Back to high school. That’s right. The cast and crew of Hope Bridge returned to high school today, to shot a number of key scenes at a local school here in Lawrenceburg, KY. This was perhaps our biggest production day so far. We had over 100 extras on set. It required a great deal of logistics and management to keep the production on schedule. As I said, it was a big day.
The film industry calls extras "background actors". When we watch movies, there are a lot of things we don’t think about that give movies a sense of realism and plausibility. For example the things that are happening in the background during a scene. How boring it would be to see two actors having a discussion on a street corner without people walking in and out of the frame.
We also shot our big action scene today. It’s the first time we used a real stunt coordinator. Staging a fight scene may seem easy, but it’s not. It has to look real without people getting hurt. In this case it really looked like someone was getting beaten badly, even to the extent of spitting out blood. Notice I said “it looked like”.
We were fortunate to have veteran stunt coordinator, Nils Stewart, who has over 100 film credits, working on Hope Bridge. He helped to make the scene look like the real deal. It’s hard to believe it took six hours to shoot the fight scene that will only run no more than about a minute and a half in the movie. And you thought making a movie was easy.
And what about the 100 high schoolers who showed up as extras? There’s no guarantee that any of them will make the final cut of the film. Why would they give up a perfectly good summer day to wait around for hours? Kera from Corbin, KY said she did it for the experience. She wants to work in the film business some day. Kim from Harrisburg, KY is majoring in theater. She found it to be interesting and fun. And Laura said she couldn’t believe how much went into shooting just one scene.
Everybody I talked to was positive. It was fun playing Hollywood for a day. However, I did talk to a number of students like Kera who are looking into the film and media industry as a career. Thank you guys for coming out and being part of our movie. Without you, our high school scenes would not of been a success. You brought life and energy into today’s production.
With so many people on set today, the crew really had to step up their game. Our plan worked. Everyone knew where they needed to be and when to be there. When you pull off a day like today, there’s a real sense of satisfaction.
I had a chance to chat with Isaac Pletcher, Director of Photography. Isaac is an interesting person to talk to. You might be wondering what a director of photography actually does. It’s obviously a very crucial role. A DP is responsible for the visual look of the film. You have to understand lighting, lenses, focal lengths and F-stops.
Isaac gradated with a film degree from Regent University. I asked him why he wanted to be a cinematographer. He said, “When I started at Regent, I had every intention of being a director, I discovered I really didn’t enjoy it. I fell in love with cinematography because I enjoy the creative aspect. It’s challenging to take the vision of the director and make it a reality.”
I wanted to know about Isaac’s lighting style and how it applied to Hope Bridge. He stated, “Like Josh our director, I primarily like to work with natural lighting if possible. Instead of using artificial lights, I’d rather redirect existing light to the subject. It’s been my approach for Hope Bridge. With our budgetary limits, natural light was our best option.” Isaac went on to say that he’s pleased with the results he has achieved with Hope Bridge. With the film’s subject material, the lighting style he chose has helped to create a more atmospheric mood, which helps push the story forward.
Only two days to go with more to come.