|Andrew Andrulewicz played "The Man"|
|Shea Lee played "Carol"|
|Paige Newman played "Alice"|
|Kelly Towles played "Brie"|
|Travis Spangenburg played the "Narrator"|
|Christina Harper is our wonderful Producer|
|Me, the Director|
|Andrew the Cat was our Moral Support|
I Storyboarded the short film out and ran into a problem. My Storyboard had almost 90 cells in it. (Also, since we had no location solidly picked out it was impossible to be sure of whether or not what I was storyboarding was possible. So I just hoped for the best and went on with the program.) I knew that there was no way that I'd be able to get all the shots I wanted so after I wrote down a shot list I went back through it at the same time as i was going through the script and cut some of the shots that were not necessary to the story or that, with no budget, were impossible to get filmed. I still had a ton of different shots that I wanted listed and it came down to being on set and seeing what was possible to do in the time that we had and made further cuts to the shot list from there. We got lucky and were able to find a place to film that had a bathroom that one could see from a poker table in the room next to it. However, the place we found had a window and that mean that we would only be able to do night shoots since that is when the action occurred. After seeing the set it was very apparent that many of the things that I originally wrote in the script were not possible to do with this location so that, while compromising some of my ideas, helped shorten the shot list. I learned basically the first day of shooting that I would not be able to get my dream film done exactly as written. I had to take the time to decide what changes I needed to make so that the essential plot and feel of the film stayed the same.
|Bathroom part of the set|
|View of the bathroom from the poker room|
|Poker Room view of the set|
While it was difficult to do, I sacrificed some shots and costume/makeup ideas so that we were able to get the film done. I was not going to be able to paint all of the characters' faces one whole color so I changed it to just putting a card suit symbol on their cheeks, when that turned out to be impossible to keep constant, I sacrificed it to help with continuity. This was also the reason that the brandy bottle and glasses were cut from the filming. Continuity was the main issue I looked at when I was going over the revised script and making even more changes. I made sure that none of my actors was wearing any jewelry so that that wouldn't be a continuity problem and with the help of Shea made sure the makeup each actor wore remained the same throughout the days we were shooting which is in itself no small task. The biggest continuity problem that I came across while editing was the placement of the poker cards and poker chips. I had to scrap many takes for that reason.
|Our biggest Continuity Problem|
One of my duties during filming was to check out the camera, lighting, and sound equipment for us to use to shoot our film. I had to check it out from Pam Sears and carry it all across campus to my dorm which caused me pain in my shoulders and back. I made sure we had this everyday we were shooting after my mistake of the first day and forgetting to check out sound equipment.
With the help of the girls in the production, I was able to costume everyone in somewhat the costumes that I wanted when I wrote the story. My biggest concession on that part was accepting the fact that the wig we were able to get was not going to make the character look older since it was pure white. We tried to dirty it up but nothing worked and I eventually accepted the fact that this is a student film and that we had to work with what was possible and not necessarily what I really wanted. The only person that did not contribute to costuming was Andrew which is totally understandable when you think about i. Since he's a guy it is unlikely he would have had the clothing and items necessary to impersonate a woman. So Christina and I were able to get him a costume so he could impersonate a woman out of our combined wardrobes.
|Andrew becoming the old woman with the help of Shea Lee|
|Andrew wearing the horrible White Wig|
|Lighting the set|
|Screenshot: Blood dripping from Carol's mouth|
Filming the shots myself turned out to be somewhat better I think than having a separate cinematographer. I was able to see what I was getting and when I got to the editing I already knew what I was dealing with. After 5 days of night shoots, our filming process was completed and we all went out to he Waffle House that night after 12am to celebrate. It was kinda funny and odd since I got their first. There were a couple of policemen sitting at a table near me while I was waiting for the others to get there and I still had stains on my fingers and hands from making and using the bloody concoction. I felt kinda like a criminal almost caught red handed. However no one asked about it and anyways it smelled like syrup and I was in a Waffle House. One thing that helped prove the validity about whether the blood looked real was when Andrew arrived. He still had some blood on his arm near the elbow that he was having trouble getting off his skin so he picked up a napkin and started to wipe it off but it wasn't working well then one of the waitresses came over and asked if he needed a band aid. We all laughed and explained that it wasn't real blood and we had been shooting a student film and everyone laughed. One thing I can now do to basically anyone in the production is whenever we're together and there is a bottle of syrup nearby, I can point at it and say, "Inside joke." Then most of the cast would laugh but Shea would get angry since she's the only one who actually tasted it.
|Screenshot: Girls discover that "He's a guy!"|
So if it doesn't load which it doesn't appear to be doing, make sure you watch it in class or get a copy from me. And I hope you enjoy "A Poker Hand," a short film made by myself and Christina Harper aka Crazy Cat Productions.