Posted by Peter Rasmussen on March 8, 2007
At the end of March we are going to have the first public screening of Stolen Life. Cast and crew and friends in the industry wondering if what we’ve been talking about for the last three years will live up to their expectations.
Today was the day of the tech check. I arrived fifty minutes early. The projectionist was very friendly and helpful. Oh, there’s someone doing a shoot or something in “MY” theatrette!? So we’ll check it in the main cinema. But we won’t get an idea of the right level for the sound.
The projectionist goes to talk to the people. It’s okay, we’ll do the check in the one the screening will actually be in. Oh that’s right it’s only playing black and white. Something to do with the remote. They are getting a brand new player before our screening. Oh well we’ll check the sound. Even in black and white it was good to see it up on a big screen in the cosy little theatre. The disc ran okay. The sound was okay. We’ll do another check with the new gear.
It was on a short film a number of years ago I learned to roll with the punches. I was the cinematographer on that occasion. The director and I talked through the concepts of the film for a couple of months before the shoot. Between us we had carefully worked out the motivation for each shot and how the lighting should be to deliver the essence of this promising project.
When the shooting days came we had no production manager or first assistant. They were all night shoots. We were at least an hour late to start at each location. All the carefully thought through shots had to go out the window. We just had to get it in the can any way we could.
In retrospect the planning was not wasted. It meant that we knew the story so well we could shoot from the hip and still get something worthwhile.
There is a story about Hemingway at a dinner party during the Second World War. There was gunfire near by. Apparently some stray shots shattered windows in the house. Everyone dived under the table except for Ernest. He said the bullet that kills him will have his name on it.
Stolen Life is a feature length Machinima movie starring Claudia Black of Stargate and Farscape and Chris Jones of Tex Murphy.