“DARK SOULS” – Day Three (14/07/2007)

Cast on set: Leah Baulch (Carrie)

Crew: Pat Gallagher (Director/DoP), George Alvanos (Location Audio), Christian Doran (Grip), James Townley (Script/PA), Linda Thomson (Makeup), Dallas Bland (Behind the Scenes Footage)

I made a first pass at a complete shooting schedule, using a list supplied by the cast of dates when they’re unavailable, to figure out what we can shoot when. After sending it out to the cast, I got a couple of replies back of additional problem dates, so had to do some slight re-jigging.

As it stands at the moment, we’ll be shooting until October 21. The main thing was to make sure we finished Soren’s scenes well before his wedding at the end of October.

At least now I can get crew and locations organised more than a week in advance.

After this weekend’s shoot, we’re now effectively on hiatus for a month while Leah appears onstage in a production of Pride & Prejudice.


We decided to knock over the collection of short scenes that take place in Carrie’s bedroom and bathroom early in the film, where we see her trying to cope with her nightmares.

Christian (aka “Crick”) volunteered his parent’s house for the location. The bedroom was fairly large, making setup relatively easy there, although the ensuite bathroom ended up being a bit of a tight fit.

Call time was 6:00pm, and by the time make-up and setup was complete, we rolled on the first shot just after 7:00. Wrap was around 11:30.

Lighting for the bedroom involved setting for two lighting states, one for a “dark” bedroom, and the other for after Carrie turns on a bedside lamp.

For the first state, I placed a redhead with a full blue gel outside the window, shining through a crack in the curtains. A dedo with a quarter blue was hung from an autopole near the window to supply a rim light. A second dedo, heavily dimmed, supplied a soft fill.

After Carrie turns on the lamp, a Prolight was bounced off the wall/ceiling, high up and out of shot, to supply fill. The actual bedside lamp was dimmed to less than half brightness so that it didn’t appear too hot on screen.

For the bathroom, we placed the Prolight in the shower stall (the only space available) and bounced it off the ceiling. We also left the actual bathroom lights on to supplement the Prolight. A small fluorescent worklight was gaffed just above the mirror to put some fill onto Leah’s face.

Since there was little dialogue and lots of natural sound required for these scenes, we went with a boom mic rather than the radio mics we used on the first couple of shoots.

The shoot progressed smoothly under the circumstances. However, the night before I’d helped some friends with a short film shoot, which didn’t wrap until after 4:00am, and the lack of sleep began to show. I decided we should take a break when, twice in a row, I accidentally hit the White Balance button instead of the Record button as we were about to go for a take.

In my defence, the White Balance button on the JVC is in the same position as the Record button on the full sized Sony cameras I use at work. As I got tired, I just started running on auto-pilot. :-)

The shoot also saw the coining of a new phrase. “Stunt pill”. (Happy now guys? I’ve mentioned it)  It’s just how I referred to the “clean” pill that Carrie is seen putting in her mouth, so that she didn’t have to use one of the ones that were earlier seen falling into the sink. For some reason the crew found this phrase highly amusing.

I’ve just realised that, looking at the production stills from the past three shoots, it looks as though people spend a lot of time on the phone in this film. Actually, due to the vagaries of scheduling, we just happened to shoot about three-quarters of all the phone scenes in the script in these first three shooting days.

Production and Behind The Scenes stills can be seen here.

A short Behind The Scenes video can be seen here.

So, no more shooting reports until we resume production on August 18. However, the 12-foot jib I purchased last week, using the prize money one of my short films won in a film festival, should arrive next week, and I’ll be doing some practice and experimenting with that which I’ll do an entry on. We may also be doing some FX Make-up tests during the hiatus.

Stay tuned.