New Zealand, 2009. 4:59 mins.
Team: Andrew Weston, Danielle Boyte, and Christopher Wood
“BHFSM” was produced by Chris Wood, Andy Weston and Danielle Boyte. We all knew each other fairly well before production began but all now know each other quite a lot better. We tried to keep a relaxed atmosphere on the whole but there was the occasional argument, mainly between Andy and Chris to be fair. Everyone played an equal part in the films production and each of the members excelled in slightly different areas to one another. Andy focused on directing, while Chris focused on Camera work and lighting, and Danielle focused on making sure Andy and Chris didn’t kill each other. Though there was cross overs the whole time and we each did a little of everything.
Our main actor Rick Doone (Nick), was fantastic. He was really well suited to his part and gave up a lot of his free time to help us. Our other actors were all great in their roles and we are still really appreciative that they gave up their time to act in our film. Their names and roles are listed below.
Connie Butler – Sponsor Woman
Samuel Blissett – Beatmaster Maxx
Ashes of Eden – Themselves
Alex Scahill – Homeless musician
Robert Burns – Himself
Chris Ong – Kelvin
James Dwyer – Gross guy
Over the past 10 years music piracy has escalated to epic proportions. Musicians can no longer afford the basic necessities to live and their death toll has been steadily rising. This is an extended ad for a charity that is trying to help musicians get back on their feet. The Bernie Holmes Fund for Struggling Musicians or (BHFSM).
Production / Technology / Surprises…
We used the Sony HDRFX1E as our main camera
The Sony HDR-HC1E as a secondary camera for half of our filming.
The Canon HV20 HD for the second half of filming, as a secondary camera
The Sony ECM-MS907 microphone was used as a boom mic, a hand held and for voice overs.
A home made boom
We were able to begin planning production and finding actors as soon as semester started. This was due to the fact that Samuel Blissett and Andy Weston had already written a script for our film. As a result we had a strong production plan that helped us throughout filming and kept us on track. Finding people that were willing to give up their time to act for us was easier than we had expected and we ended up with our first choices for all our actors.
The actual filming process was very intense, mainly because we had so many locations and actors to work around. Bad lighting and too much wind were often factors that had to be overcome during filming and we learnt a lot about ways of doing this throughout shooting. Some of the biggest issues we faced during shooting, were forgetting to plug the mic in for a whole scene (which was later cut), filming in DV 4:3 for a day on our secondary camera (later turned to black and white and stretched to fit 16:9 format), bad sound quality due to the mic level being too low (dropped these scenes).
Things we learnt along the way
In some scenes we made sure to line up the actors in a certain part of the frame and to trim them to how we wanted, only to find out when importing the footage that what the LCD screen on the camera shows can be vastly different to what it looks like on a computer. When filming in areas you’re not supposed to be in, just look like you’re meant to be there and no one will question you. There’s always a way to get on top of a building. You can sometimes fix acting screw ups in post production. Let your actors play with their lines a bit, sometimes they come up with something better than you had thought of. Know what settings your camera is on and what they mean to avoid excessive wasted time during post production.
Behind the scenes
Chris gained $100 in parking tickets by the end of shooting and a broken bass drum skin set us back $90. We put together two versions of the film, one that will be shown at the Mothra film festival and one for the True Lies competition. The Mothra cut is 30 seconds longer and contains sillier content more suited to the Mothra audience. Whereas the shorter True Lies cut is more serious and stylish.
After being informed by OUSA (Otago University Students Association) that the best publicity award was up for grabs we made a large effort to get the word out to people on campus to come and watch our film. Our campaign was mostly print based, making sure to advertise the date of the film screening and where it was showing along with information on the mothras and our film. We were very interested in placement of print media, making sure we put them in places where they were sure to get attention. For example we printed each of the letters of our film on single A4 sheets and a supplementary sheet giving details and we placed them above the urinal in the refuel toilets (what else are you going to look at?). We also staged a publicity stunt which involved dressing as our film characters and playing music and improvising lyrics that encouraged people to watch our film and then walking around university making fools of ourselves. This went well and we handed out 120 flyers to people whilst singing to them.
Conclusion / Outlook
An ambitious and often stressful project, but a committed team, good time management and sheer determination lead to a finely polished and entertaining piece. We couldn’t have asked for much better for a first film and the skills and experience we’ve gained through creating it can now be applied to further film projects we will inevitably make in the future.
The film was very well received , better than we had originally expected, especially at the Mothras, and we gained six awards in total. At the True Lies festival we won best technical film, which we were very proud to gain as our strict production plan had granted us more time to create a well edited, refined final product.
At the Mothras we won Best Prestenter (Nick Laird), Best Original Score (Sam Blissett), Best Publicity (for our publicity stunt and posters), Best credits (an award that we consciously went for as it was an area to showcase our design skills) and Best Mocumentary which was a surprise and an honor.