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Thread: Need help, would you please have any suggestions?

  1. #1

    Default Need help, would you please have any suggestions?

    Need a little help, please. Am shooting a short in March over the first three weekends. This is a 'high risk' short in that if successful, it could be excellent but if unsuccessful will be terrible. It is the first short I have attempted where we have really looked to push the limits both creatively and artistically but there is one, extremely important element which we need help with.

    One of the issues is a highly emotionally charged scene where a character is crossing a bridge and is torn between killing himself or not. This is based on a true story so we want to do this justice.

    What we were thinking of was a high point in London, say suicide bridge, where we could film this taking place and I can get filming permissions. However, the issue we are wrestling with is audio in that we want to record the performance well which would be impossible on a bridge due to the nature of filming in an area where there is traffic. Therefore, our solution is to have an ongoing hallucination where the character is so torn and twisted inside that they flick to another location (in their mind) and they would look to kill themselves there. This could maybe be an interior location but with an open side where they could throw themselves out (keeping the theme of throwing themselves off a bridge).

    The questions I would ask help with are therefore as follows:

    1. Does anyone else have any solutions?
    2. In terms of a London location, probably inside, where someone can look as if they are killing themselves, maybe somewhere high up but inside so we can control the sound, does anyone know anywhere? We have a small budget and I would gladly pay for this.
    3. ADR is absolutely not an option. We need to capture the full performance and ADR will not allow us to do this.
    4. Green screen is an option but this would require skills I do not have and I have greenscreened on multiple occasions. It would need a real expert.

    We would be filming with the ubiquitous 5D, 7D plus a Nikkon, VG10, shoulder rig, slider, steadicam, tripods (with fluid heads) and recording sound on two Tascam DR100s, one of which will have a heavy-duty, professional, non-portable mixer attached plus a couple of different mics. For the sound, we would have one DR100 with an NTG-2 in the middle of the room set to 'low' to catch the shouty elements and a second boomed mic (ECM 674 which will have high tones) on the mixer to catch the quiet parts (we have high contrast levels in sound).

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

    Default

    London isn't my area but I would have thought there are loads of high rise buildings around if you just want somewhere to jump off. As for the bridge you could try very early in the morning if the dark is ok for the shoot. There is always the option of a large building with a balcony like a Tate Modern or an office block.

    If I was doing the shoot I'd go for the authenticity of the bridge and find one which is well lit and shoot really early in the morning to avoid the traffic.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the attempt. However, I am filming at the Tate Modern already and cannot use their balcony area. The members balcony (for example) costs a big number to hire, well out of reach of all but the most well-funded productions. It would be cheaper to hire a studio, shoot greenscreen and get a great post guy in. In case you are wondering how I know this, you might want to take a second look at the last short I shot...

    I don't know any high rises that will allow us onto an open roof. I tried with several and all exits to the top were locked. We would need permissions and I am struggling with this. Also, there is the safety factor.

    In addition, London is a City of 8 million people and 9 million cars. The bridges in London are all in use, day and night and none of them that I have seen have the kind of lighting I want. Worse is that to light them even during the day means we would be in breach of all kinds of regulations and we would need specific permissions to film (and this would cost thousands). We have a decent sized crew, would need to set down lights etc..., would have difficulty capturing sound.

    This is why we were thinking indoors with maybe a 'slide open' area or just somewhere controlled.

  4. #4

    Default

    To reduce wind and traffic you need a wind jammer on a directional boom, the boom op needs to really know how to swing a boom like a pro, and also to schedule a little extra time for possible retakes.
    i don't know any London areas and without knowing the film I'd wonder if cutting between locations is going to be confusing, it might not at all, I dunno...

  5. #5

    Default

    Thank you for your interest. As mentioned, we are shooting on two mics, one of which is boomed, attached to a mixer and the second will not be boomed for obvious reasons.

    Naturally, we have a windjammer, booms galore, Tascam DR100s coming out of our ears (and a backup Zoom H4N if catastrophe strikes). In fact, I know how to get pro level sound inside using the mixer and some tricks, understand a little bit about sound design but don't know how to achieve pro level sound outdoors.

    We are going to be pushing the film to its creative and artistic limits in order to make it work. This means we will take the risk and either it will be terrible or alternatively, outstanding. Either way, we are happy to take the risk.

    However, I need solutions to the problems being faced and despite scratching my head, am really struggling.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Not sure if this helps, but there are a few rooftop gardens in pubs near tower bridge. Not been in there, but there,s the sky lounge near the minories for example. Maybe an avenue to explore. I've also seen people on the top of the counting house near bank (most bizzare, they were having a meal), which overlooks a church graveyard. Plenty of options, but not sure if feasible.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Peters View Post
    Not sure if this helps, but there are a few rooftop gardens in pubs near tower bridge. Not been in there, but there,s the sky lounge near the minories for example. Maybe an avenue to explore. I've also seen people on the top of the counting house near bank (most bizzare, they were having a meal), which overlooks a church graveyard. Plenty of options, but not sure if feasible.
    Hi Marc

    This is very helpful indeed. I can always ask them!

    Thanks for this.

  8. #8
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    May I?
    I wonder that filming in London near a bridge etc won't get you into hot water, unless well-covered with written permissions.

    So, I wonder that you can't find an indoor situation where the action could be created - I'm thinking a friendly storage company (where high-bay lighting could equate to dawn's background + you can add some Red filtered light, + mist etc. ) . . . . or a Pumping station occupied by steamers, who would welcome the additional revenue (although not at weekends, when they steam). If the hero kicks over a piece of pipe (pot?) the building will reverberate quite unlike the great outside - and the Sound-scene will be reasonably studio-like whilst being twice the height....

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