SHOOTING REPORT - Days Four & Five

“DARK SOULS” – Day Four (18/08/2007)

Cast On Set: Leah Baulch (Carrie), Clare Martin (Julia), Will Huang (Eric)

Crew: Pat Gallagher (Director/DoP), Ric Manley (Location Audio), Christian Doran (Grip), Dallas Bland (Script/PA), Linda Thomson (Makeup)

This weekend was intended to knock over several consecutive scenes set in Eric’s single-room hide-away. The total page count to be covered was sixteen pages. This was an ambitious amount to cover in two days, but I was moderately confident we could get it done.

The plan was to start at 8am, and work through until midnight on the Saturday. We would shoot Scene 71 during the day, then switch to Scene 70 in the evening, where Carrie, Eric and Julia arrive at Eric’s place for the first time after fleeing from Danso. It would be a little confusing shooting the two scenes back to front, but I doubted it would cause any real problems.

The location was a granny-flat in the backyard of Lara and Rob, who are playing supporting roles in the film. Crick and I had cleared out the flat and redressed it the night before, so that we could make as early a start as possible on Saturday morning.

After makeup, we spent a short time blocking through the scene, then got stuck into the shooting.

Because the first scene was relatively short, I figured there was a chance that we might finish it before nightfall, when we were due to switch over to Scene 70, so I’d asked Dallas, who was PA-ing, to get his makeup done with the others, as well as have his costume available.

Turns out it was a good call. We finished Scene 71 just after lunch, and moved on to Scene 72, which we weren’t scheduled to do until the next morning. So we were ahead of the game.

Then we had a minor disaster strike. One of the props required for the scenes was a kitchen carving knife. Since nothing too dangerous was planned to be done with it, I hadn’t had the edge taken off the blade as I had with the other knives being used in the film. I made sure to mention this fact to everyone.

However, not everyone remembered this. While I was setting up for a shot, Crick was standing next to the sink, tapping the blade of the knife against the palm of his hand. Clare noticed this –

CLARE: You probably shouldn’t be doing that.
CRICK: It’s okay. It’s blunt. See?

At which point he hit his palm fairly hard, then watched in surprise as blood pooled in his hand…
Thankfully the cut wasn’t too deep. It just bled a lot. Luckily, one of the other props required for the scenes was a large First Aid kit, so we were able to dress the wound immediately.

Now that the scenes with the First Aid kit are done, I’m making sure it comes to every shooting day, since you never know what might happen. In retrospect, I should have been doing that from the start.

And from now on, Crick’s not allowed to play with sharp objects…

Lighting for the scene wasn’t too hard. As well as natural light coming through the large glass doors, which had light coloured, diffusing curtains across them, I had also placed three lamps around the room. This basically justified pretty much any lighting angles I wanted to use.

I didn’t use the lamps as practical lights, but supplemented them with a redhead shooting through a diffuser to give a soft key, and two Dedos as backlight and fill respectively. Once night fell and we lost the natural light, I reduced the level of the key to give a more shadowed look.

We also had our first bit of special effects makeup for the evening shoot. Clare’s character has suffered a cut to the leg, which needed to e seen briefly. This gave Linda, our makeup person, a chance to experiment with a new product called 3D Gel to make the cut. It seemed to come up okay, so we’ll probably use it more extensively for the larger makeup effects in the final scenes to be shot in November.

We finished just a few minutes past midnight, getting everything we needed. Because we’d managed a bit of the next day’s scene in the can already, and because we were all fairly tired, I decided to make the Sunday start time 9:00am instead of 8:30.


“DARK SOULS” – Day Five (19/08/2007)

Cast On Set: Leah Baulch (Carrie), Clare Martin (Julia), Will Huang (Eric), Dallas Bland (Colbeck)

Crew: Pat Gallagher (Director/DoP), Ric Manley (Location Audio), Joe Kisch (Grip), Naomi Carr (Script/PA), Linda Thomson (Makeup)

Everyone was feeling a bit tired after the previous day’s marathon. At the request of the actors, we ran through the entire scene we were about to shoot several times first, even though we’d already covered half of it the day before. Because the scene starts with a fair bit of energy, this served to get everyone pumped up, as well as reminding them of where they were supposed to be emotionally.

The lighting was basically just re-creating the setup from the previous day.

Crick was unavailable to Grip today, as he’s actually got a role in another low budget feature to be shot locally in October. They’ll be rehearsing on Sundays, so I’ll lose the use of him on those days. It’ll be interesting to hear how this other crew go about putting their feature together.

So for today, another local filmmaker, Joe Kisch would be doing the Grip duties. Since Dallas will be onscreen, the PA is Naomi Carr, a PA from where I work.

The morning also brought another unexpected problem. One you wouldn’t expect when shooting in suburbia.


Rob and Lara had a few hens in a pen in their backyard, They hadn’t been a problem the previous day, but were a little more vocal this morning. Luckily they’d settled down by the time we were ready to roll tape.

Bizarrely, this would also prove to be a problem at a totally different location the following week.

We were scheduled to finish at 5:00pm, in the end actually finishing about forty minutes late. So, not too bad.

Performance wise and look-wise I’m happy with the way things worked out this weekend. We’re making good progress.

Mor Behind The Scenes stills can be seen by clicking here.