This day's filming involved only two of us behind the camera and in front of it. The funny thing is both of us are named Mike.
Filming a scene with only two people presents many challenges. If both are in front of the camera, there is no one behind the camera to monitor the sound, position in the frame, light changes, etc. However, having only two people involved also saves the filmmaker from stress as well. Scheduling becomes easier, and there are only two people that can forget lines.
For this particular scene, we began by filming all of Mike's lines from a closeup angle, while I monitored behind the camera. Next we did the same with me in front of the camera. The final step was a two shot with no one behind the camera. It was not until I reviewed the footage again months later that I noticed, as the sun had set behind the camera, the shadow of the camera and tripod slowly appeared on my leg from shot to shot. Luckily, I was able to crop it out without any important information missing from the shot.
Part 3 of the truck chase was completed with Jake present. For the chase itself, it was simply shots of Jake in the vehicle reacting to already filmed shots.
After the chase, we filmed more angles of the swordfight. This time, all showing Jake's face.
This same day, we filmed Wilhelm giving a speech to a crowd that was not even present. I framed the shot tight enough so that it would appear that Jake was in a closeup surrounded by a crowd. I was impressed by how well he could remember the entire speech in one take.
Another scene involved Jake looking through binoculars at troops charging (another shot that had yet to be filmed).
Part 2 of filming the truck chase sequence took place at the house of my friend Annie, the same friend that owned the SUV and the camp where we filmed the majority of the chase sequence. This day of filming included shots of the truck driving by, Slim falling out of the truck, Slim climbing on the roof of the truck, Wilhelm in the truck from behind, and the swordfight from one angle.
The reason Wilhelm was filmed from behind was because Jake was not available on this date, so my friend Donovan was a stand in with the nun outfit on.
The most memorable part of this day's filming was when the camera fell off the vehicle. The truck was turning a corner and the camera was in the very back with the rear hatch open. The force of the car turning made the entire tripod fall over and the camera land directly on the pavement. Remarkably, the camera still worked after, only the viewfinder was detached so setting up every shot needed the LCD screen.
Even without a budget, SLIM boasts 2 "car" chases. The first involves riding lawnmowers and the second an SUV and ATVs.
This day's filming captured the second of these chases.
For the truck itself, my friend Annie allowed me to use her sturdy SUV, which conveniently had running boards and a roof rack. The same friend owned a camp in a remote area of Maine. This meant we were able to use the seldom-traveled camp roads as the setting for our chase.
In order to give the illusion of great speeds, I set the camera to record a lower framerate. This meant that when the footage was sped up in the computer, it would appear to be playing back at a normal framerate.
The details of the scene were simple-- the truck drives by, Slim jumps on the truck, replaces the driver, and gets chased by an ATV. We basically filmed the entire chase in order. For the exterior shots, the camera was either mounted on an ATV or from someone standing and using the sunroof of the car. The interior of the car was easy to film with the camera in the front passenger seat.
Of all the different sequences filmed over the years, this one could have been quite complicated, but it went off quite smoothly. Over the next several weeks, filming of the sequence was completed through days of filming insert shots and additional angles.