actors about a month ahead of time. This is it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRG4DC-4-cw When everyone showed up they had an idea about the blocking already – which was lucky because as the storm clouds rolled in we didn’t have much time to talk about things!
I wanted a certain look for each shot. It depended largely on where the sun was going to be. Its hard for people to understand this but the scenes were all broken up and shot in pieces based on where the sun was in the sky. Scene 5a and 5c at 10am, scene 5b at 2pm type of thing. It was confusing for actors at times but we got through it. My DP Andrew Forbes was on top of things. He had an app on his phone and was able to accurately predict sun position when we scouted the location five weeks ahead of time! Would not have been possible without that.
I had dreams that we would hire some fancy digital fx god but in the end I did virtually all the fx shots myself. Fortunately they weren’t too hard.
Main Genre: Thriller
Budget: £2500 – £5000
How long did it take to shoot: 1 Day – 1 Week
Film location (country): Canada
Film location (city): Winnipeg
Filmed on: Red Epic and a Rokinon 35mm prime (90%)
Lighting equipment: Nil
Audio equipment: Sound Devices 442, Sennheiser mkh416
Other equipment used: Premiere Pro, After Effects
Thanks for reading our review of the short film Period Piece why not submit your short film
directors name James McLellan
Directors website https://www.facebook.com/james.mclellan.357
iLoveshortFilm profile http://iloveshortfilms.com/ourmembers/james-mclellan/profile/
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PeriodPieceShortFilm/
Twitter page https://twitter.com/PeriodPieceFilm
Production Companies Nil
DOP Andrew Forbes – https://vimeo.com/100164966
Camera Crew Brad Crawford, BJ Verot – http://www.stratastudios.com
Lighting Crew Nil
Sound Team Sean Quigley – http://www.boldaslions.ca
other links Firearms: http://www.bulletproofset.ca
Make-up and props: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1772203/
Sound Mix: http://www.precursorproductions.com