So, reshoots. This has been a big problem given that my one actor is states away and also, you know, there’s a quarantine. The idea of reshoots was weighing heavily on me for my film, but I had no way of being able to do them. So, I had to try and think outside of the box and drop the idea that my thesis was going to be exactly as I had wanted it to be. And I guess this blog post/story starts back on the day we found out the “big news”.
Luckily, before Arcadia closed the campus, I was able to rush into the video lab and cut the last pieces of my thesis and render the full rough draft of my film, as I was expecting we would not be allowed back on campus. I wanted to make sure I could bring all of it home with me and just edit from there. Shooting for my thesis had literally wrapped the day before, so I wasn’t under too much pressure to try and get any reshoots done as I knew I had everything I needed.
I’ve been trying to muster up the courage to look at my thesis because if I’m being honest, this whole coronavirus thing is making it really difficult to look at any kind of project I was working on and feel happy about doing it. I decided to take spring break and the week after off of any kind of thesis thinking, in order to process everything going and just give myself some space from my project that I was just getting so angry having to look at (and also I felt I was in ok shape with it). Well, that didn’t happen because over spring break I got antsy and started working on it and marking up everything I hated about it – not in a spiteful way, but trying to be proactive and write down all of the mistakes I see (when I’m in the mood to especially point them out) and have a list of what I need to fix and go from there.
I needed reshoots. The entire opening sequence I was dissatisifed with. In my head, it seemed fine. But once strung all together, it just felt subpar. So, I decided to brainstorm ideas of how I could:
1. Reshoot 75% of an opening sequence being nowhere near the set I used and not having my actor.
2. Think of something purposeful to the film as a whole, not just a quick last minute idea. This is literally the first few minutes, it’s where everybody watching gets their first impressions, so I needed not an idea I would settle on, but something I liked.
I eventually came up with an idea that solved not only this problem, but additional problems I had with my thesis. Like I mentioned, I felt my film had issues in the beginning, but also, there was part in the middle that I needed to do something with to make it more interesting, I needed to make the ending more “emotional” if that’s the right word, and I needed to make the message behind my thesis way, way, way more noticeable. The idea I eventually thought of was actually able to knock all of those 4 major problems out! I woke up early one morning and just decided to start working on these new reshoots, scribbling down words on white pieces of paper and then filming all of the words that reflect the protagonist’s (and antagonist’s) thoughts (the photo that’s at the top of this page is one of many). I felt this was a good compromise of a way to represent my main character without actually having my main character there to film, and “motif” kind of strung throughout the film that fixes all of the other problems as well.
I’m still trying to look at the positives of everything, and I think this was a good start. If I had still been at school and had the opportunity to do reshoots, I would have just reshot everything I had problems with without actually solving the problem. It was the idea that was the problem, not the execution of it. So, it took the coronavirus to make that clearer to me and I guess that’s a positive start. I have another second draft fully rendered, but it’s not there just yet. I think next week is going to be going into the nitty gritty and trying to really make myself like this again.