A few weeks ago I got the call from Reid Price, this nighttime conversation went something like, "Remember how we were going to go to Flagstaff to shoot my short film in the forest, well scrape that can we do the whole thing at your house?". The initial plan had called for a handful of shot to be done in my residence. My response was "alright lets do it, come over and we can plan out the shots room by room, a few hours later and its seems like the makings for a good short film based around a murder.
Arriving with bags full of gear, a few friends, and copious amounts of snacks, a small group of people set out to shoot a film in the time constraints of an evening. The clock read 2 pm, on time with the shot list. Off to the bedroom we went to setup some shots, the patio window being lit by an LED panel turning the late afternoon into early morning sunshine.
The bedroom scenes went flawless, and quick. With a quick reset to the kitchen, lights were brought up, camera swapped to the shoulder rig, and actors changed costumes. Still morning we setup the LED panel to blast through my kitchen door, making for some amazing looking flare as the camera moved through the scene. This is also the set up were we get our first look at the soon to be murder weapon. We were still on schedule.
Following this scene, we were reaching the twilight hour, during which we would shoot the car scene, and a few others. I wasn't able to grab photos, as I was literally "Making it rain" and by that I mean shooting my garden hose in the air and simulating a downpour as the car pulled into the driveway. Turns out I was pretty good, as the shots are rather convincing. Following that scene we relaxed briefly for dinner and conversation. Starting back up still on schedule with the cleaning scene.
The whole crew, minus myself can be seen in this photo on the left, yeah our small size mean't many people were doubling up on duties, I was grabbing photos while capturing sound with the mic, and assisting with moving tripods. Somewhere in the middle of this I had to stage the body scene, with a bowl full of blood (Corn starch, coca powder, and food coloring) I went into the laundry room to setup a body drag. Arguably the creepiest room in my house we chose the laundry room because of its dim florescent lights and cluttered organization that would make it the perfect scene for the movies creepiest shot.
To simulate a bloody body dragging across the floor I enlisted a bag of charcoal, then wrapped in a plastic bag and doused in fake blood. The heavy weighted bag was then moved along the floor creating a resulting blood trail that was so convincing the crew started to get a little creeped out.
The interior room shots, were now wrapped up, we were about an hour off schedule and needed to head outside to shoot the trash fire scene "Burn all the evidence". We didn't know it at the time but this scene would see our female Actor Jess Cochrane giving us an emotional performance that will make the film.
Cue the lighter fluid and low light Sony A7S, the trash can was lite, the evidence gathered and the cameras started rolling to capture the finals takes for the night. It was now about 1:30 in the morning.
In conclusion, this night was an amazing experience with some really great people coming together to make a creative idea a reality. The more time I spend around the film world the more I enjoy it, the final film should be released in a few week and will definitely get a feature on the blog. I just checked out the rough cut last night, and its looking great.
Give these awesome people a follow on Instagram cause their all going to do amazing things following graduation this May.
Filmmaker / Designer - Reid Price
Actress - Jess Cochrane