As early as 2005 and as late as 2012 or 2013, there were many shots, and sometimes entire scenes that I filmed alone. I guess it is times like these that the filmmaker most resembles the sculptor, the writer, or the composer. It is just you and what you hope to create.
By myself, I recorded a lot of landscape scenery. Not only did I use this during the opening title and end credits, but also, it was handy to have in case of what is called B roll--other shots not of the main action that one can cut to. I also recorded actions and activities around me--the sunrise, planes landing and taking off, a lunar eclipse, cars driving by, etc.
I can think of at least two scenes (many I decided to cut) in the final film that involved me setting up the camera with a best guess for lighting, sound, framing and performing in front of the camera. In one scene, I simply played the one character in static shots. For another scene, I played two characters (one had a bag over his head), and then combined the two performances while editing.
It was probably when filming alone that I felt like an independent filmmaker with a capital "I". Everything in each frame was completely controlled by me. The passage of time also seemed most noticeable when I was alone. Although I filmed alone quite a bit while making SLIM, I do prefer to interact with other people and make better products because of that interaction.
The day of filming I talk about today was covered in the Bangor Daily News. See the article here.
With all other scenes having been completed to my satisfaction, there was one more set of shots that I felt my zero budget movie needed--crowd shots. I will not fall to the assumption that a big movie and large casts require a massive budget. I used technology and every resource available to me to gather a crowd.
I looked at the calendar and decided that Labor Day was the day to pick. Many people have work off on Labor Day, but families usually do not travel on that date. Maybe this is true, maybe it is not, but it worked for me.
I went on Facebook and created a public event. I posted the casting call to every free events site that served my area. I went to the websites of local television and radio stations, and posted on their community calendars. I went to the Bangor Daily News website and shared my filming date on their list of events. It was because of this last step that a Bangor Daily News reporter and a photographer came to the filming to cover it.
I was thrilled when about 20 people came for filming that day. The instructions (for crowds of nuns) was to wear all black. Only a few of the people that came were already my friends. Many were people that had seen the casting call for extras on one of the events platforms and wanted to be in a movie.
We used a large field in a public park for all of the scenes. Luckily, I had scouted the area and charted out all crowd movements beforehand. Despite all the people involved, everything went smoothly, and I believe those involved had fun.
Next time, I will write about the parts of the film that I filmed alone.