Yesterday morning, I was asked by my directing teacher Jarmo Lampela to produce a one minute script and shoot it the next day which means this morning. The main idea for this exercise was to enhance our skills on ADR which is the dubbing process. Dubbing is the post production process of recording and replacing voices on a motion picture or television soundtrack subsequent to the original shooting.
One of the major reasons why I love the film department in Taik is that you are always asked to produce short films in a very small scale of time. That kind of exercises really teaches you how to become alert all the time not only in case of film practice but also as an individual. For exemple, Susanna Helke's class was held in a way that we were expected to write small articles all the time on subjects such as what is political for us and what kind of political events have we had that had a long term affect on our lives. These kind of exercises really teaches you to become aware of your surrounding and help you in a way to deepen your skills in filmmaking.
I was informed by Jarmo that I would get two actors, one male and one female so I had to write a short story about a couple. Moreover, I wanted to emphasize the sound because we were going to practice ADR for the first time and I really wanted the sound has a major point in the story. This is the story I came up with:
Tom is in the kitchen to make some coffee. Julia is in the bathroom brushing her teeth. Tom takes two cups from the closet and starts boiling the water. He asks if she wants any coffee. “Black or white” he adds. She says black but her answer is incomprehensible because of the brush in her mouth. Tom goes to the toilet and asks her again. Her answer is black. He puts hot water in two cups -one of them is black, the other is white- and he puts milk in one of them. Julia goes out from the bathroom and takes the black coffee. Tom approaches her and hits the glasses. He seems happy. “To Buenos Aires” he says. Julia grimaces and explains that she won’t be able to make it. “Why not?” says Tom still hugging Julia and trying to kiss her. “We will have the best time of our life there!” Julia steps back harder and saves herself from Tom. Tom takes Julia’s coffee and runs to the bathroom. He locks the door. Julia comes to the bathroom but she cannot get in because the door is locked. She tries to apologize but he is busy washing the cups. He pours both cups in the lavatory and that creates a weird mixture of both milky and black coffee.
We had to shoot it very fast and we only had one hour to shoot all the actions. In case of filmmaking, I always tend to think storytelling by shots, in a way that I would like to shoot the scenes by blocking the actors and the actions in the right compositional way, starting from a wide shot to the close ups in the end and so forth. I always feel secure by using that methodology and it is really hard to skip a shot.
Well for this exercise, I had to shoot the shots by rolling all the story from the beginning to the end. I think it was quite difficult for the actors since they had to perform all the text once we said action. The reason why I chose this way because I didn't have time to rehearse with the actors. I didn't really know how I was going to block them in case of the place of the camera and editing. I gave my camera operator full initiatives which gave me a chance to concentrate on the actors.
I just finished synchronizing the materials and made a rough cut. I realized that I shot one establishing shot, two medium shots and one medium shot in the bathroom. I think it would be better if we had some close up. Anyway, I think we did a good job in a very limited time! Now we will see what happens with the editing and the sound design.