00 Shooting on film for the first time

My Fall Semester SFTV Film Projects

Last semester was a busy time. I worked on several film projects, for both my cinematography and directing courses, as well as those of my fellow film students.

Cinematography — Short Film in 16mm

Here is my first cinematography project. The initial assignment was to take seven outdoor stills that told a story. Then, we used those seven images as our shot list to create a very, very short film on 16mm.

This was my first, and (as our professor told us) possibly last time shooting on film. Now, as the rise of digital photography would seem to be making film a dying art form, I find this a very interesting time to be entering this industry. As a matter of fact, the issue of film versus video was actually the subject of my final presentation in the class.

Cinematography — No Dialogue, Original Scene

For my second cinematography project, the assignment was to light and shoot a short non-dialogue scene and it could be either original or from a movie or TV episode. I was the only one in my class to do an original scene. It’s about a gaffer trying to put a scrim in a light, but the light has other ideas. This one was shot on the LMU soundstage with a Canon C300. This was the final project for the class.

My directing class had two sections: one that focused on the camera and one on the actors.  We also had two different projects which corresponded to each section respectively. Other directing classes at LMU only require one scene, but I preferred this format because I feel like directing with the camera and with the actors are very different and both deserve attention and study.

Directing — Scene from Chasing Amy

This is my first directing project; the one associated with the camera section of the course. When I began this project, I didn’t know what scene I wanted to do, but I knew that, considering the kind of project this was, it probably shouldn’t be anything too ambitious. I figured the best thing to do would be a simple “two people in an apartment” scene.  I thought to myself “what kinds of films would likely feature some good scenes of just two guys in an apartment?” The answer? Kevin Smith films. This led me to Chasing Amy.

The scene was a fun one to put together. I made a storyboard, which is something I don’t usually do, but I felt like it would help me on this project. I was somewhat surprised to see how different the storyboard ended up being from the final project. It sort of evolved into something different as I was shooting it and I think it ended up a better scene because of that. I was very pleased that my actors, Andrew and Garrett, took the scene seriously and showed up well-rehearsed and fully prepared.

Directing — Scene from 50/50

This scene is from 50/50 is my second directing project — this time dealing with directing actors. I’m really glad my actors once again took this project as seriously as I did and showed up completely prepared. That’s a luxury that unfortunately isn’t always available to us. Fortunately, I was working with serious and skilled talent, Andrew and Erik, who also happen to be friends of mine.

Now, here are some film projects that I appeared in last semester.

Performing — Scene from Fight Club

For his first directing project, my friend Andrew chose a scene from Fight Club and cast me as Tyler Durden. I had a terrible cold when we shot this, so if my voice sounds a bit off, that’s why. WARNING: if you’re one of the three people in the world who haven’t seen the film, this scene contains MAJOR spoilers.

Performing — Scene from Only God Forgives

I was also in a few cinematography finals. One of my classmates, Laura, chose to shoot a scene from Only God Forgives, which happens to be one of my favorite films of last year, so I was very lucky to be involved in it.

Performing — Scene from Girl, Interrupted

Last, but not least, here’s a scene from Girl, Interrupted shot by Sydny, another classmate. For the part where the camera is rotating around me, I was actually standing on the dolly as it spun around, while I simultaneously had to spin myself around in the opposite direction. It was rather disorienting, but created a pretty cool end result as you can see.


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