basic storyline: “shootout” over a £5/£10 note
Actors & props: 2 people, 1 note
music: classic western shootout (eg music from The Good the Bad and the Ugly)
To find a suitable location for shooting, we walked around the main-streets of Kendal. Our goal was to find an area the was spacious enough for us to be able to film the wide shots that are needed for the beginning of the shootout, while also staying out of the way of the general public (so as not to be an inconvenience).
The first possible location we found was this courtyard-type open area outside of the shopping centre. It had the space we need to film and it seemed to be fairly quite, with few people around, meaning we wouldn’t be getting in anyone’s way and the audio would be fairly good. The problem is there seems to be too much going on in the background. There are too many shops and signs, also the bench surrounding the tree dominates the picture and if we got that in the foreground it may distract from the scene.
We also looked at the Birdcage for a possible location. It’s nice, because it is very centered and the design is almost like a stage where the shootout can be acted out (similar to the circular wall where the shootouts take place in ‘The Good The Bad and The Ugly’ and ‘For a Few Dollars More’). Unfortunately, the size proved a challenge to work with. The area inside the birdcage is too small to achieve the extra wide shots, but you are prevented from getting a clear shot from outside because of the metal poles. Also, there are usually a lot of people there, and we would struggle to find a time when it was empty enough to shoot.
The most likely location seems to be the nearby park. It is perfect for wide shots, because it is so open and there is room for maneuvering. The scenery is pretty, but there isnt so much going on in the background that it takes away from the actual story. The whole short film will take place on the pathway pictured. The only problem that there may be is that the location is weather-dependent, and heavy rain could prevent us from filming. Also, if we were to film there, we may have to cut the audio, because the sound of the river would interfere too much.
Initial idea: We went through a few different ideas when deciding on a coherent story. Originally, we had planned to recreate a classic western shootout, keeping as close to the shot style and music as possible, but swapping out the real guns for water guns. However, when we re-read the brief we realised it specified that no weapons of any kind were to be used, and while water-guns aren’t exactly dangerous, we felt it didn’t quite fit the brief and we knew we could be more creative with it.
Development: We knew that a shootout is like a race to see who is the fastest, so our idea developed to a race for the last cupcake. This would include lots of close ups of the cupcake and the hands twitching towards the cake, as well as high shots showing the cake from above surrounded by people. We had planned for three people to be in the shootout, so it was be very similar to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which is our main inspiration.
It was then we learned about the 180 degree rule, which showed us where to position the camera so that the actors’ eye lines match up. The rule is easiest to follow when using two actors, as soon as you add a third person in (which is what we were planning) it becomes more complex. Not wanting to over-complicate the shoot, we decided to only involve two people in the shootout.
Final plot: After bouncing our ideas off each other more we managed to come up with a story line that we could shoot and edit in the time given, and that would fit into the 60 second time limit. The shootout is between two people over some money which has been dropped on the ground. They will have a stare out while each waits for the other to make a grab to the money. To add an extra bit to the short film so its not just a generic shootout, when they reach for the money, its gone. The final shot will be a third person walking away with the money.
- close shot. money falling to the ground.
- Extra wide shot. Two people walk in either side of the frame. Stop when they see the money.
- music starts
- Close up shots of both the people’s faces and hands (twitching towards the money). Repeat a few times (10-14), getting faster and closer.
- music stops/release
- wide shot. both running towards money
- close up shots each person running
- mid shot. They both lunge for it
- close up shot. The hands both reach for the money but it’s gone.
- Mid shot. They both look up and in the same direction.
- wide shot. Third person is walking away with the money in hand.