Production schedules are a hoax

6 07 2013

In my experience, there is no such thing as a production schedule where a production makes a film in a month or two and then it’s a wrap. No, there is no such thing.

I’m in the process of going through the behind the scenes footage and interviews. I realized that this whole process of my latest short film, has taken a very long time– almost two years. Well, technically more than that if you’re counting the very beginning, from concept/writing of the script, but I’ll count it from the time we went into pre-production and casting until now.

Here’s what I mean:

Fall/Winter of 2011: we had planned to shoot the film sometime in the winter of 2011, when there is less sunlight and more night. This got delayed because I forgot about it/wasn’t sure if my DP still wanted to do it.

Late November/December 2011: we started to look for actors, planning to shoot in January now.

Mid-December: casting is done, but we have no place to shoot. Also, no money for anything. We put up the project on indiegogo with the hope of getting something.

January 2012: Still no place. We saw a couple places with pianos but they weren’t to our liking. With nowhere to shoot, we postponed the film indefinitely while we continued to look. Our indiegogo campaign ended, with a total of $95, considerably less than our goal of $2500. Oh well. I was expecting practically nothing though.

July 21, 2012: after January, we began to have scheduling conflicts with just about everything and everyone. If the actors weren’t free, the place we found wouldn’t be free. If the place was free, the DP wasn’t free. It was awful, but people didn’t seem to mind too much. Finally, we had a date: July 21, 2012. And it was finally filmed, after more than half a year of planning! Hooray!

March 2013: it’s no longer 2012 anymore. In fact, the deadline for the queer film festival in Vancouver was coming up, and I had barely edited it. So I spent a day putting together a rough cut of the film (which I didn’t even finish with the ending because I didn’t have enough time) and then sent it off to Out on Screen for consideration. They told me a final cut should be done at the end of April at the latest, which freaked me out a bit because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish it by then, but when I mentioned that I was able to hand in an exhibition copy of my films later in the summer in past years, I was told to send it “whenever it’s done.” Thank god.

April 2013: when I start to edit again, I find it’s not working. I edited the rough cut on Final Cut, but since Final Cut X was installed on the Macs at Langara, I could no longer open my project. I was forced to start from scratch. I tried to learn Final Cut X but it was such a nightmare and it became increasingly apparent that I couldn’t work with it because long story short, it would require that I re-format my harddrive, which I didn’t want to do. Instead, I installed Adobe Premiere Pro on my sister’s desktop and worked at home. Sooooo much better.

May-July 2013: Editing party!

The film is almost done. Sound design and color are the main things left. The other little thing is that there’s a tiny scene where the protagonist looks through a keyhole, which we forgot to film last year.

And thus, the scheduling conflict party begins again. It’s such a hassle and so frustrating to deal with scheduling a simple shot like this, especially when there’s a cloud of pressure to hand in the final cut of the film asap. It’s unnerving and it stresses me out.

Let me say that I hate scheduling things. It’s one of the worst things about making a film, which is why I have tried (and failed) to get a production manager. It always gives me such a headache to constantly contact and re-contact people, ask when they’re available, ask other people to clarify, and all that. I swear, it will be the death of me.

So that’s where I am right now. I have to have a copy of the film for exhibition at the latest in August, so figuring in the above, it’s been almost two years since we first started planning the film. Seriously. Ugh.


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